On This Day March 31

Musical Milestones

1943 – Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” premieres on Broadway. In 1955, the musical is produced as a motion picture starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (in her film debut).

1958 – Chess Records releases “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song climbs as high as No. 8 on the pop chart and goes on to become a rock and roll classic.

1962 – Connie Francis claims the top spot on the pop chart for a week with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You”

1967 – Jimi Hendrix suffers minor burns to his hands when he sets his guitar on fire during a performance at Finsbury Park in London. Nevertheless, he goes on to torch guitars several times during his short career.

1973 – Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” returns to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week after The O’Jays interrupted her for a week with their hit, “Love Train.”

1979 – “Tragedy,” by the Bee Gees, dominates the singles chart for a second and final week.

1984 – Kenny Loggins kicks off a three-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “Footloose,” from the movie of the same name.

1987 – Prince releases his ninth studio album, “Sign o’ the Times,” which spawns three Top 10 hit singles: “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “U Got the Look,” (with Sheena Easton) and the title track. 

1995 – Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known as the “Mexican Madonna,” is shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. Selena was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy, in the Best Mexican-American album category, for her 1993 album “Selena Live!” At the time of her murder, at age 23, Selena was on the brink of international fame, recording her first English language album.

2007 – “Glamorous,” by Fergie featuring Ludacris, enters its second and final week as the No. 1 single.

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Oklahoma!

Starring Gordon Macrae, Gloria Grahame and Shirley Jones, and directed by Fred Zinnemann

To Selena, With Love

Chris Perez

Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It

Jill Jonnes

Raging Bull

Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty, and directed by Martin Scorsese

The Partridge Family: The Complete Series

Starring Shirley Jones and David Cassidy

Catch Me If You Can

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On This Day November 16

History Highlights

1907 – Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory collectively enter the United States as Oklahoma, the 46th state.

1915 – The patent for the iconic curved glass Coca-Cola bottle is awarded to the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana. Coca-Cola and Root Glass enter into an agreement to have six glass companies across the U.S. use the bottle shape. The contract called for the bottles to be colored with “German Green” which was later renamed “Georgia Green” in honor of Coke’s home state.

1945 – The United States implements “Operation Paperclip,” a top secret program that brings 88 German scientists to America to help develop rocket technology. The moves stirs controversy because many of the scientists, including Apollo program pioneer Wernher von Braun, had served under the Nazi regime.

1973 – President Richard Nixon authorizes construction of the Alaska Pipeline to meet America’s growing energy demands while reducing the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.

1977 – After terrifying audiences with “Jaws” two years earlier, director Steven Spielberg dazzles moviegoers with visitors from other worlds as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” opens in movie theaters.

1981 – Sixteen million TV viewers tune in to “General Hospital” on ABC for the much-anticipated Luke and Laura wedding.

2001 – “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” opens in U.S. movie theaters kicking off one of the most successful movie franchises of all time based on novels written by J. K. Rowling.

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The Sound of Music

Original Broadway Cast Recording

8 Mile

Starring EminemKim BasingerMekhi Phifer, and directed by Curtis Hanson

The Man Behind The Bottle

Norman L. Dean

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut and Teri Garr, and directed by Steven Spielberg

Rocky

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young and Burgess Meredith, and directed by John G. Avildsen

Crazy Heart

Starring  Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and directed by Scott Cooper and Eric Brenner

On This Day November 13

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A Night on the Town

Rod Stewart

Business As Usual

Men At Work

The Killing of Karen Silkwood

Richard Rashke

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam

Bernard Edelman

Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson

Pretty Woman

Starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and directed by Garry Marshall

On this Day July 16

History Highlights

1790 – President George Washington signs into law the Residence Act, which grants him the authority to select a new site for a capital of the United States on the east bank of the Potomac River.

1935 – The intersection of First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is the site of the first parking meter in the U.S. — Park-O-Meter No. 1.

1945 – The nuclear age begins as the so-called “Trinity Test” is conducted. Part of the Manhattan Project, the world’s first successful test of an atomic bomb takes place during the early morning hours in the desert at Alamogordo, New Mexico. 

1951 – J. D. Salinger’s novel, “The Catcher in the Rye,” is published and becomes one of the best known works in American literature. To date, more than 65 million copies have been sold.

1969 – Apollo 11 roars from its launch pad at Cape Kennedy, Florida on the first manned mission to the moon. Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin set out to fulfill a national objective declared by President John F. Kennedy in May of 1961: perform a crewed lunar landing and return safely to Earth.

1999 – A single-engine plane piloted by publisher and presidential son John F. Kennedy, Jr. crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, killing Kennedy, 38, his wife Carolyn, 33, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, 34. Five days later, underwater divers discover all three bodies still strapped into their seats.

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The Essentials

Tommy James & the Shondells

My World: The Definitive Collection

Smokey Robinson

The Catcher in the Rye

J. D. Salinger

Apollo 11

A documentary featuring never-before-seen footage in its highest resolution, directed by Todd Douglas Miller

Stranger Than Fiction

Starring Will FerrellMaggie Gyllenhaal Dustin Hoffman, and directed by Marc Forster

Stand By Me

Starring Wil WheatonRiver Phoenix and Corey Feldman, and directed by Rob Reiner