World War II – Battle of Stalingrad…..
February 2, 1943…..
German troops surrender to Russia after a five-month battle, marking the end of Adolf Hitler‘s campaign in Russia. It was one of the bloodiest battles in history, with combined military and civilian casualties of nearly 2 million. The Russians managed to blockade the city, trapping nearly 300,000 German and Axis troops in the city. Without access to supplies, the Axis troops slowly starved during the Russian winter. The German loss at Stalingrad was the first loss that Hitler publicly acknowledged and marked a turning point in the war.
The Day the Music Died…..
February 3, 1959…..
Rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie 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).
George Washington Elected President…..
February 4, 1789…..
George Washington is elected president with 100% of the electoral vote. He was the first and only president to do so.