On This Day January 18

Musical Milestones

1944 – The first jazz concert — known as the Esquire All-American Jazz Concert — is held at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden and Billie Holiday.

1960 – Johnny Preston starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Running Bear,” a song written by J. P. Richardson (a.k.a. “The Big Bopper”). The song was released shortly after Richardson’s death in the February 1959 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

1964 – The Beatles make their U.S. singles chart debut when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” enters at No. 45. It goes on to spend seven weeks at No. 1. 

1975 – Barry Manilow scores his first chart-topping single when “Mandy” reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, is the No. 1 single. The track, written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, wins Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year Grammys.

1989 – At 38 years of age, Stevie Wonder becomes the youngest living person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has excellent company, as other inductees in his class include The Rolling Stones, The Temptations and Dion (DiMucci).

1992 – Michael Jackson wraps up seven weeks as a chart-topper with “Black or White,” off his “Dangerous” album.

2003 – Eminem finds himself on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for another week with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” soundtrack.

History Highlights

1778 – British explorer Captain James Cook becomes the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands when he sails past the island of Oahu. Two days later, he lands at Waimea on the island of Kauai and names the island cluster the Sandwich Islands, after the voyage’s sponsor, the Earl of Sandwich.

1919 – Leaders of the Allied powers — the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy — convene in Versailles, France to begin the long and complex negotiations that would pave the way for the end of World War I. The Paris Peace Conference, as it is known, leads to creation of the League of Nations, an international peacekeeping organization.

1975 – The sitcom “The Jeffersons,” one of several spin-offs from TV’s groundbreaking “All in the Family,” premieres on CBS and becomes a ratings bonanza of its own during an 11-season run. Another Norman Lear creation, it stars Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as a successful African-American couple adjusting to life on Manhattan’s ritzy East Side after leaving their modest Queens neighborhood.

1977 – Scientists identify the cause of a mysterious outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 34 people at a 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. 

1990 – An FBI sting leads to the arrest of Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for possession of crack cocaine. After serving six months in federal prison, the so-called “mayor for life” makes one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American politics in 1994 when D.C. residents elect him to a fourth term as mayor.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Esquire All-American Jazz Concert

Featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and other jazz legends

Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Margaret MacMillan

Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.

Marion Barry, Jr. and Omar Tyree

To Catch A Thief

Starring Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Jessie Royce Landis, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Dances with Wolves

Starring Kevin Costner and Mary McDonnell, and directed by Kevin Costner

On This Day January 16

Musical Milestones

1938 – Acclaimed clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman (a.k.a. “The King of Swing”) makes history when he takes the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall. It not only marks the first time jazz is played in the hallowed music venue, but the first time a racially integrated ensemble performs.

1965 – The Supremes have a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Come See About Me.”

1971 – George Harrison marks his fourth and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “My Sweet Lord.”

1979 – Cher’s divorce from Gregg Allman is finalized.

1988 – Twenty-four years after The Beatles first rule the singles chart, “Got My Mind Set On You” by George Harrison is No. 1. The track was originally recorded by R&B singer James Ray in 1962.

1988 – After huge success as half of the pop duo Wham! during the early to mid-80s, George Michael claims the top spot on the Billboard album chart with his debut solo album, “Faith.” The production packs several major hits, including the title track, “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey.”

1993 – “I Will Always Love You,” by Whitney Houston, is in the middle of a 14-week domination of the Billboard singles chart.

1999 – Brandy’s “Have You Ever?” tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks. 

2004 – King of Pop, Michael Jackson, pleads not guilty to child molestation charges, as fans, reporters and TV crews from around the world swarm outside the California courthouse. The judge admonishes Jackson for arriving late.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

Benny Goodman: The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

Benny Goodman

The Best Of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

The Supremes

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Daniel Okrent

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

Robert Matzen

Merman...Her Greatest!

Ethel Merman

Halloween

Starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, and directed by John Carpenter

On this Day May 30

History Highlights

1431 –  Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the savior of France, is burned at the stake for heresy.

1783 – The Pennsylvania Evening Post becomes the first daily newspaper published in the United States.

1911 – The Indianapolis 500 is run for the first time and the winner is Ray Harroun, travelling at an average speed of 74.6 miles per hour in his single-seater Marmon Wasp.

1922 – Supreme Court Chief Justice and former President William Howard Taft dedicates the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Memorial was designed to heal national divisions caused by the Civil War. Yet for many, Lincoln’s promise of freedom remained incomplete. Over the next half century, the looming figure of Abraham Lincoln witnessed a number of events and demonstrations that reinforced the memorial’s importance as a symbolic space for civil rights movements.

1927 – The Kentucky River peaks during a massive flood caused by torrential rains. The disaster kills 89 people and leaves thousands homeless.

1971 – The unmanned spacecraft Mariner 9 launches on a mission to gather scientific information from Mars. It circles the Red Planet twice each day for almost a year, photographing the surface and analyzing the atmosphere with infrared and ultraviolet instruments.

1990 – With the Soviet economy on the brink of collapse, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Washington, D.C., for three days of talks with President George H. W. Bush. The summit centers on the issue of Germany and its place in a changing Europe.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Joshua Tree

U2

The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)

The Black Eyed Peas

Lincoln Memorial: The Story and Design of an American Monument

Jay Sacher

Charles Leerhsen

Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices

Ben Ohmart

Brian's Song

Starring James Caan, Billy Dee Williams and Jack Warden, and directed by Buzz Kulik