February 16, 1899 -
Félix François Faure, President of France and the owner of the most audacious mustache in the late 19th century, died suddenly from a massive heart attack in his private offices while in the act of some sort of sexual congress with the notable courtesan, Marguerite Steinheil on this date.
Apparently when Faure reached his petit mort, he had his grand mort. A probably apocryphal story, listed as fact by many sources, is that M. Le President died with his hands gripping Miss Steinheil's head and an anxious government official nearly 'brained' her trying to remove the hysterical lady from the vise-like grip of his 'cold dead hands.'
Viva La France
February 16, 1940 -
A truncated version of A Chump at Oxford (the second to last Laurel and Hardy feature) was released on this date
The short version of the film was originally in four reels, a "streamliner" designed to compete with theaters' new double feature concept. Roach produced only a few of these hybrids, and added the dinner party sequence later to bring it up to it's feature length.
February 16, 1956 -
The film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Carousel, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, premiered on this date.
Two songs from the show, "You're A Queer One, Julie Jordan," as performed by Barbara Ruick and Shirley Jones and "Blow High, Blow Low," as performed by Cameron Mitchell and a male chorus, were recorded, but do not appear in the final film. They are both included on the film soundtrack album.
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.
Vera went to the same Cincinnati ballroom dance studio as a child as Doris Day. Their parents used to carpool together to the dance studio.
February 16, 1923 -
Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter 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