History Highlights

1814 – European forces allied against Napoleonic France march triumphantly into Paris, formally ending a decade of French domination on the continent.

1842 – Anesthesia is used for the first time in an operation by Dr. Crawford Long. 

1858 – The first wooden pencil featuring a built-in rubber eraser on top is patented by Philadelphia inventor Hymen Lipman, who later sells his patent for $100,000 (about $2 million in today’s market). In 1875, The Supreme Court invalidates the patent, ruling that because the pencil combined two existing devices, it was not a legitimate invention. Nevertheless, this is observed as National Pencil Day

1867 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase is ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s Folly.” 

1964 – The popular game show “Jeopardy!” premieres on NBC with host Art Fleming. Current host Alex Trebek takes over in 1984.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John Hinckley, Jr., who claims he was seeking to gain the attention of actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a psychiatric hospital until 2016, when he is allowed to live with his mother in her Virginia home. Reagan is released from the hospital less than two weeks after the attempted assassination.

2009 – President Barack Obama issues an ultimatum to struggling American automakers General Motors (GM) and Chrysler: In order to receive additional bailout loans from the government, he says, the companies need to dramatically change the way they run their businesses. 

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The Chiffons Absolutely The Best!

The Chiffons

John Denver's Greatest Hits

John Denver

Jeopardy! HD - America's Favorite Quiz Game

Sony Pictures Television

The Reagan Diaries

Ronald Reagan

Bonnie and Clyde

Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Michael J. Pollard, and directed by Arthur Penn

The Best Of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

History Highlights

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Tusk (Remastered)

Fleetwood Mac

Greatest Hits - Chapter One

Kelly Clarkson

Space Race

Deborah Cadbury

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

Starring Al Gore and directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk

Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks

Luciano Pavarotti

Real Steel

Starring Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo and Evangeline Lilly, and directed by Shawn Levy

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