Search This Blog


favourite Posts


This Month In YesterYear History - February

Let's get on with it, shall we?  The February 2023 edition of "This Month in YesterYear History!"  
In this series, we take a brief look back at the "best" or "top" of popular culture from the past 20 (2003), 25 (1998), and 30 (1993) years ago!   

Below, you'll find a little time capsule of what was significant in our lives during those days.  Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses of the past, you'll begin to remember the who, when, and where of your memories from that time.  

That's why I post to this site, after all!  So, let's get into those time machines, my friends!  

We're headed back to Twenty, Twenty-Five, and Thirty years ago!


2003:  On the 1st, NASA Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates on reentry, killing everyone on board.  On February 3, music producer Phil Spector shot and killed actress Lana Clarkson.  Yugoslavia is officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro on the 4th.  Michael Waltrip won his second Daytona 500 on February 16.  "Real Time with Bill Maher" debuts on HBO on February 21.  Norah Jones' hit song "Don't Know Why" wins a Grammy for Best Song on the 23rd.  

1998:  On the 3rd, Florida Panther Dino Cicarelli becomes the 9th NHL player to score 600 goals.  On the 4th, Mary Kay Letourneau violates her probation with the 14-year-old father of her baby.  She's later sentenced to 7 years in prison.  New York Yankees named Brian Cashman as the new General Manager the same day.  On February 5, author Tom Clancy purchased the NFL's Minnesota Vikings for $200 million.  On February 6, Washington National Airport was renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport.  On the 7th, the Winter Olympic Games begin in Nagano, Japan.  On the 8th, the NHL shuts down the season to accommodate players participating in the Winter Olympics.  On the 15th, Dale Earnhardt wins his only Daytona 500.  On the 17th, NASA's Voyager 1 becomes the farthest object from the earth, overtaking Pioneer 10.  The USA Women's hockey team defeats Canada to win the Gold Medal on the 18th.  Tara Lipinski wins the Gold Medal in Figure Skating on the 20th.  On the 24th, Elton John is knighted by Queen Elizabeth.  The 26th finds Oprah "not guilty" of defamation in a lawsuit brought by Texas beef producers and cattlemen.  The first flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and regularly fly in U.S. civilian airspace, takes place on the 28th.

1993:  On February 3, the Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was suspended for one year for racist comments.  On the 4th, the trial for four police officers involved in the Rodney King beating begins.  On February 8, General Motors sued NBC, claiming Dateline NBC rigged two car accidents in a false claim that G.M. trucks were prone to fires.  On the 10th, "Michael Johnson talks to Oprah" airs on ABC and is watched by 90 million people.  The next day, President Clinton selected Janet Reno to be the first female Attorney General of the United States.  On the 14th, at the Daytona 500, Dale Jarrett bested Dale Earnhardt in the final lap to win.  In hockey, on the 17th, Hartford Whaler's Pat Verbeek scores his 300th goal while the New York Islanders retire Billy Smith's number 31.  On the 19th, Ace of Base's debut album is released.  On the 20th, the Florida Marlins open their first spring training.  On the 23rd, actor Gary Coleman wins a $1.3 million lawsuit against his parents.  The next day, Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" won the Grammy for Best Song.  On February 26, a truck bomb exploded in the World Trade Center in New York City, killing 6 in what was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil to that point.  Gunfire is exchanged when the FBI attempts a raid on a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, on February 28.


2003: "DareDevil" -  Daredevil is a 2003 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett.  The film stars Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights for justice in the courtroom and on the streets of New York as the masked vigilante Daredevil.  Jennifer Garner plays his love interest Elektra Natchios; Colin Farrell plays the merciless assassin Bullseye.

The film began development in 1997 at 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures before New Regency acquired the rights in 2000.  Johnson shot the film primarily in Downtown Los Angeles despite the film's Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan setting.  Daredevil was released on February 14, 2003, and received generally mixed reviews from critics.  Nevertheless, the film became the second-biggest February release up to that time, with a worldwide gross of $179.2 million against its $78 million budget. 

In 2004, an R-rated director's cut of Daredevil was released, reincorporating 30 minutes of the film, and reviews were more positive than for the theatrical version.  A spin-off film, Elektra, was released in 2005 to critical and commercial failure. 

1998: "Titanic" -  This 1997 romance and disaster film was directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron.  Incorporating both historical and fictionalized aspects, it is based on accounts of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.  The two members of different social classes fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage. 

 Production began on September 1, 1995, when Cameron shot footage of the actual Titanic wreck.  Scale models, computer-generated imagery, and a reconstruction of the Titanic built at Baja Studios were used to re-create the sinking.  The film was co-financed by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox; the former handled distribution in North America, while the latter released the film internationally.  It was the most expensive film ever made at the time, with a production budget of $200 million.

Upon its release on December 19, 1997, Titanic achieved significant critical and commercial success and received numerous accolades.  It was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and tied All About Eve (1950) for the most Oscar nominations.  It won 11, including Best Picture and Best Director awards, tying Ben-Hur (1959) for the most Oscars won by a single film. 

With an initial worldwide gross of over $1.84 billion, Titanic was the first film to reach the billion-dollar mark.  It remained the highest-grossing film until another Cameron film, Avatar, surpassed it in 2010. 

1993: "Groundhog Day" -  Groundhog Day is a 1993 film directed by Harold Ramis.  It stars Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott.  Murray portrays Phil Connors, a cynical television weatherman covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who becomes trapped in a time loop, forcing him to relive February 2 repeatedly. 

After being cast, Murray clashed with Ramis over the script; Murray wanted to focus on the philosophical elements, whereas Ramis concentrated on the comic aspects.  Principal photography took place from March to June 1992, almost entirely in Woodstock, Illinois.  Filming was challenging, in part because of bitterly cold weather but also because of the ongoing conflict between Ramis and Murray.

Groundhog Day was considered a box-office success on its release, earning over $105 million to become one of the highest-grossing films of 1993.  For all its success, the film marked the end of Ramis and Murray's long collaborative partnership, which produced films like Caddyshack (1980) and Ghostbusters (1984).  After filming, the pair did not speak until shortly before Ramis's death in 2014.  The film was a showcase for Murray; previously seen only as a comic actor, his performance led to more serious lead roles in critically acclaimed films.

Since its release, the film has grown in esteem and is often considered among the greatest films of the 1990s and one of the greatest comedy movies ever.  It also significantly impacted popular culture; the term Groundhog Day became part of the English lexicon, meaning a monotonous, unpleasant, and repetitive situation.  In 2006, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry. 


2003:  "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne

1998:  "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion

1993:  "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston


2003:  On the 5th, The Price Is Right broadcasts its first Million Dollar Spectacular on CBS.  

On the 8th, a new CGI version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles launches on Fox.  The 300th episode of The Simpsons is broadcast on Fox on the 16th, the same night as the Married with Children Reunion Special.  

David Letterman takes a few weeks' leave starting the 21st, battling shingles.  Guest hosts to replace him include Bruce Willis, Regis Philbin, Will Ferrell, and Elvis Costello.  

On the 24th, Dan Rather interviewed Saddam Hussein on CBS Evening News shortly before the Iraq invasion began.  

Two days later,  The Young and the Restless celebrates its 30th Anniversary.  

On the 27th, Fred Rogers, host of the beloved Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, died of stomach cancer at 74.  

1998:  The PreVue channel, now known as PopTV, revamps its entire schedule to include short-form segments.  The revamp lasts until January 31, 1999, and is again updated into "The T.V. Guide Channel."  

1993:  On the 10th, Oprah Winfrey interviews Michael Jackson at the Neverland Ranch in Jackson's first television interview since 1979 with Barbara Walters.  On the 24th, Michael Jackson received a Grammy Legends Award, presented to him by his sister Janet.  

On the 26th, The Days of Our Lives nighttime special "Night Sins" is broadcast on NBC.