On This Day, February 29th

1. 1980: Buddy Holly’s Glasses are found in Iowa 21 years after his death.

PHOTO: abc13

PHOTO: abc13

On Feburary 3rd 1959 a small aircraft takes off from a small airport outside Mason City, Iowa carrying three iconic rock singers of the time Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly was on its way to Moorhead, Minnesota. The conditions were terrible and the soon after take off the pilot lost control of the plane and crashed in a corn field killing everyone on board instantly. Wreckage from the plane was scattered all through the field and took weeks to sift through what was left of the remains and personal effects the people on board. One thing that was missing were Holly’s signature glasses and it was thought that they had been lost. Well 21 years later, on this day Sheriff Jerry Allen, from the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s office opened up a envelope marked “Rec’d April 7, 1959” and inside was the glasses that had been found once the snow had melted in the field were the crash took place. They had been turned into the sheriffs office as soon as they were found but were filed incorrectly. The glasses now sit at the at Buddy Holly Center in his home town of Lubbock, Texas.

2. 1939: Hattie McDaniel becomes frist African American to win an Academy Award.

PHOTO: HollywoodReporter

PHOTO: HollywoodReporter

Hattie Mcdaniel played “Mammy”, the former slave and now housekeeper in the classic film Gone With The Wind back in 1939. Although she was born in Wichita Kansas Hattie grew up in Denver Colorado and there she became fascinated with performing whether it be singing or acting on stage. In 1924 she was one of the first African American women to sing on U.S. Radio. When she landed the role of playing the housekeeper in the almost 4 hour long movie about a love story during the civil war she had no idea that not only would it become the best selling film of all time ( when you consider inflation into the total), but but also would land her the Oscar for best supporting actress. This has major significance because she was also the first African American to win an Oscar. Gone with the Wind went on to win 8 more awards that night but none of which more important then the one Hattie took home that night.

3. 1972: Hank Aaron signs contract for $200K a year, making him highest paid player at the time.

PHOTO: PSAcard

PHOTO: PSAcard

Two years before Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run surpassing the great Babe Ruth’s home run record he had set another record only this one had to do with money, and a lot of it. Granted it may be a drop in the bucket compared to the money that’s being made in baseball today but in 1972 $200,000 was a pretty good chunk of change and that’s what the Atlanta Braves were whiling to pay Aaron every year for the next three years. On this Day in 1972 Hank Aaron signs his name on a 3 year deal and thus becoming the highest paid baseball player up to that point. For a point of reference Babe Ruth was paid $70,000 a year on the low end, and today for example Clayton Kershaw a pitcher for the LA Dodgers is scheduled to make $32 million during the 2016 season.