On This Day April 19

Musical Milestones

1969 – The 5th Dimension have the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures).”

1975 – Elton John rules the pop chart with “Philadelphia Freedom.” The track is sometimes mistaken as a patriotic song about America, with the bicentennial approaching. It is actually a tribute to John’s close friend, tennis legend Billie Jean King, who, at the time, coached a tennis team called the Philadelphia Freedoms. 

1980 – For the first time ever, the top five artists on the country music chart are all female: Crystal Gayle is No. 1, with Dottie West, Debby Boone, Emmylou Harris and Tammy Wynette making up the rest of the top five. 

1980 – “Call Me” by Blondie claims the top spot on the singles chart and holds there for six weeks. The track is from the band’s “Autoamerican” album and is featured in the movie “American Gigolo,” starring Richard Gere.

1986 – “Kiss,” by Prince and The Revolution from the “Parade” album (the “Under the Cherry Moon” soundtrack) is the No. 1 single. Following Prince’s April 2016 death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 28, and jumped to No. 23 a week later.

1997 – Michael Jackson attends the unveiling of a wax statue of himself at the Grevin Museum of Wax in Paris. The King of Pop had provided one of his own outfits to dress the figure.

2008 – Mariah Carey begins her second and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “Touch My Body.”

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Autoamerican

Blondie

Parade: Music from the Motion Picture "Under the Cherry Moon"

Prince and The Revolution

The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789

Robert Middlekauff

American Experience: Oklahoma City

Starring Bill Morlin and Mark Potok and directed by Barak Goodman

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick, and directed by Jim Sharman

127 Hours

Starring James Franco, Amber Tabmblyn, Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn, and directed by Danny Boyle

On this Day May 10

History Highlights

1869 – The heads of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific meet in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial golden spike into the track that connects their lines. Completion of the transcontinental railroad made the American West easily accessible, paving the way for trade, business and population growth.

1924 – J. Edgar Hoover is named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI). By the end of the year, he is promoted to director, beginning a 48-year tenure in power during which he personally shapes American criminal justice in the 20th century.

1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the globe, logging about 42,000 miles in the process.

1970 – Bobby Orr scores the winning goal 40 seconds into sudden-death overtime to lift the Boston Bruins over the St. Louis Blues for the Stanley Cup title — the Bruins’ first championship in 29 years.

1977 – Oscar-winning actress Joan Crawford dies at the age of 72. Crawford won a Best Actress Oscar for her starring role in 1945’s “Mildred Pierce” and received two Oscar nominations in later years.

1980 – Decades before the GM-bailout, the nearly bankrupt Chrysler Corporation secures $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees — the largest rescue package ever granted by the U.S. government to an American corporation at that time.

1994 – John Wayne Gacy, convicted of the sex-related killings of 33 young men and boys, is put to death by lethal injection as the nation’s worst serial killer on record.

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Rock Around the Clock

Bill Haley and His Comets

Please

Pet Shop Boys

Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

Stephen E. Ambrose

Mildred Pierce

Starring Joan Crawford, Jack Carson and Zachary Scott, and directed by Michael Curtiz

Funny Face

Starring Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson, and directed by Stanley Donen

Gone With the Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, directed by Victor Fleming and produced by David O. Selznick