On This Day April 8

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On This Day March 17

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1956 – “The Poor People of Paris,” by Les Baxter, tops the Billboard Most Played by Jockeys chart and remains there for four weeks. A week later it begins four- and six-week dominations of the Best Sellers in Stores and Top 100 charts, respectively. 

1958 – The Champs kick off five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart (precursor to the Hot 100) with “Tequila.” At the first Grammy Awards ceremony the following May, the song captures Best R&B Performance honors.

1962  – “Hey! Baby,” by Bruce Channel, is in the middle of a three-week run at No. 1 on the pop chart.

1973 – Roberta Flack begins a fourth week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with the Grammy-winning smash “Killing Me Softly.”

1978 – New at the movies: “American Hot Wax,” a film about legendary DJ Alan Freed, who was instrumental in introducing and popularizing rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s. Freed’s career was destroyed by the payola scandal that hit the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.

1984 – Van Halen’s “Jump” sits tight during a five-week ride atop the Billboard Hot 100.

1990 – Janet Jackson enjoys her third and final week as a Billboard chart-topper with “Escapade,” off her “Rhythm Nation 1814” album.

2001 – “Stutter,” by Joe featuring Mystikal, begins its fourth and final week as a No. 1 single. 

2007 – “This is Why I’m Hot,” by MIMS, is in its second and final week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2012 – “We Are Young,” by Fun featuring Janelle Monáe, begins six weeks at No. 1 on the pop chart.

On This Day February 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1919 – The U.S. Congress passes an act establishing the Grand Canyon as a National Park in Arizona. 

1929 – The U.S. Congress establishes Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

1934 – President Franklin Roosevelt orders the creation of a Communications Commission, which would become the FCC later that year by an act of Congress.

1972 – A mining dam collapses, sending millions of gallons of black coal wastewater across a wide area of Logan County, West Virginia. The Buffalo Creek Disaster claims 125 lives and leaves 4,000 people homeless.

1993 – Six people are killed and more than 1,000 others are injured when a bomb, planted inside a parked van, explodes in the garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. The blast leaves a crater 150 feet wide and causes the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors. Six terrorists are eventually captured, tried and convicted for the attack.

1998 – A jury finds Oprah Winfrey not guilty in a $10 million defamation lawsuit brought by Texas cattle ranchers. The plaintiffs had accused the talk show host of harming the U.S. beef industry with a 1996 broadcast about mad cow disease. Exiting the courtroom, Winfrey exclaims, “Free speech not only lives, it rocks!”

2012 – Trayvon Martin, an African-American teen, is fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman while walking home from a Sanford, Florida convenience store. The killing sparks a national outcry over race relations and self-defense gun laws, as Martin was unarmed when he was shot.

On This Day February 24

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1836 – Under attack by soldiers of the Mexican Army, Colonel William Travis issues an urgent call for reinforcements on behalf of his Texan troops defending the Alamo in Bejar, Texas (San Antonio today).

1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, which charges him with violating the Tenure of Office Act and bringing into “disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States.” Johnson, who assumed office after the Lincoln assassination, is acquitted three months later in the Senate.

1903 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signs a deal with the new government of Cuba to lease 45 square miles at the mouth of Guantanamo Bay for 2,000 gold coins a year.

1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded. In the mid-1950s, it becomes American Motors, best known for production of the Gremlin and Pacer.

1968 – The Tet Offensive ends as U.S. and South Vietnamese troops recapture the ancient capital of Hue from communist forces.

1981 – Socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering ex-lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of the bestselling “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet,” concluding a sensational trial that ignited a national debate about whether Harris was a woman scorned or a victim of abuse.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award the Reverend Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.

1991 – After the six-week-long bombing campaign against Iraq and its armed forces known as Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a massive ground offensive against Kuwait and Iraq.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – The Silhouettes are on top of the Billboard pop chart with “Get a Job.” Thanks to the band’s performances on “American Bandstand” and “The Dick Clark Show,” the single goes on to sell over a million copies.

1968 – French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat is in the middle of a five-week run atop the Billboard singles chart with his instrumental, “Love is Blue.” It is the only song by a French artist to ever top Hot 100.

1973 – Roberta Flack begins a five-week reign over the singles chart with “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The song garners Flack the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, with co-writers Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel earning the Song of the Year Grammy.

1975 – Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” is released in the U.S. and immediately sees one million copies ship — a whopping order for Atlantic Records. The double album, which features the iconic photo of a New York City tenement on the cover, contains some of the band’s most memorable tracks, including “Kashmir,” “Ten Years Gone” and “In My Time of Dying.”

1982 – Winners at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards include John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Album of the Year (“Double Fantasy”), songwriters Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon for Song of the Year (“Bette Davis Eyes” performed by Kim Carnes), Sheena Easton for Best New Artist and Quincy Jones for Producer of the Year.

1990 – Singer-songwriter and pianist Johnnie Ray dies of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Ray is credited with 20 Top 40 singles between 1952 and 1960, including “Just Walking in the Rain.”

1990 – Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair enjoy their third and final week as Billboard chart-toppers with “Opposites Attract.”

1996 – “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men is the No. 1 single.

2001 – “Stutter,” by Joe featuring Mystikal, kicks off four weeks on top of the pop chart.

2007 – Nelly Furtado lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Say It Right.”

On This Day February 22

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On This Day February 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1879 – President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana (Cuba) Harbor, killing more than 260 crewmen. The incident prompts the U.S. to declare war on Spain. 

1903 – The first teddy bear, named for U.S. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, goes on sale. Toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window after personally getting Roosevelt’s permission to name them after him.

1933 – Two weeks before his inauguration, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt is fired upon by a would-be assassin after giving a speech in Miami. FDR is unharmed, but a bullet strikes Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who dies three weeks later.

1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. 

1978 – Leon Spinks takes the heavyweight boxing champion title away from defending champ Muhammad Ali in a split decision in Las Vegas. 

1985 – “The Breakfast Club” opens in U.S. theaters. Directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy — members of the so-called “Brat Pack” — it becomes an ’80s movie classic. In 2016, the film is selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

1998 – Racing great Dale Earnhardt, Sr. wins his first Daytona 500, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) season opener and an event dubbed the “Super Bowl of stock car racing.”

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1964 – “Meet The Beatles!” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, becoming The Beatles’ first chart-topping album in the U.S. It holds the top spot for eleven weeks and sells more than four million copies by the end of that year.

1965 – The Beatles record “Another Girl” and “Ticket to Ride” for the “Help!” album. Earlier that day, John Lennon earns a personal ticket to ride by passing his driving test. 

1965 – Entertainer Nat King Cole (“Unforgettable,” “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” “The Christmas Song,” “Mona Lisa”), who earned early acclaim as a jazz pianist and became the first African American performer to host a network TV variety show, dies of lung cancer at the age of 45.

1969 – Sly & the Family Stone rule the Billboard singles chart with “Everyday People,” which remains at No. 1 for four weeks.

1975 – “You’re No Good,” by Linda Ronstadt, is the No. 1 single.

1984 – Beloved actress-singer Ethel Merman, best known for her rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” dies at the age of 75.

1986 – “How Will I Know,” by Whitney Houston, becomes the most popular single in the U.S. for two weeks.

1992 – One-hit-wonder Right Said Fred is in the middle of three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m Too Sexy.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart.

On This Day February 12

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1809 – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (d. 1865)

1809 – Scientist Charles Darwin, who laid the foundations for the theory of evolution in his book, “The Origin of Species”  (d. 1882)

1915 – Radio announcer-turned-actor and singer Lorne Greene, best know as Ben Cartwright in the TV western “Bonanza,” and Commander Adama in the sci-fi TV series “Battlestar Galactica” (d. 1987)

1923 – Director-producer Franco Zeffirelli, known for his Shakespeare film adaptations, including “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Romeo and Juliet” (d. 2019)

1934 – Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star Bill Russell, who led the Boston Celtics to 11 championships from 1957 to 1969

1938 – Best-selling author Judy Blume, known for her children’s books and young-adult novels, including “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” 

1952 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and former Doobies Brothers vocalist Michael McDonald 

1956 – Actor, comedian and former talk show host Arsenio Hall 

1968 – Actor Josh Brolin (“The Goonies,” “No Country For Old Men,” “W,” “Milk,” “Men in Black 3,” “Hail, Caesar!”, “Deadpool 2”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Once Upon A Deadpool”, “Avengers: Endgame”, ) 

1980 – Actress Christina Ricci (“The Addams Family,” “Casper,” “The Ice Storm,” “The Opposite of Sex,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Monster,” “Pan Am”) 

History Highlights
History Highlights

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded. It is America’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. 

1976 – Oscar-nominated actor Sal Mineo (“Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant,” “Exodus,” “The Longest Day”) is stabbed to death outside his West Hollywood apartment at the age of 37. It takes authorities more than two years to arrest Lionel Williams, who is convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison.

1986 – After spending eight years in Soviet prisons and labor camps, human rights activist Anatoly (Natan) Scharansky is released.  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan brokered the amnesty deal at a summit meeting three months earlier.

1999 – The five-week impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton comes to an end, with the Senate voting to acquit Clinton on both articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice.

2002 – Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial at The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of genocide and war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. The trial drags on for four years until Milosevic is found dead of a heart attack in his prison cell at the age of 64. 

2008 – Struggling auto giant General Motors (GM) attempts to cut costs by offering buyouts to all 74,000 of its U.S. hourly employees represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

2008 – Hollywood’s longest work stoppage since 1988 ends when members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) overwhelmingly vote to go back to work following a 100-day walkout. The strike crippled the production of countless TV shows and cost the California economy more than $2 billion. It also gave rise to more reality TV programming that required little or no scripting.

On This Day January 3

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1938 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his former law partner, Basil O’Connor, establish the March of Dimes (originally known as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis) to battle polio, the disease FDR contracted at the age of 39 that prevented him from ever walking on his own again.

1961 – The U.S. severs diplomatic relations with Cuba two years after Fidel Castro seized control of the island nation 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

1967 – Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, dies of cancer in a Dallas hospital. The Texas Court of Appeals had recently overturned Ruby’s death sentence for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and was scheduled to grant him a new trial.

1969 – Apollo 8 astronauts William Anders, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell grace the cover of TIME magazine as “Men of the Year” for becoming the first humans to orbit the moon. During their mission, the trio also captured the iconic “Earthrise” image of planet Earth hovering above the lunar surface. They were hailed for bringing a hopeful conclusion to 1968 — a year filled with social strife that included the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

1990 – Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega surrenders to U.S. military troops to face charges of drug trafficking.

1993 – The Buffalo Bills stage the greatest comeback in NFL history. Backup quarterback Frank Reich leads the Bills to an improbable 41-38 overtime victory over the Houston Oilers in an AFC wild card playoff game that would forever be known to football fans as “The Comeback.” In Houston, however, it was referred to as “The Choke.”

On This Day December 23

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History Highlights
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.”

On This Day October 21

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1879 – Thomas Edison throws the switch on his newly invented incandescent lamp, which burns for nearly 14 hours.

1921 – President Warren Harding delivers a speech in Alabama condemning lynchings that were being committed primarily by white supremacists against African Americans in the Deep South. Harding is the first U.S. president to address the controversial subject.

1941 – Nazi troops massacre thousands of men, women and children across Yugoslavia in retaliation for that country’s rejection of an alliance with Germany.

1959 – The distinctive and world-renowned Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City. Designed by acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum houses one of the world’s top collections of contemporary art.

1959 – President Dwight Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring renowned rocket engineer Wernher von Braun and his team from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Von Braun, who masterminded America’s space program, developed the lethal V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany during World War II, and had been a member of the Nazi Party and an SS officer.

1967 – In Washington, D.C., thousands of Vietnam War protesters stage a peaceful rally at the Lincoln Memorial before attempting to storm the Pentagon. Police arrest 250 of the demonstrators.

2014 – South African Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee runner to compete at the Olympics, is sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) in the 2013 death of his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp. His sentence is later doubled by a higher court.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – Rock and roll legend Buddy Holly’s last recording session takes place in a New York City studio. Among the songs he records is “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” which was written by Paul Anka and becomes a No. 13 hit following Holly’s death in a February 1959 plane crash.

1967 – Lulu begins a five-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with the theme from the movie “To Sir With Love,” starring Sidney Poitier.

1972 – Curtis Mayfield begins four weeks on top of the Billboard album chart with the soundtrack to the movie “Super Fly.” Sales of the album, which contains the hits “Freddy’s Dead” and “Super Fly,” go on to surpass the movie’s box office performance.

1973 – “Angie” begins a week as a No. 1 single for The Rolling Stones. The track is from the band’s “Goats Head Soup” album and becomes their seventh U.S. chart-topper.

1989 – Janet Jackson’s “Miss You Much” is mid-way through a four-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100.

1995 – Mariah Carey holds on to the top spot on the pop chart for a fourth week with “Fantasy.” The track remains there for another four weeks.

2000 – “Come on Over Baby (All I Want Is You)” becomes the third No. 1 single of Christina Aguilera’s music career. This track stays on top for four weeks.

2000 – Radiohead’s fourth album, “Kid A,” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

2006 – Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” marks its seventh and final week at No. 1 on the singles chart. The track captures a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2007.

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