On This Day April 18

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.

1956 – American actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony that is dubbed the “Wedding of the Century.” The 26-year-old American beauty becomes Princess Grace of Monaco.

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 March 6

History Highlights

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo comes to a bloody end, capping off a pivotal moment in the Texas Revolution. Mexican forces successfully recapture the garrison after a 13-day siege, and nearly all of the roughly 200 Alamo defenders — including legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett — are killed.

1899 – Acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin, is trademarked by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer. Designed to relieve pain and fever, it becomes the most common drug found in household medicine cabinets.

1930 – Industrialist and inventor Clarence Birdseye brings the food industry into the modern era as he introduces consumers to pre-packaged, frozen foods — still available in supermarkets today.

1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a national “bank holiday,” closing all U.S. banks and freezing all financial transactions in an effort to salvage the faltering banking system during the Great Depression. The banks reopen a week later with depositors standing in lines to return their hoarded cash.

1981 – An estimated 17 million American viewers watch as anchor Walter Cronkite says, “And that’s the way it is” for the final time as he signs off the “CBS Evening News.” Considered “the most trusted man in America,” Cronkite retires after more than 30 years in broadcasting and is succeeded by Dan Rather. 

1986 – Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist who gained worldwide fame for her austere minimalist paintings of the American southwest, dies in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the age of 98.

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The Definitive Collection

The Temptations

Aladdin (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Various artists

Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History

Brian Kilmeade

The Great Depression: A Diary

Benjamin Roth

Here's Johnny! My Memories of Johnny Carson, the Tonight Show, and 46 Years of Friendship

Ed McMahon

The Princess Bride

Starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon and Robin Wright, and directed by Rob Reiner

On This Day March 2

Musical Milestones

1963 – “Walk Like a Man,” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart.

1967 – The Beatles win three Grammys for records issued the previous year: Best Song for “Michelle,” Best Vocal Performance for “Eleanor Rigby” and Best Cover Artwork for the album design of “Revolver” by Klaus Voormann.

1974 – “Seasons in the Sun,” by one-hit wonder Terry Jacks, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and stays there for three weeks.

1974 – At the 16th Annual Grammy Awards, Stevie Wonder captures five honors: Album of the Year and Best Engineered Recording for “Innervisions,” Best R&B Song and Best Vocal for “Superstition,” and Pop Vocal Performance for “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” 

1974 – Roberta Flack wins Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammys for “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The track also garners a Song of the Year Grammy for its writers, Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox.

1985 – “Careless Whisper,” by Wham! featuring George Michael, begins its third and final week at No. 1 on the singles chart.

1985 – Sheena Easton becomes the first musical artist ever to land Top 10 hits on the pop, R&B, country, dance and adult contemporary charts when “Sugar Walls,” written by Prince, reaches No. 9.

1999 – Acclaimed British pop vocalist Dusty Springield (“I Only Want To Be With You,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”) dies at the age of 59 following a five-year battle with breast cancer.

2002 – “Always on Time,” by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti, enters its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

History Highlights

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The Very Best Of Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Greatest Hits

Sheena Easton

King Kong

Starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong and Bruce Cabot, and directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack

The Sound of Music

Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker, and directed by Robert Wise

Theodor Seuss Geisel: A Portrait of the Man Who Became Dr. Seuss

Donald E. Pease

The Long, Long Trailer

Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz and Marjorie Main, and directed by Vincente Minnelli

On This Day February 27

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Pearl

Janis Joplin

Faith

George Michael

New Orleans Carnival Krewes: The History, Spirit & Secrets of Mardi Gras

Rosary O’Neill

A Brief History of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Piero Pierotti

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives, and directed by Richard Brooks

On This Day February 16

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The Best of Captain & Tennille: The Millennium Collection

Captain & Tennille

Ladies And Gentlemen: The Best Of George Michael

George Michael

The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen (Egypt)

Howard Carter and A. C. Mace

Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography

Ignacio Ramonet and Fidel Castro

The Best Of Sonny & Cher

Sonny & Cher

New Jack City

Starring Wesley Snipes, Ice-T and Allen Payne, and directed by Mario Van Peebles

On This Day February 1

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Elvis 2nd To None

Elvis Presley

Crimson and Clover

Tommy James and The Shondells

Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night

by Jason Zinoman

Space Shuttle Columbia: Her Missions and Crews

by Ben Evans

Gone with the Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, and directed by Victor Fleming

Twin Peaks: The Complete Series

Starring Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Ontkean, and directed by David Lynch

On This Day January 16

Musical Milestones

1938 – Acclaimed clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman (a.k.a. “The King of Swing”) makes history when he takes the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall. It not only marks the first time jazz is played in the hallowed music venue, but the first time a racially integrated ensemble performs.

1965 – The Supremes have a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Come See About Me.”

1971 – George Harrison marks his fourth and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “My Sweet Lord.”

1979 – Cher’s divorce from Gregg Allman is finalized.

1988 – Twenty-four years after The Beatles first rule the singles chart, “Got My Mind Set On You” by George Harrison is No. 1. The track was originally recorded by R&B singer James Ray in 1962.

1988 – After huge success as half of the pop duo Wham! during the early to mid-80s, George Michael claims the top spot on the Billboard album chart with his debut solo album, “Faith.” The production packs several major hits, including the title track, “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey.”

1993 – “I Will Always Love You,” by Whitney Houston, is in the middle of a 14-week domination of the Billboard singles chart.

1999 – Brandy’s “Have You Ever?” tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks. 

2004 – King of Pop, Michael Jackson, pleads not guilty to child molestation charges, as fans, reporters and TV crews from around the world swarm outside the California courthouse. The judge admonishes Jackson for arriving late.

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Benny Goodman: The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

Benny Goodman

The Best Of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

The Supremes

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Daniel Okrent

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

Robert Matzen

Merman...Her Greatest!

Ethel Merman

Halloween

Starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, and directed by John Carpenter

On This Day January 2

History Highlights

1959 – The Space Race intensifies as the Soviet Union launches Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the moon and orbit the sun. It was originally called Cosmic Rocket, but renamed Luna 1 to reflect the Soviets’ planned series of Luna missions to the moon. 

1971 – Known as the “Ibrox Disaster,” 66 football (soccer) fans die in a stampede at a stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, as they attempt to leave a game after a late goal by the home team. Nearly 200 other fans are injured.

1974 – President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the speed limit across the U.S. to 55 miles per hour in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo. The measure, known as the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, remains in effect until Congress repeals it in 1995.

1980 – Angered by Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter requests that the Senate postpone action on the SALT II nuclear weapons treaty and recalls the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. 

1980 – Sherry Lansing is named the head of Fox Productions, becoming the first woman in charge of production at a major movie studio as well as one of the highest-paid female executives in any industry.

1990 – Actor Alan Hale, Jr., who played the Skipper on TV’s “Gilligan’s Island,” dies of cancer at the age of 68. 

2009 – Shortly after the death of British surgeon Harold Carr, his family discovers the rare, unrestored 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe that he owned — sitting in a garage, undriven for some 50 years. One month later, the car sells at a Paris auction for $4.4 million.

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All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Sid Vicious: Rock 'n' Roll Star

Sid Vicious

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

Deborah Cadbury

Gilligan's Island

Starring Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise and others

I, Robot

Isaac Asimov

Jerry Maguire

Starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Renee Zellweger, and directed by Cameron Crowe

On This Day December 19

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The Best of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Elton John

Elton John

Poor Richard's Almanac

by Benjamin Franklin

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

The Voice of the Sparrow: The Very Best of Edith Piaf

Édith Piaf

Brokeback Mountain

Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Randy Quaid, and directed by Ang Lee

On This Day December 12

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The Best Of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: The Millennium Collection

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Faith (Remastered)

George Michael

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and directed by Stanley Kramer

The Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Red Buttons, and directed by Ronald Neame

Double Indemnity

Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson, and directed by Billy Wilder

Sinatra: Best Of The Best

Frank Sinatra

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