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 April 8

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Toys in the Attic

Aerosmith

Supernatural

Santana

I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story

Hank Aaron

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain

Starring Kal Penn, Mischa Barton and Martin Sheen, and directed by Ravi Kumar

Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies

Christel Schmidt

The Princess Bride

Starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin and Chris Sarandon, and directed by Rob Reiner

On This Day February 6

History Highlights

1917 – Three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson severs diplomatic relations with Germany and warns that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted, a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.

1933 – The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing the beginning and ending of the terms of elected federal offices, takes effect. 

1937 – John Steinbeck’s novella, “Of Mice and Men,” the story of the bond between two migrant workers during the Great Depression, is published. Eight months later, the stage adaptation opens in New York and earns Steinbeck the New York Drama Critics’ Circle’s Best Play Award in 1938.

1952 – Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen of England when her father, King George VI, dies following a long illness. But it takes the 25-year-old Elizabeth more than a day to learn of her new royal status. She was on safari at the time, inside a Kenyan tree hut watching a herd of elephants gather at a watering hole.

1978 – One of the worst Nor’easters in New England history pounds the region for more than 30 hours, with wind gusts exceeding 100 mph and snowfall of four inches an hour. High tides cause damaging coastal flooding, while inland, thousands of cars are stranded in snow drifts. Remembered as “The Blizzard of ’78,” the monster storm leaves about 100 people dead and 4,500 others injured.

1993 – Tennis champion Arthur Ashe, the only African-American man to win Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens, dies of complications from AIDS, at age 49 in New York City.

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The Very Best Of The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody

The Righteous Brothers

Tony Orlando & Dawn: The Definitive Collection

Tony Orlando & Dawn

Understanding Legislative Term Limits

Edward Sternisha, J.D.

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

An American Life: The Autobiography

Ronald Reagan

The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth

Leigh Montville

On This Day February 5

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The Ultimate Petula Clark

Petula Clark

The Essential Toto

Toto

Apollo 14: To Fra Mauro

Ed Mitchell

Hot Potato: How Washington and New York Gave Birth to Black Basketball and Changed America's Game Forever

Bob Kuska

This Is Spinal Tap

Starring Rob Reiner, Kimberly Stringer and Chazz Dominguez, and directed by Rob Reiner

Dolores Claiborne

Starring Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Judy Parfitt, and directed by Taylor Hackford

On This Day January 29

Musical Milestones

1964 – The Beatles spend the day at the Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris in their only studio recording session for EMI held outside the U.K. They record “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” in German.

1966 – “We Can Work It Out,” by The Beatles, reaches the top of the Billboard singles chart and remains there for a week.

1972 – Don McLean’s “American Pie” is in the midst of a four-week ride atop the Billboard Hot 100.

1977 – “Car Wash,” by Rose Royce, is the No. 1 single. It comes from the movie of the same name that features Richard Pryor, George Carlin and The Pointer Sisters, and is considered a staple of the disco genre.

1983 – Men at Work wrap up three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Down Under,” off the Aussie band’s “Business as Usual” album.

1994 – “All for Love,” by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting, is in the middle of a three-week run on top of the pop chart. The single comes from the soundtrack to “The Three Musketeers,” a movie starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Chris O’Donnell.

2000 – The No. 1 spot on the pop chart belongs to Australian pop duo Savage Garden with “I Knew I Loved You.”

2011 – Britney Spears lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Hold It Against Me.”

2019 – Two-time Grammy-winning 80s R&B singer-songwriter James Ingram (“Just Once,” “Baby, Come to Me,” “I Don’t Have the Heart”) dies of brain cancer at the age of 66.

History Highlights

1845 – The Evening Mirror publishes Edgar Allan Poe’s now-classic poem, “The Raven” which begins, “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”

1936 – The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced In Cooperstown, New York. They include Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.

1963 – Robert Frost, considered the dean of American poets, dies in Boston at the age of 88.

1964 – Stanley Kubrick’s black comic masterpiece, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” opens in movie theaters to critical acclaim. Actor Peter Sellers plays three roles in the Cold War parody.

1979 – Teenager Brenda Spencer shoots and kills two men and wounds nine children as they enter the Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. Asked by authorities upon her arrest why she did it, the 16-year-old replies, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” The incident inspires The Boomtown Rats to write their hit song, “I Don’t Like Mondays.”

1979 – President Jimmy Carter welcomes Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House following the establishment of diplomatic relations. The visit culminates with the signing of historic new accords that reverse decades of U.S. opposition to the People’s Republic of China.

2002 – In his first State of the Union address since the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S., President George W. Bush says Iraq, Iran and North Korea constitute an “axis of evil.” He outlines his rationale for the “war on terror,” a series of military engagements which would define U.S. foreign policy for years to come.

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American Pie

Don McLean

The Three Musketeers

Starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell, Oliver Platt, Tim Curry and Rebecca De Mornay, and directed by Stephen Herek

Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame

Zev Chafets

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Starring Peter Sellers, Peter Bull and George C. Scott, and directed by Stanley Kubrick

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and directed by Thurl Ravenscroft and Jorge Russek

Magnum P.I.: The Complete First Season

Starring Tom Selleck and John Hillerman

On This Day October 6

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The Very Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Songs in A Minor (Expanded Edition)

Alicia Keys

Monty Python's Flying Circus

Starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin

Bette Davis: More Than a Woman

James Spada

Leaving Las Vegas

Starring Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue and Julian Sands, and directed by Mike Figgis

Six Feet Under

Starring Peter Krause, Frances Conroy, Michael C. Hall, Lauren Ambrose, Rachel Griffiths and Jeremy Sisto

On This Day September 30

History Highlights

1927 – Babe Ruth hits his 60th home run of the season off Tom Zachary of the Washington Senators. Ruth’s record for the most homers in a single season stands for 34 years until Roger Maris hits 61 in 1961.

1954 – The U.S. Navy commissions the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine. During its early years of service, the vessel breaks numerous submarine travel records, and in August 1958, achieves the first voyage under the North Pole. 

1955 – Hollywood legend James Dean is killed in a car accident at the age of 24. At the time, Dean is speeding in his beloved “Little Bastard” — a silver Porsche 550 Spyder — to a car race in Salinas, California, when a vehicle driven by a 23-year-old college student veers into his path.

1960 – Yabba Dabba Do! Hanna-Barbera introduces Americans to a “modern Stone Age family” in the animated series “The Flintstones,” which lasts six seasons on ABC.

1968 – The first Boeing 747, named “City of Everett,” is rolled out before thousands of employees and the international press at Boeing’s Everett, Washington factory. The jumbo jet is the world’s largest civilian aircraft at that time — capable of carrying up to 490 passengers and 33 attendants. It officially enters service on February 9, 1969.

1982 – The NBC sitcom “Cheers,” set in a Boston bar, debuts, starring Ted Danson and Shelley Long. It is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series each of the 11 seasons it is on the air, capturing 28 Primetime Emmy Awards from a record 117 nominations.

1984 – The popular prime time series “Murder, She Wrote” premieres on CBS, starring Angela Lansbury as crime novelist Jessica Fletcher, who travels the country solving murder cases. The show picks up two Golden Globes during a 12-season run. Lansbury is nominated for 10 Golden Globes and 12 Emmy Awards, winning four Golden Globes.

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The Best of the Capitol Masters: 90th Birthday Edition

Les Paul with Mary Ford

Milli Vanilli: Greatest Hits

Milli Vanilli

The Real James Dean

Peter L. Winkler

The Flintstones

Featuring Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty and their kids

Open Heart

Elie Wiesel

The Essential Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis

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 July 11

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David Bowie (a.k.a. Space Oddity)

David Bowie

The Best of Three Dog Night: The Millennium Collection

Three Dog Night

War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel that Stunned the Nation

John Sedgwick

For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History

Mart Pendergrast

The King and I

Starring Deborah KerrYul Brynner, and directed by Walter Lang

Solitude Standing

Suzanne Vega

On this Day June 2

Musical Milestones

History Highlights

1865 – Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. Smith’s surrender effectively dissolves the last Confederate army, formally ending the Civil War — the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.

1924 – President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizen Act, granting automatic American citizenship to Native Americans born in the United States. 

1935 – Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, ends his Major League playing career after 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs.

1941 – Another baseball legend, Lou Gehrig, dies of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a rare type of paralysis commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

1953 – Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is crowned in Westminster Abbey during the first televised coronation ceremony.

1979 – Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit a communist country when he tours his native Poland.

1989 – Moviegoers discover a darker side of comedian-actor Robin Williams when “Dead Poets Society” opens in U.S. theaters, starring Williams as an unconventional prep school English teacher. The performance garners Williams a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

1997 – Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. Army soldier, is convicted on 11 counts of murder, conspiracy and using a weapon of mass destruction for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He is later sentenced to death.

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Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vols 1 & 2

Ray Charles

Bad Girls

Donna Summer

Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

Jonathan Eig

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Sally Bedell Smith

Tarzan The Ape Man

Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Neil Hamilton and Maureen O’Sullivan, and directed by W.S. Van Dyke

Star Trek (2009)

Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg, and directed by J.J. Abrams