On This Day April 4

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established by the U.S. and 11 other Western nations.

1960 – William Wyler’s Technicolor epic ,”Ben-Hur,” sets an Academy Awards record when it sweeps 11 of the 12 categories for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Charlton Heston).

1968 – A sniper shoots and kills civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 39, on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel. As word of the assassination spreads, riots erupt in cities across the U.S., and National Guard troops are deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. In 1991, the murder scene—the Lorraine Motel—is dedicated as part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

1969 – CBS cancels the most popular show on TV at the time, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” because the brothers failed to submit their script to network executives to review before broadcast. 

1973 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held in New York’s Lower Manhattan to dedicate the original World Trade Center. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC, or the North Tower, and 2 WTC, the South Tower, would provide nearly 10 million square feet of office space. Reaching more than a quarter of a mile into the sky, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period, the tallest buildings in the world. 

1975 – At a time when most Americans are using typewriters, childhood friends and self-proclaimed computer geeks Bill Gates and Paul Allen establish Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Four years later, they relocate the business to Washington State and grow it into a major multinational technology corporation.

2007 – Radio shock jock Don Imus makes offensive remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team on the air, creating a firestorm of criticism across the country. Imus apologizes and loses his job, but ultimately is able to salvage his career.

2013 – Acclaimed movie critic Roger Ebert, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV’s Sneak Previews program for 31 years, dies at the age of 70 after battling cancer.

On This Day November 28

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1925 – The Grand Ole Opry, one of the longest-lived and most popular showcases for country music, begins broadcasting live from Nashville, Tennessee. At the time, it is known as the WSM Barn Dance.

1960 – Elvis Presley scores his 15th chart-topping single when “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” reaches No. 1 on the pop chart. It holds the top spot for six weeks.

1970 – Ex-Beatle George Harrison makes his solo Billboard chart debut with “My Sweet Lord,” a song he is later found guilty of having “subconsciously plagiarized” from Ronnie Mack’s “He’s So Fine,” which was a smash for The Chiffons.

1974 – John Lennon joins Elton John on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden for what becomes Lennon’s last concert appearance. He performs three songs: “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

1987 – The Bill Medley-Jennifer Warnes duet, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” from the movie “Dirty Dancing,” is No. 1 on the singles chart.

1998 – “Lately,” by one-hit-wonder Divine, tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a week.

2001 – Aretha Franklin sues the supermarket tabloid “Star” for $50 million dollars claiming that her reputation was damaged by a December 2000 article that alleged she had alcohol problems.

2007 – Kanye West and stuntman Evel Knievel settle a copyright dispute over West’s use of the name “Evel Kanyevel” in a music video. The 69-year-old daredevil claimed his image was harmed by the video’s “vulgar, sexual nature.” The clip for “Touch The Sky” shows the rap star attempting to cross a canyon on a rocket-powered motorcycle.

On This Day November 21

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On This Day September 11

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