On This Day

What Happened in February 2003

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

#1 in the Charts

Feb 2 Jennifer Lopez starts a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with "All I Have"

  • Feb 2 Russian pop girl duo Tatu start a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with "All The Things She Said"
  • Feb 2 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: AFC beats NFC, 45-23; MVP: Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins, RB
  • Feb 2 53rd NHL All-Star Game, Office Depot Centre, Sunrise, FL: West beats East, 6-5; MVP: Danny Heatley, Atlanta Thrashers, LW

Music History

Feb 3 Actress Lana Clarkson is shot and killed by Phil Spector at Spector's house in Alhambra, California

  • Feb 4 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution.
  • Feb 6 53rd Berlin International Film Festival: "In This World" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 6 50 Cent releases his album “Get Rich or Die Trying’” (2003 Billboard Album of the Year)
  • Feb 9 52nd NBA All-Star Game, Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA: West beats East, 155-145 (2 OT); MVP: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves, F
  • Feb 10 France and Belgium break the NATO procedure of silent approval concerning the timing of protective measures for Turkey in case of a possible war with Iraq.
  • Feb 15 An estimated 6-11 million people around the world take to the streets to protest against war with Iraq
  • Feb 16 45th Daytona 500: Michael Waltrip wins for the second time in 3 years; race ends after 109 laps when rain pours on the track
  • Feb 17 The London Congestion Charge scheme begins in London, England
  • Feb 18 Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) makes perihelion, seen by SOHO.
  • Feb 18 Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea
  • Feb 20 Pyrotechnics display sets 'The Station' nightclub ablaze during a concert by rock band Great White; kills 100 and injuries over 300 others (West Warwick, Rhode Island)

Television Debut

Feb 21 Bill Maher's political talk show "Real Time with Bill Maher" debuts on HBO

  • Feb 22 Pakistani pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar bowls the fastest ball recorded in cricket history at 100.2 mph (161.3 km/h)

Grammy Awards

Feb 23 45th Grammy Awards: "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones wins

  • Feb 23 49th National Film Awards (India): "Dweepa" wins the Golden Lotus

BAFTA Awards

Feb 23 56th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs): "The Pianist" Best Film, Roman Polanski Best Director

  • Feb 27 Former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavsic is sentenced by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, to 11 years in prison
  • Feb 27 Rowan Williams is enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

Famous Birthdays

Famous Weddings

Paul Rudd

Feb 23 Actor Paul Rudd (33) weds publicist Julie Yaeger

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Michael P. Anderson, American astronaut & member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 43
  • Feb 1 David Brown, American astronaut & member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 46
  • Feb 1 Kalpana Chawla, American astronaut (STS 87) and the first woman of Indian descent to go to space, dies in Space Shuttle Columbia disaster at 40
  • Feb 1 Laurel Clark, American astronaut and member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 41
  • Feb 1 Rick D. Husband, American astronaut & member of the STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 45
  • Feb 1 William C. McCool, American astronaut & member of the STS-107 Mission, dies in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster at 41
  • Feb 1 Ilan Ramon, Israeli astronaut & member of STS-107 Mission (Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), dies at 48
  • Feb 1 Mongo Santamaria, Cuban Latin jazz percussionist and band leader, dies at 85
  • Feb 1 David M. Brown, American US Navy Captain and NASA astronaut, dies at 46
  • Feb 1 Nancy Whiskey [Anne Wilson], Scottish folk singer and guitarist ("Freight Train"), dies at 67
  • Feb 2 Lou Harrison, American composer (La Koro Sutro), dies of a heart attack at 85
  • Feb 3 Lana Clarkson, American actress, shot and killed by Phil Spector at 40
  • Feb 4 Benyoucef Ben Khedda, Algerian politician (b. 1920)
  • Feb 4 André Noyelle, Belgian cyclist (b. 1931)
  • Feb 5 Charlie Biddle, American-Canadian jazz double bassist, and music promoter, dies at 76
  • Feb 5 Helge Boes, American Central Intelligence Agency officer
  • Feb 7 Augusto Monterroso, Guatemalan author (b. 1921)
  • Feb 7 John Reading, Mayor of Oakland, California (b. 1917)
  • Feb 9 Vera Ralston [Věra Helena Hrubá], Czech figure skater and actress (Dakota, Accused of Murder), dies of cancer at 83
  • Feb 10 Edgar de Evia, Mexican-American photographer, dies at 92
  • Feb 10 Curt Hennig, American professional wrestler, dies at 44
  • Feb 10 Clark MacGregor, American Republican politician (involved in Watergate), dies at 80
  • Feb 10 Al Ruffo, Mayor of San Jose, California (b. 1908)
  • Feb 10 Ron Ziegler, American White House press secretary to Richard Nixon, dies at 63
  • Feb 10 Bengt Edlén, Swedish Astrophysicist who specialized in spectroscopy and discovered the source of unidentified emission lines in solar spectrum, dies at 86
  • Feb 12 Vali Myers, Australian painter, dies at 72
  • Feb 13 Kid Gavilan, Cuban boxer (b. 1926)
  • Feb 13 Axel Jensen, Norwegian author (b. 1932)
  • Feb 13 Walt Rostow, U.S. government official (b. 1916)
  • Feb 13 Stacy Keach, Sr., American actor (Pretty Woman; The Parallax View), dies at 88

Dolly the Sheep

Feb 14 Dolly the Sheep, first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell dies young from a progressive lung disease aged 6

  • Feb 14 Johnny Longden, Canadian Racing Hall of Fame jockey/trainer (1943 Triple Crown on Count Fleet), dies of a stroke at 96
  • Feb 16 Eleanor "Sis" Daley, wife of Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley, dies of a stroke at 95
  • Feb 17 Frank Thistlethwaite, English academic and Vice Chancellor (University of East Anglia), dies at 87
  • Feb 18 Isser Harel, Israeli Mossad leader (b. 1912)
  • Feb 19 Johnny Paycheck [Donald Lytle], American country singer ("ake This Job and Shove It"), dies after contracting emphysema and asthma at 64
  • Feb 20 Maurice Blanchot, French author (b. 1907)
  • Feb 20 Orville Freeman, American politician (b. 1918)
  • Feb 20 Mushaf Ali Mir, Pakistani Chief of the Air Staff (b. 1947)
  • Feb 20 Harry Jacunski, American football player
  • Feb 20 Ty Longley, American guitarist (Great White), dies in The Station nightclub fire at 31
  • Feb 21 Eddie Thomson, Australian soccer coach (Socceroos 1990-96), dies of cancer at 55
  • Feb 22 Daniel Taradash, American screenwriter (b. 1913)
  • Feb 23 Robert K. Merton, American sociologist (b. 1910)
  • Feb 23 Howard "Howie" Epstein, American bass guitarist (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1982-2002), dies from an overdose at 47
  • Feb 23 Robert K. Meston, American sociologist (functionalism), dies at 92
  • Feb 24 John Edward Christopher Hill, English historian (b. 1912)
  • Feb 24 Bernard Loiseau, French chef (b. 1951)
  • Feb 24 Walter Scharf, American film composer, dies at 92
  • Feb 25 Tom O'Higgins, Irish Chief Justice (b. 1916)
  • Feb 25 Alberto Sordi, Italian actor (Miser, Taxi Driver in NY, Me and Caterina), dies of cancer at 82
  • Feb 26 Christian Goethals, Belgian racing driver, dies at 74
  • Feb 27 John Lanchbery, British-Australian composer and conductor (Royal Ballet, 1959-72; Australian Ballet, 1972-77; American Ballet Theatre, 1978-80), dies at 79

Fred Rogers

Feb 27 Fred Rogers, American children's TV host (Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood) dies at age 74

  • Feb 28 Chris Brasher, English athlete (b. 1928)
  • Feb 28 Fidel Sánchez Hernández, President of El Salvador (b. 1917)
  • Feb 28 Roger Michael Needham, British cryptographer (b. 1935)
  • Feb 28 Rudolf Kingslake, Lens designer, and Engineer (b. 1903)