updated 2/2/2007 11:56:52 PM ET 2007-02-03T04:56:52

Today is Saturday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2007. There are 331 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On February 3, 1959, a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed the lives of rock ’n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. That same day, an American Airlines Lockheed Electra crashed into New York’s East River while approaching LaGuardia Airport, killing 65 of the 73 people on board.

On this date:

In 1809, Congress passed an act establishing the Illinois Territory.

In 1907, author James Michener was born in New York.

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

In 1916, Canada’s original Parliament Buildings, in Ottawa, burned down.

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 1943, during World War II, the U.S. transport ship Dorchester, which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a torpedo. (Four Army chaplains gave their life belts to four other men, and went down with the ship.)

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

In 1994, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off, carrying Sergei Krikalev, the first Russian cosmonaut to fly aboard a U.S. spacecraft.

In 1995, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off with a woman, Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins, in the pilot’s seat for the first time in NASA history.

Ten years ago: The Army announced that a retired female sergeant major had accused Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney of sexual assault and harassment. (McKinney was later convicted in a court-martial of obstructing justice, but was acquitted of 18 charges of pressuring enlisted women for sex. He received a reprimand and reduction in rank.)

Five years ago: Former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay backed out of testifying before Congress about the collapse of the energy giant. More than 40 people were killed in an earthquake in Turkey. The New England Patriots won Super Bowl 36 as they defeated the St. Louis Rams 20-to-17.

One year ago: An Egyptian passenger ferry sank in the Red Sea during bad weather, killing more than 1,000 passengers. Twenty-three al-Qaida prisoners escaped from a Yemeni prison, including one convicted of the 2000 attack on the destroyer USS Cole. Actor Al Lewis (“The Munsters”) died in New York at age 95.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Joey Bishop is 89. Comedian Shelley Berman is 81. Football Hall-of-Famer Fran Tarkenton is 67. Actress Bridget Hanley is 66. Actress Blythe Danner is 64. Singer Dennis Edwards is 64. Football Hall-of-Famer Bob Griese is 62. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 60. Singer Melanie is

60. Actress Morgan Fairchild is 57. Actor Nathan Lane is 51. Rock musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) is 51. Actor Thomas Calabro is

48. Actor-director Keith Gordon is 46. Actress Michele Greene is

45. Country singer Matraca Berg is 43. Actress Maura Tierney is 42. Actor Warwick Davis is 37. Reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee is 31. Musician Grant Barry is 30.

Thought for Today: “There is a coherent plan in the universe, though I don’t know what it’s a plan for.” — Sir Fred Hoyle, English astronomer-author (1915-2001).

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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