On this Day June 5

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1933 – The U.S. goes off the gold standard, a monetary system in which currency is backed by gold, when Congress enacts a joint resolution nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.

1967 – Israel responds to an ominous build-up of Arab forces along its borders by launching simultaneous attacks against Egypt and Syria. And so begins the Six-Day War.

1968 – Senator Robert Kennedy is fatally shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. He is just 42, four years younger than his brother, President John F. Kennedy, when he was assassinated in November 1963.

1981 – The “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that five people in Los Angeles have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what turns out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.

1998 – More than 3,400 unionized General Motors (GM) workers at a Flint, Michigan plant begin a 54-day strike — the longest walkout at GM in nearly three decades. Later joined by more than 5,000 workers from a nearby plant, the strike causes parts shortages that force some 30 GM assembly plants to shut down.

2004 – Ronald Reagan, the Hollywood actor who became one of the most popular presidents of the 20th century and transformed the political landscape of an era with his vision of conservative government, dies at age 93 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

2012 – Prolific science fiction author Ray Bradbury, whose books include such classics as “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” dies at the age of 91.

On This Day April 8

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On This Day March 20

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On This Day February 6

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1917 – Three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson severs diplomatic relations with Germany and warns that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted, a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.

1933 – The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing the beginning and ending of the terms of elected federal offices, takes effect. 

1937 – John Steinbeck’s novella, “Of Mice and Men,” the story of the bond between two migrant workers during the Great Depression, is published. Eight months later, the stage adaptation opens in New York and earns Steinbeck the New York Drama Critics’ Circle’s Best Play Award in 1938.

1952 – Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen of England when her father, King George VI, dies following a long illness. But it takes the 25-year-old Elizabeth more than a day to learn of her new royal status. She was on safari at the time, inside a Kenyan tree hut watching a herd of elephants gather at a watering hole.

1978 – One of the worst Nor’easters in New England history pounds the region for more than 30 hours, with wind gusts exceeding 100 mph and snowfall of four inches an hour. High tides cause damaging coastal flooding, while inland, thousands of cars are stranded in snow drifts. Remembered as “The Blizzard of ’78,” the monster storm leaves about 100 people dead and 4,500 others injured.

1993 – Tennis champion Arthur Ashe, the only African-American man to win Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens, dies of complications from AIDS, at age 49 in New York City.

On This Day December 23

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1783 – Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, General George Washington resigns as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retires to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

1888 – Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, uses a razor to sever part of his left ear. He later documents the event in a painting titled “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.” Over years, however, a variety of new theories have emerged about this incident.

1913 – President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act into law establishing the Federal Reserve, which continues serving as the nation’s central banking system today and is responsible for executing monetary policy.

1947 – John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley with Bell Laboratories unveil their invention of the transistor, which revolutionizes communications and electronics.

1968 – The crew and captain of the American intelligence gathering ship USS Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the North Korean government.

1986 – Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager complete the first non-stop flight around the world without refueling. They set a new world record of 216 hours of continuous flying in the experimental aircraft Voyager.

1993 – The movie “Philadelphia,” starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, and directed by Jonathan Demme, opens in U.S. theaters. It is the first major Hollywood film to address the HIV/AIDS crisis and garners Hanks a Best Actor Oscar and Bruce Springsteen a Best Original Song Oscar for his track, “Streets of Philadelphia.”

On This Day November 24

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Musical Milestones
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. 

On This Day November 7

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On This Day October 2

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1835 – Mounting tensions between Mexico and Texas lead to violence when Mexican soldiers attempt to disarm the people of Gonzales, sparking the Texan war for independence. The battle flag used by the Texans at the Battle of Gonzales gained recognition as the “Come and Take It” flag, referring to a small cannon that Mexican forces tried to repossess.

1919 – President Woodrow Wilson, who had just cut short a cross-country speaking tour to promote formation of the League of Nations (a precursor to the United Nations), suffers a massive stroke, which leaves him partially paralyzed on the left side of his body. The stroke is kept a secret from the public, but forces Wilson to abandon his campaign for the League and weakens his presidency.

1950 – The first Peanuts comic strip, created by Charles Schulz, is published in seven newspapers across the U.S. Schulz originally called his strip “L’il Folks,” but United Features Syndicate changed the name.

1959 – “The Twilight Zone,” created and hosted by Rod Serling, premieres with an episode called “Where Is Everybody?” starring Earl Holliman. The black & white sci-fi series runs for five seasons.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice, is sworn in to office.

1985 – Actor Rock Hudson becomes the first high-profile celebrity to die of complications from AIDS. Hudson’s death, at the age of 59, raises public awareness of the epidemic, which until that time had been ignored by many in the mainstream as a “gay plague.”

2006 – A 32-year-old milk truck driver enters the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, and fatally shoots five female students and wounds five more before taking his own life. The gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, had no criminal history or record of mental illness.

On this Day August 28

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1961 – The Marvelettes release their first single, “Please Mr. Postman,” which sells over a million copies and becomes the group’s biggest hit. It reaches the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B survey, becoming Motown’s first chart-topper.

1961 – Joe Dowell rockets to No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart with his cover of “Wooden Heart,” originally performed by Elvis Presley a year earlier in the movie “G.I. Blues.” Presley’s version reached No. 1 in the U.K.

1965 – Bob Dylan kicks off a 40-date North American tour with a performance at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York. For the second time that year, he angers folk music purists when he performs the latter half of his show with an electric guitar.

1971 – The Bee Gees enjoy their fourth and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.”

1982 – “Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor, roars into its sixth and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track is the theme from the movie “Rocky III,” starring Sylvester Stallone.

1986 – Grammy-winning “Queen of Rock ‘n Roll” Tina Turner is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1993 – Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” begins three weeks atop the Billboard album chart. The album features cover artwork painted by Joel’s then-wife, Christie Brinkley.

1999 – Christina Aguilera wraps up a five-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Genie in a Bottle.”

2004 – Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe and Remy lays claim to the top spot on the singles chart with “Lean Back.”

On this Day June 5

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