On This Day February 12

History Highlights

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded. It is America’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. 

1976 – Oscar-nominated actor Sal Mineo (“Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant,” “Exodus,” ” The Longest Day”) is stabbed to death outside his West Hollywood apartment at the age of 37. It takes authorities more than two years to arrest Lionel Williams, who is convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison.

1986 – After spending eight years in Soviet prisons and labor camps, human rights activist Anatoly (Natan) Scharansky is released.  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan brokered the amnesty deal at a summit meeting three months earlier.

1999 – The five-week impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton comes to an end, with the Senate voting to acquit Clinton on both articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice.

2002 – Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial at The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of genocide and war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. The trial drags on for four years until Milosevic is found dead of a heart attack in his prison cell at the age of 64. 

2008 – Struggling auto giant General Motors (GM) attempts to cut costs by offering buyouts to all 74,000 of its U.S. hourly employees represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

2008 – Hollywood’s longest work stoppage since 1988 ends when members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) overwhelmingly vote to go back to work following a 100-day walkout. The strike crippled the production of countless TV shows and cost the California economy more than $2 billion. It also gave rise to more reality TV programming that required little or no scripting.

Celebrity Birthdays

1809 – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (d. 1865)

1809 – Scientist Charles Darwin, who laid the foundations for the theory of evolution in his book, “The Origin of Species”  (d. 1882)

1915 – Radio announcer-turned-actor and singer Lorne Greene, best know as Ben Cartwright in the TV western “Bonanza,” and Commander Adama in the sci-fi TV series “Battlestar Galactica” (d. 1987)

1923 – Director-producer Franco Zeffirelli, known for his Shakespeare film adaptations, including “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Romeo and Juliet” (d. 2019)

1934 – Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star Bill Russell, who led the Boston Celtics to 11 championships from 1957 to 1969

1938 – Best-selling author Judy Blume, known for her children’s books and young-adult novels, including “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” 

1952 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and former Doobies Brothers vocalist Michael McDonald 

1956 – Actor, comedian and former talk show host Arsenio Hall 

1968 – Actor Josh Brolin (“The Goonies,” “No Country For Old Men,” “W,” “Milk,” “Men in Black 3,” “Hail, Caesar!”, “Deadpool 2”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Once Upon A Deadpool”, “Avengers: Endgame”, ) 

1980 – Actress Christina Ricci (“The Addams Family,” “Casper,” “The Ice Storm,” “The Opposite of Sex,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Monster,” “Pan Am”) 

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The McGuire Sisters Greatest Hits

The McGuire Sisters

A Star Is Born

Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson

Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement

Patricia Sullivan

The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild

Miranda J. Banks

The Addams Family

Starring Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci and Anjelica Huston, and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition

Charles Darwin

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 February 3

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The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the "Big Bopper," and Ritchie Valens

Larry Lehmer

Briefcase Full of Blues

The Blues Brothers

Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War America

Audra J. Wolfe

Serpico

Starring Al Pacino, John Randolph and Jack Kehoe, and directed by Sidney Lumet

American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell

Deborah Solomon

The Birdcage

Starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman, and directed by Mike Nichols

On This Day January 26

History Highlights

1788 –  Britain’s First Fleet sails into Sydney Harbor and begins the European colonization of Australia. The fledgling colony marks this event each year as Australia Day, however in recent years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have objected because they see the occasion as the beginning of the deliberate destruction of their people and culture.

1905 – A 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. Weighing 1.33 pounds,  it is the largest diamond ever found, and is named the Cullinan after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine.

1926 – Scottish inventor John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of a true television system (called a “televisor”) in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment.

1950 – The Republic of India is formed as the Indian constitution takes effect.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet Travell, 59, as his personal physician, making her the first woman in history to hold that post. 

1979 – The General Lee, a bright orange Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag on its roof, kicks up dust clouds as “The Dukes of Hazzard” premieres on CBS.

1988 – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has its first Broadway performance at the Majestic Theatre. 

1998 – During one of the most memorable news conferences of his presidency, Bill Clinton tells reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Clinton later confesses that he did indeed have an “improper physical relationship” with Monica Lewinksky, a 24-year-old White House intern.

2005 – Condoleezza Rice assumes the post of U.S. Secretary of State two months after her nomination by President George W. Bush. She becomes the highest ranking African American woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet.

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Photograph: The Very Best Of Ringo

Ringo Starr

Like A Virgin

Madonna

Dukes of Hazzard: Season 1

Starring Tom Wopat and John Schneider

The Phantom Of The Opera

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Cool Hand Luke

Starring Paul Newman, George Kennedy and J.D. Cannon, and directed by Stuart Rosenberg

The Right Stuff

Starring Scott Glenn, Ed Harris and Barbara Hershey, and directed by Philip Kaufman

On This Day January 19

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The Platters: All-Time Greatest Hits

The Platters

The Wall

Pink Floyd

Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

The Best of I Love Lucy

Starring Lucille Ball

All in the Family: Complete First Season

Starring Jean Stapleton and Carroll O’Connor

The Birds

Starring Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette and Rod Taylor, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

On This Day January 7

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Dino: The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Dancing on the Ceiling

Lionel Richie

Telegraph, Telephone, and Wireless: How Telecom Changed the World

Bert Lundy

Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb

by Richard Rhodes

National Treasure

Starring Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel, and directed by Jon Turteltaub

The Hurt Locker

Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, and directed by Kathryn Bigelow

On This Day December 19

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

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Elton John

Elton John

Poor Richard's Almanac

by Benjamin Franklin

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

The Voice of the Sparrow: The Very Best of Edith Piaf

Édith Piaf

Brokeback Mountain

Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Randy Quaid, and directed by Ang Lee

On This Day November 30

History Highlights

1965 – Consumer advocate Ralph Nader publishes “Unsafe at Any Speed,” a book that singles out the Chevy Corvair while criticizing U.S. auto safety standards. It immediately becomes a bestseller and prompts passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, seat belt laws in 49 states (all but New Hampshire) and other highway safety initiatives.

1967 – Senator Eugene McCarthy, who advocated for a negotiated end to the Vietnam War, declares that he will challenge President Lyndon Johnson for the Democratic Party nomination. However, four months later, Johnson announces that he is not seeking re-election.

1971 – The made-for-television movie “Brian’s Song” premieres on ABC, starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo, the Chicago Bears running back who is stricken with terminal cancer, and Billy Dee Williams as his teammate, Gale Sayers. It leaves audiences sobbing with its compelling portrayal of the strong friendship the two athletes form. The movie captures five Emmy Awards.

1977 – After nearly four decades with CBS News, anchor Eric Sevareid retires. Sevareid was among a group of elite war correspondents hired by legendary CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, and nicknamed “Murrow’s Boys.” He was the first to report the Fall of Paris when the city was captured by the Germans in World War II.

1993 – President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Bill into law, requiring a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.

Celebrity Birthdays

1835 – Author Mark Twain, a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, best known for his classic American novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” (d. 1910)

1874 – Winston Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is born in Oxfordshire, England. (d. 1965) 

1918 – Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (“77 Sunset Strip,” “The F.B.I.”) (d. 2014)

1927 – Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume, best known for his role as the butler in the ABC sitcom “Benson”

1929 – Legendary TV host and producer Dick Clark, born Richard Wagstaff Clark, who is credited with such popular shows as “American Bandstand,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” “The $25,000 Pyramid” and “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes,” among others. (d. 2012)

1937 – Emmy-winning director-producer Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Gladiator,” “Black Hawk Down,” “American Gangster,” “The Martian”)

1947 – Tony-winning playwright, screenwriter and director David Mamet (“The Verdict,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Wag the Dog,” “Ronin”)

1952 – Emmy and Tony-winning actor Mandy Patinkin (“Yentl,” “The Princess Bride,” “Dick Tracy,” “The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland,” “Chicago Hope,” “Criminal Minds”)

1955 – Rock singer-guitarist Billy Idol, born William Albert Michael Broad (“Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “Rock the Cradle of Love”)

1965 – Emmy-winning actor, director and comedian Ben Stiller (“Reality Bites,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Zoolander,” the “Meet the Parents” trilogy, “DodgeBall,” “Tropic Thunder,” the “Madagascar” series, the “Night at the Museum” trilogy, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”)

1978 – Singer and “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken, born Clayton Holmes Grissom

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

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Thriller

Michael Jackson

Unsafe At Any Speed

Ralph Nader

Brian's Song

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

The Princess Bride

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

Night at the Museum

Starring Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino and Dick Van Dyke, and directed by Shawn Levy

On This Day October 28

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Always On Sunday: An Inside View of Ed Sullivan, the Beatles, Elvis, Sinatra & Ed's Other Guests

Michael Harris

Talking Book

Stevie Wonder

Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty

Elizabeth Mitchell

Thirteen Days

Starring Kevin Costner and Bruce Greenwood, and directed by Roger Donaldson

Erin Brockovich

Starring Julia Roberts and Albert Finney, and directed by Steven Soderbergh

Walk The Line

Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, and directed by James Mangold

On This Day September 29

History Highlights

1941 – The Babi Yar massacre of nearly 34,000 Jewish men, women, and children begins on the outskirts of Kiev in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine. The two-day bloodbath becomes a symbol of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust.

1966 – General Motors rolls out the sporty Chevy Camaro in an effort to go head-to-head with the popular Ford Mustang, which debuted two years earlier.

1988 – NASA launches the so-called “Return to Flight Mission” — the first space shuttle launch since the devastating Challenger explosion that claimed the lives of all seven crew members in January 1986. STS-26 marks the seventh flight for shuttle Discovery.

1988 – Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon, becomes the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.

1995 – President Bill Clinton posthumously awards voting rights advocate Willie Velasquez the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Velasquez and the organizations he founded are credited with dramatically increasing political awareness and participation among the Hispanic communities of the Southwestern U.S.

2005 – New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released from a federal detention center after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

2008 – Congress fails to pass a $700 billion bank bailout plan, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting nearly 780 points — at the time, the largest single-day point loss in history. The free fall follows the bankruptcies of Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Brothers, Savings and Loan bank Washington Mutual and the Fed’s pledge to extend an $85 billion bailout for insurance provider AIG.

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Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story

Rick Bragg

Purple Rain

Prince

In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures behind the Holocaust by Bullets

Father Patrick Desbois

Beyond the Limits: A Woman's Triumph on Everest

Stacy Allison

The Essential Gene Autry

Gene Autry

Blazing Saddles

Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens and Madeline Kahn, and directed by Mel Brooks

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