On This Day April 18

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1906 – A powerful earthquake destroys large sections of San Francisco and sparks fires that burn for days. The death toll exceeds 3,000. 

1923 – More than 74,000 fans attend opening day at the New York Yankees’ new home in the Bronx. Babe Ruth slams the door on the Boston Red Sox with a game-winning three-run homer and Yankee Stadium becomes known as “The House that Ruth Built.”

1955 – Legendary physicist Albert Einstein, who won the Nobel Prize for his General Theory of Relativity (E=mc2), dies at the age of 76.

1956 – American actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony that is dubbed the “Wedding of the Century.” The 26-year-old American beauty becomes Princess Grace of Monaco.

1983 – A suicide bomber crashes a truck into the front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, setting off a massive blast that kills 63 people.

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students take to the streets of Beijing to protest government policies and call for greater democracy. Similar demonstrations begin in other cities and universities across China. The movement culminates with the bloody Tiananmen Square Massacre that June.

2012 – Entertainment icon Dick Clark, best known for hosting “American Bandstand” — an influential music-and-dance show that aired nationally for more than three decades and helped bring rock and roll into the mainstream in the late 1950s — dies of a heart attack at 82. Affectionately called “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark also hosted ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” ringing in each new year from New York’s Times Square.

2014 – Sixteen Nepali mountaineering guides, most of them ethnic Sherpas, are killed by an avalanche on Mt. Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. It is the single deadliest accident in the history of the Himalayan peak that lies between Nepal and China.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1960 – The movie tune “Theme From a Summer Place, by Percy Faith, begins its ninth and final week on top of the pop chart. 

1964 – The Beatles enjoy their third consecutive No. 1 hit with “Can’t Buy Me Love,” which holds the top spot for five weeks.

1970 – The Beatles’ “Let It Be” begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single. It is the last single released by the Fab Four while still officially considered an active group. 

1984 – Michael Jackson undergoes surgery at an L.A. hospital for injuries sustained two months earlier when his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. 

1987 – “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael, tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks.

1992 – Def Leppard begins five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Adrenalize.” The album spawns three major hits, including “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad.”

1992 – Vanessa Williams kicks off her fifth and final week as a chart-topper with “Save the Best for Last.”

2009  – “Boom Boom Pow,” by The Black Eyed Peas, begins 12 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The song, from the band’s “The E.N.D.” album,” is nominated for a Best Dance Recording Grammy but wins for Best Short Form Music Video.

2012 –  An original and extremely rare 1963 mono copy of The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” album, signed by all four musicians, sells in an eBay auction for nearly $25,000. 

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 November 10

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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.