Today in History: Lives lost in Dorchester sinking
By The Associated Press
Today is Monday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2020. There are 332 days left in the year.
On Feb. 3, 1943, during World War II, the U.S. transport ship SS Dorchester, which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a German torpedo in the Labrador Sea; of the more than 900 men aboard, only some 230 survived. Four Army chaplains on board gave away their life jackets to save others and went down with the ship.
On this date:
In 1690, the first paper money in America was issued by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to finance a military expedition to Canada.
In 1877, the song “Chopsticks,” written by 16-year-old Euphemia Allen under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli, was deposited at the British Museum under the title “The Celebrated Chop Waltz.”
In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.
In 1917, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, the same day an American cargo ship, the SS Housatonic, was sunk by a U-boat off Britain after the crew was allowed to board lifeboats.
In 1930, the chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft, resigned for health reasons. He died just over a month later.
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.
In 1966, the Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.
In 1969, “Candid Camera” creator Allen Funt and his family were aboard an Eastern Airlines flight that was hijacked to Cuba. Fellow passengers who recognized Funt thought the whole thing was a stunt for his TV show.
In 1988, the U.S. House of Representatives handed President Ronald Reagan a major defeat, rejecting his request for $36.2 million in new aid to the Nicaraguan Contras by a vote of 219-211.