|◄ FEBRUARY ►|
|◄ 1959 ►|
|President:||Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)|
|Vice-President:||Richard M. Nixon (R)|
|House:||281 (D)||153 (R)||1 (Other)||1 (Vacancy)|
|Southern states:||100 (D)||6 (R)|
|Senate:||64 (D)||34 (R)|
|Southern states:||22 (D)|
|GDP growth:||9.2 %||(Annual)|
|Fed discount rate:||2½ %|
Feb 1: Male voters in Switzerland vote overwhelmingly, 67% to 33%, against giving women the right to vote. The French-speaking cantons of Vaud and Neuchâtel approved women voting in local elections. Swiss women won’t get full suffrage until 1971.
Feb 2: Schools in Norfolk and Arlington County, Virginia, integrate peacefully in accordance with a federal court order. In Arlington, white students volunteer to escort black students to classes in previously all-white schools. In Norfolk, schools re-open after having been closed for four months in a failed effort to avoid integration.
Feb 3: On the Day the Music died, a chartered airplane carrying musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (a.k.. The Big Bopper), and piloted by 21-year-old Roger Peterson, crashes into a cornfield shortly after take-off in foggy conditions near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing all four on board. Holly had chartered the plane for his band in order to avoid a long cold bus ride to their next gig in Moorhead, Minnesota. Holly’s bass player, Waylon Jennings, avoids Holly’s fate because he gave up his seat to Richardson, who was suffering from the flu. Valens flipped a coin with Holly’s guitarist Tommy Allsup to win Allsup’s seat on the plane.