On this Day July 18

History Highlights

1936 – The Oscar Mayer company rolls out the first Wienermobile to market its hot dogs. The small, metal wiener-shaped shell on wheels — the brainchild of Oscar’s nephew, Carl Mayer — stretched 13 feet long and cruised the streets of Chicago with Carl behind the wheel. Over the years, modern, more spacious versions of the original Wienermobile began to criss-cross the U.S., and still do today.

1940 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, who first took office in 1933 as America’s 32nd president, is nominated at the Democratic National Convention for an unprecedented third term. Roosevelt is eventually elected to a record four terms in office, the only U.S. president to serve more than two terms.

1947 – General Dwight D. Eisenhower appoints Florence Blanchfield to be a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, making her the first woman in American history to hold permanent military rank.

1969 – Mary Jo Kopechne, the 28-year-old passenger in a car driven by Massachusetts Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy, is killed when the vehicle plunges off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard. The incident becomes a national scandal, referred to as “Chappaquiddick,” and is believed to have influenced Kennedy’s decision not to campaign for president in 1972 and 1976.

1976 – Fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci becomes the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 during the Summer Olympics in Montreal. 

1984 – James Oliver Huberty opens fire in a crowded McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 people and wounding 19 others with several automatic weapons.

1986 – New close-up videotaped footage of the sunken ocean liner Titanic is released to the public. It shows one of the ship’s majestic grand staircases and a coral-covered chandelier swinging slowly in the ocean current.

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Very Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Bette Davis Eyes

Kim Carnes

The Bridge at Chappaquiddick

Jack Olsen

Exploring the Titanic: How the Greatest Ship Ever Lost was Found

Robert D. Ballard

Conversations with Myself

Nelson Mandela

Boiler Room

Starring Giovanni RibisiVin DieselNia Long and Ben Affleck, and directed by Ben Younger

On this Day July 16

History Highlights

1790 – President George Washington signs into law the Residence Act, which grants him the authority to select a new site for a capital of the United States on the east bank of the Potomac River.

1935 – The intersection of First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is the site of the first parking meter in the U.S. — Park-O-Meter No. 1.

1945 – The nuclear age begins as the so-called “Trinity Test” is conducted. Part of the Manhattan Project, the world’s first successful test of an atomic bomb takes place during the early morning hours in the desert at Alamogordo, New Mexico. 

1951 – J. D. Salinger’s novel, “The Catcher in the Rye,” is published and becomes one of the best known works in American literature. To date, more than 65 million copies have been sold.

1969 – Apollo 11 roars from its launch pad at Cape Kennedy, Florida on the first manned mission to the moon. Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin set out to fulfill a national objective declared by President John F. Kennedy in May of 1961: perform a crewed lunar landing and return safely to Earth.

1999 – A single-engine plane piloted by publisher and presidential son John F. Kennedy, Jr. crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, killing Kennedy, 38, his wife Carolyn, 33, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, 34. Five days later, underwater divers discover all three bodies still strapped into their seats.

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The Essentials

Tommy James & the Shondells

My World: The Definitive Collection

Smokey Robinson

The Catcher in the Rye

J. D. Salinger

Apollo 11

A documentary featuring never-before-seen footage in its highest resolution, directed by Todd Douglas Miller

Stranger Than Fiction

Starring Will FerrellMaggie Gyllenhaal Dustin Hoffman, and directed by Marc Forster

Stand By Me

Starring Wil WheatonRiver Phoenix and Corey Feldman, and directed by Rob Reiner

On this Day June 30

History Highlights

1859 – Frenchman Jean Francois Gravelet, a.k.a.  The Great Blondin, or Charles Blondin, becomes the first daredevil to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Thousands of spectators line the American and Canadian sides of the falls to observe the feat, which he  performs along an 1,100-foot-long tightrope suspended 160 feet above the raging waters of Niagara Gorge.

1934 – In what comes to be known as the Night of the Long Knives, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler orders a bloody purge of his own political party, assassinating hundreds of Nazis whom he believed had the potential to become political enemies in the future.

1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Gone with the Wind,” one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for the blockbuster 1939 movie, is published.

1971 – “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” a movie musical-fantasy starring Gene Wilder, opens in theaters. It’s an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

1971 – Three Soviet cosmonauts who made up the crew of the world’s first space station are killed when their spacecraft, Soyuz 11, depressurizes during reentry to Earth’s atmosphere.

1974 – The July 4th scene from the movie “Jaws” is filmed on Martha’s Vineyard, with 400 screaming, panic-stricken extras in bathing suits running from the water multiple times until director Steven Spielberg gets the right take.

1993 – The legal thriller “The Firm,” directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Gene Hackman, opens in theaters. It’s based on the 1991 novel of the same name by John Grisham.

1995 – Director Ron Howard’s high-intensity drama “Apollo 13,” about NASA’s desperate efforts to bring the crew of Apollo 13 safely home after an explosion that denies them a moon landing, opens in U.S. theaters. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise, the movie receives nine Oscar nominations and wins for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

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The Very Best of Ray Charles

Ray Charles

Living In The Material World

George Harrison

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson and Peter Ostrum, and directed by Mel Stuart

Gone With the Wind

Margaret Mitchell

The Essential Lena Horne

Lena Horne

Undisputed Truth

Mike Tyson