On This Day February 20
Click each item below to learn more!
1895 – American journalist, author, orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass dies at the age of 78. Douglass conferred with President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and recruited northern blacks for the Union Army. After the War, he fought for the rights of women and African Americans alike.
1962 – John Glenn launches into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard NASA’s Mercury capsule, named Friendship 7, on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut. He completes three Earth orbits in just under five hours, ushering in a new era of spaceflight for the United States.
2003 – One hundred people are killed, 230 others are injured when pyrotechnics during a Great White concert at The Station nightclub in Warwick, Rhode Island ignite flammable foam installed as soundproofing. The club burns to the ground in less than three minutes.
1959 – Legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix is 16 years old when he makes his stage debut during a performance at Temple De Hirsch Sinai synagogue in Seattle. He is fired before the second set begins.
1970 – The single “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On),” by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, is released in the U.S. Lennon wrote, recorded and mixed the track all in one day, on January 27, 1970, with producer Phil Spector, at the Abbey Road Studios in London.
1982 – The J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold” is midway through a six-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100. It is the first single from the band’s “Freeze Frame” album. The music video becomes an early staple of MTV programming.
1993 – “I Will Always Love You,” by Whitney Houston, enters its 13th week as a No. 1 single. Written by Dolly Parton, the song is from the soundtrack to the movie, “The Bodyguard,” starring Houston and Kevin Costner.