On This Day March 19

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Inside Graceland: Elvis' Maid Remembers

Nancy Rooks

A Star Is Born

Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson

A Preliminary to War: The 1st Aero Squadron and the Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916

Roger G. Miller

Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History

Gail Kinn and  Jim Piazza

Fatal Attraction

Starring Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer, and directed by Adrian Lyne

The Sixth Sense

Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan

On This Day February 24

Musical Milestones

1958 – The Silhouettes are on top of the Billboard pop chart with “Get a Job.” Thanks to the band’s performances on “American Bandstand” and “The Dick Clark Show,” the single goes on to sell over a million copies.

1968 – French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat is in the middle of a five-week run atop the Billboard singles chart with his instrumental, “Love is Blue.” It is the only song by a French artist to ever top Hot 100.

1973 – Roberta Flack begins a five-week reign over the singles chart with “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The song garners Flack the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, with co-writers Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel earning the Song of the Year Grammy.

1975 – Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” is released in the U.S. and immediately sees one million copies ship — a whopping order for Atlantic Records. The double album, which features the iconic photo of a New York City tenement on the cover, contains some of the band’s most memorable tracks, including “Kashmir,” “Ten Years Gone” and “In My Time of Dying.”

1982 – Winners at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards include John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Album of the Year (“Double Fantasy”), songwriters Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon for Song of the Year (“Bette Davis Eyes” performed by Kim Carnes), Sheena Easton for Best New Artist and Quincy Jones for Producer of the Year.

1990 – Singer-songwriter and pianist Johnnie Ray dies of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Ray is credited with 20 Top 40 singles between 1952 and 1960, including “Just Walking in the Rain.”

1990 – Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair enjoy their third and final week as Billboard chart-toppers with “Opposites Attract.”

1996 – “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men is the No. 1 single.

2001 – “Stutter,” by Joe featuring Mystikal, kicks off four weeks on top of the pop chart.

2007 – Nelly Furtado lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Say It Right.”

History Highlights

1836 – Under attack by soldiers of the Mexican Army, Colonel William Travis issues an urgent call for reinforcements on behalf of his Texan troops defending the Alamo in Bejar, Texas (San Antonio today).

1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, which charges him with violating the Tenure of Office Act and bringing into “disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States.” Johnson, who assumed office after the Lincoln assassination, is acquitted three months later in the Senate.

1903 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signs a deal with the new government of Cuba to lease 45 square miles at the mouth of Guantanamo Bay for 2,000 gold coins a year.

1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded. In the mid-1950s, it becomes American Motors, best known for production of the Gremlin and Pacer.

1968 – The Tet Offensive ends as U.S. and South Vietnamese troops recapture the ancient capital of Hue from communist forces.

1981 – Socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering ex-lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of the bestselling “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet,” concluding a sensational trial that ignited a national debate about whether Harris was a woman scorned or a victim of abuse.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award the Reverend Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.

1991 – After the six-week-long bombing campaign against Iraq and its armed forces known as Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a massive ground offensive against Kuwait and Iraq.

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Killing Me Softly

Roberta Flack

Physical Graffiti

Led Zeppelin

Very Much a Lady: The Untold Story of Jean Harris and Dr. Herman Tarnower

Shana Alexander

Unseemly Man Hardcover

Larry Flynt

Barney Miller (Season One)

Starring Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass, Max Gail and others

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

On This Day January 16

Musical Milestones

1938 – Acclaimed clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman (a.k.a. “The King of Swing”) makes history when he takes the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall. It not only marks the first time jazz is played in the hallowed music venue, but the first time a racially integrated ensemble performs.

1965 – The Supremes have a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Come See About Me.”

1971 – George Harrison marks his fourth and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “My Sweet Lord.”

1979 – Cher’s divorce from Gregg Allman is finalized.

1988 – Twenty-four years after The Beatles first rule the singles chart, “Got My Mind Set On You” by George Harrison is No. 1. The track was originally recorded by R&B singer James Ray in 1962.

1988 – After huge success as half of the pop duo Wham! during the early to mid-80s, George Michael claims the top spot on the Billboard album chart with his debut solo album, “Faith.” The production packs several major hits, including the title track, “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey.”

1993 – “I Will Always Love You,” by Whitney Houston, is in the middle of a 14-week domination of the Billboard singles chart.

1999 – Brandy’s “Have You Ever?” tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks. 

2004 – King of Pop, Michael Jackson, pleads not guilty to child molestation charges, as fans, reporters and TV crews from around the world swarm outside the California courthouse. The judge admonishes Jackson for arriving late.

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Benny Goodman: The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

Benny Goodman

The Best Of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

The Supremes

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Daniel Okrent

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

Robert Matzen

Merman...Her Greatest!

Ethel Merman

Halloween

Starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, and directed by John Carpenter

On This Day December 15

History Highlights

1791 – Following ratification by the state of Virginia, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, become the law of the land.

1939 – The motion picture classic “Gone With the Wind,” starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, premieres in Atlanta. The film goes on to capture 10 Academy Awards.

1961 – Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer considered to be the architect of the Holocaust, is condemned to death by an Israeli war crimes tribunal.

1966 – Animation pioneer Walt Disney, who built an entertainment empire around a cartoon mouse, dies at the age of 65. The visionary creator of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck produced some of Hollywood’s greatest hits, conceived Disneyland and Disney World and was one of world’s most beloved storytellers. 

1973 – Jean Paul Getty III, the grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, five months after his kidnapping by an Italian gang.

1993 – “Schindler’s List,” from director Steven Spielberg, opens, starring Liam Neeson as German businessman Oskar Schindler, who saves the lives of over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. The movie wins seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

2001 –  Italy’s iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after a team of experts spends 11 years and $27 million to fortify the historic landmark without eliminating its famous lean.

2011 – The U.S. marks the end of the war in Iraq with a low-key ceremony in Baghdad eight years after the American-led invasion of that nation. Despite the declaration, violence intensifies there over the next several years.

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The Essential Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller

Big Bam Boom

Hall & Oates

Gone with the Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, and directed by Victor Fleming

Schindler's List

Starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes, and directed by Steven Spielberg

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol's Favorites

Starring Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman

Miami Vice (Season One)

Starring Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas

On This Day December 13

History Highlights

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Venus

Shocking Blue

The Way It Is

Bruce Hornsby And The Range

Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon, 1963-1972

David West Reynolds (Author), Gene Cernan (Afterword), Wally Schirra (Foreword)

Sports Illustrated Basketball's Greatest

The Editors of Sports Illustrated

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 1

Dick Van Dyke (Actor), Mary Tyler Moore (Actor), James Komack (Director), John Rich (Director)

Ray

Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King

On This Day September 22

History Highlights

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation establishing January 1, 1863 as the date that more than three million slaves in the U.S. would be freed. While the proclamation only frees between 20,000 and 50,000 slaves within the 10 states still in rebellion, it provides the legal framework for the eventual emancipation of all others.

1953 – The world’s first four-level interchange (“Stack”) opens in Los Angeles at the intersection of the Harbor, Hollywood, Pasadena, and Santa Ana freeways. The Saturday Evening Post called it “a mad motorist’s dream.”

1975 – U.S. President Gerald Ford survives a second assassination attempt in less than three weeks while leaving a San Francisco hotel. Sara Jane Moore had aimed and was getting ready to fire the first shot when a bystander thwarted her plans.

1976 – “Charlie’s Angels” premieres on ABC with Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and the late Farrah Fawcett as a trio of detectives working for their unseen boss, Charlie, who telephoned in their assignments. 

1980 – The Iran-Iraq War begins as Iraqi armed forces invade western Iran along the nations’ joint border. The conflict drags on for eight years.

1982 – “Family Ties” debuts on NBC, starring Michael J. Fox as Alex, the smart, conservative and financially driven teenage son of parents played by Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross. 

1994 – NBC introduces “Friends,” starring Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt Le Blanc. The sitcom becomes one of primetime TV’s most popular shows during a 10-season run.

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The Essential Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Let's Get It On

Marvin Gaye

A. Lincoln: A Biography

Ronald C. White

Charlie's Angels, Season 1

Starring Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith

Tommy Lasorda: My Way

Colin Gunderson

Greatest Hits: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

On this Day August 7

History Highlights

1782 – General George Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the “Badge for Military Merit” — a decoration for valor consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk with the word “Merit” stitched across the face. Only three soldiers were awarded the badge before it fell into disuse. It was revived in 1932 as the Purple Heart, consisting of a bust of Washington below a coat of arms.

1959 – The sheaves of wheat image on the U.S. penny is replaced with the Lincoln Memorial. 

1959 – NASA launches the Explorer 6 satellite to study trapped radiation, galactic cosmic rays and geomagnetism in the upper atmosphere. It is the first spacecraft to transmit images of Earth from orbit.

1972 – Yogi Berra, Sandy Koufax, Lefty Gomez and Early Wynn are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. 

1974 – After six years of planning and preparation, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit walks a tightrope a quarter mile above the streets of Manhattan between the World Trade Center towers.

1990 – President George H. W. Bush orders the launch of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2. The order prepares American troops to join an international coalition in the war against Iraq that would be launched as Operation Desert Storm in January 1991.

2005 – Longtime ABC News anchor and reporter Peter Jennings loses his battle with cancer at the age of 67.

2005 – The seven-person crew of a small Russian submarine (Priz) is rescued by an unmanned British submersible that freed the sub after its propellers became entangled in fishing nets deep in Pacific waters.

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Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits

Bee Gees

Mirage (Deluxe Edition)

Fleetwood Mac

The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball's Greats

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Man on Wire

Philippe Petit

Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey

Brian Urquhart

North Country

Starring Charlize TheronFrances McDormand andSean Bean, and directed by Niko Caro

On this Day August 2

History Highlights

1776 – The official signing of the Declaration of Independence takes place on this day, not July 4 as widely believed. John Hancock, president of the Congress, signs the engrossed copy with a bold signature. The other delegates, following custom, sign beginning at the right with the signatures arranged by states from northernmost New Hampshire to southernmost Georgia.

1790 – The first U.S. census is taken. It determines that there are nearly 4 million citizens in the 16 states and Ohio Territory. The U.S. has taken a census every 10 years since then.

1934 – With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler becomes absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer (“Leader”).

1943 – Almost two decades before becoming U.S. president, John F. Kennedy is commander of a U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat (PT-109) in the Solomon Islands that is rammed by a Japanese destroyer and sliced in half. Two crewmen are killed, but 11 survive due largely to Lt. Kennedy’s dramatic rescue efforts.

1985 – Wind gusts from a severe thunderstorm are blamed for the crash of Delta Airlines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 jumbo jet, at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport that leaves 137 people dead. 

1990 – Iraqi troops invade Iraq’s tiny, oil-rich neighbor, Kuwait, quickly capturing Kuwait City and establishing a provincial government. The move leads to “Operation Desert Storm,” a massive U.S.-led military offensive aimed at ousting Iraqi forces to prevent further invasion into nearby Saudi Arabia. 

1992 – Jackie Joyner-Kersee becomes the first woman ever to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals in the heptathlon.

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One of These Nights

Eagles

Solitude / Solitaire

Peter Cetera

The American Census: A Social History, Second Edition

Margo J. Anderson

PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy

William Doyle

Lawrence of Arabia

Starring Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn, and directed by David Lean

Avatar

Starring Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver, and directed by James Cameron

On this Day July 22

History Highlights

1916 – A massive parade in San Francisco marking Preparedness Day, in anticipation of the United States entering World War I, is interrupted when a suitcase bomb explodes, killing 10 bystanders and wounding 40 others.

1933 – Some 50,000 cheering New Yorkers greet aviator Wiley Post at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field as he completes the first solo flight around the world. Post logged 15,596 miles in seven days, 18 hours and 49 minutes — the fastest circumnavigation of the globe.

1934 – FBI agents gun down Public Enemy No. 1 — notorious bank robber and murderer John Dillinger, outside Chicago’s Biograph movie theater. Dillinger and his mob gang terrorized the Midwest, killing 10 men, wounding seven others, robbing banks and police arsenals, and staging three jail breaks — killing a sheriff during one and wounding two guards in another.

1937 – The U.S. Senate rejects President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts to add more justices to the Supreme Court — his so-called “court-packing” plan. 

1942 –  Agricultural chemist George Washington Carver arrives in Dearborn, Michigan at the invitation of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford to begin collaborating on crop experiments.

1987 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev indicates that he will accept a worldwide ban on intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

1991 – Milwaukee police arrest serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer after discovering dismembered victims and other evidence in his apartment. Dahmer is tried and convicted for the murders of 17 males between 1978 and 1991. While serving time in prison, he is attacked and killed by a fellow inmate in 1994.

2003 – U.S. Army Private Jessica Lynch, a prisoner-of-war who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, receives a hero’s welcome when the 20-year-old returns to her hometown of Palestine, West Virginia. Following her return, new details of her capture and rescue emerge suggesting the original accounts were exaggerated to create positive feelings about the war.

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Still Bill

Bill Withers

My Aim is True

Elvis Costello

American Outlaws: The Life and Legacy of John Dillinger

Charles River Editors

Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters

Peter Vronsky

Lethal Weapon Movie Collection

Starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover

The Very Best of Eagles

Eagles

On this Day June 26

History Highlights

1927 – Coney Island’s iconic Cyclone roller coaster begins operating. The ride quickly becomes a fan favorite, with long lines of repeat customers paying 25 cents per ride. In 1988, it is designated a New York City Landmark, and in 1991, it is added to the National Register of Historic Places.

1948 – Known as the “Berlin Airlift,” U.S. and British planes begin delivering food and supplies through airdrops to (West) Berlin, Germany after Soviet forces seal off rail, road, and water access with a blockade. The crisis finally ends almost a year later when Soviet forces lift the blockade on land access to the city.

1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II preside at a ceremony marking the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which creates a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

1963 – President John F. Kennedy speaks the famous words, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” in a speech before cheering throngs in democratic West Berlin.

1974 – Grocery shopping is revolutionized with the introduction of the bar code. The first item scanned is a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1993 – President Bill Clinton punishes Iraq for a plot to assassinate former U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

2015 – Marking a major milestone for civil rights, the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage cannot be banned in the United States and that all same-sex marriages must be recognized nationwide, finally granting same-sex couples equal rights to heterosexual couples under the law.

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At The Speed of Sound (Deluxe/Remastered)

Paul McCartney and Wings

Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

Images of America: Coney Island and Astroland

Charles Denson

The Berlin Airlift: The History and Legacy of the First Major Crisis of the Cold War

Charles River Editors

Casablanca

Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Peter Lorre, and directed by Michael Curtiz

Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Don Van Natta