On This Day January 28

History Highlights

1915 – The American merchant ship William P. Frye becomes the first casualty of World War I as a German cruiser opens fire and sinks the vessel. Despite apologies from the German government, the attack sparks outrage in the U.S.

1922 – Ninety-eight guests are killed, 133 others are injured when the roof of Washington, D.C.’s Knickerbocker Theatre collapses under the weight of a heavy snowfall. The disaster ranks as one of Washington’s worst, and the “Knickerbocker Snowstorm,” as it is known, still holds the record for Washington’s single greatest snowfall.

1958 – The interlocking stud-and-tube plastic Lego brick is patented by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, whose father founded the Lego toy company (“Lego,” from the Danish term “leg godt,” meaning “play well”). Bricks manufactured today remain compatible with the original ones.

1964 – The State Department accuses the Soviet Union of shooting down an unarmed Air Force trainer jet over East Germany, killing its three occupants.

1986 – A nation watches in horror as Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51-L) explodes 73 seconds into flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe — who was to have been the first civilian in space — and fellow crew members Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnick, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair and Gregory Jarvis.

1997 – Four apartheid-era police officers, appearing before a tribunal in South Africa, admit to the 1977 killing of Stephen Biko, a leader of the South African “Black consciousness” movement.

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

We Are The World

U.S.A. For Africa

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

David Robertson and Bill Breen

Space Shuttle Disaster: The Tragic Mission of the Challenger

Henry M. Holden

M*A*S*H: The Complete Collection

Starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Harry Morgan, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit and others

The Green Mile

Starring Tom Hanks, David Morse and Bonnie Hunt, and directed by Frank Darabont

On This Day January 24

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A Cellarful of Noise

Brian Epstein and Martin Lewis

Hits Back

The Clash

Winston Churchill: A Life

John Keegan

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

Marty

Starring Ernest Borgnine, Esther Minciotti and Augusta Ciolli, and directed by Delbert Man

The Blues Brothers

Starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and John Candy, and directed by John Landis

On This Day December 2

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

The Definitive Collection

The Temptations

Blacklisted By History

M. Stanton Evans

Good Will Hunting

Starring Ben AffleckMatt DamonRobin Williams, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård, and directed by Gus Van Sant

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Starring Peter Coyote, Michael Lugenbuehl and Mark Salzberg, and directed by Alex Gibney

House of Versace

Deborah Ball

Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self

Monica Seles

On This Day November 25

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The Last Waltz

Starring The Band,  Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and other musicians, and directed by Martin Scorsese

The Bodyguard

Starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, and directed by Mick Jackson

Naming Names

Victor S. Navasky

Iran-Contra: Reagan's Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power

Malcolm Byrne

56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports

Kostya Kennedy

Come to the Edge: A Memoir

Christina Haag

On This Day October 15

Musical Milestones

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The Very Best of Cole Porter

Cole Porter’s work performed by the greatest entertainers of all time

The Best of Four Tops: The Millennium Collection

Four Tops

The Best of I Love Lucy

Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley and Richard Keith

The Great One: The Complete Wayne Gretzky Collection

Sports Illustrated

A League Of Their Own

Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty and Jon Lovitz, and directed by Penny Marshall

The Singles 1969-1973

Carpenters

On This Day October 10

Musical Milestones

1956 – Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender,” from the movie of the same name, debuts on the pop chart, reaching No. 1 a month later. It is an adaptation of the Civil War-era tune “Aura Lee or The Maid with Golden Hair.”

1960 – The novelty song “Mr. Custer,” by Larry Verne, begins a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1970 – “Cracklin’ Rosie” gives Neil Diamond his first ride to the top of the singles chart, where it holds for a week.

1979 – “The Rose,” starring Bette Midler as a self-destructive 1960s rock star, premieres in Los Angeles. The movie, based on the life of rock legend Janis Joplin, goes on to receive four Oscar nominations, including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Midler, in her screen debut).

1981 – The Diana Ross-Lionel Richie duet, “Endless Love,” concludes its nine-week reign over the singles chart.

1987 – “Here I Go Again,” by British rockers Whitesnake, spends a week on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1988 – U2 release “Rattle and Hum,” a companion to the movie of the same name. The album contains live performances from the band’s successful 1987-88 “The Joshua Tree” tour, as well as additional songs recorded at the historic Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

1992 – Boyz II Men are in the middle of an epic 13-week domination of the singles chart with their Grammy-winning smash, “End of the Road.”

2009 – The Black Eyed Peas begin the final week of a marathon 14-week hold on the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Gotta Feeling.” The song goes on to capture a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

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All-Time Greatest Hits

Neil Diamond

Rattle And Hum

U2

The King And I

Starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, directed by Walter Lang and  choreographed by Jerome Robbins

Citizen Kane

Starring Orson WellesJoseph CottenDorothy Comingore, and directed by Orson Welles

Superman: The Movie

Starring Christopher Reeve, Marlon BrandoGene Hackman and Margot Kidder, and directed by Richard Donner

1984

Van Halen

While I'm Livin'

Tanya Tucker

On this Day July 1

History Highlights

1963 – The U.S. Postal Service introduces the five-digit Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code to make mail delivery more efficient. A cartoon character named Mr. ZIP is used to help market it.

1979 – After the boombox, music becomes even more portable as Sony rolls out the Walkman, originally called the “Sound-About.” It retails for $200.

1984 – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) institutes the PG-13 rating, strongly recommending parental guidance for moviegoers age 13 or younger. Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, is the first movie to receive that rating.

1991 – “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, premieres.

1992 – “A League of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell and directed by Penny Marshall, opens in theaters.

1997 – Actor Robert Mitchum, best remembered for his roles in such films as “The Story of G.I. Joe,” “Crossfire,” “Out of the Past,” “The Night of the Hunter” and “Cape Fear,” dies at 79.

1997 – At the stroke of midnight, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

2004 – Legendary actor and Oscar winner Marlon Brando, best remembered for performances in “On the Waterfront,” “The Godfather,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Viva Zapata!,” “Julius Caesar,” ““The Wild One,” “Last Tango in Paris,” and “Apocalypse Now,” dies at the age of 80.

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The Association: Greatest Hits

The Association

All-Time Greatest Hits

Neil Diamond

A League of Their Own

Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell, and directed by Penny Marshall

On The Waterfront

Starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by Elia Kazan

Ghostbusters

Starring Bill MurrayDan AykroydSigourney Weaver, and directed by Ivan Reitman

Diana: Story of a Princess

Tim Clayton and Phil Craig