The Day the Music Died (On February 3, 1959, American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and "The Big Bopper" J. P. Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with pilot Roger Peterson)
In 2019 - Pope Francis arrives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, becoming the first pope to visit the Arabian Peninsula.
1998 – Cavalese cable car disaster: a United States military pilot causes the death of 20 people when his low-flying plane cuts the cable of a cable-car near Trento, Italy.
1995 – Astronaut Eileen Collins becomes the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle as mission STS-63 gets underway from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
1984 – John Buster and the research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center announce history's first embryo transfer, from one woman to another resulting in a live birth.
1972 – The first day of the seven-day 1972 Iran blizzard, which would kill at least 4,000 people, making it the deadliest snowstorm in history.
1961 – The United States Air Forces begins Operation Looking Glass, and over the next 30 years, a "Doomsday Plane" is always in the air, with the capability of taking direct control of the United States' bombers and missiles in the event of the destruction of the SAC's command post.
1945 – World War II: The United States and the Philippine Commonwealth begin a month-long battle to retake Manila from Japan.
1930 – Communist Party of Vietnam is founded at a "Unification Conference" held in Kowloon, British Hong Kong.
1917 – World War I: The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany a day after the latter announced a new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
1913 – The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.
1870 – The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to male citizens regardless of race.
1809 – The Territory of Illinois is created by the 10th United States Congress.
1783 – American Revolutionary War: Spain recognizes United States independence.
1781 – American Revolutionary War: British forces seize the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Sint Eustatius.
1690 – The colony of Massachusetts issues the first paper money in the Americas.
1488 – Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south.
1990 – Sean Kingston, American-Jamaican singer-songwriter, was released on July 31, 2007.
1986 – Lucas Duda, American baseball player. Lucas Christopher Duda (born February 3, 1986) is an American professional baseball first baseman who is a free agent.
1982 – Becky Bayless, American wrestler. Rebecca Treston (born February 3, 1982) better known by her ring name Rebecca "Becky" Bayless, is an American professional wrestler, currently working for independent promotions such as Women's Extreme Wrestling, Wrestling Superstars Unleashed, Wrestlicious, and Women Superstars Uncensored.
1969 – Beau Biden, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 44th Attorney General of Delaware (d. 2015), was an American attorney, officer in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He was the eldest of three children from the marriage of former U.S.
1968 – Vlade Divac, Serbian-American basketball player and sportscaster. Vlade Divac (Serbian Cyrillic: Владе Дивац, pronounced ; born February 03, 1968) is a Serbian professional basketball executive and retired player, currently serving as the vice president of basketball operations and general manager of the Sacramento Kings.
1966 – Frank Coraci, American director and screenwriter. Frank Coraci (pronounced ; born February 3, 1966) is an American film director and screenwriter best known for his work with actor Adam Sandler.
1965 – Kathleen Kinmont, American actress, producer, and screenwriter. Kinmont is best known for starring in horror movies.
1965 – Maura Tierney, American actress and producer. She is best known for her roles as Lisa Miller on the sitcom NewsRadio (1995–1999), Abby Lockhart on the medical drama ER (1999–2009), and Helen Solloway on the mystery drama The Affair (2014–2019), the last of which won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
1961 – Linda Eder, American singer and actress. Eder has performed in concert halls across the country including Carnegie Hall and Radio City Musical Hall.
1960 – Kerry Von Erich, American wrestler (d. 1993), was an American professional wrestler under the ring names Kerry Von Erich, The Modern Day Warrior and The Texas Tornado. He was part of the Von Erich family of professional wrestlers.
1960 – Marty Jannetty, American wrestler and trainer. Marty Jannetty (born Fredrick Martin Jannetty; February 3, 1960) is an American professional wrestler.
1960 – Tim Chandler, American bass player, was an American bass guitar player, best known for his work with the rock bands Daniel Amos, The Swirling Eddies (credited as Berger Roy Al) and The Choir.
1958 – Joe F. Edwards, Jr., American commander, pilot, and astronaut. Joe Frank Edwards Jr. (born February 3, 1958), (Cmdr, USN, Ret.), is an American aerospace engineer, and former naval officer and aviator, test pilot and NASA astronaut.
1957 – Eric Lander, American mathematician, geneticist, and academic. Eric Steven Lander (born February 3, 1957), a mathematician and geneticist, is a Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, former member of the Whitehead Institute, and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
1956 – John Jefferson, American football player and coach. John Larry Jefferson (né Washington; born February 3, 1956) is a retired American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL).
1956 – Nathan Lane, American actor and comedian. His voice work includes The Lion King as Timon and Stuart Little as Snowbell, and he has played recurring roles on Modern Family, The Good Wife, and The People v.
1952 – Fred Lynn, American baseball player and sportscaster. Fredric Michael Lynn (born February 3, 1952) is an American former professional baseball player who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1974 through 1990 as a center fielder with the Boston Red Sox, California Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres.
1951 – Michael Ruppert, American journalist and author (d. 2014), was an American writer and musician, Los Angeles Police Department officer, investigative journalist, political activist, and peak oil awareness advocate known for his 2004 book Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil.
1950 – Morgan Fairchild, American actress. She began acting in the late 1970s and early 1980s with continuing roles in several television series.
1947 – Paul Auster, American novelist, essayist, and poet. Paul Benjamin Auster (born February 3, 1947) is an American writer and film director.
1945 – Bob Griese, American football player and sportscaster. Robert Allen Griese (pronounced /ˈɡriːsi/ GREE-see; born February 3, 1945) is a former American football quarterback who earned All-American honors with the Purdue Boilermakers before being drafted in 1967 by the American Football League's Miami Dolphins.
1945 – Johnny Cymbal, Scottish-American singer-songwriter and producer (d. 1993), was a Scottish-born American songwriter, singer, and record producer who had numerous hit records, including his signature song, "Mr. Bass Man".
1943 – Blythe Danner, American actress. Danner was twice nominated for the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for portraying Marilyn Truman on Will & Grace (2001–06; 2018), and the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her roles in We Were the Mulvaneys (2002) and Back When We Were Grownups (2004).
1943 – Dennis Edwards, American soul/R&B singer, was an American soul and R&B singer who was best known as the frontman in The Temptations, on Motown Records. Edwards joined the Temptations in 1968, replacing David Ruffin and sang with the group from 1968 to 1976, 1980 to 1984 and 1987 to 1989.
1943 – Shawn Phillips, American-South African singer-songwriter and guitarist. Shawn Phillips (born February 3, 1943) is an American folk-rock musician, primarily influential in the 1960s and 1970s.
1940 – Fran Tarkenton, American football player and sportscaster, was a quarterback for the University of Georgia and, subsequently, in the National Football League (NFL). He played in the NFL for 18 seasons, spending the majority of his career with the Minnesota Vikings.
1939 – Michael Cimino, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2016), was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and author.
1938 – Emile Griffith, American boxer and trainer (d. 2013), was a professional boxer from the U.S. Virgin Islands who became a World Champion in the welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight classes.
1938 – Victor Buono, American actor (d. 1982), was an American actor, comic, and briefly a recording artist. He was known for playing the villain King Tut on the television series Batman (1966–1968) and musician Edwin Flagg in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), the latter of which earned him Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations.
1936 – Elizabeth Peer, American journalist (d. 1984), was a pioneering American journalist who worked for Newsweek from 1958 until her death in 1984. She began her career at Newsweek as a copy girl, at a time when opportunities for women were limited.
1935 – Johnny "Guitar" Watson, American blues, soul, and funk singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1996), was an American blues, soul, and funk musician and singer-songwriter. A flamboyant showman and electric guitarist in the style of T-Bone Walker, Watson recorded throughout the 1950s and 1960s with some success.
1933 – Paul Sarbanes, American lawyer and politician. Sarbanes was the longest-serving senator in Maryland history until he was surpassed by Barbara Mikulski by a single day when her term ended on January 3, 2017.
1927 – Kenneth Anger, American actor, director, and screenwriter. Kenneth Anger (born Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer, February 3, 1927) is an American underground experimental filmmaker, actor and author.
1925 – John Fiedler, American actor (d. 2005), was an American actor and voice actor, who was slight, balding, and bespectacled, with a distinctive, high-pitched voice. His career lasted more than 55 years in stage, film, television and radio.
1925 – Shelley Berman, American actor and comedian (d. 2017), was an American comedian, actor, writer, teacher, lecturer and poet.
1920 – Henry Heimlich, American physician and author (d. 2016), was an American thoracic surgeon and medical researcher. He is widely credited as the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, a technique of abdominal thrusts for stopping choking, described in Emergency Medicine in 1974.
1920 – Russell Arms, American actor and singer (d. 2012). Arms was born on February 3, 1920 in Berkeley, California, gaining acting experience via the Pasadena Playhouse.
1918 – Helen Stephens, American runner, baseball player, and manager (d. 1994), was an American athlete and a double Olympic champion in 1936.
1918 – Joey Bishop, American actor and producer (d. 2007), was an American entertainer who appeared on television as early as 1948 and eventually starred in his own weekly comedy series playing a talk/variety show host, then later hosted a late night talk show with Regis Philbin as his young sidekick on ABC. He also was a member of the "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford.
1914 – Mary Carlisle, American actress, singer, and dancer, was an American actress, singer, and dancer, she was best known for her roles as a wholesome ingénue in numerous 1930s musical-comedy films.
1907 – James A. Michener, American author and philanthropist (d. 1997). He wrote more than 40 books, most of which were lengthy, fictional family sagas covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating solid history.
1905 – Arne Beurling, Swedish-American mathematician and academic (d. 1986), was a Swedish mathematician and professor of mathematics at Uppsala University (1937–1954) and later at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Beurling worked extensively in harmonic analysis, complex analysis and potential theory.
1904 – Pretty Boy Floyd, American gangster (d. 1934), was an American bank robber. He operated in the West and Central states, and his criminal exploits gained widespread press coverage in the 1930s.
1900 – Mabel Mercer, English-American singer (d. 1984), was an English-born cabaret singer who performed in the United States, Britain, and Europe with the greats in jazz and cabaret. She was a featured performer at Chez Bricktop in Paris, owned by the hostess Bricktop, and performed in such clubs as Le Ruban Bleu, Tony's, the RSVP, the Carlyle, the St.
1898 – Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect, designed the Finlandia Hall and Aalto Theatre (d. 1976), was a Finnish architect and designer. His work includes architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware, as well as sculptures and paintings, though he never regarded himself as an artist, seeing painting and sculpture as "branches of the tree whose trunk is architecture." Aalto's early career runs in parallel with the rapid economic growth and industrialization of Finland during the first half of the 20th century.
1894 – Norman Rockwell, American painter and illustrator (d. 1978), was an American author, painter and illustrator. His works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture.
1874 – Gertrude Stein, American novelist, poet, playwright, (d. 1946), was an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. Born in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Pittsburgh and raised in Oakland, California, Stein moved to Paris in 1903, and made France her home for the remainder of her life.
1872 – Lou Criger, American baseball player and manager (d. 1934), was a Major League Baseball catcher with the Cleveland Spiders, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, St.
1862 – James Clark McReynolds, American lawyer and judge (d. 1946), was an American lawyer and judge from Tennessee who served as United States Attorney General under President Woodrow Wilson and as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He served on the Court from October 1914 to his retirement in January 1941.
1859 – Hugo Junkers, German engineer, designed the Junkers J 1 (d. 1935), was a German aircraft engineer and aircraft designer who pioneered the design of all-metal airplanes and flying wings. His company, Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG (Junkers Aircraft and Motor Works), was one of the mainstays of the German aircraft industry in the years between World War I and World War II.
1857 – Giuseppe Moretti, Italian sculptor, designed the Vulcan statue (d. 1935), was an Italian émigré sculptor who became known in the United States for his public monuments in bronze and marble. Notable among his works is Vulcan in Birmingham, Alabama, which is the largest cast iron statue in the world.
1843 – William Cornelius Van Horne, American-Canadian businessman (d. 1915). Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, KCMG (February 3, 1843 – September 11, 1915) succeeded Lord Mount Stephen as president of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1888.
1842 – Sidney Lanier, American composer and poet (d. 1881), was an American musician, poet and author. He served in the Confederate States Army as a private, worked on a blockade-running ship for which he was imprisoned (resulting in his catching tuberculosis), taught, worked at a hotel where he gave musical performances, was a church organist, and worked as a lawyer.
1824 – Ranald MacDonald, American explorer and educator (d. 1894), was the first native English-speaker to teach the English language in Japan, including educating Einosuke Moriyama, one of the chief interpreters to handle the negotiations between Commodore Perry and the Tokugawa Shogunate.
1821 – Elizabeth Blackwell, American physician and educator (d. 1910), was a British physician, notable as the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, and the first woman on the Medical Register of the General Medical Council. Blackwell played an important role in both the United States and the United Kingdom as a social and moral reformer, and pioneered in promoting education for women in medicine.
1811 – Horace Greeley, American journalist and politician (d. 1872), was an American newspaper editor and publisher who was the founder and editor of the New-York Tribune, among the great newspapers of its time. Long active in politics, he served briefly as a congressman from New York, and was the unsuccessful candidate of the new Liberal Republican party in the 1872 presidential election against incumbent President Ulysses S.
1807 – Joseph E. Johnston, American general and politician (d. 1891). Joseph Eggleston Johnston (February 3, 1807 – March 21, 1891) was an American career army officer, serving with distinction in the United States Army during the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), and Seminole Wars.
1747 – Samuel Osgood, American soldier and politician, 1st United States Postmaster General (d. 1813), was an American merchant and statesman born in Andover, Massachusetts, currently a part of North Andover, Massachusetts. His family home still stands at 440 Osgood Street in North Andover and his home in New York City, the Samuel Osgood House, served as the country's first Presidential mansion.
1677 – Jan Santini Aichel, Czech architect, designed the Karlova Koruna Chateau (d. 1723), was a Czech architect of Italian descent, whose major works represent the unique Baroque Gothic style - the special combination of the Baroque and Gothic styles.
2015 – Charlie Sifford, American golfer (b. 1922)
2013 – Cardiss Collins, American politician (b. 1931)
2013 – James Muri, American soldier and pilot (b. 1918)
2012 – Ben Gazzara, American actor and director (b. 1930)
2012 – Terence Hildner, American general (b. 1962)
2012 – Zalman King, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1942)
2010 – Dick McGuire, American basketball player and coach (b. 1926)
2010 – Frances Reid, American actress (b. 1914)
2009 – Sheng-yen, Chinese monk and scholar, founded the Dharma Drum Mountain (b. 1930)
2006 – Al Lewis, American actor and activist (b. 1923)
2005 – Ernst Mayr, German-American biologist and ornithologist (b. 1904)
1999 – Gwen Guthrie, American singer-songwriter and pianist (b. 1950)
1996 – Audrey Meadows, American actress and banker (b. 1922)
1991 – Nancy Kulp, American actress (b. 1921)
1989 – John Cassavetes, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1929)
1989 – Lionel Newman, American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1916)
1985 – Frank Oppenheimer, American physicist and academic (b. 1912)
1975 – William D. Coolidge, American physicist and engineer (b. 1873)
1961 – Anna May Wong, American actress (b. 1905)
1959 – The Day the Music Died - Buddy Holly, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1936)
1959 – The Day the Music Died - Ritchie Valens, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1941)
1959 – The Day the Music Died - The Big Bopper, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1930)
1952 – Harold L. Ickes, American journalist and politician, 32nd United States Secretary of the Interior (b. 1874)
1947 – Marc Mitscher, American admiral and pilot (b. 1887)
1935 – Hugo Junkers, German engineer, designed the Junkers J 1 (b. 1859)
1924 – Woodrow Wilson, American historian, academic, and politician, 28th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1856)
1468 – Johannes Gutenberg, German publisher, invented the Printing press (b. 1398)