On this Day June 5

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1933 – The U.S. goes off the gold standard, a monetary system in which currency is backed by gold, when Congress enacts a joint resolution nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.

1967 – Israel responds to an ominous build-up of Arab forces along its borders by launching simultaneous attacks against Egypt and Syria. And so begins the Six-Day War.

1968 – Senator Robert Kennedy is fatally shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. He is just 42, four years younger than his brother, President John F. Kennedy, when he was assassinated in November 1963.

1981 – The “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that five people in Los Angeles have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what turns out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.

1998 – More than 3,400 unionized General Motors (GM) workers at a Flint, Michigan plant begin a 54-day strike — the longest walkout at GM in nearly three decades. Later joined by more than 5,000 workers from a nearby plant, the strike causes parts shortages that force some 30 GM assembly plants to shut down.

2004 – Ronald Reagan, the Hollywood actor who became one of the most popular presidents of the 20th century and transformed the political landscape of an era with his vision of conservative government, dies at age 93 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

2012 – Prolific science fiction author Ray Bradbury, whose books include such classics as “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” dies at the age of 91.

On This Day January 15

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On This Day October 4

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On This Day February 29

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – Frank Sinatra cruises along the top of the Billboard album chart with “Come Fly With Me,” featuring the tracks “Isle of Capri,” “Autumn in New York,” “April in Paris,” “Blue Hawaii” and, of course, the title track, “Come Fly With Me.” The album holds the top spot for five weeks.

1964 – The Beatles are in the middle of a seven-week domination of the Billboard singles chart with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

1968 – The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album scores big at the 10th Grammy Awards, earning statuettes for Album of the Year (first rock LP to do so), Best Album Cover, Best Engineered Recording and Best Contemporary Album.

1980 – Buddy Holly’s distinctive eyeglasses and The Big Bopper’s watch turn up inside a file at the Mason City, Iowa police station. Both articles had been misplaced 21 years earlier after the plane crash that killed them and rocker Ritchie Valens.

1980 – At age 84, comedian George Burns becomes the oldest person with a hit on the Billboard Hot 100, as “I Wish I Was 18 Again” peaks at No.49. The last charting record Burns had before this was a spoken word comedy routine with his wife and partner Gracie Allen in 1933.

1992 – Mr. Big kicks off three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “To Be with You.”

2004 – Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris have the No. 1 single with “Yeah!” It remains on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks.

2012 – Singer and actor Davy Jones, who was part of the pop group The Monkees, dies of a heart attack at the age of 66.

On this Day August 31

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On this Day August 30

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1898 – Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actress Shirley Booth (“Come Back, Little Sheba,” “Hazel,” “The Glass Menagerie”) (d. 1992)

1908 – Actor Fred MacMurray (“Double Indemnity,” “My Three Sons”) (d. 1991)

1918 – Baseball legend Ted Williams (d. 2002)

1924 – Fashion designer Geoffrey Beene (d. 2004)

1927 – Actor Bill Daily (“I Dream of Jeannie,” “The Bob Newhart Show”) (d. 2018)

1930 – Investment guru and philanthropist Warren Buffett, a.k.a. “The Oracle of Omaha”

1939 – Tony-winning actress Elizabeth Ashley (“Take Her, She’s Mine,” “The Carpetbaggers,” “Evening Shade”)

1946 – Actress Peggy Lipton (“The Mod Squad,” “Twin Peaks,” “The Postman”) (d. 2019)

1948 – Grammy-winning comedian Lewis Black (“The Daily Show,” “Black on Broadway,” “Red, White, and Screwed,” “The Carnegie Hall Performance”)

1954 – Actor David Paymer (“Mr. Saturday Night,” “Quiz Show,” “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “City Slickers,” “Crazy People,” “Get Shorty,” “The American President,” “Ocean’s Thirteen,” “Drag Me to Hell”)

1963 – Actor Michael Chiklis (“The Commish,” “The Shield,” “Fantastic Four,” “Vegas,” “American Horror Story”)

1966 – Actress Michael Michele (“ER,” “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Ali,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”)

1972 – Actress Cameron Diaz (“The Mask,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Being John Malkovich,” the “Charlie’s Angels” movies, the animated “Shrek” movies,” “Vanilla Sky,” “The Other Woman,” “Sex Tape,” “Annie”)

1982 – Tennis great Andy Roddick

History Highlights
History Highlights

1918 – Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin is shot twice by a member of the Social Revolutionary party. but survives the attack. The attempted assassination triggers a wave of reprisals by Bolsheviks against the Social Revolutionaries and other political opponents. Thousands are executed as Russia falls deeper into civil war.

1963 – A “hotline” linking Moscow and Washington, D.C. is activated to provide instant communication between the Superpowers in case nuclear weapons are accidentally launched. The system consists of a cable with a device resembling a large typewriter on either end.

1965 – New York Mets Manager Casey Stengel announces his retirement, ending a 56-year career in professional baseball.

1967 –  The U.S. Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as the first African American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In nominating Marshall to the nation’s highest court, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “It was the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place.” Marshall serves 24 years on the high court before retiring in 1991.

1976 – Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of NBC’s “Today” show. where he remains for six years. He leaves in 1982 to co-anchor “NBC Nightly News” with Roger Mudd, taking over as sole anchor in 1983 and remaining in that post until 2004.

1983 – U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Guion “Guy” Bluford becomes the first African American to travel into space when the space shuttle Challenger lifts off on its third mission. In 2010, Bluford is inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

2003 – Actor Charles Bronson, best known for his tough-guy roles in movies like “The Dirty Dozen” and the “Death Wish” franchise, dies at the age of 81 in Los Angeles.

On this Day August 29

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On this Day August 28

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1961 – The Marvelettes release their first single, “Please Mr. Postman,” which sells over a million copies and becomes the group’s biggest hit. It reaches the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B survey, becoming Motown’s first chart-topper.

1961 – Joe Dowell rockets to No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart with his cover of “Wooden Heart,” originally performed by Elvis Presley a year earlier in the movie “G.I. Blues.” Presley’s version reached No. 1 in the U.K.

1965 – Bob Dylan kicks off a 40-date North American tour with a performance at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York. For the second time that year, he angers folk music purists when he performs the latter half of his show with an electric guitar.

1971 – The Bee Gees enjoy their fourth and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.”

1982 – “Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor, roars into its sixth and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track is the theme from the movie “Rocky III,” starring Sylvester Stallone.

1986 – Grammy-winning “Queen of Rock ‘n Roll” Tina Turner is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1993 – Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” begins three weeks atop the Billboard album chart. The album features cover artwork painted by Joel’s then-wife, Christie Brinkley.

1999 – Christina Aguilera wraps up a five-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Genie in a Bottle.”

2004 – Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe and Remy lays claim to the top spot on the singles chart with “Lean Back.”

On this Day August 27

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1883 – The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history jolts Krakatoa (also known as Krakatau), a small, uninhabited volcanic island located west of Sumatra in Indonesia. The resulting explosions and tsunamis kill an estimated 36,000 people.

1953 – “Roman Holiday,” featuring Audrey Hepburn in her first starring movie role, premieres in New York City.

1955 – The first edition of “The Guinness Book of Records” is published in England as a resource for pub patrons to settle friendly disputes. By that Christmas, it becomes a British best-seller. Today, it is the leading international authority for certifying every conceivable world record, from longest mustache to most tattooed woman, and everything in between.

1962 – NASA launches the Mariner 2 space probe on a mission to fly by Venus and return data on the planet’s atmosphere, magnetic field, charged particle environment and mass.

1964 – Gracie Allen, who kept radio and TV audiences laughing for decades with comedy partner and husband George Burns, dies at age 69.

1966 – Sixty-five-year-old Francis Chichester sets sail from Plymouth, England aboard his yacht, Gipsy Moth IV, on the first solo around-the-world trip by sea. He completes the voyage nine months and one day later with only a single stop in Sydney, Australia, and is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

1984 – President Ronald Reagan announces the Teacher in Space Project to inspire students, honor teachers and spur interest in mathematics, science and space exploration. New Hampshire social studies teacher Christa McAuliffe is eventually selected out of 11,000 applicants to be the first teacher in space. Sadly, she is killed along with all her fellow crew members in the January 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger 73 seconds after liftoff.

On this Day August 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1920 – The 19th Amendment, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution by proclamation of Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. In 1973, Congress designates this date Women’s Equality Day.

1939 – The first Major League baseball game is televised. It’s a double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers at New York’s Ebbets Field, with the teams splitting the match. 

1957 – The Soviet Union declares that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of being fired “into any part of the world.” The announcement sets nations around the world on edge.

1968 – As the Democratic National Convention opens in Chicago, thousands of demonstrators take to the streets to protest the Vietnam War. 

1974 – Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, dies of cancer in Hawaii at the age of 72. 

1985 – The Yugo, the Yugoslavian-built compact car that Americans loved to hate, is introduced to the U.S. auto market. Sales begin to sputter in the late 1980s, and by 1992, Yugo America is out of business.

1986 – In what becomes known as the “Preppy Murder” case because of the upper-class status of both the victim and killer, the body of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin is discovered in New York’s Central Park shortly after leaving a bar with 19-year-old Robert Chambers. Chambers is arrested, charged and ultimately found guilty of Levin’s murder, and dubbed the “Preppy Killer.”

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