History Highlights

1916 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion (also known as Easter Rising), a six-day armed uprising against British rule. 

1945 – President Harry Truman is briefed on the full details of the Manhattan Project, an effort by American scientists to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. The project was so secret that President Franklin Roosevelt never informed Truman, his fourth-term vice president, that it existed by the time FDR died.

1962 – The first coast-to-coast satellite telecast takes place, as signals from California bounce off the first experimental communications satellite, Echo I, and are received in Massachusetts. 

1967 – Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is killed in Soyuz 1 when the spaceship’s parachute fails to open during its descent to Earth. It is the first in-flight fatality in aerospace history.  

1980 – Eight U.S. servicemen die in a failed mission to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran. The fatalities occur when two U.S. military aircraft collide. In a nationally broadcast address, President Jimmy Carter says he assumes full responsibility for the disastrous outcome of Operation Eagle Claw.

1980 – Longtime Illinois Congressman John Anderson announces he is quitting the Republican party and will run as an independent presidential candidate against incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. He ends up finishing a distant third, capturing less than 7 percent of the vote and failing to win a single electoral vote.

1982 – Already well established as an Oscar-winning actress and outspoken political activist, Jane Fonda adds fitness guru to her credentials with the release of the million-plus-selling “Jane Fonda’s Workout” video. The video sparks the aerobics craze and popularizes leg-warmers and Spandex among fitness-minded women.

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Full Moon Fever

Tom Petty

Taking the Long Way

Dixie Chicks

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age

Matthew Brzezinski

The Guts to Try: The Untold Story of the Iran Hostage Rescue Mission by the On-Scene Desert Commander

Col. James H. Kyle, USAF (Ret.) and John Robert Eidson

Being There

Starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Warden, and directed by Hal Ashby

Funny Girl

Starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif and Kay Medford, and directed by William Wyler

Musical Milestones

1956 – Rock and Roll King Elvis Presley signs a seven-year movie contract with Paramount Pictures.

1960 – Elvis Presley gets stuck on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks with “Stuck On You.” It’s his first hit single following his two-year stint in the U.S. Army.

1970 – The Jackson 5 give The Beatles’ “Let It Be” the boot and claim the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks with “ABC.”

1981 – Daryl Hall and John Oates begin their third and final week as chart-toppers with “Kiss On My List.”

1987 – U2 begin a nine-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “The Joshua Tree,” which packs chart-topping tracks including “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.” It goes on to capture Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

1990 – The Fender Stratocaster that rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix played at the Woodstock festival is auctioned off for a record $330,000. His two-hour set at the 1969 rock festival included a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

1992 – “Jump,” by hip hop duo Kris Kross, grabs the top spot on the singles chart and remains there for eight weeks.

1998 – Next has the No. 1 single with “Too Close.” The track remains on top of the pop chart for five weeks.

2007 – Leukemia claims the life of 69-year-old Bobby “Boris” Pickett, best known for his hit novelty song “Monster Mash,” which still gets radio airplay every Halloween.

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ABC

Jackson 5

The Joshua Tree

U2

A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety

Jimmy Carter

Shall We Dance

Starring Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Edward Everett Horton, and directed by Mark Sandrich

Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism

Bob Edwards

Dog Day Afternoon

Starring Al Pacino, John Cazale, James Broderick and Charles Durning, and directed by Sidney Lumet

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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

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At the Speed of Sound

Wings, featuring Paul McCartney

Thriller

Michael Jackson

Jonas Salk: A Life

Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs

Creating the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: The Inside Story

 Robert W. Doubek

I Am Spock

Leonard Nimoy

The Imitation Game

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode, and directed by Morten Tyldum

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The Beatles 1

The Beatles

Philadelphia: Music From the Motion Picture

Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and other artists

March: Book One

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

Dallas: Season 3

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

A League of Their Own

Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna, and directed by Penny Marshall

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Jennifer Grey and Mia Sara, and directed by John Hughes

Musical Milestones

1964 – The Beatles spend the day at the Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris in their only studio recording session for EMI held outside the U.K. They record “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” in German.

1966 – “We Can Work It Out,” by The Beatles, reaches the top of the Billboard singles chart and remains there for a week.

1972 – Don McLean’s “American Pie” is in the midst of a four-week ride atop the Billboard Hot 100.

1977 – “Car Wash,” by Rose Royce, is the No. 1 single. It comes from the movie of the same name that features Richard Pryor, George Carlin and The Pointer Sisters, and is considered a staple of the disco genre.

1983 – Men at Work wrap up three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Down Under,” off the Aussie band’s “Business as Usual” album.

1994 – “All for Love,” by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting, is in the middle of a three-week run on top of the pop chart. The single comes from the soundtrack to “The Three Musketeers,” a movie starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Chris O’Donnell.

2000 – The No. 1 spot on the pop chart belongs to Australian pop duo Savage Garden with “I Knew I Loved You.”

2011 – Britney Spears lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Hold It Against Me.”

2019 – Two-time Grammy-winning 80s R&B singer-songwriter James Ingram (“Just Once,” “Baby, Come to Me,” “I Don’t Have the Heart”) dies of brain cancer at the age of 66.

History Highlights

1845 – The Evening Mirror publishes Edgar Allan Poe’s now-classic poem, “The Raven” which begins, “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”

1936 – The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced In Cooperstown, New York. They include Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.

1963 – Robert Frost, considered the dean of American poets, dies in Boston at the age of 88.

1964 – Stanley Kubrick’s black comic masterpiece, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” opens in movie theaters to critical acclaim. Actor Peter Sellers plays three roles in the Cold War parody.

1979 – Teenager Brenda Spencer shoots and kills two men and wounds nine children as they enter the Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. Asked by authorities upon her arrest why she did it, the 16-year-old replies, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” The incident inspires The Boomtown Rats to write their hit song, “I Don’t Like Mondays.”

1979 – President Jimmy Carter welcomes Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House following the establishment of diplomatic relations. The visit culminates with the signing of historic new accords that reverse decades of U.S. opposition to the People’s Republic of China.

2002 – In his first State of the Union address since the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S., President George W. Bush says Iraq, Iran and North Korea constitute an “axis of evil.” He outlines his rationale for the “war on terror,” a series of military engagements which would define U.S. foreign policy for years to come.

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American Pie

Don McLean

The Three Musketeers

Starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell, Oliver Platt, Tim Curry and Rebecca De Mornay, and directed by Stephen Herek

Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame

Zev Chafets

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Starring Peter Sellers, Peter Bull and George C. Scott, and directed by Stanley Kubrick

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and directed by Thurl Ravenscroft and Jorge Russek

Magnum P.I.: The Complete First Season

Starring Tom Selleck and John Hillerman

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Saturday Night Fever: Original Movie Soundtrack

Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang and other artists

21

Adele

Concorde

Christopher Orlebar

Felon for Peace: The Memoir of a Vietnam-Era Draft Resister

Jerry Elmer

Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated: The Naughty Early Years, Set One - 1969-1971

Starring Benny Hill and Henry McGee

Thelma & Louise

Starring Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel and Michael Madsen, and directed by Ridley Scott

Musical Milestones

1964 – The British Invasion is on as Capitol Records releases “Meet the Beatles!,” the band’s second album in the U.S.

1965 – American disc jockey Alan Freed is 43 years old when he dies from cirrhosis brought on by alcoholism. Freed, a 1986 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is credited with coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll.” His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that shook up the American broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.

1968 – “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses),” a parody of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” puts John Fred and his Playboy Band at No. 1 on the singles chart for two weeks. 

1971 – “What’s Going On,” by Marvin Gaye, is released and introduces fans to a different, more personal side of the Motown star in this anthem about social injustice. The song spends five weeks on top of the Hot Soul Singles chart before crossing over to the Billboard Hot 100, where it climbs to No. 2.

1973 – Carly Simon begins her third and final week on top of the singles chart with “You’re So Vain.”

1988 – Mick Jagger presides as The Beatles are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Paul McCartney decides not to attend, issuing a statement citing ongoing business differences among The Beatles.

1990 – Michael Bolton rules the Billboard Hot 100 with “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.” The single holds the No. 1 spot for three weeks.

1996 – The Mariah Carey-Boyz II Men collaboration, “One Sweet Day,” is midway through a 16-week ride on top of the Billboard singles chart –the longest-running No. 1 song in the chart’s history at that time.

2007 – “Irreplaceable,” Beyoncé, is in its sixth week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track remains there for another four weeks and clinches a Record of the Year Grammy nomination.

History Highlights

1841 – During the First Opium War, China cedes the island of Hong Kong to the British with the signing of the Chuenpi Convention — an agreement seeking an end to the first Anglo-Chinese conflict.

1937 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as U.S. president for the second time. His first inauguration, in 1933, was held in March, but the 20th Amendment, passed later that year, made January 20 the official inauguration date for all future presidents. 

1961 – President John F. Kennedy is sworn into office and delivers his inaugural address outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The speech concludes with his now-famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” 

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter calls for the 1980 Summer Olympics to be moved from the planned host city, Moscow, or canceled altogether if the Soviet Union fails to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan within a month.

1981 – Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th U.S. president, 52 American captives held at the American embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis. 

1984 – Hungarian-born Olympic gold medal swimmer and actor Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan in the movies, dies at the age of 79. 

1993 – Actress, fashion icon and philanthropist Audrey Hepburn (“Roman Holiday,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “My Fair Lady”) dies of colon cancer at the age of 63. Hepburn remains among just a handful of performers who have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards.

2009 – On a freezing day in Washington, D.C., Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th U.S. president. The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, Obama was the first African-American to win election to the nation’s highest office.

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Meet The Beatles (The U.S. Album)

The Beatles

Anthology: The Best Of Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam

Mark Bowden

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Starring Audrey HepburnGeorge PeppardPatricia Neal, and directed by Blake Edwards

I Love Her, That's Why!

George Burns

Twin Peaks: The Definitive Gold Boxed Edition (Complete Series)

Starring Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Ontkean and directed by David Lynch

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Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

Bruce Springsteen

The Immaculate Collection

Madonna

Golden Gate Bridge: History and Design of an Icon

Donald MacDonald and Ira Nadel

All My Children

ABC soap “All My Children”

Lonesome Dove

Starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, and directed by Simon Wincer

Annie Hall

Starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts, and directed by Woody Allen

History Highlights

1959 – The Space Race intensifies as the Soviet Union launches Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the moon and orbit the sun. It was originally called Cosmic Rocket, but renamed Luna 1 to reflect the Soviets’ planned series of Luna missions to the moon. 

1971 – Known as the “Ibrox Disaster,” 66 football (soccer) fans die in a stampede at a stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, as they attempt to leave a game after a late goal by the home team. Nearly 200 other fans are injured.

1974 – President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the speed limit across the U.S. to 55 miles per hour in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo. The measure, known as the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, remains in effect until Congress repeals it in 1995.

1980 – Angered by Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter requests that the Senate postpone action on the SALT II nuclear weapons treaty and recalls the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. 

1980 – Sherry Lansing is named the head of Fox Productions, becoming the first woman in charge of production at a major movie studio as well as one of the highest-paid female executives in any industry.

1990 – Actor Alan Hale, Jr., who played the Skipper on TV’s “Gilligan’s Island,” dies of cancer at the age of 68. 

2009 – Shortly after the death of British surgeon Harold Carr, his family discovers the rare, unrestored 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe that he owned — sitting in a garage, undriven for some 50 years. One month later, the car sells at a Paris auction for $4.4 million.

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All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Sid Vicious: Rock 'n' Roll Star

Sid Vicious

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

Deborah Cadbury

Gilligan's Island

Starring Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise and others

I, Robot

Isaac Asimov

Jerry Maguire

Starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Renee Zellweger, and directed by Cameron Crowe

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