On This Day April 3

History Highlights

1860 – The Pony Express launches, with horse and rider relay teams simultaneously leaving St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California as part of a new effort to speed up U.S. mail delivery. 

1948 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Economic Recovery Act of 1948 — later known as the Marshall Plan — which would foster the recovery of war-torn Europe. 

1968 – Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey” — regularly voted as one of the greatest movies ever made, but whose philosophical meaning most fans cannot explain — opens in theaters around the U.S.

1968 – Another sci-fi classic opens at U.S. theaters. It’s “Planet of the Apes,” starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans. It’s the story about an astronaut crew that crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes rule and humans are oppressed and enslaved.

1974 – More than 140 tornadoes rip through 11 states within 16 hours. The “Super Tornado Outbreak” kills 330 people and injures more than 6,000 others.

1978 – At the 50th annual Academy Awards, Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” wins the Oscar for Best Picture, beating out George Lucas’ “Star Wars.”

1986 – IBM unveils its first laptop computer. The 5140 “Convertible” retails for $1,995 and weighs 13 pounds.

1996 –  FBI agents arrest accused Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski at his rural Montana cabin. Kaczynski was linked to 16 mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others during an 18-year period.

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The Definitive Collection

The Temptations

Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan

Elaine M. Hayes

The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War

Benn Steil

2001: A Space Odyssey

Starring Douglas Rain, Frank Miller and Keir Dullea, and directed by Stanley Kubrick

On The Waterfront

Starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by Elia Kazan

Trading Places

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and Denholm Elliott, and directed by John Landis

On This Day November 24

Musical Milestones

1950 – The musical comedy “Guys and Dolls” premieres on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre. Two years later, it spawns a film adaptation starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. 

1962 – The Four Seasons, featuring Frankie Valli, are in the second week of a five-week run as Billboard chart-toppers with “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

1966 – The Beatles gather in a studio for the first time since wrapping up their U.S. summer concert tour and spend the entire day recording John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

1972 – Don Kirshner’s “Rock Concert” TV show debuts, featuring Chuck Berry, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Alice Cooper.

1973 – Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” begins a week as the No. 1 single.

1979 – The Barbra Streisand-Donna Summer duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single.

1984 – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” by Wham!, rules the Billboard Hot 100.

1991 – Queen frontman Freddie Mercury dies of complications from AIDS exactly one day after publicly disclosing that he is HIV positive. He was 45 years old.

1997 – Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols is the defendant in an episode of TV’s “Judge Judy.” The case is a wrongful termination suit brought on by his former drummer, which Rotten wins.

2007 – Jay-Z climbs to the top of the Billboard album chart with “American Gangster,” his 10th chart-topping album. This ties the rapper to 2nd place with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums. Only The Beatles have had more, with 19. 

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Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear

Rich Podolsky

The Very Best of Freddie Mercury Solo: Lover Of Life, Singer Of Songs

Freddie Mercury

The Last Master Outlaw: How He Outfoxed the FBI Six Times But Not A Cold Case Team

Thomas J. Colbert and Tom Szollosi

The Last Days of Letterman

Scott Ryan

Scott Joplin Piano Rags

Joshua Rifkin

The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game

Oscar P. Robertson

On this Day July 1

History Highlights

1963 – The U.S. Postal Service introduces the five-digit Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code to make mail delivery more efficient. A cartoon character named Mr. ZIP is used to help market it.

1979 – After the boombox, music becomes even more portable as Sony rolls out the Walkman, originally called the “Sound-About.” It retails for $200.

1984 – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) institutes the PG-13 rating, strongly recommending parental guidance for moviegoers age 13 or younger. Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, is the first movie to receive that rating.

1991 – “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, premieres.

1992 – “A League of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell and directed by Penny Marshall, opens in theaters.

1997 – Actor Robert Mitchum, best remembered for his roles in such films as “The Story of G.I. Joe,” “Crossfire,” “Out of the Past,” “The Night of the Hunter” and “Cape Fear,” dies at 79.

1997 – At the stroke of midnight, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

2004 – Legendary actor and Oscar winner Marlon Brando, best remembered for performances in “On the Waterfront,” “The Godfather,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Viva Zapata!,” “Julius Caesar,” ““The Wild One,” “Last Tango in Paris,” and “Apocalypse Now,” dies at the age of 80.

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The Association: Greatest Hits

The Association

All-Time Greatest Hits

Neil Diamond

A League of Their Own

Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell, and directed by Penny Marshall

On The Waterfront

Starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by Elia Kazan

Ghostbusters

Starring Bill MurrayDan AykroydSigourney Weaver, and directed by Ivan Reitman

Diana: Story of a Princess

Tim Clayton and Phil Craig