February 21st was the day in history when…
1988: Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart confessed his sins to his congregation. The popular television minister was seen coming out of a hotel room with a known prostitute. After the scandal became public Swaggart made a dramatic televised statement in which he apologized for his indiscretions. Although he appeared he was very nonspecific about the nature of his sins.
1986: AIDS patient Ryan White returned to classes at Western Middle School. White was born with a severe type of hemophilia. He received regular treatments in the form of transfusions of Factor VIII, a blood product that assists with clotting. At the age of 13 the teen was diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The disease was poorly understood in the 1980s and there were much misinformation about how it was transmitted. When the school was informed of White’s condition the Board of Education banned him from returning due to fear that he might spread the disease to other students. An eight month legal battle followed in which the decision went back and forth between the two sides. On this date Ryan was permitted to return to school. Many of the town families protested, with 151 of 360 students staying home that day. That afternoon a judge issued a ruling once again forbidding White from attending school.
1970: Jackson 5 made TV debut on American Bandstand. The five singing brothers were a pop sensation. They appeared on Dick Clark’s program where they performed “ABC” for the first time, ahead of its February 24th release date. The hit became the groups signature song, which knocked the Beatles song “Let It Be” out of the number one spot on the pop chart.
1963: Billy Baldwin – designer
1958: Mary-Chapin Carpenter – country singer
1946: Tyne Daly – actress
1943: David Geffin – music producer
1934: Rue McClanahan – actress
Notable People Lost:
1995: Robert Bolt – British playwright, Doctor Zhivago
1993: Ferrucci Lamborghini – car maker
1965: Malcolm X – Moslem leader, assassinated
Odd Holidays (There's Always Something to Celebrate!):
National Sticky Bun Day
Love your pet Day
Thought for the day: How come all of the planets are spherical?
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