On This Day February 2
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1882 – Novelist James Joyce, considered one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century (“Dubliners,” “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” “Ulysses,” “Finnegans Wake”) (d. 1941)
1887 – Groundhog Day is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if the groundhog sees his shadow, we’re in for six more weeks of winter. No shadow means an early spring.
2014 – Oscar-winning actor, director and producer Philip Seymour Hoffman, who starred in more than 50 movies, including “Capote, “Doubt,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and “The Hunger Games” series, dies of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 46.
1959 – Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper take their Winter Dance Party tour to the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. It would be the last gig the three rock and roll legends ever play, as a plane crash claims their lives the next day.
1979 – Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious dies of a heroin overdose in New York City at the age of 21. It happens just one day after his release from prison on bail following his arrest on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend.