On This Day April 24

History Highlights

1916 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion (also known as Easter Rising), a six-day armed uprising against British rule. 

1945 – President Harry Truman is briefed on the full details of the Manhattan Project, an effort by American scientists to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. The project was so secret that President Franklin Roosevelt never informed Truman, his fourth-term vice president, that it existed by the time FDR died.

1962 – The first coast-to-coast satellite telecast takes place, as signals from California bounce off the first experimental communications satellite, Echo I, and are received in Massachusetts. 

1967 – Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is killed in Soyuz 1 when the spaceship’s parachute fails to open during its descent to Earth. It is the first in-flight fatality in aerospace history.  

1980 – Eight U.S. servicemen die in a failed mission to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran. The fatalities occur when two U.S. military aircraft collide. In a nationally broadcast address, President Jimmy Carter says he assumes full responsibility for the disastrous outcome of Operation Eagle Claw.

1980 – Longtime Illinois Congressman John Anderson announces he is quitting the Republican party and will run as an independent presidential candidate against incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. He ends up finishing a distant third, capturing less than 7 percent of the vote and failing to win a single electoral vote.

1982 – Already well established as an Oscar-winning actress and outspoken political activist, Jane Fonda adds fitness guru to her credentials with the release of the million-plus-selling “Jane Fonda’s Workout” video. The video sparks the aerobics craze and popularizes leg-warmers and Spandex among fitness-minded women.

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Full Moon Fever

Tom Petty

Taking the Long Way

Dixie Chicks

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age

Matthew Brzezinski

The Guts to Try: The Untold Story of the Iran Hostage Rescue Mission by the On-Scene Desert Commander

Col. James H. Kyle, USAF (Ret.) and John Robert Eidson

Being There

Starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Warden, and directed by Hal Ashby

Funny Girl

Starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif and Kay Medford, and directed by William Wyler

On This Day March 24

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The Best Of The O'Jays: Love Train

The O’Jays

The Ultimate Bee Gees

Bee Gees

Lunar Impact: The NASA History of Project Ranger

R. Cargill Hall

Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the "Exxon Valdez" Disaster

Angela Day

Bullitt

Starring Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset, and directed by Peter Yates

DK Biography: Harry Houdini: A Photographic Story of a Life

Vicki Cobb

On This Day February 24

Musical Milestones

1958 – The Silhouettes are on top of the Billboard pop chart with “Get a Job.” Thanks to the band’s performances on “American Bandstand” and “The Dick Clark Show,” the single goes on to sell over a million copies.

1968 – French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat is in the middle of a five-week run atop the Billboard singles chart with his instrumental, “Love is Blue.” It is the only song by a French artist to ever top Hot 100.

1973 – Roberta Flack begins a five-week reign over the singles chart with “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The song garners Flack the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, with co-writers Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel earning the Song of the Year Grammy.

1975 – Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” is released in the U.S. and immediately sees one million copies ship — a whopping order for Atlantic Records. The double album, which features the iconic photo of a New York City tenement on the cover, contains some of the band’s most memorable tracks, including “Kashmir,” “Ten Years Gone” and “In My Time of Dying.”

1982 – Winners at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards include John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Album of the Year (“Double Fantasy”), songwriters Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon for Song of the Year (“Bette Davis Eyes” performed by Kim Carnes), Sheena Easton for Best New Artist and Quincy Jones for Producer of the Year.

1990 – Singer-songwriter and pianist Johnnie Ray dies of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Ray is credited with 20 Top 40 singles between 1952 and 1960, including “Just Walking in the Rain.”

1990 – Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair enjoy their third and final week as Billboard chart-toppers with “Opposites Attract.”

1996 – “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men is the No. 1 single.

2001 – “Stutter,” by Joe featuring Mystikal, kicks off four weeks on top of the pop chart.

2007 – Nelly Furtado lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Say It Right.”

History Highlights

1836 – Under attack by soldiers of the Mexican Army, Colonel William Travis issues an urgent call for reinforcements on behalf of his Texan troops defending the Alamo in Bejar, Texas (San Antonio today).

1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, which charges him with violating the Tenure of Office Act and bringing into “disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States.” Johnson, who assumed office after the Lincoln assassination, is acquitted three months later in the Senate.

1903 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signs a deal with the new government of Cuba to lease 45 square miles at the mouth of Guantanamo Bay for 2,000 gold coins a year.

1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded. In the mid-1950s, it becomes American Motors, best known for production of the Gremlin and Pacer.

1968 – The Tet Offensive ends as U.S. and South Vietnamese troops recapture the ancient capital of Hue from communist forces.

1981 – Socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering ex-lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of the bestselling “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet,” concluding a sensational trial that ignited a national debate about whether Harris was a woman scorned or a victim of abuse.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award the Reverend Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.

1991 – After the six-week-long bombing campaign against Iraq and its armed forces known as Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a massive ground offensive against Kuwait and Iraq.

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Killing Me Softly

Roberta Flack

Physical Graffiti

Led Zeppelin

Very Much a Lady: The Untold Story of Jean Harris and Dr. Herman Tarnower

Shana Alexander

Unseemly Man Hardcover

Larry Flynt

Barney Miller (Season One)

Starring Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass, Max Gail and others

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

On This Day January 24

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A Cellarful of Noise

Brian Epstein and Martin Lewis

Hits Back

The Clash

Winston Churchill: A Life

John Keegan

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

Marty

Starring Ernest Borgnine, Esther Minciotti and Augusta Ciolli, and directed by Delbert Man

The Blues Brothers

Starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and John Candy, and directed by John Landis

On This Day December 24

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Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Soundtrack)

Bee Gees, The Trammps, KC and the Sunshine Band and others

Thriller

Michael Jackson

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon

Jeffrey Kluger

Bob Hope on TV: Thanks for the Video Memories

Wesley Hyatt

Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

Peter Evans and Ava Gardner

Where Are the Children?

Mary Higgins Clark

On This Day November 24

Musical Milestones

1950 – The musical comedy “Guys and Dolls” premieres on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre. Two years later, it spawns a film adaptation starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. 

1962 – The Four Seasons, featuring Frankie Valli, are in the second week of a five-week run as Billboard chart-toppers with “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

1966 – The Beatles gather in a studio for the first time since wrapping up their U.S. summer concert tour and spend the entire day recording John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

1972 – Don Kirshner’s “Rock Concert” TV show debuts, featuring Chuck Berry, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Alice Cooper.

1973 – Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” begins a week as the No. 1 single.

1979 – The Barbra Streisand-Donna Summer duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single.

1984 – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” by Wham!, rules the Billboard Hot 100.

1991 – Queen frontman Freddie Mercury dies of complications from AIDS exactly one day after publicly disclosing that he is HIV positive. He was 45 years old.

1997 – Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols is the defendant in an episode of TV’s “Judge Judy.” The case is a wrongful termination suit brought on by his former drummer, which Rotten wins.

2007 – Jay-Z climbs to the top of the Billboard album chart with “American Gangster,” his 10th chart-topping album. This ties the rapper to 2nd place with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums. Only The Beatles have had more, with 19. 

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Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear

Rich Podolsky

The Very Best of Freddie Mercury Solo: Lover Of Life, Singer Of Songs

Freddie Mercury

The Last Master Outlaw: How He Outfoxed the FBI Six Times But Not A Cold Case Team

Thomas J. Colbert and Tom Szollosi

The Last Days of Letterman

Scott Ryan

Scott Joplin Piano Rags

Joshua Rifkin

The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game

Oscar P. Robertson

On This Day October 24

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Live At The Apollo

James Brown

Life

Keith Richards

Queen of the Falls

Chris Van Allsburg

The George Washington Bridge: Poetry in Steel

Michael Aaron Rockland

Amadeus

Starring F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce and Elizabeth Berridge, and directed by Milos Forman

Dave

Starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Frank Langella, and directed by Ivan Reitman

On This Day September 24

Musical Milestones

History Highlights

1789 – Congress passes and President George Washington signs the Judiciary Act of 1789 into law, establishing the U.S. Supreme Court as a tribunal comprised of six justices who were to serve until they voluntarily step down, retire or die. 

1941 – The Japanese consul in Hawaii is instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones, calculate the number of battleships in each zone and report the findings back to Japan. Unbeknownst to U.S. military officials, this information is used to lay the groundwork for Japan’s devastating December 7, 1941 attack.

1957 – President Dwight Eisenhower orders federal troops to escort nine African American students, nicknamed the “Little Rock Nine,” into the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

1968 – One of television’s longest-running news magazines debuts on CBS. It’s “60 Minutes,” with hosts Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace presenting documentary-style coverage of the week’s news.

1969 – The trial of the “Chicago 8” begins. The band of protesters is accused of conspiracy and inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. 

1977 – “The Love Boat” sets out on its maiden TV voyage on ABC, featuring a cruise ship full of celebrity passengers with tales of romance found and hearts broken. 

1988 – Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson runs the 100-meter dash in 9.79 seconds to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. However, Johnson tests positive for steroids three days later and is stripped of the medal, which is instead awarded to American Carl Lewis.

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1999

Prince

Nevermind (Remastered)

Nirvana

Warriors Don't Cry

Melba Pattillo Beals

Fifty Years of 60 Minutes

Jeff Fager

Jim Henson: The Biography

Brian Jay Jones

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

On this Day August 24

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The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder

Back To The Future (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Huey Lewis and the News and others

The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found

Mary Beard

Let Me Take You Down

Jack Jones

Patriot Games

Starring Harrison Ford, Anne Archer and James Earl Jones and directed by Phillip Noyce

Diner

Starring Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Steve Guttenberg and Daniel Stern, and directed by Barry Levinson

On this Day July 24

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Ultimate Survivor

Survivor

Zooropa

U2

That's All Folks: The Art of Warner Bros. Animation

Steve Schneider

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Starring Peter SellersPeter Bull and George C. Scott, and directed by Stanley Kubrick

An Unfinished Life

Starring Robert RedfordJennifer Lopez and Morgan Freeman, and directed by Lasse Hallström

The Three Musketeers

Alexandre Dumas

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