On This Day January 18

Musical Milestones

1944 – The first jazz concert — known as the Esquire All-American Jazz Concert — is held at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden and Billie Holiday.

1960 – Johnny Preston starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Running Bear,” a song written by J. P. Richardson (a.k.a. “The Big Bopper”). The song was released shortly after Richardson’s death in the February 1959 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

1964 – The Beatles make their U.S. singles chart debut when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” enters at No. 45. It goes on to spend seven weeks at No. 1. 

1975 – Barry Manilow scores his first chart-topping single when “Mandy” reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, is the No. 1 single. The track, written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, wins Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year Grammys.

1989 – At 38 years of age, Stevie Wonder becomes the youngest living person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has excellent company, as other inductees in his class include The Rolling Stones, The Temptations and Dion (DiMucci).

1992 – Michael Jackson wraps up seven weeks as a chart-topper with “Black or White,” off his “Dangerous” album.

2003 – Eminem finds himself on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for another week with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” soundtrack.

History Highlights

1778 – British explorer Captain James Cook becomes the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands when he sails past the island of Oahu. Two days later, he lands at Waimea on the island of Kauai and names the island cluster the Sandwich Islands, after the voyage’s sponsor, the Earl of Sandwich.

1919 – Leaders of the Allied powers — the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy — convene in Versailles, France to begin the long and complex negotiations that would pave the way for the end of World War I. The Paris Peace Conference, as it is known, leads to creation of the League of Nations, an international peacekeeping organization.

1975 – The sitcom “The Jeffersons,” one of several spin-offs from TV’s groundbreaking “All in the Family,” premieres on CBS and becomes a ratings bonanza of its own during an 11-season run. Another Norman Lear creation, it stars Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as a successful African-American couple adjusting to life on Manhattan’s ritzy East Side after leaving their modest Queens neighborhood.

1977 – Scientists identify the cause of a mysterious outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 34 people at a 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. 

1990 – An FBI sting leads to the arrest of Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for possession of crack cocaine. After serving six months in federal prison, the so-called “mayor for life” makes one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American politics in 1994 when D.C. residents elect him to a fourth term as mayor.

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Esquire All-American Jazz Concert

Featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and other jazz legends

Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Margaret MacMillan

Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.

Marion Barry, Jr. and Omar Tyree

To Catch A Thief

Starring Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Jessie Royce Landis, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Dances with Wolves

Starring Kevin Costner and Mary McDonnell, and directed by Kevin Costner

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 November 14

History Highlights

1851 – Harper & Brothers publishes Herman Melville’s novel “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale,” a treasured piece of American literature about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, whose commander, Captain Ahab, goes on an obsessive quest for a white whale.

1941 – The Alfred Hitchcock romantic thriller “Suspicion” opens in U.S. theaters, starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine. The film is nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but loses to “How Green Was My Valley.” However, Fontaine wins a Best Actress Oscar — the only Oscar performance ever in a Hitchcock movie.

1969 – Apollo 12 clears the launch pad at Cape Kennedy in Florida on its way to America’s second manned moon landing.

1970 – A chartered jet carrying most of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team crashes while preparing to land in Huntington, West Virginia, killing 37 players, the coach, doctors, the university athletic director, flight crew and 25 team boosters. The tragedy remains the worst sports-related air disaster in U.S. history. It inspired the 2006 movie, “We Are Marshall,” starring Matthew McConaughey.

1972 – Wall Street hits record territory when the Dow Jones Industrial Average tops the 1,000 mark for the first time.

1982 – Lech Walesa, leader of communist Poland’s outlawed Solidarity movement, is released after 11 months of internment near the Soviet border.

2006 – State officials close the last two of Texas’ beloved Pig Stands, the only remaining pieces of the nation’s first drive-in restaurant empire. The owners had filed for bankruptcy and owed the state more than $200,000 in back-taxes.

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The Greatest Hits: Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind

Ray Charles

Dirty Dancing (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, The Ronettes, Eric Carmen and various other artists

Moby Dick

Herman Melville

We Are Marshall

Starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, and directed by McG

Copland Conducts Copland (Expanded Edition)

Aaron Copland

Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World

Charles, Prince of Wales

On this Day August 2

History Highlights

1776 – The official signing of the Declaration of Independence takes place on this day, not July 4 as widely believed. John Hancock, president of the Congress, signs the engrossed copy with a bold signature. The other delegates, following custom, sign beginning at the right with the signatures arranged by states from northernmost New Hampshire to southernmost Georgia.

1790 – The first U.S. census is taken. It determines that there are nearly 4 million citizens in the 16 states and Ohio Territory. The U.S. has taken a census every 10 years since then.

1934 – With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler becomes absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer (“Leader”).

1943 – Almost two decades before becoming U.S. president, John F. Kennedy is commander of a U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat (PT-109) in the Solomon Islands that is rammed by a Japanese destroyer and sliced in half. Two crewmen are killed, but 11 survive due largely to Lt. Kennedy’s dramatic rescue efforts.

1985 – Wind gusts from a severe thunderstorm are blamed for the crash of Delta Airlines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 jumbo jet, at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport that leaves 137 people dead. 

1990 – Iraqi troops invade Iraq’s tiny, oil-rich neighbor, Kuwait, quickly capturing Kuwait City and establishing a provincial government. The move leads to “Operation Desert Storm,” a massive U.S.-led military offensive aimed at ousting Iraqi forces to prevent further invasion into nearby Saudi Arabia. 

1992 – Jackie Joyner-Kersee becomes the first woman ever to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals in the heptathlon.

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One of These Nights

Eagles

Solitude / Solitaire

Peter Cetera

The American Census: A Social History, Second Edition

Margo J. Anderson

PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy

William Doyle

Lawrence of Arabia

Starring Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn, and directed by David Lean

Avatar

Starring Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver, and directed by James Cameron