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 December 27

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Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin

Double Fantasy

John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Saving Radio City Music Hall: A Dancer's True Story

Rosemary Novellino-Mearns

The Best of Howdy Doody

Starring Bob Keeshan and Bob Smith 

Roots: 30th Anniversary Edition Box Set

Starring LeVar Burton, Cicely Tyson and John Amos, and directed by David Greene and Marvin J. Chomsky

Green Card

Starring Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell, directed by Peter Weir

On This Day December 21

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Every Great Motown Hit Of Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

Born In The U.S.A.

Bruce Springsteen

Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8

Robert Zimmerman

The Longest Night: A Personal History of Pan Am 103

Helen Engelhardt

Pulp Fiction

Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

The Lost Boys

Starring Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz, Corey Haim and Kiefer Sutherland, and directed by Joel Schumacher

On This Day November 27

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Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles

Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf

American Experience: The Rise and Fall of Penn Station

PBS

Milk

Starring Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch and Josh Brolin, and directed by Gus Van Sant

Tao of Jeet Kune Do: New Expanded Edition

Bruce Lee

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World

Bill Nye

On This Day November 3

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Da Doo Ron Ron: The Very Best Of The Crystals

The Crystals

No More Drama

Mary J. Blige

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age

Matthew Brzezinski

The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1)

Robert A. Caro

One World Trade Center: Biography of the Building

Judith Dupré

The Great Escape

Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough, and directed by John Sturges

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Starring Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On This Day October 27

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The Very Best of Ben E. King

Ben E. King

Imagination

Gladys Knight & the Pips

Evolution of New York City Subways

Gene Sansone

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Neal Gabler

So, Anyway...

John Cleese

Greatest

Duran Duran

On this Day May 24

History Highlights

1775 – Meeting in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress unanimously elects John Hancock of Massachusetts as president. That is why Hancock has the honor of being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.

1883 – New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge opens, concluding a 14-year, $18 million construction project that cost more than two dozen workers their lives. The span links the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan across the East River.

1899 – The first public parking garage in the U.S. opens in Boston as part of the Back Bay Cycle & Motor Company. It is advertised as a “stable for renting, sale, storage and repair of motor vehicles.”

1935 – Major League Baseball’s first night game is played at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1.

1976 – Service aboard the Concorde supersonic (SST) airliner begins between London and Washington, D.C.

1991 – “Thelma & Louise,” starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis and directed by Ridley Scott, opens in U.S. movie theaters. The film earns six Academy Award nominations, including Best Director for Scott and Best Actress for both Sarandon and Davis, but wins for Best Original Screenplay. It introduces a young, unknown Brad Pitt and becomes a fixture of American pop culture with the two main characters representing strong women overcoming obstacles in a male-dominated world.

1991 – The firefighting drama “Backdraft,” starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Scott Glenn and Donald Sutherland, and directed by Ron Howard, opens in U.S. theaters. The film goes on to receive three Academy Award nominations.

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The Essential Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Greatest Hits

Earth Wind & Fire

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

David McCullough

Thelma & Louise

Starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, and directed by Ridley Scott

The Essential Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Guardians of the Galaxy

Starring Chris Pratt, Lee Pace, Zoe Saldana and John C. Reilly, and directed by James Gunn

On this Day May 16

History Highlights

1929 – A far cry from the pageantry of today’s Oscar ceremonies, about 270 guests attend a dinner at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where the first Academy Awards are handed out.

1960 – Two weeks after the Soviet downing of an American U-2 spy plane, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev lashes out at the U.S. and President Dwight D. Eisenhower at a Paris summit between the two heads of state. Khrushchev’s outburst angered Eisenhower and doomed any chances for successful talks or negotiations.

1965 – The Franco-American food company revolutionizes the way American kids eat when it introduces SpaghettiOs — canned pasta rings in tomato and cheese sauce. “The neat round spaghetti you can eat with a spoon…Uh-Oh! SpaghettiOs.”

1977 – A commuter helicopter accident on the roof of the Pan Am Building (now MetLife Building) in Manhattan leaves five people dead, eight others injured. Investigators blame the crash on “metal fatigue,” which caused the landing gear to fail. The helipad is never used again.

1988 – Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issues a report stating that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.

1996 – The final episode of “Murder, She Wrote,” starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher, airs on CBS, ending a successful 12-season run.

2014 – Broadcast journalist and TV personality Barbara Walters retires from ABC News and as co-host of the daytime program “The View.” The 84-year-old Walters blazed a trail for women in television news during a distinguished career spanning more than 50 years.

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The Best of The Guess Who

The Guess Who

The Joshua Tree

U2

The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter

Jeremy Arnold and Robert Osborne

Audition: A Memoir

Barbara Walters

The Grapes of Wrath

Starring Henry Fonda, Dorris Bowdon, Jane Darwell and Russell Simpson, and directed by John Ford

Urban Cowboy

Starring John Travolta, Debra Winger and Scott Glenn, and directed by James Bridges

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