On This Day April 18

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, launches a 12-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, from the band’s “The E.N.D.” album,” is nominated at the 52nd Grammy Awards for Best Dance Recording and wins 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. 

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.

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.

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Let It Be

The Beatles

Adrenalize

Def Leppard

Images of America: 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Richard Hansen and Gladys Hansen 

American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire

John A. Jackson

Once Upon a Time in America

Starring Robert De Niro, James Woods and Joe Pesci, and directed by Sergio Leone

Conan O’Brien Believes

Conan O’Brien

On This Day March 25

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Save The Turtles: The Turtles Greatest Hits

The Turtles

The Complete Greatest Hits

America

Triangle: The Fire That Changed America

David Von Drehle

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rocketman

Starring Taron EgertonJamie Bell and Richard Madden, and directed by Dexter Fletcher

L.A. Story

Starring Steve MartinMarilu Henner and Sarah Jessica Parker, and directed by Mick Jackson

On This Day February 14

History Highlights

1849 – James Polk becomes the first American president to be photographed while in office.

1920 – The League of Women Voters is established as a “political experiment” designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy.

1924 – International technology giant IBM (International Business Machines Corp.) is founded and eventually becomes known as “Big Blue.”

1929 – Seven rivals of mobster Al Capone are gunned down in a Chicago garage during the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives Americans an intimate, televised tour of The White House, hosted by CBS News correspondent Charles Collingwood. Although produced by CBS, the special airs on all three major TV networks the same week and is eventually broadcast in other countries, reaching an estimated global audience of some 80 million viewers.

1988 – U.S. speed skater Dan Jansen, a favorite to win the gold medal in the 500-meter race at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, falls during competition, only hours after learning his sister had died of cancer.

1989 – Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini calls on Muslims to kill “The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie because his book mocked or at least contained mocking references to the Prophet Muhammad and other aspects of Islam.

2018 – An 19-year-old expelled student enters Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opens fire, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others, in what becomes the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

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30 Greatest Hits

Aretha Franklin

Slippery When Wet

Bon Jovi

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

William J. Helmer and Arthur J Bilek

A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy

"I Heard You Paint Houses"

Charles Brandt

The Big Chill

Starring Tom Berenger, Glenn Close and Jeff Goldblum, and directed by Lawrence Kasdan

On This Day January 3

History Highlights

1938 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his former law partner, Basil O’Connor, establish the March of Dimes (originally known as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis) to battle polio, the disease FDR contracted at the age of 39 that prevented him from ever walking on his own again.

1961 – The U.S. severs diplomatic relations with Cuba two years after Fidel Castro seized control of the island nation 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

1967 – Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, dies of cancer in a Dallas hospital. The Texas Court of Appeals had recently overturned Ruby’s death sentence for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and was scheduled to grant him a new trial.

1969 – Apollo 8 astronauts William Anders, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell grace the cover of TIME magazine as “Men of the Year” for becoming the first humans to orbit the moon. During their mission, the trio also captured the iconic “Earthrise” image of planet Earth hovering above the lunar surface. They were hailed for bringing a hopeful conclusion to 1968 — a year filled with social strife that included the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

1990 – Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega surrenders to U.S. military troops to face charges of drug trafficking.

1993 – The Buffalo Bills stage the greatest comeback in NFL history. Backup quarterback Frank Reich leads the Bills to an improbable 41-38 overtime victory over the Houston Oilers in an AFC wild card playoff game that would forever be known to football fans as “The Comeback.” In Houston, however, it was referred to as “The Choke.”

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Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

B.J. Thomas

Saturday Night

Bay City Rollers

March of Dimes

David W. Rose

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon

Jeffrey Kluger

9 to 5

Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Dabney Coleman, and directed by Corin Hughes

Lethal Weapon

Starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Gary Busey, and directed by Richard Donner

On This Day November 28

Musical Milestones

1925 – The Grand Ole Opry, one of the longest-lived and most popular showcases for country music, begins broadcasting live from Nashville, Tennessee. At the time, it is known as the WSM Barn Dance.

1960 – Elvis Presley scores his 15th chart-topping single when “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” reaches No. 1 on the pop chart. It holds the top spot for six weeks.

1970 – Ex-Beatle George Harrison makes his solo Billboard chart debut with “My Sweet Lord,” a song he is later found guilty of having “subconsciously plagiarized” from Ronnie Mack’s “He’s So Fine,” which was a smash for The Chiffons.

1974 – John Lennon joins Elton John on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden for what becomes Lennon’s last concert appearance. He performs three songs: “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

1987 – The Bill Medley-Jennifer Warnes duet, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” from the movie “Dirty Dancing,” is No. 1 on the singles chart.

1998 – “Lately,” by one-hit-wonder Divine, tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a week.

2001 – Aretha Franklin sues the supermarket tabloid “Star” for $50 million dollars claiming that her reputation was damaged by a December 2000 article that alleged she had alcohol problems.

2007 – Kanye West and stuntman Evel Knievel settle a copyright dispute over West’s use of the name “Evel Kanyevel” in a music video. The 69-year-old daredevil claimed his image was harmed by the video’s “vulgar, sexual nature.” The clip for “Touch The Sky” shows the rap star attempting to cross a canyon on a rocket-powered motorcycle.

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ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Fire in the Grove

John C. Esposito

The Serial Killer Files

Harold Schechter

The Breakfast Club

Starring Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason and Ally Sheedy, and directed by John Hughes

The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History

Chris Smith and Jon Stewart

On this Day August 16

Musical Milestones

1962 – Twelve-year-old ‘Little’ Stevie Wonder releases his first single, “I Call It Pretty Music, (But The Old People Call It The Blues),” which features Marvin Gaye on drums.

1969 – The world is introduced to the Jackson 5 by Diana Ross & The Supremes during a performance at the Los Angeles Forum.

1975 – Peter Gabriel announces that he’s leaving Genesis. After auditioning more than 400 singers over the next 18 months, the band selects its longtime drummer, Phil Collins, as new frontman.

1977 – Music legend Elvis Presley dies of a heart attack at the age of 42. The King’s career included 33 movies and 105 Top 40 hits that continue to entertain fans decades after his death. 

1980 – “Magic,” by Olivia Newton-John, is in the middle of a one-month reign of the Billboard Hot 100.

1985 – On her 27th birthday, Madonna weds actor Sean Penn in a Malibu ceremony described as a “media circus.” The marriage lasts four years. 

1986 – “Papa Don’t Preach” becomes Madonna’s fourth No. 1 single. It holds the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. The track is from her “True Blue” album, which begins its own five-week run atop the album chart this same day.

1997 – “I’ll Be Missing You, by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112, tops the Billboard Hot 100. The song samples  The Police’s 1983 hit song “Every Breath You Take.”

2018 – ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. The self-taught piano prodigy, vocalist and songwriter notched 77 Hot 100 chart entries and earned 18 Grammys during her career. In 1987, Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Elvis Presley: The Man. The Life. The Legend.

Pamela Clarke Keogh

30 Greatest Hits

Aretha Franklin

1812: The Navy's War

George C. Daughan

The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth

Leigh Montville

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, and directed by Brian Gibson

Ordinary People

Starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton and Judd Hirsch, and directed by Robert Redford

On this Day June 10

History Highlights

1692 – Bridget Bishop, the first Massachusetts Bay colonist to be tried in the Salem witch trials, is hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft.

1752 – Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects ambient electrical charge in a Leyden jar, enabling him to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity along with an understanding of positive and negative charges. His experiment leads to development of the lightning rod, which grounded buildings thereby helping prevent deadly fires.

1935 – Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA, is founded by two recovering alcoholics — Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Ohio surgeon. Today, the organization continues to fulfill the pair’s original mission to help alcoholics stop drinking and stay sober.

1943 – Hungarian Laszlo Biro patents the ballpoint pen. In many languages, the word for ballpoint pen is “biro.”

1967 – In the Middle East, the Six-Day War ends when Israel and Syria agree to a U.N.-brokered ceasefire.

1980 – A letter written by imprisoned anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela and smuggled out of Robben Island prison, is shared publicly by the African National Congress (ANC). The letter is a call to arms against apartheid.

2007 – An estimated 12 million viewers tune in to “Made in America” — the final episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed, award-winning Mob family drama, “The Sopranos,” starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco and Steven Van Zandt.

Celebrity Birthdays

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Grease: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and other artists

Ray

Starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington and Regina King, and directed by Taylor Hackford

Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Ernest Kurtz

The Sopranos: The Complete Series

Starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco and Steven Van Zandt, and produced by David Chase

Gone With the Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, and directed by Victor Fleming

The Wizard of Oz

Starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger and Frank Morgan, and directed by Victor Fleming

On this Day June 3

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The Essential Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis

I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

Aretha Franklin

Princes at War: The Bitter Battle Inside Britain's Royal Family in the Darkest Days of WWII

Deborah Cadbury

The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited

Louisa Lim

Lonesome Dove

Larry McMurtry

Some Like It Hot

Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, and directed by Billy Wilder