On This Day September 14

History Highlights

1814 – After witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812, 35-year-old lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key writes a poem titled “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” which is later set to music, and in 1931, becomes America’s national anthem under its new title: “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over the fort at daybreak.

1901 – Six months into his second term as U.S. president, William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. 

1959 – The Soviet’s Luna 2 rocket reaches the surface of the moon, becoming the first man-made object sent from Earth to the lunar surface. The event gives the Soviets a short-lived lead in the Space Race, and prompts the U.S. to speed up efforts to develop its own space program.

1964 – President Lyndon Johnson awards entertainment pioneer Walt Disney the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying “in the course of entertaining an age, he has created an American folklore.”

1964 – President Lyndon Johnson awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to author John Steinbeck, who had already received numerous other honors for his literary work, including the 1962 Nobel Prize and 1939 Pulitzer Prize for “The Grapes of Wrath.”

1965 – Marching onto TV screens for the first time are the military farce “F Troop” and the short-lived sitcom “My Mother the Car.” 

1972 – Americans meet the Walton family and witness its trials and tribulations for nine years on CBS. “The Waltons” airs for the last time on this day in 1981, the same day that “Entertainment Tonight” premieres.  

1982 – Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly), who was an Oscar and Golden Globe-winning American actress before marrying into royalty, dies in a car crash at the age of 52. 

1999 – Millions evacuate their homes along the southeastern coast of the U.S. as Hurricane Floyd advances. The storm weakens from Category 4 to Category 2 by the time it makes landfall at Cape Fear, North Carolina on September 16. Floyd is blamed for nearly 60 deaths across eight U.S. states and The Bahamas.

2015 – A 14-year-old Muslim boy is arrested at his Irving, Texas high school after a digital clock he had reassembled at home using a pencil case was mistaken by his teacher to be a bomb. Ahmed Mohamed’s arrest triggers a media frenzy, as many saw the incident as a case of racial profiling.

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The Essentials

The Rascals

The Best of Eric Clapton: The Millennium Edition

Eric Clapton

How To Be Like Walt

Pat Williams with Jim Denney

The Waltons

Based on the life of series creator Earl Hamner Jr. and starring Richard Thomas

The Hunt for Red October

Starring Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn and Sam Neill, and directed by John McTiernan

The Fighter

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, and directed by David O. Russell

On This Day September 13

History Highlights

1814 – Francis Scott Key writes a poem that is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

1969 – “Scooby Doo Where Are You” premieres, introducing a band of meddling kids to the Saturday morning cartoon lineup.

1971 – A four-day revolt by inmates at Attica Prison in upstate New York comes to an explosive end as state police troopers and National Guardsmen storm the maximum-security facility with teargas and a hail of gunfire. Forty-three people are killed.

1974 – “The Rockford Files,” starring James Garner as a private investigator, debuts on NBC.

1976 – “The Muppet Show” debuts with host Kermit The Frog joined by new Jim Henson creations, including Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear. 

1993 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shakes hands with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House after signing an accord granting limited Palestinian autonomy. 

1994 – President Bill Clinton signs the Federal Assault Weapons Ban into law. The bill bans 18 specific firearms and certain features on guns, but only those manufactured after enactment. The measure expires exactly 10 years later, in 2004, since Congress did not reauthorize it.

2008 – Hurricane Ike makes landfall along the Texas Gulf coast in the early morning hours as a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. The third costliest storm in U.S. history after Hurricane Katrina causes flooding and severe wind damage across Galveston and Houston, leaving many without power for weeks.

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The Definitive Collection

Louis Armstrong

The Best of Berlin: The Millennium Collection

Berlin

Scooby-Doo Where Are You

Starring Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and their talking dog Scooby

Jim Henson: The Biography

Brian Jay Jones

Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams

Michael D’Antonio

What I Know For Sure

Tavis Smiley

On this Day August 1

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A Hard Day's Night: Original Motion Picture Sound Track

The Beatles

Video Killed The Radio Star

The Buggles

Wartime Jeeps

Graham Scott

A Sniper in the Tower

Gary M. Lavergne

Moby Dick

Herman Melville

Road to Perdition

Starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law, and directed by Sam Mendes