On This Day March 31

Musical Milestones

1943 – Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” premieres on Broadway. In 1955, the musical is produced as a motion picture starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (in her film debut).

1958 – Chess Records releases “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song climbs as high as No. 8 on the pop chart and goes on to become a rock and roll classic.

1962 – Connie Francis claims the top spot on the pop chart for a week with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You”

1967 – Jimi Hendrix suffers minor burns to his hands when he sets his guitar on fire during a performance at Finsbury Park in London. Nevertheless, he goes on to torch guitars several times during his short career.

1973 – Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” returns to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week after The O’Jays interrupted her for a week with their hit, “Love Train.”

1979 – “Tragedy,” by the Bee Gees, dominates the singles chart for a second and final week.

1984 – Kenny Loggins kicks off a three-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “Footloose,” from the movie of the same name.

1987 – Prince releases his ninth studio album, “Sign o’ the Times,” which spawns three Top 10 hit singles: “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “U Got the Look,” (with Sheena Easton) and the title track. 

1995 – Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known as the “Mexican Madonna,” is shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. Selena was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy, in the Best Mexican-American album category, for her 1993 album “Selena Live!” At the time of her murder, at age 23, Selena was on the brink of international fame, recording her first English language album.

2007 – “Glamorous,” by Fergie featuring Ludacris, enters its second and final week as the No. 1 single.

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Oklahoma!

Starring Gordon Macrae, Gloria Grahame and Shirley Jones, and directed by Fred Zinnemann

To Selena, With Love

Chris Perez

Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It

Jill Jonnes

Raging Bull

Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty, and directed by Martin Scorsese

The Partridge Family: The Complete Series

Starring Shirley Jones and David Cassidy

Catch Me If You Can

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On This Day September 2

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Ode to Billie Joe

Bobbie Gentry

The Very Best of Gilbert O'Sullivan: A Singer and His Songs

Gilbert O’Sullivan

The Fall of Japan: A Chronicle of the End of an Empire

William Craig

Find a Way: The Inspiring Story of One Woman's Pursuit of a Lifelong Dream

Diana Nyad

Teacher in Space: Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Legacy

Colin Burgess

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Starring Keanu ReevesAlex WinterGeorge Carlin, and directed by Stephen Herek

On this Day August 26

History Highlights

1920 – The 19th Amendment, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution by proclamation of Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. In 1973, Congress designates this date Women’s Equality Day.

1939 – The first Major League baseball game is televised. It’s a double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers at New York’s Ebbets Field, with the teams splitting the match. 

1957 – The Soviet Union declares that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of being fired “into any part of the world.” The announcement sets nations around the world on edge.

1968 – As the Democratic National Convention opens in Chicago, thousands of demonstrators take to the streets to protest the Vietnam War. 

1974 – Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, dies of cancer in Hawaii at the age of 72. 

1985 – The Yugo, the Yugoslavian-built compact car that Americans loved to hate, is introduced to the U.S. auto market. Sales begin to sputter in the late 1980s, and by 1992, Yugo America is out of business.

1986 – In what becomes known as the “Preppy Murder” case because of the upper-class status of both the victim and killer, the body of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin is discovered in New York’s Central Park shortly after leaving a bar with 19-year-old Robert Chambers. Chambers is arrested, charged and ultimately found guilty of Levin’s murder, and dubbed the “Preppy Killer.”

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Grease: The Original Soundtrack

Frankie Valli, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and other artists

Batman Forever: Music From The Motion Picture

U2, Seal, Eddi Reader, The Devlins and other artists

Lindbergh

A. Scott Berg

The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

Jason Vuic

Mother Teresa

Kathryn Spink

Hidden Figures

Starring Taraji P. HensonJanelle MonaeKevin Costner, and directed by Theodore Melfi

On this Day August 19

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The Best of The Commodores

The Commodores

Greatest Hits

Richard Marx

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Ralph Kramer

Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident

Francis Gary Powers with Curt Gentry

My Life

Bill Clinton

Wilbur and Orville: A Biography of the Wright Brothers

Fred Howard