On this Day June 26

History Highlights

1927 – Coney Island’s iconic Cyclone roller coaster begins operating. The ride quickly becomes a fan favorite, with long lines of repeat customers paying 25 cents per ride. In 1988, it is designated a New York City Landmark, and in 1991, it is added to the National Register of Historic Places.

1948 – Known as the “Berlin Airlift,” U.S. and British planes begin delivering food and supplies through airdrops to (West) Berlin, Germany after Soviet forces seal off rail, road, and water access with a blockade. The crisis finally ends almost a year later when Soviet forces lift the blockade on land access to the city.

1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II preside at a ceremony marking the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which creates a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

1963 – President John F. Kennedy speaks the famous words, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” in a speech before cheering throngs in democratic West Berlin.

1974 – Grocery shopping is revolutionized with the introduction of the bar code. The first item scanned is a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1993 – President Bill Clinton punishes Iraq for a plot to assassinate former U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

2015 – Marking a major milestone for civil rights, the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage cannot be banned in the United States and that all same-sex marriages must be recognized nationwide, finally granting same-sex couples equal rights to heterosexual couples under the law.

Own a Piece of This Day

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At The Speed of Sound (Deluxe/Remastered)

Paul McCartney and Wings

Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

Images of America: Coney Island and Astroland

Charles Denson

The Berlin Airlift: The History and Legacy of the First Major Crisis of the Cold War

Charles River Editors

Casablanca

Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Peter Lorre, and directed by Michael Curtiz

Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Don Van Natta

On this Day June 24

History Highlights

1901 – The first major exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s artwork opens in Paris.

1947 – Pilot Kenneth Arnold reports seeing strange objects near Mount Rainier, Washington. He describes them as “saucers skipping across the water,” and so the term “flying saucers” is born.

1948 – The Soviet Union begins a blockade of Berlin. Allied forces respond with what would be known as the Berlin Airlift, flying in more than two million tons of supplies over the next year.

1953 – Jacqueline Bouvier and Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy publicly announce their engagement. They marry three months later in Newport, Rhode Island. Kennedy wins election as 35th U.S. president in 1960, and as first lady, Jackie, as she was known, makes restoration of the White House her first major project. 

1975 – Wind shear from thunderstorms is blamed for the crash of an Eastern Airlines 727 on final approach to New York’s JFK Airport that leaves 113 dead. The accident leads to the installation of low-level wind shear detectors at airports.

1993 – Yale University computer science professor David Gelernter is seriously injured while opening his mail when a padded envelope explodes in his hands. The bombing, along with 14 others since 1978 that killed three people and injured 23 others, was eventually linked to “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.

1997 – U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.

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The Best of Sammy Davis, Jr. : The Millennium Collection

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Greatest Hits

Richard Marx

And They Called It Camelot

Stephanie Marie Thornton

UNABOMBER: How the FBI Broke Its Own Rules to Capture the Terrorist Ted Kaczynski

Jim Freeman

Truth

Jeff Beck

Robocop

Starring Peter WellerNancy Allen and Dan O’Herlihy, and directed by Paul Verhoeven