On This Day February 15

Musical Milestones

1964 – “Meet The Beatles!” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, becoming The Beatles’ first chart-topping album in the U.S. It holds the top spot for eleven weeks and sells more than four million copies by the end of that year.

1965 – The Beatles record “Another Girl” and “Ticket to Ride” for the “Help!” album. Earlier that day, John Lennon earns a personal ticket to ride by passing his driving test. 

1965 – Entertainer Nat King Cole (“Unforgettable,” “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” “The Christmas Song,” “Mona Lisa”), who earned early acclaim as a jazz pianist and became the first African American performer to host a network TV variety show, dies of lung cancer at the age of 45.

1969 – Sly & the Family Stone rule the Billboard singles chart with “Everyday People,” which remains at No. 1 for four weeks.

1975 – “You’re No Good,” by Linda Ronstadt, is the No. 1 single.

1984 – Beloved actress-singer Ethel Merman, best known for her rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” dies at the age of 75.

1986 – “How Will I Know,” by Whitney Houston, becomes the most popular single in the U.S. for two weeks.

1992 – One-hit-wonder Right Said Fred is in the middle of three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m Too Sexy.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart.

History Highlights

1879 – President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana (Cuba) Harbor, killing more than 260 crewmen. The incident prompts the U.S. to declare war on Spain. 

1903 – The first teddy bear, named for U.S. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, goes on sale. Toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window after personally getting Roosevelt’s permission to name them after him.

1933 – Two weeks before his inauguration, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt is fired upon by a would-be assassin after giving a speech in Miami. FDR is unharmed, but a bullet strikes Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who dies three weeks later.

1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. 

1978 – Leon Spinks takes the heavyweight boxing champion title away from defending champ Muhammad Ali in a split decision in Las Vegas. 

1985 – “The Breakfast Club” opens in U.S. theaters. Directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy — members of the so-called “Brat Pack” — it becomes an ’80s movie classic. In 2016, the film is selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

1998 – Racing great Dale Earnhardt, Sr. wins his first Daytona 500, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) season opener and an event dubbed the “Super Bowl of stock car racing.”

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Help!

The Beatles

Love Songs

Nat King Cole

One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, And The Myth Of The Heavyweight Title

John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro

The Breakfast Club

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol's Crack Ups

Carol Burnett

The Simpsons: Season 1

Starring Albert Brooks and Maggie Roswell, and directed by Brad Bird and David Silverman

On This Day January 16

Musical Milestones

1938 – Acclaimed clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman (a.k.a. “The King of Swing”) makes history when he takes the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall. It not only marks the first time jazz is played in the hallowed music venue, but the first time a racially integrated ensemble performs.

1965 – The Supremes have a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Come See About Me.”

1971 – George Harrison marks his fourth and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “My Sweet Lord.”

1979 – Cher’s divorce from Gregg Allman is finalized.

1988 – Twenty-four years after The Beatles first rule the singles chart, “Got My Mind Set On You” by George Harrison is No. 1. The track was originally recorded by R&B singer James Ray in 1962.

1988 – After huge success as half of the pop duo Wham! during the early to mid-80s, George Michael claims the top spot on the Billboard album chart with his debut solo album, “Faith.” The production packs several major hits, including the title track, “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey.”

1993 – “I Will Always Love You,” by Whitney Houston, is in the middle of a 14-week domination of the Billboard singles chart.

1999 – Brandy’s “Have You Ever?” tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks. 

2004 – King of Pop, Michael Jackson, pleads not guilty to child molestation charges, as fans, reporters and TV crews from around the world swarm outside the California courthouse. The judge admonishes Jackson for arriving late.

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Benny Goodman: The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

Benny Goodman

The Best Of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

The Supremes

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Daniel Okrent

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

Robert Matzen

Merman...Her Greatest!

Ethel Merman

Halloween

Starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, and directed by John Carpenter

On This Day January 14

History Highlights

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

The Supremes

Mark Ribowsky

From Yesterday to TODAY: Six Decades of America's Favorite Morning Show

Stephen Battaglio

Marilyn Monroe & Joe DiMaggio - Love In Japan, Korea & Beyond

Jennifer Jean Miller

Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit

Andy Rooney

Network

Starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden  and Peter Finch, and directed by Sidney Lumet

On This Day December 26

History Highlights

1898 – In a landmark moment for chemistry and physics, French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie publish a paper announcing their discovery of the element of radium (Ra). The groundbreaking discovery later garners the husband and wife team the Nobel Prize.

1946 – Mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opens the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, aiming to establish a stylish and cosmopolitan gambling destination in the Nevada desert. Siegel closes the resort just two weeks later due to lackluster business, and the following June, he is killed in a mob hit. After undergoing multiple ownership changes through the years, the Flamingo is still in operation as the oldest casino on the Vegas Strip.

1966 – Kwanzaa is observed for the first time. The seven-day holiday with strong African roots was designed by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach, as a celebration of African American family, community and culture.

1972 – Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. president, dies in Independence, Missouri at the age of 88.

1973 – “The Exorcist” opens in movie theaters across the U.S., terrifying audiences and establishing a new standard for the horror genre. Based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning movie is about a girl, played by Linda Blair, that is possessed by an evil spirit.

1974 – Cancer claims the life of beloved comedian Jack Benny at the age of 80.

1982 – TIME magazine breaks from tradition when the magazine’s editors replace the annual “Man of the Year” cover story with “Machine of the Year” and profile the personal computer.

1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s Boulder, Colorado home. Her murder becomes the focus one of most intensive and publicized police investigations in U.S. history and remains unsolved to this day.

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All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Super Fly

Curtis Mayfield

Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Holiday Tradition

Keith A. Mayes

The Exorcist

Starring Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Ellen Burstyn, and directed by William Friedkin

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

Mick Brown

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

David Sedaris

On This Day November 21

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Come On, Get Happy! The Very Best of The Partridge Family

The Partridge Family

A Night at the Opera

Queen

The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Gay Talese

Dallas (Classic Series), Seasons 1 & 2

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

It Ain't Over . . . Till It's Over

Marlo Thomas

Caddyshack

Starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and Ted Knight, and directed by Harold Ramis

On This Day November 5

History Highlights

1912 – Democrat Woodrow Wilson is elected the 28th president of the United States in a landslide victory, defeating Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt. It is the only presidential election in American history in which two former presidents were defeated by another candidate.

1940 –  Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt is re-elected for an unprecedented third term as president of the United States. He is re-elected again in 1944, which paves the way for ratification of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1951, limiting all future presidents to two elected terms.

1968 – Republican Richard Nixon wins the presidential election, defeating Vice President Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest political races in U.S. history.

1968 – New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She serves for 14 years.

1994 – Forty-five-year-old George Foreman knocks out 26-year-old Michael Moorer to become the oldest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas watch Foreman dethrone Moorer, who entered the fight with a 35-0 record.

2007 – A writers strike in New York and Los Angeles interrupts the production of more than 60 television shows and results in the loss of an estimated $3 billion to the LA economy alone. The walkout, by members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), lasts more than three months.

2009 – Thirteen people are killed and more than 30 others are wounded, nearly all of them unarmed soldiers, when a U.S. Army officer goes on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in central Texas. The deadly assault, carried out by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, becomes the worst mass murder at a U.S. military installation.

Celebrity Birthdays

1911 – American singer, cowboy and actor Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye and known as the “King of the Cowboys” (d. 1998)

1913 – Actress Vivian Leigh (“Gone With the Wind,” “A Streetcar Named Desire”) (d. 1967)

1931 – R&B singer-songwriter Ike Turner who had a string of hits with then-wife Tina Turner (d. 2007)

1940 – Golden Globe-winning actress Elke Sommer (“The Prize,” “A Shot in the Dark,” “The Art of Love,” “The Oscar,” “Boy, Did I Get the Wrong Number”)

1941 – Singer-songwriter Art Garfunkel, formerly of the Grammy-winning rock-folk duo Simon & Garfunkel

1943 – Pulitzer Prize-winning actor and playwright Sam Shepard (“Days of Heaven,” “Paris, Texas,” “The Right Stuff,” “Country,” “Steel Magnolias”) (d. 2017)

1947 – Peter Noone, born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone, frontman for the 1960s British pop group Herman’s Hermits

1959 – Grammy-winning rock singer-songwriter Bryan Adams (“Cuts Like a Knife,” “Summer of ’69,” “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”)

1960 – Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton (“Edward II,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Michael Clayton,” “Burn After Reading,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Doctor Strange”)

1963 – Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal (“Paper Moon,” “The Bad News Bears,” “Nickelodeon,” “Little Darlings”)

1968 – Actor Sam Rockwell (“The Green Mile,” “Galaxy Quest” “Iron Man 2,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “A Single Shot”)

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits

The Beach Boys

Unbought and Unbossed

Shirley Chisholm

God In My Corner: A Spiritual Memoir

George Foreman

Gone With The Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, and directed by Victor Fleming

Michael Clayton

Starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton, and directed by Tony Gilroy

On this Day May 1

History Highlights

1931 – President Herbert Hoover dedicates New York City’s iconic 102-story Empire State Building by symbolically pressing a button in Washington, D.C. that illuminates what is then the world’s tallest building. The art deco skyscraper, standing 1,250 feet tall, was built in just over a year at a cost of $41 million.

1941 – “Citizen Kane” opens in New York, and through the decades, is hailed as one of the greatest movies ever made. Written and directed by 26-year-old filmmaker Orson Welles (also the star), it chronicles the life of a newspaper magnate considered to be real-life publishing baron William Randolph Hearst. 

1958 – President Dwight Eisenhower proclaims Law Day to honor the role of law in the establishment of the United States of America. In 1961, Congress follows suit by passing a joint resolution establishing May 1 as Law Day.

1960 – An American U-2 spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union, prompting cancellation of a planned summit between U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev.

1963 – Jim Whittaker of Washington State becomes the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain.

1971 – The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) introduces passenger rail service in the U.S. with 184 trains a day. The first train, the Clocker, rolls out of New York’s Penn Station bound for Philadelphia just after midnight. AMTRAK was created through the Rail Passenger Act of 1970 to salvage the nation’s struggling passenger rail services.

1997 – After 18 years of Conservative rule, British voters give the Labour Party, a landslide victory in British parliamentary elections. In the poorest Conservative Party showing since 1832, Prime Minister John Major is rejected in favor of Tony Blair, who at age 43 becomes the youngest British prime minister in more than a century.

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Herman's Hermits: Their Greatest Hits

Herman’s Hermits

Confessions (Expanded Edition / clean)

Usher

Empire State Building: When New York Reached for the Skies

Elizabeth Mann

Citizen Kane

Starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten and Dorothy Comingore, and directed by Orson Welles

16 Most Requested Songs

Kate Smith

Face/Off

Starring John Travolta, Nicolas Cage and Joan Allen, and directed by John Woo