On This Day

What Happened in February 2002

Historical Events

  • Feb 2 52nd NHL All-Star Game, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA: World beats North America, 8-5; MVP: Éric Dazé, Chicago Blackhawks, RW

Super Bowl

Feb 3 Super Bowl XXXVI, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA: New England Patriots beat St. Louis Rams, 20-17; MVP: Tom Brady, New England, QB

  • Feb 6 52nd Berlin International Film Festival: "Spirited Away" and "Bloody Sunday" win the Golden Bear (tie)
  • Feb 8 XIX Winter Olympic Games open in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
  • Feb 9 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: AFC beats NFC, 38-30; MVP: Rich Gannon, Oakland Raiders, QB

NBA All-Star Game

Feb 10 51st NBA All-Star Game, First Union Centre, Philadelphia, PA: West beats East, 135-120; MVP: Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers, F

  • Feb 12 US Secretary of Energy makes the decision that Yucca Mountain is suitable to be the United States' nuclear waste repository
  • Feb 12 An Iran Air Tupolev Tu-154 crashes prior to landing in Khorramabad, Iran, killing 119

United Nations

Feb 12 The trial of former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević begins at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. He eventually dies four years later before its conclusion.

  • Feb 14 Fishing vessel Tullaghmurray Lass sinks off the coast of Kilkeel, County Down, Northern Ireland killing three members of the same family on board
  • Feb 15 At the Tri-State Crematory in La Fayette, Georgia, investigators find uncremated bodies disposed of in the woods and buildings on crematorium's property. One of the worst incidents of abuse in the funeral service industry.
  • Feb 15 Walt Disney releases "Return to Never Land", an animated film sequel to 1953's "Peter Pan"
  • Feb 17 Westlife go to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'World Of Our Own.' The Irish boy band's 10th UK No.1 single.

#1 in the Charts

Feb 17 'Always On Time' by R&B artist Ja Rule featuring Ashanti starts a two-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart.

Daytona 500

Feb 17 44th Daytona 500: Ward Burton's win first for Dodge since Richard Petty's victory in the 1974 race

  • Feb 19 NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.
  • Feb 20 In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire on a train injures over 65 and kills at least 370.
  • Feb 21 Canadian world champion women's ice hockey team wins first of 4 consecutive Winter Olympic gold medals with a 3-2 win over the United States at Salt Lake City
  • Feb 22 Angolan revolutionary politician and military leader of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi is killed in a military ambush in the province of Moxico
  • Feb 23 Sky Disc of Nebra, world's oldest map of the stars at 3,600 years old, recovered in police sting operation in Basal, Switzerland after being illegally excavated in Germany [1]

Olympic Gold

Feb 24 Joe Sakic and Jerome Iginla each score twice as Canada defeats the United States, 5-2 to win the men's ice hockey Olympic gold medal at Salt Lake City

  • Feb 24 IXX Winter Olympic Games close in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

BAFTA Awards

Feb 24 55th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs): "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" Best Film, Peter Jackson Best Director

  • Feb 27 Godhra train burning, a Muslim mob kills 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya
  • Feb 27 Ryanair Flight 296 catches fire in London Stansted Airport. Subsequent investigations criticize Ryanair's handling of the evacuation.

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 23 Emilia Jones, English actress (CODA), born in London, England

Famous Weddings

Willem-Alexander

Feb 2 Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (34) weds Argentinean born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti (30) at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Feb 17 Actress Joan Collins (68) weds theater company manager Percy Gibson at Claridge's Hotel in London

LeAnn Rimes

Feb 23 "Blue" country and pop singer LeAnn Rimes (19) weds backup dancer Dean Sheremet (21) at Perkins Chapel in Dallas, Texas


Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Hildegard Knef, German actress, singer, and writer (Touch of Class; Mozambique), dies at 76
  • Feb 1 Irish McCalla, American actress & artist (Sheena Queen of Jungle), dies of a brain tumor and stroke complications at 73
  • Feb 2 Paul Baloff, American singer (Exodus) (b. 1960)
  • Feb 2 Claude Brown, American writer (b. 1937)
  • Feb 4 George Nader, American actor (Robot Monster, Away All Boats), dies at 80
  • Feb 6 Max Perutz, Austrian molecular biologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1914)
  • Feb 6 John R. Farndon, British surgeon and professor, dies at 53
  • Feb 8 Joachim Hoffmann, German historian (b. 1930)
  • Feb 8 Ong Teng Cheong, President of Singapore (b. 1936)
  • Feb 8 Eldon Rudd, American politician (Rep-R-AZ, 1977-87), dies at 81
  • Feb 9 Vicente Sardinero, Spanish operatic lyric baritone, dies at 65
  • Feb 9 Margaret Rose, Countess of Snowdon, Sister of Queen Elizabeth II, dies of a stroke at 71
  • Feb 10 Traudl Junge, German secretary to Adolf Hitler, dies at 81
  • Feb 10 Dave Van Ronk, American folk singer and songwriter, dies at 65
  • Feb 11 Barry Foster, British actor (b. 1931)
  • Feb 11 Frankie Crosetti, American baseball shortstop and 3rd base coach (record 17 World Series titles as player & coach; NY Yankees), dies from complications of a fall at 91
  • Feb 13 Pauline Trigère, French-American fashion designer (Bell Bottoms), dies at 93
  • Feb 14 Nándor Hidegkuti, Hungarian footballer (b. 1922)
  • Feb 14 Mick Tucker, English rock drummer (Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"), dies of leukemia at 54
  • Feb 15 Howard K. Smith, American print and broadcast journalist, dies from pneumonia at 87

Kevin Smith

Feb 15 Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor (Hercules - "Ares"), dies at 38 after falling from a prop tower

  • Feb 16 Walter Winterbottom, England soccer manager (first manager England national football team 1946–62; FA Director of Coaching), dies at 88
  • Feb 16 Billy Ward, American singer and songwriter (Billy Ward and his Dominoes), dies at 80
  • Feb 18 Nathan Perelman, Soviet Russian pianist and pedagogue, dies at 95
  • Feb 19 Sylvia Rivera, American gay liberation and transgender activist and drag queen, dies of liver cancer at 50
  • Feb 20 Stephen Longstreet, American writer (All or Nothing), dies at 94
  • Feb 21 Harold Furth, Austrian-American physicist, dies at 72
  • Feb 21 John Thaw, English actor (Inspector Morse), dies of cancer at 60
  • Feb 21 Harold Pruett, American actor (Sybil, Embrace of the Vampire), dies of a drug overdose at 32
  • Feb 21 A. L. [Audrey] Barker, English writer, dies at 83
  • Feb 22 Poncke Princen, Dutch anti-Nazi fighter, colonial soldier and human rights activist, dies at 76
  • Feb 22 Charles "Chuck" Jones, American animator and cartoonist best known for his work with Warner Bros. (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Porky Pig), dies of congestive heart failure at 89
  • Feb 22 Jonas Savimbi, Angolan revolutionary politician and military leader who founded the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), dies in combat with Angolan government troops at 67
  • Feb 22 Roden Cutler, Australian diplomat and Governor (New South Wales), dies at 85
  • Feb 22 Daniel Pearl, American journalist (b. 1963)
  • Feb 24 Arthur Lyman, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player (b. 1932)
  • Feb 24 Leo Ornstein, Russian-American composer and pianist, (born about 1893)
  • Feb 26 Lawrence Tierney, American actor (Abduction, Dillinger, Reservoir Dogs), dies of pneumonia at 82
  • Feb 26 Oskar Sala, German physicist, composer, electronic music pioneer, and Trautonium (an early synthesizer) player, dies at 91

Spike Milligan

Feb 27 Spike Milligan, Irish-British actor and comedian (The Goon Show, 3 Musketeers), dies of kidney failure at 83

  • Feb 28 Mary Stuart, American actress (Jo-Search for Tomorrow), dies at 75
  • Feb 28 Helmut Zacharias, German violinist and composer, dies at 82