What Happened in February 1981

Historical Events


Music releaseMusic Premiere

Feb 1 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies," premieres in NYC

Jazz Musician and Composer Duke Ellington
Jazz Musician and Composer
Duke Ellington
  • Feb 1 Dutch Antilles census is 231,932
  • Feb 1 French government accord sends 60 Mirage fighter jets to Iraq
  • Feb 1 NFL Pro Bowl: NFC beats AFC 21-7
  • Feb 1 Sandra Palmer wins LPGA Whirlpool Golf Championship of Deer Creek
  • Feb 1 Trevor Chappell bowls underarm to Brian McKechnie, WSC Final MCG
  • Feb 1 31st NBA All-Star Game: East beats West 123-120 at Richfield, Ohio
  • Feb 3 Australia beats NZ 3-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup
  • Feb 3 Gro Harlem Brundtland elected premier of Norway
  • Feb 5 "Piaf" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 165 performances
  • Feb 5 Largest Jell-O made (9,246 gallons of watermelon-flavor) in Brisbane
  • Feb 5 Milt jury in NC convicts Robert Garwood of collaborating with enemy

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Feb 5 Joni Mitchell inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame

  • Feb 6 "Brady Brides" debuts on NBC TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 6 Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr & George Harrison record a tribute to John Lennon

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney
Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
Singer-Songwriter
George Harrison
  • Feb 6 Suleiman Nyambui runs world record 5k indoor (13:20.4)

Film release premierFilm Release

Feb 6 Crime film "Fort Apache: The Bronx" starring Paul Newman released amid protests in the US

Actor & Entrepreneur Paul Newman
Actor & Entrepreneur
Paul Newman
  • Feb 8 "5 O'Clock Girl" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 12 performances
  • Feb 8 "Brigadoon" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 133 performances
  • Feb 8 Sally Little wins LPGA Elizabeth Arden Golf Classic
  • Feb 8 US female Figure Skating championship won by Elaine Zayak
  • Feb 8 US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton
  • Feb 10 33rd NHL All-Star Game: Campbell beat Wales 4-1 at LA
  • Feb 10 8 killed & 198 injured by fire at Las Vegas Hilton
  • Feb 10 Dennis Lillee becomes Australian Cricket's top wicket-taker with 249
  • Feb 11 Australia all out 83 v India at MCG chasing 143 to win
  • Feb 11 Polish premier Jozef Pinkowski replaced by Wojciech Jaruzelski
  • Feb 12 Admiral Bobby R Inman, USN, becomes deputy director of CIA
  • Feb 12 Arbitrator Goetz declares Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent
  • Feb 12 Cape Verde amends its constitution
  • Feb 12 Pete Squires sets record for 1575 steps of Empire State Bldg, 10m
  • Feb 13 Longest sentence published by NY Times-1286 words
  • Feb 13 A series of sewer explosions destroys more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Feb 13 31st Berlin International Film Festival: "Hurry, Hurry!" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 14 Stardust Disaster: A fire in a Dublin nightclub kills 48 people
  • Feb 15 Joanne Carner wins LPGA S&H Golf Classic
  • Feb 15 Rocket-powered ice sled attains 399 kph, Lake George, NY
  • Feb 15 23rd Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins (169.651 MPH)
  • Feb 17 Chrysler Corp reports largest corporate losses in US history

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 19 George Harrison is ordered to pay ABKCO Music $587,000 for "subconscious plagiarism" "My Sweet Lord" with "He's So Fine"

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
Singer-Songwriter
George Harrison
  • Feb 20 Flight readiness firing of Columbia's main engines; 20 seconds
  • Feb 20 James Sanford equals 50m indoor world record (5.61 sec)
  • Feb 21 "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe, murderer of 13 women, captured
  • Feb 21 Charles Rocket clearly says "fuck" on "Saturday Night Live"
  • Feb 21 Japan launches Hinotori satellite to study solar flares (580/640 k)
  • Feb 21 NASA launches Comstar D-4
  • Feb 22 Amy Alcott wins LPGA Bent Tree Ladies Golf Classic
  • Feb 23 People mag features drug ordeal of Mackenzie & Papa John Phillips
  • Feb 23 Spanish coup under lt-col Antonio Tejero Molina fails

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 24 Britain's Prince Charles announces engagement to Lady Diana Spencer

Princess of Wales Diana Spencer
Princess of Wales
Diana Spencer
His Royal Highness Prince Charles
His Royal Highness
Prince Charles
  • Feb 24 Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Scarsdale diet doctor Tarnower
  • Feb 24 An earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale hits Athens, killing 16 people and destroying buildings in several towns west of the city.

Music awardsMusic Awards

Feb 25 23rd Grammy Awards: Sailing, Christopher Cross, Billy Joel wins

Pianist, songwriter, and composer Billy Joel
Pianist, songwriter, and composer
Billy Joel
  • Feb 25 Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo elected premier of Spain
  • Feb 25 NHL most penalized game; Bruins vs Northstars, 84 penalties (392 mins)
  • Feb 25 NY Islanders give up their most goals (11) vs Calgary Flames
  • Feb 25 Rita Jenrette (wife of Abscam congressman) appears on Donahue
  • Feb 25 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 25 Exec Board of Baseball Players' Association votes unanimously to strike on May 29 if the issue of free-agent compensation remains unresolved
  • Feb 26 3 Anglican missionaries detained in Iran since Aug 1980 are released
  • Feb 26 84 penalties (406 mins) assessed for a brawl between NHL Minn & Bost
  • Feb 26 French Train Grande Vitesse averages 380 kph on trial run
  • Feb 27 Greatest passenger load on a commercial airliner-610 on Boeing 747
  • Feb 27 Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder record "Ebony & Ivory"
  • Feb 28 Calvin Murphy (Hou), sets NBA record with 78 consecutive free throws
  • Feb 28 China PR throws out Neth ambassador due to submarine sale to Taiwan

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Luis Lamá, Angolan footballer
  • Feb 1 Graeme Smith, South African cricketer
  • Feb 1 Rob Austin, British racing driver
  • Feb 2 Jason Kapono, American basketball player
  • Feb 3 Maurice Ross, Scottish footballer
  • Feb 3 Alisa Reyes, American actress and singer
  • Feb 4 Tom Mastny, Indonesian baseball player
  • Feb 4 Johan Van Summeren, Belgian cyclist
  • Feb 4 Ben Hendrickson, American baseball player
  • Feb 4 Jason Kapono, America professional basketball player
  • Feb 5 Loukas Vyntra, Greek football player
  • Feb 5 Nora Zehetner, American actress
  • Feb 6 Calum Best, American model
  • Feb 6 Jens Lekman, Swedish musician
  • Feb 6 Ty Warren, National Football League defensive lineman
  • Feb 8 Tommy Michaels, actor (Timmy Hutton-All My Children), born in Staten Island, New York
  • Feb 8 Myriam Montemayor Cruz, Mexican singer
  • Feb 9 Joël Camathias, Swiss racing driver
  • Feb 9 John Walker Lindh, American Taliban fighter
  • Feb 9 James Owen Sullivan [The Rev], Huntington Beach California, drummer and songwriter (Avenged Sevenfold) (d.2009)
  • Feb 10 Holly Willoughby, British TV presenter
  • Feb 10 Tholomew Plague, drummer (Avenged Sevenfold)
  • Feb 10 Natasha St-Pier, Canadian singer
  • Feb 10 Andrew Johnson, English footballer
  • Feb 11 Kelly Rowland, American singer
  • Feb 11 Scot Thompson, American soccer player
  • Feb 13 Luisão, Brazilian footballer
  • Feb 13 Liam Miller, Irish footballer
  • Feb 13 Luke Ridnour, American basketball player
  • Feb 15 Diego Martínez, Mexican footballer
  • Feb 15 Matt Hoopes, American musician (Relient K)
  • Feb 15 Olivia Longott, American singer
  • Feb 15 Jenna Morasca, American model
  • Feb 16 Jay Howard, British racing driver
  • Feb 16 Jerry Owens, American baseball player
  • Feb 16 Qyntel Woods, American basketball player
  • Feb 17 Donielle Thompson, Wheatridge CO, gymnast (World-bronze-95, Oly-96)
  • Feb 17 Lisa Skinner, Queensland Australia, gymnast (Olympics-96)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Feb 17 Paris Hilton, American actress and heiress

Actress & Heiress Paris Hilton
Actress & Heiress
Paris Hilton
  • Feb 18 Andrei Kirilenko, Russian basketball player
  • Feb 18 Ivan Sproule, Irish footballer
  • Feb 18 Kim Jae Won, South Korean actor
  • Feb 18 Alex Rios, American baseball player
  • Feb 19 Ronnie Arniell, Canadian professional wrestler
  • Feb 19 Beth Ditto, American singer (The Gossip)
  • Feb 19 Gil Reyes, American boxer
  • Feb 19 Nicky Shorey, English footballer
  • Feb 19 Vitas, Russian singer
  • Feb 19 Daniel Letterle, American Actor and Singer
  • Feb 20 Tony Hibbert, English footballer
  • Feb 20 Chris Thile, American musician
  • Feb 22 Fredson Camara, Brazilian footballer
  • Feb 23 Gareth Barry, English footballer
  • Feb 23 Charles Tillman, American football player
  • Feb 24 Lleyton Hewitt, Australian tennis player
  • Feb 24 Mohammad Sami, Pakistani cricketer
  • Feb 25 Park Ji-Sung, South Korean footballer
  • Feb 25 Misty Giles, American beauty queen and Survivor contestant
  • Feb 25 Jamie Lynn, American model
  • Feb 25 Shahid Kapoor, Indian actor
  • Feb 26 Kertus Davis, American NASCAR driver
  • Feb 26 Johnathan Wendel, American professional video gamer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Feb 27 Josh Groban, American singer (You Raise Me Up), born in Los Angeles, California

Singer Josh Groban
Singer
Josh Groban
  • Feb 27 Elodie Ouédraogo, Belgian athlete
  • Feb 28 Brian Bannister, American baseball player
  • Feb 28 Florent Serra, French tennis player

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Donald W Douglas, US aviation pionieer/builder, dies at 88
  • Feb 1 Ernst Pepping, composer, dies at 79
  • Feb 1 Nils Geirr Tveitt, composer, dies at 72
  • Feb 1 Wanda Hendrix, American actress (Sierra, Ride the Pink Horse), dies at 52
  • Feb 2 Donald W Douglas, US aircraft pioneer/builder, dies at 88
  • Feb 2 Jan Donner, Dutch chairman of High Council, dies at 89
  • Feb 2 Louise Lorraine, actress (Adventures of Tarzan), dies
  • Feb 5 Barend Barendse, Dutch sportscaster, dies at 73
  • Feb 5 Kuda Bux, Indian mystic (I'd Like to See), dies at 75
  • Feb 5 Ella Grasso, Governor of Connecticut (b. 1919)
  • Feb 6 Hugo Montenegro, American film music composer (b. 1925)
  • Feb 6 Frederika of Hanover, Queen Consort of Greece (b. 1917)
  • Feb 7 Frederika of Hanover, Queen of Greece (b. 1917)
  • Feb 9 Bill Haley, vocalist (Rock Around Clock), dies of heart attack at 55
  • Feb 12 Jean Dixon, actress (Joy of Livng, You Only Live Once), dies
  • Feb 15 Jack Crapp, cricketer (7 Tests for England 1948-49, 319 runs), dies
  • Feb 15 Mike Bloomfield, American musician (Electric Flag), dies of a drug overdose at 37
  • Feb 15 Thomas Beversdorf, composer, dies at 56
  • Feb 15 Karl Richter, German conductor (b. 1926)
  • Feb 18 John Knudsen Northrop, American aircraft manufacturer (b. 1895)
  • Feb 19 Frank Merrik, composer, dies at 94
  • Feb 26 FC Terborgh, [Reijnier Flaes], lawyer/writer (Turkish War), dies at 79

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Feb 26 Howard Hanson, American classical music composer and conductor (Nordic), dies at 84

Composer and Conductor Howard Hanson
Composer and Conductor
Howard Hanson
  • Feb 26 Munabi, assistant to Uganda president Obote, murdered
  • Feb 26 Robert Aickman, English writer and conservationist (b. 1914)
  • Feb 27 Jacob H. Gilbert, American politician (b. 1920)