History Highlights

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established by the U.S. and 11 other Western nations.

1960 – William Wyler’s Technicolor epic ,”Ben-Hur,” sets an Academy Awards record when it sweeps 11 of the 12 categories for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Charlton Heston).

1968 – A sniper shoots and kills civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 39, on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel. As word of the assassination spreads, riots erupt in cities across the U.S., and National Guard troops are deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. In 1991, the murder scene—the Lorraine Motel—is dedicated as part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

1969 – CBS cancels the most popular show on TV at the time, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” because the brothers failed to submit their script to network executives to review before broadcast. 

1973 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held in New York’s Lower Manhattan to dedicate the original World Trade Center. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC, or the North Tower, and 2 WTC, the South Tower, would provide nearly 10 million square feet of office space. Reaching more than a quarter of a mile into the sky, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period, the tallest buildings in the world. 

1975 – At a time when most Americans are using typewriters, childhood friends and self-proclaimed computer geeks Bill Gates and Paul Allen establish Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Four years later, they relocate the business to Washington State and grow it into a major multinational technology corporation.

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The Beatles 1962-1966 (The Red Album)

The Beatles

Bedtime Stories

Madonna

Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last 31 Hours

Joseph Rosenbloom

City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center

James Glanz and Eric Lipton

Iron Man

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges, and directed by Jon Favreau

The Dark Knight

Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger, and directed by Christopher Nolan

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Hot Rocks 1964-1971

The Rolling Stones

Bedtime Stories

Madonna

Stealing Time: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner

Alec Klein

Uncle Buck

Starring John Candy and directed by John Hughes

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Violin Concertos)

Itzhak Perlman with the London and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras

Beetlejuice

Starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Catherine O’Hara, and directed by Tim Burton

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Saturday Night Fever

Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool and The Gang, Tavares, The Trammps, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

Freeze Frame

The J. Geils Band

American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst

Jeffrey Toobin

George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution

Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

Night of the Living Dead

Starring Duane Jones and Judith O’Day, and directed by George Romero

Mascara & Monsters: The Best Of Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

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The Best of Bobby Vinton

Bobby Vinton

Elton John's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2

Elton John

Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society

John Andrew

The Nixon Tapes

Richard M. Nixon

In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003

R.E.M.

Sabrina

Starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear, and directed by Sydney Pollack

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Mr Sandman

The Chordettes

The Ultimate Collection: Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison

United Nations: A History

Stanley Meisler

I Was a Pan Am Princess of the Sky

Fumiko Takahashi

The Big Lebowski

Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Julianne Moore, and directed by Joel Coen

My Cousin Vinny

Starring Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei and Fred Gwynne, and directed by Jonathan Lynn

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To Sir, With Love

Starring Sidney Poitier, Christian Roberts and Judy Geeson, and directed by James Clavell

Love Songs

Elton John

The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen

Howard Carter and A.C. Mace

Governor Lady: The Life and Times of Nellie Tayloe Ross

Teva J. Scheer

The Late Show

Starring Art Carney, Lily Tomlin and Bill Macy, and directed by Robert Benton

Dallas Buyers Club

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto, and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

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Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits

More than “Cheap Thrills” or even “Pearl,” “Greatest Hits” has helped keep Janis Joplin’s short-lived recording career alive for listeners who came along after her tragic 1970 death. “Me and Bobby McGee” is the biggest draw, of course — it was a posthumous No. 1 single — but the other tracks are equally captivating.

Queen: Greatest Hits

“Bohemian Rhapsody.” “Will Rock You.” The music of Queen is legendary, and the untimely death of Freddie Mercury ended the colorful life of an immensely gifted showman. For the first time ever, all of Queen’s beloved hits are on one disc along with three bonus tracks: “I’m In Love With My Car,” “Under Pressure” and “Tie Your Mother Down.”

The Carving of Mount Rushmore

Learn about one of the most impressive outdoor sculptures in the world. More than 60 black-and-white photographs offer unique views of this gargantuan effort, and author Rex Alan Smith — a man born and raised within sight of Mount Rushmore — recounts with the sensitivity of a native son the ongoing struggles of sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his workers.

Red Moon Rising

This is the behind-the-scenes story of the fierce battles on Earth that launched the Superpowers into space. Author Matthew Brzezinski takes readers inside the Kremlin, the White House, secret military facilities and the halls of Congress to bring to life the Russians and Americans who feared and distrusted their compatriots as much as their Superpower rivals.

Complete Vampire Chronicles

The hypnotic, deeply seductive novels of Anne Rice have captivated millions of fans around the world. It all began with “Interview with the Vampire.” Now, in one chilling volume, here are the first classic novels of The Vampire Chronicles.”

Bull Durham

Veteran minor league catcher Crash Davis is assigned to the Class A Durham Bulls to handle the team’s star rookie, wild pitcher “Nuke” LaLoosh. Team groupie Annie Savoy romances both players, creating a comic triangle. Starring Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner.

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iTunes

The Beatles assemble for their first formal recording session at London’s Abbey Road Studios, recording “Love Me Do” with newest band member—drummer Ringo Starr.

Apple Music

The Bee Gees are chart-toppers with “You Should Be Dancing,” from the “Saturday Night Fever” movie soundtrack.

iBooks

In what becomes a landmark event in the civil rights movement, nine black students attempt to enter Little Rock Central High School, but are blocked by National Guard troops ordered in by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. The group is known as the Little Rock Nine.

iBooks

Ford introduces the Edsel, a car named after company founder Henry Ford’s only son. The vehicle is widely considered to be one of the greatest marketing failures in automotive history.

iBooks

Actress Ione Skye (“Say Anything,” “Four Rooms,” “Zodiac”)

iTunes

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles

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The Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Roddy McDowall, Shelley Winters, and directed by Ronald Neame

Double Fantasy

John Lennon

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics

Jeremy Schaap

Mississippi Burning

Starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe, and directed by Alan Parker

Sling Blade

Starring Dwight YoakamJ. T. Walsh, and directed by Billy Bob Thornton

The Rocket That Fell to Earth

Jeff Pearlman

Musical Milestones

1953 – Eddie Fisher begins a seven-week domination of the singles chart with “I’m Walking Behind You.”

1964 – “I Get Around,” by the Beach Boys, is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It holds the top spot for two weeks.

1969 – Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chuck Berry and other popular acts perform at the Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, Georgia.

1970 – A radio institution is born on this day. It’s “American Top 40” (“AT40”) with host Casey Kasem, a nationally syndicated program that counts down the 40 hottest singles in the U.S. according to Billboard magazine. The first countdown ends with the Jackson 5’s “The Love You Save,” then in its second and final week at No. 1. 

1981 – Kim Carnes tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a seventh week with “Bette Davis Eyes.”

1987 – “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” by Whitney Houston, begins its second and final week as a Billboard chart-topper.

1992 – “Baby Got Back” puts Sir Mix-a-Lot on top of the pop chart for five weeks. The track becomes the second best-selling song of 1992, behind Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

2003 – Grammy-winning soul singer-songwriter Barry White (“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything”) — whose smooth, deep vocals dominated the pop chart throughout the 70s —  dies of kidney failure at the age of 58.

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All Summer Long

The Beach Boys

All-Time Greatest Hits

Barry White

Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

Jonathan Eig

The Declaration of Independence

United States

North By Northwest

Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

The Odd Couple

Starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and directed by Gene Saks

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