On This Day January 16

Musical Milestones

1938 – Acclaimed clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman (a.k.a. “The King of Swing”) makes history when he takes the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall. It not only marks the first time jazz is played in the hallowed music venue, but the first time a racially integrated ensemble performs.

1965 – The Supremes have a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Come See About Me.”

1971 – George Harrison marks his fourth and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “My Sweet Lord.”

1979 – Cher’s divorce from Gregg Allman is finalized.

1988 – Twenty-four years after The Beatles first rule the singles chart, “Got My Mind Set On You” by George Harrison is No. 1. The track was originally recorded by R&B singer James Ray in 1962.

1988 – After huge success as half of the pop duo Wham! during the early to mid-80s, George Michael claims the top spot on the Billboard album chart with his debut solo album, “Faith.” The production packs several major hits, including the title track, “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey.”

1993 – “I Will Always Love You,” by Whitney Houston, is in the middle of a 14-week domination of the Billboard singles chart.

1999 – Brandy’s “Have You Ever?” tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks. 

2004 – King of Pop, Michael Jackson, pleads not guilty to child molestation charges, as fans, reporters and TV crews from around the world swarm outside the California courthouse. The judge admonishes Jackson for arriving late.

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Benny Goodman: The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

Benny Goodman

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

The Supremes

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Daniel Okrent

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

Robert Matzen

Merman...Her Greatest!

Ethel Merman

Halloween

Starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, and directed by John Carpenter

On This Day December 18

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The Definitive Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

H2O

Hall & Oates

Verdun: The Lost History of the Most Important Battle of World War I

John Mosier

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Lionel Jeffries, and directed by Ken Hughes

GoodFellas

Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, and directed by Martin Scorsese

Inglourious Basterds

Starring Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

On This Day November 25

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The Last Waltz

Starring The Band,  Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and other musicians, and directed by Martin Scorsese

The Bodyguard

Starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, and directed by Mick Jackson

Naming Names

Victor S. Navasky

Iran-Contra: Reagan's Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power

Malcolm Byrne

56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports

Kostya Kennedy

Come to the Edge: A Memoir

Christina Haag

On This Day November 19

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

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Private Dancer

Tina Turner

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Jack E. Levin

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher and William Redfield, and directed by Milos Forman

Sleepless In Seattle

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and directed by Nora Ephron

Contact

Starring Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey and James Woods, and directed by Robert Zemeckis

On this Day June 14

Musical Milestones

1969 – “Get Back,” by The Beatles with Billy Preston, is in the midst of a five-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1975 – “Sister Golden Hair,” by the band America, begins one week on top of the Billboard singles chart.

1975 – Janis Ian releases “At Seventeen,” which peaks at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and goes on to win a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, beating out Linda Ronstadt, Olivia Newton-John and Helen Reddy.

1980 – Billy Joel starts a six-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Glass Houses.” It becomes Joel’s second chart-topping album and contains his first No. 1 single: “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.”

1986 – Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald begin three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their duet “On My Own.” LaBelle and McDonald really were on their own, recording their vocal parts separately. It was only after the song reached No. 1 that they met.

1994 – Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning composer-conductor-arranger Henry Mancini (“Moon River,” “Love Theme from Romeo And Juliet,” “The Pink Panther” and “Peter Gunn” themes) dies at the age of 70.

1995 – Some 60 million viewers tune in for Diane Sawyer’s interview with Michael Jackson and his bride, Lisa Marie Presley, on ABC’s PrimeTime Live. The widely advertised “no holds barred” interview was the first Jackson had given since being accused of child molestation by a 13-year-old boy in 1993.

1997 – “I’ll Be Missing You,” by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112, kicks off 11 weeks as a No. 1 single.

2003 – “21 Questions,” by 50 Cent featuring Nate Dogg, is in the middle of four weeks on top of the pop chart.

History Highlights

1777 – The Continental Congress passes the Flag Act, a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag becomes known as the “Stars and Stripes.”

1885 – The first U.S. Flag Day is celebrated when Wisconsin schoolteacher Bernard J. (B.J.) Cigrand arranges for his students to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as “Flag Birthday.”  For years, Cigrand — known today as the “Father of Flag Day” — lobbied to have June 14 designated for a national celebration of the American flag. In 1948, 17 years after Cigrand’s death, President Harry S. Truman signed a Congressional Act into law, establishing a voluntary observance, but not an official national holiday.

1922 – President Warren G. Harding dedicates a memorial site in Baltimore for “Star Spangled Banner” composer Francis Scott Key, and in addressing the crowd, becomes the first U.S. president to have his voice transmitted by radio. Harding was the first president to own a radio and to have one installed in the White House.

1951 – Engineers take the wraps off the first commercial computer, the UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer).

1954 – On Flag Day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill into law adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Exactly two years later, he signs another measure into law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the nation’s official motto.

1968 – Acclaimed pediatrician and author, Dr. Benjamin Spock, an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, is convicted of aiding draft resistors. His two-year prison term is reversed on appeal in 1969, but for the rest of his life, Spock continues to engage in political protests and peace activism.

1976 – “The Gong Show,” a prime-time amateur talent contest, premieres on NBC with host Chuck Barris.

1982 – Argentina surrenders to Great Britain, ending the Falkland Islands War.

1985 – Shiite Hezbollah gunmen hijack TWA Flight 847 from Athens, Greece to Rome, forcing the plane to land in Beirut, Lebanon, where they execute a U.S. Navy diver on board.

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America's Greatest Hits / History

America

Glass Houses

Billy Joel

A Grand Old Flag:
A History of the United States Through its Flags

Kevin Keim

Dr. Spock's The First Two Years: The Emotional and Physical Needs of Children from Birth to Age 2

Dr. Benjamin Spock

The Jeffersons:
The Complete Series

Starring Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford and Marla Gibbs

Greatest Hits

Culture Club