On This Day April 30
1983 – Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album delivers yet another chart-topper. “Beat It” rises to the top of the Billboard singles chart, just one week after “Billie Jean” ends its seven-week run at No. 1.
2015 – Legendary R&B singer Ben E. King, who performed with The Drifters before launching a solo career, dies at the age of 76. In 1960, the Drifters had a No. 1 single with “Save The Last Dance For Me,” and King had the Top 10 hit “Stand By Me” in 1961 and again in 1986 when it was used in the movie of the same name.
1789 – George Washington, the great military leader of the American Revolution, is inaugurated as the first president of the United States during a ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City — then the nation’s capital.
1939 – Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) becomes the first U.S. president to appear on television when he officially opens the New York World’s Fair. He does so on the 150th anniversary of George Washington’s presidential inauguration.
1975 – Saigon falls, as the president of South Vietnam announces his country’s unconditional surrender to the Viet Cong. Communist troops move into Saigon and a thousand Americans are hastily evacuated.
1993 – A knife-wielding man lunges from the stands during a tennis match in Hamburg, Germany and stabs then-world No. 1-ranked Monica Seles in the back. Spectators subdue the assailant, a fan of German tennis great Steffi Graf, who apparently hoped that by injuring Seles, Graf would be able to regain her No. 1 ranking. Seles recovers, but takes a two-year hiatus from the game.
1997 – Ellen DeGeneres’ TV character, Ellen Morgan, comes out as lesbian on “Ellen.” The introduction of the first-ever gay lead character on television becomes a breakthrough moment for the LGBQT community. Forty-four million viewers tune in to “The Puppy Episode,” which captures an Emmy and Peabody Award.
1923 – Actor Al Lewis, born Albert Meister, best known for his portrayal of Grandpa in the 1960s sitcom “The Munsters” and Officer Leo Schnauser in another 60s sitcom, “Car 54, Where Are You?” (d. 2006)
Own a Piece of This Day
Starring Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler and Mickey Shaughnessy, and directed by Richard Thorpe
Anatomy of a Murder
Starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara and Eve Arden, and directed by Otto Preminger