Today is February 3, 2010 and the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 331 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1052 days till the end of the current cycle. On this date in 1959, the “music died” when Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens were killed in a plane crash near Clearlake, Iowa. Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
If you were wondering why Google had a picture of two children looking out over a sunset today, it was because of this 20th century American painter and illustrator. Norman Perceval Rockwell was most famous for his color illustrations on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post magazine which depicted middle-class America and everyday life, which spanned more than four decades. He also was famous for creating such American icons as Rosie the Riveter and images for the Boy Scouts of America, for which he was the art editor for their magazine, Boy’s Life. During World War Two, his series of paintings, known as the Four Freedoms, based upon a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, helped to sell war bonds as the display traveled around the country. During his long painting career, he was commissioned to create the official portraits for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. His last cover painting for the Saturday Evening Post was in 1963, after illustrating 322 covers for the magazine. He was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest honor a citizen can receive in the United States – in 1977. He would die two years later of emphysema, at the age of 84 after painting and illustrating more than 700 pieces of published artwork.
Horace Greeley (1811-1872)
U.S. newspaper editor and political leader. Greeley was a printer’s apprentice in Vermont before moving to New York City, where he edited a literary magazine and weeklies for the Whig Party. In 1841 he founded the highly influential New York Tribune, a daily paper dedicated to reforms, economic progress, and the elevation of the masses. He edited it for the rest of his life, becoming known especially for his articulation of antislavery sentiments in the 1850s. After the onset of the American Civil War in 1861, he pursued a politically erratic course. His unrealized lifelong ambitions for public office culminated in 1872 in an unsuccessful run for president on the Liberal Republican Party ticket
James Michener (1907-1997)
U.S. novelist and short-story writer. Michener was a foundling discovered in Doylestown, Pa., and he was raised as a Quaker. From 1944 to 1946 he was a naval historian in the South Pacific, the setting of his early fiction; his Tales of the South Pacific (1947, Pulitzer Prize) was adapted as the Broadway musical South Pacific (1949; film, 1958). He is best known for epic and detailed novels drawing on extensive research, including Hawaii (1959; film, 1966), Iberia (1968), Centennial (1974), Chesapeake (1978), Space (1982), and Mexico (1992).
Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd (1904-1934)
Criminal, bank robber. Born Charles Arthur Floyd in Georgia, he was one of seven children. His family moved soon after to Oklahoma, where they owned a farm and were extremely poor. After an unlikely first career as a farmer, Floyd turned to crime to escape the poverty of the Depression era, which hit farmers in the “Dust Bowl” especially hard. Known for his reckless use of a machine gun, Floyd began, with a group of gangster accomplices, robbing banks in Ohio, and soon moved on to Michigan, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. During his crime spree, bank insurance rates in Oklahoma are reported to have doubled. He became popular with the public by destroying mortgage papers at many of the banks he robbed, liberating many debt-ridden citizens. After the capture of John Dillinger, Floyd was named “Public Enemy No.1,” and a $23,000 reward was offered for him ,dead or alive. Finally, in 1934, following another bank robbery, he was found, shot, and killed by FBI agents during a chase. Floyd’s legend was put into song, in Woody Guthrie’s “Pretty Boy Floyd.”
Blythe Danner (Born 1943)
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this stage, film an television actress.first won acting acclaim for her winsome performance in the off-Broadway play Summertree (1968) and in the next year won a Best Supporting Actress Tony for her Broadway debut as a free-spirited young divorcee in Butterflies Are Free (1969). In the same year she married Bruce Paltrow, the writer and producer responsible for the hugely popular 1980s television drama, St. Elsewhere. Appearing in a number of successful Broadway productions, the genteel actress has been a regular member of the Williamstown Theater Festival since the mid 1970s. She has also accrued an impressive film resume, starring as Robert Duvall’s stalwart wife in The Great Santini (1979) and as a Jewish mother in Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986); among other film appearances. In October 2002, while vacationing in Italy, her husband, Bruce, succumbed to complications from pneumonia. He had also battled throat cancer for the past few years. With her husband, she has two children: Gwyneth, an Academy Award-winning actress, and Jake, an actor and director.