February 16, 1956 -
The film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Carousel, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, premiered on this date.
While appearing in a nightclub act with his wife at Lake Tahoe, Gordon MacRae received an emergency phone call to replace Frank Sinatra as Billy Bigelow in the film, after Sinatra walked out on the filming when he discovered that every scene was to be filmed twice - once for regular CinemaScope and once for CinemaScope 55. Three weeks after he left, they found a way to film the scene once on 55mm, then transfer it onto 35mm.
February 16, 1964 -
The Beatles appeared for the second time on the Ed Sullivan Show on this date.
Among the songs the Beatles sang on the program were I Saw Her Standing There, From Me to You and I Want to Hold Your Hand. The Beatles received $25,000 for their appearance; half of what Elvis got for his.
February 16, 1975 -
The music variety series Cher premiered on CBS television on this date.
How did this get on the air?
Today in History:
February 16, 1918 -
Lithuania declared its independence from Russia. Independence lasted until World War II.
It was such a successful declaration that they declared their independence again in 1990.
February 16, 1921 - Vera-Ellen, actress and anorexia nervosa sufferer, was born on this date.
By the time she appeared in White Christmas, all of her costumes had to be redesigned to cover her neck which appeared horribly aged from the eating disorder.
February 16, 1923 - Lord Carnarvon opened King Tut's tomb, revealing one of the most well-preserved treasures from the ancient world on this date.
While it has been frequently reported that a curse killed 13 of the 20 people present at the opening of the tomb, there was no curse and no unusual death patterns occurred.
February 16, 1959 -
Failed baseball player Fidel Castro is sworn in as President For Life of Cuba after having led the revolution that removed Fulgenico Batista. At the time, Cuba was a nation plagued by poverty, racked by corruption, and held in thrall by the military force of its leader.
During his first year of rule, 500 are put to the firing squad, an RBI record any dictator would be proud of.
February 16, 1990 - Keith Haring, artist/cartoonist, died of AIDS at 31 on this date.
And so it goes