On This Day

What Happened in February 1997

Historical Events

Sports History

Feb 1 Future Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque scores a goal and an assist to become the Boston Bruins' all-time scoring leader, with 1,341 points in an 18-year NHL career

  • Feb 2 "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" closes at Gershwin NYC
  • Feb 2 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: AFC beats NFC, 26-23 (OT); MVP: Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars, QB

Sports History

Feb 2 Scotty Bowman becomes first coach in NHL history to win 1,000 games

  • Feb 3 Carl Sagan Public Memorial at Ithaca NY
  • Feb 3 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Detroit MI on WKRK 97.1 FM

Sports History

Feb 4 Mario Lemieux is 7th NHL player to score 600 goals

Sports History

Feb 4 O.J. Simpson found liable in the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson in a civil court action

Historic Event

Feb 4 US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announces she just discovered that her grandparents were Jewish, three of whom were killed in the Holocaust

  • Feb 4 En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.

Election of Interest

Feb 4 After at first contesting the results, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognizes opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.

  • Feb 5 Brook Lee from Hawaii, crowned 46th Miss USA (en route to Miss Universe)
  • Feb 5 Japan's Ministry of Finance announces plans to cut import tariffs on crude oil and most petroleum products
  • Feb 6 Diane Blood, 32, in England, won right to use her dead husband's sperm
  • Feb 7 US & Russia announce summit set for Helsinki, March 20-21
  • Feb 8 28th NAACP Image Awards: "A Time to Kill" wins Outstanding Motion Picture
  • Feb 9 11th American Comedy Award: Debbie Reynolds wins
  • Feb 9 47th NBA All-Star Game, Gund Arena, Cleveland, OH: East beats West, 132-120; MVP: Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets, F

Film & TV History

Feb 9 Fox cartoon series "The Simpsons" airs 167th episode; longest-running animated series in cartoon history

  • Feb 10 13th Soap Opera Digest Awards - General Hospital wins
  • Feb 10 5th ESPY Awards: Michael Johnson, Amy Van Dyken Lobo win
  • Feb 10 Comet Shoemaker-Holt 2 Closest Approach to Earth (1.9245 AU)
  • Feb 10 O.J. Simpson jury reaches decision on $25M in punitive damages
  • Feb 10 Soyuz TM-25 launches to the MIR
  • Feb 10 Lemrick Nelson found guilty in the fatal stabbing on Hasidic Jew Yankel Rosenbaum in Crown Heights Brooklyn in 1991

Sports History

Feb 11 Bill Parcells becomes head coach of NY Jets

  • Feb 11 STS 82 (Discovery 22) launches
  • Feb 12 Fred Goldman says he will settle for a signed murder confession from O.J. Simpson in lieu of his $20.5 million judgement
  • Feb 13 "Three Sisters" opens at Criterion Theater NYC
  • Feb 13 Discovery captures Hubble Space Telescope

Berlin Film Festival

Feb 13 47th Berlin International Film Festival: "The People vs. Larry Flynt" wins the Golden Bear

Historic Event

Feb 13 Joseph Stiglitz becomes Chief Economist of the World Bank

  • Feb 15 US female Figure Skating championship won by Tara Lipinski
  • Feb 15 US male Figure Skating championship won by Todd Eldridge
  • Feb 16 39th Daytona 500: Hendrick Motorsports posts a 1-2-3 finish with Jeff Gordon winning the race, ahead of Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven
  • Feb 17 Weekly Standard shows evidence Larry Flint sexually abused his daughter
  • Feb 19 FCC makes available 311 for non-emergency calls & 711 for hearing or speech-impaired emergency calls
  • Feb 20 Pam Gems' stage drama "Stanley" opens at Circle in the Square Theater, NYC; runs for 77 performances

Baseball Record

Feb 20 San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds signs record $22.9M 2 year contract

  • Feb 21 "Empire Strikes Back, special edition" premieres
  • Feb 21 NASA's STS 82 (Space Shuttle Discovery 22) lands

Historic Event

Feb 22 Dolly the Sheep, world's first cloned mammal (from an adult cell) is announced by the Roslin Institute in Scotland

  • Feb 23 Ali Abu Kamal opens fire in Empire State Building & kills 1

Film & TV History

Feb 23 NBC TV shows "Schindler's List" completely uncensored, 65M watch

  • Feb 23 Scientists in Scotland announce they have cloned an adult mammal, producing a lamb named "Dolly"

Historic Event

Feb 24 Deng Xiaoping the former paramount leader of China is cremated five days after he passed away

  • Feb 24 South Africa announces it is constructing largest modern day blimp
  • Feb 24 Qatar inaugurates the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting facility and formally launches Qatar Liquefied Gas Co.

Grammy Awards

Feb 26 39th Grammy Awards: "Change the World", Babyface, Beck, and LeAnn Rimes win

  • Feb 27 "Last Night of Ballyhoo" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC
  • Feb 27 Singer Sade (Helen Folasade) arrested in Jamaica for disobeying a police officer
  • Feb 28 Earthquake in Pakistan kills 45
  • Feb 28 FBI agent Earl Pitts pleads guilty to selling secrets to Russia
  • Feb 28 Purchasers of cigarettes in US must prove they are over 18
  • Feb 28 The North Hollywood shootout takes place.

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 6 Collin Morikawa, American golfer (PGA C'ship 2020; British Open 2021), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Feb 8 Bella Poarch, Filipina-American singer and TikToker (most liked video on TikTok), born in the Philippines
  • Feb 8 Kathryn Newton, American actress (Freaky), born in Orlando, Florida
  • Feb 9 Catie Waters, American jazz and R&B singer-songwriter, born in Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Feb 10 Chloe Grace Moretz, American actress (Kick-Ass), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Feb 13 Michael Jackson Jr., son of Michael Jackson, born in Beverly Hills, California

Famous Weddings

Johnny Bench

Feb 1 Retired MLB player Johnny Bench (49) weds stockbroker Elizabeth Benton

Paula Abdul

Feb 2 "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul (34) weds sportswear designer Brad Beckerman at The Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel

Jennifer Lopez

Feb 22 American singer-actress Jennifer Lopez (27) weds Ojani Noa on the grounds of a friend's Miami home; divorce in 1998


Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Herb Caen, American columnist (SF Chronicle), dies of lung cancer, at 80
  • Feb 1 Mitchell Goodman, American writer, dies at 71
  • Feb 1 Peter Morris, British historian of France, dies at 50
  • Feb 1 Thelma Moss, American actress & psychologist, dies at 78
  • Feb 1 Marjorie Reynolds [Goodspeed], American actress & dancer (Holiday Inn; Life of Riley), dies from congestive heart disease at 79
  • Feb 1 Ed Danowski, American football quarterback & halfback (NFL Championship 1934, 38; New York Giants; Pro Bowl 1938), dies at 85
  • Feb 2 Chico Science Francisco Franca, musician, dies at 40
  • Feb 2 Godfrey Baseley, British radio executive, dies at 92
  • Feb 2 Erich Eliskases, Austrian chess player (grandmaster 1952), dies at 83
  • Feb 2 Sanford Meisner, American actor and teacher, dies at 91
  • Feb 2 Infanta Luisa Fernanda, Duchess of Montpensier, dies at 65
  • Feb 3 Anthony Cuthbert Baines, English music scholar, dies at 84
  • Feb 3 Bohumil Hrabal, Czech writer (Closely Observed Trains), dies at 82
  • Feb 3 William Geoffrey Biddle, English bomb disposal expert, dies at 79
  • Feb 4 James Friell, Scottish political cartoonist (Daily Worker), dies at 84
  • Feb 4 Ross Lee Finney, American composer (Landscapes Remembered), dies at 90
  • Feb 5 John Richard Patterson, businessman, dies at 51
  • Feb 5 Pamela Harriman, US Ambassador (to France), dies of stroke at 76
  • Feb 7 Danil Shafran, Soviet Russian concert cellist, dies at 74
  • Feb 8 Elroy Josephs, British jazz dance teacher, dies at 57
  • Feb 9 Barry Evans, actor (Dr Upton-Dr in the House), dies at 53
  • Feb 9 Brian Connolly, Scottish rock singer (Sweet, 1968-79- "The Ballroom Blitz"), dies of heart failure at 51
  • Feb 9 L.F. "Jack" Owen, American blues singer and guitarist ("It Must've Been The Devil"), dies at 92
  • Feb 10 Milton Cato, 1st Prime Minister of San Vincent and the Grenadines (1979-84), dies at 82
  • Feb 10 Matthew Eappen of Newton Massachusetts (b. 1996)
  • Feb 10 Lou Bennett, American bebop pianist, and jazz organist, dies at 70
  • Feb 11 Don Porter, actor (Gidget), dies at 84
  • Feb 12 Nora Beloff, journalist, dies at 78
  • Feb 12 Walter Ritchie, British sculptor (Man's Struggle), dies at 77
  • Feb 13 Mark Krasnosel'skii, Russian-Ukrainian mathematician (nonlinear functional analysis), dies at 76
  • Feb 13 Antonius "Ton" Lensink, Dutch actor (Rituelen), dies at 74
  • Feb 16 Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese-American experimental physicist (conduced the Wu experiment) dies at 84
  • Feb 16 Arthur Hewlett, British actor (The Pied Piper), dies at 89
  • Feb 17 Zein Isa, Palestinian militant imprisoned in the United States for the honor killing of his daughter
  • Feb 18 Emily Hahn, American writer, dies at 92
  • Feb 18 Enrique Peralta Azurdia, Colonel and military President of Guatemala (1963-66), dies at 88
  • Feb 18 Eric Fenby, English composer and president (Delius Society), dies at 90
  • Feb 19 Leo Rosten, American writer and humourist (Joys of Yiddish), dies at 88
  • Feb 19 Stan Pearson, English soccer inside forward (8 caps; Manchester United, Bury, Chester), dies at 76
  • Feb 20 Zachary Breaux, American jazz guitarist, dies of a heart attack while trying to save a distressed swimmer in Miami Beach at 36
  • Feb 21 Kenneth Rowntree, British painter, dies at 81
  • Feb 21 Michael Hollings, British Catholic priest/crusader, dies at 75
  • Feb 22 Austin Andrew Wright, British sculptor, dies at 85
  • Feb 22 Frank Launder, director/scriptwriter, dies at 91
  • Feb 22 Joseph Aiuppa, American gangster (b. 1907)
  • Feb 22 Albert Shanker, American labor leader (Amer Fed of Teachers), dies at 68
  • Feb 23 Oscar Lewenstein, British impresario, dies at 80
  • Feb 23 Tony Williams, American jazz drummer (Miles Davis), dies at 51
  • Feb 24 Isabelle Harriet Lucas, Canadian-born British actress and singer (Outland, Comics), dies at 69
  • Feb 25 Andrei Donatovich Sinyavsky, Russian writer and critic, dies at 71
  • Feb 26 David Doyle, American actor (Charlie's Angels, Rugrats), dies of a heart attack at 67
  • Feb 26 Nuccio Bertone, Italian automobile designer, dies at 82
  • Feb 27 Kingsley Davis, American sociologist and demographer (coined the term "population explosion"), dies at 88