On This Day April 20

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1912 – With 27,000 people in the stands, the Boston Red Sox play their first game at Fenway Park and defeat the New York Highlanders (later renamed the Yankees) by a score of 7-6 in 11 innings. 

1916 – The first National League game played at Chicago’s Wrigley Field (then Weeghman Park) sees the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings. A bear cub is in attendance at the ballpark, which becomes known as Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchases the team from Weeghman. It is named Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the club’s owner.

1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the practice of busing to desegregate schools, ruling in the case of Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Two years later, the high court makes a second ruling restricting the use of busing, concluding that students could only be bused across district lines if there was evidence that multiple districts had implemented deliberately discriminatory policies.

1977 – The comedy “Annie Hall” opens, starring director Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. The film goes on to win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

1980 – The Castro regime announces that all Cubans wishing to emigrate to the U.S. are free to board boats at the port of Mariel west of Havana, launching the Mariel Boatlift.

1999 – The school day at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado is shattered by deadly gunfire. Two seniors fatally shoot 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives. Twenty-three others are injured in what ushers in a wave of U.S. school shootings over the next two decades.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1957 – Elvis Presley is on top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart for a second week with “All Shook Up.” The track remains at No. 1 for eight weeks and becomes the biggest single of 1957, selling more than two million copies.

1963 – The Chiffons wrap up a four-week domination of the pop chart with “He’s So Fine.”

1968 – “Honey,” by Bobby Goldsboro, is in the middle of a five-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1970 – The New York Times reports that Catholic and Protestant youth groups have adopted The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine as a religious symbol and formed so called “submarine churches.”  These churches featured the outline of a yellow submarine with a small cross on its periscope as their symbol. It is displayed alongside peace signs, flowers and other popular emblems of the period.

1974 – “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” by MFSB featuring the Three Degrees, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. 

1991 – Wilson Phillips’ “You’re in Love” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1996 – Céline Dion’s Grammy-winning “Because You Loved Me” continues a six-week ride atop the U.S. singles chart. The track is from the 1996 movie “Up Close and Personal,” starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

2002 – Ashanti launches a 10-week run on top of the pop chart with “Foolish,” off her self-titled debut album.

2013 – Bruno Mars kicks off a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “When I Was Your Man.”

On This Day April 27

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – High school freshman Little Peggy March (born Margaret Annemarie Battavio) marches to the top of the Billboard singles chart with “I Will Follow Him.” The song remains at No. 1 for three weeks and makes March, at age 15, the youngest female singer to ever have a chart-topping hit.

1967 – Motown Records releases the Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell duet, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” which becomes a Top 20 hit. Diana Ross’ 1970 version rockets to the top of the pop chart, becoming her first No. 1 since leaving The Supremes. 

1974 – “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” by MFSB and The Three Degrees, is the No. 1 single. 

1981 – Singer-songwriter and legendary Beatles drummer Ringo Starr weds actress Barbara Bach, best known for her roles in the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Force 10 from Navarone.”

1985 – “We Are The World,” the musical collaboration produced under the baton of Quincy Jones as a fundraiser for African famine relief, is in the middle of a four-week reign over the Billboard Hot 100.

1991 – Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby begins two weeks as the most popular single in the U.S.

1999 – British rockers The Verve, best known for their Grammy-nominated hit “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and the chart-topping singles “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “Lucky Man,” announce their second breakup. The band re-forms in 2007, but by 2009, the musicians truly go their separate ways.

2002 – “Foolish,” off Ashanti’s self-titled debut album, tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains at No. 1 for 10 weeks. The accompanying music video features actor Terrence Howard.

On This Day March 2

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History Highlights
History Highlights
Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – “Walk Like a Man,” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart. It is the band’s third chart-topping hit.

1967 – The Beatles win three Grammys for records issued the previous year: Best Song for “Michelle,” Best Vocal Performance for “Eleanor Rigby” and Best Cover Artwork for the album design of “Revolver” by Klaus Voormann.

1974 – “Seasons in the Sun,” by one-hit wonder Terry Jacks, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and stays there for three weeks.

1974 – At the 16th Annual Grammy Awards, Stevie Wonder captures five honors: Album of the Year and Best Engineered Recording for “Innervisions,” Best R&B Song and Best Vocal for “Superstition,” and Pop Vocal Performance for “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” 

1974 – Roberta Flack wins Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammys for “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The track also garners a Song of the Year Grammy for its writers, Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox.

1985 – “Careless Whisper,” by Wham! featuring George Michael, begins its third and final week at No. 1 on the singles chart.

1985 – Sheena Easton becomes the first musical artist ever to land Top 10 hits on the pop, R&B, country, dance and adult contemporary charts when “Sugar Walls,” written by Prince, reaches No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. That is the song that sparked the Parental Advisory music labeling system (listen carefully to the lyrics and you’ll know why).

1999 – Acclaimed British pop vocalist Dusty Springield (“I Only Want To Be With You,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”) dies at the age of 59 following a five-year battle with breast cancer.

2002 – “Always on Time,” by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti, enters its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

On This Day February 23

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo begins as Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna and his army arrive in San Antonio, Texas. Undaunted, William Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and a few hundred others prepare to defend the mission together, holding out for 13 days. “Remember the Alamo!” becomes a rallying cry for the Texian Army.

1945 – During the bloody Battle of Iwo Jima, five U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. His iconic World War II image — a symbol of American military heroism —  wins a Pulitzer Prize and becomes the inspiration for the national U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

1954 – Elementary school children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk. 

1968 – Considered a basketball legend, Wilt Chamberlain becomes the first NBA player to score more than 25,000 points during his professional sports career.

1980 – American speed skater Eric Heiden wins the 10,000-meter race at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, setting a world record with his time and winning an unprecedented fifth Gold medal at the games.

1997 – Scientists in Scotland announce that they have cloned a sheep named Dolly — the first successful cloning of a mammal from an adult cell. This development sparks widespread speculation about the possibility of human cloning.

On this Day June 22

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1944 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the GI Bill to provide financial aid to veterans returning from World War II.

1950 – Prominent figures in the music industry, including Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lena Horne, Pete Seeger and Artie Shaw, are named publicly as suspected Communist sympathizers as part of America’s infamous Red Scare.T Their names appear in Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television.

1966 – Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton grace the big screen with the release of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” It’s the first movie to contain certain four-letter words and adult content, but still receive the production code seal of approval.

1969 – Award-winning actress-singer Judy Garland, best known for playing Dorothy in the classic film “The Wizard of Oz,” is found dead of a drug overdose in her London home just days after her 47th birthday.

1981 – Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to the murder of music legend and former Beatle John Lennon.

2001 – There’s plenty of burning rubber on the screen as the action movie “The Fast and the Furious,” starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, debuts in U.S. theaters. The film becomes a blockbuster — grossing $200 million worldwide — and spawns several sequels.

2011 – After 16 years on the run from law enforcement, James “Whitey” Bulger, a violent Boston mob boss wanted for 19 murders, is arrested in California. Bulger was among the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” fugitives. He dies in prison in 2018 at the age of 89.

On this Day June 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1215 – Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta (“Great Charter”). The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws.

1846 – Representatives of the United States and Great Britain sign the Oregon Treaty, establishing the boundary between the U.S. and Canada.

1877 – Henry Ossian Flipper, born a slave in Thomasville, Georgia, becomes the first black cadet to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

1917 – Two months after America formally enters World War I Congress passes the Espionage Act. The measure makes it a crime for any person to convey information intended to interfere with the U.S. armed forces’ prosecution of the war effort or to promote the success of the country’s enemies.

1934 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park is established, straddling North Carolina and Tennessee.

1955 – The Eisenhower administration stages the first Operation Alert (OPAL) exercise, an attempt to assess America’s preparations for a nuclear attack.

1969 – The variety show “Hee Haw” premieres on CBS and continues through 1971 before starting a 21-year run in syndication. The show centered around country music and rural culture.

1986 –  Auto racing legend Richard Petty makes the 1,000th start of his National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) career, becoming the first driver to do so.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto begins a three-week domination of the U.S. pop chart with “Sukiyaki.” Two decades later, in 1981, the band A Taste of Honey — which gave us the disco hit “Boogie Oogie Oogie” — releases its English-language version of the song and takes it to No. 3 on the pop chart.

1965 – Bob Dylan records one of the defining songs of his career: “Like a Rolling Stone.” The track is credited with transforming Dylan’s image from folk singer to rock star, and is considered one of the most influential compositions in postwar popular music. “Rolling Stone” magazine named it the best song of all time.

1974 – One-hit wonder Bo Donaldson claims a two-week hold on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero.”

1985 – “Around the World in a Day,” by Prince and the Revolution, begins its third and final week atop the Billboard album chart. The album contains the hits “Paisley Park and “Raspberry Beret.”

1989 – Nirvana’s debut album, “Bleach,” is released in the U.S., but doesn’t gain much traction until after the grunge band’s “Nevermind” album is released three years later.

1996 – “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald, dies at the age of 79.  Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century, winning 13 Grammy awards and selling more than 40 million albums.

2002 – Ashanti’s debut single, “Foolish,” is in the midst of a 10-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100. Her accompanying music video features actor Terrence Howard.

On this Day June 1

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1938 – Publication of “Action Comics No. 1” introduces the world to Superman and is considered the first true superhero comic. It not only marks the first appearance of the Man of Steel, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, but launches the entire superhero genre. A pristine copy sells on eBay for $3.2 million in 2014 — the highest price ever paid for a single comic book.

1942 – News of Holocaust death camp killings becomes public for the first time. Liberty Brigade, a Warsaw underground newspaper, reports on the gassing of tens of thousands of Jews at Chelmno, a Nazi-operated death camp in Poland— nearly seven months after extermination of prisoners began. 

1968 – Helen Keller, who overcame blindness and deafness to become a world-renowned writer, lecturer, humanitarian and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), dies at the age of 87.

1974 – The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims is published in the journal Emergency Medicine.

1980 – Cable News Network (CNN) debuts as TV’s first all-news service. The first broadcast is co-anchored by David Walker and Lois Hart.

1990 – President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agree to halt their production of chemical weapons and commit to the eventual destruction of 80 percent of their chemical weapons stockpiles.

2004 – Opening statements begin in the trial of Scott Peterson, who was accused of murdering his wife Laci and the couple’s unborn son in a case that dominated the headlines for nearly two years.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – “It’s My Party,” by Lesley Gore, kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single.

1964 – The Rolling Stones step onto American soil for the first time when they arrive at New York’s Kennedy Airport to kick off their debut U.S. tour. At the time, they were not as well known in the U.S. as The Beatles were when they arrived four months earlier.

1967 – The Beatles release the groundbreaking album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The album took four months and cost $75,000 to complete. It goes on to sell more than 8 million copies and spends 15 weeks at No. 1.

1968 – Simon & Garfunkel grab the top spot on the singles chart with “Mrs. Robinson.” The song, from the duo’s “Bookends” album, is also in the soundtrack to the movie “The Graduate,” starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman. It goes on to capture a Record of the Year Grammy.

1974 – Ray Stevens’ novelty song, “The Streak,” begins its third and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1985 – Prince and The Revolution launch a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Around The World In A Day,” which contains Top 10 hits “Raspberry Beret” and “Pop Life.”

1991 – “I Don’t Wanna Cry,” by Mariah Carey, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 hit.

1996 – “Tha Crossroads,” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, is in the middle of an eight-week domination of the singles chart.

2002 – Ashanti maintains her hold on the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Foolish.”

2013 – “Modern Vampires of the City,” by Vampire Weekend, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

On this Day May 25

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History Highlights
History Highlights

On this Day May 18

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1917 – Six weeks after the United States formally enters the World War I, Congress passes and President Woodrow Wilson signs into law the Selective Service Act. It requires all American men between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for service in the U.S. military. On June 5, 1917, some 10 million men report to their local Selective Service Registration Boards to sign up.

1953 – Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran becomes the first woman aviator to break the sound barrier. The so-called “Queen of Speed” was an important contributor to the formation of America’s wartime Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

1965 – President Lyndon Johnson announces the launch of Project Head Start, designed as part of his War on Poverty initiative, to provide comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

1974 – With its detonation of a nuclear bomb, India officially becomes the world’s sixth nuclear power. International reaction to the test was negative, with Canada cutting off virtually all nuclear assistance. The United States also restricted such collaborations and successfully persuaded India not to carry out further nuclear tests at that time.

1980 – The violent eruption of Washington’s Mount St. Helens kills 57 people, destroys hundreds of homes, levels tens of thousands of acres of forest, triggers mudflows and scatters ash across a dozen states. It becomes one of the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic events in U.S. history.

On this Day May 11

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1959 – The instrumental “The Happy Organ,” by organist-pianist Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez, is the No. 1 single for a week and becomes a fixture at roller skating rinks across the U.S. Cortez makes one more trip to the Top-10 during his career with “Rinky Dink” in 1962.

1963 – Little Peggy March wraps up three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Will Follow Him.”

1970 – The three-disk soundtrack to the Woodstock Festival is released and goes gold within two weeks.

1972 – John Lennon makes a guest appearance on “The Dick Cavett Show” and claims the FBI is tapping his phone.

1981 – Jamaican singer-songwriter and guitarist Bob Marley, who introduced international audiences to reggae music, dies of cancer at the age of 36. Marley is posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 2001, receives a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

1985 – Madonna has the No. 1 single with “Crazy for You,” from the soundtrack to the movie “Vision Quest,” starring Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino. The track garners Madonna her first Grammy nomination in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category.

1991 – “Joyride,” by Swedish pop duo Roxette, is the No. 1 single for a week.

1996 – Mariah Carey begins her second and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Always Be My Baby.”

2002 – Ashanti maintains her hold on the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Foolish.” The track remains a chart-topper for 10 weeks.

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