On This Day April 12

Musical Milestones

1954 – Bill Haley and his Comets record “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” at Pythian Temple studios in New York City. The song, widely credited with bringing rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream, becomes a worldwide No. 1 and the biggest-selling pop single, with sales exceeding 25 million. 

1963 – Bob Dylan performs his first major solo concert at Town Hall in Manhattan. Dylan’s 24-song set includes “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Highway 51” and “Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie.”

1969 – The 5th Dimension soar to the top of the singles chart with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” which holds at No. 1 for six weeks.

1973 – Stevie Wonder is just 23 years old when he makes a guest appearance on the children’s television show Sesame Street. Wonder interacts with several beloved characters in segments throughout the program, including Grover, whom he teaches how to sing. He also performs his smash hit, “Superstition.”

1975 – Elton John claims the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks with “Philadelphia Freedom,” a song he wrote for his good friend, international tennis legend Billie Jean King.  “Philadelphia Freedom” is the name of the tennis team that King coached at the time.

1986 – Falco wraps up three weeks atop the Billboard singles chart with “Rock Me Amadeus.”

1997 – “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” by Puff Daddy featuring Mase, is in the midst of a six-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100.

2003 – 50 Cent rules the singles chart with “In da Club,” which remains at No. 1 for nine weeks. 

Own a Piece of This Day

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The Best of Bill Haley & His Comets: The Millennium Collection

Bill Haley & His Comets

Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

The Civil War: An Illustrated History

Geoffrey C. Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

Deborah Cadbury

Could It Be Forever? My Story

David Cassidy

When a Man Loves a Woman

Starring Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan and Lauren Tom, and directed by Luis Mandoki

On This Day December 7

History Highlights

1941 – Japanese forces launch a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, thrusting the U.S. into World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt calls it “a date which will live in infamy.”

1963 – Decades before the DVR and years before the first Super Bowl, instant replay is used for the first time during an Army-Navy college football game. As the CBS broadcast replays Rollie Stichweh’s winning touchdown, commentator Lindsey Nelson tells viewers, “Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!”

1972 – Apollo 17 hurtles toward space, carrying a three-man crew to the last moon landing of the Apollo program.

1982 – The nation’s first execution by lethal injection takes place at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Charles Brooks, Jr. was convicted of kidnapping and murdering an auto mechanic.

1993 – Colin Ferguson opens fire on a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) commuter train after it pulls out of New York’s Penn Station, killing six and injuring 19. Other passengers overpower Ferguson when he stops to reload his pistol. The incident comes to be known as the Long Island Rail Road Massacre.

2001 – The heist film “Ocean’s Eleven,” starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts, and directed by Steven Soderbergh, opens in theaters. It is a remake of the 1960 movie of the same name that starred “Rat Pack” members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., along with Angie Dickinson.

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Welcome to the Real World

Mr. Mister

Achtung Baby

U2

Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack

Steve Twomey

A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts

Andrew Chaikin

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Starring Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson and Diane Ladd, and directed by Martin Scorsese

When the Game Was Ours

Larry BirdEarvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and others