On This Day February 29
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1904 – Jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, big band leader and composer Jimmy Dorsey (“I’m Glad There is You,” “It’s the Dreamer in Me”) (d. 1957)
1916 – Singer-actress Dinah Shore, born Frances Rose Shore (“Blues in the Night,” “I’ll Walk Alone,” “The Gypsy,” “Buttons and Bows”) (d. 1994)
1936 – Retired astronaut Jack Lousma who served aboard the Skylab space station in 1973 and commanded STS-3, the third Space Shuttle mission in 1982
1944 – Chicago cop-turned-actor Dennis Farina (“Midnight Run,” “Snatch,” “Out of Sight,” “Get Shorty,” “Law & Order”) (d. 2013)
1960 – Motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins
1972 – Actor and model Antonio Sabato, Jr. (“General Hospital,” “Melrose Place,” “Charmed”)
1976 – Rap artist Ja Rule, born Jeffrey Atkins (“Between Me and You,” “Always on Time,” “Put It on Me”)
1940 – The epic Civil War drama “Gone With The Wind” clinches eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Hattie McDaniel, who played “Mammy,” is crowned Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first African American performer to win an Oscar.
1956 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower holds a nationally televised address to announce his intentions to seek a second term in The White House.
1968 – President Lyndon Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (also known as the Kerner Commission) warns Americans that “our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.”
1968 – Astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell announces the discovery of the first pulsar — a star that emits radio waves.
1976 – The 1965 film “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, airs on network television for the first time. ABC paid $15 million for a one-time only broadcast that became one of the top 20 rated movies ever shown on TV to that point.
1984 – Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announces that he is stepping down after more than 15 years in power.
1996 – A four-year siege of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo finally ends after shelling and sniper attacks that killed thousands.
2004 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns as president of Haiti following popular rebel uprising.
1958 – Frank Sinatra cruises along the top of the Billboard album chart with “Come Fly With Me,” featuring the tracks “Isle of Capri,” “Autumn in New York,” “April in Paris,” “Blue Hawaii” and, of course, the title track, “Come Fly With Me.” The album holds the top spot for five weeks.
1964 – The Beatles are in the middle of a seven-week domination of the Billboard singles chart with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
1968 – The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album scores big at the 10th Grammy Awards, earning statuettes for Album of the Year (first rock LP to do so), Best Album Cover, Best Engineered Recording and Best Contemporary Album.
1980 – Buddy Holly’s distinctive eyeglasses and The Big Bopper’s watch turn up inside a file at the Mason City, Iowa police station. Both articles had been misplaced 21 years earlier after the plane crash that killed them and rocker Ritchie Valens.
1980 – At age 84, comedian George Burns becomes the oldest person with a hit on the Billboard Hot 100, as “I Wish I Was 18 Again” peaks at No.49. The last charting record Burns had before this was a spoken word comedy routine with his wife and partner Gracie Allen in 1933.
1992 – Mr. Big kicks off three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “To Be with You.”
2004 – Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris have the No. 1 single with “Yeah!” It remains on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks.
2012 – Singer and actor Davy Jones, who was part of the pop group The Monkees, dies of a heart attack at the age of 66.