February 3 is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 331 days remaining, (332 in leap years).
- 1488 - Bartholomeu Diaz of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay[?] after rounding the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa, becoming the first known European to travel this far south.
- 1783 - American Revolutionary War: Spain recognizes United States independence.
- 1809 - Illinois Territory is created.
- 1815 - The first commercial cheese factory is founded (Switzerland).
- 1867 - Prince Mutshuhito becomes Emperor Meiji of Japan
- 1870 - The 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution is passed
- 1900 - Gubernatorial candidate William Goebels[?] is assassinated in Frankfort, Kentucky. Former-Secretary of State Caleb Powers[?] was later found guilty in a conspiracy to kill Goebels.
- 1913 - The 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect income tax.
- 1916 - Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada are burned down.
- 1917 - World War I: The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany a day after Germany announces a new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
- 1918 - The Twin Peaks Tunnel[?] begins service as the longest streetcar tunnel in the world (11,920 feet long).
- 1941 - World War II: The Nazis forcibly restore Pierre Laval[?] to office in occupied Vichy, France.
- 1944 - United States troops capture the Marshall Islands
- 1945 - World War II: Russia agrees to enter the Pacific Theatre[?] conflict against Japan.
- 1947 - Percival Prattis[?] becomes the first African American news correspondent allowed in the United States House and Senate press gallery.
- 1951 - Dick Button[?] wins the American figure skating championship for the sixth time.
- 1959 - News of the February 2 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper becomes widely known. This date becomes known as "The Day The Music Died".
- 1966 - The unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft makes the first controlled rocket-assisted landing on the Moon.
- 1969 - In Cairo, Yasser Arafat is appointed Palestinian Liberation Organization leader at the Palestinian National Congress[?].
- 1972 - The first Winter Olympics to be held in Asia open in Sapporo, Japan.
- 1984 - Space Shuttle Challenger is launched on the tenth space shuttle mission.
- 1988 - Iran-Contra Affair: The United States House of Representatives rejects President Ronald Reagan's request for $36.25 million to aid Nicaraguan Contras.
- 1989 - After a stroke, P.W. Botha[?] resigns party leadership and the presidency of South Africa.
- 1998 - Karla Faye Tucker[?] is executed in Texas becoming the the first woman executed in the United States since 1984.
- 1998 - A United States Military[?] pilot causes the death of 20 skiers in Italy riding on a lift suspended by a cable snapped by the low-flying plane.
- 1721 - Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz[?], general (+ 1773)
- 1809 - Felix Mendelssohn, composer (+ 1847)
- 1811 - Horace Greeley, journalist, editor, publisher (+ 1872)
- 1821 - Elizabeth Blackwell, first female physician in the United States
- 1859 - Hugo Junkers, industrialist and aircraft designer (+ 1935)
- 1874 - Gertrude Stein, writer and patron of the arts (+ 1946)
- 1887 - Georg Trakl, poet (+ 1914)
- 1894 - Norman Rockwell, artist, illustrator (+ 1978)
- 1904 - Pretty Boy Floyd[?], gangster (+ 1934)
- 1907 - James Michener[?], author (+ 1997)
- 1909 - Simone Weil, philosopher (+ 1943)
- 1918 - Joey Bishop[?], comedian, actor
- 1924 - Andrzej Szczypiorski[?], writer (+ 2000)
- 1927 - Val Doonican[?], Irish singer and entertainer
- 1930 - Gillian Ayres, painter
- 1932 - Peggy Ann Garner[?], actress (+ 1984)
- 1940 - Fran Tarkenton[?], Football Hall of Famer
- 1943 - Blythe Danner, actress
- 1944 - Dave Davies[?], musician
- 1945 - Bob Grises[?], Football Hall of Famer
- 1947 - Paul Auster, novelist
- 1950 - Morgan Fairchild[?], actress
- 1956 - Nathan Lane[?], actor
- 1971 - Sarah Kane, playwright
- 1014 - Sweyn I, king of Denmark
- 1468 - Johannes Gutenberg, publisher
- 1889 - Belle Starr, outlaw
- 1924 - Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States
- 1959 - Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, musicians
- 1989 - John Cassavetes[?], actor, director, writer
- 1996 - Audrey Meadows[?], actress
Holidays and observances
See Also: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
February 2 - February 4 - January 3 - March 3 - Historical anniversaries
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