On This Day February 15

Musical Milestones

1964 – “Meet The Beatles!” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, becoming The Beatles’ first chart-topping album in the U.S. It holds the top spot for eleven weeks and sells more than four million copies by the end of that year.

1965 – The Beatles record “Another Girl” and “Ticket to Ride” for the “Help!” album. Earlier that day, John Lennon earns a personal ticket to ride by passing his driving test. 

1965 – Entertainer Nat King Cole (“Unforgettable,” “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” “The Christmas Song,” “Mona Lisa”), who earned early acclaim as a jazz pianist and became the first African American performer to host a network TV variety show, dies of lung cancer at the age of 45.

1969 – Sly & the Family Stone rule the Billboard singles chart with “Everyday People,” which remains at No. 1 for four weeks.

1975 – “You’re No Good,” by Linda Ronstadt, is the No. 1 single.

1984 – Beloved actress-singer Ethel Merman, best known for her rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” dies at the age of 75.

1986 – “How Will I Know,” by Whitney Houston, becomes the most popular single in the U.S. for two weeks.

1992 – One-hit-wonder Right Said Fred is in the middle of three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m Too Sexy.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart.

History Highlights

1879 – President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana (Cuba) Harbor, killing more than 260 crewmen. The incident prompts the U.S. to declare war on Spain. 

1903 – The first teddy bear, named for U.S. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, goes on sale. Toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window after personally getting Roosevelt’s permission to name them after him.

1933 – Two weeks before his inauguration, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt is fired upon by a would-be assassin after giving a speech in Miami. FDR is unharmed, but a bullet strikes Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who dies three weeks later.

1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. 

1978 – Leon Spinks takes the heavyweight boxing champion title away from defending champ Muhammad Ali in a split decision in Las Vegas. 

1985 – “The Breakfast Club” opens in U.S. theaters. Directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy — members of the so-called “Brat Pack” — it becomes an ’80s movie classic. In 2016, the film is selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

1998 – Racing great Dale Earnhardt, Sr. wins his first Daytona 500, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) season opener and an event dubbed the “Super Bowl of stock car racing.”

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Help!

The Beatles

Love Songs

Nat King Cole

One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, And The Myth Of The Heavyweight Title

John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro

The Breakfast Club

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol's Crack Ups

Carol Burnett

The Simpsons: Season 1

Starring Albert Brooks and Maggie Roswell, and directed by Brad Bird and David Silverman

On this Day May 12

Celebrity Birthdays

1820 – Nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale (d. 1910)

1907 – Oscar-winning actress Katharine Hepburn (“The African Queen,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “On Golden Pond”) (d. 2003)

1925 – Baseball Hall of Fame player-coach-manager Yogi Berra (d. 2015)

1928 – Grammy and Oscar-winning composer-pianist Burt Bacharach (“The Look of Love,” “This Guy’s in Love with You,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” “That’s What Friends Are For,” “On My Own”)

1936 – Late-night TV talk show host Tom Snyder (“The Tomorrow Show,” “The Late Late Show”) (d. 2007)

1937 – Stand-up comedian and actor George Carlin (d. 2008)

1950 – Actor Gabriel Byrne (“Miller’s Crossing,” “The Usual Suspects,” “End of Days,” “In Treatment”)

1959 – Golden Globe-winning actor Ving Rhames (“Dave,” “Mission: Impossible” film series, “Pulp Fiction,” “Con Air,” “Don King: Only in America”)

1962 – ‘Brat Pack’ actor Emilio Estevez (“Repo Man,” “The Breakfast Club,” “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Stakeout,” “Young Guns,” “The Mighty Ducks”)

1978 – Actor Jason Biggs (“As The World Turns,” the “American Pie” movie series, “Orange is the New Black,” “Amateur Night”)

1981 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor and producer Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Mr. Robot,” “Night at the Museum”)

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The Very Best of The Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers

The Barbra Streisand Album

Barbra Streisand

Images of America: New Jersey's Lindbergh Kidnapping and Trial

Mark W. Falzini and James Davidson

A.J.

A.J. Foyt and William Neely

The Philadelphia Story

Starring James Stewart, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, and directed by George Cukor

The Breakfast Club

Starring Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy, and directed by John Hughes