On This Day March 30

History Highlights

1814 – European forces allied against Napoleonic France march triumphantly into Paris, formally ending a decade of French domination on the continent.

1842 – Anesthesia is used for the first time in an operation by Dr. Crawford Long. 

1858 – The first wooden pencil featuring a built-in rubber eraser on top is patented by Philadelphia inventor Hymen Lipman, who later sells his patent for $100,000 (about $2 million in today’s market). In 1875, The Supreme Court invalidates the patent, ruling that because the pencil combined two existing devices, it was not a legitimate invention. Nevertheless, this is observed as National Pencil Day.

1867 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase is ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s Folly.” 

1964 – The popular game show “Jeopardy!” premieres on NBC with host Art Fleming. Current host Alex Trebek takes over in 1984.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John Hinckley, Jr., who claims he was seeking to gain the attention of actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a psychiatric hospital until 2016, when he is allowed to live with his mother in her Virginia home. Reagan is released from the hospital less than two weeks after the attempted assassination.

2009 – President Barack Obama issues an ultimatum to struggling American automakers General Motors (GM) and Chrysler: In order to receive additional bailout loans from the government, he says, the companies need to dramatically change the way they run their businesses. 

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The Chiffons Absolutely The Best!

The Chiffons

John Denver's Greatest Hits

John Denver

Jeopardy! HD - America's Favorite Quiz Game

Sony Pictures Television

The Reagan Diaries

Ronald Reagan

Bonnie and Clyde

Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Michael J. Pollard, and directed by Arthur Penn

The Best Of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

On This Day December 31

Musical Milestones

1966 – The Monkees swing to the top of the singles chart with “I’m a Believer” and hold on for seven weeks, finally yielding to The Buckinghams’ “Kind of a Drag” in mid-February.

1970 – Eight months after the The Beatles’ breakup and subsequent release of their last album, “Let It Be,” Paul McCartney files suit against bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to officially dissolve their partnership.

1972 – Dick Clark begins a new holiday tradition as his first “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” concert is broadcast on ABC-TV, featuring performances by Three Dog Night and Al Green. Clark hosts the annual event for the next 32 years before turning the reins over to Ryan Seacrest.

1977 – “How Deep Is Your Love,” by the Bee Gees, is in the middle of three weeks as the No. 1 single. The song is part of the “Saturday Night Fever” movie soundtrack.

1983 – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson are in the middle of a six-week domination of the pop chart with “Say Say Say.”

1985 – Former teen idol Ricky Nelson and six others are killed when their chartered plane crashes in Texas.

1988 – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” by Poison, is in the midst of a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard single chart.

2005 – Mariah Carey begins a two-week hold on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Don’t Forget About Us.”

2015 – Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter Natalie Cole (“This Will Be,” “I’ve Got Love On My Mind,” “Miss You Like Crazy,” “Unforgettable”), daughter of legendary crooner and jazz pianist Nat King Cole, dies of congestive heart failure at the age of 65.

History Highlights

1781 – The first bank in the U.S. opens under the name The Bank of North America.

1862 – Nine months after engaging in the most famous naval battles in American history, the ironclad warship USS Monitor sinks in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Sixteen crewmen are killed. The Monitor had dueled to a standstill with another ironclad, the CSS Virginia (originally the CSS Merrimack), off Hampton Roads, Virginia on March 9, 1862.

1879 – Inventor Thomas Edison demonstrates his incandescent light bulb to the public for the first time.

1904 – The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in New York’s Times Square — known then as Longacre Square — at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street in Manhattan. Three years later, in 1907, the tradition of the dropping ball is introduced.

1946 – President Harry Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.

1984 – Bernhard Goetz, the white man known as the “subway vigilante” after he shot four young black men on a New York City subway train, turns himself in to authorities in New Hampshire.

1999 – Days after Mikhail Gorbachev is re-elected head of the Soviet Communist Party, Boris Yeltsin, president of the Republic of Russia, stuns his country and the world by announcing his resignation six months before the end of his term. He turns control over to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, undercutting Gorbachev’s efforts to keep the struggling Soviet Union together. 

1999 – The United States officially turns control of the Panama Canal over to Panamanian authorities for the first time.

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

Rick Nelson: Greatest Hits

Ricky Nelson

One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World

Joe McKendry

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World

Randall E. Stross

Patsy Cline: The Definitive Collection

Patsy Cline

The Silence of the Lambs

Starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and directed by Jonathan Demme

Gandhi

Starring Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, and directed by Richard Attenborough

On This Day October 18

Musical Milestones

1968 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono are arrested after cannabis is discovered in their London flat. Lennon pleads guilty for fear that Ono would be deported.

1969 – “I Can’t Get Next to You” becomes the second chart-topping single for Motown titans, The Temptations. The track holds the No. 1 spot for two weeks.

1975 – John Denver’s “Windsong” is No. 1 on the U.S. album chart. It contains the hits “I’m Sorry” and “Calypso.”

1980 – Queen enters its third and final week on top of the pop chart with “Another One Bites the Dust.”

1986 – Janet Jackson starts the second and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “When I Think of You,” from her “Control” album.

1997 – Elton John’s tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales is the No. 1 single. It is a rewritten and rerecorded version of his 1974 song, “Candle in the Wind.”

2003 – “Baby Boy, by Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul, is in the middle of a nine-week marathon on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track is from Beyoncé’s debut solo album, “Dangerously in Love.”

2005 – A photo of a naked John Lennon wrapped around a fully clothed Yoko Ono, taken by acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz, is voted best magazine cover of the past 40 years by a panel of magazine editors. The photo was snapped on December 8, 1980, just hours before Lennon was shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment building. It appeared on the cover of the January 22, 1981 edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

History Highlights

1867 – The U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre.

1898 – One year after Spain grants Puerto Rico self-rule, American troops raise the U.S. flag over the Caribbean nation, formalizing U.S. authority over the island’s one million inhabitants.

1931 – Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, dies from complications of diabetes in his West Orange, New Jersey home at the age of 84. Edison is most famous for inventing the phonograph, motion picture camera and the incandescent light bulb.

1954 – Music, information and sports become portable as Texas Instruments and the Regency division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates introduce the transistor radio. Marketed as the “world’s first pocket radio,” the Regency Model TR-1 retails for $49.95.

1961 – “West Side Story” opens in theaters, featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The movie musical captures 10 Academy Awards.

1967 – “The Jungle Book” opens at the box office. It’s the last animated feature personally produced by Walt Disney, who died during production.

1968 – The U.S. Olympic Committee suspends two African American sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a “Black Power” salute during their medal ceremony at the Mexico City games.

1988 – The sitcom “Roseanne” premieres on ABC, starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.

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The Definitive Collection

The Temptations

Control / Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

West Side Story

Starring Natalie WoodRichard BeymerRuss Tamblyn, and directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise with music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim

Something in the Air: American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics

Richard Hoffer

Patton

Starring George C. Scott, Frank Latimore and Karl Malden, and directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

The Greatest Showman

Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams, and directed by Michael Gracey

On This Day October 12

History Highlights

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Tusk (Remastered)

Fleetwood Mac

Greatest Hits - Chapter One

Kelly Clarkson

Space Race

Deborah Cadbury

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

Starring Al Gore and directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk

Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks

Luciano Pavarotti

Real Steel

Starring Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo and Evangeline Lilly, and directed by Shawn Levy

On This Day September 27

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Music From The Motion Picture Pulp Fiction (Explicit)

Chuck Berry, Kool and the Gang, Dusty Springfield and others

Duets II

Tony Bennett and various artists

Inventing Late Night

Ben Alba

Breach of Trust

Gerald McKnight

Bat Out of Hell

Meat Loaf

Shaun Cassidy: Greatest Hits

Shaun Cassidy

On this Day August 3

Musical Milestones

1963 – Allan Sherman releases his classic summer camp parody “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter From Camp).” Inspired by actual complaint letters that Sherman received from his son, Robert, while away at summer camp, the song climbs as high as No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart.

1968 – The Doors have the hottest single with “Hello, I Love You (Won’t You Tell Me Your Name).” It’s the band’s second chart-topper.

1971 – Paul McCartney announces the formation of his new band, Wings, featuring wife Linda and ex-Moody Blues member Denny Laine. 

1973 – Stevie Wonder releases “Innervisions,” playing virtually all the instruments on six of the album’s nine tracks.

1974 – “Annie’s Song,” by John Denver, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

1985 – “Shout,” by Tears for Fears, begins three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the British duo’s second U.S. No. 1. 

1987 – Def Leppard releases “Hysteria,” which sells more than 25 million copies worldwide and becomes the band’s best-selling album to date. It spawns no less than seven hit singles, six of which make it to the Top 20.

1991 – “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” from the movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” keeps Bryan Adams on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a second week. The track remains there for a total of seven weeks.

1996 – “Macarena,” by Los Del Rio, shimmies its way to the top of the Billboard pop chart and holds there for 14 weeks. Decades later, the song remains a favorite at wedding receptions, parties and sporting events.

2002 – Nelly burns up the Billboard Hot 100 with “Hot in Herre.” The track maintains a hold on the top spot for seven weeks.

History Highlights

1492 – Italian explorer Christopher Columbus leads three sailing ships from Spain on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India and  the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th president of the United States hours after the death of President Warren G. Harding.  A man of few words (he was nicknamed “Silent Cal”), Coolidge gains popularity as president, winning more than 54 percent of the popular vote when reelected in 1924.

1949 – The Basketball Association of America (BAA) merges with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). Six NBL teams join the 10 BAA teams, plus an expansion team in Indianapolis, with the new league divided into Eastern, Central and Western Divisions.

1958 – America’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), becomes the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. 

1977 – Roger Moore returns to the big screen as secret agent James Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me.”  The movie features a sleek, powerful Lotus Esprit sports car that doubles as a submarine. 

1981 – Some 13,000 unionized air traffic controllers (members of PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) walk off the job and days later are fired by President Ronald Reagan. 

2008 – The first published photos of former celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s newborn twins go up on People magazine’s website, and two weeks later, are published in a 19-page photo spread. People won the rights to the photos after a bidding war that, according to some reports, reached as high as $14 million — the most ever paid for celebrity baby pictures. 

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Hysteria

Def Leppard

The Very Best of The Doors

The Doors

Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

Laurence Bergreen

The National Basketball League: A History, 1935-1949

Murry R. Nelson

The Classics

Tony Bennett

Trading Places

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche, and directed by John Landis

On this Day July 27

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The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits

Joel Whitburn

Waking Up the Neighbours

Bryan Adams

Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years and Only One Grey Hare

Joe Adamson

Hope: Entertainer of the Century

Richard Zoglin

All in the Family

Starring Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers

The Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Burttons, and directed by Ronald Neame

On this Day June 7

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

Philippe Margotin & Jean-Michel Guesdon

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937

Darrell Rooney and Mark A. Vieira

The Battle of Midway

Craig L. Symonds

Dino: The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Schindler's List

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