On This Day February 25

History Highlights

1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, is sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress. He is assigned to serve on the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on the District of Columbia.

1916 – German troops seize Fort Douaumont, the most formidable of the forts guarding the walled city of Verdun, France, four days after launching their initial attack. The Battle of Verdun becomes the longest and bloodiest conflict of World War I, lasting 10 months and resulting in over 700,000 casualties.

1950 – The TV comedy “Your Show of Shows,” hosted by Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, premieres, eventually helping launch the successful entertainment careers of Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others.

1964 – Twenty-two-year-old Cassius Clay (who later changes his name to Muhammad Ali) stuns odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout in Miami Beach.

1984 – A massive explosion, triggered when gasoline from a ruptured pipeline ignited, levels a shantytown outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing at least 500 people — mostly young children. However, investigators speculate that the actual death toll may have been closer to 700 since many bodies were incinerated in the intense blaze.

1986 – President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines flees the nation after 20 years of rule. Corazon Aquino becomes that nation’s first woman president. 

2004 – “The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson’s controversial film about the final hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, opens in U.S. theaters, starring  Jim Caviezel as Jesus. It receives three Oscar nominations.

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Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross

1984

Van Halen

Black is Best: The Riddle of Cassius Clay

Jack Olsen

Diary of a Dictator -- Ferdinand & Imelda: The Last Days of Camelot

William C. Rempel

Deep Impact

Starring Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni and Elijah Wood, and directed by Mimi Leder

The Social Network

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer, and directed by David Fincher

On This Day November 18

Musical Milestones

1956 – Fats Domino appears on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and plays his smash, “Blueberry Hill.”

1957 – Elvis Presley remains perched atop the U.S. singles chart for a fifth straight week with “Jailhouse Rock,” from the movie of the same name.

1963 – “I’m Leaving It Up to You” by Dale & Grace is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1971 – Memphis blues singer and musician Herman ‘Junior’ Parker dies at the age of 39 during surgery for a brain tumor. Among his hits were “Feelin’ Good,” “Driving Wheel,” “Next Time You See Me,” “In the Dark” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”

1978 – “52nd Street” becomes Billy Joel’s first No. 1 album. It contains some of his biggest hits to date, including “My Life,” “Big Shot” and “Honesty,” and goes on to capture two Grammy Awards.

1989 – Bad English’s “When I See You Smile” begins its second and final weeks at No, 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1993 – Five months before Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death, the pioneering grunge band records an “MTV Unplugged” special at Sony Music Studios in New York City. The set list consists of lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets and Lead Belly. The album goes on to win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.

1995 – “Fantasy.” by Mariah Carey, enters its eighth and final week on top of the pop chart.

2017 – Australian musician and songwriter Malcolm Young, best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for the hard rock band AC/DC, dies at the age of 64.

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Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

52nd Street

Billy Joel

MTV Unplugged in New York

Nirvana

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Neal Gabler

A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown

Julia Scheeres

Big

Starring Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins and Robert Loggia, and directed by Penny Marshall

Midnight in Paris

Starring Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody and Carla Bruni, and directed by Woody Allen