On This Day April 16

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On This Day April 24

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History Highlights
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.

On This Day April 29

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History Highlights
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 disparities and police brutality — a debate still raging 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.

Musical Milestones
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.”

On This Day April 13

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1957 – Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up” tops what Billboard then called the Best Sellers in Stores chart — later becoming the Hot 100. The single remains at No. 1 for eight weeks.

1958 – A 13-year-old British boy named Laurie London turns an American gospel song into commercial success, as “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” begins four weeks on top of the U.S. singles chart. However, it is to be London’s only hit and charting single. So, it can be said that in the pre-Beatles era, this was the most successful record by a British male singer in the U.S.

1964 – The Beatles shoot chase scenes for “A Hard Day’s Night” with actors dressed as policemen in the Notting Hill Gate area of London. That evening, the Fab Four record the movie’s title track at Abbey Road Studios.  

1968 – Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey” begins a five-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1974 – “Bennie and the Jets,” from Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album, kicks off a week on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1985 – The charity single “We Are the World,” featuring dozens of famous pop artists collaborating for African famine relief, begins four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2000 – Metallica files a copyright infringement lawsuit against the online music file sharing company Napster for allowing the illegal swapping of the band’s music. The case is the first in an ongoing love-hate relationship between the music industry and the Internet.

On This Day March 31

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1943 – Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” premieres on Broadway. In 1955, the musical is produced as a motion picture starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (in her film debut).

1958 – Chess Records releases “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song climbs as high as No. 8 on the pop chart and goes on to become a rock and roll classic.

1962 – Connie Francis claims the top spot on the pop chart for a week with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You”

1967 – Jimi Hendrix suffers minor burns to his hands when he sets his guitar on fire during a performance at Finsbury Park in London. Nevertheless, he goes on to torch guitars several times during his short career.

1973 – Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” returns to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week after The O’Jays interrupted her for a week with their hit, “Love Train.”

1979 – “Tragedy,” by the Bee Gees, dominates the singles chart for a second and final week.

1984 – Kenny Loggins kicks off a three-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “Footloose,” from the movie of the same name.

1987 – Prince releases his ninth studio album, “Sign o’ the Times,” which spawns three Top 10 hit singles: “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “U Got the Look,” (with Sheena Easton) and the title track. 

1995 – Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known as the “Mexican Madonna,” is shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. Selena was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy, in the Best Mexican-American album category, for her 1993 album “Selena Live!” At the time of her murder, at age 23, Selena was on the brink of international fame, recording her first English language album.

2007 – “Glamorous,” by Fergie featuring Ludacris, enters its second and final week as the No. 1 single.

On This Day March 26

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On This Day April 1

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1582 – This date marks the first known celebration of April Fool’s Day, also known in some circles as All Fools’ Day. In 1700, English pranksters begin to popularize the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on one other.

1918 – Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) is founded through a merger of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). It takes its place beside the British navy and army as a separate military branch with its own ministry.

1946 – An undersea earthquake off the coast of Alaska triggers a massive tsunami that kills 159 people in Hawaii.

1963 – Two daytime dramas with a medical theme are launched by competing networks. ABC’s longest-running soap, “General Hospital,” premieres as the brainchild of the husband and wife writing team of Frank and Doris Hursley. And NBC broadcasts the first episode of “The Doctors,” which enjoys a nearly 30-year run until the network pulls the plug in 1982.

1970 – President Richard Nixon signs legislation banning cigarette commercials on radio and TV. The ban takes effect in January 1971. However, Big Tobacco soon realizes that the move would free funds to advertise in other media.

1972 – The first strike in Major League Baseball (MLB) history is triggered by the expiration of the league’s three-year pension agreement. The strike lasts 12 days and causes the cancellation of 86 games, throwing the season into flux.

1976 – Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne form Apple Computer, That July, they begin to sell the Apple I personal computer kits that were hand-built by Wozniak. Apple is incorporated in January 1977, but without Wayne, who sells his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1966 – The Troggs record “Wild Thing” at Regent Sound Studio in London. The track, recorded in one complete take (Take 2), climbs to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 that July and holds there for two weeks.

1972 – The band America gallops to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with “A Horse with No Name,” the single that gave us such unique lyrics as “the heat was hot” and “there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.”

1978 – The Bee Gees hold at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Night Fever.”

1984 – One day before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye — considered one of Motown’s renaissance men — is fatally shot by his father after a violent argument. Gaye’s biggest hits include “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” “What’s Going On,” “Let’s Get It On” and “Sexual Healing.”

1989 – “Eternal Flame,” by The Bangles, is the No. 1 single. The track, off the girl group’s “Everything” album, also goes on to reach No. 1 on pop charts in eight other countries, including Australia and the U.K.

1995 – With the release of “Me Against the World,” Tupac Shakur becomes the first male solo artist to have a No. 1 album on the Billboard chart while in prison. The album goes on to become a hip-hop classic.

2000 – “Say My Name,’ by Destiny’s Child featuring  Beyoncé, begins its third and final week as a No. 1 single. 

2006 – Sean Paul grabs the top spot on the singles chart for a week with “Temperature.”

On This Day March 8

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History Highlights
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.

1973 – Terrorists affiliated with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) set off two powerful car bombs in London, killing one person and injuring 243 others. Most of the suspects are arrested trying to leave Heathrow Airport. The blasts cause chaos not seen since World War II.

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.

On This Day January 30

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On This Day January 24

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