What Happened in February 1981

Historical Events

Music releaseMusic Premiere

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

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

Hall of fameHall of Fame

5th Joni Mitchell inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame

  • 6th "Brady Brides" debuts on NBC TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Musician & member of the Beatles Paul McCartney
Musician & member of the Beatles
Paul McCartney
Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison
  • 6th Suleiman Nyambui runs world record 5k indoor (13:20.4)

Film release premierFilm Release

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

19th 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
George Harrison
  • 20th Flight readiness firing of Columbia's main engines; 20 seconds
  • 20th James Sanford equals 50m indoor world record (5.61 sec)
  • 21st "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe, murderer of 13 women, captured
  • 21st Charles Rocket clearly says "fuck" on "Saturday Night Live"
  • 21st Japan launches Hinotori satellite to study solar flares (580/640 k)
  • 21st NASA launches Comstar D-4
  • 22nd Amy Alcott wins LPGA Bent Tree Ladies Golf Classic
  • 23rd People mag features drug ordeal of Mackenzie & Papa John Phillips
  • 23rd Spanish coup under lt-col Antonio Tejero Molina fails

Event of interestEvent of Interest

24th 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
  • 24th Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Scarsdale diet doctor Tarnower
  • 24th 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

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

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

Famous Birthdays

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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

17th Paris Hilton, American actress and heiress

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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

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

Famous Deaths

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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

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