History Highlights

1788 –  Britain’s First Fleet sails into Sydney Harbor and begins the European colonization of Australia. The fledgling colony marks this event each year as Australia Day, however in recent years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have objected because they see the occasion as the beginning of the deliberate destruction of their people and culture.

1926 – Scottish inventor John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of a true television system (called a “televisor”) in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment.

1950 – The Republic of India is formed as the Indian constitution takes effect.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet Travell, 59, as his personal physician, making her the first woman in history to hold that post. 

1979 – The General Lee, a bright orange Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag on its roof, kicks up dust clouds as “The Dukes of Hazzard” premieres on CBS.

1988 – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has its first Broadway performance at the Majestic Theatre. 

1998 – During one of the most memorable news conferences of his presidency, Bill Clinton tells reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Clinton later confesses that he did indeed have an “improper physical relationship” with Monica Lewinksky, a 24-year-old White House intern.

2005 – Condoleezza Rice assumes the post of U.S. Secretary of State two months after her nomination by President George W. Bush. She becomes the highest ranking African American woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet.

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Photograph: The Very Best Of Ringo

Ringo Starr

Like A Virgin

Madonna

Dukes of Hazzard: Season 1

Starring Tom Wopat and John Schneider

The Phantom Of The Opera

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Cool Hand Luke

Starring Paul Newman, George Kennedy and J.D. Cannon, and directed by Stuart Rosenberg

The Right Stuff

Starring Scott Glenn, Ed Harris and Barbara Hershey, and directed by Philip Kaufman

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White Christmas

Bing Crosby

Dino The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life

Peter Ackroyd

Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

Bill Pennington

The Twilight Zone (Season 1)

Created by Rod Serling

Coal Miner's Daughter

Starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones and Levon Helm, and directed by Michael Apted

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Abbey Road / The Beatles

With “Abbey Road,” The Beatles produced carefully crafted recordings with ambitious musical arrangements. This may have been the final Beatles album to be recorded, but it wasn’t their last to be released. That was “Let It Be.” For the first time on a Beatles album, the cover contained neither the group’s name nor the album title — just that iconic photo taken in August 1969 in a pedestrian crosswalk near the entrance to Abbey Road Studios.

I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston

This may be her first posthumous album, but Whitney Houston left behind such an amazing body of work that it likely won’t be the last. In her lifetime, she recorded more than 40 chart-toppers. Yet “I Will Always Love You—The Best of Whitney Houston” is much more than the singer’s greatest-hits collection. It’s a rich and memorable celebration of her music.

The JFK-Nixon Presidential Debates, 1960

The so-called “Great Debates” marked television’s grand entrance into presidential politics. For the first time, voters could see their candidates in competition. Some 70 million American viewers tuned in the watch Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon in the first of three face-to-face debates. This release contains footage from all three “showdowns.”

Inside Gilligan's Island

Sherwood Schwartz, creator, writer and producer of “Gilligan’s Island,” tells the life story of the show, from scripting, casting and production to its golden years of afternoon reruns. Fascinating history enhanced by photos, sketches and other illustrations from the author’s personal collection, as well as the guest forewords by all seven “castaways.”

Grease

“Grease” is not just a celebration of simpler times. It’s an energetic and exciting musical homage to the age of rock ‘n’ roll! John Travolta solidified his position as the most versatile and magnetic screen presence of the decade in this film version of the smash hit play. Recording star Olivia Newton-John made her U.S. film debut as Sandy, Travolta’s love interest.

The Essential George Gershwin

This collection brings together 41 of George Gershwin’s greatest compositions, sung and played by the preeminent artists in the Columbia vaults.  It includes “Rhapsody” and “Prelude No. 2,” both in original performances by the composer.

Musical Milestones

1958 – The hottest single in the U.S. is “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley. The novelty hit holds the No. 1 spot for six weeks.

1962 – “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” by Ray Charles, is in its second week as a No. 1 single. It retains the top spot for five weeks.

1972 – Elvis Presley plays his first concert in New York City — the first of four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. The performances are recorded for later release on the “Elvis As Recorded at Madison Square Garden” album.

1972 – One month after auditioning for Columbia Records, Bruce Springsteen is signed by the label and begins assembling his E Street Band. His debut album, “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” comes out in January 1973.

1979 – The Bee Gees reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the ninth time with “Love You Inside Out.” It becomes the sibling trio’s final chart-topper.

1984 – Cyndi Lauper begins a two-week run on top of the Billboard singles chart with “Time After Time,” off her debut album, “She’s So Unusual.” The track earns a Song of the Year Grammy nomination.

1990 – “Hold On,” by Wilson Phillips, clinches the top spot on the pop chart. The track goes on to win the Billboard Music Award for 1990 Hot 100 Single of the Year and is nominated for a Song of the Year Grammy.

1998 – The Ronettes (“Be My Baby,” “Walking In The Rain”) appear in court for their lawsuit against producer Phil Spector, whom they allege breached their 34-year-old contract by failing to pay royalties since 1963. Although The Ronettes win the case, the New York State Court of Appeals later overturns the decision, saying Spector had unconditional rights to their recordings.

2001 – Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and Pink have the No. 1 single with their cover of Labelle’s 1974 smash, “Lady Marmalade.”

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Timeless: The All Time Greatest Hits

Bee Gees

She's So Unusual

Cyndi Lauper

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Neal Gabler

The Horse God Built: The Untold Story of Secretariat, the World's Greatest Racehorse

Lawrence Scanlan

Back to the Future

Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover, and directed by Robert Zemeckis

iTunes

Starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder and Dianne Wiest, and directed by Tim Burton