History Highlights

1906 – A powerful earthquake destroys large sections of San Francisco and sparks fires that burn for days. The death toll exceeds 3,000. 

1923 – More than 74,000 fans attend opening day at the New York Yankees’ new home in the Bronx. Babe Ruth slams the door on the Boston Red Sox with a game-winning three-run homer and Yankee Stadium becomes known as “The House that Ruth Built.”

1955 – Legendary physicist Albert Einstein, who won the Nobel Prize for his General Theory of Relativity (E=mc2), dies at the age of 76.

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.

1983 – A suicide bomber crashes a truck into the front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, setting off a massive blast that kills 63 people.

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students take to the streets of Beijing to protest government policies and call for greater democracy. Similar demonstrations begin in other cities and universities across China. The movement culminates with the bloody Tiananmen Square Massacre that June.

2012 – Entertainment icon Dick Clark, best known for hosting “American Bandstand” — an influential music-and-dance show that aired nationally for more than three decades and helped bring rock and roll into the mainstream in the late 1950s — dies of a heart attack at 82. Affectionately called “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark also hosted ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” ringing in each new year from New York’s Times Square.

2014 – Sixteen Nepali mountaineering guides, most of them ethnic Sherpas, are killed by an avalanche on Mt. Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. It is the single deadliest accident in the history of the Himalayan peak that lies between Nepal and China.

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Let It Be

The Beatles

Adrenalize

Def Leppard

Images of America: 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Richard Hansen and Gladys Hansen 

American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire

John A. Jackson

Once Upon a Time in America

Starring Robert De Niro, James Woods and Joe Pesci, and directed by Sergio Leone

Conan O’Brien Believes

Conan O’Brien

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Greatest Hits

Neil Young

Saturday Night Fever [The Original Movie Soundtrack]

Bee Gees / Various Artists

The First Soviet Cosmonaut Team: Their Lives and Legacies

Colin Burgess and Rex Hall

The Producers

Starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Dick Shawn, and directed by Mel Brooks

Mission: Impossible - The Sixth TV Season

Starring Peter Graves and Greg Morris

Fame

Starring Irene Cara, Lee Curreri and Laura Dean, and directed by Alan Parker

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Rock Around The Clock

Bill Haley

What'd I Say

Ray Charles

Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards

Mason Wiley

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

Pulp Fiction

Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

Sixteen Candles

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

Musical Milestones

1944 – The first jazz concert — known as the Esquire All-American Jazz Concert — is held at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden and Billie Holiday.

1960 – Johnny Preston starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Running Bear,” a song written by J. P. Richardson (a.k.a. “The Big Bopper”). The song was released shortly after Richardson’s death in the February 1959 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

1964 – The Beatles make their U.S. singles chart debut when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” enters at No. 45. It goes on to spend seven weeks at No. 1. 

1975 – Barry Manilow scores his first chart-topping single when “Mandy” reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, is the No. 1 single. The track, written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, wins Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year Grammys.

1989 – At 38 years of age, Stevie Wonder becomes the youngest living person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has excellent company, as other inductees in his class include The Rolling Stones, The Temptations and Dion (DiMucci).

1992 – Michael Jackson wraps up seven weeks as a chart-topper with “Black or White,” off his “Dangerous” album.

2003 – Eminem finds himself on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for another week with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” soundtrack.

History Highlights

1778 – British explorer Captain James Cook becomes the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands when he sails past the island of Oahu. Two days later, he lands at Waimea on the island of Kauai and names the island cluster the Sandwich Islands, after the voyage’s sponsor, the Earl of Sandwich.

1919 – Leaders of the Allied powers — the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy — convene in Versailles, France to begin the long and complex negotiations that would pave the way for the end of World War I. The Paris Peace Conference, as it is known, leads to creation of the League of Nations, an international peacekeeping organization.

1975 – The sitcom “The Jeffersons,” one of several spin-offs from TV’s groundbreaking “All in the Family,” premieres on CBS and becomes a ratings bonanza of its own during an 11-season run. Another Norman Lear creation, it stars Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as a successful African-American couple adjusting to life on Manhattan’s ritzy East Side after leaving their modest Queens neighborhood.

1977 – Scientists identify the cause of a mysterious outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 34 people at a 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. 

1990 – An FBI sting leads to the arrest of Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for possession of crack cocaine. After serving six months in federal prison, the so-called “mayor for life” makes one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American politics in 1994 when D.C. residents elect him to a fourth term as mayor.

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Esquire All-American Jazz Concert

Featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and other jazz legends

Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Margaret MacMillan

Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.

Marion Barry, Jr. and Omar Tyree

To Catch A Thief

Starring Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Jessie Royce Landis, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Dances with Wolves

Starring Kevin Costner and Mary McDonnell, and directed by Kevin Costner

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The Definitive Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

H2O

Hall & Oates

Verdun: The Lost History of the Most Important Battle of World War I

John Mosier

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Lionel Jeffries, and directed by Ken Hughes

GoodFellas

Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, and directed by Martin Scorsese

Inglourious Basterds

Starring Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

Musical Milestones

1956 – Fats Domino appears on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and plays his smash, “Blueberry Hill.”

1957 – Elvis Presley remains perched atop the U.S. singles chart for a fifth straight week with “Jailhouse Rock,” from the movie of the same name.

1963 – “I’m Leaving It Up to You” by Dale & Grace is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1971 – Memphis blues singer and musician Herman ‘Junior’ Parker dies at the age of 39 during surgery for a brain tumor. Among his hits were “Feelin’ Good,” “Driving Wheel,” “Next Time You See Me,” “In the Dark” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”

1978 – “52nd Street” becomes Billy Joel’s first No. 1 album. It contains some of his biggest hits to date, including “My Life,” “Big Shot” and “Honesty,” and goes on to capture two Grammy Awards.

1989 – Bad English’s “When I See You Smile” begins its second and final weeks at No, 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1993 – Five months before frontman Kurt Cobain’s death, Nirvana record their “MTV Unplugged” special at Sony Music Studios in New York City. The setlist consists of lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets and Lead Belly. The album goes on to win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.

1995 – “Fantasy.” by Mariah Carey, enters its eighth and final week on top of the pop chart.

2017 – Australian musician and songwriter Malcolm Young, best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for the hard rock band AC/DC, dies at the age of 64.

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Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

52nd Street

Billy Joel

MTV Unplugged in New York

Nirvana

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Neal Gabler

A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown

Julia Scheeres

Big

Starring Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins and Robert Loggia, and directed by Penny Marshall

Midnight in Paris

Starring Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody and Carla Bruni, and directed by Woody Allen

History Highlights

1867 – The U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre.

1898 – One year after Spain grants Puerto Rico self-rule, American troops raise the U.S. flag over the Caribbean nation, formalizing U.S. authority over the island’s one million inhabitants.

1931 – Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, dies from complications of diabetes in his West Orange, New Jersey home at the age of 84. Edison is most famous for inventing the phonograph, motion picture camera and the incandescent light bulb.

1954 – Music, information and sports become portable as Texas Instruments and the Regency division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates introduce the transistor radio. Marketed as the “world’s first pocket radio,” the Regency Model TR-1 retails for $49.95

1961 – “West Side Story” opens in theaters, featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The movie musical captures 10 Academy Awards.

1967 – “The Jungle Book” opens at the box office. It’s the last animated feature personally produced by Walt Disney, who died during production.

1968 – The U.S. Olympic Committee suspends two African American sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a “Black Power” salute during their medal ceremony at the Mexico City games.

1988 – The sitcom “Roseanne” premieres on ABC, starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.

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The Definitive Collection

The Temptations

Control / Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

West Side Story

Starring Natalie WoodRichard BeymerRuss Tamblyn, and directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise with music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim

Something in the Air: American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics

Richard Hoffer

Patton

Starring George C. Scott, Frank Latimore and Karl Malden, and directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

The Greatest Showman

Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams, and directed by Michael Gracey

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The Very Best of Bobby Vee

Bobby Vee

Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Route 66

Starring Martin Milner, George Maharis and Glenn Corbett

The New York Times: Front Pages, 1851-2016

The New York Times

Greta Garbo: A Divine Star

David Bret

The Nutty Professor

Starring Eddie MurphyJada Pinkett Smith andJames Coburn, and directed by Tom Shadyac

Celebrity Birthdays

1927 – Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

1933 – Director Roman Polanski, born Raimund Polanski, whose first American movie was 1968’s “Rosemary’s Baby”

1936 – Oscar-winning actor, director, producer and Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford (“Barefoot in the Park,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Candidate,” “The Way We Were,” “The Sting,” “All the President’s Men,” “Ordinary People,” “Out of Africa,” “Legal Eagles,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”)

1943 – Actor-comedian Martin Mull (“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Fernwood 2 Night,” ” Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “Two and a Half Men”)

1952 – Actor Patrick Swayze (“Red Dawn,” “Uncommon Valor,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost,” “Donnie Darko”) (d. 2009)

1957 – Actor-comedian Denis Leary (“True Crime,” the “Ice Age” movie series, “Rescue Me,” “Recount,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Draft Day,” “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll”)

1969 – Golden Globe-winning actor Christian Slater (“The Legend of Billie Jean,” “Heathers,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “True Romance,” “Murder in the First,” “Mr. Robot”)

1969 – Oscar-winning actor-director Edward Norton (“Primal Fear,” “American History X,” “Fight Club,” “The Italian Job,” “The Illusionist,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”)

1970 – Actor-director Malcolm-Jamal Warner, best known for his role as Theo Huxtable on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show”

1978 – Golden Globe-winning comedian, actor, musician and “SNL” alum Andy Samberg (“Hot Rod,” “I Love You, Man,” “That’s My Boy,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” the “Hotel Transylvania” movies, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”)

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Neil Sedaka: The Definitive Collection

Neil Sedaka

All The Great Hits / Diana Ross

Diana Ross

The Woman's Hour

Elaine Weiss

Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov

Barefoot in the Park

Starring Robert Redford, Jane Fonda and Charles Boyer, and directed by Gene Saks

Fight Club

Starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by  David Fincher

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Very Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Bette Davis Eyes

Kim Carnes

The Bridge at Chappaquiddick

Jack Olsen

Exploring the Titanic: How the Greatest Ship Ever Lost was Found

Robert D. Ballard

Conversations with Myself

Nelson Mandela

Boiler Room

Starring Giovanni RibisiVin DieselNia Long and Ben Affleck, and directed by Ben Younger

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