On This Day February 8

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1828 – Author Jules Verne (“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth) (d. 1905)

1921 – Actress-sex symbol Lana Turner (“Peyton Place,” “Imitation of Life”) (d. 1995)

1922 – Actress Audrey Meadows (“The Honeymooners”) (d. 1996)

1925 – Actor Jack Lemmon (“Days of Wine and Roses.” “The Odd Couple.” “Grumpy Old Men”) (d. 2001)

1931 – Actor and pop culture icon James Dean (“East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant”) (d. 1955)

1932 – Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning movie soundtrack composer-conductor John Williams (“Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”) 

1940 – Journalist and former ABC “Nightline” host Ted Koppel

1941 – Golden Globe-winning actor Nick Nolte (“48 Hours,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “The Prince of Tides,” “Cape Fear,” “Lorenzo’s Oil,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Graves”)

1942 – Standup comedian, singer and actor Robert Klein

1953 – Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen (“Melvin and Howard,” “Parenthood,” “Philadelphia,” “Back to the Future Part III,” “The Proposal,” “The Help”)

1955 – Attorney and bestselling novelist John Grisham (“The Firm,” “The Pelican Brief,” “The Rainmaker,” “The Runaway Jury,” “A Time to Kill”) 

1968 – Child star Gary Coleman (“Diff’rent Strokes”) (d. 2010)

1974 – Actor-producer Seth Green (“Austin Powers” series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Family Guy,” “Robot Chicken”) 

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1960 – “Teen Angel,” by Mark Dinning, is the No. 1 single in the U.S.

1964 – On their first full day in the U.S., The Beatles tour New York City and pose for photos in Central Park.

1964 – The Beatles are in the midst of a seven-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

1967 – Peter & Gordon (Peter Asher & Gordon Waller), the talent behind the 60s hits “A World Without Love,” “Lady Godiva” and “I Go To Pieces,” announce their breakup. Waller goes on to do solo recording and occasional acting until his death in 2009. Asher still performs today following a celebrated career as a manager/producer for artists including Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Randy Newman and 10,000 Maniacs.

1975 – The Ohio Players have a scorcher of a hit as “Fire” blazes its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. While it only spends a week at No. 1 on the singles chart, it smolders for five weeks on top of the soul chart.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For,” featuring Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, wraps up four weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1990 – Suffering from depression, American singer-songwriter Del Shannon, best known for his 1961 smash “Runaway,” dies of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. 

1997 – Toni Braxton dominates the pop chart with”Un-Break My Heart.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, kicks off four weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. It’s Lopez’s fourth No. 1 and LL Cool J’s first.

On This Day January 27

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On This Day January 6

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – Danny & the Juniors bop to the top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart with “At the Hop,” which holds at No. 1 for five weeks.

1968 – The Beatles commandeer the top spot on the Billboard album chart for eight weeks with “Magical Mystery Tour,” which contains such classics as “Hello, Goodbye,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” “All You Need is Love” and, of course, the title track.

1973 – “You’re So Vain,” by Carly Simon, begins a three-week reign over the Billboard singles chart. Through the years, speculation swirled about the subject of the song, with Simon eventually admitting that it refers to three men, only one of whom she named publicly: actor Warren Beatty.

1979 – The Bee Gees own the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with  “Too Much Heaven.”

1990 – Phil Collins has the first No. 1 album of the 90s as “…But Seriously” claims the top spot on the Billboard 200. The album contains his Grammy-winning smash “Another Day in Paradise.”

1993 – Legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Dizzy Gillespie dies of cancer at the age of 75. Gillespie developed his own signature style called “bebop,” and worked with musical greats like Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Earl Hines, Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington. 

2001 – Destiny’s Child is in the midst of an 11-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Independent Women Part I,” from the “Charlie’s Angels” movie soundtrack and the group’s third album, “Survivor.” 

On This Day December 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1898 – In a landmark moment for chemistry and physics, French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie publish a paper announcing their discovery of the element of radium (Ra). The groundbreaking discovery later garners the husband and wife team the Nobel Prize.

1946 – Mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opens the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, aiming to establish a stylish and cosmopolitan gambling destination in the Nevada desert. Siegel closes the resort just two weeks later due to lackluster business, and the following June, he is killed in a mob hit. After undergoing multiple ownership changes through the years, the Flamingo is still in operation as the oldest casino on the Vegas Strip.

1966 – Kwanzaa is observed for the first time. The seven-day holiday with strong African roots was designed by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach, as a celebration of African American family, community and culture.

1972 – Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. president, dies in Independence, Missouri at the age of 88.

1973 – “The Exorcist” opens in movie theaters across the U.S., terrifying audiences and establishing a new standard for the horror genre. Based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning movie is about a girl, played by Linda Blair, that is possessed by an evil spirit.

1974 – Cancer claims the life of beloved comedian Jack Benny at the age of 80.

1982 – TIME magazine breaks from tradition when the magazine’s editors replace the annual “Man of the Year” cover story with “Machine of the Year” and profile the personal computer.

1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s Boulder, Colorado home. Her murder becomes the focus one of most intensive and publicized police investigations in U.S. history and remains unsolved to this day.

On This Day December 16

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On This Day December 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1791 – Following ratification by the state of Virginia, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, become the law of the land.

1939 – The motion picture classic “Gone With the Wind,” starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, premieres in Atlanta. The film goes on to capture 10 Academy Awards.

1961 – Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer considered to be the architect of the Holocaust, is condemned to death by an Israeli war crimes tribunal.

1966 – Animation pioneer Walt Disney, who built an entertainment empire around a cartoon mouse, dies at the age of 65. The visionary creator of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck produced some of Hollywood’s greatest hits, conceived Disneyland and Disney World and was one of world’s most beloved storytellers. 

1973 – Jean Paul Getty III, the grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, five months after his kidnapping by an Italian gang.

1993 – “Schindler’s List,” from director Steven Spielberg, opens, starring Liam Neeson as German businessman Oskar Schindler, who saves the lives of over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. The movie wins seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

2001 –  Italy’s iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after a team of experts spends 11 years and $27 million to fortify the historic landmark without eliminating its famous lean.

2011 – The U.S. marks the end of the war in Iraq with a low-key ceremony in Baghdad eight years after the American-led invasion of that nation. Despite the declaration, violence intensifies there over the next several years.

On This Day December 4

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On This Day November 24

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1950 – The musical comedy “Guys and Dolls” premieres on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre. Two years later, it spawns a film adaptation starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. 

1962 – The Four Seasons, featuring Frankie Valli, are in the second week of a five-week run as Billboard chart-toppers with “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

1966 – The Beatles gather in a studio for the first time since wrapping up their U.S. summer concert tour and spend the entire day recording John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

1972 – Don Kirshner’s “Rock Concert” TV show debuts, featuring Chuck Berry, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Alice Cooper.

1973 – Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” begins a week as the No. 1 single.

1979 – The Barbra Streisand-Donna Summer duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single.

1984 – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” by Wham!, rules the Billboard Hot 100.

1991 – Queen frontman Freddie Mercury dies of complications from AIDS exactly one day after publicly disclosing that he is HIV positive. He was 45 years old.

1997 – Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols is the defendant in an episode of TV’s “Judge Judy.” The case is a wrongful termination suit brought on by his former drummer, which Rotten wins.

2007 – Jay-Z climbs to the top of the Billboard album chart with “American Gangster,” his 10th chart-topping album. This ties the rapper to 2nd place with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums. Only The Beatles have had more, with 19. 

On This Day November 14

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History Highlights
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.

On This Day September 26

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