On This Day

What Happened in February 1989

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 at perihelion
  • Feb 1 The Western Australian towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder amalgamate to form the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
  • Feb 2 0°F (-18°C) or below in 15 US states
  • Feb 3 Baseball's National League announces Yanks' broadcaster Bill White will its 1st African American President

Coup d'état

Feb 3 Military coup overthrows Paraguayan Dictator Alfredo Stroessner who flees to Brazil

  • Feb 4 Australian cricketer Dean Jones scores 216 v WI at the Adelaide Oval
  • Feb 5 Kareem Abdul-Jabar becomes 1st NBA player to score 38,000 points

Historic Event

Feb 6 Solidarity union leader Lech Wałęsa begins negotiating with Polish government

NHL All-Star Game

Feb 7 40th NHL All-Star Game, Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton: Campbell Conference beats Wales Conference, 9-5; MVP: Wayne Gretzky, LA Kings, C

Sports History

Feb 7 Tennis superstar Björn Borg apparently attempts suicide in Milan

  • Feb 8 5 cm of snow falls in outskirts of Los Angeles
  • Feb 8 American jockey Chris Antley begins record 64-day consecutive winning streak; ends 1 May and includes 147 winners from 486 mounts
  • Feb 8 US Boeing 707 crashes into Santa Maria mountain, 145 die
  • Feb 9 Kevin Johnson (Phoenix) ends NBA free throw streak of 57 games
  • Feb 9 Michael Manley's Socialist Party wins Jamaica parliamentary election

Hall of Fame

Feb 10 Celtic KC Jones & Cavalier Lenny Wilkens elected to NBA Hall of Fame

  • Feb 10 Miami Vice's 100th episode seen on TV
  • Feb 10 Minor League Football System opens organizational meeting, St Louis
  • Feb 10 Ron Brown chosen 1st African American chairman of a major US party (Democrats)
  • Feb 10 Test Cricket debut of Aaqib Javed, Pak v NZ age 16 years 189 days
  • Feb 10 Tony Robinson of Jamaica becomes Nottingham's 1st black sheriff
  • Feb 10 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 10 To gain deregulation WWF admits pro wrestling is an exhibition & not a sport, in a NJ court
  • Feb 10 39th Berlin International Film Festival: "Rain Man" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 11 Barbara Clementine Harris consecrated 1st female bishop (Episcopalian)
  • Feb 11 US female Figure Skating championship won by Jill Trenary

NBA All-Star Game

Feb 12 39th NBA All-Star Game, Astrodome, Houston, TX: West beats East, 143-134; MVP: Karl Malone, Utah Jazz, F

  • Feb 12 5 Pakistani Muslim rioters killed protesting "Satanic Verses" novel
  • Feb 12 50th PGA Seniors' Championship Men's Golf, PGA National GC: Larry Mowry wins only career major title; beats Miller Barber & Al Geiberger by 1 stroke
  • Feb 12 Barbara Harris becomes 1st female bishop of a US Episcopal church
  • Feb 12 Wayne Gretzky sets 2 records, his 45th hat trick & 10th 40+ goal season
  • Feb 12 Thursday's Child sets sailing record, NY-Cape Horn-SF, 80 d 20 h
  • Feb 12 US male Figure Skating championship won by Christopher Bowman
  • Feb 12 Loyalist paramilitary group kill Pat Finucane, a Belfast lawyer who represented republican hunger striker Bobby Sands, while he is having dinner with family
  • Feb 13 Kidnapped Belgian Premier Vanden Boeynants freed
  • Feb 13 Salvadoran army attacks Encuentros hospital, rapes, kills patients
  • Feb 13 Oklahoma football player Charles Thompson is charged with selling cocaine; he is later sentenced to 2 years in prison
  • Feb 14 African National Congress (ANC) opens office in Amsterdam
  • Feb 14 Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 mill damages for Bhopol disaster
  • Feb 14 World's 1st satellite Skyphone opens

Historic Publication

Feb 14 Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie and his publishers due to his novel "Satanic Verses". A bounty is also placed on his head.

  • Feb 14 The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System are placed into orbit.
  • Feb 15 Israel attacks border strip Taba near Egypt
  • Feb 16 Egypt, Iraq, Jordan & North Yemen form common market

Contract of Interest

Feb 16 Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser signs $7.9M-3 year contract

Contract of Interest

Feb 16 Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens signs $7.5M-3 year contract

  • Feb 16 William Hayden becomes Governor-General of Australia
  • Feb 17 6-week study of Arctic atmosphere shows no ozone "hole"

Sports History

Feb 17 Former baseball player and manager Leo Durocher injured in a car crash

  • Feb 17 Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia & Libya form common market
  • Feb 17 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Music Single

Feb 18 "A Better Man" single released by Clint Black (Billboard Song of the Year 1989)

  • Feb 19 "Legs Diamond" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 64 performances
  • Feb 19 Edgar Bowers wins Bollingen Prize

Daytona 500

Feb 19 31st Daytona 500: Darrell Waltrip wins when Hendrick Racing team decides to use fuel strategy, being the only car not to pit in the closing laps

  • Feb 20 Members of 1949 Oklahoma football team cancel an April reunion because of the deplorable conduct of Oklahoma players
  • Feb 20 An IRA bomb destroys a section of a British Army barracks in Ternhill, England

Meeting of Interest

Feb 21 Pete Rose meets with Commissioner Ueberroth to discuss his gambling

  • Feb 21 US bust Chinese drug smuggling ring, capturing a record 820 lbs of heroin worth $1 billion at street value
  • Feb 22 Finish ministry of Public health installs sex vacation to thwart stress
  • Feb 22 NY Lotto pays $26.9 million to one winner (#s are 1-5-12-19-44-50)

Film & TV History

Feb 22 UK physicist Stephen Hawking calls the proposed missile defense system known as Star Wars a "deliberate fraud"

  • Feb 22 US authors demonstrate against Iranian death threats against Salman Rushdee, author of "The Satanic Verses"

Grammy Awards

Feb 22 31st Grammy Awards: "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin; "Faith"by George Michael; and Tracy Chapman win

  • Feb 22 1st Spanish commercial on network TV (Pepsi-Cola-CBS Grammy Award)
  • Feb 24 150 million year old fossil egg found in Utah with a fossilized dinosaur embryo inside, the oldest dinosaur egg yet found in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Feb 24 Harold E Ballard sells CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats to David Braley

Film & TV History

Feb 24 Stalker Margaret Ray found in David Letterman's home, claims to be his wife

  • Feb 24 US Boeing 747 loses parts of roof over Pacific, 9 die
  • Feb 24 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Sports History

Feb 24 Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán wins 4th world title in different weight divisions when he beats Iran Barkley in a 12 round split decision in Atlantic City; 37 year old Durán wins WBC middleweight title

  • Feb 25 1st independent blue-collar labor union in Communist Hungary forms
  • Feb 25 Javed Miandad scores 271 v NZ at Eden Park
  • Feb 25 Lowest baramotric pressure in Netherlands (956.7 mbar at De Bilt)

Boxing Title Fight

Feb 25 Mike Tyson TKOs Frank Bruno in 5 for heavyweight boxing title

Sports History

Feb 26 NFL Dallas Cowboys fire coach Tom Landry after a 29-year career

Music History

Feb 26 "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" opens at Imperial Theater, NYC; runs for 634 performances

  • Feb 26 Lowest barometric pressure in Netherlands (95.5 hPa)

Sports History

Feb 26 NY Yankees announce that Tom Seaver is their new TV sportscaster

  • Feb 26 California court throws out most of Margo Adams's $12 million breach-of-contract suit against Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs
  • Feb 27 German war criminals Aus der Funten and Fischer freed in Holland
  • Feb 27 Venezuela is rocked by the riots of Caracazo
  • Feb 28 Gretchen Polhemus, 23, (Texas), crowned 38th Miss USA
  • Feb 28 Memo by Brian Gumbel criticizing Today Show co-workers becomes public
  • Feb 28 10-time All Star second baseman and manager Red Schoendienst and umpire Al Barlick are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Feb 28 Nevada-Semipalatinsk anti-nuclear movement founded by Olzhas Suleimenov in Kazakhstan, initially aiming to close Semipalatinsk nuclear test site (closed 1991) [1]

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Hurricane Chris [Dooley], American rapper, born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Feb 3 Slobodan Rajković, Serbian footballer
  • Feb 3 Ryne Sanborn, American actor
  • Feb 5 Cristine Reyes, Filipino actress, born in Marikina, Philippines
  • Feb 5 Jeremy Sumpter, American actor, born in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  • Feb 6 Craig Cathcart, Irish soccer defender (45 caps; Watford), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Feb 7 Louisa Lytton - British actress
  • Feb 8 Danielle Harmer, English actress (The Story of Tracey Beaker), born in Bracknell, England
  • Feb 8 Bronte Barratt, Australian swimmer (Olympic gold 4x200m freestyle relay 2008 WR; World C'ship gold 4x100m freestyle relay 2015), born in Brisbane, Australia
  • Feb 8 Julio Jones, American NFL player (Atlanta Falcons), born in Foley, Alabama
  • Feb 9 Wu Chia-ching, Taiwanese pool player
  • Feb 9 Gia Farrell [Jeannie Bocchicchio], American pop singer-songwriter ("Hit Me Up"), born in Suffern, New York
  • Feb 13 Rhys Palmer, Australian footballer, born in Western Australia, Australia
  • Feb 13 Rodrigo Possebon, Brazilian footballer, born in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • Feb 13 Carly McKillip, Canadian actress, born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Elizabeth Olsen

Feb 16 Elizabeth Olsen, American actress (Martha Marcy May Marlene; Avenger films - "Scarlet Witch"), born in Los Angeles, California

  • Feb 19 L A Baby orangutan, at Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle, Washington)
  • Feb 20 Melanie Leishman, Canadian actress
  • Feb 21 Corbin Bleu [Reivers], American actor & singer (High School Musical - "Chad"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Feb 21 Kristin Herrera, American actress, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Feb 21 Scout Taylor-Compton, American actress, born in Long Beach, California
  • Feb 21 Josh Walker, English footballer, born in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • Feb 22 Alia Sabur, American college educator, born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 22 Daniel D. [Davis], American jazz and hip hop violinist, born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Feb 23 Evan Bates, American ice dancer (2015 US Champion), born in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Feb 24 Kosta Koufos, American-Greek basketball player
  • Feb 24 Daniel Kaluuya, British actor and writer (Get Out), born in London, England
  • Feb 25 Tony Oller, American actor
  • Feb 27 Kelly Breeding, American singer (B5), born in Liberal, Kansas
  • Feb 28 Zhang Liyin, Chinese K-pop and R&B singer, born in Chengdu, China
  • Feb 28 Remmi [Rachel Smith], American indie pop singer-songwriter, born in Alexandria, Louisiana

Famous Weddings

Charles Barkley

Feb 9 NBA power forward Charles Barkley (26) weds legal aide Maureen Blumhardt in Elkton, Maryland

Courtney Love

Feb 14 Singer-songwriter Courtney Love (24) weds vocalist James Moreland

  • Feb 17 Whitesnake's singer David Coverdale (37) weds American actress Tawny Kitaen (27); divorced 1991

Steve Garvey

Feb 18 Baseball player Steve Garvey weds Candace Thomas while being accused of fathering children by two other women

Rodney King

Feb 20 Police violence victim Rodney King (23) weds Crystal Lynnette Waters

Tim Burton

Feb 24 Film director Tim Burton (30) weds photographer Lena Gieseke


Famous Divorces

Divorce of Interest

Feb 14 Robin Givens is granted a divorce from Mike Tyson in the Dominican Republic

Jane Fonda

Feb 16 Actress Jane Fonda and activist Tom Hayden separate after 16 years of marriage


Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Elaine de Kooning, American artist, dies at 70
  • Feb 2 Ondrej Nepela, Slovak figure skater (Olympic gold men's singles 1972; World C'ships gold 1971, 72, 73), dies from cancer of the lymph nodes at 38
  • Feb 3 John Cassavetes, Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter (Dirty Dozen, Rosemary's Baby), dies at 59
  • Feb 3 Glenna Collett-Vare, American golfer (6-time US Amateur champion), dies at 85
  • Feb 4 Kenneth "Jethro" Burns, American country singer (Homer & Jethro), dies at 69
  • Feb 4 Trevor Lucas, Australian folk singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Fairport Convention), dies of a heart attack at 45
  • Feb 5 Joe Raposa, American composer and songwriter (Sesame Street), dies at 51
  • Feb 6 Andre Cayatte, French filmmaker, dies at 80
  • Feb 6 Barbara Tuchman, historian (Guns of August-Pulitzer), dies at 77
  • Feb 6 Nuno Oliveira, Portuguese equestrian, horse trainer, dressage instructor, and author, dies at 63
  • Feb 6 Chris Gueffroy, East German attempted defector (b. 1968)
  • Feb 6 King Tubby [Osbourne Ruddock], Jamaican sound engineer and record producer, shot to death outside his home at 48
  • Feb 8 Maurits Kok, Dutch writer/poet (Railroad Strike), dies at 81
  • Feb 9 Osamu Tezuka, Japanese manga artist (Kimba the White Lion), dies of cancer at 60
  • Feb 10 Dan Kelly, NHL sportscaster, dies at 52, "He shoots, he scores!"
  • Feb 11 George O'Hanlon, american actor and director (Bop Girl, Zamba), dies at 71
  • Feb 11 Leon Festinger, American psychologist, dies at 69
  • Feb 12 Mauritius Balfoort, French/Flemish director, dies at 83
  • Feb 12 Thomas Bernhard, Austrian novelist, playwright and poet whose work some describe as "the most significant literary achievement since World War II", dies at 58
  • Feb 13 Wayne Hays, American politician (b. 1911)
  • Feb 14 Vincent Crane [Cheesman], British rock Hammond organist, and songwriter (The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - "Fire"), dies of deliberate painkiller overdose at 45
  • Feb 14 James Bond, American ornithologist (b. 1900)
  • Feb 17 Lefty Gomez, American Baseball HOF pitcher (7 × MLB All-Star; 5 × World Series; Triple Crown 1934, 37; NY Yankees), dies of congestive heart failure at 80
  • Feb 19 Jaap van de Merwe, Dutch journalist/cabareter (Hadjememaar), dies
  • Feb 21 Alex Thépot, French footballer (b. 1906)
  • Feb 21 Otar Vasilisdze Taktakishvili, Georgian composer, conductor, teacher, and musicologist, dies at 64
  • Feb 22 Joan Woodbury, American actress (Super Sleuth, Northwest Trail), dies at 73
  • Feb 22 Moisés da Costa Amaral, East Timorese leader, dies at 50
  • Feb 23 Hans Hellmut Kirst, German author (The Lieutenant Must Be Mad), dies at 74
  • Feb 26 Roy Eldridge, American jazz trumpet player, dies at 78
  • Feb 26 Melvin Moore, American jazz trumpeter, and singer, dies at 65
  • Feb 27 Conrad Lorenz, Austria zoologist (Nobel 1973), dies
  • Feb 27 Joseph "Joe" Silver, American actor (Lenny, Mr I Magination), dies of liver cancer at 66
  • Feb 27 Konrad Lorenz, Austrian zoologist and ethologist (Man & His Ideas, Nobel Prize 1973), dies at 85
  • Feb 27 Paul Oswald Ahnert, German astronomer, dies at 91
  • Feb 28 Hermann Burger, Swiss poet and writer, dies at 46