On This Day February 27
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1827 – Masked and costumed students dance through the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, marking the first of the city’s traditional Mardi Gras celebrations. Early French settlers introduced the original Mardi Gras festivities to New Orleans until Spanish governors banned them in the 1700s. Once Louisiana became part of the U.S., laws prohibiting masks and public dancing were rescinded.
1936 – Shirley Temple receives a new contract from 20th Century Fox that pays the seven-year-old star an unprecedented $50,000 per film. Over the course of the 1930s, the box office success of her more than 40 films helps Fox weather the Depression.
1971 – Five months after her death, Janis Joplin begins nine weeks on top of the Billboard album chart with her second and final solo studio album, “Pearl,” which contains her smash “Me and Bobby McGee.”