On This Day December 31

Musical Milestones

1966 – The Monkees swing to the top of the singles chart with “I’m a Believer” and hold on for seven weeks, finally yielding to The Buckinghams’ “Kind of a Drag” in mid-February.

1970 – Eight months after the The Beatles’ breakup and subsequent release of their last album, “Let It Be,” Paul McCartney files suit against bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to officially dissolve their partnership.

1972 – Dick Clark begins a new holiday tradition as his first “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” concert is broadcast on ABC-TV, featuring performances by Three Dog Night and Al Green. Clark hosts the annual event for the next 32 years before turning the reins over to Ryan Seacrest.

1977 – “How Deep Is Your Love,” by the Bee Gees, is in the middle of three weeks as the No. 1 single. The song is part of the “Saturday Night Fever” movie soundtrack.

1983 – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson are in the middle of a six-week domination of the pop chart with “Say Say Say.”

1985 – Former teen idol Ricky Nelson and six others are killed when their chartered plane crashes in Texas.

1988 – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” by Poison, is in the midst of a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard single chart.

2005 – Mariah Carey begins a two-week hold on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Don’t Forget About Us.”

2015 – Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter Natalie Cole (“This Will Be,” “I’ve Got Love On My Mind,” “Miss You Like Crazy,” “Unforgettable”), daughter of legendary crooner and jazz pianist Nat King Cole, dies of congestive heart failure at the age of 65.

History Highlights

1781 – The first bank in the U.S. opens under the name The Bank of North America.

1862 – Nine months after engaging in the most famous naval battles in American history, the ironclad warship USS Monitor sinks in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Sixteen crewmen are killed. The Monitor had dueled to a standstill with another ironclad, the CSS Virginia (originally the CSS Merrimack), off Hampton Roads, Virginia on March 9, 1862.

1879 – Inventor Thomas Edison demonstrates his incandescent light bulb to the public for the first time.

1904 – The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in New York’s Times Square — known then as Longacre Square — at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street in Manhattan. Three years later, in 1907, the tradition of the dropping ball is introduced.

1946 – President Harry Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.

1984 – Bernhard Goetz, the white man known as the “subway vigilante” after he shot four young black men on a New York City subway train, turns himself in to authorities in New Hampshire.

1999 – Days after Mikhail Gorbachev is re-elected head of the Soviet Communist Party, Boris Yeltsin, president of the Republic of Russia, stuns his country and the world by announcing his resignation six months before the end of his term. He turns control over to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, undercutting Gorbachev’s efforts to keep the struggling Soviet Union together. 

1999 – The United States officially turns control of the Panama Canal over to Panamanian authorities for the first time.

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

Rick Nelson: Greatest Hits

Ricky Nelson

One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World

Joe McKendry

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World

Randall E. Stross

Patsy Cline: The Definitive Collection

Patsy Cline

The Silence of the Lambs

Starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and directed by Jonathan Demme

Gandhi

Starring Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, and directed by Richard Attenborough

On This Day November 21

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Come On, Get Happy! The Very Best of The Partridge Family

The Partridge Family

A Night at the Opera

Queen

The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Gay Talese

Dallas (Classic Series), Seasons 1 & 2

Starring Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Barbara Bel Geddes, Patrick Duffy and Victoria Principal

It Ain't Over . . . Till It's Over

Marlo Thomas

Caddyshack

Starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and Ted Knight, and directed by Harold Ramis

On This Day November 20

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Shaft

Starring Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn and Charles Cioffi, and directed by Gordon Parks

An Officer and a Gentleman

Starring Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett, Jr., and directed by Taylor Hackford

Witness to Nuremberg

Richard W. Sonnenfeldt

Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights

Steven Levingston

Dangerously Funny

David Bianculli

10

Starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews and Bo Derek, and directed by Blake Edwards

On this Day June 23

History Highlights

1868 – Pennsylvania native Christopher Latham Sholes receives a patent for a page-numbering machine that leads to development of the first typewriter. His machine features the QWERTY keyboard that all of us still use today on our computers, smartphones and other devices for written communication.

1956 – Gamal Abdel Nasser is elected president of Egypt.

1969 – Warren Burger is sworn in as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by retiring chief justice Earl Warren.

1972 – President Richard Nixon’s advisor, H.R. Haldeman, tells the president to put pressure on the head of the FBI to “stay the hell out of this [Watergate burglary investigation] business.” In essence, Haldeman was telling Nixon to obstruct justice, which is one of the articles for which Congress threatened to impeach Nixon in 1974.

1989 – Moviegoers are introduced to the darker side of Batman when director Tim Burton’s interpretation opens in theaters, starring Michael Keaton as the “caped crusader” and Jack Nicholson as The Joker. “Batman” earns over $400 million at the box office—enough to impress even Bruce Wayne!

1992 – Mafia boss John Gotti, who was nicknamed the “Teflon Don” after escaping unscathed from several trials during the 1980s, is sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering.

1995 – American physician and medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk, who pioneered the first safe and effective vaccine for polio, dies of heart failure at the age of 80.

2013 – Aerialist Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to walk a high wire across the Little Colorado River Gorge near Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

2018 – Twelve members of a Thai soccer team and their coach become trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks until a harrowing rescue effort, covered by international media, that costs one diver his life.

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The World Of Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole

Greatest

Duran Duran

Being Nixon: A Man Divided

Evan Thomas

Jonas Salk: A Life

Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs

Fosse

Sam Wasson

Fargo

Starring William H. MacySteve BuscemiPeter Stormare and Frances McDormand, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen