On This Day February 6

History Highlights

1917 – Three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson severs diplomatic relations with Germany and warns that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted, a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.

1933 – The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing the beginning and ending of the terms of elected federal offices, takes effect. 

1937 – John Steinbeck’s novella, “Of Mice and Men,” the story of the bond between two migrant workers during the Great Depression, is published. Eight months later, the stage adaptation opens in New York and earns Steinbeck the New York Drama Critics’ Circle’s Best Play Award in 1938.

1952 – Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen of England when her father, King George VI, dies following a long illness. But it takes the 25-year-old Elizabeth more than a day to learn of her new royal status. She was on safari at the time, inside a Kenyan tree hut watching a herd of elephants gather at a watering hole.

1978 – One of the worst Nor’easters in New England history pounds the region for more than 30 hours, with wind gusts exceeding 100 mph and snowfall of four inches an hour. High tides cause damaging coastal flooding, while inland, thousands of cars are stranded in snow drifts. Remembered as “The Blizzard of ’78,” the monster storm leaves about 100 people dead and 4,500 others injured.

1993 – Tennis champion Arthur Ashe, the only African-American man to win Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens, dies of complications from AIDS, at age 49 in New York City.

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The Very Best Of The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody

The Righteous Brothers

Tony Orlando & Dawn: The Definitive Collection

Tony Orlando & Dawn

Understanding Legislative Term Limits

Edward Sternisha, J.D.

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

An American Life: The Autobiography

Ronald Reagan

The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth

Leigh Montville

On this Day August 30

History Highlights

1918 – Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin is shot twice by a member of the Social Revolutionary party. but survives the attack. The attempted assassination triggers a wave of reprisals by Bolsheviks against the Social Revolutionaries and other political opponents. Thousands are executed as Russia falls deeper into civil war.

1963 – A “hotline” linking Moscow and Washington, D.C. is activated to provide instant communication between the Superpowers in case nuclear weapons are accidentally launched. The system consists of a cable with a device resembling a large typewriter on either end.

1965 – New York Mets Manager Casey Stengel announces his retirement, ending a 56-year career in professional baseball.

1967 –  The U.S. Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as the first African American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In nominating Marshall to the nation’s highest court, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “It was the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place.” Marshall serves 24 years on the high court before retiring in 1991.

1976 – Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of NBC’s “Today” show. where he remains for six years. He leaves in 1982 to co-anchor “NBC Nightly News” with Roger Mudd, taking over as sole anchor in 1983 and remaining in that post until 2004.

1983 – U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Guion “Guy” Bluford becomes the first African American to travel into space when the space shuttle Challenger lifts off on its third mission. In 2010, Bluford is inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

2003 – Actor Charles Bronson, best known for his tough-guy roles in movies like “The Dirty Dozen” and the “Death Wish” franchise, dies at the age of 81 in Los Angeles.

Celebrity Birthdays

1898 – Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actress Shirley Booth (“Come Back, Little Sheba,” “Hazel,” “The Glass Menagerie”) (d. 1992)

1908 – Actor Fred MacMurray (“Double Indemnity,” “My Three Sons”) (d. 1991)

1918 – Baseball legend Ted Williams (d. 2002)

1924 – Fashion designer Geoffrey Beene (d. 2004)

1927 – Actor Bill Daily (“I Dream of Jeannie,” “The Bob Newhart Show”) (d. 2018)

1930 – Investment guru and philanthropist Warren Buffett, a.k.a. “The Oracle of Omaha”

1939 – Tony-winning actress Elizabeth Ashley (“Take Her, She’s Mine,” “The Carpetbaggers,” “Evening Shade”)

1946 – Actress Peggy Lipton (“The Mod Squad,” “Twin Peaks,” “The Postman”) (d. 2019)

1948 – Grammy-winning comedian Lewis Black (“The Daily Show,” “Black on Broadway,” “Red, White, and Screwed,” “The Carnegie Hall Performance”)

1954 – Actor David Paymer (“Mr. Saturday Night,” “Quiz Show,” “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “City Slickers,” “Crazy People,” “Get Shorty,” “The American President,” “Ocean’s Thirteen,” “Drag Me to Hell”)

1963 – Actor Michael Chiklis (“The Commish,” “The Shield,” “Fantastic Four,” “Vegas,” “American Horror Story”)

1966 – Actress Michael Michele (“ER,” “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Ali,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”)

1972 – Actress Cameron Diaz (“The Mask,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Being John Malkovich,” the “Charlie’s Angels” movies, the animated “Shrek” movies,” “Vanilla Sky,” “The Other Woman,” “Sex Tape,” “Annie”)

1982 – Tennis great Andy Roddick

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Best Of KC and The Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine Band

Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross

Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary

Juan Williams

A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope

Tom Brokaw

Quiz Show

Starring John TurturroRob MorrowRalph Fiennes, and directed by Robert Redford

Charlie's Angels

Starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, and directed by McG

On this Day August 15

Musical Milestones

1960 – Elvis Presley is king of the pop chart with “It’s Now or Never.” The song remains at No. 1 for five weeks. 

1965 – More than 56,000 Beatles fans pack New York’s Shea Stadium for a concert introduced by TV host Ed Sullivan. The event serves as the kickoff of the Fab Four’s second U.S. tour.

1969 – Half a million hippies, flower children and 60s counter-culture zealots converge on a farm in Bethel, New York for what is billed as “three days of peace and music.” Decades later, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair is still considered the definitive concert event.

1970 – The Carpenters’ breakthrough hit, “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” marks its fourth and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track garners the sibling duo the first of three career Grammys.

1981 – Diana Ross and Lionel Richie kick off nine weeks on top of the pop chart with “Endless Love,” the theme from the movie of the same name. The track receives a Best Original Song Oscar nomination for Richie.

1992 – “End of the Road,” by Boyz II Men, is a Billboard No. 1, and holds the top spot for a then-record-breaking 13 weeks. The song goes on to capture two Grammys at the 1993 Grammy Awards.

1998 – Brandy and Monica have a lock on the No. 1 slot on the pop chart with “The Boy Is Mine.”

2015 – Omi wraps up four consecutive weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Cheerleader.” The track returns to No. 1 two weeks later and remains there for an additional two weeks.

Celebrity Birthdays

1769 – French military general/emperor Napolean Bonaparte (d. 1821)

1912 – TV chef and cookbook author Julia Child (d. 2004)

1925 – Actor Mike Connors, most remembered for his role as a detective in the CBS series “Mannix” (d. 2017)

1925 – Grammy-winning jazz pianist-composer Oscar Peterson (d. 2007)

1944 – Journalist, author and former NBC News correspondent Linda Ellerbee 

1946 – Grammy-winning songwriter-composer Jimmy Webb, who penned some of the highest-charting singles of the 20th century, including “Up, Up and Away,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “The Worst That Could Happen,” “All I Know,” “MacArthur Park”

1968 – Actress Debra Messing, best known as Grace Adler in the sitcom “Will & Grace”

1972 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor-director-producer Ben Affleck (“Dazed and Confused,” “Chasing Amy,” “Good Will Hunting,”  “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Town,” “Argo,” “Gone Girl,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”)

1989 – Singer-actor Joe Jonas, who originally performed with the Jonas Brothers before forming the band DNCE (“See No More,” “Just in Love,” “Cake by the Ocean”)

1990 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence (“The Bill Engvall Show,” “Winter’s Bone,” “X-Men: First Class,” “The Hunger Games,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle,” “Joy”)

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The Beatles At Shea Stadium

Dave Schwensen

Woodstock: Music From the Original Soundtrack and More

Various artists

Never Met a Man I Didn't Like: The Life and Writings of Will Rogers

Will Rogers, Joseph Carter and Jim Rogers

Apocalypse Now

Starring Marlon BrandoMartin SheenRobert Duvall, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Good Will Hunting

Starring Ben AffleckMatt DamonRobin Williams, and directed by Gus Van Sant

Silver Linings Playbook

Starring Bradley CooperJennifer LawrenceRobert De Niro, and directed by David O. Russell