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February 3, 2013

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2013. There are 331 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 3, 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

On this date:

In 1783, Spain formally recognized American independence.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens held a shipboard peace conference off the Virginia coast; the talks deadlocked over the issue of Southern autonomy.

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 German torpedo; of the more than 900 men aboard, only some 230 survived.

In 1953, the Batepa Massacre took place in Sao Tome as Portuguese troops killed some 1,000 striking plantation workers.

In 1959, rock-and-roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a small plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. An American Airlines Lockheed Electra crashed into New York’s East River, killing 65 of the 73 people on board.

In 1966, the Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.

In 1971, New York City police officer Frank Serpico, who had charged there was widespread corruption in the NYPD, was shot and seriously wounded during a drug bust in Brooklyn.

In 1972, the XI Olympic Winter Games opened in Sapporo, Japan.

In 1991, the rate for a first-class postage stamp rose to 29 cents.

In 1998, Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker, 38, for the pickax killings of two people in 1983; she was the first woman executed in the United States since 1984. A U.S. Marine plane sliced through the cable of a ski gondola in Italy, sending the car plunging hundreds of feet, killing all 20 people inside.

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