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Clear Lake’s Surf Ballroom named National Historic Landmark


The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson gave their last performances before the “day the music died,” has joined the nation’s official list of some of its most significant historical sites, the Des Moines Register reported. The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced Friday that the U.S. Department of the Interior had designated the Surf as a National Historic Landmark, making it part of an elite group of about 2,600 properties nationally. The ballroom is best known for hosting the last Winter Dance Party concert by Holly, Valens and Richardson before they died in a plane crash in the early hours of Feb. 3, 1959. The ballroom’s nomination was officially approved Jan. 13.

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