On This Day April 26

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The Wall

Pink Floyd

Parade: Music from the Motion Picture "Under the Cherry Moon"

Prince

Polio: An American Story

David M. Oshinsky

Love, Lucy

Lucille Ball

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection

Carol Burnett

Do The Right Thing

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

On This Day April 7

History Highlights

1776 – U.S. Navy Captain John Barry, commander of the warship Lexington, achieves the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he seizes the British warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture of the Edward and its cargo turns Barry into a national hero and boosts the morale of the Continental forces.

1948 – The United Nations establishes the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote “the highest possible level of health” around the globe. A major cornerstone of WHO is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. World Health Day is observed internationally every April 7.

1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower coins one of the most famous Cold War phrases when he suggests the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a “domino effect” in Southeast Asia. The so-called “domino theory” guided U.S. strategy toward Vietnam for the next decade.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy lobbies Congress to fund the preservation of historic monuments in Egypt’s Nile Valley threatened by construction of the Aswan High Dam.

1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material (Stanley v. Georgia). 

1970 – At the 42nd annual Academy Awards, screen legend John Wayne ropes his first and only Oscar: Best Actor for his role in the Western “True Grit.”

1978 – President Jimmy Carter cancels planned production of the neutron bomb.

1994 – Violence in Rwanda fuels the launch of what becomes the worst episode of genocide since World War II: the massacre of an estimated 500,000 to 1 million innocent civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

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The Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track

Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon

Make It Big

Wham!

John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail

Tim McGrath

True Grit

Starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby, and directed by Henry Hathaway

The Essential Billie Holiday: The Columbia Years

Billie Holiday

A Beautiful Mind

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris, and directed by Ron Howard

On This Day January 20

Musical Milestones

1964 – The British Invasion is on as Capitol Records releases “Meet the Beatles!,” the band’s second album in the U.S.

1965 – American disc jockey Alan Freed is 43 years old when he dies from cirrhosis brought on by alcoholism. Freed, a 1986 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is credited with coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll.” His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that shook up the American broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.

1968 – “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses),” a parody of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” puts John Fred and his Playboy Band at No. 1 on the singles chart for two weeks. 

1971 – “What’s Going On,” by Marvin Gaye, is released and introduces fans to a different, more personal side of the Motown star in this anthem about social injustice. The song spends five weeks on top of the Hot Soul Singles chart before crossing over to the Billboard Hot 100, where it climbs to No. 2.

1973 – Carly Simon begins her third and final week on top of the singles chart with “You’re So Vain.” After years of speculation, Simon eventually admits that the song refers to actor Warren Beatty.

1988 – Mick Jagger presides as The Beatles are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Paul McCartney decides not to attend, issuing a statement citing ongoing business differences among The Beatles.

1990 – Michael Bolton rules the Billboard Hot 100 with “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.” The single holds the No. 1 spot for three weeks.

1996 – The Mariah Carey-Boyz II Men collaboration, “One Sweet Day,” is midway through a 16-week ride on top of the Billboard singles chart –the longest-running No. 1 song in the chart’s history at that time.

2007 – “Irreplaceable,” Beyoncé, is in its sixth week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track remains there for another four weeks and clinches a Record of the Year Grammy nomination.

History Highlights

1841 – During the First Opium War, China cedes the island of Hong Kong to the British with the signing of the Chuenpi Convention — an agreement seeking an end to the first Anglo-Chinese conflict.

1937 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as U.S. president for the second time. His first inauguration, in 1933, was held in March, but the 20th Amendment, passed later that year, made January 20 the official inauguration date for all future presidents. 

1961 – President John F. Kennedy is sworn into office and delivers his inaugural address outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The speech concludes with his now-famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” 

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter calls for the 1980 Summer Olympics to be moved from the planned host city, Moscow, or canceled altogether if the Soviet Union fails to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan within a month.

1981 – Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th U.S. president, 52 American captives held at the American embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis. 

1984 – Hungarian-born Olympic gold medal swimmer and actor Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan in the movies, dies at the age of 79. 

1993 – Actress, fashion icon and philanthropist Audrey Hepburn (“Roman Holiday,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “My Fair Lady”) dies of colon cancer at the age of 63. Hepburn remains among just a handful of performers who have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards.

2009 – On a freezing day in Washington, D.C., Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th U.S. president. The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, Obama was the first African-American to win election to the nation’s highest office.

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Meet The Beatles (The U.S. Album)

The Beatles

Anthology: The Best Of Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam

Mark Bowden

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Starring Audrey HepburnGeorge PeppardPatricia Neal, and directed by Blake Edwards

I Love Her, That's Why!

George Burns

Twin Peaks: The Definitive Gold Boxed Edition (Complete Series)

Starring Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Ontkean and directed by David Lynch

On This Day December 12

History Highlights

1901 – Guglielmo Marconi successfully sends the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.

1917 – In Omaha, Nebraska, Irish priest, Father Edward J. Flanagan, opens the doors to Boys Town, a home for troubled and neglected children that continues to provide this service today.

1967 – “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a groundbreaking movie about an interracial romantic relationship, starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, opens in theaters. It is the ninth movie to pair Hepburn with Tracy, who died less than three weeks after filming ended.

1972 – The world turns upside down for cruise ship passengers when the epic disaster film “The Poseidon Adventure” opens, featuring a veritable Hollywood ‘Who’s Who’ of a cast, including Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons, Roddy Mcdowall, Carol Lynley and Jack Albertson.

1980 – American oil tycoon Armand Hammer pays $5.1 million at auction for a notebook containing writings by artist-inventor Leonardo da Vinci. The manuscript, written around 1508, is among over two dozen books da Vinci produced during his lifetime.

1989 – The so-called “Queen of Mean,” hotel operator and real estate developer Leona Helmsley, who once quipped that “only the little people pay taxes,” receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service and a $7.1 million fine for tax fraud.

2000 – General Motors (GM) announces that it will begin to phase out its Oldsmobile line of cars, the oldest automotive brand in the United States. The last Olds rolls off an assembly line about four years later.

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The Best Of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: The Millennium Collection

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Faith (Remastered)

George Michael

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and directed by Stanley Kramer

The Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Red Buttons, and directed by Ronald Neame

Double Indemnity

Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson, and directed by Billy Wilder

Sinatra: Best Of The Best

Frank Sinatra

On this Day July 26

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At San Quentin

Johnny Cash

So

Peter Gabriel

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Enemies: A History of the FBI

Tim Weiner

Spartacus

Starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis and Jean Simmons, and directed by Stanley Kubrick

The Blind Side

Starring Sandra BullockTim McGraw and Quinton Aaron, and directed by John Lee Hancock

On this Day June 25

History Highlights

1876 – Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River. The conflict becomes known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

1942 – General Dwight D. Eisenhower (a.k.a. “Ike”), who would later become 34th U.S. president, assumes command of all U.S. troops in the European theater during World War II. In 1943, Ike is appointed supreme Allied commander of all forces in Europe.

1950 – Armed forces from communist North Korea invade South Korea, setting off the Korean War. The United States, acting under the auspices of the United Nations, quickly springs to the defense of South Korea and fights a bloody and frustrating war for the next three years.

1962 – In the case of Engel v. Vitale, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that prayers read aloud in public schools violate the separation of church and state stipulated by the First Amendment.

1968 – Congress passes the Flag Desecration Law, making it a crime to burn or otherwise desecrate the American flag. However, in 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down flag desecration laws in 48 states in its 5-4 Texas v. Johnson ruling, stating that flag desecration is a constitutionally protected form of free speech.

1993 – Kim Campbell is sworn in as Canada’s 19th prime minister, becoming the first woman to hold the country’s highest office.

2009 – Actress Farrah Fawcett — best known for TV and movie roles in “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Cannonball Run” and “The Burning Bed,” and who rocketed to pin-up status when a 1976 poster of her in a red bathing suit sold 12 million copies — dies at 62 following a three-year battle with anal cancer.

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The Hollies Greatest Hits

The Hollies

Purple Rain

Prince

Eisenhower in War and Peace

Jean Edward Smith

The Religious Roots of the First Amendment

Nicholas P. Miller

Antonio Gaudi: Master Architect

Juan Bassegoda Nonell

Network

Starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden and Peter Finch, and directed by Sidney Lumet