This Weekend In History…

The Day the Music Died….

February 3, 1959…..

Rock and roll musicians Buddy HollyRitchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson are killed in a plane crash, along with pilot Roger Peterson. Tommy Allsup was supposed to be on the plane, but lost his seat to Valens in a coin toss. Richardson was supposed to ride the bus, but was suffering from the flu and didn’t want to ride the cold bus, so Waylon Jennings voluntarily gave up his seat on the plane for him. As they were preparing for the plane flight, Holly found out Allsup and Jennings were taking the bus, so he joked, “Well, I hope your ol’ bus freezes up again.” Jennings jokingly replied, “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes,” words that would haunt him the rest of his life.
This event became known as “The Day the Music Died”, after Don McLean so referred to it in his song American Pie (1971).

32-Year-Old Karen Carpenter Dies From Anorexia….

February 4, 1983….

Thirty-two-year-old singer Karen Carpenter dies of a heart attack induced by anorexia nervosa. She had struggled with the disease for years and had even been hospitalized for it. Eventually the strain on her heart caused her death. Carpenter had begun dieting in high school, reducing her weight to 120 pounds (54 kg) at a height of 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m) tall. In 1973, she saw a concert photo of herself that she felt made her look fat. She then hired a personal trainer, but started gaining muscle which made her feel even fatter, so she fired the trainer and began dieting on her own. She also used thyroid medicine, to increase her metabolism, and laxatives and continued to lose weight, dropping to 91 pounds (41 kg). She was hospitalized in September of 1982 for the condition and placed on intravenous parenteral nutrition. She gained some weight, but this put additional strain on her heart, already weakened from years of anorexia. On February 4, 1983, she collapsed and paramedics noted her heart beat was only once every 10 seconds. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. She was due to sign divorce papers later that day.
The autopsy attributed her death to “emetine cardiotoxicity due to or as a consequence of anorexia nervosa.”

Have You Seen My Bomb?…..

February 5, 1958…..

A nuclear bomb is lost by the U.S. Air Force when a B-47 bomber carrying the bomb collides mid-air with an F-86 fighter. The Mk 15 nuclear bomb was jettisoned near the coast of Savannah, Georgia. Despite a massive search, the bomb was never found. The B-47 bomber was on a simulated combat mission from Homestead Air Force Base in Florida when it collided with the F-86. The F-86 pilot safely ejected, but the B-47 remained airborne. The crew ejected the bomb to reduce weight and prevent the bomb from exploding during an emergency landing. The B-47 then landed safely at Hunter Air Force Base. At the time, the Air Force claimed that, although the bomb contained 400 pounds (180kg) of high explosives and highly enriched uranium, it was lacking the nuclear capsule needed to initiate the nuclear reaction. But, congressional testimony by then Assistant Secretary of Defense W.J. Howard in 1966 said the bomb was a “complete weapon, a bomb with a nuclear capsule.”