On This Day April 18

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1906 – A powerful earthquake destroys large sections of San Francisco and sparks fires that burn for days. The death toll exceeds 3,000. 

1923 – More than 74,000 fans attend opening day at the New York Yankees’ new home in the Bronx. Babe Ruth slams the door on the Boston Red Sox with a game-winning three-run homer and Yankee Stadium becomes known as “The House that Ruth Built.”

1955 – Legendary physicist Albert Einstein, who won the Nobel Prize for his General Theory of Relativity (E=mc2), dies at the age of 76.

1956 – American actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony that is dubbed the “Wedding of the Century.” The 26-year-old American beauty becomes Princess Grace of Monaco.

1983 – A suicide bomber crashes a truck into the front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, setting off a massive blast that kills 63 people.

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students take to the streets of Beijing to protest government policies and call for greater democracy. Similar demonstrations begin in other cities and universities across China. The movement culminates with the bloody Tiananmen Square Massacre that June.

2012 – Entertainment icon Dick Clark, best known for hosting “American Bandstand” — an influential music-and-dance show that aired nationally for more than three decades and helped bring rock and roll into the mainstream in the late 1950s — dies of a heart attack at 82. Affectionately called “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark also hosted ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” ringing in each new year from New York’s Times Square.

2014 – Sixteen Nepali mountaineering guides, most of them ethnic Sherpas, are killed by an avalanche on Mt. Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. It is the single deadliest accident in the history of the Himalayan peak that lies between Nepal and China.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1960 – The movie tune “Theme From a Summer Place, by Percy Faith, begins its ninth and final week on top of the pop chart. 

1964 – The Beatles enjoy their third consecutive No. 1 hit with “Can’t Buy Me Love,” which holds the top spot for five weeks.

1970 – The Beatles’ “Let It Be” begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single. It is the last single released by the Fab Four while still officially considered an active group. 

1984 – Michael Jackson undergoes surgery at an L.A. hospital for injuries sustained two months earlier when his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. 

1987 – “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael, tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks.

1992 – Def Leppard begins five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Adrenalize.” The album spawns three major hits, including “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad.”

1992 – Vanessa Williams kicks off her fifth and final week as a chart-topper with “Save the Best for Last.”

2009  – “Boom Boom Pow,” by The Black Eyed Peas, begins 12 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The song, from the band’s “The E.N.D.” album,” is nominated for a Best Dance Recording Grammy but wins for Best Short Form Music Video.

2012 –  An original and extremely rare 1963 mono copy of The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” album, signed by all four musicians, sells in an eBay auction for nearly $25,000. 

On This Day February 24

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History Highlights
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.

Musical Milestones
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.”

On This Day January 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1788 –  Britain’s First Fleet sails into Sydney Harbor and begins the European colonization of Australia. The fledgling colony marks this event each year as Australia Day, however in recent years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have objected because they see the occasion as the beginning of the deliberate destruction of their people and culture.

1905 – A 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. Weighing 1.33 pounds,  it is the largest diamond ever found, and is named the Cullinan after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine.

1926 – Scottish inventor John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of a true television system (called a “televisor”) in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment.

1950 – The Republic of India is formed as the Indian constitution takes effect.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet Travell, 59, as his personal physician, making her the first woman in history to hold that post. 

1979 – The General Lee, a bright orange Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag on its roof, kicks up dust clouds as “The Dukes of Hazzard” premieres on CBS.

1988 – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has its first Broadway performance at the Majestic Theatre. 

1998 – During one of the most memorable news conferences of his presidency, Bill Clinton tells reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Clinton later confesses that he did indeed have an “improper physical relationship” with Monica Lewinksky, a 24-year-old White House intern.

2005 – Condoleezza Rice assumes the post of U.S. Secretary of State two months after her nomination by President George W. Bush. She becomes the highest ranking African American woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet.

On This Day November 30

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1835 – Author Mark Twain, a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, best known for his classic American novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” (d. 1910)

1874 – Winston Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is born in Oxfordshire, England. (d. 1965) 

1918 – Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (“77 Sunset Strip,” “The F.B.I.”) (d. 2014)

1927 – Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume, best known for his role as the butler in the ABC sitcom “Benson”

1929 – Legendary TV host and producer Dick Clark, born Richard Wagstaff Clark, who is credited with such popular shows as “American Bandstand,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” “The $25,000 Pyramid” and “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes,” among others. (d. 2012)

1937 – Emmy-winning director-producer Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Gladiator,” “Black Hawk Down,” “American Gangster,” “The Martian”)

1947 – Tony-winning playwright, screenwriter and director David Mamet (“The Verdict,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Wag the Dog,” “Ronin”)

1952 – Emmy and Tony-winning actor Mandy Patinkin (“Yentl,” “The Princess Bride,” “Dick Tracy,” “The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland,” “Chicago Hope,” “Criminal Minds”)

1955 – Rock singer-guitarist Billy Idol, born William Albert Michael Broad (“Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “Rock the Cradle of Love”)

1965 – Emmy-winning actor, director and comedian Ben Stiller (“Reality Bites,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Zoolander,” the “Meet the Parents” trilogy, “DodgeBall,” “Tropic Thunder,” the “Madagascar” series, the “Night at the Museum” trilogy, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”)

1978 – Singer and “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken, born Clayton Holmes Grissom

History Highlights
History Highlights

1965 – Consumer advocate Ralph Nader publishes “Unsafe at Any Speed,” a book that singles out the Chevy Corvair while criticizing U.S. auto safety standards. It immediately becomes a bestseller and prompts passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, seat belt laws in 49 states (all but New Hampshire) and other highway safety initiatives.

1967 – Senator Eugene McCarthy, who advocated for a negotiated end to the Vietnam War, declares that he will challenge President Lyndon Johnson for the Democratic Party nomination. However, four months later, Johnson announces that he is not seeking re-election.

1971 – The made-for-television movie “Brian’s Song” premieres on ABC, starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo, the Chicago Bears running back who is stricken with terminal cancer, and Billy Dee Williams as his teammate, Gale Sayers. It leaves audiences sobbing with its compelling portrayal of the strong friendship the two athletes form. The movie captures five Emmy Awards.

1977 – After nearly four decades with CBS News, anchor Eric Sevareid retires. Sevareid was among a group of elite war correspondents hired by legendary CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, and nicknamed “Murrow’s Boys.” He was the first to report the Fall of Paris when the city was captured by the Germans in World War II.

1993 – President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Bill into law, requiring a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

On This Day November 22

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On This Day November 15

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On this Day August 6

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On this Day August 5

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1858 – The first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed, stretching nearly 2,000 miles at depths of up to two miles. It is put to use on August 16, as U.S. President James Buchanan and Queen Victoria exchange formal introductory and complimentary messages.

1914 – The world’s first electric traffic signal is installed at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

1962 – Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her Los Angeles home at the age of 36. An investigation determines that her death was “caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.”

1963 – Representatives of the U.S., Soviet Union and Great Britain sign the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater or in the atmosphere. The treaty is hailed as an important first step toward the control of nuclear weapons.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan begins firing more than 11,000 striking air traffic controllers for defying his order to return to work. The move slowed commercial air travel for months.

1983 – “Risky Business” opens in theaters, propelling actor Tom Cruise to stardom. The movie’s most iconic scene features Cruise dancing at home in his underpants to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

1998 – Seventy-year-old Marie Noe is arrested and charged with the suffocation murders of eight of her 10 children over a 50-year period.

2002 – Divers recover the rusty turret of the ironclad Civil War-era warship U.S.S. Monitor, which sank 140 years earlier in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 

On this Day May 30

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1431 –  Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the savior of France, is burned at the stake for heresy.

1783 – The Pennsylvania Evening Post becomes the first daily newspaper published in the United States.

1911 – The Indianapolis 500 is run for the first time and the winner is Ray Harroun, travelling at an average speed of 74.6 miles per hour in his single-seater Marmon Wasp.

1922 – Supreme Court Chief Justice and former President William Howard Taft dedicates the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Memorial was designed to heal national divisions caused by the Civil War. Yet for many, Lincoln’s promise of freedom remained incomplete. Over the next half century, the looming figure of Abraham Lincoln witnessed a number of events and demonstrations that reinforced the memorial’s importance as a symbolic space for civil rights movements.

1927 – The Kentucky River peaks during a massive flood caused by torrential rains. The disaster kills 89 people and leaves thousands homeless.

1971 – The unmanned spacecraft Mariner 9 launches on a mission to gather scientific information from Mars. It circles the Red Planet twice each day for almost a year, photographing the surface and analyzing the atmosphere with infrared and ultraviolet instruments.

1990 – With the Soviet economy on the brink of collapse, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Washington, D.C., for three days of talks with President George H. W. Bush. The summit centers on the issue of Germany and its place in a changing Europe.

On this Day May 2

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