On This Day April 15

History Highlights

1865 – President Abraham Lincoln dies from the gunshot wound he sustained the night before while watching a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln’s death comes only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army, effectively ending the American Civil War.

1912 – More than 1,500 lives are lost in the early morning hours when the luxury liner Titanic sinks after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. 

1947 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American in baseball’s major leagues when he debuts with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This becomes a landmark event not only for the sport, but for the U.S. civil rights movement.

1955 – The golden arches rise in Des Plaines, Illinois with the opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant. Customers pay just 15 cents for a hamburger.

1959 – Four months after leading a successful revolution in Cuba, Fidel Castro begins an 11-day U.S. visit. It comes amid escalating tensions between his regime and the American government.

1997 – On the 50 anniversary of his first Major League Baseball game, the league retires Jackie Robinson’s number, 42. Robinson becomes the only player in MLB history to have his number retired across all teams, a sign of the reverence with which he is regarded decades after leading the charge to integrate the major leagues.

2013 – Two bombs go off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 others. Four days later, after an intense manhunt, authorities capture one of the bombing suspects, 19-year-old Dzhohkar Tsarnaev. His older brother and fellow suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dies following a shootout with police earlier that same day.

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Somethin' Stupid

Frank and Nancy Sinatra

Saturday Night Fever (Original Movie Soundtrack)

Bee Gees, Tavares, KC and the Sunshine Band, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining, and Style

Veronica Hinke

I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Sense and Sensibility

Starring Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, and directed by Ang Lee

50/50

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick, and directed by Jonathan Levine

On This Day January 31

History Highlights

1865 – The U.S. House of Representatives passes the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in America. The measure is ratified by the states that December.

1949 – The first daytime soap opera premieres on NBC. It’s called “These Are My Children” and it runs just 15 minutes in length, airing weekdays at 5 p.m.

1950 – President Harry S. Truman announces plans to develop the hydrogen bomb. Two-and-a-half years later, the U.S. tests its first H-bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific. It generates a blast a thousand times stronger than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in World War II.

1958 – The first American satellite, Explorer I, launches into space.

1968 – As part of the Tet Offensive, a squad of Viet Cong guerillas attacks the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

1971 – Apollo 14, piloted by astronauts Alan Shepard Jr., Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa, successfully launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a manned mission to the moon.

1988 – “The Wonder Years” premieres on prime time TV. The coming-of-age tale set in the 1960s and 70s, stars Fred Savage. The last episode airs in the fall of 1993.

1990 – Los Angeles prosecutors announce that they will retry teacher Raymond Buckey, who was accused of molesting children at the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California. The McMartin trials had already taken six years and cost more than $13.5 million without a single guilty verdict.

1990 – The first McDonald’s restaurant opens in Moscow.

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Jackson 5: The Ultimate Collection

Jackson 5

Autoamerican

Blondie

The Bomb

Rushmore Denooyer and Kirk Wolfinger

Earthrise: My Adventures as an Apollo 14 Astronaut

Edgar Mitchell

Jackie Robinson: A Biography

Arnold Rampersad

Good Will Hunting

Starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Minnie Driver, and directed by Gus Van Sant

On This Day October 5

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The Ultimate Bobby Darin

Bobby Darin

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Remastered)

Elton John

The Man Who Walked Around the World

David Kunst

Lech Walesa: The Road to Democracy

Rebecca Stefoff

Greatest Hits 1974-78 / Steve Miller Band

Steve Miller Band

L.A. Confidential

Starring Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger, and directed by Cuirtis Hanson

On This Day September 6

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Hot Rocks (1964-1971)

The Rolling Stones

Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix

Charles R. Cross

Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's

Ray Kroc

A Royal Duty

Paul Burrell

Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd

Do the Right Thing

Starring Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Rosie Perez and Spike Lee, who also directed

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