What follows are nine moments in the history of the United States or Western Europe which relate to and lead up to the formation of the world as we know it. All of these events happened on February 3, of one year or another. THEY SAY THAT AMERICANS, FOR THE MOST PART, ARE the most HISTORICALLY ILLITERATE people in the world. WHILE TEACHING AT AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN 2001-2003, ONE OF MY STUDENTS ASKED ME HOW I EVER CAME TO KNOW SO MUCH HISTORY—HOW LONG HAD IT TAKEN ME—I ANSWERED HIM I HAD BEEN STUDYING HISTORY MY WHOLE LIFE, AND THAT DISCOURAGED HIM, AND HE SAID, “SO NONE OF THE REST OF US REALLY HAVE A CHANCE”. I RESPONDED THAT, NO, HISTORY WAS SOMETHING ONE COULD LEARN IN THE QUIET MOMENTS OF RELAXATION BETWEEN WORK, SLEEP, EATING, AND PLAY. THAT HISTORY WAS LIKE CROSS-WORD PUZZLES OR VIDEO-GAMES—EASY AND RELAXING TO TAKE NOTES AND STUDY LINES OF HISTORY VERY CASUALLY—THIS I SINCERELY BELIEVE, AND TO THAT END, I HAVE COLLECTED 9 HISTORICAL VIGNETTES FOR FEBRUARY 3, 2011.
Today in History — Tuesday, Feb. 3 (52 Years Ago/The Day the Music Died, 87 years ago, the day Woodrow Wilson Died, 6 years ago, the day the decency of the Office of U.S. Attorney General Died)
Historical Vignette # (1) On the evening of February 3, 1781, during the final year of the American War of Independence (“Revolutionary War” implies social change, and since the War of 1775-1781—peace resolved by the Treaty of Paris in 1783—with the United States Congress meeting in the dull & dreary Maryland Capital of Annapolis), American General Nathanael Greene and his troops successfully cross the Yadkin River to evade General Charles Cornwallis. The crossing followed consecutive Patriot losses at the Catawba River and at Tarrant’s Tavern, as well as heavy rainfall on February 1, which Greene feared would soon make the river impassable.
Although contradictory evidence exists, it is likely that the efforts of Polish engineer and military advisor Thaddeus Kosciusko made the crossing possible. Kosciusko had made a canoe expedition up the Catawba and Pedee Rivers, assessing Greene’s options, in December 1780. He then built a fleet of flat-bottomed boats for General Greene to use as a means of transporting his men across the water without having to waste time on manual portage, which would have involved soldiers removing the boats from the water and carrying them on their shoulders over land. The boats could be loaded into the Southern Army’s wagons for transport between river crossings. Kosciusko’s study of the rivers also allowed Greene to accurately predict the two-day interval between a heavy rainfall and rising river water.
Greene had ordered the Kosciusko-designed boats to be waiting for his men at the Yadkin. Thus, despite the flood of refugees clogging North Carolina’s roads in a desperate rush to leave before notoriously cruel British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton arrived, Greene was able to move his troops to the river and cross it. Although Cornwallis caught the tail-end of the Patriot crossing and shelled Greene’s camp on the far side of the river on February 4, he was not able to cause major damage or disruption.
Greene’s timing was impeccable–Cornwallis was unable to ford the quickly rising Yadkin behind him. Instead, Cornwallis was forced to march his men to the aptly named Shallow Ford and did not finish crossing the Yadkin until the morning of the February 7, by which time Greene and the Southern Army had a two-day lead in the race towards the Dan River and safety in Patriot-held Virginia.
Historical Vignette #(2) During the Final Year of the War Between the States (“Civil War” being as much a misnomer as “Revolutionary War”—the English Civil War of 1644-1649 was a truly “Civil War” between classes and religious groups within the same society, but it is only by a long post-war process that the full class, constitutional, economic, and socio-political implications of the American War of 1861-65 were resolved) President Lincoln met on February 3, 1865 at Hampton Roads with a delegation of Confederate officials to discuss a possible peace agreement. Lincoln refuses to grant the delegation any concessions, and the president departs for the north.
New York Tribune editor and abolitionist Horace Greeley provided the impetus for the conference when he contacted Francis Blair, a Maryland aristocrat and presidential adviser. Greeley suggested that Blair was the “right man” to open discussions with the Confederates to end the war. Blair sought permission from Lincoln to meet with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and he did so twice in January 1865. Blair suggested to Davis that an armistice be forged and the two sides turn their attention to removing the French-supported regime of Maximilian in Mexico. This plan would help cool tensions between North and South by providing a common enemy, he believed.
Meanwhile, the situation was becoming progressively worse for the Confederates in the winter of 1864 and 1865. In January, Union troops captured Fort Fisher and effectively closed Wilmington, North Carolina, the last major port open to blockade runners. Davis conferred with his vice president, Alexander Stephens, and Stephens recommended that a peace commission be appointed to explore a possible armistice. Davis sent Stephens and two others to meet with Lincoln at Hampton Roads, Virginia.
The meeting convened on February 3. Stephens asked if there was any way to stop the war and Lincoln replied that the only way was “for those who were resisting the laws of the Union to cease that resistance.” The delegation underestimated Lincoln’s resolve to make the end of slavery a necessary condition for any peace. The president also insisted on immediate reunification and the laying down of Confederate arms before anything else was discussed. In short, the Union was in such an advantageous position that Lincoln did not need to concede any issues to the Confederates. Robert M.T. Hunter, one of the delegation, commented that Lincoln was offering little except the unconditional surrender of the South.
After less than five hours, the conference ended and the delegation left with no concessions. The war continued for more than two months.
Historical Vignette #(3) On the 3rd day of February, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson speaks for two hours before a historic session of Congress to announce that the United States is breaking diplomatic relations with Germany.
Due to the reintroduction of the German navy’s policy of unlimited submarine warfare, announced two days earlier by Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollwegg, Wilson announced that his government had no choice but to cut all diplomatic ties with Germany in order to uphold the honor and dignity of the United States. Though he maintained that We do not desire any hostile conflict with the German government, Wilson nevertheless cautioned that war would follow if Germany followed through on its threat to sink American ships without warning.
Later that day, Count von Bernstorff, the German ambassador to the U.S., received a note written by Secretary of State Robert Lansing stating that The President has directed me to announce to your Excellency that all diplomatic relations between the United States and the German empire are severed, and that the American Ambassador at Berlin will be immediately withdrawn, and in accordance with such announcement to deliver to your Excellency your passports. Bernstorff was guaranteed safe passage out of the country, but was ordered to leave Washington immediately. Also in the wake of Wilson’s speech, all German cruisers docked in the United States were seized and the government formally demanded that all American prisoners being held in Germany be released at once.
On the same day, a German U-boat sunk the American cargo ship Housatonic off the Scilly Islands, just southwest of Britain. A British ship rescued the ship’s crew, but its entire cargo of grain was lost.
In Berlin that night, before learning of the president’s speech, German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann told U.S. Ambassador James J. Gerard that Everything will be alright. America will do nothing, for President Wilson is for peace and nothing else. Everything will go on as before. He was proved wrong the following morning, as news arrived of the break in relations between America and Germany, a decisive step towards U.S. entry into the First World War.
Historical Vignette #(4) *CLOSELY RELATED TO #(3): On February 3, 1924, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, died. Woodrow Wilson was the first Southerner elected President of the United States since 1856, and the first Southerner to hold the title of President within the territory of what is now the United States since Jefferson Davis, and the only Ph.D. and Academic ever to be elected President (he was previously President of Princeton University in New Jersey). Wilson died in Washington, D.C., at the age of 67, 7 years after the declaration of War on Germany that effectively ended American Isolation in the New World and launched the country, unwillingly and unnecessarily, as a world power forever.
Wilson was also the President who presided over the “ratification” of the 16th Amendment and implementation of Income Tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve Banking System, and the 17th Amendment to the United States which effectively abolished the power of the States in Federal Government forever. OK, his administration also saw the extension of the voting Franchise to Women and many other “progressive” acts, but on the whole, Wilson effectively crystalized the implementation of the foundations of Corporate-Socialist government in the United States of America. It was all very tragic.
But in 1912, Governor Wilson of New Jersey was elected president in a landslide Democratic victory over Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive Party (“Bull-Moose”) candidate (and formerly Wildly-Popular President) Theodore Roosevelt. The focal point of President Wilson’s first term in office was the outbreak of World War I and his efforts to find a peaceful end to the conflict while maintaining U.S. neutrality. In 1916, he was narrowly reelected president at the end of a close race against Charles Evans Hughes, his Republican challenger.
In 1917, the renewal of German submarine warfare against neutral American ships, and the “Zimmerman Note,” which revealed a secret alliance proposal by Germany to Mexico, forced Wilson to push for America’s entry into the war.
At the war’s end, President Wilson traveled to France, where he headed the American delegation to the peace conference seeking an official end to the conflict. At Versailles, Wilson was the only Allied leader who foresaw the future difficulty that might arise from forcing punitive peace terms on an economically ruined Germany. He also successfully advocated the creation of the League of Nations as a means of maintaining peace in the postwar world. In November 1920, President Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at Versailles.
In the autumn of 1919, while campaigning in the United States to win approval for the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations, Wilson suffered a severe stroke that paralyzed his left side and caused significant brain damage. This illness likely contributed to Wilson’s uncharacteristic failure to reach a compromise with the American opponents to the European agreements, and in November the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles or the League of Nations.
During his last year in office, there is evidence that Wilson’s second wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, may have served as acting president for the debilitated and bed-ridden president who often communicated through her. In March 1921, Wilson’s term expired, and he retired with his wife to Washington, D.C., where he lived until his death on February 3, 1924. Two days later, he was buried in Washington’s National Cathedral, the first president to be laid to rest in the nation’s capital.
Historical Vignette #(5) On February 3, 1950, Klaus Fuchs, a German-born British scientist who helped developed the atomic bomb, was arrested in Great Britain for passing top-secret information about the bomb to the Soviet Union. The arrest of Fuchs led authorities to several other individuals involved in a spy ring, culminating with the arrest of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and their subsequent execution.
Fuchs and his family fled Germany in 1933 to avoid Nazi persecution and came to Great Britain, where Fuchs earned his doctorate in physics. During World War II, British authorities were aware of the leftist leanings of both Fuchs and his father. However, Fuchs was eventually invited to participate in the British program to develop an atomic bomb (the project named “Tube Alloys”) because of his expertise. At some point after the project began, Soviet agents contacted Fuchs and he began to pass information about British progress to them. Late in 1943, Fuchs was among a group of British scientists brought to America to work on the Manhattan Project, the U.S. program to develop an atomic bomb. Fuchs continued his clandestine meetings with Soviet agents. When the war ended, Fuchs returned to Great Britain and continued his work on the British atomic bomb project.
Fuchs’ arrest in 1950 came after a routine security check of Fuchs’ father, who had moved to communist East Germany in 1949. While the check was underway, British authorities received information from the American Federal Bureau of Investigation that decoded Soviet messages in their possession indicated Fuchs was a Russian spy. On February 3, officers from Scotland Yard arrested Fuchs and charged him with violating the Official Secrets Act. Fuchs eventually admitted his role and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. His sentence was later reduced, and he was released in 1959 and spent his remaining years living with his father in East Germany.
Fuchs’ capture set off a chain of arrests. Harry Gold, whom Fuchs implicated as the middleman between himself and Soviet agents, was arrested in the United States. Gold thereupon informed on David Greenglass, one of Fuchs’ co-workers on the Manhattan Project. After his apprehension, Greenglass implicated his sister-in-law and her husband, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. They were arrested in New York in July 1950, found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage, and executed at Sing Sing Prison in June 1953.
And Now for Something Completely Different #1, Cross-tabbed as Historical Vignette #(6) On February 3, 1953, French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau publishes his most famous and lasting work, The Silent World.
Born in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, France, in 1910, Cousteau was trained at the Brest Naval School. While serving in the French navy, he began his underwater explorations, filming shipwrecks and the underwater world of the Mediterranean Sea through a glass bowl. At the time, the only available system for underwater breathing involved a diver being tethered to the surface, and Cousteau sought to develop a self-contained device.
In 1943, with the aid of engineer Emile Gagnan, he designed the Aqua-Lung, the world’s first self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba). With the Aqua-Lung, the largely unexplored world lying beneath the ocean surface was open to Cousteau as never before. He developed underwater cameras and photography and was employed by the French navy to explore navy shipwrecks. In his free time, he explored ancient wrecks and studied underwater sea life.
In 1948, he published his first work, Through 18 Meters of Water, and in 1950 Lord Guinness, a British patron, bought him an old British minesweeper to use for his explorations. Cousteau converted the ship into an oceanographic vessel and christened it the Calypso. In 1953, he published The Silent World, written with Frederic Dumas, and began work on a film version of the book with film director Louis Malle. Three years later,The Silent World was released to world acclaim. The film, which revealed to the public the hidden universe of tropical fish, whales, and walruses, won Best Documentary at the Academy Awards and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
With the success of the film, Cousteau retired from the navy to devote himself to oceanography. He welcomed geologists, archaeologists, zoologists, environmentalists, and other scientists aboard the Calypso and led numerous excursions to the world’s great bodies of water, from the Red Sea to the Amazon River. He headed the Conshelf Saturation Dive Program, in which men lived and worked for extended time periods at considerable depths along the continental shelves.
His many books include The Living Sea (1963), Three Adventures: Galapagos, Titicaca, the Blue Holes (1973), and Jacques Cousteau: The Ocean World (1985). He also produced several more award-winning films and scores of television documentaries about the ocean, making him a household name. He saw firsthand the damage done to the marine ecosystems by humans and was an outspoken and persuasive environmentalist. Cousteau died in 1997.
HISTORICAL SUB-VIGNETTE: As a personal note, when I was a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Kenneth L. Ryskamp in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1992 (Ryskamp was, without doubt, one of the most completely decent, distinguished and honorable men I have ever known, as well as one of the most dedicated and hardworking Judges), I had the occasion to participate in and prepare jury instructions and other papers relating to the trial for drug trafficking of a Cousteau apprentice and protege, Michael Wludarszcik, an East German who had earned fame in 1971 or thereabouts by jumping the Berlin Wall and running through a hale of bullets to “Freedom” in the West. In 1989-1990, I had had occasion to participate in the dismantling of that wall, and so I felt a special kinship to Wludarszcik. Michael Wludarszcik was a sailor, merchant marine, oceanography, and underwater archaeologist who worked closely with Cousteau on several expeditions. He was also an expert welder, and was accused of having welded several tanks or containers full of marijuana and other contraband and bringing it across the Caribbean into the United States. He was a handsome, young, good-looking rugged man and had a beautiful wife and infant child who sat, the wife often sobbing, the baby well-behaved and quiet, throughout the trial. Wludarczsik was found guilty and sentenced under the then current sentencing guidelines to 20 years, although Judge Ryskamp commented on what a terrible loss was this man and his life to society and science, even as he pronounced sentence. Wludarczsik’s case awakened in my mind a passionate hatred of the war on drugs, which was only repeatedly reinforced throughout the remainder of my clerkship. I had been disgusted by some drug defendants, the corrupt cops and the slimy drug dealers and all the double-crossing informants, but Michael Wludarczsik was a man whom I would have been honored to know, and his “acts of piracy” involved providing substances which almost all of my friends and colleagues in academia and social circles generally used, enjoyed, and actually valued. The hypocrisy of the American War on Drugs as a means of incarcerating hundreds of thousands of Americans continues to aggrieve and offend me. I hope that in my lifetime I will see a time when freedom of choice and freedom to choose an individual lifestyle is restored to the American people, and where no person will ever be imprisoned for providing good value to a willing marketplace. I deeply respected and will always treasure the time I spent with the Honorable Kenneth L. Ryskamp, but I wish he had fought harder, as did his Palm Beach Colleague the Honorable James C. Paine, to neutralize and counteract the War on Drugs, which began in this Country as a power grab after prohibition by oligarchs such as William Randolph Hearst and John D. Rockefeller, the war on drugs itself being a phrase coined or at least popularized by Nelson A. Rockefeller while Governor of New York (later first unelected Vice-President under Gerald R. Ford).
And now for something completely different #2, Cross Tabbed as *Historical Vignette #(7): On February 3, 1959, rising American rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson are killed when their chartered Beechcraft Bonanza plane crashes in Iowa a few minutes after takeoff from Mason City on a flight headed for Moorehead, Minnesota. Investigators blamed the crash on bad weather and pilot error. Holly and his band, the Crickets, had just scored a No. 1 hit with “That’ll Be the Day.”
After mechanical difficulties with the tour bus, Holly had chartered a plane for his band to fly between stops on the Winter Dance Party Tour. However, Richardson, who had the flu, convinced Holly’s band member Waylon Jennings to give up his seat, and Ritchie Valens won a coin toss for another seat on the plane.
Holly, born Charles Holley in Lubbock, Texas, and just 22 when he died, began singing country music with high school friends before switching to rock and roll after opening for various performers, including Elvis Presley. By the mid-1950s, Holly and his band had a regular radio show and toured internationally, playing hits like “Peggy Sue,” “Oh, Boy!,” “Maybe Baby” and “Early in the Morning.” Holly wrote all his own songs, many of which were released after his death and influenced such artists as Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney.
Another crash victim, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, 28, started out as a disk jockey in Texas and later began writing songs. Richardson’s most famous recording was the rockabilly “Chantilly Lace,” which made the Top 10. He developed a stage show based on his radio persona, “The Big Bopper.”
The third crash victim was Ritchie Valens, born Richard Valenzuela in a suburb of Los Angeles, who was only 17 when the plane went down but had already scored hits with “Come On, Let’s Go,” “Donna” and “La Bamba,” an upbeat number based on a traditional Mexican wedding song (though Valens barely spoke Spanish). In 1987, Valens’ life was portrayed in the movie La Bamba, and the title song, performed by Los Lobos, became a No. 1 hit. Valens was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Singer Don McLean memorialized Holly, Valens and Richardson in the 1972 No. 1 hit “American Pie,” which refers to February 3, 1959 as “the day the music died.”
And now for something completely different #(3), Cross-Tabbed as Historical Vignette #8: On February 3, 1966, the Soviet Union accomplishes the first controlled landing on the moon, when the unmanned spacecraft Lunik 9 touches down on the Ocean of Storms. After its soft landing, the circular capsule opened like a flower, deploying its antennas, and began transmitting photographs and television images back to Earth. The 220-pound landing capsule was launched from Earth on January 31.
Lunik 9 was the third major lunar first for the Soviet space program: On September 14, 1959, Lunik 2 became the first manmade object to reach the moon when it impacted with the lunar surface, and on October 7 of the same year Lunik 3 flew around the moon and transmitted back to Earth the first images of the dark side of the moon. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the U.S. space program consistently trailed the Soviet program in space firsts–a pattern that shifted dramatically with the triumph of America’s Apollo lunar program in the late 1960s.
OK, so saving the worst of all for last of all (as Historical Vignette #9), on February 3, 2005, Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation as the nation’s first Hispanic attorney general despite protests over his record on torture. Alberto Gonzalez would have been a disgrace to his profession and to the United States of America and its Constitution as a county prosecutor handling misdemeanors and traffic tickets and clearly had no business being the Attorney General of the United States.
The Senate approved his nomination on a largely party-line vote of 60-36, reflecting a split between Republicans and Democrats over whether the administration’s counterterrorism policies had led to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. Shortly after the Senate vote, Vice President Dick Cheney swore in Gonzales as attorney general in a small ceremony in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. President Bush, who was traveling, called to congratulate him.
Gonzales was born in 1955 in San Antonio, Texas, the son of migrant workers and grew up in a small, crowded home in Houston without hot water or a telephone. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1973 after graduating high school. Following a few years of service, Gonzales attended the U.S. Air Force Academy.
After leaving the military, Gonzales attended Rice University and Harvard Law School before Bush, then governor of Texas, picked him in 1995 to serve as his general counsel in Austin and in 2001 brought him to Washington as his White House counsel. In this new role, Gonzales championed an extension of the USA Patriot Act.
After Gonzales became attorney general, he faced scrutiny regarding some of his actions, most notably the firing of several U.S. attorneys and his defense of Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program. The firings became the subject of a Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007. Concerns about the veracity of some of his statements as well as his general competency also began to surface.
Democrats began calling for his resignation and for more investigations, but President Bush defended his appointee, saying that Gonzales was “an honest, honorable man in whom I have confidence,” according to an Associated Press report from April.
A few months later, however, Gonzales decided to step down.
On August 27, he gave a brief statement announcing his resignation (effective September 17), stating that “It has been one of my greatest privileges to lead the Department of Justice.” He gave no explanation for his departure. In his resignation letter, Gonzales simply said that “. . . this is the right time for my family and I to begin a new chapter in our lives.”
Gonzales and his wife Rebecca have three sons.
TODAY IN HISTORY
By The Associated Press
Today is Tuesday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2011. There are 331 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty-two years ago, on Feb. 3, 1959, a single-engine plane crashed shortly after midnight near Clear Lake, Iowa, claiming the lives of rock-and-roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, as well as pilot Roger Peterson. That same day, an American Airlines Lockheed Electra from Chicago crashed into New York’s East River while approaching LaGuardia Airport, killing 65 of the 73 people on board.
On this date:
In 1809, 202 years ago, German composer Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg. Congress passed an act establishing the Illinois Territory effective March 1.
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens held a shipboard peace conference off the Virginia coast; the talks deadlocked over the issue of Southern autonomy.
In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.
In 1916, Canada’s original Parliament Buildings, in Ottawa, burned down.
In 1924, the 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, died in Washington, D.C., at age 67.
In 1930, the chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft, resigned for health reasons. (He died just over a month later.)
In 1943, during World War II, the U.S. transport ship Dorchester, which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a German torpedo. (Four Army chaplains gave their life belts to four other men, and went down with the ship.)
In 1966, the Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.
In 1969, Yasser Arafat was elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization’ s executive committee during a council meeting in Cairo, Egypt.
In 1989, Alfredo Stroessner, president of Paraguay for more than three decades, was overthrown in a military coup.
Twelve years ago: The Clinton administration told Congress a NATO-led peacekeeping force could be needed in Kosovo for three to five years and might include up to 4,000 American troops.
Seven years ago: John Kerry won Democratic presidential contests in five out of seven states. Work in the U.S. Senate slowed to a crawl, a day after ricin powder was found in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Three years ago: The New York Giants scored a late touchdown for a spectacular Super Bowl win, 17-14, that ended the New England Patriots’ run at perfection.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Shelley Berman is 85.
Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 71. Actress Bridget Hanley is 70. Actress Blythe Danner is 68. Singer Dennis Edwards is 68. Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese is 66. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 64. Singer Melanie is 64.
Actress Morgan Fairchild is 61. Actor Nathan Lane is 55. Rock musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) is 55. Actor Thomas Calabro is 52.
Actor-director Keith Gordon is 50. Actress Michele Greene is 49. Country singer Matraca Berg is 47. Actress Maura Tierney is 46.
Actor Warwick Davis is 41. Reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee is 35. Musician Grant Barry is 34.
Singer-songwriter Jessica Harp is 29. Rapper Sean Kingston is 21.
Thought for Today: “I can, therefore I am.” — Simone Weil, French philosopher (born this day in 1909, died 1943).