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 December 19

History Highlights

1732 – Benjamin Franklin begins publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanack.” The book, filled with proverbs preaching industry and prudence, is published continuously for 25 years and becomes one of the most popular publications in colonial America, selling an average of 10,000 copies a year.

1843 – Charles Dickens publishes his Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol.” Originally titled “A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas,” the first edition sells out by Christmas Eve. By the end of 1844, 13 editions had been released. The work continues to be printed and sold nearly 200 years later and has been adapted countless times for film, stage, opera and other media, including a video game.

1903 – New Yorkers celebrate the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge, the second and largest of three steel-frame suspension bridges crossing the East River.

1917 – The National Hockey League (NHL) opens its first season with two games. At the time, the league consists of five franchises: the Canadiens and the Wanderers (both of Montreal), the Ottawa Senators, the Quebec Bulldogs and the Toronto Arenas (known at the time as the Toronto Hockey Club).

1972 – NASA’S Apollo manned lunar-landing program ends as the last three astronauts to travel to the moon safely splash down in the Pacific Ocean. Apollo 17 had blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, 10 days earlier.

1984 – The British government signs an agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.

1997 – Director James Cameron’s epic drama “Titanic” opens in U.S. theaters, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The film becomes a box office smash and goes on to capture 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

1998 – President Bill Clinton is impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice by a divided House of Representatives, which recommends virtually along party lines that the Senate remove the nation’s 42d president from office. Clinton vows to finish his term.

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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 29

Celebrity Birthdays

1927 – Retired Hall of Fame sportscaster Vin Scully, play-by-play announcer for the Brooklyn and later the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 seasons

1935 – Golden Globe-winning actress Diane Ladd, born Rose Diane Lanier (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Alice,” “Wild at Heart,” “Rambling Rose”)

1940 – Jazz trumpeter Chuck Mangione, best known for his 1978 smash “Feels So Good”

1949 – Comedian-actor Garry Shandling (“It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” “The Larry Sanders Show”) (d. 2016)

1954 – Oscar-winning director Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers (“Blood Simple,” “Raising Arizona,” “Miller’s Crossing,” “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” “No Country for Old Men,” “A Serious Man,” “True Grit”)

1955 – Comedian-actor and TV host-judge Howie Mandel (“St. Elsewhere,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Bobby’s World,” “America’s Got Talent”)

1960 – Actress Cathy Moriarty (“Raging Bull,” “Soapdish,” “The Mambo Kings,” “Casper,” “Analyze That,” “The Bounty Hunter”)

1961 – Emmy-winning actress Kim Delaney (“NYPD Blue,” “All My Children,” “Philly,” “CSI: Miami”)

1962 – Actor-director Andrew McCarthy (“St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Mannequin,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Less Than Zero,” “Orange is the New Black”)

1964 – Golden Globe-winning actor Don Cheadle (“Boogie Nights,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Crash,” “House of Lies,” “Iron Man 2,” “Iron Man 3,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War”)

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Fly Robin Fly

Silver Convention

Slippery When Wet

Bon Jovi

Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure

Richard E. Byrd

Splendor in the Grass

Starring Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty and Pat Hingle, and directed by Elia Kazan

Raging Bull

Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty, and directed by Martin Scorsese

Hotel Rwanda

Starring Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte and Joaquin Phoenix, and directed by Terry George

On This Day September 3

History Highlights

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Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Eurythmics

The Emancipation of Mimi

Mariah Carey

Flag: An American Biography

Marc Leepson

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Starring Jean Arthur, James Stewart and Claude Rains, and directed by Frank Capra

Private Benjamin

Starring Goldie HawnEileen BrennanArmand Assante, and directed by Howard Zieff

Wall Street

Starring Michael DouglasCharlie Sheen, and directed by Oliver Stone

On this Day May 4

Musical Milestones

1959 – The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presents the first Grammy Awards with ceremonies held simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles. Among the awards handed out, “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” (better known as “Volare”) wins both song and record of the year for composer Domenico Modugno.

1968 – Bobby Goldsboro is in the middle of a five-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Honey.”

1973 – Led Zeppelin opens its 1973 North American tour in Atlanta. Billed as “the biggest and most profitable rock & roll tour in the history of the United States,” the group would gross more than $4 million from it.

1974 – The soundtrack to the motion picture “The Sting,” featuring Marvin Hamlisch’s interpretation of ragtime music by Scott Joplin, begins a five-week run at No. 1 on the album chart.

1974 – Grand Funk Railroad chugs its way to the top of the Billboard singles chart with “The Loco-Motion.”

1985 – “We Are The World,” the musical collaboration produced under the baton of Quincy Jones as a fundraiser for African famine relief, begins its fourth and final week as a chart-topper.

1990 – Madonna kicks off the North American leg of her 57-date Blond Ambition World Tour with a performance in Houston, Texas at The Summit (now Lakewood Church). Years later, Rolling Stone magazine would call the tour “the Greatest Concert of the 1990s.”

2002 – Ashanti has the No. 1 single in the U.S. with “Foolish.” The single remains on top of the pop chart for 10 weeks.

History Highlights

1932 – Mobster Al Capone begins serving an 11-year sentence for income tax evasion in a federal prison in Atlanta.

1961 – Civil rights activists calling themselves the “Freedom Riders” decide to test a recent Supreme Court decision prohibiting racial segregation in interstate travel. They set out on a dangerous journey aboard buses from Washington, D.C. through the Deep South to New Orleans, defying segregated restrooms, restaurants and bus station waiting areas along the way.

1970 – Four students are killed, nine others wounded when National Guard troops open fire during a Vietnam War protest at Kent State University in Ohio. Guardsmen fire 67 rounds in 13 seconds. The tragedy sends shockwaves across the U.S. and around the world.

1977 – British journalist David Frost sits down with former President Richard Nixon for the first of four revealing television interviews. Nixon apologizes for putting “the American people through two years of needless agony” during the Watergate scandal.

1979 – Britain’s Conservative Party leader, Margaret Thatcher, becomes that nation’s first female prime minister.

2008 – The term “May the 4th be with you,” a tribute to the popular Star Wars phrase, “May the force be with you,” becomes a part of pop culture as it begins to be used among members of Star Wars-related Facebook groups that turn it into a celebration of the beloved sci-fi franchise. In 2011 and 2012, Star Wars Day is observed by fans in Toronto during a festival that draws significant media coverage. In 2013, just months after purchasing Lucasfilm, Disney officially recognizes May 4 as Star Wars Day, and its marketing of new movies, TV shows and merchandise continues to explode today.

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Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same

Starring Led Zeppelin, and directed by Peter Clifton and Joe Massot

Madonna

Madonna

American Gangsters: The Life and Legacy of Al Capone

Charles River Editors

67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence

Howard Means

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard and Patricia Neal and directed by Blake Edwards

The Shape of Water

Starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins, and directed by Guillermo Del Toro