On This Day April 19

Musical Milestones

1969 – The 5th Dimension have the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures).”

1975 – Elton John rules the pop chart with “Philadelphia Freedom.” The track is sometimes mistaken as a patriotic song about America, with the bicentennial approaching. It is actually a tribute to John’s close friend, tennis legend Billie Jean King, who, at the time, coached a tennis team called the Philadelphia Freedoms. 

1980 – For the first time ever, the top five artists on the country music chart are all female: Crystal Gayle is No. 1, with Dottie West, Debby Boone, Emmylou Harris and Tammy Wynette making up the rest of the top five. 

1980 – “Call Me” by Blondie claims the top spot on the singles chart and holds there for six weeks. The track is from the band’s “Autoamerican” album and is featured in the movie “American Gigolo,” starring Richard Gere.

1986 – “Kiss,” by Prince and The Revolution from the “Parade” album (the “Under the Cherry Moon” soundtrack) is the No. 1 single. Following Prince’s April 2016 death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 28, and jumped to No. 23 a week later.

1997 – Michael Jackson attends the unveiling of a wax statue of himself at the Grevin Museum of Wax in Paris. The King of Pop had provided one of his own outfits to dress the figure.

2008 – Mariah Carey begins her second and final week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “Touch My Body.”

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Autoamerican

Blondie

Parade: Music from the Motion Picture "Under the Cherry Moon"

Prince and The Revolution

The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789

Robert Middlekauff

American Experience: Oklahoma City

Starring Bill Morlin and Mark Potok and directed by Barak Goodman

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick, and directed by Jim Sharman

127 Hours

Starring James Franco, Amber Tabmblyn, Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn, and directed by Danny Boyle

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 March 30

History Highlights

1814 – European forces allied against Napoleonic France march triumphantly into Paris, formally ending a decade of French domination on the continent.

1842 – Anesthesia is used for the first time in an operation by Dr. Crawford Long. 

1858 – The first wooden pencil featuring a built-in rubber eraser on top is patented by Philadelphia inventor Hymen Lipman, who later sells his patent for $100,000 (about $2 million in today’s market). In 1875, The Supreme Court invalidates the patent, ruling that because the pencil combined two existing devices, it was not a legitimate invention. Nevertheless, this is observed as National Pencil Day.

1867 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase is ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s Folly.” 

1964 – The popular game show “Jeopardy!” premieres on NBC with host Art Fleming. Current host Alex Trebek takes over in 1984.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John Hinckley, Jr., who claims he was seeking to gain the attention of actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a psychiatric hospital until 2016, when he is allowed to live with his mother in her Virginia home. Reagan is released from the hospital less than two weeks after the attempted assassination.

2009 – President Barack Obama issues an ultimatum to struggling American automakers General Motors (GM) and Chrysler: In order to receive additional bailout loans from the government, he says, the companies need to dramatically change the way they run their businesses. 

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The Chiffons Absolutely The Best!

The Chiffons

John Denver's Greatest Hits

John Denver

Jeopardy! HD - America's Favorite Quiz Game

Sony Pictures Television

The Reagan Diaries

Ronald Reagan

Bonnie and Clyde

Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Michael J. Pollard, and directed by Arthur Penn

The Best Of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

On This Day January 29

Musical Milestones

1964 – The Beatles spend the day at the Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris in their only studio recording session for EMI held outside the U.K. They record “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” in German.

1966 – “We Can Work It Out,” by The Beatles, reaches the top of the Billboard singles chart and remains there for a week.

1972 – Don McLean’s “American Pie” is in the midst of a four-week ride atop the Billboard Hot 100.

1977 – “Car Wash,” by Rose Royce, is the No. 1 single. It comes from the movie of the same name that features Richard Pryor, George Carlin and The Pointer Sisters, and is considered a staple of the disco genre.

1983 – Men at Work wrap up three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Down Under,” off the Aussie band’s “Business as Usual” album.

1994 – “All for Love,” by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting, is in the middle of a three-week run on top of the pop chart. The single comes from the soundtrack to “The Three Musketeers,” a movie starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Chris O’Donnell.

2000 – The No. 1 spot on the pop chart belongs to Australian pop duo Savage Garden with “I Knew I Loved You.”

2011 – Britney Spears lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Hold It Against Me.”

2019 – Two-time Grammy-winning 80s R&B singer-songwriter James Ingram (“Just Once,” “Baby, Come to Me,” “I Don’t Have the Heart”) dies of brain cancer at the age of 66.

History Highlights

1845 – The Evening Mirror publishes Edgar Allan Poe’s now-classic poem, “The Raven” which begins, “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”

1936 – The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced In Cooperstown, New York. They include Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.

1963 – Robert Frost, considered the dean of American poets, dies in Boston at the age of 88.

1964 – Stanley Kubrick’s black comic masterpiece, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” opens in movie theaters to critical acclaim. Actor Peter Sellers plays three roles in the Cold War parody.

1979 – Teenager Brenda Spencer shoots and kills two men and wounds nine children as they enter the Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. Asked by authorities upon her arrest why she did it, the 16-year-old replies, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” The incident inspires The Boomtown Rats to write their hit song, “I Don’t Like Mondays.”

1979 – President Jimmy Carter welcomes Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House following the establishment of diplomatic relations. The visit culminates with the signing of historic new accords that reverse decades of U.S. opposition to the People’s Republic of China.

2002 – In his first State of the Union address since the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S., President George W. Bush says Iraq, Iran and North Korea constitute an “axis of evil.” He outlines his rationale for the “war on terror,” a series of military engagements which would define U.S. foreign policy for years to come.

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American Pie

Don McLean

The Three Musketeers

Starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell, Oliver Platt, Tim Curry and Rebecca De Mornay, and directed by Stephen Herek

Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame

Zev Chafets

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Starring Peter Sellers, Peter Bull and George C. Scott, and directed by Stanley Kubrick

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and directed by Thurl Ravenscroft and Jorge Russek

Magnum P.I.: The Complete First Season

Starring Tom Selleck and John Hillerman

On This Day January 27

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Peppermint Twist

Joey Dee & The Starliters

Talking Book

Stevie Wonder

Flushed With Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper

Wallace Reyburn

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

Gene Kranz

The Donna Reed Show

Joanne Morreale

Star Trek VIII: First Contact

Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and James Cromwell, and directed by Jonathan Frakes

On This Day January 18

Musical Milestones

1944 – The first jazz concert — known as the Esquire All-American Jazz Concert — is held at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden and Billie Holiday.

1960 – Johnny Preston starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Running Bear,” a song written by J. P. Richardson (a.k.a. “The Big Bopper”). The song was released shortly after Richardson’s death in the February 1959 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

1964 – The Beatles make their U.S. singles chart debut when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” enters at No. 45. It goes on to spend seven weeks at No. 1. 

1969 – Marvin Gaye is midway through a seven-week ride atop the Billboard singles chart with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” The track becomes Motown’s biggest-selling hit at that time.

1975 – Barry Manilow scores his first chart-topping single when “Mandy” reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1986 – “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick, featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, is the No. 1 single. The track, written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, wins Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year Grammys.

1989 – At 38 years of age, Stevie Wonder becomes the youngest living person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has excellent company, as other inductees in his class include The Rolling Stones, The Temptations and Dion (DiMucci).

1992 – Michael Jackson wraps up seven weeks as a chart-topper with “Black or White,” off his “Dangerous” album.

2003 – Eminem finds himself on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for another week with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” soundtrack.

History Highlights

1778 – British explorer Captain James Cook becomes the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands when he sails past the island of Oahu. Two days later, he lands at Waimea on the island of Kauai and names the island cluster the Sandwich Islands, after the voyage’s sponsor, the Earl of Sandwich.

1919 – Leaders of the Allied powers — the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy — convene in Paris, France to begin the long and complex negotiations that would pave the way for the end of World War I. The Paris Peace Conference, as it is known, leads to creation of the League of Nations, an international peacekeeping organization.

1975 – The sitcom “The Jeffersons,” one of several spin-offs from TV’s groundbreaking “All in the Family,” premieres on CBS and becomes a ratings bonanza of its own during an 11-season run. Another Norman Lear creation, it stars Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as a successful African-American couple adjusting to life on Manhattan’s ritzy East Side after leaving their modest Queens neighborhood.

1977 – Scientists identify the cause of a mysterious outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 34 people at a 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. 

1990 – An FBI sting leads to the arrest of Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for possession of crack cocaine. After serving six months in federal prison, the so-called “mayor for life” makes one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American politics in 1994 when D.C. residents elect him to a fourth term as mayor.

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Esquire All-American Jazz Concert

Featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and other jazz legends

Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Margaret MacMillan

Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.

Marion Barry, Jr. and Omar Tyree

To Catch A Thief

Starring Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Jessie Royce Landis, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Dances with Wolves

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

On This Day December 28

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The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album)

The Beatles

Anthology: The Best of Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

In Vitro Fertilization: The A.R.T. of Making Babies (Assisted Reproductive Technology)

Geoffrey Sher, Virginia Marriage Davis and Jean Stoess

The Pledge: A History of the Pledge of Allegiance

Jeffrey Owen Jones and Peter Meyer

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir

Stan Lee and Peter David and Colleen Doran

Training Day

Starring Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and Tom Berenger, and directed by Antoine Fuqua

On This Day November 21

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Come On, Get Happy! The Very Best of The Partridge Family

The Partridge Family

A Night at the Opera

Queen

The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Gay Talese

Dallas (Classic Series), Seasons 1 & 2

Starring Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Barbara Bel Geddes, Patrick Duffy and Victoria Principal

It Ain't Over . . . Till It's Over

Marlo Thomas

Caddyshack

Starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and Ted Knight, and directed by Harold Ramis

On this Day August 25

Celebrity Birthdays

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Born To Run

Bruce Springsteen

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

The Wizard of Oz

Starring Judy GarlandRay BolgerFrank Morgan, and directed by Victor Fleming

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote

The Leonard Bernstein Letters

Leonard Bernstein

Beetlejuice

Starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin, and directed by Tim Burton

On this Day August 21

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Patsy Cline Showcase

Patsy Cline

An Officer and a Gentleman

Starring Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett, Jr., and directed by Taylor Hackford

Who Stole Mona Lisa?

Ruthie Knapp

Dirty Dancing

Starring Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach, and directed by Emile Ardolino

Number Ones

Kenny Rogers

The Matrix

Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne, and directed by the Wachowski brothers

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