(1894) – Great American illustrator and Post cover artist Norman Rockwell was born in New York City. He started his career as art editor of Boy’s Life magazine and three years later earned his first cover on The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell is best known for his lifelike illustrations of sentimental Americana. Some of his most famous works are Rosie the Riveter, The Four Freedoms, and The Problem We All Live With.
(1913) – The 16th amendment to the Constitution is ratified, authorizing the collection of a federal income tax. Previously, income taxes were collected during the Civil War–a 3 percent flat tax from any household earning $800 or more. This ended in 1866. In 1909, President Taft proposed a 2 percent tax from corporations, and Congress followed suit by proposing the federal income tax. Income tax is used to fund the military, build roads and bridges, and enforce laws, among other things.
(1959) – Buddy Holly, 22, J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper), 28, and Ritchie Valens, 17, died in an airplane crash near Mason City, Iowa. The pilot was also killed. February 3rd has been remembered as ‘The Day the Music Died’ since Don McLean made the line popular in his 1972 hit, “American Pie.” The three artists were traveling as part of a music tour that had kicked of just a few weeks prior. An investigation blamed poor weather and pilot error as reasons the plane crashed.
(1972) – The XI Olympic Winter Games opened in Sapporo, Japan. The 1972 Games were the first Winter Olympics in Asia and the first to be held outside of North America and Europe. Sapporo had been awarded the hosting rights to the Winter Olympics in 1940, but the games were cancelled due to World War II. Thirty-five nations participated in the 1972 Winter Olympics, during which the Soviet Union won eight gold, five silver, and three bronze medals, the most of any other country in attendance.