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Almanac ~ Friday, 2/3/17

Happy Birthday, Gertrude Stein!

Today is Friday, February 3, 2017.

  • Sunrise: 7:12am
  • Sunset: 5:36pm

34% of the waxing moon will be visible, rising at 11:19am.
Tides at the Golden Gate

  • High: 4:14am/5:00pm
  • Low: 10:36am/10:16pm

Special International Celebrations today…

  • Foundation of the Vietnamese Communist Party - Vietnam
  • Heroes' Day - Mozambique
  • San Blaise - Paraguay
  • Setsubun – Japan

It’s also…

  • Bubble Gum Day
  • Give Kids A Smile Day
  • National Women's Physicians Day
  • The Day The Music Died (see 1959, below)
  • Wear Red Day
  • Working Naked Day
  • Carrot Cake Day

On this day in…

1488 - The Portuguese navigator Bartholomeu Diaz landed at Mossal Bay in the Cape, the first European known to have landed on the southern extremity of Africa.

1690 - The first paper money in America was issued by the Massachusetts colony. The currency was used to pay soldiers that were fighting in the war against Quebec.

1783 - Spain recognized the independence of the United States.

1809 - The territory of Illinois was created.

1815 - The world's first commercial cheese factory was established in Switzerland.

1862 - Thomas Edison printed the "Weekly Herald" and distributed it to train passengers traveling between Port Huron and Detroit, MI. It was the first time a newspaper had been printed on a train.

1869 - Edwin Booth opened his new theatre in New York City. The first production was "Romeo and Juliet".

1900 - In Frankfort, KY, gubernatorial candidate William Goebels died from an assasin's bullet wounds. On August 18, 1900, Ex-Sec. of State Caleb Powers was found guilt of conspiracy to murder Gov. Goebels.

1913 - The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It authorized the power to impose and collect income tax.

1916 - In Ottawa, Canada's original parliament buildings burned down.

1917 - The U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, which had announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

1918 - The Twin Peaks Tunnel began service. It is the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet.

1927 - The Federal Radio Commission was created when U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill.

1941 - In Vichy, France, the Nazis used force to restore Pierre Laval to office.

1945 - Russia agreed to enter World War II against Japan.

1946 - The first issue of "Holiday" magazine appeared.

1947 - Percival Prattisbecame the first black news correspondent admitted to the House and Senate press gallery in Washington, DC. He worked for "Our World" in New York City.

1951 - Dick Button won the U.S. figure skating title for the sixth time.

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

1959 - Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson died in a plane crash in Iowa.

1966 - The first rocket-assisted controlled landing on the Moon was made by the Soviet space vehicle Luna IX.

1969 - At the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo, Yasser Arafat was appointed leader of the PLO.

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

1984 - Challenger 4 was launched as the tenth space shuttle mission.

1989 - South African politician P.W. Botha unwillingly resigned both party leadership and the presidency after suffering a stroke.

1998 - Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker. She was the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1984.

1998 - In Italy, a U.S. Military plane hit a cable causing the death of 20 skiers on a lift.

2009 - Eric Holder was sworn in as attorney general. He was the first African-American to hold the post.

2010 - The Alberto Giacometti sculpture L'Homme qui marche sold for $103.7 million.

2015 - The British House of Commons voted to approve letting scientist create babies from the DNA of three people.

Today’s birthday celebrants include (or included)…

  • Felix Mendelssohn 1809- Pianist, composer, conductor
  • Horace Greeley 1811
  • Sidney Lanier 1842
  • Gertrude Stein 1874
  • Norman Rockwell 1894
  • Alvar Aalto 1898
  • Pretty Boy Floyd (Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd) 1904- Bank robber
  • James A. Michener 1907
  • Simone Weil 1909- Philosopher, political activist
  • Joey Bishop 1918
  • Bibi Osterwald 1920
  • John Fiedler 1925
  • Art Arfons 1926
  • Shelley Berman 1926
  • Frankie Vaughan 1928
  • Peggy Ann Garner 1932
  • Jeremy Kemp (Edmund Walker) 1935
  • Victor Buono 1938
  • Emile Griffith 1938
  • Fran Tarkenton 1940
  • Angelo D'Aleo (Dion and The Belmonts) 1940
  • Blythe Danner 1943
  • Dennis Edwards 1943
  • Eric Haydock (The Hollies) 1943
  • Bridget Handley 1944
  • Melanie (Safka) 1947
  • Dave Davies (The Kinks) 1947
  • Morgan Fairchild 1950
  • Nathan Lane 1956
  • Lee Renaldo (Sonic Youth) 1956
  • Thomas Calabro 1959
  • Lol Tolhurst (Cure, Presence) 1959
  • Keith Gordon 1961
  • Michele Greene 1962
  • Matraca Berg 1964
  • Maura Tierney 1965
  • Nick Hawkins (Big Audio) 1965
  • Grant Barry (Reel Big Fish) 1977
David Latulippe is host of On the Arts, KALW's weekly radio magazine of the performing arts, as well as for Explorations in Music, and the Berkeley Symphony broadcasts. He has also hosted and produced the radio series From the Conservatory, Music from Mills, and Music at Menlo, and is principal guest host for Revolutions Per Minute.