On This Day April 24

History Highlights

1916 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion (also known as Easter Rising), a six-day armed uprising against British rule. 

1945 – President Harry Truman is briefed on the full details of the Manhattan Project, an effort by American scientists to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. The project was so secret that President Franklin Roosevelt never informed Truman, his fourth-term vice president, that it existed by the time FDR died.

1962 – The first coast-to-coast satellite telecast takes place, as signals from California bounce off the first experimental communications satellite, Echo I, and are received in Massachusetts. 

1967 – Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is killed in Soyuz 1 when the spaceship’s parachute fails to open during its descent to Earth. It is the first in-flight fatality in aerospace history.  

1980 – Eight U.S. servicemen die in a failed mission to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran. The fatalities occur when two U.S. military aircraft collide. In a nationally broadcast address, President Jimmy Carter says he assumes full responsibility for the disastrous outcome of Operation Eagle Claw.

1980 – Longtime Illinois Congressman John Anderson announces he is quitting the Republican party and will run as an independent presidential candidate against incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. He ends up finishing a distant third, capturing less than 7 percent of the vote and failing to win a single electoral vote.

1982 – Already well established as an Oscar-winning actress and outspoken political activist, Jane Fonda adds fitness guru to her credentials with the release of the million-plus-selling “Jane Fonda’s Workout” video. The video sparks the aerobics craze and popularizes leg-warmers and Spandex among fitness-minded women.

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Full Moon Fever

Tom Petty

Taking the Long Way

Dixie Chicks

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age

Matthew Brzezinski

The Guts to Try: The Untold Story of the Iran Hostage Rescue Mission by the On-Scene Desert Commander

Col. James H. Kyle, USAF (Ret.) and John Robert Eidson

Being There

Starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Warden, and directed by Hal Ashby

Funny Girl

Starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif and Kay Medford, and directed by William Wyler

On This Day March 18

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Greatest Hits

Neil Young

Saturday Night Fever [The Original Movie Soundtrack]

Bee Gees / Various Artists

The First Soviet Cosmonaut Team: Their Lives and Legacies

Colin Burgess and Rex Hall

The Producers

Starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Dick Shawn, and directed by Mel Brooks

Mission: Impossible - The Sixth TV Season

Starring Peter Graves and Greg Morris

Fame

Starring Irene Cara, Lee Curreri and Laura Dean, and directed by Alan Parker

On This Day April 12

Musical Milestones

1954 – Bill Haley and his Comets record “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” at Pythian Temple studios in New York City. The song, widely credited with bringing rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream, becomes a worldwide No. 1 and the biggest-selling pop single, with sales exceeding 25 million. 

1963 – Bob Dylan performs his first major solo concert at Town Hall in Manhattan. Dylan’s 24-song set includes “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Highway 51” and “Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie.”

1969 – The 5th Dimension soar to the top of the singles chart with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” which holds at No. 1 for six weeks.

1973 – Stevie Wonder is just 23 years old when he makes a guest appearance on the children’s television show Sesame Street. Wonder interacts with several beloved characters in segments throughout the program, including Grover, whom he teaches how to sing. He also performs his smash hit, “Superstition.”

1975 – Elton John claims the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks with “Philadelphia Freedom,” a song he wrote for his good friend, international tennis legend Billie Jean King.  “Philadelphia Freedom” is the name of the tennis team that King coached at the time.

1986 – Falco wraps up three weeks atop the Billboard singles chart with “Rock Me Amadeus.”

1997 – “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” by Puff Daddy featuring Mase, is in the midst of a six-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100.

2003 – 50 Cent rules the singles chart with “In da Club,” which remains at No. 1 for nine weeks. 

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The Best of Bill Haley & His Comets: The Millennium Collection

Bill Haley & His Comets

Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

The Civil War: An Illustrated History

Geoffrey C. Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

Deborah Cadbury

Could It Be Forever? My Story

David Cassidy

When a Man Loves a Woman

Starring Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan and Lauren Tom, and directed by Luis Mandoki

On This Day March 9

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The Best Of Frankie Avalon

Frankie Avalon

The Hits

REO Speedwagon

Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her

Robin Gerber

Oh, God!

Starring George Burns and John Denver, and directed by Carl Reiner

Urban Cowboy

Starring John Travolta, Debra Winger, and directed by James Bridges

Chocolat

Starring Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Alfred Molina, and directed by Lasse Hallstrom

On this Day July 25

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Dylan Goes Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties

Elijah Wald

Apple Music

Stevie Nicks has her first solo chart success when “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” reaches No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Tom Petty, who assists on vocals.

Subway Adventure Guide: New York City: To the End of the Line

Kyle Knoke

Alive on the Andrea Doria!: The Greatest Sea Rescue in History

Pierette Simpson

The Golden Girls: The Ultimate Viewing Guide

Harry Huryk

Episodes: Seasons 1 & 2

Starring Matt LeBlanc and Tamsin Greig 

On this Day June 16

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A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival

Harvey Kubernik and Kenneth Kubernik

The Blues Brothers

Starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, and directed by John Landis

Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century

John F. Kasson

The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century

Steven Watts

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson and Peter Ostrum, and directed by Mel Stuart

Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories

Joyce Carol Oates