On This Day April 12

Musical Milestones

1954 – Bill Haley and his Comets record “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” at Pythian Temple studios in New York City. The song, widely credited with bringing rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream, becomes a worldwide No. 1 and the biggest-selling pop single, with sales exceeding 25 million. 

1963 – Bob Dylan performs his first major solo concert at Town Hall in Manhattan. Dylan’s 24-song set includes “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Highway 51” and “Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie.”

1969 – The 5th Dimension soar to the top of the singles chart with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” which holds at No. 1 for six weeks.

1973 – Stevie Wonder is just 23 years old when he makes a guest appearance on the children’s television show Sesame Street. Wonder interacts with several beloved characters in segments throughout the program, including Grover, whom he teaches how to sing. He also performs his smash hit, “Superstition.”

1975 – Elton John claims the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks with “Philadelphia Freedom,” a song he wrote for his good friend, international tennis legend Billie Jean King.  “Philadelphia Freedom” is the name of the tennis team that King coached at the time.

1986 – Falco wraps up three weeks atop the Billboard singles chart with “Rock Me Amadeus.”

1997 – “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” by Puff Daddy featuring Mase, is in the midst of a six-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100.

2003 – 50 Cent rules the singles chart with “In da Club,” which remains at No. 1 for nine weeks. 

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

Bill Haley & His Comets

Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

The Civil War: An Illustrated History

Geoffrey C. Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

Deborah Cadbury

Could It Be Forever? My Story

David Cassidy

When a Man Loves a Woman

Starring Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan and Lauren Tom, and directed by Luis Mandoki

On This Day February 18

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Rock Around The Clock

Bill Haley

What'd I Say

Ray Charles

Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards

Mason Wiley

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

Pulp Fiction

Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

Sixteen Candles

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

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 November 11

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The Best Of Donna Summer: The Millennium Collection

Donna Summer

Daydream

Mariah Carey

A World Undone: The Story of the Great War

G. J. Meyer

The Route 66 Photo Road Trip

Rick & Susan Sammon

The Devil Wears Prada

Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci, and directed by David Frankel

Catch Me If You Can

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On This Day October 26

History Highlights

1881 – The Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. The gunfight only lasts 30 seconds, but when the dust clears, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers are dead, and Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday are wounded.

1958 – The Jet Age begins as the first Boeing 707 commercial airliner, operated by Pan Am, takes off from New York’s Idlewild Airport (now JFK) and crosses the Atlantic to Paris-Le Bourget Airport on an 8.5-hour flight.

1970 – The “Doonesbury” comic strip, created by Garry Trudeau, premieres in 28 newspapers across the U.S.

1982 – “St. Elsewhere,” a drama set at the fictional St. Eligius Hospital in Boston, captivates viewers when it premieres on NBC. Then-unknown actors Denzel Washington and Howie Mandel co-star.

1984 – Surgeons place a baboon heart into the chest of Baby Fae (Stephanie Fae Beauclair), an infant with a heart defect that normally kills newborns within their first 10 days of life. The transplant keeps Baby Fae alive for 21 days.

1984 – Director James Cameron’s career-launching sci-fi action film, “The Terminator,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, opens in theaters. The movie is produced on a $6.4 million budget and grosses more than $78 million worldwide. It supercharges Schwarzenegger’s acting career, and “I’ll be back” becomes a popular catch-phrase.

2001 – President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law drawn up in response to the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

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The Very Best of Spinners

Spinners

Whitney: The Greatest Hits

Whitney Houston

Jet Age: The Comet, the 707, and the Race to Shrink the World

Sam Howe Verhovek

St. Elsewhere, Season 1

Starring Ed Flanders, Denzel Washington and Howie Mandel

The Terminator

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, and directed by James Cameron

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Starring Charles Fleischer, Stubby Kaye and Bob Hoskins, and directed by Robert Zemeckis

The Princess Bride

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

On this Day July 9

Musical Milestones

1955 – “Rock Around the Clock,” by Bill Haley & His Comets, becomes the first rock ‘n’ roll record to reach No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart, known then as Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart.  The single spends eight weeks on top.

1958 – Johnny Cash signs with Columbia Records, where he remains for the next 30 years, releasing more than 60 albums.

1962 – Bob Dylan records the legendary protest song, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” for his second album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” Hundreds of artists have recorded the song over the years, with Peter, Paul & Mary achieving the most commercially successful version. In 1994, the track is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

1977 – Songwriter-turned-singer Alan O’Day has the hottest single with “Undercover Angel.” 

1983 – The Police have a No. 1 hit for eight weeks with “Every Breath You Take,” the first single released from “Synchronicity” — the band’s most successful and last studio album. 

1988 – Cheap Trick’s “The Flame” burns bright for two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.

1994 – “I Swear,” by All-4-One, is in the midst of 11 weeks as a Billboard chart-topper. Earlier that same year, the original recording of that song was a No. 1 country hit for John Michael Montgomery.

2005 – Mariah Carey returns to the top of the pop chart with “We Belong Together,” which spent four weeks at No. 1 until Carrie Underwood bumped it for a week with “Inside Your Heaven.” Carey’s hit reigns for 10 more weeks.

History Highlights

1777 – New York elects its first governor, Brigadier General George Clinton, who becomes not only the longest serving New York governor, but longest serving governor in the U.S. In 1805, he is elected vice president, serving under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, until his death in 1812.

1877 – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then a suburb of London. Twenty-one amateurs show up to compete in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament — the only event at that time.

1941 – British cryptologists break the secret Enigma code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on Europe’s Eastern front.

1948 – Leroy “Satchel” Paige is 42 years old when he pitches two innings for the Cleveland Indians in his debut with the newly–and barely–integrated American League. The game comes 21 years after the great pitcher’s first Negro League appearance.

1968 – Sports history is made in Houston as the first All-Star game played indoors and on artificial turf gets underway in the Astrodome. The National League wins and Willie Mays is declared MVP. 

1971 – President Richard Nixon’s National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, makes a secret trip to the People’s Republic of China to negotiate a detente between the U.S. and China.

1974 – Former U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren, who headed the commission that investigated the JFK assassination, dies in Washington, D.C. at the age of 83.

1999 – The teen sex comedy “American Pie,” starring Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan, opens and becomes a box office sensation, spawning an empire of sequels and direct-to-DVD spin-offs.

2000 – Venus Williams wins at Wimbledon for the first time, becoming the first female African American Wimbledon champion since Althea Gibson won back-to-back titles in 1957 and 1958. 

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The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Synchronicity

The Police

Holding Court: Inside the Gates of the Wimbledon Championships

Chris Gorringe

Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend

Larry Tye

Adaptation

Starring Nicolas CageTilda SwintonMeryl Streep and Chris Cooper, and directed by Spike Jonze

The Green Mile

Starring Tom HanksDavid MorseBonnie Hunt and Michael Clarke Duncan, and directed by Frank Darabont

On this Day May 10

History Highlights

1869 – The heads of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific meet in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial golden spike into the track that connects their lines. Completion of the transcontinental railroad made the American West easily accessible, paving the way for trade, business and population growth.

1924 – J. Edgar Hoover is named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI). By the end of the year, he is promoted to director, beginning a 48-year tenure in power during which he personally shapes American criminal justice in the 20th century.

1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the globe, logging about 42,000 miles in the process.

1970 – Bobby Orr scores the winning goal 40 seconds into sudden-death overtime to lift the Boston Bruins over the St. Louis Blues for the Stanley Cup title — the Bruins’ first championship in 29 years.

1977 – Oscar-winning actress Joan Crawford dies at the age of 72. Crawford won a Best Actress Oscar for her starring role in 1945’s “Mildred Pierce” and received two Oscar nominations in later years.

1980 – Decades before the GM-bailout, the nearly bankrupt Chrysler Corporation secures $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees — the largest rescue package ever granted by the U.S. government to an American corporation at that time.

1994 – John Wayne Gacy, convicted of the sex-related killings of 33 young men and boys, is put to death by lethal injection as the nation’s worst serial killer on record.

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Rock Around the Clock

Bill Haley and His Comets

Please

Pet Shop Boys

Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

Stephen E. Ambrose

Mildred Pierce

Starring Joan Crawford, Jack Carson and Zachary Scott, and directed by Michael Curtiz

Funny Face

Starring Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson, and directed by Stanley Donen

Gone With the Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, directed by Victor Fleming and produced by David O. Selznick