Musical Milestones

1956 – Rock and Roll King Elvis Presley signs a seven-year movie contract with Paramount Pictures.

1960 – Elvis Presley gets stuck on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks with “Stuck On You.” It’s his first hit single following his two-year stint in the U.S. Army.

1970 – The Jackson 5 give The Beatles’ “Let It Be” the boot and claim the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks with “ABC.”

1981 – Daryl Hall and John Oates begin their third and final week as chart-toppers with “Kiss On My List.”

1987 – U2 begin a nine-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “The Joshua Tree,” which packs chart-topping tracks including “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.” It goes on to capture Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

1990 – The Fender Stratocaster that rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix played at the Woodstock festival is auctioned off for a record $330,000. His two-hour set at the 1969 rock festival included a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

1992 – “Jump,” by hip hop duo Kris Kross, grabs the top spot on the singles chart and remains there for eight weeks.

1998 – Next has the No. 1 single with “Too Close.”

2007 – Leukemia claims the life of 69-year-old Bobby “Boris” Pickett, best known for his hit novelty song “Monster Mash,” which still gets radio airplay every Halloween.

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ABC

Jackson 5

The Joshua Tree

U2

A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety

Jimmy Carter

Shall We Dance

Starring Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Edward Everett Horton, and directed by Mark Sandrich

Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism

Bob Edwards

Dog Day Afternoon

Starring Al Pacino, John Cazale, James Broderick and Charles Durning, and directed by Sidney Lumet

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The Very Best Of Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Greatest Hits

Sheena Easton

King Kong

Starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong and Bruce Cabot, and directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack

The Sound of Music

Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker, and directed by Robert Wise

Theodor Seuss Geisel: A Portrait of the Man Who Became Dr. Seuss

Donald E. Pease

The Long, Long Trailer

Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz and Marjorie Main, and directed by Vincente Minnelli

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Pearl

Janis Joplin

Faith

George Michael

New Orleans Carnival Krewes: The History, Spirit & Secrets of Mardi Gras

Rosary O’Neill

A Brief History of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Piero Pierotti

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives, and directed by Richard Brooks

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Rock Around The Clock

Bill Haley

What'd I Say

Ray Charles

Academy Awards®: The Complete Unofficial History

Gail Kinn & Jim Piazza

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

Pulp Fiction

Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

Sixteen Candles

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

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American Pie

Don McLean

Business As Usual

Men At Work

The Pentagon: A History

Steve Vogel

Sully

Starring Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney, and directed by Clint Eastwood

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Clayborne Carson

New Jack City

Starring Wesley Snipes, Ice-T and Allen Payne, and directed by Mario Van Peebles

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Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Tales of Romance and Tragedy

Robert K. Oermann

The Very Best Of The Beach Boys: Sounds Of Summer

The Beach Boys

Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World

Jay Nordlinger

The Cider House Rules

Starring Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron and Paul Rudd, and directed by Lasse Hallström

The Partridge Family (Season One)

Starring David Cassidy, Shirley Jones, Susan Dey and Danny Bonaduce

The Green Mile

Starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan and Bonnie Hunt, and directed by Frank Darabont

History Highlights

1922 – British archaeologist Howard Carter and his crew discover the entrance to King Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

1924 – Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming is elected as the first female governor in the United States.

1939 – America’s first air-conditioned car goes on display at the 40th National Automobile Show in Chicago. The mechanical refrigeration unit of the 1940 Packard 180 prototype automatically switched to heating in winter and therefore was not called an air conditioner, but rather a “Weather Conditioner.” It was a $279 option that Packard stopped offering after 1942.

1948 – The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to T.S. Eliot “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

1952 – The National Security Agency (NSA) is established by order of President Harry Truman to coordinate communications intelligence work across the entire federal government.

1979 – An angry mob of young Islamic revolutionaries storms the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran and takes 90 Americans hostage. Two weeks later, about half are released. The remaining hostages are held captive for the next 14 months in what is known as the Iran Hostage Crisis.

1990 – “Dances With Wolves,” starring Kevin Costner as an American Civil War-era soldier who forms a bond with a tribe of Sioux Indians, premieres in Los Angeles. The movie, which also marks Costner’s directorial debut, goes on to capture seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and proves the Western genre is not dead.

1995 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated. The 73-year-old leader was walking to his car following a peace rally in Tel Aviv when he was shot by a 27-year-old Israeli extremist who is arrested at the scene of the shooting, and later confesses to the crime.

2008 – Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) defeats Senator John McCain (R- Arizona) to become the 44th U.S. president and the first African American elected to the White House. 

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To Sir, With Love

Starring Sidney Poitier, Christian Roberts and Judy Geeson, and directed by James Clavell

Love Songs

Elton John

The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen

Howard Carter and A.C. Mace

Dances With Wolves

Starring Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell and Graham Greene, and directed by Kevin Costner

Cronkite

Douglas Brinkley

Dallas Buyers Club

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto, and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

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Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story

Rick Bragg

Purple Rain

Prince

In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures behind the Holocaust by Bullets

Father Patrick Desbois

Beyond the Limits: A Woman's Triumph on Everest

Stacy Allison

The Essential Gene Autry

Gene Autry

Blazing Saddles

Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens and Madeline Kahn, and directed by Mel Brooks

History Highlights

1959 – Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev kicks off two days of meetings with President Dwight Eisenhower at Camp David. The two men reach general agreement on several issues, but a spy plane incident in May 1960 crushes any hopes for further improvement in U.S.-Soviet relations during the Eisenhower years.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy gives his “Sword of Damocles” speech before the United Nations General Assembly. He outlines the threat nuclear weapons had on the world, and challenges the Soviet Union to a “peace race…until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.” 

1963 – The first in a series of 1960s teen beach movies is launched when “Beach Party,” starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, opens in U.S. theaters. 

1978 – Tragedy erupts in the skies over San Diego as a small Cessna aircraft being used for flying lessons collides with a Pacific Southwest Airlines 727 (PSA Flight 182). The accident kills 153 people, including seven on the ground, and 22 homes where the burning jet fell are damaged or destroyed. 

1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in as the first female associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1997 – NBC’s prime time medical drama “ER,” which supercharged George Clooney’s acting career, opens its fourth season with live performances — first for East coast viewers and a second time for its West coast audience. The episode, entitled “Ambush,” draws a record 42.7 million viewers, becoming the series’ highest rating ever.

Celebrity Birthdays

1897 – Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner (“‘The Sound and the Fury,” “As I Lay Dying”) (d. 1962)

1929 – Retired Emmy-winning TV journalist-host Barbara Walters, the first woman to co-anchor a network evening news broadcast

1944 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor Michael Douglas (“The Streets of San Francisco,” “The China Syndrome,” “Romancing the Stone,” “Wall Street,” “The War of the Roses,” “Falling Down,” “The American President,” “Wonder Boys,” “Last Vegas”)

1947 – Supermodel-actress Cheryl Tiegs, remembered for adorning covers of the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue” and for her 1978 “Pink Bikini” poster, which became an iconic image of 1970s pop culture

1951 – Actor Mark Hamill, best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” movies

1952 – Actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed in a 1995 horse-riding accident (“Superman,” “Somewhere in Time,” “Deathtrap,” “The Remains of the Day”) (d. 2004)

1961 – Actress Heather Locklear (“TJ Hooker,” “Melrose Place,” “Spin City”)

1968 – Grammy-winning actor-rapper Will Smith (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” “Ali,” “I, Robot,” “I Am Legend,” “Hancock,” “After Earth,” “Suicide Squad”)

1969 – Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (“The Mask of Zorro,” “Entrapment,” “Traffic,” “Chicago,” “Oceans Twelve,” “The Terminal”)

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The Partridge Family (Season 1)

Starring Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough, Jeremy Gelbwaks and Dave Madden

Abracadabra

The Steve Miller Band

Khrushchev's Cold War

Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali

Beach Party / Bikini Beach

Starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello

The American President

Starring Michael DouglasAnnette Bening and Martin Sheen, and directed by Rob Reiner

Enemy of the State

Starring Will Smith, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight, and directed by Tony Scott

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. 

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The Real Buddy Holly Story

Hosted by Paul McCartney

Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend

Tony Fletcher

Uncle Sam

Terry Allan Hicks

ESPN: The Uncensored History

Michael Freeman

The Simpsons: Season 1

Starring Albert Brooks, Maggie Roswell, Ron Taylor, Yeardley Smith and Harry Shearer

Across the Universe

Starring Evan Rachel WoodJim SturgessJoe Anderson, and directed by Julie Taymor