On This Day April 7

History Highlights

1776 – U.S. Navy Captain John Barry, commander of the warship Lexington, achieves the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he seizes the British warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture of the Edward and its cargo turns Barry into a national hero and boosts the morale of the Continental forces.

1948 – The United Nations establishes the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote “the highest possible level of health” around the globe. A major cornerstone of WHO is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. World Health Day is observed internationally every April 7.

1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower coins one of the most famous Cold War phrases when he suggests the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a “domino effect” in Southeast Asia. The so-called “domino theory” guided U.S. strategy toward Vietnam for the next decade.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy lobbies Congress to fund the preservation of historic monuments in Egypt’s Nile Valley threatened by construction of the Aswan High Dam.

1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material (Stanley v. Georgia). 

1970 – At the 42nd annual Academy Awards, screen legend John Wayne ropes his first and only Oscar: Best Actor for his role in the Western “True Grit.”

1978 – President Jimmy Carter cancels planned production of the neutron bomb.

1994 – Violence in Rwanda fuels the launch of what becomes the worst episode of genocide since World War II: the massacre of an estimated 500,000 to 1 million innocent civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

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The Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track

Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon

Make It Big

Wham!

John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail

Tim McGrath

True Grit

Starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby, and directed by Henry Hathaway

The Essential Billie Holiday: The Columbia Years

Billie Holiday

A Beautiful Mind

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris, and directed by Ron Howard

On This Day September 13

History Highlights

1814 – Francis Scott Key writes a poem that is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

1969 – “Scooby Doo Where Are You” premieres, introducing a band of meddling kids to the Saturday morning cartoon lineup.

1971 – A four-day revolt by inmates at Attica Prison in upstate New York comes to an explosive end as state police troopers and National Guardsmen storm the maximum-security facility with teargas and a hail of gunfire. Forty-three people are killed.

1974 – “The Rockford Files,” starring James Garner as a private investigator, debuts on NBC.

1976 – “The Muppet Show” debuts with host Kermit The Frog joined by new Jim Henson creations, including Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear. 

1993 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shakes hands with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House after signing an accord granting limited Palestinian autonomy. 

1994 – President Bill Clinton signs the Federal Assault Weapons Ban into law. The bill bans 18 specific firearms and certain features on guns, but only those manufactured after enactment. The measure expires exactly 10 years later, in 2004, since Congress did not reauthorize it.

2008 – Hurricane Ike makes landfall along the Texas Gulf coast in the early morning hours as a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. The third costliest storm in U.S. history after Hurricane Katrina causes flooding and severe wind damage across Galveston and Houston, leaving many without power for weeks.

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The Definitive Collection

Louis Armstrong

The Best of Berlin: The Millennium Collection

Berlin

Scooby-Doo Where Are You

Starring Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and their talking dog Scooby

Jim Henson: The Biography

Brian Jay Jones

Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams

Michael D’Antonio

What I Know For Sure

Tavis Smiley