On This Day

What Happened in February 1980

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 Sears Radio Theater moves from CBS to Mutual Broadcasting System
  • Feb 1 Soap opera "Love of Life" ends a 28 year run
  • Feb 1 "Call Me" single released by Blondie (Billboard Song of the Year 1980)
  • Feb 2 FBI releases details of Abscam, a sting operation that targeted 31 elected & public officials for bribes for political favors
  • Feb 2 Mexican boxer Salvador Sánchez dethrones Danny “Little Red” Lopez as WBC world featherweight champion with a 13th-round TKO in Phoenix, AZ; Lopez champion since November 1976, 8th defence

Boxing Title Fight

Feb 3 Larry Holmes TKOs Lorenzo Holmes in 6 for heavyweight boxing title

  • Feb 3 Mohammed Ali tours Africa as President Carter's envoy

NBA All-Star Game

Feb 3 30th NBA All-Star Game, Capital Centre, Landover, Md: East beats West, 144-136 (OT); MVP: George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs, SF

  • Feb 4 Bani Sadr sworn in as premier of Iran
  • Feb 4 Studio 54 holds its grand closing party on its last night in business
  • Feb 5 32nd NHL All-Star Game, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit: Wales Conference beats Campbell Conference, 6-3; MVP: Reggie Leach, Philadelphia Flyers, RW
  • Feb 5 Egyptian parliament votes to end boycott of Israel

Murder of Interest

Feb 6 John Wayne Gacy goes on trial for the murder of 33 young men in Cook County, Illinois

Music Concert

Feb 7 Pink Floyd premiere their live version of "The Wall" at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California

Sports History

Feb 9 Rick Barry, Houston, is 1st in NBA to score 8 3-pointers in a game

  • Feb 10 Ianford Wilsons "Talley's Folly" premieres in NYC
  • Feb 12 "Canterbury Tales" opens at Rialto Theater NYC for 16 performances
  • Feb 12 NY Islanders 2nd scoreless tie, vs Winnipeg Jets

Sports History

Feb 12 Richard Hadlee becomes NZ's top wicket-taker with 117

  • Feb 13 Apollo Computer Inc incorporated
  • Feb 13 NZ beats West Indies by one wicket in cricket at Dunedin
  • Feb 13 XIII Winter Olympic Games open in Lake Placid, New York

Music History

Feb 14 "West Side Story" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 341 performances

  • Feb 14 US launches Solar Maximum Mission Observatory to study solar flares
  • Feb 14 Soviet cross-country skier Nikolay Zimyatov wins first of 3 gold medals at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics when he takes out 30k event; also wins relay and 50k gold

Olympic Gold

Feb 15 American speed skater Eric Heiden wins 500m in Olympic record 38.03s; first of record 5 gold medal sweep of events at Lake Placid, New York

Sports History

Feb 15 NHL Oilers Wayne Gretzky assists on NHL-record-tying 7 goals, in 8-2 victory over Washington at Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton

  • Feb 15 East German speed skater Karin Enke wins first of 3 career Olympic gold medals with victory in the 500m at Lake Placid Winter; wins 1,000m & 1,500m in Sarajevo (1984)
  • Feb 15 Soviet cross-country skier Raisa Smetanina claims her 3rd of 4 career Olympic gold medals in 5k event at Lake Placid; also wins 10k and relay gold (Innsbruck 1976) and relay (Albertville 1992)
  • Feb 16 Continuous traffic jam extends 176 km north of Lyons, France
  • Feb 16 American speed skater Eric Heiden wins 5,000m in Olympic record 7:02.29; second of record 5 gold medal sweep of events at Lake Placid
  • Feb 17 22nd Daytona 500: Buddy Baker wins ahead of Bobby Allison and Neil Bonnett
  • Feb 17 Sapporo downhill silver medallist Annemarie Moser-Pröll of Austria goes one better with gold at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics
  • Feb 17 Swedish cross-country skier Thomas Wassberg earns first of 4 career Olympic gold medals in the 15k at Lake Placid; wins by 0.01s from Finland's Juha Mieto; closest margin of victory ever in Olympic cross-country skiing
  • Feb 17 Derrynaflan Hoard of five priceless 8th/9th century liturgical vessels discovered with metal detectors on Derrynaflan Island, County Tipperary - one of Ireland's most exciting archaeological finds [1]
  • Feb 18 Billy Wyman said he will leave Rolling Stones in 1983 (Sure!)
  • Feb 18 Pierre Elliott Trudeau's Liberal Party wins Canadian elections
  • Feb 18 30th Berlin International Film Festival: "Heartland" and "Palermo or Wolfsburg" win the Golden Bear (tie)
  • Feb 18 Soviet figure skater Irina Rodnina wins her 3rd consecutive Olympic pairs title at Lake Placid; gold medals with husband Alexander Zaitsev (1976, 80) and Alexei Ulanov (1972)
  • Feb 18 East German cross country skier Barbara Petzold wins first of 2 gold medals at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in women's 10k; also takes gold as part of 4 x 5k relay team
  • Feb 19 Botham a century & 13 wickets in Jubilee Test Cricket at Bombay
  • Feb 19 American speed skater Eric Heiden wins 1,000m in Olympic record 1:15.18; third of record 5 gold medal sweep of events at Lake Placid
  • Feb 19 Washington beats Montreal, 3-1 to end the Canadiens' 34 game unbeaten streak against Capitals; Caps 0-32-2 against Montreal since entering NHL in 1974
  • Feb 19 Swedish alpine skier Ingemar Stenmark wins the giant slalom from Andreas Wenzel of Liechtenstein at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics; also takes slalom gold
  • Feb 19 Ulrich Wehling of East Germany wins his third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the Nordic combined event at Lake Placid; winner Sapporo (1972), Innsbruck (1976)
  • Feb 20 Soviet cross-country skier Nikolay Zimyatov wins his 2nd gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics as part of the 4 x 10k relay; also wins 30k and 50k gold
  • Feb 20 Soviet 2-time world champion team Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov win the Olympic ice dance gold medal at Lake Placid by just 0.96 from Krisztina Regőczy & András Sallay of Hungary
  • Feb 21 American speed skater Eric Heiden wins 1,500m in Olympic record 1:55.44; 4th of record 5 gold medal sweep of events at Lake Placid
  • Feb 21 Liechtenstein becomes the smallest country to produce an Olympic champion as Hanni Wenzel wins the women's giant slalom at the Lake Placid Winter Games
  • Feb 21 East German cross country skier Barbara Petzold wins her second gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics as part of the women's 4 x 5k relay team; also wins 10k gold
  • Feb 21 British figure skater Robin Cousins wins men's singles gold medal at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics; goes on to pro career, TV analysis and stage performance & production
  • Feb 22 Afghanistan declares martial law

Olympic Gold

Feb 22 "Miracle on Ice": US ice hockey team beats heavily favoured Soviet Union, 4-3 at Lake Placid in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history; Americans go on to win gold medal

  • Feb 22 Swedish World Cup and World champion Ingemar Stenmark wins his 2nd gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, taking out the slalom; follows-on from giant slalom success
  • Feb 22 Aleksandr Tikhonov of the Soviet Union earns his 4th straight gold medal as part of the 4 x 7.5k biathlon relay team at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics
  • Feb 22 Soviet biathlete Anatoly Alyabyev wins his 2nd gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics as part of the 4 x 7.5k relay team; also wins individual gold
  • Feb 23 American speed skater Eric Heiden wins Olympic 10,000m in world record 14:28.13; sweeps all 5 speed skating events at Lake Placid; only athlete to win 5 gold medals at one Winter Games
  • Feb 23 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Feb 23 Oil tanker explosion off Pilos, Greece, causes 37-mil-gallon spillage
  • Feb 23 Olympic giant slalom champion Hanni Wenzel of Liechtenstein wins the women's slalom, her second gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Games
  • Feb 23 Soviet cross-country skier Nikolay Zimyatov wins his 3rd gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics when he takes out the 50k event; also wins 30k and relay gold
  • Feb 24 "Canterbury Tales" closes at Rialto Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • Feb 24 Rangers score 5 power-play goals against Islanders
  • Feb 24 XIII Winter Olympic Games close in Lake Placid, New York

Olympic Gold

Feb 24 US ice hockey team clinches gold medal with 4-2 win over Finland at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics; comes after 4-3 "Miracle on Ice" victory against hot favorite Soviet Union

  • Feb 25 Coup ousts PM Henck Arron of Suriname
  • Feb 25 British political comedy "Yes Minister" written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, starring Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds premieres on BBC Two
  • Feb 26 Egypt & Israel exchange ambassadors for 1st time
  • Feb 26 Military coup under Desi Bouterse in Suriname
  • Feb 26 New Zealand cricket captain Geoff Howarth 147 and Richard Hadlee 103 hold off West Indies pace quartet of Roberts, Garner, Holding and Croft during famous 2nd Test draw at Christchurch

Grammy Awards

Feb 27 22nd Grammy Awards: Song of the Year - Kenny Loggins' "What A Fool Believes"; Best Album - Billy Joel's "52nd Street"

  • Feb 27 Israel & Egypt exchange ambassadors
  • Feb 27 Terrorists occupies Dominican embassy in Bogota
  • Feb 28 "The Well-Tuned Piano" by La Monte Young premieres (takes 4 h 12 m)
  • Feb 28 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

NHL Record

Feb 29 Future Hockey Hall of Fame right wing Gordie Howe scores in the 3rd period to become first NHL player to score 800 career goals as Hartford Whalers beat St. Louis Blues, 3-0 at Springfield Civic Center

  • Feb 29 Michael Bracey ends 59 h 55 m trapped in an elevator, England

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Moisés Muñoz, Mexican soccer goalkeeper (19 caps; Morelia, América), born in Aguililla, Mexico
  • Feb 1 Otilino Tenorio, Ecuadorian soccer forward (13 caps; Emelec), born in Guayaquil, Ecuador (d. 2005)
  • Feb 2 Teddy Hart [Edward Annis], Canadian professional wrestler, born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Feb 2 Gucci Mane, African-American rapper
  • Feb 2 Oleguer Presas, Spanish football player
  • Feb 3 Sarah Lewitinn, American writer
  • Feb 5 Jo Swinson, British politician, born in Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Feb 5 Brad Fitzpatrick, American programmer (LiveJournal), born in Iowa, United States
  • Feb 5 Prince Peter, American-born Yugoslav royalty, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Feb 5 Tiwa Savage, Nigerian singer-songwriter (Kele, Kele, Kele), born in Isale Eko, Lagos State, Nigeria
  • Feb 6 Mamiko Noto, Japanese voice actress & singer, born in Kanazawa, Japan
  • Feb 6 Kim Poirier, Canadian actress, born in Drummondville, Canada
  • Feb 6 Luke Ravenstahl, American politician, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Feb 8 Ralf Little, English actor/comedian (The Royle Family), born in Bury, England
  • Feb 8 Cameron Muncey, Australian guitarist (Jet - "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"), born in Dingley Village, Australia
  • Feb 8 Stephen Wright, English footballer
  • Feb 8 William Jackson Harper, American actor (The Good Place), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Feb 9 Angelos Charisteas, Greek footballer
  • Feb 9 Shelly Martinez, American wrestler
  • Feb 10 César Izturis, Venezuelan baseball player, born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela
  • Feb 10 Mike Ribeiro, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Feb 10 Steve Tully, English footballer, born in Paignton, United Kingdom
  • Feb 11 Matthew Lawrence, American actor (Boy Meets World. Matthew-Brotherly Love), born in Albington Township, Pennsylvania
  • Feb 11 Natasha Bobo, American actress (Sally in Together We Stand), born in Watsonville, California
  • Feb 11 Titi Buengo, Angolan footballer, born in Luanda, Angola
  • Feb 11 Marco Bresciano, Australian soccer player, born in Melbourne, Australia
  • Feb 12 Christina Ricci, American actress (Wednesday-Addams Family, Casper), born in Santa Monica. California
  • Feb 12 Sarah Lancaster, American actress (Rachel-Saved By Bell: New Class), born in Overland Park, Kansas
  • Feb 12 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spanish tennis player, born in Ontinyent, Spain
  • Feb 13 Kristy Powell, US gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Stuart, Florida
  • Feb 13 Sebastian Kehl, German footballer, born in Fulda, Germany
  • Feb 14 Fátima Leyva, Mexican footballer, born in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Feb 14 Michelle Ye, Chinese actress & producer, born in Hangzhou, China
  • Feb 14 Josh Senter, American screenwriter, born in Plato, Missouri
  • Feb 15 Conor Oberst, American singer and songwriter (Bright Eyes), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Feb 15 Benedict Sheehan, American composer, and choral director (Saint Tikhon Choir), born in Franconia, New Hampshire
  • Feb 15 Domingo Hindoyan, Armenian-Venezuelan conductor (Polish NAaional Radio Symphony, 2021-present), born in Caracas, Venezuela
  • Feb 16 Agim Kaba, American actor and film producer
  • Feb 16 Ashley Lelie, American football player
  • Feb 17 Shanyn MacEachern, Brampton Ontario, gymnast (Olympics 1996)
  • Feb 17 Klemi Saban, Israeli soccer defender (25 caps; Maccabi Netanya), born in Netanya, Israel
  • Feb 17 Al Harrington, American basketball player
  • Feb 17 Jason Ritter, American actor and producer (Joan of Arcadia, Gravity Falls, Raising Dion), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Feb 18 Alison Rachel Fitch, New Zealand swimmer (Olympics 1996), born in Hamilton, New Zealand
  • Feb 18 Regina Spektor, Russian-American singer-songwriter ("Begin To Hope"), born in Moscow, Russia
  • Feb 18 Nikolai Antropov, Kazakh ice hockey player, born in Ust'-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan
  • Feb 19 Mike Miller, American basketball player
  • Feb 20 Artur Boruc, Polish footballer
  • Feb 20 Imanol Harinordoquy, French rugby union footballer
  • Feb 21 Justin Roiland, American actor, writer and director (Rick and Morty), born in Stockton, California
  • Feb 21 Parthiva Sureshwaren, Indian racing driver, born in Chennai, India
  • Feb 21 Brad Fast, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Fort St. John, Canada
  • Feb 21 Jim Vandermeer, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Caroline, Canada
  • Feb 21 Tiziano Ferro, Italian singer, born in Latina, Italy
  • Feb 23 Yvonne Tousek, Canadian gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Kitchener, Ontario
  • Feb 23 Rafael Payare, Venezuelan conductor (San Diego Symphony, 2019-present), born in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela
  • Feb 24 Anton Gustafsson, Swedish Iron Maiden fan and tribute artist, born in Kinna, Sweden (d. 2003)
  • Feb 24 Shinsuke Nakamura, Japanese professional wrestler
  • Feb 24 Roman Sloudnov, Russian swimmer
  • Feb 25 Antonio Burks, American basketball player
  • Feb 25 Christy Knowings, American actress
  • Feb 26 Alex Fong, Hong Kong singer, born in British Hong Kong
  • Feb 26 Gary Majewski, Major League Baseball player, born in Houston, Texas
  • Feb 27 Chelsea Clinton, daughter of President Clinton and Hillary Clinton
  • Feb 27 Bobby Valentino, American singer, born in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Feb 28 Pascal Bosschaart, Dutch footballer, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Feb 28 Piotr Giza, Polish footballer, born in Kraków, Poland
  • Feb 28 Lucian Bute, Romanian-born Quebec boxer, born in Pechea, Romania
  • Feb 28 Tayshaun Prince, American basketball player, born in Compton, California
  • Feb 29 Simon Gagné, Canadian ice hockey left wing (Winter Olympics gold 2002; World Cup gold 2004; NHL All Star 2001, 07; Philadelphia Flyers), born in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada
  • Feb 29 Taylor Twellman, American soccer forward (30 caps; New England Revolution), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Feb 29 Clinton Toopi, New Zealand rugby league centre (22 Tests; Auckland Warriors, Leeds Rhinos), born in Stratford, New Zealand
  • Feb 29 Chris Conley, American musician

Famous Weddings

  • Feb 20 Actress Susan Dey (LA Law) weds producer Bernard Sofronski

Famous Divorces

David Bowie

Feb 8 Model Angie Bowie (30) divorces British singer David Bowie (33) after just under 10 years of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Jack Bailey, American actor & TV host (Queen for a Day), dies at 72
  • Feb 1 Romolo Valli, Italian actor (Boom, La Viaccia), dies at 54
  • Feb 1 Gastone Nencini, Italian road cyclist (Giro d'Italia 1957, Tour de France 1960), dies at 49
  • Feb 2 William H. Stein, American biochemist (Nobel 1972), dies at 68
  • Feb 7 Ernst Kunz, Swiss composer, dies at 88
  • Feb 7 Katherine Emery, American actress (Maze, Isle of the Dead), dies at 73
  • Feb 7 Secondo Campini, Italian jet engine pioneer, dies at 75
  • Feb 8 Nikos Xilouris, Greek folk singer-songwriter, dies of lung and brain cancer at 43
  • Feb 9 Antoine Pompe, Belgian architect, dies at 106
  • Feb 9 Tom Macdonald, Welsh journalist and writer (The White Lanes of Summer), dies at 79
  • Feb 9 Charlie Fowlkes, American baritone saxophonist (Count Basie Orchestra, 1953-80), dies at 63
  • Feb 12 Floyd Taliaferro Alderson, actor (Crossing Trails), dies
  • Feb 12 Muriel Rukeyser, American poet (The Book of the Dead), dies at 66
  • Feb 13 David Janssen, American actor (The Fugitive, Harry O), dies at 49
  • Feb 13 Marian Rejewski, Polish mathematician and cryptologist (1st to break German Enigma code), dies at 74
  • Feb 14 Luitkonwar Rudra Baruah, Assamese composer and actor
  • Feb 16 Erich Hückel, German physicist and physical chemist, dies at 83
  • Feb 17 Graham Sutherland, English artist (official WWII war artist), dies at 76
  • Feb 17 Jerry Fielding, American jazz musician and composer (Lively Ones, Hogan's Heroes), dies at 57
  • Feb 18 Gale Robbins [Betty Gale Murphy], American singer and actress (Fuller Brush Girl, Mr Hex), dies of lung cancer at 58
  • Feb 19 (Ronald) "Bon" Scott, Australian rock musician, singer, and lyricist (AC/DC -"It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)"), dies of acute alcohol poisoning at 33
  • Feb 19 (Clarence) "Shorty" Cherock, American swing jazz and big band trumpeter (Jimmy Dorsey; Gene Krupa; Nelson Riddle), dies at 64
  • Feb 20 Alice Longworth Roosevelt, youngest daughter of Theodore, dies at 96
  • Feb 20 Joseph Banks Rhine, American parapsychologist (Extra-Sensory Perception), dies at 84
  • Feb 21 Chester Lauck, American actor (Dreaming Out Loud, 2 Weeks to Live), dies at 78
  • Feb 22 Alfred Andersch, German writer (Red Head), dies at 66
  • Feb 22 Oskar Kokoschka, Austria/British painter and graphic artist, dies at 93
  • Feb 22 Dick Kallman, American actor (Born to Be Loved, Verboten!), murdered in his New York apartment at 46
  • Feb 23 Robert Vandekerckhove, Belgian politician, dies at 62
  • Feb 23 Enrico Celio, Swiss lawyer and President of Switzerland (1943), dies at 90
  • Feb 27 George Tobias, American actor (Bewitched), dies at 78
  • Feb 28 Ian Alexander Ross Peebles, cricketer (45 wkts for England), dies
  • Feb 29 Yigol Alton, Israeli Foreign Minister, dies at 61
  • Feb 29 Gil Elvgren, American artist (b. 1914)
  • Feb 29 Yigal Allon, Israeli politician, dies at 61