On This Day March 8

History Highlights

1950 – The Volkswagen microbus (also known as the VW Type 2) goes into production, becoming an icon of America’s counter-culture movement as the vehicle of choice for hippies during the 1960s. 

1971 – Boxing titans Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier meet for the “Fight of the Century” before a crowd of more than 20,000 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The showdown marks Ali’s return to the ring three and a-half years after his boxing license was revoked over his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War. Frazier wins by unanimous decision, retaining his heavyweight champion title and delivering Ali the first loss of his career.

1983 – Addressing the National Association of Evangelicals convention in Florida, President Ronald Reagan publicly refers to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” for the second time in his political career.

1993 – MTV airs the first episode of the animated series “Beavis and Butthead,” which goes on to become the network’s highest-rated series up to that point.

1999 – Baseball legend and cultural icon Joe DiMaggio (“The Yankee Clipper”), who devoted his entire 13-year Major League Baseball career as a New York Yankees center fielder, dies at the age of 84.

2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, loses contact with air traffic control less than an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur then veers off course and vanishes. Most of the Boeing 777, and everyone on board, are never seen again.

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Bringing It All Back Home

Bob Dylan

Welcome to the Real World

Mr. Mister

The Volkswagen Bus Book

Malcolm Bobbitt

The Fight of the Century: Ali vs. Frazier March 8, 1971

Michael Arkush

I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness

Micky Dolenz

Boys and Girls

Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani and Jason Biggs, and directed by Robert Iscove

On This Day January 22

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On Broadway

The Drifters

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

Nancy Sinatra

Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade

Clarke D. Forsythe

The Unabomber Manifesto: Industrial Society and Its Future

Theodore Kaczynski

Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke

Peter Guralnick

The Exorcist

Starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by William Friedkin

On This Day January 12

History Highlights

1904 – Driving his “999” Arrow Racer, automotive pioneer Henry Ford sets a land speed record of 91.37 miles per hours on the frozen surface of Michigan’s Lake St. Clair.

1926 –  The two-man comedy series “Sam ‘n’ Henry” debuts on Chicago radio station WGN. Two years later, after changing its name to “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” the show becomes one of the most popular radio programs in American history.

1932 – Hattie Wyatt Caraway, an Arkansas Democrat, becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. 

1966 – The “Batman” television series debuts on ABC, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Episodes feature acclaimed guest stars playing the various villains that battle Batman for supremacy over Gotham City. 

1969 – In the most celebrated performance of his prolific career, quarterback Joe Namath leads the New York Jets to a stunning 16-7 victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. 

1971 – The groundbreaking sitcom “All in the Family” premieres on CBS, about a working-class Queens, New York family grappling with various social issues. It stars Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker, Jean Stapleton as his wife, Edith, Sally Struthers as their daughter, Gloria, and Rob Reiner as their son-in-law, Michael (“Meathead”). The show was the brainchild of acclaimed writer-producer Norman Lear. 

1981 – A three-hour television movie serves as ABC’s pilot for the prime-time soap opera “Dynasty,” starring John Forsythe as oil tycoon Blake Carrington, Linda Evans as his wife, Crystal, and Joan Collins as Alexis, Carrington’s scheming ex-wife and business rival.

2010 – A magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastates the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. The quake — the strongest to strike the region in more than 200 years — leaves about 250,000 people dead and some 895,000 Haitians homeless.

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You Don't Mess Around With Jim

Jim Croce

The Joker

The Steve Miller Band

Batman: The Complete First Season

Starring Adam West and Burt Ward

All in the Family: Complete First Season

Starring Jean Stapleton and Carroll O’Connor

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

Cheers: Season 6

Starring Kirstie Alley, Ted Danson and Rhea Perlman