ON THIS DAY: February 3, 2018

February 3rd is

National Woman Physician Day *

Bubble Gum Day *

Carrot Cake Day

National Wear Red Day *

The Day the Music Died *

Four Chaplains Memorial Day *

National Missing Persons Day *


MORE! Edwin Booth, Simone Weil and Percival Prattis, click



Honduras – Our Lady of Suyapa
(Virgin of Suyapa statue paraded)

Japan – Setsubun
(Shinto/day before spring)

Mozambique – Heroes’ Day

Paraguay – San Blaise Day
(Paraguay’s patron saint)

Sao Tome and Principe – Batepá Martyr’s Day *


On This Day in HISTORY

1377 – ‘The Cesena Bloodbath’ – During the War of the Eight Saints, between a coalition of Italian city-states led by Florence and the Papal states, over 2000 civilians in the coalition city of  Cesena are massacred by the Papal Condottieri

1468 – Johannes Gutenberg dies, revolutionary inventor of moveable type printing, inspired by the screw presses used in winemaking

Reproduction of a Gutenberg press

1488 –  Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, the first known European to travel so far south

1690 – Massachusetts colony issues first paper money in the Americas to pay soldiers

1736 – Johann Georg Albrechtsberger born, Austrian composer

1783 – Spain recognizes U.S. independence from Britain

1787 – A militia army, funded by Massachusetts merchants, led by American Revolution Major General Benjamin Lincoln surprises the remaining insurgents of Shay’s Rebellion, a protest in against high taxes, aggressive debt collection and political corruption, the last real engagement of the rebellion

1809 – The territory of Illinois is created

1809 – Felix Mendelssohn born, German Romantic composer

1811 – Horace Greeley born, American founder and editor of the New York Tribune

1821 – Elizabeth Blackwell born in Bristol England; the first woman in the United States to graduate from medical school and earn a medical degree, abolitionist and women’s rights activist; founds the N.Y. Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, which also serves as a nursing training facility, sending a number of nurses to Dorothea Dix while she was Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War

1842 – Sydney Lanier born, American composer and poet

1847 – Caroline Lengefeld von Wolzogen born, German author best known for the novel Agnes von Lilien, which was originally published anonymously, and for Schillers Leben (Schiller’s Life) in 1830, the first biography of Friedrich Schiller to be published (Schiller was her brother-in-law, so she had extensive access to his letters and papers)

1869 – Edwin Booth opens his new theatre in New York City, with a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet 

1874 – Gertrude Stein born, expat American literary stylist, and modern art collector in Paris

1894 – Norman Rockwell born, American painter and illustrator; famed for his covers painted for the Saturday Evening Post

Self-Portrait, by Norman Rockwell

1900 – Mabel Mercer born, influential English-American cabaret singer

1901 – The U.S. Army Nurse Corps becomes a permanent organization

1909 – Simone Weil born, French labor organizer and philosopher-mystic

1907 – James Mitchener born; wins the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for Literature for Tales of the South Pacific

1911 – Jehan Alain born, French composer and organist; his sister, Marie-Claire, was a renowned organist

1913 – 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified, giving Congress the power to levy taxes on income.  In 1913 less than 1% of the population paid income tax at the rate of 1%. Before this taxes were mostly on food and merchandise sales

1916 – Cafe Voltaire opens in Zurich, Switzerland, a meeting place for a group that started the Dada movement

1917 – The U.S. breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany, after it announces a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare

1918 – San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Tunnel, the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet, begins service

1924 –E.P. Thompson born, British historian, author and biographer; The Making of the English Working Class, biographies of William Morris and William Blake

1927 – President Coolidge signs a bill to authorize the Federal Radio Commission

1930 – Gillian Ayres born, English abstract painter

Anthony and Cleopatra by Gillian Ayres

1931 – The Arkansas state legislature passes a motion to pray for the soul of H.L. Menken after he calls the state the apex of moronia

1935 – Johnny “Guitar” Watson born, American blues and funk singer-songwriter

1936 – Elizabeth Peer born, American pioneering journalist; worked for Newsweek from 1958 to 1984, starting as a copy girl, promoted to writer in 1962, then dispatched to Paris in 1964 as the magazine’s first female foreign correspondent; later worked in their Washington DC bureau, then as Paris bureau chief, and in 1977, as Newsweek’s first woman war correspondent, covering the Ethio-Solmali War, but was seriously injured there, and never fully recovered, leaving her in constant pain; after Newsweek notified her in 1984 that she was being fired, she committed suicide

1941 – Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra record “Amapola”

1943 – Four Chaplains Memorial Day * When U.S. troop transport ship Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine in the icy waters between Newfoundland and Greenland, the four chaplains aboard, Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed, gave their own life jackets to save four soldiers, and went down with the ship, standing together offering prayers

1946 – The first issue of Holiday magazine is published

1947 – Percival L. Prattis is the first black news correspondent admitted to the House and Senate press gallery in Washington DC; he was an editor, and later, executive editor of the influential black newspaper, The Pittsburgh Courier (1936-1965)

1951 – The Rose Tattoo, by Tennessee Williams, opens on Broadway

The Rose Tattoo, 1951 Broadway Production, Maureen Stapleton and Eli Wallach

1953 – Batepá Massacre *: Portuguese colonial authorities try to impress Forros, descendants of freed slaves, into forced labor; when they resist, hundreds are killed

1959 – The Day the Music Died *  Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) are killed in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa

1960 – Frank Sinatra garners the nickname “ The Chairman of the Board” when he forms Reprise Records, and serves as its CEO

1969 – At the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo, Yasser Arafat is appointed leader of the P.L.O.

1971 – Apollo 14 astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Edgar D. Mitchell land on the lunar surface during the third successful manned mission to the moon

1972 – The Winter Olympics open in Sapporo, Japan

1988 – U.S. House of Representatives rejects President Ronald Reagan’s request for more than $36 million in aid to the Nicaraguan Contras

1989 – South African State President P.W. Botha suffers a stroke, forcing him to resign leadership of the ruling National Party, and as president; succeeded by F.W. de Klerk

1995 – Space shuttle Discovery blasts off with a woman, USAF Lt. Col. Eileen Collins, in the pilot’s seat for the first time

2003 – The first National Wear Red Day * started by the American Heart Association as part of its ongoing educational efforts about the risks of heart disease and stroke facing American women

2003 – Give Kids a Smile Day * is launched by the American Dental Association Foundation, which funds giving dental services to underserved children at no cost to their families

2009 – Eric Holder is sworn in as the first African American U.S. Attorney General

2010 – The Alberto Giacometti sculpture L’Homme qui marche sells for $103.7 million

2015 – The British House of Commons votes to approve scientists creating babies from the DNA of three people

2016 – National Woman Physician Day * is launched on Elizabeth Blackwell’s birthday by the Physician Mother Group (PMG) a support group for women doctors to collaborate and support each other as they face the challenge of balancing their medical and family commitments

2017 – National Missing Persons Day *, started by Jo Ann Lowitzer, whose daughter Alexandra went missing in 2010


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 3, 2018

  1. Regarding the Buddy Holly plane crash. All sorts of conspiracy theories and rumors arose about it. For one thing, J. P. Richardson (Big Bopper), was found some distance from the crash. His body was on the other side of a fence in an adjoining field. There were stories that since he was several yards from the crash site, he must have survived the crash and was going for help. Other rumors said he had a gunshot wound.

    Richardson’s wife was six months pregnant at the time with their soon-to-be-born son. Jay Richardson, Jr. was born on April 28, 1961. He grew up with the legend of his father and his father’s old recordings.

    In 2007, Jay Richardson, Jr. wanted to put the rumors about his father to rest and discover the truth. The Big Bopper’s body was exhumed for examination by a leading forensic pathologist.

    The pathologist reported that the body was the best preserved he had ever seen, for someone who had been dead for almost fifty years. A full-body scan was done. There was no bullet wound. The pathologist told the family that every bone in his body was broken. He was killed instantly on impact.

    The airspeed indicator was stuck on the speed the plane was traveling at the time of the crash, jamming halfway between 165-170 MPH. Hitting the ground at that speed is not survivable.

    The pilot was young and inexperienced. He had passed the written test for his instrument rating, but failed the flight test. In other words, he was not legal to fly in instrument conditions. The night of the crash, the weather was awful. The pilot failed to maintain altitude, descending into the ground in a right wing low attitude.

    A few years ago, there was talk of the NTSB reopening the case to evaluate weight and balance. However, that has not been done. The NTSB does not think it is necessary.

    I have flown a V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza like the one which crashed. It is a fast, sensitive, quirky, airplane. The V-tail gives it some flying characteristics unlike planes with a conventional empennage.

    Back when I was looking for an airplane, I brought it up with two friends of mine; lawyers who had been Air Force pilots in Vietnam. They both looked horrified, telling me that buying a Bonanza was not a good idea. Seems that in instrument conditions it can get into a condition of spiral instability called a Dutch Roll oscillation.

    They had just settled a lawsuit over that very thing involving a fatal accident in a V-tail Bonanza. Both these high-time fighter pilots said there was no way either of them would attempt instrument flight in a V-tail Bonanza.

    The Bonanza with the conventional tail is another matter. Beechcraft quit building the V-tail model in 1982. Production of the conventional tail Bonanza continues to the present.

    In this brief fifteen second video of a fly-by, this V-tail Bonanza is doing 160, close to the same speed as the Buddy Holly crash. Imagine hitting the ground at that speed.

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