On This Day April 20

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1912 – With 27,000 people in the stands, the Boston Red Sox play their first game at Fenway Park and defeat the New York Highlanders (later renamed the Yankees) by a score of 7-6 in 11 innings. 

1916 – The first National League game played at Chicago’s Wrigley Field (then Weeghman Park) sees the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings. A bear cub is in attendance at the ballpark, which becomes known as Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchases the team from Weeghman. It is named Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the club’s owner.

1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the practice of busing to desegregate schools, ruling in the case of Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Two years later, the high court makes a second ruling restricting the use of busing, concluding that students could only be bused across district lines if there was evidence that multiple districts had implemented deliberately discriminatory policies.

1977 – The comedy “Annie Hall” opens, starring director Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. The film goes on to win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

1980 – The Castro regime announces that all Cubans wishing to emigrate to the U.S. are free to board boats at the port of Mariel west of Havana, launching the Mariel Boatlift.

1999 – The school day at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado is shattered by deadly gunfire. Two seniors fatally shoot 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives. Twenty-three others are injured in what ushers in a wave of U.S. school shootings over the next two decades.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1957 – Elvis Presley is on top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart for a second week with “All Shook Up.” The track remains at No. 1 for eight weeks and becomes the biggest single of 1957, selling more than two million copies.

1963 – The Chiffons wrap up a four-week domination of the pop chart with “He’s So Fine.”

1968 – “Honey,” by Bobby Goldsboro, is in the middle of a five-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1970 – The New York Times reports that Catholic and Protestant youth groups have adopted The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine as a religious symbol and formed so called “submarine churches.”  These churches featured the outline of a yellow submarine with a small cross on its periscope as their symbol. It is displayed alongside peace signs, flowers and other popular emblems of the period.

1974 – “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” by MFSB featuring the Three Degrees, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. 

1991 – Wilson Phillips’ “You’re in Love” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1996 – Céline Dion’s Grammy-winning “Because You Loved Me” continues a six-week ride atop the U.S. singles chart. The track is from the 1996 movie “Up Close and Personal,” starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

2002 – Ashanti launches a 10-week run on top of the pop chart with “Foolish,” off her self-titled debut album.

2013 – Bruno Mars kicks off a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “When I Was Your Man.”

On This Day March 20

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On This Day February 20

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History Highlights
History Highlights

On This Day January 20

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1841 – During the First Opium War, China cedes the island of Hong Kong to the British with the signing of the Chuenpi Convention — an agreement seeking an end to the first Anglo-Chinese conflict.

1937 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as U.S. president for the second time. His first inauguration, in 1933, was held in March, but the 20th Amendment, passed later that year, made January 20 the official inauguration date for all future presidents. 

1961 – President John F. Kennedy is sworn into office and delivers his inaugural address outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The speech concludes with his now-famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” 

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter calls for the 1980 Summer Olympics to be moved from the planned host city, Moscow, or canceled altogether if the Soviet Union fails to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan within a month.

1981 – Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th U.S. president, 52 American captives held at the American embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis. 

1984 – Hungarian-born Olympic gold medal swimmer and actor Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan in the movies, dies at the age of 79. 

1993 – Actress, fashion icon and philanthropist Audrey Hepburn (“Roman Holiday,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “My Fair Lady”) dies of colon cancer at the age of 63. Hepburn remains among just a handful of performers who have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards.

2009 – On a freezing day in Washington, D.C., Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th U.S. president. The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, Obama was the first African-American to win election to the nation’s highest office.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1964 – The British Invasion is on as Capitol Records releases “Meet the Beatles!,” the band’s second album in the U.S.

1965 – American disc jockey Alan Freed is 43 years old when he dies from cirrhosis brought on by alcoholism. Freed, a 1986 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is credited with coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll.” His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that shook up the American broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.

1968 – “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses),” a parody of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” puts John Fred and his Playboy Band at No. 1 on the singles chart for two weeks. 

1971 – “What’s Going On,” by Marvin Gaye, is released and introduces fans to a different, more personal side of the Motown star in this anthem about social injustice. The song spends five weeks on top of the Hot Soul Singles chart before crossing over to the Billboard Hot 100, where it climbs to No. 2.

1973 – Carly Simon begins her third and final week on top of the singles chart with “You’re So Vain.” After years of speculation, Simon eventually admits that the song refers to actor Warren Beatty.

1988 – Mick Jagger presides as The Beatles are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Paul McCartney decides not to attend, issuing a statement citing ongoing business differences among The Beatles.

1990 – Michael Bolton rules the Billboard Hot 100 with “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.” The single holds the No. 1 spot for three weeks.

1996 – The Mariah Carey-Boyz II Men collaboration, “One Sweet Day,” is midway through a 16-week ride on top of the Billboard singles chart –the longest-running No. 1 song in the chart’s history at that time.

2007 – “Irreplaceable,” Beyoncé, is in its sixth week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track remains there for another four weeks and clinches a Record of the Year Grammy nomination.

On This Day December 20

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On This Day November 20

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On This Day October 20

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On This Day September 20

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On this Day August 20

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On this Day July 20

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1944 – A plot to murder German dictator Adolf Hitler fails as a bomb planted in a briefcase goes off, but leaves him only slightly wounded. Known as Operation Valkyrie, the assassination attempt was masterminded by senior-level German military officials who wanted to remove Hitler in order to establish a new government. Hitler’s would-be assassins are executed after being discovered.

1969 – More than a billion people around the world are glued to TV sets and radios as Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to step onto the surface of the moon. He famously marks the landmark event by saying, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

1973 – Actor and martial arts icon Bruce Lee dies unexpectedly at the age of 32, just before the release of his film, “Enter the Dragon.” The official cause of death is a brain edema, possibly triggered by a reaction to a prescription painkiller that Lee was reportedly taking for a back injury.

1976 – On the seventh anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, Viking 1, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, becomes the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars. 

1976 – In Major League Baseball, “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron hits his 755th and final home run during the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the California Angels. 

1977 – A flash flood washes over Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing 84 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. The disaster marks the third time that floods, caused by dam failures, devastate the same community. The Great Flood of 1889 killed more than 2,000 people in Johnstown. A second flood in 1936 left two dozen people dead.

2012 – Twelve people are killed and 70 others are injured when a gunman opens fire inside a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  The theater was packed with Batman fans that were there for a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The tragedy becomes the deadliest mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine shooting in 1999 in which 12 high school students and a teacher were gunned down.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – Beach music is the favorite on this day, as Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” hits No. 1 on the singles chart. 

1968 – Trumpeter Hugh Masekela begins a two-week run on top of the singles chart with the jazz instrumental “Grazing in the Grass.” In 2018, the song is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

1968 – Heavy metal strikes the album chart for the first time in the form of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” which was originally supposed to be titled “In The Garden of Eden.” The 17-minute title track takes up all of Side Two and was edited down to 2:53 for release as a single.

1974 – Early disco hit “Rock Your Baby,” by George McCrae, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

1985 – Duran Duran begin their second and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “A View to a Kill,” from the James Bond movie of the same name.

1986 – The movie “Sid & Nancy,” based on the life of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, premieres in London, starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb.

1991 – One-hit-wonder EMF kick off a week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “Unbelievable.”

1996 – “How Do U Want It,” by 2Pac featuring K-Ci & JoJo, grabs the top spot on the Billboard single chart. The track remains at No. 1 for a week.

2002 – “Hot in Herre,” by Nelly, is in the midst of a seven-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track garners Nelly a 2003 Grammy for Best Male Rap Solo Performance, a brand new category at the time.

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