On This Day February 29
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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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.