On This Day April 19
1975 – Elton John rules the pop chart with “Philadelphia Freedom.” The track is sometimes mistaken as a patriotic song about America, with the bicentennial approaching. It is actually a tribute to John’s close friend, tennis legend Billie Jean King, who, at the time, coached a tennis team called the Philadelphia Freedoms.
1980 – For the first time ever, the top five artists on the country music chart are all female: Crystal Gayle is No. 1, with Dottie West, Debby Boone, Emmylou Harris and Tammy Wynette making up the rest of the top five.
1980 – “Call Me” by Blondie claims the top spot on the singles chart and holds there for six weeks. The track is from the band’s “Autoamerican” album and is featured in the movie “American Gigolo,” starring Richard Gere.
1986 – “Kiss,” by Prince and The Revolution from the “Parade” album (the “Under the Cherry Moon” soundtrack) is the No. 1 single. Following Prince’s April 2016 death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 28, and jumped to No. 23 a week later.
1897 – The first Boston Marathon is run, and John McDermott of New York emerges from a 15-person starter field as the winner of the all-male event with a completion time of 2:55:10. In 1924, the course is extended from 24.5 miles to 26 miles, 385 yards to conform to the Olympic standard.
1956 – American actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony that is dubbed the “Wedding of the Century.” The 26-year-old American beauty becomes Princess Grace of Monaco.
1993 – A 51-day standoff between federal agents and Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas comes to a fiery end. The cult compound burns to the ground and 80 Davidians, including their leader, David Koresh and 22 children, are dead.
1995 – A massive explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma kills 168 people and injures hundreds more. The bomb, contained in a rented truck parked outside the building, goes off at 9:02 a.m. as people prepare for the workday.
Own a Piece of This Day
American Experience: Oklahoma City
Starring Bill Morlin and Mark Potok and directed by Barak Goodman
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick, and directed by Jim Sharman