On This Day April 29

Musical Milestones

1967 – Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy maintain their hold on No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart with “Somethin’ Stupid.” The duet remains a chart-topper for four weeks.

1969 – On his 70th birthday, jazz legend Duke Ellington receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Richard Nixon in the East Room of the White House. Nixon concludes the presentation by playing the piano and singing. 

1970 – George Harrison tells reporters that The Beatles will reunite eventually and announces plans for his first post-Beatles solo album.

1976 – Bruce Springsteen wraps up a concert performance in Memphis as part of his “Born to Run” tour and he and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt decide to pay their idol, Elvis Presley, a visit at his Graceland estate. Security guards escort Springsteen off the grounds after he jumps the gate and runs toward the front door. The King was not home at the time. 

1978 – Topping the singles chart for the seventh consecutive week: The Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

1989 – Madonna has the No. 1 single with “Like a Prayer,” from her album of the same name.

1993 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Barry White appears in the “Whacking Day” episode of the animated series “The Simpsons.” As White sings, Bart and Lisa place loudspeakers on the ground to lure snakes away from Springfield residents trying to kill them as part of Whacking Day tradition.

1995 – “This Is How We Do It,” by Montell Jordan, is in the midst of a seven-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100. 

2000 – “Maria Maria,” by Santana featuring The Product G&B, is in the middle of a 10-week domination of the singles chart.

2006 – Daniel Powter owns the top spot on the pop chart with “Bad Day.”

History Highlights

1854 – Originally established as The Ashmun Institute, Lincoln University receives its charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, becoming the first degree-granting college in the U.S. founded solely for African-American students.

1945 – U.S. military forces liberate the Dachau concentration camp in Nazi Germany.  More than 188,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Dachau between 1933 and 1945, and more than 28,000 died in the camp and its sub-camps.

1974 – President Richard Nixon announces that he will release edited transcripts of taped White House conversations in response to a subpoena in the Watergate scandal. The House Judiciary committee insists that he also turn over the tapes. 

1986 – Pitching for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Roger Clemens sets a Major League Baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1992 – Riots erupt across Los Angeles after four LAPD officers are acquitted in the beating of unarmed African American motorist Rodney King. Protesters in south-central L.A. block freeway traffic, wreck and loot shops and set more than 100 fires. The rioting continues for five days and sparks a national conversation about racial and economic disparities and police brutality — a debate still raging today.

2004 – The National World War II Memorial opens in Washington, D.C. It honors the 16 million people who served as part of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

2004 – General Motors’ last Oldsmobile rolls off a Lansing, Michigan assembly line, marking the end of America’s oldest automotive brand. The final model is an Alero GLS sedan, which factory workers signed under the hood.

2011 –  Great Britain’s Prince William marries his longtime girlfriend, Catherine “Kate” Middleton, at Westminster Abbey in London. An estimated two billion people around the world watch the ceremony on television.

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The Essential Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Sound Track)

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

Where the Birds Never Sing: The True Story of the 92nd Signal Battalion and the Liberation of Dachau

Jack Sacco

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Anna Deavere Smith

16 Biggest Hits

Willie Nelson

Hairspray

Starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken, and directed by Adam Shankman

On This Day April 4

History Highlights

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established by the U.S. and 11 other Western nations.

1960 – William Wyler’s Technicolor epic ,”Ben-Hur,” sets an Academy Awards record when it sweeps 11 of the 12 categories for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Charlton Heston).

1968 – A sniper shoots and kills civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 39, on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel. As word of the assassination spreads, riots erupt in cities across the U.S., and National Guard troops are deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. In 1991, the murder scene—the Lorraine Motel—is dedicated as part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

1969 – CBS cancels the most popular show on TV at the time, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” because the brothers failed to submit their script to network executives to review before broadcast. 

1973 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held in New York’s Lower Manhattan to dedicate the original World Trade Center. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC, or the North Tower, and 2 WTC, the South Tower, would provide nearly 10 million square feet of office space. Reaching more than a quarter of a mile into the sky, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period, the tallest buildings in the world. 

1975 – At a time when most Americans are using typewriters, childhood friends and self-proclaimed computer geeks Bill Gates and Paul Allen establish Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Four years later, they relocate the business to Washington State and grow it into a major multinational technology corporation.

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The Beatles 1962-1966 (The Red Album)

The Beatles

Bedtime Stories

Madonna

Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last 31 Hours

Joseph Rosenbloom

City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center

James Glanz and Eric Lipton

Iron Man

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges, and directed by Jon Favreau

The Dark Knight

Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger, and directed by Christopher Nolan

On This Day March 20

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Pearl

Janis Joplin

I Love Rock N' Roll

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Cold War Roadshow

Directed by Robert Stone and Tim B. Toidze

Selma 1965: The March That Changed The South

Charles Fager

Into the Wild

Starring Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt, and directed by Sean Penn

Do the Right Thing

Starring Ossie Davis, Danny Aiello and Giancarlo Esposito, and directed by Spike Lee

On This Day March 19

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Inside Graceland: Elvis' Maid Remembers

Nancy Rooks

A Star Is Born

Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson

A Preliminary to War: The 1st Aero Squadron and the Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916

Roger G. Miller

Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History

Gail Kinn and  Jim Piazza

Fatal Attraction

Starring Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer, and directed by Adrian Lyne

The Sixth Sense

Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan

On This Day January 13

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The Very Best Of Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker

At Folsom Prison (Legacy Edition)

Johnny Cash

Lee de Forest: King of Radio, Television, and Film

Mike Adams

Air Crash Investigations Death in the Potomac the Crash of Air Florida Flight 90

George Cramoisi

Grey's Anatomy: Season 1

Starring Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Starring Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, and directed by Gore Verbinski

On This Day January 4

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Elvis 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

The Best of Bobby Vinton

Bobby Vinton

Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society

John Andrew

The Nixon Tapes

Richard M. Nixon

In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003

R.E.M.

Sabrina

Starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear, and directed by Sydney Pollack

On This Day November 19

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The Best of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Private Dancer

Tina Turner

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Jack E. Levin

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher and William Redfield, and directed by Milos Forman

Sleepless In Seattle

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and directed by Nora Ephron

Contact

Starring Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey and James Woods, and directed by Robert Zemeckis

On This Day November 1

Musical Milestones

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Wonderwall Music

George Harrison

The River

Bruce Springsteen

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

Andrew Graham-Dixon

The Making of the Atomic Bomb

Richard Rhodes

My Baby Don't Tolerate

Lyle Lovett

The Sixth Sense

Starring Bruce Willis, Toni Collette and Olivia Williams, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan

On This Day October 8

History Highlights

1871 – One of the most disastrous forest fires in history leaves more than 1,200 dead in Wisconsin as flames scorch six counties.

1871 – The Great Chicago Fire breaks out, according to legend, when Catherine O’Leary’s cow kicks over a lantern in her barn on DeKoven Street. The blaze quickly spreads, leveling 3.5 miles, killing 250 people and leaving 100,000 homeless.

1919 – America’s first transcontinental air race begins, featuring 63 planes, piloted by U.S. Army aviators, competing in the round-trip aerial derby between California and New York. As 15 planes departed the Presidio in San Francisco, 48 planes left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York.

1956 – New York Yankees right-hander Don Larsen pitches the first no-hitter in World Series history. It’s a perfect game: no runs, no hits, no errors and no batter reaches first base.

1970 – Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Prize for literature. His first publication, “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” (1963), was widely read in both Russia and the West. Its harsh criticism of Stalinist repression provided a dramatic insight into the Soviet system.

2001 – The U.S. Office of Homeland Security is founded less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks. It is charged with preventing terror attacks, border security, immigration and customs, disaster relief and prevention and related tasks.

2014 –  The first person diagnosed with a case of Ebola in the U.S. dies in a Dallas, Texas hospital. Shortly before his death, the 42-year-old male patient, who lived in Liberia, had traveled to America from West Africa, which was in the throes of the largest outbreak of the often-fatal disease since its 1976 discovery.

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The Essential Jerry Lee Lewis / The Sun Sessions

Jerry Lee Lewis

The Stranger

Billy Joel

The Great Chicago Fire

John Boda and Ray Johnson

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Ghostbusters

Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver, and directed by Ivan Reitman

Saving Private Ryan

Starring Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon and Barry Pepper, and directed by Steven Spielberg