On This Day January 12

History Highlights

1904 – Driving his “999” Arrow Racer, automotive pioneer Henry Ford sets a land speed record of 91.37 miles per hours on the frozen surface of Michigan’s Lake St. Clair.

1926 –  The two-man comedy series “Sam ‘n’ Henry” debuts on Chicago radio station WGN. Two years later, after changing its name to “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” the show becomes one of the most popular radio programs in American history.

1932 – Hattie Wyatt Caraway, an Arkansas Democrat, becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. 

1966 – The “Batman” television series debuts on ABC, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Episodes feature acclaimed guest stars playing the various villains that battle Batman for supremacy over Gotham City. 

1969 – In the most celebrated performance of his prolific career, quarterback Joe Namath leads the New York Jets to a stunning 16-7 victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. 

1971 – The groundbreaking sitcom “All in the Family” premieres on CBS, about a working-class Queens, New York family grappling with various social issues. It stars Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker, Jean Stapleton as his wife, Edith, Sally Struthers as their daughter, Gloria, and Rob Reiner as their son-in-law, Michael (“Meathead”). The show was the brainchild of acclaimed writer-producer Norman Lear. 

1981 – A three-hour television movie serves as ABC’s pilot for the prime-time soap opera “Dynasty,” starring John Forsythe as oil tycoon Blake Carrington, Linda Evans as his wife, Crystal, and Joan Collins as Alexis, Carrington’s scheming ex-wife and business rival.

2010 – A magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastates the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. The quake — the strongest to strike the region in more than 200 years — leaves about 250,000 people dead and some 895,000 Haitians homeless.

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You Don't Mess Around With Jim

Jim Croce

The Joker

The Steve Miller Band

Batman: The Complete First Season

Starring Adam West and Burt Ward

All in the Family: Complete First Season

Starring Jean Stapleton and Carroll O’Connor

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

Cheers: Season 6

Starring Kirstie Alley, Ted Danson and Rhea Perlman

On This Day September 19

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The Best Of Chubby Checker 1959-1963

Chubby Checker

The Best of Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel

The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Season 1)

Starring Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman

ER - The Complete Series: Season 1-15

Starring George Clooney, Anthony Edwards, Sherry Stringfield, Noah Wyle, Juliana Margulies and Eriq La Salle

The Best Of The Mamas and The Papas: The Millennium Collection

The Mamas and the Papas

Reversal of Fortune

Starring Glenn CloseJeremy Irons andRon Silver, and directed by Barbet Schroeder

On this Day August 26

History Highlights

1920 – The 19th Amendment, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution by proclamation of Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. In 1973, Congress designates this date Women’s Equality Day.

1939 – The first Major League baseball game is televised. It’s a double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers at New York’s Ebbets Field, with the teams splitting the match. 

1957 – The Soviet Union declares that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of being fired “into any part of the world.” The announcement sets nations around the world on edge.

1968 – As the Democratic National Convention opens in Chicago, thousands of demonstrators take to the streets to protest the Vietnam War. 

1974 – Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, dies of cancer in Hawaii at the age of 72. 

1985 – The Yugo, the Yugoslavian-built compact car that Americans loved to hate, is introduced to the U.S. auto market. Sales begin to sputter in the late 1980s, and by 1992, Yugo America is out of business.

1986 – In what becomes known as the “Preppy Murder” case because of the upper-class status of both the victim and killer, the body of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin is discovered in New York’s Central Park shortly after leaving a bar with 19-year-old Robert Chambers. Chambers is arrested, charged and ultimately found guilty of Levin’s murder, and dubbed the “Preppy Killer.”

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Grease: The Original Soundtrack

Frankie Valli, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and other artists

Batman Forever: Music From The Motion Picture

U2, Seal, Eddi Reader, The Devlins and other artists

Lindbergh

A. Scott Berg

The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

Jason Vuic

Mother Teresa

Kathryn Spink

Hidden Figures

Starring Taraji P. HensonJanelle MonaeKevin Costner, and directed by Theodore Melfi

On this Day August 5

History Highlights

1858 – The first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed, stretching nearly 2,000 miles at depths of up to two miles. It is put to use on August 16, as U.S. President James Buchanan and Queen Victoria exchange formal introductory and complimentary messages.

1914 – The world’s first electric traffic signal is installed at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

1962 – Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her Los Angeles home at the age of 36. An investigation determines that her death was “caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.”

1963 – Representatives of the U.S., Soviet Union and Great Britain sign the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater or in the atmosphere. The treaty is hailed as an important first step toward the control of nuclear weapons.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan begins firing more than 11,000 striking air traffic controllers for defying his order to return to work. The move slowed commercial air travel for months.

1983 – “Risky Business” opens in theaters, propelling actor Tom Cruise to stardom. The movie’s most iconic scene features Cruise dancing at home in his underpants to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

1998 – Seventy-year-old Marie Noe is arrested and charged with the suffocation murders of eight of her 10 children over a 50-year period.

2002 – Divers recover the rusty turret of the ironclad Civil War-era warship U.S.S. Monitor, which sank 140 years earlier in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 

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Revolver

The Beatles

Some Girls

The Rolling Stones

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters

Marilyn Monroe

Risky Business

Starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca DeMornay and Joe Pantoliano, and directed by Paul Brickman

The Imitation Game

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong, and directed by Morten Tyldem

Solid Gold Hits

Beastie Boys

On this Day July 30

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Yesterday...And Today

The Beatles

Revolutions: The Very Best Of Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood

LBJ's Neglected Legacy

Robert H. Wilson, Norman J. Glickman and Laurence E., Jr. Lynn

Volkswagen Beetle: A Celebration of the World's Most Popular Car

Richard Copping

Kindergarten Cop

Starring Arnold SchwarzeneggerPenelope Ann Miller and Pamela Reed, and directed by Ivan Reitman

Million Dollar Baby

Starring Clint EastwoodHilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, and directed by Clint Eastwood

On this Day July 20

Musical Milestones

1963 – Beach music is the favorite on this day, as Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” hits No. 1 on the singles chart. 

1968 – Trumpeter Hugh Masekela begins a two-week run on top of the singles chart with the jazz instrumental “Grazing in the Grass.” In 2018, the song is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

1968 – Heavy metal strikes the album chart for the first time in the form of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” which was originally supposed to be titled “In The Garden of Eden.” The 17-minute title track takes up all of Side Two and was edited down to 2:53 for release as a single.

1974 – Early disco hit “Rock Your Baby,” by George McCrae, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

1985 – Duran Duran begin their second and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “A View to a Kill,” from the James Bond movie of the same name.

1986 – The movie “Sid & Nancy,” based on the life of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, premieres in London, starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb.

1991 – One-hit-wonder EMF kick off a week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “Unbelievable.”

1996 – “How Do U Want It,” by 2Pac featuring K-Ci & JoJo, grabs the top spot on the Billboard single chart. The track remains at No. 1 for a week.

2002 – “Hot in Herre,” by Nelly, is in the midst of a seven-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track garners Nelly a 2003 Grammy for Best Male Rap Solo Performance, a brand new category at the time.

History Highlights

1944 – A plot to murder German dictator Adolf Hitler fails as a bomb planted in a briefcase goes off, but leaves him only slightly wounded. Known as Operation Valkyrie, the assassination attempt was masterminded by senior-level German military officials who wanted to remove Hitler in order to establish a new government. Hitler’s would-be assassins are executed after being discovered.

1969 – More than a billion people around the world are glued to TV sets and radios as Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to step onto the surface of the moon. He famously marks the landmark event by saying, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

1973 – Actor and martial arts icon Bruce Lee dies unexpectedly at the age of 32, just before the release of his film, “Enter the Dragon.” The official cause of death is a brain edema, possibly triggered by a reaction to a prescription painkiller that Lee was reportedly taking for a back injury.

1976 – On the seventh anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, Viking 1, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, becomes the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars. 

1976 – In Major League Baseball, “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron hits his 755th and final home run during the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the California Angels. 

1977 – A flash flood washes over Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing 84 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. The disaster marks the third time that floods, caused by dam failures, devastate the same community. The Great Flood of 1889 killed more than 2,000 people in Johnstown. A second flood in 1936 left two dozen people dead.

2012 – Twelve people are killed and 70 others are injured when a gunman opens fire inside a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  The theater was packed with Batman fans that were there for a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The tragedy becomes the deadliest mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine shooting in 1999 in which 12 high school students and a teacher were gunned down.

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In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

Iron Butterfly

Sid & Nancy

Starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, and directed by Alex Cox

The Plots Against Hitler

Danny Orbach

Apollo 11

This documentary features never-before-seen Apollo 11 footage; directed by Todd Douglas Miller

Splendor in the Grass

Starring Natalie WoodWarren BeattyPat Hingle, and directed by Elia Kazan

Sideways

Starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh, and directed by Alexander Payne

On this Day July 6

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A Hard Day's Night

Starring The Beatles, and directed by Richard Lester

All-Time Greatest Hits

Louis Armstrong

The Day All the Stars Came Out: Major League Baseball's First All-Star Game, 1933

Lew Freedman

Born to Win: The Authorized Biography of Althea Gibson

Frances Clayton Gray

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

Bill Haley & His Comets

Shine

Starring Geoffrey RushLynn RedgraveArmin Mueller-Stahl, and directed by Scott Hicks

On this Day June 23

History Highlights

1868 – Pennsylvania native Christopher Latham Sholes receives a patent for a page-numbering machine that leads to development of the first typewriter. His machine features the QWERTY keyboard that all of us still use today on our computers, smartphones and other devices for written communication.

1956 – Gamal Abdel Nasser is elected president of Egypt.

1969 – Warren Burger is sworn in as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by retiring chief justice Earl Warren.

1972 – President Richard Nixon’s advisor, H.R. Haldeman, tells the president to put pressure on the head of the FBI to “stay the hell out of this [Watergate burglary investigation] business.” In essence, Haldeman was telling Nixon to obstruct justice, which is one of the articles for which Congress threatened to impeach Nixon in 1974.

1989 – Moviegoers are introduced to the darker side of Batman when director Tim Burton’s interpretation opens in theaters, starring Michael Keaton as the “caped crusader” and Jack Nicholson as The Joker. “Batman” earns over $400 million at the box office—enough to impress even Bruce Wayne!

1992 – Mafia boss John Gotti, who was nicknamed the “Teflon Don” after escaping unscathed from several trials during the 1980s, is sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering.

1995 – American physician and medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk, who pioneered the first safe and effective vaccine for polio, dies of heart failure at the age of 80.

2013 – Aerialist Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to walk a high wire across the Little Colorado River Gorge near Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

2018 – Twelve members of a Thai soccer team and their coach become trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks until a harrowing rescue effort, covered by international media, that costs one diver his life.

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The World Of Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole

Greatest

Duran Duran

Being Nixon: A Man Divided

Evan Thomas

Jonas Salk: A Life

Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs

Fosse

Sam Wasson

Fargo

Starring William H. MacySteve BuscemiPeter Stormare and Frances McDormand, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen