On This Day October 10
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1845 – The U.S. Naval Academy opens in Annapolis, Maryland, with 50 midshipmen students and seven professors. Known as the Naval School until 1850, the curriculum included mathematics and navigation, gunnery and steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy and French.
1985 – Lung cancer claims the life of 65-year-old actor Yul Brynner (“The King and I,” “The Ten Commandments,” “The Magnificent Seven”), who recorded an impassioned anti-smoking public service announcement shortly before his death.
2004 – Actor Christopher Reeve, beloved for his starring role in four “Superman” movies, dies of heart failure at the age of 52. Left quadriplegic in a 1995 horse-riding accident, Reeve had become an outspoken advocate for spinal cord research until his death, establishing a foundation still in operation today.
1956 – Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender,” from the movie of the same name, debuts on the pop chart, reaching No. 1 a month later. It is an adaptation of the Civil War-era tune “Aura Lee or The Maid with Golden Hair.”
1979 – “The Rose,” starring Bette Midler as a self-destructive 1960s rock star, premieres in Los Angeles. The movie, based on the life of rock legend Janis Joplin, goes on to receive four Oscar nominations, including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Midler, in her screen debut).
1981 – The Diana Ross-Lionel Richie duet, “Endless Love,” concludes its nine-week reign over the singles chart.
1988 – U2 release “Rattle and Hum,” a companion to the movie of the same name. The album contains live performances from the band’s successful 1987-88 “The Joshua Tree” tour, as well as additional songs recorded at the historic Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
2009 – The Black Eyed Peas begin the final week of a marathon 14-week hold on the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Gotta Feeling.” The song goes on to capture a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.