Historical Events in February 1981

NBA All-Star Game

Feb 1 31st NBA All-Star Game, Coliseum at Richfield, OH: East beats West, 123-120; MVP: Nate Archibald, Boston Celtics, PG

  • Feb 1 Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell sensationally instructs younger brother Trevor to bowl underarm to Brian McKechnie with NZ needing 6 from last ball to tie 3rd World Series ODI in Melbourne; Australia wins by 6

Music Premiere

Feb 1 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies," premieres in NYC

  • Feb 1 Dutch Antilles census is 231,932
  • Feb 1 French government accord sends 60 Mirage fighter jets to Iraq
  • Feb 1 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: NFC beats AFC, 21-7; MVP: Eddie Murray, Detroit Lions, PK
  • Feb 3 Australia beats NZ 3-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup
  • Feb 3 Gro Harlem Brundtland is elected as the first female Prime Minister of Norway
  • Feb 5 "Piaf" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 165 performances

Hall of Fame

Feb 5 Joni Mitchell inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame

  • Feb 5 Largest Jell-O made (9,246 gallons of watermelon-flavor) in Brisbane
  • Feb 5 Military jury in North Carolina convicts Robert Garwood of collaborating with the enemy during the Vietnam War
  • Feb 6 "Brady Brides" debuts on NBC TV

Film Release

Feb 6 Crime film "Fort Apache: The Bronx" starring Paul Newman released amid protests in the US

  • Feb 6 Suleiman Nyambui runs world record 5k indoor (13:20.4)
  • Feb 8 "5 O'Clock Girl" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 12 performances

Musical Finale

Feb 8 Revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's musical "Brigadoon" closes at Majestic Theater, NYC, after 133 performances

  • Feb 8 US female Figure Skating championship won by Elaine Zayak

Sports History

Feb 8 US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton

  • Feb 10 33rd NHL All-Star Game, The Forum, Inglewood: Campbell Conference beats Wales Conference, 4-1; MVP: Mike Liut, St. Louis Blues, G
  • Feb 10 8 killed & 198 injured by fire at Las Vegas Hilton
  • Feb 10 Dennis Lillee becomes Australian Cricket's top wicket-taker with 249
  • Feb 11 Australia all out 83 v India at MCG chasing 143 to win
  • Feb 11 Polish premier Jozef Pinkowski replaced by Wojciech Jaruzelski
  • Feb 12 Admiral Bobby R Inman, USN, becomes deputy director of CIA
  • Feb 12 Arbitrator Goetz declares Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent
  • Feb 12 Cape Verde amends its constitution
  • Feb 12 Pete Squires sets record for 1575 steps of Empire State Building, 10m
  • Feb 13 31st Berlin International Film Festival: "Hurry, Hurry!" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 13 A series of sewer explosions destroys more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Feb 13 Longest sentence published by "The New York Times" - 1286 words
  • Feb 14 Stardust Disaster: A fire in a Dublin nightclub kills 48 people

Daytona 500

Feb 15 23rd Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins record 7th title at Daytona, beating Bobby Allison to the line by 3.5 seconds

  • Feb 15 Rocket-powered ice sled attains 399 kph, Lake George, New York
  • Feb 17 Chrysler Corporation reports largest corporate losses in US history

Sports History

Feb 18 20-year-old Edmonton center Wayne Gretzky becomes first player in NHL history to score 5 career hat-tricks before age 21; scores 5 goals and 2 assists in 9-2 Oilers' home win against St. Louis

Music History

Feb 19 George Harrison is ordered to pay ABKCO Music $587,000 for "subconscious plagiarism" of his song "My Sweet Lord" from Ronnie Mack's song "He's So Fine"

  • Feb 20 Flight readiness firing of Columbia's main engines; 20 seconds
  • Feb 20 James Sanford equals 50m indoor world record (5.61 sec)
  • Feb 20 Quebec's Czech rookie brothers Peter and Anton Šťastný each score first career NHL hat-tricks in Nordiques' 9-3 win at Vancouver; Peter adds 3 assists and Anton 2
  • Feb 21 Charles Rocket clearly says "f*ck" on "Saturday Night Live"
  • Feb 21 Japan launches Hinotori satellite to study solar flares (580/640 k)
  • Feb 21 NASA launches Comstar D-4

Sports History

Feb 22 Slovak brothers Anton & Peter Šťastný score NHL rookie record 8 points each in Quebec Nordiques, 11-7 win over Washington Capitals at Capital Centre

Coup d'état

Feb 23 "Tejerazo" Spanish coup led by Civil Guard officer Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina fails after televised speech by King Juan Carlos I

  • Feb 23 People magazine features drug ordeal of Mackenzie & Papa John Phillips
  • Feb 24 An earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale hits Athens, killing 16 people and destroying buildings in several towns west of the city.

Engagement of Interest

Feb 24 Britain's Prince Charles announces engagement to Lady Diana Spencer

  • Feb 24 Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Scarsdale diet doctor Tarnower

Grammy Awards

Feb 25 23rd Grammy Awards: "Sailing" - Christopher Cross; and Billy Joel win

  • Feb 25 Exec Board of Baseball Players' Association votes unanimously to strike on May 29 if the issue of free-agent compensation remains unresolved
  • Feb 25 Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo elected premier of Spain
  • Feb 25 NHL most penalized game; Bruins vs Northstars, 84 penalties (392 mins)
  • Feb 25 NY Islanders give up their most goals (11) vs Calgary Flames
  • Feb 25 Rita Jenrette (wife of Abscam congressman) appears on Donahue
  • Feb 25 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 26 3 Anglican missionaries detained in Iran since Aug 1980 are released
  • Feb 26 84 penalties (406 mins) assessed for a brawl between NHL Minn & Bost
  • Feb 26 French Train Grande Vitesse averages 380 kph on trial run
  • Feb 27 Greatest passenger load on a commercial airliner-610 on Boeing 747
  • Feb 27 Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder record the single "Ebony & Ivory"
  • Feb 28 Calvin Murphy (Hou), sets NBA record with 78 consecutive free throws

Album Release

Feb 28 Columbia Records releases "Seven Year Ache", the third studio album by Rosanne Cash; it is her commercial break-through and goes to #1 on the country music chart

  • Feb 28 People's Republic of China throws out the Netherlands ambassador due to Dutch sales of submarines to Taiwan