On This Day April 29

Musical Milestones

1967 – Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy maintain their hold on No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart with “Somethin’ Stupid.” The duet remains a chart-topper for four weeks.

1969 – On his 70th birthday, jazz legend Duke Ellington receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Richard Nixon in the East Room of the White House. Nixon concludes the presentation by playing the piano and singing. 

1970 – George Harrison tells reporters that The Beatles will reunite eventually and announces plans for his first post-Beatles solo album.

1976 – Bruce Springsteen wraps up a concert performance in Memphis as part of his “Born to Run” tour and he and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt decide to pay their idol, Elvis Presley, a visit at his Graceland estate. Security guards escort Springsteen off the grounds after he jumps the gate and runs toward the front door. The King was not home at the time. 

1978 – Topping the singles chart for the seventh consecutive week: The Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

1989 – Madonna has the No. 1 single with “Like a Prayer,” from her album of the same name.

1993 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Barry White appears in the “Whacking Day” episode of the animated series “The Simpsons.” As White sings, Bart and Lisa place loudspeakers on the ground to lure snakes away from Springfield residents trying to kill them as part of Whacking Day tradition.

1995 – “This Is How We Do It,” by Montell Jordan, is in the midst of a seven-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100. 

2000 – “Maria Maria,” by Santana featuring The Product G&B, is in the middle of a 10-week domination of the singles chart.

2006 – Daniel Powter owns the top spot on the pop chart with “Bad Day.”

History Highlights

1854 – Originally established as The Ashmun Institute, Lincoln University receives its charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, becoming the first degree-granting college in the U.S. founded solely for African-American students.

1945 – U.S. military forces liberate the Dachau concentration camp in Nazi Germany.  More than 188,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Dachau between 1933 and 1945, and more than 28,000 died in the camp and its sub-camps.

1974 – President Richard Nixon announces that he will release edited transcripts of taped White House conversations in response to a subpoena in the Watergate scandal. The House Judiciary committee insists that he also turn over the tapes. 

1986 – Pitching for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Roger Clemens sets a Major League Baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1992 – Riots erupt across Los Angeles after four LAPD officers are acquitted in the beating of unarmed African American motorist Rodney King. Protesters in south-central L.A. block freeway traffic, wreck and loot shops and set more than 100 fires. The rioting continues for five days and sparks a national conversation about racial and economic disparity and police use of force — a debate that still rages today.

2004 – The National World War II Memorial opens in Washington, D.C. It honors the 16 million people who served as part of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

2004 – General Motors’ last Oldsmobile rolls off a Lansing, Michigan assembly line, marking the end of America’s oldest automotive brand. The final model is an Alero GLS sedan, which factory workers signed under the hood.

2011 –  Great Britain’s Prince William marries his longtime girlfriend, Catherine “Kate” Middleton, at Westminster Abbey in London. An estimated two billion people around the world watch the ceremony on television.

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The Essential Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Sound Track)

Bee Gees, Tavares, KC and the Sunshine Band, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

Where the Birds Never Sing: The True Story of the 92nd Signal Battalion and the Liberation of Dachau

Jack Sacco

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Anna Deavere Smith

16 Biggest Hits

Willie Nelson

Hairspray

Starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken, and directed by Adam Shankman

On This Day March 19

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Inside Graceland: Elvis' Maid Remembers

Nancy Rooks

A Star Is Born

Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson

A Preliminary to War: The 1st Aero Squadron and the Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916

Roger G. Miller

Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History

Gail Kinn and  Jim Piazza

Fatal Attraction

Starring Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer, and directed by Adrian Lyne

The Sixth Sense

Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan

On This Day November 23

Musical Milestones

1936 – Blues legend Robert Johnson lays down his first-ever musical recordings — eight songs in a single session at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. The tracks include “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and his biggest hit, “Terraplane Blues.” 

1963 – “I’m Leaving It Up to You,” by Dale & Grace, is the hottest song on the radio.

1974 – Billy Swan is on top of the singles chart for two weeks with the only hit of his singing career: “I Can Help.”

1974 – The Rolling Stones score their fifth No. 1 album with “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll” — the last Stones album for guitarist Mick Taylor, who was replaced by Ronnie Wood. 

1976 – Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested for the second time in as many days. First it was drunk driving, but on this day he’s busted for brandishing a pistol outside Graceland while demanding to see Elvis.

1985 – Starship begin their second and final week orbiting around the top spot on the pop chart with “We Built This City.”

1991 – Michael Bolton’s cover of Percy Sledge’s 1966 classic, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later goes on to capture a Grammy Award.

1995 – Soul singer and saxophonist Junior Walker, best known for the hits “How Sweet It Is” and “What Does It Take, To Win Your Love, dies of cancer at the age of 64. Walker also played sax on Foreigner’s 1981 hit “Urgent.”

2002 – Eminem rules the Billboard singles chart with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” movie soundtrack. The song holds at No. 1 for 12 weeks.

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It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

The Rolling Stones

The Essential Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton

LIFE 75 Years: The Very Best of LIFE

Editors of LIFE

I Dream of Jeannie (Season 1)

Starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman

Frankenstein

Starring Boris Karloff and Colin Clive, and directed by James Whale

Harpo Speaks!

Harpo Marx with Rowland Barber

On This Day September 5

History Highlights

1836 – Sam Houston is elected president of the Republic of Texas, which earned its independence from Mexico in a successful military rebellion.

1958 – Boris Pasternak’s romantic novel, “Doctor Zhivago,” is published in the United States. The book was banned in the Soviet Union, but goes on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 and is the basis of the Oscar-winning 1965 movie starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie.

1966 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Telethon debuts. The live fundraiser was hosted every Labor Day weekend through 2011 by comedian Jerry Lewis. 

1972 – The world watches in horror as news unfolds about a massacre at the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, where Palestinian terrorists murder 11 Israeli athletes. Many cite this tragedy as ushering in the modern age of terrorism.

1975 – An assassination attempt against President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California is thwarted by a Secret Service agent who wrests a semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol from Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson. Fromme is paroled in 2009 after 34 years in prison.

1986 – A Pan Am flight from Bombay, India to New York (Pan Am Flight 73) is hijacked by four armed Palestinian men during a scheduled stop in Karachi, Pakistan. Twenty people are killed aboard the 747 jumbo jet — among them, flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who is posthumously honored with India’s highest peacetime award for bravery for protecting many of the 360 survivors.

2006 – Katie Couric debuts as the first female solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast, the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,” and draws an audience of 13.6 million viewers. Couric, who served as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show from 1991 to 2006, succeeded longtime anchor Dan Rather.

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The Best of The Animals

The Animals

Bella Donna

Stevie Nicks

Doctor Zhivago

Boris Pasternak

Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response

Aaron J. Klein

Somebody to Love: The Life, Death, and Legacy of Freddie Mercury

Matt Richards & Mark Langthorne

The Paper

Starring Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid and Robert Duvall, and directed by Ron Howard

On this Day June 12

History Highlights

1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot and killed outside his Jackson, Mississippi home by a member of the Ku Klux Klan. His murder comes just hours after President John F. Kennedy had delivered a national address in support of civil rights.

1978 – David Berkowitz, the so-called “Son of Sam,” is sentenced to six consecutive life prison terms for a string of murders and attacks that terrified New Yorkers for a year.

1981 – Moviegoers meet Indiana Jones for the first time as “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” opens in theaters across the U.S. The movie, starring Harrison Ford, becomes another box office smash for director Steven Spielberg and launches one of the most successful motion picture franchises of all time.

1987 – In one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.

1994 – Former football star O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, are stabbed to death in what leads to one of the highest-profile murder trials of the century. As the prime suspect, O.J. Simpson stands trial for the killings, but is ultimately acquitted. He is later found liable in a civil action brought by the victims’ families.

2016 – A gunman forces his way inside Pulse, an Orlando, Florida nightclub, and opens fire on the predominantly gay crowd, killing 49 people and injuring dozens more. Responding police shoot and kill the gunman, who was later determined to have ties to the terrorist group ISIS. The attack becomes the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history until an October 2017 rampage in Las Vegas.

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

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Millennium

Backstreet Boys

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen and Denholm Elliott, and directed by Steven Spielberg

Son of Sam: A Biography of David Berkowitz

Paul Brody

The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush

John H. Sununu

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank