On This Day April 12

Musical Milestones

1954 – Bill Haley and his Comets record “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” at Pythian Temple studios in New York City. The song, widely credited with bringing rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream, becomes a worldwide No. 1 and the biggest-selling pop single, with sales exceeding 25 million. 

1963 – Bob Dylan performs his first major solo concert at Town Hall in Manhattan. Dylan’s 24-song set includes “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Highway 51” and “Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie.”

1969 – The 5th Dimension soar to the top of the singles chart with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” which holds at No. 1 for six weeks.

1973 – Stevie Wonder is just 23 years old when he makes a guest appearance on the children’s television show Sesame Street. Wonder interacts with several beloved characters in segments throughout the program, including Grover, whom he teaches how to sing. He also performs his smash hit, “Superstition.”

1975 – Elton John claims the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks with “Philadelphia Freedom,” a song he wrote for his good friend, international tennis legend Billie Jean King.  “Philadelphia Freedom” is the name of the tennis team that King coached at the time.

1986 – Falco wraps up three weeks atop the Billboard singles chart with “Rock Me Amadeus.”

1997 – “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” by Puff Daddy featuring Mase, is in the midst of a six-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100.

2003 – 50 Cent rules the singles chart with “In da Club,” which remains at No. 1 for nine weeks. 

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Best of Bill Haley & His Comets: The Millennium Collection

Bill Haley & His Comets

Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

The Civil War: An Illustrated History

Geoffrey C. Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

Deborah Cadbury

Could It Be Forever? My Story

David Cassidy

When a Man Loves a Woman

Starring Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan and Lauren Tom, and directed by Luis Mandoki

On This Day March 12

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Millennium Collection: The Best Of The Temptations, Vol. 1 - The '60s

The Temptations

Greatest Hits

Ace of Base

Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts

Stacy A. Cordery

FDR

Jean Edward Smith

On the Road

Jack Kerouac

Cabaret

Starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Helmut Griem, directed by Bob Fosse

On This Day February 12

History Highlights

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded. It is America’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. 

1976 – Oscar-nominated actor Sal Mineo (“Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant,” “Exodus,” ” The Longest Day”) is stabbed to death outside his West Hollywood apartment at the age of 37. It takes authorities more than two years to arrest Lionel Williams, who is convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison.

1986 – After spending eight years in Soviet prisons and labor camps, human rights activist Anatoly (Natan) Scharansky is released.  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan brokered the amnesty deal at a summit meeting three months earlier.

1999 – The five-week impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton comes to an end, with the Senate voting to acquit Clinton on both articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice.

2002 – Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial at The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of genocide and war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. The trial drags on for four years until Milosevic is found dead of a heart attack in his prison cell at the age of 64. 

2008 – Struggling auto giant General Motors (GM) attempts to cut costs by offering buyouts to all 74,000 of its U.S. hourly employees represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

2008 – Hollywood’s longest work stoppage since 1988 ends when members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) overwhelmingly vote to go back to work following a 100-day walkout. The strike crippled the production of countless TV shows and cost the California economy more than $2 billion. It also gave rise to more reality TV programming that required little or no scripting.

Celebrity Birthdays

1809 – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (d. 1865)

1809 – Scientist Charles Darwin, who laid the foundations for the theory of evolution in his book, “The Origin of Species”  (d. 1882)

1915 – Radio announcer-turned-actor and singer Lorne Greene, best know as Ben Cartwright in the TV western “Bonanza,” and Commander Adama in the sci-fi TV series “Battlestar Galactica” (d. 1987)

1923 – Director-producer Franco Zeffirelli, known for his Shakespeare film adaptations, including “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Romeo and Juliet” (d. 2019)

1934 – Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star Bill Russell, who led the Boston Celtics to 11 championships from 1957 to 1969

1938 – Best-selling author Judy Blume, known for her children’s books and young-adult novels, including “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” 

1952 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and former Doobies Brothers vocalist Michael McDonald 

1956 – Actor, comedian and former talk show host Arsenio Hall 

1968 – Actor Josh Brolin (“The Goonies,” “No Country For Old Men,” “W,” “Milk,” “Men in Black 3,” “Hail, Caesar!”, “Deadpool 2”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Once Upon A Deadpool”, “Avengers: Endgame”, ) 

1980 – Actress Christina Ricci (“The Addams Family,” “Casper,” “The Ice Storm,” “The Opposite of Sex,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Monster,” “Pan Am”) 

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The McGuire Sisters Greatest Hits

The McGuire Sisters

A Star Is Born

Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson

Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement

Patricia Sullivan

The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild

Miranda J. Banks

The Addams Family

Starring Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci and Anjelica Huston, and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition

Charles Darwin

On This Day January 12

History Highlights

1904 – Driving his “999” Arrow Racer, automotive pioneer Henry Ford sets a land speed record of 91.37 miles per hours on the frozen surface of Michigan’s Lake St. Clair.

1926 –  The two-man comedy series “Sam ‘n’ Henry” debuts on Chicago radio station WGN. Two years later, after changing its name to “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” the show becomes one of the most popular radio programs in American history.

1932 – Hattie Wyatt Caraway, an Arkansas Democrat, becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. 

1966 – The “Batman” television series debuts on ABC, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Episodes feature acclaimed guest stars playing the various villains that battle Batman for supremacy over Gotham City. 

1969 – In the most celebrated performance of his prolific career, quarterback Joe Namath leads the New York Jets to a stunning 16-7 victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. 

1971 – The groundbreaking sitcom “All in the Family” premieres on CBS, about a working-class Queens, New York family grappling with various social issues. It stars Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker, Jean Stapleton as his wife, Edith, Sally Struthers as their daughter, Gloria, and Rob Reiner as their son-in-law, Michael (“Meathead”). The show was the brainchild of acclaimed writer-producer Norman Lear. 

1981 – A three-hour television movie serves as ABC’s pilot for the prime-time soap opera “Dynasty,” starring John Forsythe as oil tycoon Blake Carrington, Linda Evans as his wife, Crystal, and Joan Collins as Alexis, Carrington’s scheming ex-wife and business rival.

2010 – A magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastates the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. The quake — the strongest to strike the region in more than 200 years — leaves about 250,000 people dead and some 895,000 Haitians homeless.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

You Don't Mess Around With Jim

Jim Croce

The Joker

The Steve Miller Band

Batman: The Complete First Season

Starring Adam West and Burt Ward

All in the Family: Complete First Season

Starring Jean Stapleton and Carroll O’Connor

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

Cheers: Season 6

Starring Kirstie Alley, Ted Danson and Rhea Perlman

On This Day December 12

History Highlights

1901 – Guglielmo Marconi successfully sends the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.

1917 – In Omaha, Nebraska, Irish priest, Father Edward J. Flanagan, opens the doors to Boys Town, a home for troubled and neglected children that continues to provide this service today.

1967 – “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a groundbreaking movie about an interracial romantic relationship, starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, opens in theaters. It is the ninth movie to pair Hepburn with Tracy, who died less than three weeks after filming ended.

1972 – The world turns upside down for cruise ship passengers when the epic disaster film “The Poseidon Adventure” opens, featuring a veritable Hollywood ‘Who’s Who’ of a cast, including Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons, Roddy Mcdowall, Carol Lynley and Jack Albertson.

1980 – American oil tycoon Armand Hammer pays $5.1 million at auction for a notebook containing writings by artist-inventor Leonardo da Vinci. The manuscript, written around 1508, is among over two dozen books da Vinci produced during his lifetime.

1989 – The so-called “Queen of Mean,” hotel operator and real estate developer Leona Helmsley, who once quipped that “only the little people pay taxes,” receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service and a $7.1 million fine for tax fraud.

2000 – General Motors (GM) announces that it will begin to phase out its Oldsmobile line of cars, the oldest automotive brand in the United States. The last Olds rolls off an assembly line about four years later.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Best Of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: The Millennium Collection

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Faith (Remastered)

George Michael

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and directed by Stanley Kramer

The Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Red Buttons, and directed by Ronald Neame

Double Indemnity

Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson, and directed by Billy Wilder

Sinatra: Best Of The Best

Frank Sinatra

On This Day November 12

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Johnny Rivers: Greatest Hits

Johnny Rivers

Can't Slow Down

Lionel Richie

American Passage: The History of Ellis Island

Vincent J. Cannato

1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink

Taylor Downing

The Princess Bride

Starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon and Wallace Shawn, and directed by Rob Reiner

Brokeback Mountain

Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid and Anne Hathaway, and directed by Ang Lee

On This Day October 12

History Highlights

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Tusk (Remastered)

Fleetwood Mac

Greatest Hits - Chapter One

Kelly Clarkson

Space Race

Deborah Cadbury

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

Starring Al Gore and directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk

Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks

Luciano Pavarotti

Real Steel

Starring Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo and Evangeline Lilly, and directed by Shawn Levy

On This Day September 12

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Best of Edwin Starr: The Millennium Collection

Edwin Starr

Johnny Cash, The Greatest: The Number Ones

Johnny Cash

Common Ground

J. Anthony Lukas

Psycho

Starring Anthony PerkinsJanet LeighVera Miles, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics

Jeremy Schaap

The Sopranos, The Complete Series

Starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Steven Van Zandt and Joe Pantoliano

On this Day August 12

Musical Milestones

1960 – The Silver Beatles become The Beatles, and on this day, the newly renamed band hires Pete Best as drummer. Two years later, he is fired and replaced by Ringo Starr.

1964 – The Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night,” opens in 500 U.S. theaters to rave reviews.

1966 – The Beatles’ final U.S. tour begins with two performances at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago. During a pre-show press conference, reporters challenge John Lennon to explain his recent boast that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.

1967 – The Doors close out three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Light My Fire.” About a month later, the band performs the song before a national audience on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1978 – “Three Times a Lady,” by the Commodores featuring Lionel Richie, is the No. 1 single.

1985 – Japanese singer-actor Kyu Sakamoto is killed at the age of 43 in the crash of a Japan Airlines jetliner outside Tokyo. Sakamoto was the first Asian recording artist to have a No. 1 hit in the U.S.: “Sukiyaki” in June of 1963, which sold more than 13 million copies worldwide.

1995 – TLC is in the midst of a seven-week domination of the singles chart with “Waterfalls.”

2000 – “Incomplete,” by Sisqó, begins a two-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

2009 – Legendary guitarist Les Paul dies of pneumonia at age 94. Paul designed one of the first solid-body electric guitars, which went on sale in 1952 and was “instrumental” in the development of rock ‘n roll. He also pioneered other recording innovations such as multi-track recording and overdubbing.

History Highlights

30 B.C. – Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

1851 – Business tycoon Isaac Merritt Singer patents the sewing machine.

1939 – “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland and featuring words and music by E.Y. “Yip” Harburg and Harold Arlen, makes its world premiere at the Strand Theatre in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

1963 – The first 1964 Ford Thunderbird rolls off a Detroit assembly line. 

1977 – Space Shuttle Enterprise passes a critical test as it separates from the top of a 747 for its first free flight and makes a smooth landing in the Mojave Desert. 

1981 – IBM takes the wraps off the first personal computer (the IBM 5150) with a price tag starting at $1,565. That includes the system unit, a keyboard and color/graphics capability. It costs more for options including a display, a printer, two diskette drives, extra memory, a game adapter and application packages — including one for text processing. 

1990 – Digging on a cliff near Faith, South Dakota, paleontologist Susan Hendrickson unearths three huge bones that turn out to be part of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever discovered — a 67 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer.

2014 – Lauren Bacall, the smoky-voiced movie legend who taught Humphrey Bogart how to whistle in “To Have and Have Not,” dies at the age of 89. Bacall made more than 40 films during a 70-year career, including “The Big Sleep,” “How to Marry a Millionaire” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

A Hard Day's Night

The Beatles

The Definitive Collection

The Commodores

Singer and the Sewing Machine: A Capitalist Romance

Ruth Brandon

Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond

Thomas J. Watson, Jr. and Peter Petre

Adventures in the Screen Trade

William Goldman

Neck and Neck

Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins

On this Day July 12

History Highlights

1933 – Architect, engineer and philosopher Buckminster Fuller produces the first of three prototypes of the three-wheeled, multi-directional, rear-engine Dymaxion. The aerodynamic concept car could transport up to 11 passengers, got 30 miles to the gallon and reached a top speed of 90 miles per hour. However, a rollover accident during Dymaxion’s debut at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago kills the driver, injures three passengers and scares off investors, ensuring that the vehicle never goes to market.

1960 – Way before the advent of the iPad, Xbox and PlayStation, Etch A Sketch is introduced to consumers by the Ohio Art Company. The distinctive red plastic drawing toy with two white knobs has since sold over 175 million units worldwide and was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York in 1998. 

1976 – The TV game show “Family Feud” premieres with host Richard Dawson. It is currently hosted by Steve Harvey.

1982 – After 60 years of production, the last Checker taxi cab rolls off a Kalamazoo, Michigan assembly line.

1984 – Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale becomes the first major-party candidate to choose a woman as a running mate when he announces his choice of Geraldine Ferraro. 

1990 – The quirky series “Northern Exposure,” starring Rob Morrow as a New York doctor transplanted to a tiny town in Alaska, premieres on CBS. 

1991 – John Singleton makes his directorial debut with the release of “Boyz N the Hood,” a drama about life in South Central Los Angeles. The movie stars two future Oscar winners — Cuba Gooding Jr. and Regina King — and two Oscar nominees who are Hollywood legends: Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Holding Back the Years

Simply Red

No Way Out [Explicit]

Puff Daddy & The Family

Toy Time!

Christopher Byrne

Boyz N The Hood

Starring Ice CubeCuba Gooding Jr.Morris Chestnut, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, and directed by John Singleton

Milton Berle: An Autobiography

Milton Berle

In Good Company

Starring Dennis QuaidTopher Grace and Scarlett Johansson, and directed by Paul Weitz

page 1 of 2