On This Day April 13

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1957 – Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up” tops what Billboard then called the Best Sellers in Stores chart — later becoming the Hot 100. The single remains at No. 1 for eight weeks.

1958 – A 13-year-old British boy named Laurie London turns an American gospel song into commercial success, as “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” begins four weeks on top of the U.S. singles chart. However, it is to be London’s only hit and charting single. So, it can be said that in the pre-Beatles era, this was the most successful record by a British male singer in the U.S.

1964 – The Beatles shoot chase scenes for “A Hard Day’s Night” with actors dressed as policemen in the Notting Hill Gate area of London. That evening, the Fab Four record the movie’s title track at Abbey Road Studios.  

1968 – Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey” begins a five-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1974 – “Bennie and the Jets,” from Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album, kicks off a week on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1985 – The charity single “We Are the World,” featuring dozens of famous pop artists collaborating for African famine relief, begins four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2000 – Metallica files a copyright infringement lawsuit against the online music file sharing company Napster for allowing the illegal swapping of the band’s music. The case is the first in an ongoing love-hate relationship between the music industry and the Internet.

On This Day April 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1776 – U.S. Navy Captain John Barry (a.k.a. “Father of the American Navy”), commander of the warship Lexington, achieves the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he seizes the British warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture of the Edward and its cargo turns Barry into a national hero and boosts the morale of the Continental forces.

1948 – The United Nations establishes the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote “the highest possible level of health” around the globe. A major cornerstone of WHO is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. World Health Day is observed internationally every April 7.

1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower coins one of the most famous Cold War phrases when he suggests the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a “domino effect” in Southeast Asia. The so-called “domino theory” guided U.S. strategy toward Vietnam for the next decade.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy lobbies Congress to fund the preservation of historic monuments in Egypt’s Nile Valley threatened by construction of the Aswan High Dam.

1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material (Stanley v. Georgia). 

1970 – At the 42nd annual Academy Awards, screen legend John Wayne ropes his first and only Oscar: Best Actor for his role in the Western “True Grit.”

1978 – President Jimmy Carter cancels planned production of the neutron bomb.

1994 – Violence in Rwanda fuels the launch of what becomes the worst episode of genocide since World War II: the massacre of an estimated 500,000 to 1 million innocent civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

On This Day April 4

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established by the U.S. and 11 other Western nations.

1960 – William Wyler’s Technicolor epic ,”Ben-Hur,” sets an Academy Awards record when it sweeps 11 of the 12 categories for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Charlton Heston).

1968 – A sniper shoots and kills civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 39, on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel. As word of the assassination spreads, riots erupt in cities across the U.S., and National Guard troops are deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. In 1991, the murder scene—the Lorraine Motel—is dedicated as part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

1969 – CBS cancels the most popular show on TV at the time, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” because the brothers failed to submit their script to network executives to review before broadcast. 

1973 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held in New York’s Lower Manhattan to dedicate the original World Trade Center. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC, or the North Tower, and 2 WTC, the South Tower, would provide nearly 10 million square feet of office space. Reaching more than a quarter of a mile into the sky, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period, the tallest buildings in the world. 

1975 – At a time when most Americans are using typewriters, childhood friends and self-proclaimed computer geeks Bill Gates and Paul Allen establish Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Four years later, they relocate the business to Washington State and grow it into a major multinational technology corporation.

2007 – Radio shock jock Don Imus makes offensive remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team on the air, creating a firestorm of criticism across the country. Imus apologizes and loses his job, but ultimately is able to salvage his career.

2013 – Acclaimed movie critic Roger Ebert, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV’s Sneak Previews program for 31 years, dies at the age of 70 after battling cancer.

On This Day March 31

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1943 – Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” premieres on Broadway. In 1955, the musical is produced as a motion picture starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (in her film debut).

1958 – Chess Records releases “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song climbs as high as No. 8 on the pop chart and goes on to become a rock and roll classic.

1962 – Connie Francis claims the top spot on the pop chart for a week with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You”

1967 – Jimi Hendrix suffers minor burns to his hands when he sets his guitar on fire during a performance at Finsbury Park in London. Nevertheless, he goes on to torch guitars several times during his short career.

1973 – Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” returns to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week after The O’Jays interrupted her for a week with their hit, “Love Train.”

1979 – “Tragedy,” by the Bee Gees, dominates the singles chart for a second and final week.

1984 – Kenny Loggins kicks off a three-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “Footloose,” from the movie of the same name.

1987 – Prince releases his ninth studio album, “Sign o’ the Times,” which spawns three Top 10 hit singles: “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “U Got the Look,” (with Sheena Easton) and the title track. 

1995 – Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known as the “Mexican Madonna,” is shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. Selena was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy, in the Best Mexican-American album category, for her 1993 album “Selena Live!” At the time of her murder, at age 23, Selena was on the brink of international fame, recording her first English language album.

2007 – “Glamorous,” by Fergie featuring Ludacris, enters its second and final week as the No. 1 single.

On this Day June 2

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History Highlights
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.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

On this Day May 22

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