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On This Day: February 3

This is the 34th day of the year.

Fact of the Day: Wall Street

Wall Street may be recognized as the financial capital of the world, but it is also a street in the southern section of Manhattan, New York. Though rich in history, Wall Street is not a very long street, extending for only about seven blocks. The Dutch built an earthen wall in 1653 to protect themselves against attack and danger. Businesses began to develop along a path next to the wall and the path was named Wall Street. In 1699, the English dismantled the wall but the path remained. In the late 1700s, Wall Street was becoming the center of commerce in New York. Traders and speculators began to trade informally under a buttonwood tree that was located at an end of Wall Street. In an attempt to gain control of the financial markets and increase their stability, a group of 24 prominent businessmen gathered on Wall Street in 1792 to set up an exchange for trading securities. Originally called "The Stock Exchange Office," the name was changed to the "New York Stock Exchange" in 1817.


Feast day of St. Laurence of Spoleto, St. Anskar, St. Ia the Virgin, St. Laurence of Canterbury, St. Blaise, St Werburga, and St. Margaret of England.

Switzerland: Homstrom.

Mozambique: Heroes' Day.

Vietnam: National Holiday for founding of Communist Party in Vietnam.


1488 - Portuguese navigator Bartholomew 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 colony of Massachusetts.

1783 - Spain recognized United States' independence.

1809 - The territory of Illinois was created.

1830 - The revolution against the Ottoman occupation in Greece ended.

1865 - Abraham Lincoln met to discuss peace in the Civil War.

1913 - The 16th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

1916 - Canada's original Parliament Buildings, in Ottawa, burned down.

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

1919 - The League of Nations held its first meeting, with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson as chairman.

1927 - President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission to regulate the airwaves.

1953 - French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau published "The Silent World."

1969 - Yassir Arafat was appointed leader of the PLO.

1973 - The cease-fire in Vietnam went into effect and fighting came to a halt.

1994 - Nearly two decades after the fall of Saigon, U.S. President Bill Clinton lifted the trade embargo against Vietnam, since Vietnam's government cooperated in locating the 2,238 Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War.

1994 - The space shuttle Discovery blasted off with a woman, Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins, in the pilot's seat for the first time.

2003 - Record producer Phil Spector was arrested for murder after the body of 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson was found at his faux-castle mansion in Alhambra, California.

2005 - Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation as US Attorney General.


1809 - Felix Mendelssohn, German composer.

1811 - Horace Greeley, American journalist, founder of "The New York Tribune," politician, helped found the Republican Party.

1830 - Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, British statesman and Prime Minister on three occasions.

1874 - Gertrude Stein, American author.

1894 - Norman Rockwell, American artist.

1907 - James A. Michener, American author.

1909 - Simone Weil, French philosopher.

1940 - Fran Tarkenton, American football player.

1947 - Dave Davies, singer and guitarist with the English rock band The Kinks.


1924 - Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States.

1959 - Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, in a plane crash.

1975 - Umm Kulthum (other English spellings include: Om Kalthoum, Oum Kalsoum, Oum Kalthum, Omm Kolsoum, Umm Kolthoum, Um Kalthoom), Egyptian singer and musician.

1996 - Audrey Meadows (born Audrey Cotter), American actress.

2003 - Lana Clarkson, American actress.

2006 - Al Lewis, American actor.

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