On This Day March 8

History Highlights

1950 – The Volkswagen microbus (also known as the VW Type 2) goes into production, becoming an icon of America’s counter-culture movement as the vehicle of choice for hippies during the 1960s. 

1971 – Boxing titans Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier meet for the “Fight of the Century” before a crowd of more than 20,000 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The showdown marks Ali’s return to the ring three and a-half years after his boxing license was revoked over his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War. Frazier wins by unanimous decision, retaining his heavyweight champion title and delivering Ali the first loss of his career.

1983 – Addressing the National Association of Evangelicals convention in Florida, President Ronald Reagan publicly refers to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” for the second time in his political career.

1993 – MTV airs the first episode of the animated series “Beavis and Butthead,” which goes on to become the network’s highest-rated series up to that point.

1999 – Baseball legend and cultural icon Joe DiMaggio (“The Yankee Clipper”), who devoted his entire 13-year Major League Baseball career as a New York Yankees center fielder, dies at the age of 84.

2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, loses contact with air traffic control less than an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur then veers off course and vanishes. Most of the Boeing 777, and everyone on board, are never seen again.

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Bringing It All Back Home

Bob Dylan

Welcome to the Real World

Mr. Mister

The Volkswagen Bus Book

Malcolm Bobbitt

The Fight of the Century: Ali vs. Frazier March 8, 1971

Michael Arkush

I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness

Micky Dolenz

Boys and Girls

Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani and Jason Biggs, and directed by Robert Iscove

On This Day February 25

History Highlights

1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, is sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress. He is assigned to serve on the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on the District of Columbia.

1916 – German troops seize Fort Douaumont, the most formidable of the forts guarding the walled city of Verdun, France, four days after launching their initial attack. The Battle of Verdun becomes the longest and bloodiest conflict of World War I, lasting 10 months and resulting in over 700,000 casualties.

1950 – The TV comedy “Your Show of Shows,” hosted by Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, premieres, eventually helping launch the successful entertainment careers of Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others.

1964 – Twenty-two-year-old Cassius Clay (who later changes his name to Muhammad Ali) stuns odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout in Miami Beach.

1984 – A massive explosion, triggered when gasoline from a ruptured pipeline ignited, levels a shantytown outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing at least 500 people — mostly young children. However, investigators speculate that the actual death toll may have been closer to 700 since many bodies were incinerated in the intense blaze.

1986 – President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines flees the nation after 20 years of rule. Corazon Aquino becomes that nation’s first woman president. 

2004 – “The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson’s controversial film about the final hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, opens in U.S. theaters, starring  Jim Caviezel as Jesus. It receives three Oscar nominations.

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Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross

1984

Van Halen

Black is Best: The Riddle of Cassius Clay

Jack Olsen

Diary of a Dictator -- Ferdinand & Imelda: The Last Days of Camelot

William C. Rempel

Deep Impact

Starring Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni and Elijah Wood, and directed by Mimi Leder

The Social Network

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer, and directed by David Fincher

On This Day January 9

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Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

Double Fantasy

John Lennon & Yoko Ono

United Nations: A History

Stanley Meisler

Goldfinger

Starring Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe and Honor Blackman, and directed by  Guy Hamilton

RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

Whiplash

Starring Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons and Paul Reiser, and directed by Damien Chazelle

On This Day January 2

Musical Milestones

1965 – The Beatles’ eighth single, “I Feel Fine,” is in the middle of three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. It is reported to be the first recorded song to incorporate guitar feedback (the opening note).

1971 – George Harrison’s first solo album, “All Things Must Pass,” featuring the hits “My Sweet Lord” and “What is Life,” begins a seven-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. In January 2014, the album is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

1979 – The murder trial of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious begins, with the punk rocker accused of stabbing his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, to death in a New York City hotel three months earlier. On February 2, 1979, before the trial is over, Vicious is found dead of a heroin overdose at the age of 21.

1982 – Olivia Newton-John is in the middle of a 10-week ride on top of the Billboard singles chart with her 80s workout anthem, “Physical.”

1988 – During a four-week run as a Billboard No. 1, “Faith,” by George Michael, officially becomes the first chart-topping single of 1988.

1993 – Whitney Houston is in the midst of a 14-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Will Always Love You,” a song originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton in 1973.

1999 – The Céline Dion-R. Kelly duet, “I’m Your Angel,” is the No. 1 single.

2010 – Kesha kicks off nine weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Tik Tok.”

2016 – Adele begins the fourth of 10 non-sequential weeks on top of the Billboard album chart with her Grammy-winning album, “25.”

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 September 26

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Abbey Road

The Beatles

I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

The JFK-Nixon Presidential Debates, 1960

Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon

Inside Gilligan's Island

Sherwood Schwartz

Grease

Starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Stockard Channing, and directed by Randal Kleiser

The Essential George Gershwin

George Gershwin and other artists

On This Day September 4

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Anthology 1

The Beatles

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later

Directed by Brent and Craig Renaud

Inside Gilligan's Island: From Creation to Syndication

Sherwood Schwartz

Say Anything

Starring John CusackIone SkyeJohn Mahoney, and directed by Cameron Crowe

Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream

Starring Beyoncé Knowles