On This Day April 3

History Highlights

1860 – The Pony Express launches, with horse and rider relay teams simultaneously leaving St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California as part of a new effort to speed up U.S. mail delivery. 

1948 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Economic Recovery Act of 1948 — later known as the Marshall Plan — which would foster the recovery of war-torn Europe. 

1968 – Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey” — regularly voted as one of the greatest movies ever made, but whose philosophical meaning most fans cannot explain — opens in theaters around the U.S.

1968 – Another sci-fi classic opens at U.S. theaters. It’s “Planet of the Apes,” starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans. It’s the story about an astronaut crew that crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes rule and humans are oppressed and enslaved.

1974 – More than 140 tornadoes rip through 11 states within 16 hours. The “Super Tornado Outbreak” kills 330 people and injures more than 6,000 others.

1978 – At the 50th annual Academy Awards, Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” wins the Oscar for Best Picture, beating out George Lucas’ “Star Wars.”

1986 – IBM unveils its first laptop computer. The 5140 “Convertible” retails for $1,995 and weighs 13 pounds.

1996 –  FBI agents arrest accused Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski at his rural Montana cabin. Kaczynski was linked to 16 mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others during an 18-year period.

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The Definitive Collection

The Temptations

Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan

Elaine M. Hayes

The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War

Benn Steil

2001: A Space Odyssey

Starring Douglas Rain, Frank Miller and Keir Dullea, and directed by Stanley Kubrick

On The Waterfront

Starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by Elia Kazan

Trading Places

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and Denholm Elliott, and directed by John Landis

On This Day March 3

History Highlights

1820 – Congress passes the Missouri Compromise, temporarily resolving the first serious political clash between slavery and antislavery interests by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state.

1887 – Anne Mansfield Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing at 19 months of age. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller thrived, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. 

1923 – The first edition of Time magazine is published. The 32-page issue features former U.S. House Speaker Joseph G. Cannon on the cover. 

1931 – With the stroke of President Herbert Hoover’s pen, the United States officially adopts the “Star-Spangled Banner” as its national anthem.

1950 – Marilyn Monroe makes her first screen appearance when the musical comedy “Love Happy,” starring the Marx Brothers, opens in movie theaters.

1952 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a New York state law (Feinberg Law) that prohibits communists from teaching in public schools. Coming at the height of the Red Scare in the U.S., the high court’s decision was further proof that many Americans feared possible subversive communist activity within their borders.

1991 – In what’s believed to be the first viral video, amateur video footage captures the beating of African American motorist Rodney King by four Los Angeles police officers, igniting outrage over alleged police brutality and social inequalities in LA’s black community. The cops are later tried and acquitted, which triggers riots.

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The Best of Both Worlds

Van Halen

Rhythm Nation 1814

Janet Jackson

Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America's National Anthem

Marc Ferris

The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption

Rodney King & Lawrence J. Spagnola

Jean Harlow: Tarnished Angel

David Bret

Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 1

Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig and others

On This Day February 3

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The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the "Big Bopper," and Ritchie Valens

Larry Lehmer

Briefcase Full of Blues

The Blues Brothers

Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War America

Audra J. Wolfe

Serpico

Starring Al Pacino, John Randolph and Jack Kehoe, and directed by Sidney Lumet

American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell

Deborah Solomon

The Birdcage

Starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman, and directed by Mike Nichols

On This Day January 3

History Highlights

1938 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his former law partner, Basil O’Connor, establish the March of Dimes (originally known as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis) to battle polio, the disease FDR contracted at the age of 39 that prevented him from ever walking on his own again.

1961 – The U.S. severs diplomatic relations with Cuba two years after Fidel Castro seized control of the island nation 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

1967 – Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, dies of cancer in a Dallas hospital. The Texas Court of Appeals had recently overturned Ruby’s death sentence for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and was scheduled to grant him a new trial.

1969 – Apollo 8 astronauts William Anders, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell grace the cover of TIME magazine as “Men of the Year” for becoming the first humans to orbit the moon. During their mission, the trio also captured the iconic “Earthrise” image of planet Earth hovering above the lunar surface. They were hailed for bringing a hopeful conclusion to 1968 — a year filled with social strife that included the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

1990 – Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega surrenders to U.S. military troops to face charges of drug trafficking.

1993 – The Buffalo Bills stage the greatest comeback in NFL history. Backup quarterback Frank Reich leads the Bills to an improbable 41-38 overtime victory over the Houston Oilers in an AFC wild card playoff game that would forever be known to football fans as “The Comeback.” In Houston, however, it was referred to as “The Choke.”

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Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

B.J. Thomas

Saturday Night

Bay City Rollers

March of Dimes

David W. Rose

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

Jeffrey Kluger

9 to 5

Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Dabney Coleman, and directed by Corin Hughes

Lethal Weapon

Starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Gary Busey, and directed by Richard Donner

On This Day December 3

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Rubber Soul

The Beatles

Return Of The King: Elvis Presley's Great Comeback

Gillian G. Gaar

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain

Kal Penn, Mischa Barton, Martin Sheen

Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 Years

Tom Standage

Splash

Starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah and Eugene Levy, and directed by Ron Howard

Still Alice

Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin, and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland

On This Day November 3

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Da Doo Ron Ron: The Very Best Of The Crystals

The Crystals

No More Drama

Mary J. Blige

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

Matthew Brzezinski

The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1)

Robert A. Caro

One World Trade Center: Biography of the Building

Judith Dupré

The Great Escape

Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough, and directed by John Sturges

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Starring Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On This Day October 3

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This Land is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1

Woody Guthrie

Complete Greatest Hits

The Cars

The Dick Van Dyke Show (Complete Series)

Starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore

The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson

Jeffrey Toobin

The Very Best of Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker

Sin City

Starring Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro, and directed by Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller and Quentin Tarantino

On This Day September 3

History Highlights

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Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Eurythmics

The Emancipation of Mimi

Mariah Carey

Flag: An American Biography

Marc Leepson

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Starring Jean Arthur, James Stewart and Claude Rains, and directed by Frank Capra

Private Benjamin

Starring Goldie HawnEileen BrennanArmand Assante, and directed by Howard Zieff

Wall Street

Starring Michael DouglasCharlie Sheen, and directed by Oliver Stone

On this Day August 3

Musical Milestones

1963 – Allan Sherman releases his classic summer camp parody “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter From Camp).” Inspired by actual complaint letters that Sherman received from his son, Robert, while away at summer camp, the song climbs as high as No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart.

1968 – The Doors have the hottest single with “Hello, I Love You (Won’t You Tell Me Your Name).” It’s the band’s second chart-topper.

1971 – Paul McCartney announces the formation of his new band, Wings, featuring wife Linda and ex-Moody Blues member Denny Laine. 

1973 – Stevie Wonder releases “Innervisions,” playing virtually all the instruments on six of the album’s nine tracks.

1974 – “Annie’s Song,” by John Denver, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

1985 – “Shout,” by Tears for Fears, begins three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the British duo’s second U.S. No. 1. 

1987 – Def Leppard releases “Hysteria,” which sells more than 25 million copies worldwide and becomes the band’s best-selling album to date. It spawns no less than seven hit singles, six of which make it to the Top 20.

1991 – “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” from the movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” keeps Bryan Adams on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a second week. The track remains there for a total of seven weeks.

1996 – “Macarena,” by Los Del Rio, shimmies its way to the top of the Billboard pop chart and holds there for 14 weeks. Decades later, the song remains a favorite at wedding receptions, parties and sporting events.

2002 – Nelly burns up the Billboard Hot 100 with “Hot in Herre.” The track maintains a hold on the top spot for seven weeks.

History Highlights

1492 – Italian explorer Christopher Columbus leads three sailing ships from Spain on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India and  the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th president of the United States, hours after the death of President Warren G. Harding.  A man of few words (he was nicknamed “Silent Cal”), Coolidge gains popularity as president, winning more than 54 percent of the popular vote when reelected in 1924.

1949 – The Basketball Association of America (BAA) merges with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). Six NBL teams join the 10 BAA teams, plus an expansion team in Indianapolis, with the new league divided into Eastern, Central and Western Divisions.

1958 – America’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), becomes the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. 

1977 – Roger Moore returns to the big screen as secret agent James Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me.”  The movie features a sleek, powerful Lotus Esprit sports car that doubles as a submarine. 

1981 – Some 13,000 unionized air traffic controllers (members of PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) walk off the job and days later are fired by President Ronald Reagan. 

2008 – The first published photos of former celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s newborn twins go up on People magazine’s website, and two weeks later, are published in a 19-page photo spread. People won the rights to the photos after a bidding war that, according to some reports, reached as high as $14 million — the most ever paid for celebrity baby pictures. 

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Hysteria

Def Leppard

The Very Best of The Doors

The Doors

Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

Laurence Bergreen

The National Basketball League: A History, 1935-1949

Murry R. Nelson

The Classics

Tony Bennett

Trading Places

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche, and directed by John Landis

On this Day July 3

History Highlights

1775 – George Washington rides out in front of the American troops gathered at Cambridge Common in Massachusetts and draws his sword, formally taking command of the 16,000-member Continental Army.

1863 – On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.

1958 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Rivers and Harbors Flood Control Bill, which allocates funds to improve flood-control and water-storage systems across the United States.

1985 – The sci-fi adventure/comedy “Back to the Future,” starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd and directed by Robert Zemeckis, opens in U.S. theaters. It becomes a cult classic, spawning two sequels, an animated series, a theme park ride, several video games, a series of comic books and a stage musical.

1986 – President Ronald Reagan, with First Lady Nancy Reagan by his side, presides over the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty. It re-opens to the public two days later during Liberty Weekend, celebrating the monument’s centennial.

1988 – While sailing through the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger jet that it mistakes for a hostile fighter plane. All 290 people on board are killed. The U.S. government admits to the error a month later, and in 1996, agrees to pay $62 million in damages to the families of the Iranians that perished in the attack.

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Tapestry

Carole King

Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together

Frank J. Lisciandro

Gettysburg

Stephen W. Sears

Back to the Future

Starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd ,and directed by Robert Zemeckis

Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster)

Dave Barry

Jerry Maguire

Starring Tom CruiseCuba Gooding Jr.Renee Zellweger, and directed by Cameron Crowe

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