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The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the "Big Bopper," and Ritchie Valens

Larry Lehmer

Briefcase Full of Blues

The Blues Brothers

Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War America

Audra J. Wolfe

Serpico

Starring Al Pacino, John Randolph and Jack Kehoe, and directed by Sidney Lumet

American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell

Deborah Solomon

The Birdcage

Starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman, and directed by Mike Nichols

History Highlights

1915 – The American merchant ship William P. Frye becomes the first casualty of World War I as a German cruiser opens fire and sinks the vessel. Despite apologies from the German government, the attack sparks outrage in the U.S.

1922 – Ninety-eight guests are killed, 133 others are injured when the roof of Washington, D.C.’s Knickerbocker Theatre collapses under the weight of a heavy snowfall. The disaster ranks as one of Washington’s worst, and the “Knickerbocker Snowstorm,” as it is known, still holds the record for Washington’s single greatest snowfall.

1958 – The interlocking stud-and-tube plastic Lego brick is patented by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, whose father founded the Lego toy company (“Lego,” from the Danish term “leg godt,” meaning “play well”). Bricks manufactured today remain compatible with the original ones.

1964 – The State Department accuses the Soviet Union of shooting down an unarmed Air Force trainer jet over East Germany, killing its three occupants.

1986 – A nation watches in horror as Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51-L) explodes 73 seconds into flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe — who was to have been the first civilian in space — and fellow crew members Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnick, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair and Gregory Jarvis.

1997 – Four apartheid-era police officers, appearing before a tribunal in South Africa, admit to the 1977 killing of Stephen Biko, a leader of the South African “Black consciousness” movement.

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Rumours

Fleetwood Mac

We Are The World

U.S.A. For Africa

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

David Robertson and Bill Breen

Space Shuttle Disaster: The Tragic Mission of the Challenger

Henry M. Holden

M*A*S*H: The Complete Collection

Starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Harry Morgan, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit and others

The Green Mile

Starring Tom Hanks, David Morse and Bonnie Hunt, and directed by Frank Darabont

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Love Me Tender

Starring Richard Egan, Debra Paget and Elvis Presley, and directed by Robert D. Webb

ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits

ABBA

Fast Food Nation

Eric Schlosser

The English Patient

Starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche and Willem Dafoe, and directed by Anthony Minghella

Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe

Laurie Lisle

Demolition Man

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock and Bob Gunton, and directed by Marco Brambilla

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The Greatest Hits: Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind

Ray Charles

Dirty Dancing (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, The Ronettes, Eric Carmen and various other artists

Moby Dick

Herman Melville

We Are Marshall

Starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, and directed by McG

Copland Conducts Copland (Expanded Edition)

Aaron Copland

Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World

Charles, Prince of Wales

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The Essential Fifth Dimension

The 5th Dimension

Black Ice

AC/DC

The Plots Against Hitler

Danny Orbach

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917 - 1963

Robert Dallek

This is My Song: A Memoir

Patti Page

12 Years a Slave

Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch and Alfre Woodard, and directed by Steve McQueen

History Highlights

1781 – Hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution. The event is known as the Siege of Yorktown.

1960 – The Cold War heats up as the U.S. imposes an embargo on exports to Cuba. The original embargo covers all exports except medicine and some food products. President John F. Kennedy expands the embargo to cover U.S. imports from Cuba, which is made permanent in early 1962.

1970 – In New York City, One World Trade Center welcomes its first tenants, even as construction of the upper floors of the world’s tallest building continues.

1977 – An aviation icon, the supersonic Concorde SST, makes its first landing at New York’s JFK International Airport. The aircraft provides high-speed trans-Atlantic service until a 2003 Air France crash during takeoff from Paris that kills everyone on board.

1982 – Auto executive John DeLorean is arrested for drug trafficking and money laundering after FBI agents nab him with a briefcase containing $24 million worth of cocaine.

1987 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffers the largest-ever one-day percentage decline, dropping 508 points (22.6 percent), in what comes to be known as “Black Monday.” It is a bigger collapse than what rocked Wall Street in 1929, right before the Great Depression.

1991 – What begins as a small fire on private property in the hills of Oakland, California grows into an inferno that consumes 2.5 square miles of mostly residential neighborhoods. The Oakland Hills Firestorm kills 25 people and injures 150 others, and destroys nearly 3,500 homes and apartments.

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Ultimate Collection: Billy Preston

Billy Preston

Time And Again: The Ultimate a-ha

a-ha

City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center

James Glanz and Eric Lipton

The DeLorean Story: The Car, The People, The Scandal

Nick Sutton

Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of The Brady Bunch

Sherwood Schwartz and Lloyd J. Schwartz

The Universe of Peter Max

Peter Max

History Highlights

1934 – The first inmates, classified as “most dangerous,” arrive at the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, joining a few dozen prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.

1956 – Abstract artist Jackson Pollock dies in a drunk-driving car crash at the age of 44. 

1965 – Following the arrest of a young black motorist, the predominately black Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts erupts in riots that last six days and leave more than 30 people dead. 

1965 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the Bronco to compete with the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout. 

1973 – “American Graffiti” opens in theaters. The coming-of-age film set in 1962 California was co-written and directed by George Lucas and stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford.

1984 – During a sound check before a Saturday radio broadcast, President Ronald Reagan jokingly says, “My fellow Americans. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Reagan was unaware, however, that the feed was live. The Soviets, who find no humor in the remark, put their military on high alert.

2014 – Oscar-winning actor-comedian Robin Williams (“Mork and Mindy,” “The World According to Garp,” “Moscow on the Hudson,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Socity,” “Aladdin,”  “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Birdcage,” “Good Will Hunting”) dies by suicide at the age of 63. 

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The Very Best Of Neil Sedaka

Neil Sedaka

HELP! / The Beatles

The Beatles

Alcatraz #1259

William G. Baker

American Graffiti

Starring Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford, and directed by George Lucas

Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Alex Haley

Greatest Hits: Joe Jackson (Reissue)

Joe Jackson