On This Day April 29

Musical Milestones

1967 – Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy maintain their hold on No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart with “Somethin’ Stupid.” The duet remains a chart-topper for four weeks.

1969 – On his 70th birthday, jazz legend Duke Ellington receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Richard Nixon in the East Room of the White House. Nixon concludes the presentation by playing the piano and singing. 

1970 – George Harrison tells reporters that The Beatles will reunite eventually and announces plans for his first post-Beatles solo album.

1976 – Bruce Springsteen wraps up a concert performance in Memphis as part of his “Born to Run” tour and he and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt decide to pay their idol, Elvis Presley, a visit at his Graceland estate. Security guards escort Springsteen off the grounds after he jumps the gate and runs toward the front door. The King was not home at the time. 

1978 – Topping the singles chart for the seventh consecutive week: The Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

1989 – Madonna has the No. 1 single with “Like a Prayer,” from her album of the same name.

1993 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Barry White appears in the “Whacking Day” episode of the animated series “The Simpsons.” As White sings, Bart and Lisa place loudspeakers on the ground to lure snakes away from Springfield residents trying to kill them as part of Whacking Day tradition.

1995 – “This Is How We Do It,” by Montell Jordan, is in the midst of a seven-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100. 

2000 – “Maria Maria,” by Santana featuring The Product G&B, is in the middle of a 10-week domination of the singles chart.

2006 – Daniel Powter owns the top spot on the pop chart with “Bad Day.”

History Highlights

1854 – Originally established as The Ashmun Institute, Lincoln University receives its charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, becoming the first degree-granting college in the U.S. founded solely for African-American students.

1945 – U.S. military forces liberate the Dachau concentration camp in Nazi Germany.  More than 188,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Dachau between 1933 and 1945, and more than 28,000 died in the camp and its sub-camps.

1974 – President Richard Nixon announces that he will release edited transcripts of taped White House conversations in response to a subpoena in the Watergate scandal. The House Judiciary committee insists that he also turn over the tapes. 

1986 – Pitching for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Roger Clemens sets a Major League Baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1992 – Riots erupt across Los Angeles after four LAPD officers are acquitted in the beating of unarmed African American motorist Rodney King. Protesters in south-central L.A. block freeway traffic, wreck and loot shops and set more than 100 fires. The rioting continues for five days and sparks a national conversation about racial and economic disparity and police use of force — a debate that still rages today.

2004 – The National World War II Memorial opens in Washington, D.C. It honors the 16 million people who served as part of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

2004 – General Motors’ last Oldsmobile rolls off a Lansing, Michigan assembly line, marking the end of America’s oldest automotive brand. The final model is an Alero GLS sedan, which factory workers signed under the hood.

2011 –  Great Britain’s Prince William marries his longtime girlfriend, Catherine “Kate” Middleton, at Westminster Abbey in London. An estimated two billion people around the world watch the ceremony on television.

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The Essential Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Sound Track)

Bee Gees, Tavares, KC and the Sunshine Band, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

Where the Birds Never Sing: The True Story of the 92nd Signal Battalion and the Liberation of Dachau

Jack Sacco

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Anna Deavere Smith

16 Biggest Hits

Willie Nelson

Hairspray

Starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken, and directed by Adam Shankman

On This Day March 3

History Highlights

1820 – Congress passes the Missouri Compromise, temporarily resolving the first serious political clash between slavery and antislavery interests by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state.

1887 – Anne Mansfield Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing at 19 months of age. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller thrived, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. 

1923 – The first edition of Time magazine is published. The 32-page issue features former U.S. House Speaker Joseph G. Cannon on the cover. 

1931 – With the stroke of President Herbert Hoover’s pen, the United States officially adopts the “Star-Spangled Banner” as its national anthem.

1950 – Marilyn Monroe makes her first screen appearance when the musical comedy “Love Happy,” starring the Marx Brothers, opens in movie theaters.

1952 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a New York state law (Feinberg Law) that prohibits communists from teaching in public schools. Coming at the height of the Red Scare in the U.S., the high court’s decision was further proof that many Americans feared possible subversive communist activity within their borders.

1991 – In what’s believed to be the first viral video, amateur video footage captures the beating of African American motorist Rodney King by four Los Angeles police officers, igniting outrage over alleged police brutality and social inequalities in LA’s black community. The cops are later tried and acquitted, which triggers riots.

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The Best of Both Worlds

Van Halen

Rhythm Nation 1814

Janet Jackson

Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America's National Anthem

Marc Ferris

The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption

Rodney King &  Lawrence J. Spagnola

Jean Harlow: Tarnished Angel

David Bret

Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 1

Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig and others