On This Day March 31

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1943 – Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” premieres on Broadway. In 1955, the musical is produced as a motion picture starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (in her film debut).

1958 – Chess Records releases “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song climbs as high as No. 8 on the pop chart and goes on to become a rock and roll classic.

1962 – Connie Francis claims the top spot on the pop chart for a week with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You”

1967 – Jimi Hendrix suffers minor burns to his hands when he sets his guitar on fire during a performance at Finsbury Park in London. Nevertheless, he goes on to torch guitars several times during his short career.

1973 – Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” returns to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week after The O’Jays interrupted her for a week with their hit, “Love Train.”

1979 – “Tragedy,” by the Bee Gees, dominates the singles chart for a second and final week.

1984 – Kenny Loggins kicks off a three-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “Footloose,” from the movie of the same name.

1987 – Prince releases his ninth studio album, “Sign o’ the Times,” which spawns three Top 10 hit singles: “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “U Got the Look,” (with Sheena Easton) and the title track. 

1995 – Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known as the “Mexican Madonna,” is shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. Selena was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy, in the Best Mexican-American album category, for her 1993 album “Selena Live!” At the time of her murder, at age 23, Selena was on the brink of international fame, recording her first English language album.

2007 – “Glamorous,” by Fergie featuring Ludacris, enters its second and final week as the No. 1 single.

On This Day November 9

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On this Day May 27

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1930 – New York City’s iconic Chrysler Building opens to the public and stands as the world’s tallest building until surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931.

1936 – The ocean liner RMS Queen Mary leaves Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York with more than 1,800 passengers aboard. The ship arrives safely five days later.

1937 – The majestic Golden Gate Bridge opens, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California. San Franciscans throw a “fiesta” in honor of the new span. Schools, offices and stores either close or reduce staffing. By 6 that morning, 18,000 people are waiting to cross the span from both the sides.

1939 – A ship carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution is turned away from Havana, Cuba. Only 28 immigrants are admitted into the country. After appeals to the U.S. and Canada for entry are rejected, the rest are forced to return to Europe, where they are divided among several countries, including Great Britain and France.

1941 – The revered German battleship Bismarck is cornered and sunk in the North Atlantic by ships and planes from the British Royal Navy, ending one of the most intensive naval manhunts in history. An estimated 2,100 crewmen are killed in the attack.

1962 – A mine fire that still burns to this day breaks out beneath the borough of Centralia, Pennsylvania.

1994 – Two decades after being expelled from the Soviet Union, Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn returns to Russia in an emotional homecoming.