On This Day February 25

History Highlights

1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, is sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress. He is assigned to serve on the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on the District of Columbia.

1916 – German troops seize Fort Douaumont, the most formidable of the forts guarding the walled city of Verdun, France, four days after launching their initial attack. The Battle of Verdun becomes the longest and bloodiest conflict of World War I, lasting 10 months and resulting in over 700,000 casualties.

1950 – The TV comedy “Your Show of Shows,” hosted by Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, premieres, eventually helping launch the successful entertainment careers of Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others.

1964 – Twenty-two-year-old Cassius Clay (who later changes his name to Muhammad Ali) stuns odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout in Miami Beach.

1984 – A massive explosion, triggered when gasoline from a ruptured pipeline ignited, levels a shantytown outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing at least 500 people — mostly young children. However, investigators speculate that the actual death toll may have been closer to 700 since many bodies were incinerated in the intense blaze.

1986 – President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines flees the nation after 20 years of rule. Corazon Aquino becomes that nation’s first woman president. 

2004 – “The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson’s controversial film about the final hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, opens in U.S. theaters, starring  Jim Caviezel as Jesus. It receives three Oscar nominations.

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Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross

1984

Van Halen

Black is Best: The Riddle of Cassius Clay

Jack Olsen

Diary of a Dictator -- Ferdinand & Imelda: The Last Days of Camelot

William C. Rempel

Deep Impact

Starring Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni and Elijah Wood, and directed by Mimi Leder

The Social Network

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer, and directed by David Fincher

On this Day July 4

Musical Milestones

1953 – Eddie Fisher begins a seven-week domination of the singles chart with “I’m Walking Behind You.”

1964 – “I Get Around,” by the Beach Boys, is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It holds the top spot for two weeks.

1969 – Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chuck Berry and other popular acts perform at the Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, Georgia.

1970 – A radio institution is born on this day. It’s “American Top 40” (“AT40”) with host Casey Kasem, a nationally syndicated program that counts down the 40 hottest singles in the U.S. according to Billboard magazine. The first countdown ends with the Jackson 5’s “The Love You Save,” then in its second and final week at No. 1. 

1981 – Kim Carnes tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a seventh week with “Bette Davis Eyes.”

1987 – “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” by Whitney Houston, begins its second and final week as a Billboard chart-topper.

1992 – “Baby Got Back” puts Sir Mix-a-Lot on top of the pop chart for five weeks. The track becomes the second best-selling song of 1992, behind Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

2003 – Grammy-winning soul singer-songwriter Barry White (“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything”) — whose smooth, deep vocals dominated the pop chart throughout the 70s —  dies of kidney failure at the age of 58.

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All Summer Long

The Beach Boys

All-Time Greatest Hits

Barry White

The Declaration of Independence

U.S. Continental Congress

Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

Jonathan Eig

North By Northwest

Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

The Odd Couple

Starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and directed by Gene Saks