On This Day April 18

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1906 – A powerful earthquake destroys large sections of San Francisco and sparks fires that burn for days. The death toll exceeds 3,000. 

1923 – More than 74,000 fans attend opening day at the New York Yankees’ new home in the Bronx. Babe Ruth slams the door on the Boston Red Sox with a game-winning three-run homer and Yankee Stadium becomes known as “The House that Ruth Built.”

1955 – Legendary physicist Albert Einstein, who won the Nobel Prize for his General Theory of Relativity (E=mc2), dies at the age of 76.

1956 – American actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony that is dubbed the “Wedding of the Century.” The 26-year-old American beauty becomes Princess Grace of Monaco.

1983 – A suicide bomber crashes a truck into the front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, setting off a massive blast that kills 63 people.

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students take to the streets of Beijing to protest government policies and call for greater democracy. Similar demonstrations begin in other cities and universities across China. The movement culminates with the bloody Tiananmen Square Massacre that June.

2012 – Entertainment icon Dick Clark, best known for hosting “American Bandstand” — an influential music-and-dance show that aired nationally for more than three decades and helped bring rock and roll into the mainstream in the late 1950s — dies of a heart attack at 82. Affectionately called “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark also hosted ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” ringing in each new year from New York’s Times Square.

2014 – Sixteen Nepali mountaineering guides, most of them ethnic Sherpas, are killed by an avalanche on Mt. Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. It is the single deadliest accident in the history of the Himalayan peak that lies between Nepal and China.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1960 – The movie tune “Theme From a Summer Place, by Percy Faith, begins its ninth and final week on top of the pop chart. 

1964 – The Beatles enjoy their third consecutive No. 1 hit with “Can’t Buy Me Love,” which holds the top spot for five weeks.

1970 – The Beatles’ “Let It Be” begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single. It is the last single released by the Fab Four while still officially considered an active group. 

1984 – Michael Jackson undergoes surgery at an L.A. hospital for injuries sustained two months earlier when his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. 

1987 – “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael, tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks.

1992 – Def Leppard begins five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Adrenalize.” The album spawns three major hits, including “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad.”

1992 – Vanessa Williams kicks off her fifth and final week as a chart-topper with “Save the Best for Last.”

2009  – “Boom Boom Pow,” by The Black Eyed Peas, begins 12 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The song, from the band’s “The E.N.D.” album,” is nominated for a Best Dance Recording Grammy but wins for Best Short Form Music Video.

2012 –  An original and extremely rare 1963 mono copy of The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” album, signed by all four musicians, sells in an eBay auction for nearly $25,000. 

On This Day April 19

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1969 – The 5th Dimension have the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures).”

1975 – Elton John rules the pop chart with “Philadelphia Freedom.” The track is sometimes mistaken as a patriotic song about America, with the bicentennial approaching. It is actually a tribute to John’s close friend, tennis legend Billie Jean King, who, at the time, coached a tennis team called the Philadelphia Freedoms. 

1980 – For the first time ever, the top five artists on the country music chart are all female: Crystal Gayle is No. 1, with Dottie West, Debby Boone, Emmylou Harris and Tammy Wynette making up the rest of the top five. 

1980 – “Call Me” by Blondie claims the top spot on the singles chart and holds there for six weeks. The track is from the band’s “Autoamerican” album and is featured in the movie “American Gigolo,” starring Richard Gere.

1986 – “Kiss,” by Prince and The Revolution from the “Parade” album (the “Under the Cherry Moon” soundtrack) is the No. 1 single. Following Prince’s April 2016 death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 28, and jumped to No. 23 a week later.

1997 – Michael Jackson attends the unveiling of a wax statue of himself at the Grevin Museum of Wax in Paris. The King of Pop had provided one of his own outfits to dress the figure.

2008 – Mariah Carey begins her second and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “Touch My Body.”

On This Day March 21

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