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Today in History: FEB 3, The day the music died

February 3, 2023 GMT

Today in History

Today is Friday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2023. There are 331 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 3, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

On this date:

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens held a shipboard peace conference off the Virginia coast; the talks deadlocked over the issue of Southern autonomy.

In 1917, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, the same day an American cargo ship, the SS Housatonic, was sunk by a U-boat off Britain after the crew was allowed to board lifeboats.

In 1943, during World War II, the U.S. transport ship SS Dorchester, which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a German torpedo in the Labrador Sea; of the more than 900 men aboard, only some 230 survived.

In 1959, rock-and-roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a small plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.

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In 1966, the Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.

In 1988, the U.S. House of Representatives handed President Ronald Reagan a major defeat, rejecting his request for $36.2 million in new aid to the Nicaraguan Contras by a vote of 219-211.

In 1994, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off, carrying Sergei Krikalev (SUR’-gay KREE’-kuh-lev), the first Russian cosmonaut to fly aboard a U.S. spacecraft.

In 1995, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off with a woman, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Collins, in the pilot’s seat for the first time in NASA history.

In 1998, a U.S. Marine plane sliced through the cable of a ski gondola in Italy, causing the car to plunge hundreds of feet, killing all 20 people inside.

In 2006, an Egyptian passenger ferry sank in the Red Sea during bad weather, killing more than 1,000 passengers.

In 2009, Eric Holder became the first Black U.S. attorney general as he was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden.

In 2020, in closing arguments at President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, Democratic prosecutors urged senators to stop a “runaway presidency” and recognize Trump’s actions in Ukraine as part of a pattern of behavior that would allow him to “cheat” in the 2020 election; Trump’s defenders accused Democrats of trying to undo the 2016 election and said voters should decide Trump’s fate.

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Ten years ago: A fired Los Angeles police officer launched a revenge war on law enforcement and the families of those he blamed for ending his career, killing four people during a 6-day manhunt that ended with his apparent suicide at a cabin in San Bernardino County. The Baltimore Ravens survived a partial power outage during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans to edge the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.

Five years ago: Linebacker Ray Lewis and receiver Terrell Owens were among eight people voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The New York Times reported an accusation from actress Uma Thurman that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein had forced himself on her sexually years ago in a London hotel room; Weinstein acknowledged making an “awkward pass” but strongly denied any physical assault.

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One year ago: Winter storms across the United States knocked out power to hundreds of thousands, brought the cancellation of more than 9,000 flights, caused a deadly tornado in Alabama and brought rare measurable snowfall to parts of Texas. President Joe Biden announced that the leader of the Islamic State group blew up himself and members of his family during a raid by U.S. special operations forces of his hideout in the village of Atmeh, Syria. U.S. officials called it a “significant blow” to the radical militant organization.

Today’s birthdays: Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 82. Actor Blythe Danner is 80. Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese is 78. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 76. Singer Melanie is 76. Actor Morgan Fairchild is 73. Actor Pamela Franklin is 73. Actor Nathan Lane is 67. Rock musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) is 67. Actor Thomas Calabro is 64. Rock musician/author Lol Tolhurst (The Cure) is 64. Actor-director Keith Gordon is 62. Actor Michele Greene is 61. Country singer Matraca Berg is 59. Actor Maura Tierney is 58. Actor Warwick Davis is 53. Actor Elisa Donovan is 52. Reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee is 47. Actor Isla Fisher is 47. Human rights activist Amal Clooney is 45. Singer-songwriter Jessica Harp is 41. Actor Matthew Moy is 39. Rapper Sean Kingston is 33. Actor Brandon Micheal Hall is 30.