On This Day February 29

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – Frank Sinatra cruises along the top of the Billboard album chart with “Come Fly With Me,” featuring the tracks “Isle of Capri,” “Autumn in New York,” “April in Paris,” “Blue Hawaii” and, of course, the title track, “Come Fly With Me.” The album holds the top spot for five weeks.

1964 – The Beatles are in the middle of a seven-week domination of the Billboard singles chart with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

1968 – The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album scores big at the 10th Grammy Awards, earning statuettes for Album of the Year (first rock LP to do so), Best Album Cover, Best Engineered Recording and Best Contemporary Album.

1980 – Buddy Holly’s distinctive eyeglasses and The Big Bopper’s watch turn up inside a file at the Mason City, Iowa police station. Both articles had been misplaced 21 years earlier after the plane crash that killed them and rocker Ritchie Valens.

1980 – At age 84, comedian George Burns becomes the oldest person with a hit on the Billboard Hot 100, as “I Wish I Was 18 Again” peaks at No.49. The last charting record Burns had before this was a spoken word comedy routine with his wife and partner Gracie Allen in 1933.

1992 – Mr. Big kicks off three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “To Be with You.”

2004 – Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris have the No. 1 single with “Yeah!” It remains on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks.

2012 – Singer and actor Davy Jones, who was part of the pop group The Monkees, dies of a heart attack at the age of 66.

On This Day April 17

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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 20

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On This Day March 13

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On This Day March 6

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo comes to a bloody end, capping off a pivotal moment in the Texas Revolution. Mexican forces successfully recapture the garrison after a 13-day siege, and nearly all of the roughly 200 Alamo defenders — including legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett — are killed.

1899 – Acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin, is trademarked by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer. Designed to relieve pain and fever, it becomes the most common drug found in household medicine cabinets.

1930 – Industrialist and inventor Clarence Birdseye brings the food industry into the modern era as he introduces consumers to pre-packaged, frozen foods — still available in supermarkets today.

1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a national “bank holiday,” closing all U.S. banks and freezing all financial transactions in an effort to salvage the faltering banking system during the Great Depression. The banks reopen a week later with depositors standing in lines to return their hoarded cash.

1981 – An estimated 17 million American viewers watch as anchor Walter Cronkite says, “And that’s the way it is” for the final time as he signs off the “CBS Evening News.” Considered “the most trusted man in America,” Cronkite retires after more than 30 years in broadcasting and is succeeded by Dan Rather. 

1986 – Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist who gained worldwide fame for her austere minimalist paintings of the American southwest, dies in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the age of 98.

On This Day December 25

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1776 – General George Washington and 2,400 of his Continental Army troops cross the icy waters of the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey.

1914 – Gunfire is replaced with the sounds of Christmas carols as German troops serving in World War I lay down their weapons and break into song on Christmas morning. Russian, French and British troops do the same and even shake hands and exchange cigarettes with enemy soldiers along the eastern and western fronts during the Christmas Truce of 1914. 

1962 – “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters, starring Gregory Peck, who wins a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as attorney Atticus Finch.

1973 – “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a pair of 1930s grifters, premieres.

1977 – British director, producer and comedic actor Charlie Chaplin, an icon of the silent film era, dies at the age of 88.

1989 – Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, are executed following a popular uprising.

1989 – Former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin dies in a traffic accident at the age of 61.

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union just days after 11 of the former Soviet republics establish the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1996 – Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is killed in her Boulder, Colorado, home. Her parents call police the following morning to report their daughter missing and discover a ransom note demanding $118,000. The girl’s body is found in the basement that afternoon. The crime becomes a national sensation that remains unsolved today.

On This Day December 6

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On This Day November 4

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1922 – British archaeologist Howard Carter and his crew discover the entrance to King Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

1924 – Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming is elected as the first female governor in the United States, winning a special election to succeed her husband, who died just a year and 10 months into his term. Ross remains the only woman ever to have served as a Wyoming governor.

1939 – America’s first air-conditioned car goes on display at the 40th National Automobile Show in Chicago. The mechanical refrigeration unit of the 1940 Packard 180 prototype automatically switched to heating in winter and therefore was not called an air conditioner, but rather a “Weather Conditioner.” It was a $279 option that Packard stopped offering after 1942.

1948 – The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to T.S. Eliot “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

1952 – The National Security Agency (NSA) is established by order of President Harry Truman to coordinate communications intelligence work across the entire federal government.

1979 – An angry mob of young Islamic revolutionaries storms the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran and takes 90 Americans hostage. Two weeks later, about half are released. The remaining hostages are held captive for the next 14 months in what is known as the Iran Hostage Crisis.

1990 – “Dances With Wolves,” starring Kevin Costner as an American Civil War-era soldier who forms a bond with a tribe of Sioux Indians, premieres in Los Angeles. The movie, which also marks Costner’s directorial debut, goes on to capture seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and proves the Western genre is not dead.

1995 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated. The 73-year-old leader was walking to his car following a peace rally in Tel Aviv when he was shot by a 27-year-old Israeli extremist who is arrested at the scene of the shooting, and later confesses to the crime.

2008 – Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) defeats Senator John McCain (R- Arizona) to become the 44th U.S. president and the first African American elected to the White House. 

On This Day October 28

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