On This Day April 18

Musical Milestones

1960 – The movie tune “Theme From a Summer Place, by Percy Faith, begins its ninth and final week on top of the pop chart. 

1964 – The Beatles enjoy their third consecutive No. 1 hit with “Can’t Buy Me Love,” which holds the top spot for five weeks.

1970 – The Beatles’ “Let It Be” begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single. It is the last single released by the Fab Four while still officially considered an active group. 

1984 – Michael Jackson undergoes surgery at an L.A. hospital for injuries sustained two months earlier when his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. 

1987 – “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael, tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks.

1992 – Def Leppard begins five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Adrenalize.” The album spawns three major hits, including “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad.”

1992 – Vanessa Williams kicks off her fifth and final week as a chart-topper with “Save the Best for Last.”

2009  – “Boom Boom Pow,” by The Black Eyed Peas, launches a 12-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, from the band’s “The E.N.D.” album,” is nominated at the 52nd Grammy Awards for Best Dance Recording and wins Best Short Form Music Video.

2012 –  An original and extremely rare 1963 mono copy of The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” album, signed by all four musicians, sells in an eBay auction for nearly $25,000. 

History Highlights

1906 – A powerful earthquake destroys large sections of San Francisco and sparks fires that burn for days. The death toll exceeds 3,000. 

1923 – More than 74,000 fans attend opening day at the New York Yankees’ new home in the Bronx. Babe Ruth slams the door on the Boston Red Sox with a game-winning three-run homer and Yankee Stadium becomes known as “The House that Ruth Built.”

1955 – Legendary physicist Albert Einstein, who won the Nobel Prize for his General Theory of Relativity (E=mc2), dies at the age of 76.

1983 – A suicide bomber crashes a truck into the front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, setting off a massive blast that kills 63 people.

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students take to the streets of Beijing to protest government policies and call for greater democracy. Similar demonstrations begin in other cities and universities across China. The movement culminates with the bloody Tiananmen Square Massacre that June.

2012 – Entertainment icon Dick Clark, best known for hosting “American Bandstand” — an influential music-and-dance show that aired nationally for more than three decades and helped bring rock and roll into the mainstream in the late 1950s — dies of a heart attack at 82. Affectionately called “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark also hosted ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” ringing in each new year from New York’s Times Square.

2014 – Sixteen Nepali mountaineering guides, most of them ethnic Sherpas, are killed by an avalanche on Mt. Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. It is the single deadliest accident in the history of the Himalayan peak that lies between Nepal and China.

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Let It Be

The Beatles

Adrenalize

Def Leppard

Images of America: 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Richard Hansen and Gladys Hansen 

American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire

John A. Jackson

Once Upon a Time in America

Starring Robert De Niro, James Woods and Joe Pesci, and directed by Sergio Leone

Conan O’Brien Believes

Conan O’Brien

On This Day October 8

History Highlights

1871 – One of the most disastrous forest fires in history leaves more than 1,200 dead in Wisconsin as flames scorch six counties.

1871 – The Great Chicago Fire breaks out, according to legend, when Catherine O’Leary’s cow kicks over a lantern in her barn on DeKoven Street. The blaze quickly spreads, leveling 3.5 miles, killing 250 people and leaving 100,000 homeless.

1919 – America’s first transcontinental air race begins, featuring 63 planes, piloted by U.S. Army aviators, competing in the round-trip aerial derby between California and New York. As 15 planes departed the Presidio in San Francisco, 48 planes left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York.

1956 – New York Yankees right-hander Don Larsen pitches the first no-hitter in World Series history. It’s a perfect game: no runs, no hits, no errors and no batter reaches first base.

1970 – Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Prize for literature. His first publication, “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” (1963), was widely read in both Russia and the West. Its harsh criticism of Stalinist repression provided a dramatic insight into the Soviet system.

2001 – The U.S. Office of Homeland Security is founded less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks. It is charged with preventing terror attacks, border security, immigration and customs, disaster relief and prevention and related tasks.

2014 –  The first person diagnosed with a case of Ebola in the U.S. dies in a Dallas, Texas hospital. Shortly before his death, the 42-year-old male patient, who lived in Liberia, had traveled to America from West Africa, which was in the throes of the largest outbreak of the often-fatal disease since its 1976 discovery.

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The Essential Jerry Lee Lewis / The Sun Sessions

Jerry Lee Lewis

The Stranger

Billy Joel

The Great Chicago Fire

John Boda and Ray Johnson

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Ghostbusters

Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver, and directed by Ivan Reitman

Saving Private Ryan

Starring Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon and Barry Pepper, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On this Day August 3

Musical Milestones

1963 – Allan Sherman releases his classic summer camp parody “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter From Camp).” Inspired by actual complaint letters that Sherman received from his son, Robert, while away at summer camp, the song climbs as high as No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart.

1968 – The Doors have the hottest single with “Hello, I Love You (Won’t You Tell Me Your Name).” It’s the band’s second chart-topper.

1971 – Paul McCartney announces the formation of his new band, Wings, featuring wife Linda and ex-Moody Blues member Denny Laine. 

1973 – Stevie Wonder releases “Innervisions,” playing virtually all the instruments on six of the album’s nine tracks.

1974 – “Annie’s Song,” by John Denver, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

1985 – “Shout,” by Tears for Fears, begins three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the British duo’s second U.S. No. 1. 

1987 – Def Leppard releases “Hysteria,” which sells more than 25 million copies worldwide and becomes the band’s best-selling album to date. It spawns no less than seven hit singles, six of which make it to the Top 20.

1991 – “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” from the movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” keeps Bryan Adams on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a second week. The track remains there for a total of seven weeks.

1996 – “Macarena,” by Los Del Rio, shimmies its way to the top of the Billboard pop chart and holds there for 14 weeks. Decades later, the song remains a favorite at wedding receptions, parties and sporting events.

2002 – Nelly burns up the Billboard Hot 100 with “Hot in Herre.” The track maintains a hold on the top spot for seven weeks.

History Highlights

1492 – Italian explorer Christopher Columbus leads three sailing ships from Spain on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India and  the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th president of the United States, hours after the death of President Warren G. Harding.  A man of few words (he was nicknamed “Silent Cal”), Coolidge gains popularity as president, winning more than 54 percent of the popular vote when reelected in 1924.

1949 – The Basketball Association of America (BAA) merges with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). Six NBL teams join the 10 BAA teams, plus an expansion team in Indianapolis, with the new league divided into Eastern, Central and Western Divisions.

1958 – America’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), becomes the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. 

1977 – Roger Moore returns to the big screen as secret agent James Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me.”  The movie features a sleek, powerful Lotus Esprit sports car that doubles as a submarine. 

1981 – Some 13,000 unionized air traffic controllers (members of PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) walk off the job and days later are fired by President Ronald Reagan. 

2008 – The first published photos of former celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s newborn twins go up on People magazine’s website, and two weeks later, are published in a 19-page photo spread. People won the rights to the photos after a bidding war that, according to some reports, reached as high as $14 million — the most ever paid for celebrity baby pictures. 

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Hysteria

Def Leppard

The Very Best of The Doors

The Doors

Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

Laurence Bergreen

The National Basketball League: A History, 1935-1949

Murry R. Nelson

The Classics

Tony Bennett

Trading Places

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche, and directed by John Landis