On This Day March 13

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On This Day March 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for his revolutionary invention, the telephone, which remains a vital communications tool around the world today.

1924 – “The New Republic” publishes Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” The work, beginning with the famous line “Whose woods these are, I think I know. His house is in the village though,” introduces millions of American students to poetry.

1933 – Unemployed during the Great Depression, Charles Darrow creates the board game Monopoly, which he personally sells for two years until Parker Brothers begins mass-marketing it in 1935. Darrow dies a millionaire in 1967.

1965 – A peaceful civil rights demonstration ends in violence in Selma, Alabama when many of the protesters are tear-gassed and beaten by white state troopers and sheriff’s deputies. The day’s events become known as “Bloody Sunday” and mark a tragic but important milestone in America’s civil rights movement. The clash was reported on national television and other media, spurring demonstrations in 80 cities across the country over the next few days.

1999 – Acclaimed screenwriter-director-producer Stanley Kubrick (“Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Shining,” “Full Metal Jacket,” “Eyes Wide Shut”) dies in England at the age of 70.

2010 – Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director, for the movie “The Hurt Locker,” about an American bomb squad that disables explosives in Iraq in 2004. Bigelow beats out directing heavyweights James Cameron (coincidentally, her ex-husband),  Lee Daniels, Jason Reitman and Quentin Tarantino.

On This Day March 6

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History Highlights
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.

On This Day March 4

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1925 – The second inauguration of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge is the first to be nationally broadcast. More than 20 radio stations carry the event to an estimated 23 million listeners, including many children whose school auditoriums were specially equipped with speakers. 

1933 – During the height of the Great Depression, an estimated 150,000 spectators gather on the east grounds of the U.S. Capitol as Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd U.S. president. FDR tells Americans, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1933 – Newly inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints Frances Perkins Secretary of Labor, making her the first female member of the U.S. cabinet.

1960 – Actress Lucille Ball divorces her husband and collaborator, Desi Arnaz, after 20 tumultuous years of marriage. The breakup of the couple, stars of the hit sitcom “I Love Lucy” and owners of Desilu Studios, becomes one of the highest-profile divorces in American history at that time.

1974 – People magazine makes its debut on American newsstands, featuring actress Mia Farrow on the cover.

1989 – Time, Inc. and Warner Communications announce plans to merge into the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate. 

1994 – Comedic actor John Candy (“Splash,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Uncle Buck,” “Home Alone”) dies of a heart attack at 43 while filming a movie in Mexico.

2005 – Billionaire mogul Martha Stewart is released from a federal prison in West Virginia after serving five months and paying a $30,000 fine for lying and obstructing justice in a 2001 stock sale. Stewart serves five months of home confinement at her Bedford, New York estate and then faces two years probation.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – The Beach Boys release “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” which climbs as high as No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart. The The song features Brian Wilson’s lyrics set to the music of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

1966 – During an interview with the British newspaper London Evening Standard, John Lennon says of The Beatles: “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” The remark sets off an international furor when reprinted a few months later in an American teen magazine, with some radio stations refusing to play Beatles records and others burning them.

1967 – “Beggin’,” the 33rd hit single for Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, lands on the Billboard pop chart, eventually climbing to No. 16.

1967 – “Ruby Tuesday,” by The Rolling Stones, begins a week as the No. 1 single. Brian Jones plays recorder on the track while the double bass is played jointly by bassist Bill Wyman pressing the strings against the fingerboard and Keith Richards bowing the strings.

1978 – Andy Gibb sails to the top of the singles chart with “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water.” The song remains at No. 1 for two weeks.

1989 – Debbie Gibson starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Lost in Your Eyes.”

1995 – Madonna is in the midst of a seven-week ride at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Take a Bow,” off her “Bedtime Stories” album.

2000 – Nashville-based country music band Lonestar claims the top spot on the pop chart with “Amazed.” The single holds at No. 1 for two weeks.

2006 – “Check on It,” by Beyoncé featuring Slim Thug, begins its fifth and final week as a No. 1 single. 

On This Day February 6

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1917 – Three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson severs diplomatic relations with Germany and warns that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted, a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.

1933 – The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing the beginning and ending of the terms of elected federal offices, takes effect. 

1937 – John Steinbeck’s novella, “Of Mice and Men,” the story of the bond between two migrant workers during the Great Depression, is published. Eight months later, the stage adaptation opens in New York and earns Steinbeck the New York Drama Critics’ Circle’s Best Play Award in 1938.

1952 – Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen of England when her father, King George VI, dies following a long illness. But it takes the 25-year-old Elizabeth more than a day to learn of her new royal status. She was on safari at the time, inside a Kenyan tree hut watching a herd of elephants gather at a watering hole.

1978 – One of the worst Nor’easters in New England history pounds the region for more than 30 hours, with wind gusts exceeding 100 mph and snowfall of four inches an hour. High tides cause damaging coastal flooding, while inland, thousands of cars are stranded in snow drifts. Remembered as “The Blizzard of ’78,” the monster storm leaves about 100 people dead and 4,500 others injured.

1993 – Tennis champion Arthur Ashe, the only African-American man to win Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens, dies of complications from AIDS, at age 49 in New York City.

On This Day October 29

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On This Day October 19

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1781 – Hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution. The event is known as the Siege of Yorktown or the Battle of Yorktown.

1960 – The Cold War heats up as the U.S. imposes an embargo on exports to Cuba. The original embargo covers all exports except medicine and some food products. President John F. Kennedy expands the embargo to cover U.S. imports from Cuba, which is made permanent in early 1962.

1970 – In New York City, One World Trade Center welcomes its first tenants, even as construction of the upper floors of the world’s tallest building continues.

1977 – An aviation icon, the supersonic Concorde SST, makes its first landing at New York’s JFK International Airport. The aircraft provides high-speed trans-Atlantic service until a 2003 Air France crash during takeoff from Paris that kills everyone on board.

1982 – Auto executive John DeLorean is arrested for drug trafficking and money laundering after FBI agents nab him with a briefcase containing $24 million worth of cocaine.

1987 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffers the largest-ever one-day percentage decline, dropping 508 points (22.6 percent), in what comes to be known as “Black Monday.” It is a bigger collapse than what rocked Wall Street in 1929, right before the Great Depression.

1991 – What begins as a small fire on private property in the hills of Oakland, California grows into an inferno that consumes 2.5 square miles of mostly residential neighborhoods. The Oakland Hills Firestorm kills 25 people and injures 150 others, and destroys nearly 3,500 homes and apartments.

On this Day May 6

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