On This Day

Historical Events on February 3

  • 1377 Mass execution of population (between 2,500 and 5,000) of Cesena, Italy, by Breton troops of Giovanni Acuto under the command of Robert, Cardinal of Geneva, acting as the legate of Pope Gregory XI

Historic Event

1451 Sultan Mehmed II, the Conqueror inherits the throne of the Ottoman Empire

Historic Discovery

1488 Bartolomeu Dias discovers Mosselbaai (Angra dos Vaqueros)

  • 1509 The Battle of Diu, naval battle at port of Diu, India between Portugal and the Ottoman Empire, establishes Portuguese trading control

Historic Event

1576 Henry of Navarre (future Henry IV) escapes from Paris

  • 1591 German monarchy forms Protestant Union of Torgau

Historic Event

1634 Most elaborate masque of the Carolinian age - "The triumph of Peace" held at Whitehall Palace, London, in front of King Charles I, written by James Shirley with sets by Inigo Jones

  • 1653 Cardinal Mazarin returns to Paris from exile
  • 1660 General Monck's army reaches London
  • 1740 Charles de Bourbon, King of Naples, invites Jews to return to Sicily
  • 1743 Philadelphia establishes a "pesthouse" to quarantine immigrants
  • 1752 Dutch States-General forbids export of windmills
  • 1781 Dutch West Indies island of St Eustatia taken by British
  • 1783 Spain recognizes US independence
  • 1807 A British military force, under Brigadier-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty captures the city of Montevideo in the Battle of Montevideo, then part of the Spanish Empire now capital of Uruguay (Napoleonic Wars)
  • 1809 Territory of Illinois organizes (including present-day Wisconsin)
  • 1815 World's first commercial cheese factory established, in Switzerland
  • 1825 Dutch North Sea coast floods
  • 1830 The sovereignty of Greece confirmed in a London Protocol
  • 1834 Wake Forest University is established in North Carolina
  • 1836 Whig Party holds its 1st national convention (Albany NY)

Music History

1844 Hector Berlioz's "Carnaval Romain" premieres in Paris

  • 1855 Wisconsin Supreme Coutt declares US Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional
  • 1860 Thomas Clemson takes office as 1st US superintendent of agriculture

Historic Event

1863 Samuel Clemens first uses the pen name Mark Twain in a Virginia City newspaper, the "Territorial Enterprise"

  • 1864 Sherman's march through Mississippi
  • 1865 Hampton Roads Peace Conference, Lincoln & Stephens reach an impasse
  • 1867 Prince Mutsuhito, 14, becomes Emperor Meiji of Japan (1867-1912)
  • 1869 Booth Theater at 23rd & 6th opens in NYC (Romeo & Juliet)
  • 1870 US state of Iowa ratifies the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution allowing suffrage for all races & colour
  • 1876 Albert Spalding invests $800 to start sporting goods company, manufacturing first official baseball, tennis ball, basketball, golf ball and football

Historic Event

1882 Circus owner P. T. Barnum buys his world-famous elephant Jumbo

  • 1887 To avoid disputed national elections, the US Congress creates Electoral Count Act
  • 1892 Russia closes down the Volozhin Yeshiva, a Lithuanian talmudical college
  • 1894 1st US steel sailing vessel, Dirigo, launched at Bath, Maine
  • 1895 Wilhelm Mauseth skates world record 500 m (46.8 secs)
  • 1900 Rival forces fight for control of the Union Park ball grounds in Baltimore
  • 1900 Gubernatorial candidate William Goebel is assassinated in Frankfort, Kentucky
  • 1901 Dutch troops under Gen Van Heutsz conquer Batu Ilië on Sumatra
  • 1903 Frederick Lugard occupies Kano West Africa
  • 1907 Josek Suk's "Asreal Symphony", dedicated to his late wife and father-in-law Antonin Dvořák, premieres at the Prague National Theatre, conducted by Karel Kovařovic
  • 1908 Supreme Court rules a union boycott violates Sherman Antitrust Act
  • 1908 Foundation of Panathinaikos in Athens, Greece.
  • 1913 16th Amendment to the US Constitution, federal income tax, ratified
  • 1913 Golden and Cawthorne's musical "Sunshine Girl" premieres in New York City
  • 1915 Turkish & German army reach Suez Canal
  • 1916 Canada's original Parliament buildings in Ottawa burn down
  • 1916 Tristan Tzara publishes the Dada manifesto in Zurich, Switzerland

Historic Event

1917 US liner Housatonic is sunk by German submarine, on the same day that US President Woodrow Wilson breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany

  • 1918 Twin Peaks Tunnel for streetcars begins service in San Francisco, at 11,920 feet one of world's longest
  • 1919 Herbert and Blossom's musical "Velvet Lady" premieres in New York City
  • 1919 Socialist conference convenes (Berne, Switzerland)
  • 1919 The Bolshevik army is defeated in a series of clashes with the White Russians, who are fighting to reclaim the government after the 1917 revolution
  • 1923 The Alpha Zeta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia founded at Pennsylvania State University.
  • 1924 Alexei Ryko elected as President of People's commission (succeeds Lenin)

1st Winter Olympics

1924 Canada beats United States, 6-1 to retain the Olympic ice hockey gold medal (won at 1920 Summer Games) at the Chamonix Games; Canadian LW Harry Watson top scores with 46 points

  • 1924 Switzerland claims the inaugural Olympic bobsleigh gold medal at the Chamonix Games, ahead of Great Britain and Belgium
  • 1927 Uprising against regime of general Carmona in Portugal

Historic Event

1928 Paleoanthropologist Davidson Black reports his findings on the ancient human fossils found at Zhoukoudian, China in the journal Nature and declares them to be a new species he names 'Sinanthropus pekinensis' (now known as 'Homo erectus')

  • 1929 Revolutionary Socialist Party forms in Amsterdam

Historic Event

1930 William Howard Taft resigns as US chief justice for health reasons

  • 1930 The Indochinese Communist Party of Vietnam is established

Historic Event

1931 Arkansas legislature passes motion to pray for soul of journalist H. L. Mencken, after he calls the state the "apex of moronia"

Hawke's Bay Earthquake

1931 New Zealand's worst natural disaster, the Hawke's Bay earthquake, kills 256 and injures thousands, devastating Napier and the Hawke's Bay region

Film Premiere

1932 "Shanghai Express" directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook and Anna Mae Wong premieres in Los Angeles

  • 1933 1st interstate legislative conference in US opens, Washington, D.C.

Historic Event

1933 German Minister Hermann Goering bans social-democratic newspaper Vorwarts

  • 1933 Marinus van der Lubbe departs to Berlin

Sports History

1937 Don Bradman scores 212 (in 441 minutes!) in 5th cricket test v England

  • 1938 Paul Osborn's "On Borrowed Time" premieres in NYC
  • 1941 US Supreme Court upheld Federal Wage & Hour law, sets minimum wages & maximum hours
  • 1942 1st Japanese air raid on Java
  • 1942 Baseball owners agree to permit each club up to 14 night games in 1942
  • 1943 4 chaplains drown after giving up their life jackets to others
  • 1944 World War II: United States troops capture the Marshall Islands.
  • 1945 Almost 1,000 Flying Fortresses drop 3,000 tons of bombs on Berlin
  • 1945 Walt Disney's "3 Caballeros" released
  • 1947 -81°F (-63°C), Snag Yukon (North American record)
  • 1947 1st black reporter in US Congressional press gallery (Percival Prattis)
  • 1947 Bradman bowled by Alec Bedser for a duck in 4th Test Cricket
  • 1950 Nuclear physicist Klaus Fuchs arrested on spying charges

Television Debut

1951 "Victor Borge Show" debuts on NBC TV

  • 1951 Dick Button wins US skating title for 6th time
  • 1951 Largest purse to date in horse racing, $144,323, won by Great Circle

Theater Premiere

1951 Tennessee Williams' play "The Rose Tattoo" premieres in NYC

  • 1953 J Fred Muggs, a chimpanzee, becomes a regular on NBC's Today Show
  • 1954 Jeen van den Berg wins Dutch Eleven Cities Skating race (7:32)
  • 1956 Autherine Lucy admitted to University of Alabama, suspended 2/7 after a riot
  • 1956 Toni Sailer of Austria wins the downhill at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics; becomes first athlete to sweep all 3 alpine skiing events in a single Olympics
  • 1958 Royal Teens' "Short Shorts" enters Top 40 chart & peaks at #3
  • 1959 American Airlines Electra crashes in NY's East River, killing 65

Plane Crash

1959 "The Day the Music Died" plane crash kills musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, J. P. Richardson and pilot near Clear Lake, Iowa

Historic Event

1960 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan makes his famous "wind of change" speech in Africa, against the apartheid regime, angering South African politicians

Film Premiere

1960 "La Dolce Vita" directed by Federico Fellini and starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg has its film premiere in Italy

  • 1961 6th largest snowfall in NYC history (17.4" (44.2cm))
  • 1962 John Uelses pole vaults record 489 cm

Historic Event

1962 US President John F. Kennedy bans all trade with Cuba except for food & drugs

  • 1964 "Meet the Beatles" album goes Gold
  • 1964 Black & Puerto Rican students boycott NYC public schools
  • 1964 French sisters Marielle Goitschel (gold) and Christine Goitschel (silver) repeat (in reverse order) their top-2 finish in the slalom 2 days earlier, in the giant slalom at the Innsbruck Winter Olympics
  • 1965 105 USAF cadets resigned for cheating in exams
  • 1965 Geraldine McCullough wins Widener Gold Medal for Sculpture
  • 1965 Orbiting Solar Observatory 2 launches into Earth orbit (552/636 km)
  • 1965 Braves offer Milwaukee $500,000 to terminate their lease a year earlier, the proposal is turned down
  • 1966 1st operational weather satellite, ESSA-1 launched US
  • 1966 1st soft landing on Moon (Soviet Luna 9)

Music History

1967 "Purple Haze" recorded by Jimi Hendrix

  • 1967 Ronald Ryan, the last person to be executed in Australia, is hanged in Pentridge Prison, Melbourne
  • 1969 "Canterbury Tales" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 122 performances

Election of Interest

1969 Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill announces the dissolution of the Stormont parliament and the holding of new elections

  • 1971 KTSC TV channel 8 in Pueblo-Colorado Spgs, CO (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1971 A series of house searches by the British Army in Catholic areas of Belfast, resulting in serious rioting and gun battles
  • 1971 OPEC mandates "total embargo" against any company that rejects 55 percent tax rate
  • 1971 NYPD officer Frank Serpico is shot during a drug bust while his fellow officers stood outside and failed to call for assistance
  • 1972 XI Winter Olympic Games opens in Sapporo, Japan (1st in Asia)
  • 1972 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1973 Dr Hook's "Cover of "Rolling Stone"" enters Top 40 & peaks at #6
  • 1974 "Pajama Game" closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC after 65 performances
  • 1975 Billy Herman, Earl Averill, & Bucky Harris elected to Hall of Fame
  • 1976 26th NBA All-Star Game, Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pa: East beats West, 123-109; MVP: Dave Bing, Washington Bullets, PG
  • 1977 Martin Dihigo John Lloyd elected to Hall of Fame
  • 1978 Australia beat India 3-2 on 6th day of final test, after India are all out for 445 chasing 493 to win

Historic Event

1978 Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and US President Jimmy Carter discuss the Middle East peace process in Washington, D.C.

  • 1979 "YMCA" by Village People peaks at #2 on pop singles chart

Sports History

1979 Minnesota Twins trade Rod Carew to California for 4 players

  • 1979 US female Figure Skating championship won by Linda Fratianne
  • 1979 US male Figure Skating championship won by Charles Tickner

Boxing Title Fight

1980 Larry Holmes TKOs Lorenzo Holmes in 6 for heavyweight boxing title

  • 1980 Mohammed Ali tours Africa as President Carter's envoy

NBA All-Star Game

1980 30th NBA All-Star Game, Capital Centre, Landover, Md: East beats West, 144-136 (OT); MVP: George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs, SF

  • 1981 Australia beats NZ 3-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup
  • 1981 Gro Harlem Brundtland is elected as the first female Prime Minister of Norway
  • 1982 Columbia Shuttle moves to Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center (Florida) for mating for STS-3 mission
  • 1982 Greatest helicopter lift, 56,888 kg, Podmoscovnoe, USSR
  • 1982 John Sharples of England finishes 371 hours of disco dancing
  • 1982 Porn star John Holmes ordered to stand trial for murder
  • 1983 US female Figure Skating championship won by Rosalynn Sumners
  • 1984 10th Space Shuttle Mission (41B)-Challenger 4 launched
  • 1985 "Harrigan 'n Hart" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 5 performances

Historic Event

1986 US President Ronald Reagan announces formation of commission of enquiry on Challenger Accident

  • 1986 OPEC fails to agree upon a petroleum production agreement after a 2 day meeting in Vienna

Meeting of Interest

1986 The Pope and Mother Teresa meet in Calcutta

Film & TV History

1986 Pixar Animation Studios (Toy Story; The Incredibles) headed by Edwin Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith, is spun off from Lucasfilm, Ltd as an independent film production company, with backing of Steve Jobs

  • 1987 Expos trade Jeff Reardon to Twins for Neal Heaton
  • 1987 SD Yacht Club celebrates return of America's Cup
  • 1988 Nurses across the UK strike over pay and funding for the NHS
  • 1989 Baseball's National League announces Yanks' broadcaster Bill White will its 1st African American President
  • 1989 Military coup overthrows Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay
  • 1989 Start 1st Test Cricket, NZ v Pak, washed out

Sports History

1990 Darryl Strawberry voluntarily enters Smither Center for Alcohol rehabilitation

  • 1990 Jockey Bill Shoemaker (58), retires after 40,350 horse race
  • 1991 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: AFC beats NFC, 23-21; MVP: Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills, QB

Historic Event

1992 Defense opens calling Noriega "our ally in war on drugs"

  • 1992 Labor strike at Royal Canadian Mint ends
  • 1992 Maximum NY State unemployment benefits raised to $300 per week
  • 1993 Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott suspended for 1 year due to racist comments
  • 1993 General Hospital's Tristan Rogers convicted of drunk driving

Rodney King Riots

1993 Federal trial of 4 police officers charged with civil rights violations in videotaped beating of Rodney King begins in Los Angeles, California

  • 1994 "Les Miserables" opens at Kallang Theatre, Singapore

Historic Event

1994 President Bill Clinton lifts US trade embargo against Vietnam

  • 1994 STS-60 (Discovery) launches into orbit
  • 1995 STS 63 (Discovery 19), launches into orbit
  • 1997 Carl Sagan Public Memorial at Ithaca NY
  • 1997 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Detroit MI on WKRK 97.1 FM

NHL Record

1998 Florida Panther Dino Ciccarelli is 9th NHLer to score 600 career goals

  • 1998 NY Yankees replace general manager Bob Watson with Brian Cashman

Historic Event

1998 Stamps commemorating Diana, Princess of Wales, go on sale in Britain

  • 1998 Mary Kay LeTourneau, 36, former teacher, violates probation with 14 year-old father of her baby
  • 1998 Karla Faye Tucker is executed in Texas, first woman executed in the United States since 1984
  • 1998 Cavalese cable car disaster: 20 people killed after NATO aircraft severs a cable car line
  • 1999 In Jammu and Kashmir the political party Democratic Janata Dal (Jammu and Kashmir) is revived.

Super Bowl

2002 Super Bowl XXXVI, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA: New England Patriots beat St. Louis Rams, 20-17; MVP: Tom Brady, New England, QB

Music History

2003 Actress Lana Clarkson is shot and killed by Phil Spector at Spector's house in Alhambra, California

  • 2005 51st National Film Awards (India): "Shwaas" wins the Golden Lotus
  • 2007 A Baghdad market bombing kills at least 135 people and injures a further 339.

Super Bowl

2008 Super Bowl XLII, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ: New York Giants beat New England Patriots, 17-14; MVP: Eli Manning, New York, QB

Historic Event

2009 Eric Holder becomes 82nd and 1st African American US Attoney General, succeeding Michael Mukasey

  • 2011 All available blocks of IPv4 internet addresses are officially distributed to regional authorities.
  • 2013 33 people are killed by a suicide bombing by an explosive-packed truck in Kirkuk, Iraq
  • 2013 Super Bowl XLVII, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, New Orleans, LA: Baltimore Ravens beat San Francisco 49ers, 34-31; MVP: Joe Flacco, Baltimore, QB
  • 2014 2 students are shot & killed in a school shooting in Moscow

Election of Interest

2016 Rand Paul drops out of the Republican Presidential nomination race

  • 2016 Lord Lucan's death certificate is granted, 42 years after he disappeared following the murder of nanny Sandra Rivett

Historic Event

2016 US President Barack Obama visits his first US mosque - the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque in Maryland

  • 2018 Moscow has its heaviest snowfall in a day on record, killing one and bringing down 2,000 trees

Papal Visit

2019 Pope Francis arrives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on the first ever papal visit to the Arabian peninsula

  • 2019 Dam in Townsville, Australia, deliberately opened flooding 20,000 homes after city receives record 3.3ft of rain in a week
  • 2019 Super Bowl LIII, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA: New England Patriots beat Los Angeles Rams, 13-3; MVP: Julian Edelman, NE Patriots, WR; Patriots' 6th SB victory
  • 2019 Wreckage from light aircraft carrying EPL team Cardiff City's record signing Emiliano Sala is discovered on seabed of the English Channel; cause of death, head and trunk injuries
  • 2019 Rapper 21 Savage arrested by US immigration for overstaying his visa
  • 2020 Malawi's constitutional court annuls 2019 election which saw President Peter Mutharika re-elected due to voting irregularities

Historic Event

2020 First Democratic caucus in Iowa won narrowly by Pete Buttigieg (most delegates) and Bernie Sanders (most votes) after lengthy delays and irregularities in reporting the results

  • 2020 Cruise ship Diamond Princess with 3700 passengers quarantined in Yokohama port, Japan after cases of COVID-19 found on board
  • 2021 US and Russia extend their New START nuclear arms control treaty for five years, the last remaining nuclear arms deal between the two countries

Historic Event

2021 US President Joe Biden signs executive orders to reunite immigrant families, setting up a new taskforce to address around 1000 remaining separated families [1]

  • 2021 Engineers at MIT announce they have engineered spinach to send emails when detecting explosive materials in groundwater as part of plant nanobionic research [1]