Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, February 3, 2018

Today is Saturday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2018. There are 331 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 3, 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. (Four Army chaplains on board gave away their life jackets to save others and went down with the ship.)

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On this date:

In 1690, the first paper money in America was issued by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to finance a military expedition to Canada.

In 1783, Spain formally recognized American independence.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

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 1918, actor-comedian Joey Bishop, a member of Hollywood’s legendary “Rat Pack,” was born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb in the Bronx, New York.

In 1924, the 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, died in Washington, D.C., at age 67.

In 1930, the chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft, resigned for health reasons. (He died just over a month later.)

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. An American Airlines Lockheed Electra crashed into New York’s East River, killing 65 of the 73 people on board.

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

In 1972, the XI Olympic Winter Games opened in Sapporo, Japan.

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 1998, Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker, 38, for the pickax killings of two people in 1983; she was the first woman executed in the United States since 1984. 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.

Ten years ago: The New York Giants scored a late touchdown to win Super Bowl XLII, 17-14, ending the New England Patriots’ run at a perfect season; Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who hit Plaxico Burress on a 13-yard fade with 35 seconds left, was named Most Valuable Player.

Five years ago: Eight people were killed when a tour bus crashed in San Bernardino County, California, while returning 38 tourists to Tijuana, Mexico. 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.

One year ago: President Donald Trump launched his long-promised attack on banking rules that were rushed into law after the nation’s economic crisis, signing new orders after meeting with business and investment chiefs and pledging further action to free big banks from restrictions. Paris was plunged into panic — again — when soldiers guarding the Louvre Museum shot an attacker who lunged at them with two machetes and shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as the historic landmark went into lockdown; the suspect, believed to be Egyptian, was taken into custody.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., is 85. Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 78. Actress Bridget Hanley is 77. Actress Blythe Danner is 75. Singer Dennis Edwards is 75. Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese is 73. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 71. Singer Melanie is 71. Actress Morgan Fairchild is 68. Actress Pamela Franklin is 68. Actor Nathan Lane is 62. Rock musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) is 62. Actor Thomas Calabro is 59. Rock musician/author Lol Tolhurst (The Cure) is 59. Actor-director Keith Gordon is 57. Actress Michele Greene is 56. Country singer Matraca (muh-TRAY’-suh) Berg is 54. Actress Maura Tierney is 53. Actor Warwick Davis is 48. Actress Elisa Donovan is 47. Reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee is 42. Actress Isla (EYE’-luh) Fisher is 42. Musician Grant Barry is 41. Human rights activist Amal Clooney is 40. Singer-songwriter Jessica Harp is 36. Actor Matthew Moy is 34. Rapper Sean Kingston is 28. Actor Brandon Micheal (cq) Hall is 25.