On This Day

What Happened in February 1949

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 200" (5.08-m) Hale telescope 1st used [See June 3, 1948]
  • Feb 1 RCA releases 1st single record ever (45 rpm)

Sports History

Feb 2 Golfing champ Ben Hogan seriously injured in an auto accident

Assassination Attempt

Feb 4 Failed assassination attempt on Shah of Persia Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

  • Feb 5 Huaso sets official world equestrian high-jump record, 2.47 m, Chic

Sports History

Feb 7 Joe DiMaggio becomes 1st $100,000 a year baseball player for the New York Yankees

  • Feb 8 Hungarian cardinal József Mindszenty sentenced to life in prison

Theater Premiere

Feb 10 Arthur Miller's dramatic play "Death of a Salesman" opens at Morosco Theater, NYC

  • Feb 11 Willie Pep recaptures world featherweight boxing title

Music Single

Feb 11 "Lovesick Blues" single released by Hank Williams (Cashbox "Best Hillbilly Record of the Year", Billboard Song of the Year 1949)

  • Feb 12 "Annie Get Your Gun" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 1147 performances

Radio History

Feb 12 Panic in Quito, Ecuador, after "War of the Worlds" played on radio

  • Feb 12 Team Canada beats Denmark 47-0 in hockey
  • Feb 12 Unidentified aircraft bomb Jerusalem
  • Feb 14 1st session of Knesset (Jerusalem Israel)
  • Feb 14 Dutch Drees government presents plan for the building of 30,000 houses

Music History

Feb 15 Dmitri Shostakovich' "Song of the Woods" premieres in Leningrad

  • Feb 17 Chaim Weitzman elected 1st president of Israel
  • Feb 17 Ice Pairs Championship at Paris won by Andrea Kekesy and Ede Kiraly of Hungary
  • Feb 17 Ladies' Figure Skating Champions in Paris won by Alena Vrzanova of CZE
  • Feb 17 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Paris won by Richard Button of the USA
  • Feb 19 "Inside USA" closes at Century Theater, NYC, after 339 performances

Historic Event

Feb 19 1st Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Ezra Pound

  • Feb 19 Mass arrests of communists in India
  • Feb 20 1st International Pancake Race held (Liberal Ks)
  • Feb 21 US TV soap opera "A Woman to Remember" is 1st broadcast on DuMont Television Network
  • Feb 24 Israel & Egypt sign an armistice agreement
  • Feb 24 V-2/WAC-Corporal rocket 1st object to reach 5x the speed of sound at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico
  • Feb 25 WAC Corporal rocket achieves height of 400k (record)
  • Feb 26 USAF plane began 1st nonstop around-the-world flight

Historic Event

Feb 27 Chaim Weizmann becomes 1st President of Israel


Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Jim Thorpe, American golfer (The Tradition 2002, 3 PGA Tour titles), born in Roxboro, North Carolina
  • Feb 2 Jetty Weels, Surinamese/Dutch vocalist (Mai Tai)
  • Feb 2 Ross Valory, rock bassist (Journey - "Don't Stop Believin'"; "Open Arms"), born in San Francisco, California
  • Feb 2 Sherry Mathis, actress (Search for Tomorrow)
  • Feb 2 Tom Tripplehorn, American jazz and rock session and touring guitarist (Gary Lewis & Playboys - "This Diamond Ring"), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (d. 2019)
  • Feb 2 Brent Spiner, American actor (Data-Star Trek the Next Generation), born in Houston, Texas
  • Feb 2 Francisco Maturana, Colombian football manager
  • Feb 3 Oscar Benton, Dutch blues vocalist/guitarist (Ze is Zoals Jij)
  • Feb 3 Arthur Kane, American musician (New York Dolls), born in NYC, New York (d. 2004)
  • Feb 3 Hennie Kuiper, Dutch cyclist
  • Feb 4 Roy Yeager, American musician (Atlanta Rhythm Section), born in Greenwood, Mississippi
  • Feb 4 Michael Beck, actor (Hans Helms-Holocaust), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Feb 4 Ludger Rémy, German harpsichordist, conductor (Les Amis de Philippe), and musicologist, born in Kalkar, Germany (d. 2017)
  • Feb 5 David Sullivan, Welsh businessman & pornographer (Sunday Sport), born in Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Feb 5 Maidarjabyn Ganzorig, Mongolian scientist & cosmonaut (Soyuz 39 backup), born in Tsetserleg, Mongolia
  • Feb 6 Manuel Orantes, Spanish tennis player (US Open-1975), born in Granada, Spain
  • Feb 6 Richie Zisk, American retired baseball player & pro scout (Chicago Cubs), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Feb 6 Mike Batt, British director, actor, composer, and former Deputy Chairman (British Phonographic Industry), born in Southampton, England
  • Feb 7 Alan Lancaster, British rock bassist (Status Quo, 1967-85 - "Pictures of Matchstick Men"), born in London, England (d. 2021)
  • Feb 7 Sunil Wettimuny, cricket (Sri Lanka open batsman 1975-79 World Cups)
  • Feb 7 Paulo César Carpegiani, Brazilian footballer and coach
  • Feb 7 Joe English, American drummer (Wings; Sea Level), born in Rochester, New York
  • Feb 8 Brooke Adams, American actress (Cynthia-OK Crackerby, Body Snatchers), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 8 Julia Barr, American actress (Brooke-All My Children), born in Ft Wayne, Indiana
  • Feb 8 Scott Allen, American skater (Olympic bronze 1964)
  • Feb 9 Bernard Gallacher, British golfer (10 European Tour titles), born in Bathgate, Scotland
  • Feb 9 Janet Issaca Ashford, writer
  • Feb 9 Judith Light, (Angela-Who's the Boss, 1 Life to Live), born in Trenton, New Jersey
  • Feb 10 Nigel Olsson, British rock touring and session drummer and backing vocalist (Elton John's Band), born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England
  • Feb 10 Joe Lavender, NFL cornerback, born in Rayville, Louisiana
  • Feb 10 Maxime Le Forestier, French pop and folk singer-songwriter, born in Paris, France
  • Feb 10 Harold Sylvester, American actor
  • Feb 12 Gundappa Viswanath, cricketer (prolific Indian batsman of 70s)
  • Feb 12 Len Randle, baseball player (NY Mets)
  • Feb 12 Stanley Knight, American southern rock guitarist (Black Oak Arkansas - High on the Hog), born in Little Rock, Arkansas (d. 2013)
  • Feb 13 Judy Dyble, British folk singer-songwriter (Fairport Convention), born in London (d. 2020)
  • Feb 14 Jimmy Randell, rocker
  • Feb 14 Richard E Neal, American politician (Rep-D-Massachusetts)
  • Feb 15 Christopher Rouse, American Grammy Award-winning composer (Trombone Concerto - Pulitzer Prize for Music, 1993), and educator (Eastman School, 1981-2002; Juilliard, 1997-2017), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2019)
  • Feb 15 George Howard, 13th Earl of Carlisle, English hereditary peer
  • Feb 15 Jess Walton, Mich, actress (Jill Foster Abbott-Young & Restless)
  • Feb 15 Ken Anderson, NFL quarterback (Cincinnati Bengals)
  • Feb 15 Hans Graf, Austrian conductor, and educator, born in Marchtrenk, Austria
  • Feb 15 Billy Nicholls, British singer ("Would You Believe?") and songwriter ("I Can't Stop Loving You (Though I Try)", born in White City, London, England
  • Feb 16 Dorus Vrede, Surinam poet (Otobanda; the Other Bank)
  • Feb 17 Fred Frith, English guitarist, violinist and bassist (Skeleton Crew), born in Heathfield, England
  • Feb 18 Gary Ridgway, American serial killer, born in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Feb 19 Eddie Hardin, English rock pianist and singer (Spencer Davis Group), born in London, England
  • Feb 19 Danielle Bunton Berry [Dan Bunten], American software developer (M.U.L.E), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1998)
  • Feb 19 William Messner-Loebs, American comics writer and artist (Flash, Wonder Woman), born in Ferndale, Michigan
  • Feb 20 Eddie Hemmings, English cricket spin bowler (16 Tests, 43 wickets, best 6/58; 33 ODIs; Nottinghamshire CCC), born in Leamington, England
  • Feb 20 Ivana Trump, Czech-American model and ex-wife of Donald Trump (1st Wives Club), born in Gottwaldov, Moravia, Czechoslovak Republic
  • Feb 21 Jerry Harrison, American rock keyboardist and guitarist (Talking Heads; solo "Rev It Up"), and record producer (Kenny Wayne Shepherd; Bo-Deans; The String Cheese Incident), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Feb 21 Ronnie Hellström, Swedish soccer goalkeeper (77 caps; Hammarby IF, 1. FC Kaiserslautern; Sweden Player of the Year 1971, 78), born in Malmö, Sweden (d. 2022)

Niki Lauda

Feb 22 Niki Lauda, Austrian auto racer (F1 world champ 1975, 77, 84), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2019)

  • Feb 22 Olga Morozova, Russian tennis player, born in Moscow, Soviet Union
  • Feb 23 Anna-Maria Muller, German DR, Luge (Olympic gold 1972)
  • Feb 23 Larry Demps, American soul singer (Dramatics - "In the Rain"; "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get"), born in Detroit, Michigan

Marc Garneau

Feb 23 Marc Garneau, Canadian astronaut (STS 13, 77), born in Quebec City, Québec

  • Feb 23 Maureen Hicks (née Cutler), British politician (Member of Parliament, Conservative, 1987-92), born in England
  • Feb 23 Terry "Tex" Comer, English bassist and guitarist (ACE), born in Burnley, England
  • Feb 23 Barbara York, Canadian composer (A Butterfly in Time), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 2020) 
  • Feb 24 John Lever, cricketer (England lefty quick in 21 Tests 1976-81)
  • Feb 24 Manuel De Sica, Italian composer, chiefly of film scores, born in Rome (d. 2014)

Ric Flair

Feb 25 Ric Flair, American professional wrestler (NWA/WWF/WCW/AWA), born in Memphis, Tennessee

  • Feb 25 Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Spanish-American rock guitarist (Crazy Horse - Neil Young, 1988-2014), born in Welch, West Virginia
  • Feb 26 Emma Kirkby, British classical early music soprano, born in Camberley, Surrey, England
  • Feb 26 Elizabeth George, American novelist (Inspector Thomas Lynley mystery novels), born in Warren, Ohio
  • Feb 28 Arthur "T-Boy" Ross, American songwriter ("I Want You"), brother of Diana, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1996)

Famous Weddings

Henry Kissinger

Feb 6 Diplomat Henry Kissinger (25) weds Ann Fleisher (23) in Washington Heights, Manhattan

Mário Soares

Feb 22 Future Portuguese President Mário Soares (24) weds actress Maria de Jesus Barroso (24) at the 3rd Conservatory of the Civil Register of Lisbon


Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Herbert Stothart, American composer, dies at 63
  • Feb 5 Juozas Tallat-Kelpsa, composer, dies at 50
  • Feb 8 Franco Leoni, Italian composer, dies at 81
  • Feb 8 Leonid Polovinkin, Russian conductor, and composer (Night Dreams), dies at 54
  • Feb 9 Poul Schierbeck, Danish organist and composer, dies at 60
  • Feb 12 Hassan al Banna, Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, dies at 42
  • Feb 14 Yusuf Salman Yusuf, Iraqi-Assyrian communist leader (b. 1901)
  • Feb 18 Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, 1st Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic and President of Spain (1931-36), dies at 71
  • Feb 19 Auguste Serieyx, French pedagogue and composer, dies at 83
  • Feb 21 Tan Malaka, Indonesian philosopher and founder (Indonesian Communist), executed at 49
  • Feb 21 Ernest Walker, British composer, dies at 78
  • Feb 22 Russell W. Porter, American artist and explorer (Alaska), dies at 77
  • Feb 28 Stanley Marchant, English composer, dies at 65