On This Day April 25

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1956 – Rock and Roll King Elvis Presley signs a seven-year movie contract with Paramount Pictures.

1960 – Elvis Presley gets stuck on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks with “Stuck On You.” It’s his first hit single following his two-year stint in the U.S. Army.

1970 – The Jackson 5 give The Beatles’ “Let It Be” the boot and claim the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks with “ABC.”

1981 – Daryl Hall and John Oates begin their third and final week as chart-toppers with “Kiss On My List.”

1987 – U2 begin a nine-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “The Joshua Tree,” which packs chart-topping tracks including “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.” It goes on to capture Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

1990 – The Fender Stratocaster that rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix played at the Woodstock festival is auctioned off for a record $330,000. His two-hour set at the 1969 rock festival included a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

1992 – “Jump,” by hip hop duo Kris Kross, grabs the top spot on the singles chart and remains there for eight weeks.

1998 – Next has the No. 1 single with “Too Close.” The track remains on top of the pop chart for five weeks.

2007 – Leukemia claims the life of 69-year-old Bobby “Boris” Pickett, best known for his hit novelty song “Monster Mash,” which still gets radio airplay every Halloween.

On This Day March 25

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On This Day February 25

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, is sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress. He is assigned to serve on the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on the District of Columbia.

1916 – German troops seize Fort Douaumont, the most formidable of the forts guarding the walled city of Verdun, France, four days after launching their initial attack. The Battle of Verdun becomes the longest and bloodiest conflict of World War I, lasting 10 months and resulting in over 700,000 casualties.

1950 – The TV comedy “Your Show of Shows,” hosted by Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, premieres, eventually helping launch the successful entertainment careers of Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others.

1964 – Twenty-two-year-old Cassius Clay (who later changes his name to Muhammad Ali) stuns odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout in Miami Beach.

1984 – A massive explosion, triggered when gasoline from a ruptured pipeline ignited, levels a shantytown outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing at least 500 people — mostly young children. However, investigators speculate that the actual death toll may have been closer to 700 since many bodies were incinerated in the intense blaze.

1986 – President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines flees the nation after 20 years of rule. Corazon Aquino becomes that nation’s first woman president. 

2004 – “The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson’s controversial film about the final hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, opens in U.S. theaters, starring  Jim Caviezel as Jesus. It receives three Oscar nominations.

On This Day January 25

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On This Day December 25

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1776 – General George Washington and 2,400 of his Continental Army troops cross the icy waters of the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey.

1914 – Gunfire is replaced with the sounds of Christmas carols as German troops serving in World War I lay down their weapons and break into song on Christmas morning. Russian, French and British troops do the same and even shake hands and exchange cigarettes with enemy soldiers along the eastern and western fronts during the Christmas Truce of 1914. 

1962 – “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters, starring Gregory Peck, who wins a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as attorney Atticus Finch.

1973 – “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a pair of 1930s grifters, premieres.

1977 – British director, producer and comedic actor Charlie Chaplin, an icon of the silent film era, dies at the age of 88.

1989 – Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, are executed following a popular uprising.

1989 – Former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin dies in a traffic accident at the age of 61.

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union just days after 11 of the former Soviet republics establish the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1996 – Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is killed in her Boulder, Colorado, home. Her parents call police the following morning to report their daughter missing and discover a ransom note demanding $118,000. The girl’s body is found in the basement that afternoon. The crime becomes a national sensation that remains unsolved today.

On This Day November 25

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On This Day October 25

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1962 – Tensions escalate between the United States and Soviet Union over the Cuban Missile Crisis. During a U.N. Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson demands that his Soviet counterpart confirm whether his country is installing missiles in Cuba, saying, “I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over.”

1971 –  Sixteen years after Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California, the official dedication of Walt Disney World takes place in Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney’s brother, Roy O. Disney, and Mickey Mouse preside, followed by a grand opening parade through the Magic Kingdom. The celebration is taped for a special that airs on NBC four days later.

1982 – The sitcom “Newhart” premieres on CBS, starring Bob Newhart as an author and Vermont innkeeper.

1983 – The U.S. and its Caribbean allies invade Grenada just days after the island nation’s leader is killed in a coup.

1994 – In a case that garnered international attention, Susan Smith notifies South Carolina authorities that she was carjacked by a man who sped off with her two young boys still buckled in the back seat of her car. Nine days later, she confesses that she made up the story after driving her own car into a lake to drown the kids because she was having an affair with a man who did not want children. Smith is convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

2002 – Golden Globe and Grammy-winning actor and singer Richard Harris, whose career spanned six decades and included starring roles in movies like “Camelot” and the “Harry Potter” series, dies of cancer at age 72. Harris had a 1968 hit single, “MacArthur Park,” which Donna Summer later covered.

On This Day September 25

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1897 – Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner (“‘The Sound and the Fury,” “As I Lay Dying”) (d. 1962)

1929 – Retired Emmy-winning TV journalist-host Barbara Walters, the first woman to co-anchor a network evening news broadcast

1944 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor Michael Douglas (“The Streets of San Francisco,” “The China Syndrome,” “Romancing the Stone,” “Wall Street,” “The War of the Roses,” “Falling Down,” “The American President,” “Wonder Boys,” “Last Vegas”)

1947 – Supermodel-actress Cheryl Tiegs, remembered for adorning covers of the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue” and for her 1978 “Pink Bikini” poster, which became an iconic image of 1970s pop culture

1951 – Actor Mark Hamill, best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” movies

1952 – Actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed in a 1995 horse-riding accident (“Superman,” “Somewhere in Time,” “Deathtrap,” “The Remains of the Day”) (d. 2004)

1961 – Actress Heather Locklear (“TJ Hooker,” “Melrose Place,” “Spin City”)

1968 – Grammy-winning actor-rapper Will Smith (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” “Ali,” “I, Robot,” “I Am Legend,” “Hancock,” “After Earth,” “Suicide Squad”)

1969 – Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (“The Mask of Zorro,” “Entrapment,” “Traffic,” “Chicago,” “Oceans Twelve,” “The Terminal”)

History Highlights
History Highlights

1959 – Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev kicks off two days of meetings with President Dwight Eisenhower at Camp David. The two men reach general agreement on several issues, but a spy plane incident in May 1960 crushes any hopes for further improvement in U.S.-Soviet relations during the Eisenhower years.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy gives his “Sword of Damocles” speech before the United Nations General Assembly. He outlines the threat nuclear weapons had on the world, and challenges the Soviet Union to a “peace race…until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.” 

1963 – The first in a series of 1960s teen beach movies is launched when “Beach Party,” starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, opens in U.S. theaters. 

1978 – Tragedy erupts in the skies over San Diego as a small Cessna aircraft being used for flying lessons collides with a Pacific Southwest Airlines 727 (PSA Flight 182). The accident kills 153 people, including seven on the ground, and 22 homes where the burning jet fell are damaged or destroyed. 

1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in as the first female associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1997 – NBC’s prime time medical drama “ER,” which supercharged George Clooney’s acting career, opens its fourth season with live performances — first for East coast viewers and a second time for its West coast audience. The episode, entitled “Ambush,” draws a record 42.7 million viewers, becoming the series’ highest rating ever. “ER” aired for a total of 15 seasons, making it the longest-running primetime medical drama.

On this Day August 25

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

On this Day July 25

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