On This Day January 15

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On This Day April 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1865 – President Abraham Lincoln dies from the gunshot wound he sustained the night before while watching a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln’s death comes only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army, effectively ending the American Civil War.

1912 – More than 1,500 lives are lost in the early morning hours when the luxury liner Titanic sinks after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. 

1947 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American in baseball’s major leagues when he debuts with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This becomes a landmark event not only for the sport, but for the U.S. civil rights movement.

1955 – The golden arches rise in Des Plaines, Illinois with the opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant. Customers pay just 15 cents for a hamburger. The restaurant is built for drive-through service only, with indoor seating eventually added in 1962.

1959 – Four months after leading a successful revolution in Cuba, Fidel Castro begins an 11-day U.S. visit. It comes amid escalating tensions between his regime and the American government.

1997 – On the 50 anniversary of his first Major League Baseball game, the league retires Jackie Robinson’s number, 42. Robinson becomes the only player in MLB history to have his number retired across all teams, a sign of the reverence with which he is regarded decades after leading the charge to integrate the major leagues.

2013 – Two bombs go off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 others. Four days later, after an intense manhunt, authorities capture one of the bombing suspects, 19-year-old Dzhohkar Tsarnaev. His older brother and fellow suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dies following a shootout with police earlier that same day.

On This Day March 15

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On This Day February 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1879 – President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana (Cuba) Harbor, killing more than 260 crewmen. The incident prompts the U.S. to declare war on Spain. 

1903 – The first teddy bear, named for U.S. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, goes on sale. Toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window after personally getting Roosevelt’s permission to name them after him.

1933 – Two weeks before his inauguration, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt is fired upon by a would-be assassin after giving a speech in Miami. FDR is unharmed, but a bullet strikes Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who dies three weeks later.

1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. 

1978 – Leon Spinks takes the heavyweight boxing champion title away from defending champ Muhammad Ali in a split decision in Las Vegas. 

1985 – “The Breakfast Club” opens in U.S. theaters. Directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy — members of the so-called “Brat Pack” — it becomes an ’80s movie classic. In 2016, the film is selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

1998 – Racing great Dale Earnhardt, Sr. wins his first Daytona 500, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) season opener and an event dubbed the “Super Bowl of stock car racing.”

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1964 – “Meet The Beatles!” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, becoming The Beatles’ first chart-topping album in the U.S. It holds the top spot for eleven weeks and sells more than four million copies by the end of that year.

1965 – The Beatles record “Another Girl” and “Ticket to Ride” for the “Help!” album. Earlier that day, John Lennon earns a personal ticket to ride by passing his driving test. 

1965 – Entertainer Nat King Cole (“Unforgettable,” “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” “The Christmas Song,” “Mona Lisa”), who earned early acclaim as a jazz pianist and became the first African American performer to host a network TV variety show, dies of lung cancer at the age of 45.

1969 – Sly & the Family Stone rule the Billboard singles chart with “Everyday People,” which remains at No. 1 for four weeks.

1975 – “You’re No Good,” by Linda Ronstadt, is the No. 1 single.

1984 – Beloved actress-singer Ethel Merman, best known for her rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” dies at the age of 75.

1986 – “How Will I Know,” by Whitney Houston, becomes the most popular single in the U.S. for two weeks.

1992 – One-hit-wonder Right Said Fred is in the middle of three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m Too Sexy.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart.

On This Day January 15

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On This Day December 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1791 – Following ratification by the state of Virginia, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, become the law of the land.

1939 – The motion picture classic “Gone With the Wind,” starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, premieres in Atlanta. The film goes on to capture 10 Academy Awards.

1961 – Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer considered to be the architect of the Holocaust, is condemned to death by an Israeli war crimes tribunal.

1966 – Animation pioneer Walt Disney, who built an entertainment empire around a cartoon mouse, dies at the age of 65. The visionary creator of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck produced some of Hollywood’s greatest hits, conceived Disneyland and Disney World and was one of world’s most beloved storytellers. 

1973 – Jean Paul Getty III, the grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, five months after his kidnapping by an Italian gang.

1993 – “Schindler’s List,” from director Steven Spielberg, opens, starring Liam Neeson as German businessman Oskar Schindler, who saves the lives of over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. The movie wins seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

2001 –  Italy’s iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after a team of experts spends 11 years and $27 million to fortify the historic landmark without eliminating its famous lean.

2011 – The U.S. marks the end of the war in Iraq with a low-key ceremony in Baghdad eight years after the American-led invasion of that nation. Despite the declaration, violence intensifies there over the next several years.

On This Day November 15

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On This Day October 15

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

On This Day September 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1916 – The tank makes its debut as a battlefield weapon, attacking German troops as part of a British assault near Bois d’Elville, or Delville Wood, on the Western Front, during the Battle of the Somme in World War I.

1942 – Three Japanese torpedoes slam into the American aircraft carrier USS Wasp off Guadalcanal in the South Pacific during World War II. The attack claims the lives of nearly 200 of the ship’s 2,000 crewmen. The wreckage of the Wasp was discovered at the bottom of the Coral Sea in January 2019.

1954 – The iconic scene of Marilyn Monroe laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast of air from a Manhattan subway vent is shot during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch,” directed by Billy Wilder.

1959 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States. During the next two weeks, Khrushchev’s visit dominates the headlines and provides some dramatic and humorous moments in the history of the Cold War.

1963 – Four young black girls are killed in a bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that investigators determine to be a racially motivated terrorist attack. The bombing, which shocks the nation, is Birmingham’s third in 11 days following a federal order to integrate the Alabama schools.

1978 – Muhammad Ali defeats Leon Spinks to win the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, becoming the first fighter ever to do so. 

1981 – The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves Sandra Day O’Connor as the first female Supreme Court justice. 

1982 – Gannett publishes the first edition of a new national daily newspaper called USA Today.

2008 – The venerable Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Brothers seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the largest victim of the subprime mortgage crisis that would devastate financial markets and contribute to the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

On this Day August 15

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1769 – French military general/emperor Napolean Bonaparte (d. 1821)

1912 – TV chef and cookbook author Julia Child (d. 2004)

1925 – Actor Mike Connors, most remembered for his role as a detective in the CBS series “Mannix” (d. 2017)

1925 – Grammy-winning jazz pianist-composer Oscar Peterson (d. 2007)

1944 – Journalist, author and former NBC News correspondent Linda Ellerbee 

1946 – Grammy-winning songwriter-composer Jimmy Webb, who penned some of the highest-charting singles of the 20th century, including “Up, Up and Away,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “The Worst That Could Happen,” “All I Know,” “MacArthur Park”

1968 – Actress Debra Messing, best known as Grace Adler in the sitcom “Will & Grace”

1972 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor-director-producer Ben Affleck (“Dazed and Confused,” “Chasing Amy,” “Good Will Hunting,”  “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Town,” “Argo,” “Gone Girl,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”)

1989 – Singer-actor Joe Jonas, who originally performed with the Jonas Brothers before forming the band DNCE (“See No More,” “Just in Love,” “Cake by the Ocean”)

1990 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence (“The Bill Engvall Show,” “Winter’s Bone,” “X-Men: First Class,” “The Hunger Games,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle,” “Joy”)

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1960 – Elvis Presley is king of the pop chart with “It’s Now or Never.” The song remains at No. 1 for five weeks. 

1965 – More than 56,000 Beatles fans pack New York’s Shea Stadium for a concert introduced by TV host Ed Sullivan. The event serves as the kickoff of the Fab Four’s second U.S. tour.

1969 – Half a million hippies, flower children and 60s counter-culture zealots converge on a farm in Bethel, New York for what is billed as “three days of peace and music.” Decades later, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair is still considered the definitive concert event.

1970 – The Carpenters’ breakthrough hit, “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” marks its fourth and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track garners the sibling duo the first of three career Grammys.

1981 – Diana Ross and Lionel Richie kick off nine weeks on top of the pop chart with “Endless Love,” the theme from the movie of the same name. The track receives a Best Original Song Oscar nomination for Richie.

1992 – “End of the Road,” by Boyz II Men, is a Billboard No. 1, and holds the top spot for a then-record-breaking 13 weeks. The song goes on to capture two Grammys at the 1993 Grammy Awards.

1998 – Brandy and Monica have a lock on the No. 1 slot on the pop chart with “The Boy Is Mine.”

2015 – Omi wraps up four consecutive weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Cheerleader.” The track returns to No. 1 two weeks later and remains there for an additional two weeks.

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