On This Day April 30

Musical Milestones

History Highlights

1789 – George Washington, the great military leader of the American Revolution, is inaugurated as the first president of the United States during a ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City — then the nation’s capital. 

1939 – Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) becomes the first U.S. president to appear on television when he officially opens the New York World’s Fair. He does so on the 150th anniversary of George Washington’s presidential inauguration.

1945 – With Soviet forces closing in on him, German dictator Adolf Hitler and his companion, Eva Braun, commit suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin. 

1975 – Saigon falls, as the president of South Vietnam announces his country’s unconditional surrender to the Viet Cong. Communist troops move into Saigon and a thousand Americans are hastily evacuated.  

1993 – Four years after its development by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee, the Word Wide Web truly goes global when its owners, Cern, make the software free for anyone to use.

1993 – A knife-wielding man lunges from the stands during a tennis match in Hamburg, Germany and stabs then-world No. 1-ranked Monica Seles in the back. Spectators subdue the assailant, a fan of German tennis great Steffi Graf, who apparently hoped that by injuring Seles, Graf would be able to regain her No. 1 ranking. Seles recovers, but takes a two-year hiatus from the game. 

1997 – Ellen DeGeneres’ TV character, Ellen Morgan, comes out as lesbian on the ABC sitcom “Ellen.” The introduction of the first-ever gay lead character on television becomes a breakthrough moment for the LGBTQ community. Forty-four million viewers tune in to “The Puppy Episode,” which captures an Emmy and Peabody Award. 

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Jailhouse Rock

Starring Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler and Mickey Shaughnessy, and directed by Richard Thorpe

The Very Best of Ben E. King

Ben E. King

Images of America: The 1939-1940 New York World's Fair/The World of Tomorrow

Bill Cotter

Hitler's Last Secretary: A Firsthand Account of Life with Hitler

 Traudl Junge and Melissa Muller

Anatomy of a Murder

Starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara and Eve Arden, and directed by Otto Preminger

Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

Starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Stephen Rea and Kirsten Dunst, and directed by Neil Jordan

On This Day April 10

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Frampton Comes Alive!

Peter Frampton

Fanmail

TLC

House of Wax

Starring Vincent PriceFrank LovejoyPhyllis Kirk, and directed by André de Toth

The Death of the USS Thresher: The Story Behind History's Deadliest Submarine Disaster

Norman Polmar

The Big Country

Starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Burl Ives, Charlton Heston, Charles Bickford and Chuck Connors, and directed by William Wyler

The Exorcist

Starring Ellen McRae (Ellen Burstyn), Max von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by William Friedkin

On This Day February 22

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Greatest Hits

Milli Vanilli

Ray of Light

Madonna

The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team

Wayne Coffey

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again

Andy Warhol

Philadelphia

Starring Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Antonio Banderas, and directed by Jonathan Demme

Twin Peaks: The Complete Series

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

On This Day February 20

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Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Power To The People - The Hits

John Lennon

The Postal Age: The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth-Century America

David M. M. Henkin

Friendship 7: The Epic Orbital Flight of John H. Glenn, Jr.

Colin Burgess

Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs

Ansel Adams

To Sir, With Love

Starring Sidney Poitier, Christian Roberts and Judy Geeson, and directed by James Clavell

On This Day February 4

Musical Milestones

1967 – The Monkees maintain their grip on the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m a Believer.” In all, the track remains a chart-topper for seven weeks.

1968 – The Beatles record “Across The Universe” at London’s Abbey Road Studios with backup vocals from two teenage fans who were among the groupies (“Apple scruffs”) that routinely gathered outside the facility on recording days.

1975 – Known as “The King of the Jukebox,” American jazz, blues and rhythm & blues musician, songwriter and bandleader Louis Jordan dies at the age of 66.

1977 – Fleetwood Mac’s 11th studio album, “Rumours,” is released, introducing fans to the Top 10 hits “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” and “You Make Loving Fun.”

1978 – The Bee Gees have a No. 1 single with “Stayin’ Alive,” while another single of theirs, “Night Fever,” debuts on the pop chart, later staking its own claim to the top spot for eight weeks. Both songs are from the Grammy-winning “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

1982 – “Centerfold,” by the J. Geils Band, reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for six weeks.

1983 – Heart failure caused by chronic anorexia nervosa claims the life of 32-year-old singer Karen Carpenter of the acclaimed 1970s brother-sister pop duet, Carpenters.

1984 – Culture Club begins a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Karma Chameleon,” the band’s fifth Top 10 hit.

1995 – “Creep,” by TLC, is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the trio’s first chart-topper.

2006 – “Check On It,” by Beyoncé, featuring Bun B and Slim Thug, kicks off five weeks on top of the singles chart. 

History Highlights

1789 – George Washington — commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War — is unanimously elected the first president of the United States, garnering all 69 electoral votes. No other American president since has come into office with a universal mandate to lead.

1922 – The Ford Motor Company acquires the bankrupt Lincoln Motor Company for $8 million, giving Ford a luxury division to compete against Cadillac, Packard and Auburn.

1938 – Disney releases “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the first full-length animated feature (83 minutes in length) in color and with sound, and a pioneering classic tale in film history.

1945 – President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin meet at the Yalta Conference to discuss the Allied war effort against Germany and Japan.

1957 – Smith Corona Manufacturing of New York begins selling portable electric typewriters. The first machine, known as the model 5TE, weighs 19 pounds.

1974 – The radical group Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, from her California apartment. 

2004 – Nineteen-year-old Harvard University sophomore Mark Zuckerberg launches “TheFacebook.com,” an online directory designed to connect fellow Harvard students with one another. By the next day, more than a thousand people had registered. The service sparks a social media revolution, with billions now using Facebook each day.

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Saturday Night Fever

Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool and The Gang, Tavares, The Trammps, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

Freeze Frame

The J. Geils Band

His Excellency: George Washington

Joseph J. Ellis

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Starring Adriana CaselottiHarry Stockwell and Lucille La Verne, and directed by David Hand

Night of the Living Dead

Starring Duane Jones and Judith O’Day, and directed by George Romero

Mascara & Monsters: The Best Of Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

On This Day January 7

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Dino: The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Dancing on the Ceiling

Lionel Richie

Telegraph, Telephone, and Wireless: How Telecom Changed the World

Bert Lundy

Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb

by Richard Rhodes

National Treasure

Starring Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel, and directed by Jon Turteltaub

The Hurt Locker

Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, and directed by Kathryn Bigelow

On This Day December 25

History Highlights

1776 – General George Washington and 2,400 of his Continental Army troops cross the icy waters of the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey.

1914 – Gunfire is replaced with the sounds of Christmas carols as German troops serving in World War I lay down their weapons and break into song on Christmas morning. Russian, French and British troops do the same and even shake hands and exchange cigarettes with enemy soldiers along the eastern and western fronts during the Christmas Truce of 1914. 

1962 – “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters, starring Gregory Peck, who wins a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as attorney Atticus Finch.

1973 – “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a pair of 1930s grifters, premieres.

1977 – British director, producer and comedic actor Charlie Chaplin, an icon of the silent film era, dies at the age of 88.

1989 – Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, are executed following a popular uprising.

1989 – Former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin dies in a traffic accident at the age of 61.

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union just days after 11 of the former Soviet republics establish the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1996 – Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is killed in her Boulder, Colorado, home. Her parents call police the following morning to report their daughter missing and discover a ransom note demanding $118,000. The girl’s body is found in the basement that afternoon. The crime becomes a national sensation that remains unsolved today.

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White Christmas

Bing Crosby

Dino The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life

Peter Ackroyd

Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

Bill Pennington

The Twilight Zone (Season 1)

Created by Rod Serling

Coal Miner's Daughter

Starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones and Levon Helm, and directed by Michael Apted

On This Day December 23

History Highlights

1783 – Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, General George Washington resigns as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retires to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

1888 – Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, uses a razor to sever part of his left ear. He later documents the event in a painting titled “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.” Over years, however, a variety of new theories have emerged about this incident.

1913 – President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act into law establishing the Federal Reserve, which continues serving as the nation’s central banking system today and is responsible for executing monetary policy.

1947 – John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley with Bell Laboratories unveil their invention of the transistor, which revolutionizes communications and electronics.

1968 – The crew and captain of the American intelligence gathering ship USS Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the North Korean government.

1986 – Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager complete the first non-stop flight around the world without refueling. They set a new world record of 216 hours of continuous flying in the experimental aircraft Voyager.

1993 – The movie “Philadelphia,” starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, and directed by Jonathan Demme, opens in U.S. theaters. It is the first major Hollywood film to address the HIV/AIDS crisis and garners Hanks a Best Actor Oscar and Bruce Springsteen a Best Original Song Oscar for his track, “Streets of Philadelphia.”

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Sam Cooke: Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964

Sam Cooke

Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles

Van Gogh: The Life

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

Philadelphia

Starring Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Antonio Banderas, and directed by Jonathan Demme

The Simpsons (Season 1)

Starring Harry Shearer, Dan Castellaneta, Albert Brooks and more

The Lost Boys

Starring Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz and Corey Haim, and directed by Joel Schumacher

On This Day December 14

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The Best of Dinah Washington: The Millennium Collection

Dinah Washington

Saturday Night Fever

Starring John Travolta, Joseph Cali and Karen Lynn Gorney, and directed by John Badham

Washington: A Life

Ron Chernow

The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen

Stephen R. Bown

Days of Wine & Roses

Starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick, and directed by Blake Edwards

Valley of the Dolls

Starring Sharon Tate, Patty Duke and Barbara Parkins, and directed by Mark Robson

On This Day December 11

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The Best of The Marvelettes: The Millennium Collection

The Marvelettes

Blue Hawaii

Elvis Presley

Edward VIII: The Uncrowned King

Piers Brendon

UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund): Global Governance That Works

Richard Jolly

West Side Story

Starring Natalie Wood, George Chakiris and Rota Moreno, and directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise

Something the Lord Made

Starring Alan Rickman and Mos Def, and directed by Joseph Sargent

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