What Happened in February 1972

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 1972 NFL Draft: Walt Patulski from University of Notre Dame first pick by Buffalo Bills
  • Feb 1 1st scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) introduced ($395)

Appointment of Interest

Feb 1 British Prime Minister Edward Heath announces the appointment of Lord Chief Justice Lord Widgery to undertake an inquiry into the 13 deaths on 'Bloody Sunday' (30 January 1972)

  • Feb 1 Kuala Lumpur becomes a city by a royal charter granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

Album Release

Feb 1 Reprise Records releases "Harvest", the 4th studio album by Neil Young; becomes best selling album in US, 1972

  • Feb 1 The Ministry of Defence also issues a detailed account of the British Army's version of events during 'Bloody Sunday'
  • Feb 1 Wings release single "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" in UK
  • Feb 2 Angry demonstrators burn the British Embassy in Dublin to the ground in protest at the shooting dead of 13 people on 'bloody sunday'
  • Feb 2 Lefty Gomez, Ross Youngs & William Harridge selected for Baseball Hall of Fame

Theater Premiere

Feb 2 Tom Stoppard's play "Jumpers" premieres in London

  • Feb 3 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 3 XI Winter Olympic Games opens in Sapporo, Japan (1st in Asia)
  • Feb 4 6th round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks ends in Vienna Austria

Olympic Gold

Feb 4 Dutch speed skater Ard Schenk wins the 5,000m at the Sapporo Winter Olympics; also wins the 1,500m and 10,000m gold medals

  • Feb 5 "Another Puff" by Jerry Reed peaks at #65
  • Feb 5 Bob Douglas is 1st African American elected to Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Feb 5 German speed skater Erhard Keller wins his 2nd consecutive Olympic 500m gold medal at the Sapporo Winter Games after taking out the event in Grenoble (1968)
  • Feb 5 Two IRA members are killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely
  • Feb 5 US airlines begin mandatory inspection of passengers & baggage

Golden Globes

Feb 6 29th Golden Globes: "The French Connection", Gene Hackman, & Jane Fonda win

  • Feb 6 A Civil Rights march held in Newry, County Down; very large turn-out with many people attending to protest at the killings in Derry the previous Sunday
  • Feb 6 Dutch speed skater Ard Schenk follows his win in the 5,000m with victory in the 1,500m, on his way to 3 gold medals at the Sapporo Winter Olympics; also wins 10,000m
  • Feb 7 Dutch Olympic 1,500m and 5,000m speed skating champion Ard Schenk wins his 3rd gold medal at the Sapporo Winter Games when he takes out the 10,000m
  • Feb 8 Josh Gibson & Buck Leonard selected to Hall of Fame
  • Feb 9 British government declares state of emergency after month-long coal miners' strike
  • Feb 9 William Craig, who had been Northern Ireland Minister for Home Affairs, launches 'Ulster Vanguard' as an umbrella movement for the right-ring of Unionism
  • Feb 10 BBC bans "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" by Wings
  • Feb 10 Ras al Khaima joins United Arab Emirates
  • Feb 10 Two British soldiers are killed in a land mine attack near Cullyhanna, County Armagh; an IRA member is shot dead during an exchange of gunfire with RUC officers
  • Feb 10 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Feb 13 "1776" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 1,217 performances

Film Release

Feb 13 "Cabaret", directed by Bob Fosse, based on John Kander and Fred Ebb's musical of the same name, starring Liza Minnelli and Michael York, released

  • Feb 13 XI Winter Olympic Games close at Sapporo, Japan
  • Feb 14 CBS "Late Movie" premieres
  • Feb 14 John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-host the syndicated "The Mike Douglas Show" for entire week, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Feb 14 Lord Widgery arrives in Coleraine, where the 'Bloody Sunday' (30 January 1972) Tribunal was to be based, and holds a preliminary hearing
  • Feb 14 Luna 20 (Russia) launched to orbit & soft landing on Moon
  • Feb 14 The Musical "Grease" 1st opens on Broadway at the Eden Theatre
  • Feb 15 Dimitrios Papadopoulos becomes metropolitan of Imbros and Tenedos
  • Feb 15 Newly-formed NHL franchise New York Islanders hire Bill Torrey as their first General Manager
  • Feb 15 President Velasco Ibarra of Ecuador deposed for 4th time
  • Feb 15 Sound recordings are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.
  • Feb 16 German mass murderers "Three of Breda" freed
  • Feb 16 Test Cricket debut of Lawrence Rowe WI v NZ Kingston, 214 & 100

NBA Record

Feb 16 Wilt Chamberlain of the Los Angeles Lakers becomes first player in NBA history to reach the career 30,000 point mark during a 110-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns

Music Concert

Feb 17 Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti receives record 17 curtain calls after his performance in "La fille du régiment" at New York's Metropolitan Opera

Volkswagen Beetle

Feb 17 Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle model exceed those of Ford Model T

Historic Event

Feb 17 US President Richard Nixon leaves Washington, D.C. for a groundbreaking trip to China

  • Feb 18 California Supreme Court abolishes death penalty
  • Feb 18 Giulio Andreotti sworn in as premier of Italy for the 1st time
  • Feb 18 John Lennon and Yoko Ono end a week of co-hosting the syndicated "The Mike Douglas Show", in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Music History

Feb 19 American singer Harry Nilsson's single "Without You" begins a 4 week run at the top of the charts. [The song was originally written and performed by the English band Badfinger in 1970, and would reach the top ten again with Mariah Carey's 1994 cover.]

  • Feb 19 Glenn Turner carries his bat for 223* v WI at Kingston
  • Feb 19 The Asama-Sanso hostage standoff begins in Japan

Daytona 500

Feb 20 14th Daytona 500: A .J. Foyt dominates the race, winning by almost 2 laps over his closest competitor Charlie Glotzbach

  • Feb 20 1st time Cleveland Cavaliers beat NY Knicks (111-109)
  • Feb 20 Ard Schenk wins world championship for speed skating
  • Feb 20 Sicco Mansholt becomes chairman of European Committee
  • Feb 21 Michael Weller's "Moonchildren" premieres in NYC

Nixon Meets Mao

Feb 21 Richard Nixon becomes the first US President to visit China, normalizing relations between the countries in a meeting with Chinese leader Mao Zedong in Beijing

  • Feb 21 The first session of the Widgery Tribunal, investigating the events of 'Bloody Sunday' (30 January 1972), is held in Coleraine, County Derry
  • Feb 22 Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani becomes Emir & Prime Minister of Qatar
  • Feb 22 The Official IRA bombs Aldershot military barracks, the headquarters of the British Parachute Regiment, killing seven people; thought to be in retaliation for Bloody Sunday.
  • Feb 22 US President Richard Nixon, meets with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in Beijing
  • Feb 25 Attempted assassination of Irish Minister of State for Home Affairs John Taylor who is shot a number of times (the Official Irish Republican Army later claimed responsibility)

Sports History

Feb 25 Lopsided MLB trade - St. Louis Cardinals trade pitcher Steve Carlton to Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Rick Wise; both players were involved in salary disputes with their teams

Music Single

Feb 25 Paul McCartney releases "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" single

  • Feb 26 Ireland-Wales Five Nations Rugby match scheduled for Lansdowne Road, Dublin is cancelled because of escalating political situation; Championship not completed for first time since World War II
  • Feb 26 Slag heap dam collapses above Buffalo Creek, West Virginia, kills 125

Historic Event

Feb 27 US President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai issue Shanghai Communique

Music History

Feb 28 George Harrison is involved in a minor car accident

  • Feb 28 The Asama-Sanso incident ends in Japan.
  • Feb 28 US President Richard Nixon ends historic week-long visit to China

Baseball Record

Feb 29 Future Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Hank Aaron becomes first player to earn $200,000 average annual salary; signs 3-year deal with Atlanta Braves after one of his best seasons – .327 average, 47 HRs and 118 RBIs

  • Feb 29 Jack Anderson discloses Dita Beard (ITT) memo indicating antitrust charges were dropped for $400,000 contribution to Republican Party

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Christian Ziege, German soccer left wing-back (72 caps; Bayern Munich) and manager (Germany U18, U19, FC Pinzgau), born in Berlin, Germany
  • Feb 1 Franklyn Rose, West Indian cricket all-rounder (19 Tests, 53 wickets; 27 ODIs; Jamaica, Northamptonshire CCC, Gauteng, Surrey CCC), born in Chalky Hill, Saint Ann, Jamaica
  • Feb 1 Geoff Sanderson, Canadian ice hockey left wing (NHL All Star 1994, 97; World C'ships gold 1994, 97; Hartford Whalers, Columbus Blue jackets), born in Hay River, Canada
  • Feb 1 Kami [Ukyō Kamimura], Japanese drummer (Malice Mizer), born in Ibaraki, Japan (d. 1999)
  • Feb 1 Yoshi DeHerrera, American TV personality, born in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Feb 2 Charlie Williams, NFL safety (Dallas Cowboys)
  • Feb 2 Dana International, Israeli singer
  • Feb 2 Ivan Droppa, Liptovsky Mikulas CZE, NHL defenseman (Chicago)
  • Feb 2 Lance Brown, NFL defensive back (Arizona Cardinals)
  • Feb 2 Tego Calderón, nominated reggaeton singer/rapper.
  • Feb 2 Zoë Keating, Canadian-American cellist (Rasputina) and composer (Into The Trees), born in Guelph, Ontario
  • Feb 3 Jermaine Smith, NFL defensive tackle (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31)
  • Feb 3 Keith Elias, NFL running back (NY Giants)
  • Feb 3 Mart Poom, Estonian football player
  • Feb 3 Tyrone Poole, NFL cornerback (Carolina Panthers)
  • Feb 4 Giovanni Silva De Oliveira, Brazilian footballer
  • Feb 4 Kelvin Anderson, CFL running back (Calgary Stampeders)
  • Feb 5 Christina Bailey, American ice hockey defenseman (Olympics gold 1998, silver 2002; World C'ship silver 1994, 97, 99, 2000, 01), born in Marietta, New York
  • Feb 5 Koriki Chōshū, Japanese comedian, born in Tokyo, Japan
  • Feb 5 Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, born in Hobart, Australia
  • Feb 6 David Binn, American NFL safety (San Diego Chargers), born in San Mateo, California
  • Feb 6 Mark Labbrook, Australian 200m/400m runner (Olympics 1996), born in Melbourne, Australia
  • Feb 6 Shawn Respert, American NBA guard (Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Feb 7 Aftab Habib, cricketer (Leicestershire right handed batsman 1996)
  • Feb 7 Alex Bassi, American race car driver
  • Feb 7 Essence Atkins, American actress
  • Feb 7 John Slaney, St John's, NHL defenseman (LA Kings)
  • Feb 7 Robyn Lively, American actress
  • Feb 8 Big Show [Paul Wright II], American professional wrestler, born in Aiken, South Carolina
  • Feb 8 Marcus Pollard, American NFL tight end (Indianapolis Colts), born in Lanett, Alabama
  • Feb 8 Ted Yoder, American Yoderizing musician (hammered dulcimer), born in Goshen, Indiana
  • Feb 9 Crispin Freeman, American cartoon voice actor, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Feb 9 Darren Ferguson, Scottish footballer
  • Feb 9 Jason George, - American actor (Sunset Beach, 1997-99 - "Michael Bourne"; Grey's Anatomy/Station 19 - "Dr. Ben Warren"), born in Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Feb 9 Norbert Rosza, Hungarian swimmer (100m freestyle record)
  • Feb 10 Michael Kasprowicz, Australian cricketer (Australian Test fast bowler v WI 1996), born in Brisbane, Australia
  • Feb 10 Sara Simmons, US rower (Olympics 1996), born in Belmont, Massachusetts
  • Feb 11 Dennis Iliohan, Dutch soccer player (FC Lisse, ADO Den Haag), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Feb 11 Kelly Slater, American surfer (11 x WSL champion; Triple Crown 1995, 98, 2019, born in Cocoa Beach, Florida
  • Feb 11 Steve McManaman, English footballer, born in Kirkdale, Liverpool
  • Feb 12 Andrew Cassesse, American actor (Revenge of Nerds II, TV 101), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 12 Dulip Samaraweera, Sri Lankan cricketer (Sri Lankan Test opening batsman 1993-), born in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Feb 12 Latrice Royale [Timothy Wilcots], American drag queen and TV personality (RuPaul's Drag Race), born in Compton, California
  • Feb 13 Charlie Garner, NFL running back (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Falls Church, Virginia
  • Feb 13 Juha Ylonen, NHL forward (Olympic bronze 1998, Phoenix), born in Helsinki, Finland
  • Feb 14 Big Daddy V, [Nelson Frazier Jr.] American professional wrestler, born in Goldsboro, North Carolina (d. 2014)
  • Feb 14 Bruno Heppell, Canadian CFL full back (Montreal Alouettes), born in La Prairie, Canada
  • Feb 14 Drew Bledsoe, American NFL quarterback (NE Patriots), born in Ellensburg, Washington
  • Feb 14 Erika Rachael Schwarz, Miss America (Louisiana-2nd-1997), born in Folsom, Louisiana
  • Feb 14 Hiroshi, Japanese comedian, born in Omuota, Japan
  • Feb 14 Najwa Nimri, Spanish actress, born in Pamplona, Spain

Rob Thomas

Feb 14 Rob Thomas, American singer (Matchbox Twenty), born in Landstuhl, West Germany

Jaromír Jágr

Feb 15 Jaromír Jágr, Czech NHL, CZE. CLE right wing, 1990-present, 2X Stanley Cup, 5X NHL Scoring Champion, 13X All-Star (Pittsburgh Penguins, and 8 other teams; Czech Olympic gold, 1998), and team owner (HC Kladno of the Czech Extraliga (ELH)born in Kladno, Czech Republic

  • Feb 15 Lance Scott, NFL offensive linesman (Arizona Cardinals), born in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Feb 16 Jerome Bettis, American NFL running back (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Detroit, Michigan

Billie Joe Armstrong

Feb 17 Billie Joe Armstrong, American singer and musician (Green Day - "Basket Case"; "American Idiot"), born in Oakland, California

  • Feb 17 Lloy Ball, American volleyball setter (Olympics 1996), born in Ft Wayne, Indiana
  • Feb 17 Richard MacQuire, Australian canoeist (Olympics 1996), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Feb 17 Stephen Robinson, American rower (Olympics 1996), born in Arlington, Virginia
  • Feb 17 Taylor Hawkins, American drummer (Foo Fighters - "Everlong"; "My Hero"), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2022)
  • Feb 17 Tony Lawson, Australian diver (Olympics 1996), born in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • Feb 17 Valeria Mazza, Argentinian model and businesswoman, born in Rosario, Argentina
  • Feb 17 Vladimir Vujtek, Czech NHL forward (Team Czech Olympic gold 1998, Tampa Bay), born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia)
  • Feb 17 William Floyd, American NFL full back, 1994-2000, Superbowl champ (San Francisco 49ers; Carolina Panthers), and broadcaster, born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Feb 17 Yuki Isoya, Japanese pop-rock singer and lyricist (Judy and Mary -"Sobakasu"; NiNa), born in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan
  • Feb 18 Lubomir Rybovic, Slovakian hockey forward (Team Slovakia), born in Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia
  • Feb 19 Francine, American professional wrestler, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Feb 19 Lisa Faulkner, English actress (Holby City) and celebrity chef, born in London, England
  • Feb 20 k-os [Kevin Brereton], Canadian rapper, songwriter, and musician, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Feb 21 Christian Howes, American jazz violinist (Out Of The Blue), born in Rocky River, Ohio
  • Feb 21 Seo Taiji [Jeong Hyeon-Cheol], Korean rock-pop and hip-hop musician, singer, and songwriter, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • Feb 22 Ben Sasse, American politician (Senator-R-Nebraska 2015-), born in Plainview, Nebraska

Michael Chang

Feb 22 Michael Chang, American tennis player, coach (French Open 1989), born in Hoboken, New Jersey

  • Feb 23 Greg Hill, NFL running back (KC Chiefs), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Feb 23 Jamie Watson, NBA forward (Utah Jazz), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Feb 23 Ryan Grigson, NFL guard/tackle (Detroit Lions), born in Highland, Indiana
  • Feb 23 Steve Holy, American country singer, born in Dallas, Texas
  • Feb 24 Larry Amar, Camarillo California, field hockey midfielder/captain (Olympics 1996)
  • Feb 24 Manon Rheaume, Lac Beauport Quebec, 1st female NHLer (Tampa Bay)
  • Feb 24 Patricia Regan Leines, American model and 3rd in Miss America 1997, born in Medford, Oregon
  • Feb 24 Ron Davis, NFL cornerback (Atlanta Falcons, GB Packers-Super Bowl 31)
  • Feb 25 Chris Harrison, guard (Detroit Lions)
  • Feb 25 Erwin van de Looi, soccer player (Vitesse)
  • Feb 25 Sean Harris, NFL linebacker (Chicago Bears)
  • Feb 26 Clint McDaniel, American NBA guard (Sacramento Kings), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Feb 26 Scott Turner, American politician & NFL cornerback (Washington Redskins), born in Richardson, Texas
  • Feb 28 Jared Bednar, Canadian ice hockey coach (Stanley Cup 2022 Colorado Avalanche), born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan
  • Feb 28 Melisa Moses, diver (Olympic 4th 1996), born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Feb 28 Rory Cochrane, American actor
  • Feb 28 Scott Gragg, NFL tackle (NY Giants)
  • Feb 29 Antonio Sabato Jr, actor (Jagger Cates-General Hospital)
  • Feb 29 Dave Williams, American singer (Drowning Pool) (d. 2002)

Pedro Sánchez

Feb 29 Pedro Sánchez, Spanish economist and politician, Prime Minister of Spain (2018-), born in Madrid, Spain


Famous Weddings

Tom Stoppard

Feb 11 Playwright Tom Stoppard (34) weds doctor and author Miriam Moore-Robinson (34)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 2 Jessie Royce Landis [Medbury], American actress (North by Northwest), dies at 67
  • Feb 2 Natalie Clifford Barney, American writer (b. 1876)
  • Feb 3 John Litel, American actor (Jezebel, Virginia City, My Hero), dies at 79
  • Feb 5 Marianne Moore, American poetess (Pulitzer 1951), dies at 84
  • Feb 6 Julian H Steward, US anthropologist (South American), dies at 70
  • Feb 8 Márkos Vamvakaris, Greek musician and rebetiko songwriter, dies at 66
  • Feb 11 Jan Wils, architect (Olympian Stadium, Amsterdam), dies at 80
  • Feb 14 Lambertus "Bertus" van Lyre, composer/conductor (Dike), dies at 65
  • Feb 15 Edgar Snow, American author and journalist (Battle for Asia), dies at 66
  • Feb 15 Jef [Josephus CF] Last, Dutch poet/Indonesian politician, dies at 73
  • Feb 17 Gavriil Popov, Soviet Russian composer, dies at 67
  • Feb 19 (Edward) Lee Morgan, American hard-bop jazz trumpeter ("The Sidewinder"), dies after being shot by his wife between sets during a gig at 33 [1]
  • Feb 19 John Grierson, Scottish documentary filmmaker (Drifters), dies at 73
  • Feb 19 Tedd Pierce, American cartoon screenwriter and voice actor (Warner Brothers), dies at 65
  • Feb 20 Herbert Menges, English composer, dies at 69
  • Feb 20 Maria Goeppert-Mayer, American-German atomic physicist (Nobel 1963), dies at 65
  • Feb 20 Walter Winchell, American journalist, gossip columnist, radio host, and narrator (the Untouchables), dies at 74
  • Feb 21 Bronislava Nijinska, Polish-Russian ballet dancer (1910-34) and choreographer (1914-70), dies of a heart attack at 81
  • Feb 21 Eugène Tisserant, French Catholic candinal (b. 1884)
  • Feb 23 Michael Taube, Polish composer, dies at 81
  • Feb 26 Tom Manders, Dutch cabaret artist (Dorus), dies at 50
  • Feb 27 Pat Brady [Robert Ellsworth O'Brady], American actor (The Roy Rogers Show, Man from Music Mountain), dies at 57
  • Feb 28 Victor Barna, table tennis champ, dies