On This Day April 21

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1956 – Elvis Presley scores his first No. 1 single with “Heartbreak Hotel.” The song remains on top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart for eight weeks.

1962 – Elvis returns to the top of the singles chart with “Good Luck Charm.”

1973 – Tony Orlando and Dawn begin a four-week run on top of the singles chart with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree,” which becomes the hottest-selling single of the year.  

1984 – Phil Collins has the most popular single on the radio with the title track from the movie “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).” The song spends three weeks at No. 1. 

1990 – Paul McCartney sets a new world record for the largest concert audience for a solo artist. A total of 184,000 people attend the final show of his tour at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1990 – “Nothing Compares 2 U” lands Sinéad O’Connor on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. The song was written by Prince.

2008 – Soul singer-songwriter Al Wilson (“The Snake,” “Show and Tell”) dies of kidney failure at the age of 68. 

2016 – Pop megastar Prince dies of an accidental opioid overdose at his Paisley Park compound in suburban Minneapolis. He is just 57 years old, and news of his death sends shockwaves among millions of fans around the world. More than 150 million of the Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winner’s records have sold internationally,  ranking Prince among the best-selling musicians of all time.

On This Day April 28

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On This Day April 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1776 – U.S. Navy Captain John Barry (a.k.a. “Father of the American Navy”), commander of the warship Lexington, achieves the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he seizes the British warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture of the Edward and its cargo turns Barry into a national hero and boosts the morale of the Continental forces.

1948 – The United Nations establishes the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote “the highest possible level of health” around the globe. A major cornerstone of WHO is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. World Health Day is observed internationally every April 7.

1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower coins one of the most famous Cold War phrases when he suggests the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a “domino effect” in Southeast Asia. The so-called “domino theory” guided U.S. strategy toward Vietnam for the next decade.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy lobbies Congress to fund the preservation of historic monuments in Egypt’s Nile Valley threatened by construction of the Aswan High Dam.

1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material (Stanley v. Georgia). 

1970 – At the 42nd annual Academy Awards, screen legend John Wayne ropes his first and only Oscar: Best Actor for his role in the Western “True Grit.”

1978 – President Jimmy Carter cancels planned production of the neutron bomb.

1994 – Violence in Rwanda fuels the launch of what becomes the worst episode of genocide since World War II: the massacre of an estimated 500,000 to 1 million innocent civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

On This Day April 6

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On This Day March 30

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History Highlights
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. Alex Trebek takes over in 1984 and continues hosting until his death in 2020.

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. 

On This Day January 30

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On This Day January 21

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On This Day January 6

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1958 – Danny & the Juniors bop to the top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart with “At the Hop,” which holds at No. 1 for five weeks.

1968 – The Beatles commandeer the top spot on the Billboard album chart for eight weeks with “Magical Mystery Tour,” which contains such classics as “Hello, Goodbye,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” “All You Need is Love” and, of course, the title track.

1973 – “You’re So Vain,” by Carly Simon, begins a three-week reign over the Billboard singles chart. Through the years, speculation swirled about the subject of the song, with Simon eventually admitting that it refers to three men, only one of whom she named publicly: actor Warren Beatty.

1979 – The Bee Gees own the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with  “Too Much Heaven.”

1990 – Phil Collins has the first No. 1 album of the 90s as “…But Seriously” claims the top spot on the Billboard 200. The album contains his Grammy-winning smash “Another Day in Paradise.”

1993 – Legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Dizzy Gillespie dies of cancer at the age of 75. Gillespie developed his own signature style called “bebop,” and worked with musical greats like Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Earl Hines, Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington. 

2001 – Destiny’s Child is in the midst of an 11-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Independent Women Part I,” from the “Charlie’s Angels” movie soundtrack and the group’s third album, “Survivor.” 

On This Day December 30

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On This Day December 23

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1783 – Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, General George Washington resigns as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retires to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

1888 – Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, uses a razor to sever part of his left ear. He later documents the event in a painting titled “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.” Over years, however, a variety of new theories have emerged about this incident.

1913 – President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act into law establishing the Federal Reserve, which continues serving as the nation’s central banking system today and is responsible for executing monetary policy.

1947 – John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley with Bell Laboratories unveil their invention of the transistor, which revolutionizes communications and electronics.

1968 – The crew and captain of the American intelligence gathering ship USS Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the North Korean government.

1986 – Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager complete the first non-stop flight around the world without refueling. They set a new world record of 216 hours of continuous flying in the experimental aircraft Voyager.

1993 – The movie “Philadelphia,” starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, and directed by Jonathan Demme, opens in U.S. theaters. It is the first major Hollywood film to address the HIV/AIDS crisis and garners Hanks a Best Actor Oscar and Bruce Springsteen a Best Original Song Oscar for his track, “Streets of Philadelphia.”

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