On This Day April 28

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On This Day February 8

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1828 – Author Jules Verne (“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth) (d. 1905)

1921 – Actress-sex symbol Lana Turner (“Peyton Place,” “Imitation of Life”) (d. 1995)

1922 – Actress Audrey Meadows (“The Honeymooners”) (d. 1996)

1925 – Actor Jack Lemmon (“Days of Wine and Roses.” “The Odd Couple.” “Grumpy Old Men”) (d. 2001)

1931 – Actor and pop culture icon James Dean (“East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant”) (d. 1955)

1932 – Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning movie soundtrack composer-conductor John Williams (“Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”) 

1940 – Journalist and former ABC “Nightline” host Ted Koppel

1941 – Golden Globe-winning actor Nick Nolte (“48 Hours,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “The Prince of Tides,” “Cape Fear,” “Lorenzo’s Oil,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Graves”)

1942 – Standup comedian, singer and actor Robert Klein

1953 – Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen (“Melvin and Howard,” “Parenthood,” “Philadelphia,” “Back to the Future Part III,” “The Proposal,” “The Help”)

1955 – Attorney and bestselling novelist John Grisham (“The Firm,” “The Pelican Brief,” “The Rainmaker,” “The Runaway Jury,” “A Time to Kill”) 

1968 – Child star Gary Coleman (“Diff’rent Strokes”) (d. 2010)

1974 – Actor-producer Seth Green (“Austin Powers” series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Family Guy,” “Robot Chicken”) 

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1960 – “Teen Angel,” by Mark Dinning, is the No. 1 single in the U.S.

1964 – On their first full day in the U.S., The Beatles tour New York City and pose for photos in Central Park.

1964 – The Beatles are in the midst of a seven-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

1967 – Peter & Gordon (Peter Asher & Gordon Waller), the talent behind the 60s hits “A World Without Love,” “Lady Godiva” and “I Go To Pieces,” announce their breakup. Waller goes on to do solo recording and occasional acting until his death in 2009. Asher still performs today following a celebrated career as a manager/producer for artists including Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Randy Newman and 10,000 Maniacs.

1975 – The Ohio Players have a scorcher of a hit as “Fire” blazes its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. While it only spends a week at No. 1 on the singles chart, it smolders for five weeks on top of the soul chart.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For,” featuring Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, wraps up four weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1990 – Suffering from depression, American singer-songwriter Del Shannon, best known for his 1961 smash “Runaway,” dies of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. 

1997 – Toni Braxton dominates the pop chart with”Un-Break My Heart.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, kicks off four weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. It’s Lopez’s fourth No. 1 and LL Cool J’s first.

On this Day August 28

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1961 – The Marvelettes release their first single, “Please Mr. Postman,” which sells over a million copies and becomes the group’s biggest hit. It reaches the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B survey, becoming Motown’s first chart-topper.

1961 – Joe Dowell rockets to No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart with his cover of “Wooden Heart,” originally performed by Elvis Presley a year earlier in the movie “G.I. Blues.” Presley’s version reached No. 1 in the U.K.

1965 – Bob Dylan kicks off a 40-date North American tour with a performance at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York. For the second time that year, he angers folk music purists when he performs the latter half of his show with an electric guitar.

1971 – The Bee Gees enjoy their fourth and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.”

1982 – “Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor, roars into its sixth and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track is the theme from the movie “Rocky III,” starring Sylvester Stallone.

1986 – Grammy-winning “Queen of Rock ‘n Roll” Tina Turner is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1993 – Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” begins three weeks atop the Billboard album chart. The album features cover artwork painted by Joel’s then-wife, Christie Brinkley.

1999 – Christina Aguilera wraps up a five-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Genie in a Bottle.”

2004 – Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe and Remy lays claim to the top spot on the singles chart with “Lean Back.”

On this Day August 5

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1858 – The first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed, stretching nearly 2,000 miles at depths of up to two miles. It is put to use on August 16, as U.S. President James Buchanan and Queen Victoria exchange formal introductory and complimentary messages.

1914 – The world’s first electric traffic signal is installed at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

1962 – Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her Los Angeles home at the age of 36. An investigation determines that her death was “caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.”

1963 – Representatives of the U.S., Soviet Union and Great Britain sign the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater or in the atmosphere. The treaty is hailed as an important first step toward the control of nuclear weapons.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan begins firing more than 11,000 striking air traffic controllers for defying his order to return to work. The move slowed commercial air travel for months.

1983 – “Risky Business” opens in theaters, propelling actor Tom Cruise to stardom. The movie’s most iconic scene features Cruise dancing at home in his underpants to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

1998 – Seventy-year-old Marie Noe is arrested and charged with the suffocation murders of eight of her 10 children over a 50-year period.

2002 – Divers recover the rusty turret of the ironclad Civil War-era warship U.S.S. Monitor, which sank 140 years earlier in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 

On this Day August 11

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1934 – The first inmates, classified as “most dangerous,” arrive at the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, joining a few dozen prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.

1956 – Abstract artist Jackson Pollock dies in a drunk-driving car crash at the age of 44. 

1965 – Following the arrest of a young black motorist, the predominately black Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts erupts in riots that last six days and leave more than 30 people dead. 

1965 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the Bronco to compete with the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout. The Bronco gets a massive publicity boost in June of 1994 when it was the subject of a low-speed LA police chase involving then-murder suspect O.J. Simpson. More than five decades later, an updated version of the workhorse is still going strong.

1973 – “American Graffiti” opens in theaters. The coming-of-age film set in 1962 California was co-written and directed by George Lucas and stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford.

1984 – During a sound check before a Saturday radio broadcast, President Ronald Reagan jokingly says, “My fellow Americans. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Reagan was unaware, however, that the feed was live. The Soviets, who find no humor in the remark, put their military on high alert.

2014 – Oscar-winning actor-comedian Robin Williams (“Mork and Mindy,” “The World According to Garp,” “Moscow on the Hudson,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Socity,” “Aladdin,”  “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Birdcage,” “Good Will Hunting”) dies by suicide at the age of 63.