On This Day February 21
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1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated. The monument, built in the shape of an Egyptian obelisk, underwent two phases of construction: one private (1848-1854) and one public (1876-1884). When completed, it was the tallest structure in the world at 555 feet, 5-1/8 inches.
1948 – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is officially incorporated and goes on to become one of America’s most popular spectator sports as well as a multi-billion-dollar industry.
1995 – National Aviation Hall of Famer Steve Fossett lands safely in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada, completing the first ever solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon. Sadly, Fossett is declared dead in 2008 after a plane he was piloting vanished over the Nevada desert in September 2007. He was 63.
1976 – Paul Simon begins his third and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” The track, off his Grammy-winning “Still Crazy After All These Years” album, is the only No. 1 Simon has ever achieved as a solo act.
1990 – “Let the River Run,” by Carly Simon, wins Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture at the 32nd annual Grammy Awards. The track, which had previously been honored with an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, is from the movie “Working Girl,” starring Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford.