On this Day July 12

History Highlights

1933 – Architect, engineer and philosopher Buckminster Fuller produces the first of three prototypes of the three-wheeled, multi-directional, rear-engine Dymaxion. The aerodynamic concept car could transport up to 11 passengers, got 30 miles to the gallon and reached a top speed of 90 miles per hour. However, a rollover accident during Dymaxion’s debut at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago kills the driver, injures three passengers and scares off investors, ensuring that the vehicle never goes to market.

1960 – Way before the advent of the iPad, Xbox and PlayStation, Etch A Sketch is introduced to consumers by the Ohio Art Company. The distinctive red plastic drawing toy with two white knobs has since sold over 175 million units worldwide and was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York in 1998. 

1976 – The TV game show “Family Feud” premieres with host Richard Dawson. It is currently hosted by Steve Harvey.

1982 – After 60 years of production, the last Checker taxi cab rolls off a Kalamazoo, Michigan assembly line.

1984 – Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale becomes the first major-party candidate to choose a woman as a running mate when he announces his choice of Geraldine Ferraro. 

1990 – The quirky series “Northern Exposure,” starring Rob Morrow as a New York doctor transplanted to a tiny town in Alaska, premieres on CBS. 

1991 – John Singleton makes his directorial debut with the release of “Boyz N the Hood,” a drama about life in South Central Los Angeles. The movie stars two future Oscar winners — Cuba Gooding Jr. and Regina King — and two Oscar nominees who are Hollywood legends: Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.

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Holding Back the Years

Simply Red

No Way Out [Explicit]

Puff Daddy & The Family

Toy Time!

Christopher Byrne

Boyz N The Hood

Starring Ice CubeCuba Gooding Jr.Morris Chestnut, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, and directed by John Singleton

Milton Berle: An Autobiography

Milton Berle

In Good Company

Starring Dennis QuaidTopher Grace and Scarlett Johansson, and directed by Paul Weitz

On this Day July 5

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The Essential Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Control

Janet Jackson

Days Of Grace: A Memoir

Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersad

Clone: The Road to Dolly and The Path Ahead

Gina Kolata

Barnum's Own Story: The Autobiography of P. T. Barnum

P. T. Barnum

The Sopranos: The Complete Series

Starring James Gandolfini and Edie Falco

On this Day June 28

History Highlights

1836 – Fourth U.S. President James Madison, drafter of the Constitution, recorder of the Constitutional Convention and author of the “Federalist Papers,” dies on his tobacco plantation in Virginia.

1953 – Workers at a Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan, begin building the first Corvette, a two-seater sports car that quickly becomes an American automotive icon. It rolls off the assembly line two days later. Only 300 Corvettes were built for the 1953 model year — all Polo white with red upholstery.

1969 – A police raid of the Stonewall Inn — a gay club located on New York City’s Christopher Street — turns violent as patrons and local sympathizers begin rioting against police officers. The clashes become a watershed moment in the struggle for gay rights in the U.S. In 2016, the Stonewall Inn was designated as the first national monument honoring the LGBTQ movement. The monument covers 7.7 acres, including nearby Christopher Park.

1975 – One of television’s most successful writers, “The Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling dies of a heart attack at the age of 50. During his career, Serling racked up more Emmy Awards for dramatic writing than anyone in history. He also won a Golden Globe and Peabody Award for productions other than “The Twilight Zone.”

1997 – Boxing fans are horrified as Mike Tyson bites both of Evander Holyfield’s ears in the third round of their heavyweight rematch. The attack leads to his disqualification from the match and suspension from boxing.

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Greatest Hits: The Best of Henry Mancini

Henry Mancini

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

The Stonewall Reader

New York Public Library

The Twilight Zone, Season 1

Rod Serling

Fried Green Tomatoes

Starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker, and directed by Jon Avnet

Say Anything

Starring John Cusack, Ione Skye and John Mahoney, and directed by Cameron Crowe

On this Day June 14

Musical Milestones

1969 – “Get Back,” by The Beatles with Billy Preston, is in the midst of a five-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1975 – “Sister Golden Hair,” by the band America, begins one week on top of the Billboard singles chart.

1975 – Janis Ian releases “At Seventeen,” which peaks at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and goes on to win a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, beating out Linda Ronstadt, Olivia Newton-John and Helen Reddy.

1980 – Billy Joel starts a six-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Glass Houses.” It becomes Joel’s second chart-topping album and contains his first No. 1 single, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.” It is nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy, but Joel wins a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.

1986 – Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald begin three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their duet “On My Own.” LaBelle and McDonald really were on their own, recording their vocal parts separately. It was only after the song reached No. 1 that they met.

1994 – Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning composer-conductor-arranger Henry Mancini (“Moon River,” “Love Theme from Romeo And Juliet,” “The Pink Panther” and “Peter Gunn” themes) dies at the age of 70.

1995 – Some 60 million viewers tune in for Diane Sawyer’s interview with Michael Jackson and his bride, Lisa Marie Presley, on ABC’s PrimeTime Live. The widely advertised “no holds barred” interview was the first Jackson had given since being accused of child molestation by a 13-year-old boy in 1993.

1997 – “I’ll Be Missing You,” by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112, kicks off 11 weeks as a No. 1 single.

2003 – “21 Questions,” by 50 Cent featuring Nate Dogg, is in the middle of four weeks on top of the pop chart.

History Highlights

1777 – The Continental Congress passes the Flag Act, a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag becomes known as the “Stars and Stripes.”

1885 – America’s first Flag Day is celebrated when Wisconsin schoolteacher Bernard J. (B.J.) Cigrand arranges for his students to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as “Flag Birthday.”  For years, Cigrand — known today as the “Father of Flag Day” — lobbied to have June 14 designated for a national celebration of the American flag. In 1948, 17 years after Cigrand’s death, President Harry S. Truman signed a Congressional Act into law, establishing a voluntary observance, but not an official national holiday.

1922 – President Warren G. Harding dedicates a memorial site in Baltimore for “Star Spangled Banner” composer Francis Scott Key, and in addressing the crowd, becomes the first U.S. president to have his voice transmitted by radio. Harding was the first president to own a radio and to have one installed in the White House.

1951 – Engineers take the wraps off the first commercial computer, the UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer).

1954 – On Flag Day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill into law adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Exactly two years later, he signs another measure into law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the nation’s official motto.

1968 – Acclaimed pediatrician and author, Dr. Benjamin Spock, an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, is convicted of aiding draft resistors. His two-year prison term is reversed on appeal in 1969, but for the rest of his life, Spock continues to engage in political protests and peace activism.

1976 – “The Gong Show,” a prime-time amateur talent contest, premieres on NBC with host Chuck Barris.

1982 – Argentina surrenders to Great Britain, ending the Falkland Islands War.

1985 – Shiite Hezbollah gunmen hijack TWA Flight 847 from Athens, Greece to Rome, forcing the plane to land in Beirut, Lebanon, where they execute a U.S. Navy diver on board.

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America's Greatest Hits / History

America

Glass Houses

Billy Joel

A Grand Old Flag:
A History of the United States Through its Flags

Kevin Keim

Dr. Spock's The First Two Years: The Emotional and Physical Needs of Children from Birth to Age 2

Dr. Benjamin Spock

The Jeffersons:
The Complete Series

Starring Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford and Marla Gibbs

Greatest Hits

Culture Club