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 September 8

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1900 – A hurricane packing winds in excess of 130 miles per hour and a 15-foot storm surge slams into Galveston, Texas, devastating the island. Between 6,000 and 8,000 people are killed, making the hurricane the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history up to that time. Ten thousand survivors are left homeless.

1921 – Sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C., is crowned the first Miss America at the end of a two-day pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

1966 – A television sci-fi phenom is born with the premiere of “Star Trek” on NBC. The series, consisting of 79 episodes over three seasons, stars William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, first officer and science officer aboard the starship USS Enterprise. In the decades since the original series ended, “Star Trek” has spawned spin-offs, movies and conventions.

1974 – President Gerald Ford attempts to give closure to the Watergate scandal by granting his predecessor, Richard Nixon, a pardon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. 

1974 – Daredevil Evel Knievel survives a failed bid to leap the mile-wide chasm of the Snake River Canyon (Idaho) on his rocket-powered motorcycle.

1986 – “The Oprah Winfrey Show” debuts as the first talk show hosted by an African American woman. 

1994 – US Air Flight 427 crashes on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport. All 132 people on board the Boeing 737 are killed. A lengthy investigation concludes that the cause was a faulty rudder.

On This Day September 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1813 – The United States gets its nickname, “Uncle Sam.” The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. Wilson stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to their rations as “Uncle Sam’s.”

1965 – Hurricane Betsy churns across extreme southern Florida en route to Louisiana where it kills 76 people and triggers widespread flooding. She’s the first hurricane to cause more than a billion dollars in damage, earning the nickname “Billion-Dollar Betsy.” 

1968 – Fifty women led by the New York Radical Women feminist group stages the first protest against the Miss America pageant. 

1977 – President Jimmy Carter signs a treaty granting Panama control over the Panama Canal beginning in the year 2000. The treaty ends an agreement signed in 1904 between then-President Theodore Roosevelt and Panama, which gave the U.S. the right to build the canal and a renewable lease to control five miles of land along either side of it.

1979 – The sports network ESPN debuts on cable TV. 

1980 – The 33rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony takes place, with statues going to the producers of “Taxi” and “Lou Grant” and performers Ed Asner and Barbara Bel Geddes — Asner for his starring role as newspaper editor Lou Grant, and Bel Geddes for her role as Miss Ellie, the Ewing family matriarch in the prime time soap “Dallas.” 

1986 – Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu becomes the first black man to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa. 

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1936 – Rock ‘n’ roll legend Buddy Holly is born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas. He produces a string of hits before his death at age 22 in a 1959 plane crash that also claims the lives of musical greats Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” (J.P. Richardson).

1968 – The Rascals claim the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “People Got to Be Free.

1974 – “(You’re) Having My Baby,” by Paul Anka and Odia Coates, wraps up three weeks on top of the singles chart.

1978 – Acclaimed drummer Keith Moon of the British rock band The Who dies of a drug overdose at the age of 32. 

1985 – The theme from the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire” (“Man In Motion”), by John Parr, is the No. 1 single. 

1994 – With TV host David Letterman as her escort, Madonna hands Aerosmith the Best Video award for “Cryin’” during the MTV Video Music Awards at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

2001 – Michael Jackson is reunited onstage with the Jackson Five at his 30th Anniversary Celebration in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

2002 – “Dilemma,” by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland, rules the Billboard Hot 100.

2003 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Warren Zevon (“Werewolves of London,” “Lawyers, Guns and Money”) dies of lung cancer at the age of 56. Ironically, Zevon earned the Grammys posthumously for his final album, “The Wind,” which was released just two weeks before his death.

2013 – “Blurred Lines,” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell, enters its 12th and final week as a Billboard chart-topper.