On This Day February 25
1981 – Christopher Cross, then a little-known musician from Texas, cleans up at the Grammy Awards with five statuettes, including Best New Artist, Album of the Year (“Christopher Cross”) and Song of the Year (“Sailing”).
1984 – “Jump,” by Van Halen, kicks off five weeks atop the U.S. singles chart. The track, off the band’s “1984” album, is ranked among the “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1995 – Madonna begins seven weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Take a Bow,” off her “Bedtime Stories” album. The single becomes her eleventh chart-topper. With it, Madonna replaces Carole King as the female who had written the most No. 1 songs.
1916 – German troops seize Fort Douaumont, the most formidable of the forts guarding the walled city of Verdun, France, four days after launching their initial attack. The Battle of Verdun becomes the longest and bloodiest conflict of World War I, lasting 10 months and resulting in over 700,000 casualties.
1950 – The TV comedy “Your Show of Shows,” hosted by Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, premieres, eventually helping launch the successful entertainment careers of Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others.
1964 – Twenty-two-year-old Cassius Clay (who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali) stuns odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout in Miami Beach.
1984 – A massive explosion, triggered when gasoline from a ruptured pipeline ignited, levels a shantytown outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing at least 500 people — mostly young children. However, investigators speculate that the actual death toll may have been closer to 700 since many bodies were incinerated in the intense blaze.