This Day In History February 3


34th day of 2011 - 331 remaining
Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3, 1959 was a sad day in rock ’n’ roll history: 22-year-old Buddy Holly, 28-year-old J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) and 17-year-old Ritchie Valens died in an airplane crash near Mason City, Iowa. February 3rd has been remembered as “The Day the Music Died” since Don McLean made the line popular in his 1972 hit, American Pie.

Buddy Holly, born Charles Hardin Holly in Lubbock, Texas, recorded That’ll Be the Day, Peggy Sue, Oh, Boy, Maybe Baby, and others, including It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (recorded just before his death, a smash in the U.K., non top-10 in the U.S.). Buddy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. A convincing portrait of the singer was portrayed by Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story, a made for TV movie.

J.P. (Jiles Perry) Richardson was from Sabine Pass, TX. He held the record for longest, continuous broadcasting as a DJ at KTRM Radio in Beaumont, TX in 1956. He was on the air for 122 hours and eight minutes. In addition to his smash hit, Chantilly Lace, Richardson also penned Running Bear (a hit for Johnny Preston) plus White Lightning (a hit for country star, George Jones).

Richard Valenzuela lived in Pacoima, CA (near LA) and had a role in the 1959 film, Go Johnny Go. Ritchie Valens’ two big hits were Donna and La Bamba ... the last, the title of a 1987 film depiction of his life. La Bamba also represented the first fusion of Latin music and American rock.

Of the three young stars who died in that plane crash, the loss of Buddy Holly reverberated the loudest over the years. But, fans of 1950s rock ’n’ roll will agree, all three have been sorely missed.

Events February 3

1862 - Thomas Edison, always looking for a way to do something new, came up with this idea: He printed the Weekly Herald and distributed it to train passengers traveling between Port Huron and Detroit, MI. Strange thing is ... it was the first time a newspaper had been printed on a train! We suppose the news was ’on track’ -- Extra! Extra!

1869 - Actor Edwin Booth opened his new theatre in New York City. The first production was Romeo and Juliet. Even at that time, tickets didn’t come cheap. Some sold as high as $125 for this presentation.

1930 - U.S. President Herbert Hoover appointed Charles Evans Hughes as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1941 - Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded the classic, Amapola, on Decca Records. Helen O’Connell and Bob Eberly joined in a vocal duet on this very famous and popular song of the Big Band era.

1947 - Percival Prattis of Our World in New York City became the first black news correspondent admitted to the House and Senate press gallery in Washington, DC.

1950 - Ed, Gene, Joe and Vic, The Ames Brothers, reached the #1 spot on the pop music charts for the first time, as Rag Mop became the most favorite song in the U.S. The brothers enjoyed many successes with their recording efforts: You You You [1953], The Man with the Banjo and The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane [1954], Tammy and Melody d’Amour [1957]. Ed Ames had been with the Russ Morgan Band and, after the brothers split in the late 1950s, went on to enjoy a lucrative television and recording career. He recorded My Cup Runneth Over and Who Will Answer, both hits in the 1960s. He also played Mingo on the Daniel Boone TV series. Ed is fondly remembered for one of the funniest moments of The Tonight Show on NBC when he competed with host Johnny Carson in a hand axe-tossing contest. Mingo won, with hilarious results that are still shown in every celebration of The Tonight Show.

1951 - **** Button won the U.S. figure skating title for the sixth time. Button went on to become a fixture on figure-skating telecasts on ABC-TV.

1951 - The Tennessee Williams play, The Rose Tattoo, opened on Broadway in New York.

1958 - The Benelux Economic Union Treaty between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands was signed on this day.

1959 - An American Airlines Electra crashed in New York City’s East River, killing 65 people.

1962 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy banned all trade with Cuba except for food & drugs.

1964 - Coach Adolph Rupp of the University of Kentucky got win #700 as the Wildcats defeated Georgia 108-83.

1964 - The British group, The Beatles, received its first gold record award for the single, I Want To Hold Your Hand. The group also won a gold LP award for Meet The Beatles. The album had been released in the United States only 14 days earlier. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

1964 - The Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, heard its first witness, Lee Harvey Oswald’s widow, Marina.

1967 - LIFE magazine featured the tragic January 27 fire and deaths of three astronauts in a launch pad fire.

1971 - Lynn Anderson received a gold record for the single, Rose Garden. The Grand Forks, ND country singer was raised in Sacramento, CA. In addition to being a singer, she was an accomplished equestrian and California Horse Show Queen in 1966.

1972 - The first Winter Olympics in Asia were held at Sapporo, Japan.

1984 - A sellout crowd of 18,210 at Madison Square Garden in New York City saw Carl Lewis best his own world record in the long jump by 9-1/4 inches.

1989 - Former first baseman Bill White was the first African American to head a major professional sports league in the United States. He became National League president this day.

1990 - Jockey Willie Shoemaker raced for the 40,352nd and last time. He finished fourth at the Santa Anita Racetrack aboard 7-10 favorite "Patchy Groundfog". Shoemaker won 1100 stakes and 8,833 wins (a world record that stood until Laffit Pincay Jr. topped it in 1999) in 40,350 races. In 42 years, Shoemaker won 11 Triple Crown races, including four Kentucky Derbies, five Belmont Stakes, and three Preakness Stakes; 1,009 stakes races; and 10 national money titles. He earned more than $123 million in purses, about $10 million of which went into his pocket. (Shoemaker’s life took a tragic turn on April 8, 1991, when he was left paralyzed from the neck down after an auto accident.)

1991 - U.S. postage was raised from 25 cents to 29 cents.

1994 - President Bill Clinton lifted the 19-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam, a week after it was approved by the U.S. Senate.

1995 - The space shuttle Discovery blasted off with a woman, Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins in the pilot’s seat. She was the first woman assigned the position of Space Shuttle Commander.

1996 - Actress Audrey Meadows died in Los Angeles. She was 71 years old. Meadows was well known for her roll (opposite Jackie Gleason) as Alice Kramden on The Honeymooners.

1996 - A 7.0 earthquake hit Lijiang region of Yunnan province in China. 231 people were killed and some 14,000 were injured.

1998 - The state of Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker for the pickax killings of two people in 1983. Tucker was the first woman executed in the United States since 1984.

2000 - Former U.S. Attorney General Richard Kleindienst died in Prescott, Arizona at the age of 76. Kleindienst served as A.G. during the Nixon administration and resigned during the Watergate scandal.

2001 - The XFL (Xtreme Football League) debuted. The league was created by Vince McMahon, mastermind behind the WWF (World Wrestling Federation). What was promoted as “Football the Way It Was Meant to Be Played” soon faded into painful memories for TV viewers and fans. The WWF apparently thought that it could pull in millions of wrestling fans to support the league, but was shocked when it discovered that actual football fans were the major supporters of the XFL, and these football fans were turned off by the wrestling-show influence on the games.

2002 - Super Bowl XXXVI (at New Orleans): New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17. (The Rams had been a two-touchdown favorite and were trying for their second NFL title in three seasons.) Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal as time expired won the game after a 53-yard, nine-play drive was engineered by Patriots QB Tom Brady, who was voted the game’s MVP. “This is the perfect example of what happens when guys believe in each other,” said Brady, leader of the team that had been 5-11 the previous year. “The fans of New England have been waiting 42 years for this day,” owner Robert Kraft said. At the start of the season, the Patriots were 50-1 shots to win what was their first title ever (twice before they had lost Super Bowls -- both in the Louisiana Superdome). Tickets: $400.

2003 - Rock and roll music producer Phil Spector (62) was arrested after Lana Clarkson (40) was found dead in Spector’s Los Angeles mansion.

2004 - U.S. Senator John Kerry won primary elections in five states (Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota), and the majority of delegates, taking command of the Democratic presidential race. Of the 269 delegates up for grabs, Kerry won 144, Senator John Edwards 66, Wesley Clark 50, Howard Dean 7 and Al Sharpton 2. Clark squeaked a win in Oklahoma and Edwards won his home state, South Carolina.

2005 - An Afghan passenger jet carrying 104 people disappeared from radar screens during a snowstorm near the mountain-ringed capital of Kabul. NATO helicopters found the wreckage two days later. There were no survivors.

2006 - When a Stranger Calls opened in U.S. theatres. The horror thriller stars Camilla Belle and Brian Geraghty.

2006 - U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld likened Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez to Adolf Hitler. In retaliation, Venezuelan V.P. José Vicente Rangel compared the Bush (II) administration to the Third Reich.

2007 - Britain scamble to contain its first outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of flu. The virus had been found at a farm run by Europe’s biggest turkey producer.

2008 - Super Bowl XLII (University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale (Phoenix) AZ): New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14. The unbeaten New England Patriots were looking to go 19-0 and complete only the second unbeaten season in NFL history, but the Giants upset the perfect Patriots. MVP: Quarterback Eli Manning, who completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, threw the 13-yard go ahead touchdown to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds remaining in the game; the score completed a 12-play, 83-yard drive in which the Giants converted three third downs. The Patriots had one last drive, but Tom Brady’s desperation pass on fourth down fell incomplete. Eli Manning’s brother, Peyton, was the MVP of 2007’s Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts 29-17 over the Chicago Bears). Their father, Archie Manning, played 14 seasons in the NFL without ever getting to the playoffs. Tickets: No longer available to the general public; distributed through NFL teams only.

2008 - Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced a summit of 1,000 ordinary citizens to address long-term challenges facing the nation, saying the best ideas could influence government policy.

2009 - The Bank of England reported that High-Street (Main-Street) banks had borrowed 185 billion pounds since April 2008 to help to free up the home-lending market.

2010 - New Zealand police warned that a local 19-year-old, who said she auctioned her virginity online for $32,000 to raise tuition money, did not break any laws. But they warned it might be risky for her to follow through on the deal. Prostitution among consenting adults is allowed in New Zealand brothels and on the streets, and offering sexual services in print ads and online is also legal. But “we would suggest it’s not a safe practice,” National police spokesman Jon Neilson said. “There are definitely issues of personal safety.”

2010 - The U.S. government estimated that health care consumed a record 17.3% of all spending in the U.S. economy in 2009.

Birthdays February 3

1809 - Felix Mendelssohn (Bartholdy)
composer: Wedding March, Elijah, Fingal’s Cave; died Nov 4, 1847

1811 - Horace Greeley
journalist: founded and edited The New York Tribune: “Go west, young man!”; politician: helped found the Republican Party, ran unsuccessfully for U.S. President [1872]; died Nov 29, 1872

1874 - Gertrude Stein
writer: Q.E.D., Three Lives, The Making of Americans, Picasso, Ida; a Novel, Brewsie and Willie, Reflections on the Atom Bomb, Wars I Have Seen, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas; died Jul 27, 1946

1894 - Norman Rockwell
artist: widely known for his realistic, homespun cover art for The Saturday Evening Post; died Nov 8, 1978

1903 - Martin Block
Radio Hall of Fame DJ, announcer, host: Make Believe Ballroom; died Sep 18, 1967

1907 - James A. Michener
novelist: Tales of the South Pacific, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Journey, Hawaii, Iberia, Centennial, Mexico; died Oct 16, 1997

1918 - Joey Bishop (Gottlieb)
comedian, actor: The Joey Bishop Show, Liar’s Club, The Naked and the Dead, Delta Force, Betsy’s Wedding; member of the ‘Rat Pack’ with Frank Sinatra, et al.; died Oct 17, 2007

1920 - Bibi (Margaret) Osterwald
actress: Bridget Loves Bernie, Bank Shot; died Jan 2, 2002

1922 - Russell Arms
singer: Your Hit Parade

1925 - John Fiedler
actor: The Bob Newhart Show [1972]; character voice: Piglet in Walt Disney’s animated Winnie the Pooh; died June 25, 2005

1926 - Art Arfons
drag racer: ‘The Green Monster’ clocked at over 600 mph

1926 - Shelley Berman
comedian, actor: The Best Man, Motorama, Rented Lips, Curb Your Enthusiasm

1928 - Frankie Vaughn (Abelson)
singer: Garden of Eden, Tower of Strength; died Sep 17, 1999

1932 - Peggy Ann Garner
actress: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betrayal; died Oct 16, 1984

1935 - Jeremy Kemp
actor: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Prisoner of Honor, When the Whales Came, War and Remembrance, Peter the Great, Top Secret!

1938 - Victor Buono
actor: Beneath the Planet of the Apes, The Strangler, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, The Man from Atlantis, The Wild Wild West [TV]; died Jan 1, 1982

1938 - Emile Griffith
International Boxing Hall of Famer: the third fighter in history to hold both the welterweight and middleweight titles

1938 - Elijah Pitts
football: Green Bay Packers running back: Super Bowl I; died July 10, 1998

1940 - Angelo D’Aleo
singer: group: Dion and The Belmonts: I Wonder Why, A Teenager in Love, Where or When

1940 - Fran Tarkenton
Pro Football Hall of Famer: Minnesota Vikings quarterback: Super Bowl VIII, IX, XI, also NY Giants quarterback: holds individual NFL career records for passing yards gained, completions, attempts and touchdowns thrown

1941 - Carol Mann
golf: U.S. Open Champion [1965]

1943 - Blythe Danner
Emmy Award-winning actress: Huff [2005, 2006]; To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Husbands and Wives, The Prince of Tides, Inside the Third Reich, Futureworld, 1776, Tattingers, Adam’s Rib, Meet the Fockers

1943 - Dennis Edwards
singer: group: The Temptations: Cloud Nine, Running Wild, Psychedelic Shack, Just My Imagination, Papa Was a Rolling Stone

1943 - Eric Haydock
musician: bass: group: The Hollies: Searchin’, Just One Look, Here I Go Again, I’m Alive, Bus Stop

1943 - Shawn Phillips
singer: We, The Balla of Casey Deiss, Victoria Emmanuele, Bright White, L Ballad, Early Morning Hours, I Took a Walk

1944 - Gale Gillingham
football: Green Bay Packers guard: Super Bowl I, II

1945 - Bob Griese
Pro Football Hall of Famer: Miami Dolphins quarterback: Super Bowl VI, VII, VIII

1947 - Melanie (Safka)
singer: Brand New Key, Lay Down, Peace Will Come

1947 - Joe (Joseph Howard) Coleman
baseball: pitcher: Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers [all-star: 1972], Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, SF Giants

1947 -dave Davies
singer, musician: guitar: group: The Kinks: You Really Got Me, All Day and All of the Night, Tired of Waiting, A Well Respected Man, Sunny Afternoon; solo: Death of a Clown, Susannah’s Still Alive

1950 - Morgan Fairchild (Patsy McClenny)
actress: Dallas, Flamingo Road, North and South, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Writer’s Block

1950 - Pamela Franklin
actress: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Flipper’s New Adventure, David Copperfield, Eleanor and Franklin

1952 - Fred (Fredric Michael) Lynn
baseball: Boston Red Sox: [Rookie of the Year: 1975/World Series: 1975/AL Baseball Writers’ Award: 1975/all-star: 1975-1980], California Angels [all-star: 1981-1983], Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, SD Padres

1952 - Benny Malone
football: RB: Arizona State Univ. [college all-star: 1974], Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins

1955 - Mike Horner
actor: X-rated films: Inside Desiree Cousteau, Swedish Erotica series, Looking for Mr. Goodsex, Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo, Natural Born Thrillers, The Mile High Club, Nasty Nymphos 24

1956 - Nathan Lane
Tony Award-winning actor: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum [1996]; Love! Valor! Compassion!, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Guys and Dolls, Present Laughter, On Borrowed Time, The Wind in the Willows, Some Americans Abroad, Broadway Bound, The Producers; Daytime Emmy Award: Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program: Timon and Pumbaa’s Wild Adventure: Live and Learn; Molly Dodd, Miami Vice, Great Performances’ Alice in Wonderland, The Last Mile, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Boys Next Door; films: Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Nicholas Nickleby, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Isn’t She Great

1959 - Thomas Calabro
actor: Melrose Place, Dream Street

1959 - Lol (Laurence) Tolhurst
musician: drums, keyboard: group: The Cure: A Forest, Charlotte Sometimes, Let’s Go to Bed, Love Cats, The Caterpillar, In-Between Days

1962 - Michele Greene
A Woman Hunted, Give or Take an Inch, The Perfect Wife, A Family Affair, Stranger in the House, Badge of Betrayal

1965 - Maura Tierney
actress: NewsRadio, Liar Liar, Primary Colors, Forces of Nature, Oxygen, ER, The Andy **** Show

1968 - Frantisek Kucera
hockey: Chicago Blackhawks, Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals

1969 - Jeff Christy
football: Univ of Pittsburgh; NFL: Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1969 - Robert Pack
basketball [guard]: Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Hornets

1970 - Warwick Davis
actor: Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, Willow, Leprechaun series, Gulliver’s Travels, Prince Valiant, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

1971 - Elisa Donovan
actress: Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Wolves of Wall Street, Best Actress, A Night at the Roxbury, Encino Woman, Justice League of America

1977 - Maitland Ward
actress: Boy Meets World, White Chicks, Dish Dogs, Killing Mr. Griffin, The Bold and the Beautiful

1979 - Marie Zielcke
actress: Silvester Countdown, Noch einmal lieben, Models, Highway Society, In the Ghetto, Nina - Vom Kinderzimmer ins Bordell, 60 Minuten Todesangst

Chart Toppers February 3

1946Symphony - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
I Can’t Begin to Tell You - Bing Crosby with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra
Let It Snow - Vaughn Monroe
Guitar Polka - Al Dexter

1955Sincerely - McGuire Sisters
Hearts of Stone - Fontane Sisters
Melody of Love - Billy Vaughn
Let Me Go, Lover! - Hank Snow

1964I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
You Don’t Own Me - Leslie Gore
Out of Limits - The Marketts
Begging to You - Marty Robbins

1973Crocodile Rock - Elton John
Why Can’t We Live Together - Timmy Thomas
Oh, Babe, What Would You Say? - Hurricane Smith
She Needs Someone to Hold Her (When She Cries) - Conway Twitty

1982Centerfold - The J. Geils Band
Harden My Heart - Quarterflash
Turn Your Love Around - George Benson
The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known) - Juice Newton

1991The First Time - Surface
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C & C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
Play that Funky Music - Vanilla Ice
Daddy’s Come Around - Paul Overstreet

2000What A Girl Wants - Christina Aguilera
Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely - Backstreet Boys
Blue (Da Ba Dee) - Eiffel 65
Breathe - Faith Hill

2009Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) - Beyoncé
Just Dance - Lady Gaga featuring Colby O’Donis
Love Story - Taylor Swift
Country Boy - Alan Jackson

Happy Birthday Angelo D’Aleo of Dion & The Belmonts