On This Day December 16

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On This Day December 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1791 – Following ratification by the state of Virginia, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, become the law of the land.

1939 – The motion picture classic “Gone With the Wind,” starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, premieres in Atlanta. The film goes on to capture 10 Academy Awards.

1961 – Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer considered to be the architect of the Holocaust, is condemned to death by an Israeli war crimes tribunal.

1966 – Animation pioneer Walt Disney, who built an entertainment empire around a cartoon mouse, dies at the age of 65. The visionary creator of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck produced some of Hollywood’s greatest hits, conceived Disneyland and Disney World and was one of world’s most beloved storytellers. 

1973 – Jean Paul Getty III, the grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, five months after his kidnapping by an Italian gang.

1993 – “Schindler’s List,” from director Steven Spielberg, opens, starring Liam Neeson as German businessman Oskar Schindler, who saves the lives of over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. The movie wins seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

2001 –  Italy’s iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after a team of experts spends 11 years and $27 million to fortify the historic landmark without eliminating its famous lean.

2011 – The U.S. marks the end of the war in Iraq with a low-key ceremony in Baghdad eight years after the American-led invasion of that nation. Despite the declaration, violence intensifies there over the next several years.

On This Day November 24

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1950 – The musical comedy “Guys and Dolls” premieres on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre. Two years later, it spawns a film adaptation starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. 

1962 – The Four Seasons, featuring Frankie Valli, are in the second week of a five-week run as Billboard chart-toppers with “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

1966 – The Beatles gather in a studio for the first time since wrapping up their U.S. summer concert tour and spend the entire day recording John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

1972 – Don Kirshner’s “Rock Concert” TV show debuts, featuring Chuck Berry, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Alice Cooper.

1973 – Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” begins a week as the No. 1 single.

1979 – The Barbra Streisand-Donna Summer duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single.

1984 – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” by Wham!, rules the Billboard Hot 100.

1991 – Queen frontman Freddie Mercury dies of complications from AIDS exactly one day after publicly disclosing that he is HIV positive. He was 45 years old.

1997 – Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols is the defendant in an episode of TV’s “Judge Judy.” The case is a wrongful termination suit brought on by his former drummer, which Rotten wins.

2007 – Jay-Z climbs to the top of the Billboard album chart with “American Gangster,” his 10th chart-topping album. This ties the rapper to 2nd place with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums. Only The Beatles have had more, with 19. 

On This Day November 16

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History Highlights
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.

On This Day November 5

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1911 – American singer, cowboy and actor Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye and known as the “King of the Cowboys” (d. 1998)

1913 – Actress Vivian Leigh (“Gone With the Wind,” “A Streetcar Named Desire”) (d. 1967)

1931 – R&B singer-songwriter Ike Turner who had a string of hits with then-wife Tina Turner (d. 2007)

1940 – Golden Globe-winning actress Elke Sommer (“The Prize,” “A Shot in the Dark,” “The Art of Love,” “The Oscar,” “Boy, Did I Get the Wrong Number”)

1941 – Singer-songwriter Art Garfunkel, formerly of the Grammy-winning rock-folk duo Simon & Garfunkel

1943 – Pulitzer Prize-winning actor and playwright Sam Shepard (“Days of Heaven,” “Paris, Texas,” “The Right Stuff,” “Country,” “Steel Magnolias”) (d. 2017)

1947 – Peter Noone, born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone, frontman for the 1960s British pop group Herman’s Hermits

1959 – Grammy-winning rock singer-songwriter Bryan Adams (“Cuts Like a Knife,” “Summer of ’69,” “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”)

1960 – Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton (“Edward II,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Michael Clayton,” “Burn After Reading,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Doctor Strange”)

1963 – Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal (“Paper Moon,” “The Bad News Bears,” “Nickelodeon,” “Little Darlings”)

1968 – Actor Sam Rockwell (“The Green Mile,” “Galaxy Quest” “Iron Man 2,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “A Single Shot”)

History Highlights
History Highlights

1912 – Democrat Woodrow Wilson is elected the 28th president of the United States in a landslide victory, defeating Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt. It is the only presidential election in American history in which two former presidents were defeated by another candidate.

1940 –  Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt is re-elected for an unprecedented third term as president of the United States. He is re-elected again in 1944, which paves the way for ratification of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1951, limiting all future presidents to two elected terms.

1968 – Republican Richard Nixon wins the presidential election, defeating Vice President Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest political races in U.S. history.

1968 – New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She serves for 14 years. In 1972, she becomes the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties.

1994 – Forty-five-year-old George Foreman knocks out 26-year-old Michael Moorer to become the oldest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas watch Foreman dethrone Moorer, who entered the fight with a 35-0 record.

2007 – A writers strike in New York and Los Angeles interrupts the production of more than 60 television shows and results in the loss of an estimated $3 billion to the LA economy alone. The walkout, by members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), lasts more than three months.

2009 – Thirteen people are killed and more than 30 others are wounded, nearly all of them unarmed soldiers, when a U.S. Army officer goes on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in central Texas. The deadly assault, carried out by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, becomes the worst mass murder at a U.S. military installation.

On This Day September 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1813 – The United States gets its nickname, “Uncle Sam.” The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. Wilson stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to their rations as “Uncle Sam’s.”

1965 – Hurricane Betsy churns across extreme southern Florida en route to Louisiana where it kills 76 people and triggers widespread flooding. She’s the first hurricane to cause more than a billion dollars in damage, earning the nickname “Billion-Dollar Betsy.” 

1968 – Fifty women led by the New York Radical Women feminist group stages the first protest against the Miss America pageant. 

1977 – President Jimmy Carter signs a treaty granting Panama control over the Panama Canal beginning in the year 2000. The treaty ends an agreement signed in 1904 between then-President Theodore Roosevelt and Panama, which gave the U.S. the right to build the canal and a renewable lease to control five miles of land along either side of it.

1979 – The sports network ESPN debuts on cable TV. 

1980 – The 33rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony takes place, with statues going to the producers of “Taxi” and “Lou Grant” and performers Ed Asner and Barbara Bel Geddes — Asner for his starring role as newspaper editor Lou Grant, and Bel Geddes for her role as Miss Ellie, the Ewing family matriarch in the prime time soap “Dallas.” 

1986 – Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu becomes the first black man to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa. 

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1936 – Rock ‘n’ roll legend Buddy Holly is born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas. He produces a string of hits before his death at age 22 in a 1959 plane crash that also claims the lives of musical greats Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” (J.P. Richardson).

1968 – The Rascals claim the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “People Got to Be Free.

1974 – “(You’re) Having My Baby,” by Paul Anka and Odia Coates, wraps up three weeks on top of the singles chart.

1978 – Acclaimed drummer Keith Moon of the British rock band The Who dies of a drug overdose at the age of 32. 

1985 – The theme from the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire” (“Man In Motion”), by John Parr, is the No. 1 single. 

1994 – With TV host David Letterman as her escort, Madonna hands Aerosmith the Best Video award for “Cryin’” during the MTV Video Music Awards at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

2001 – Michael Jackson is reunited onstage with the Jackson Five at his 30th Anniversary Celebration in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

2002 – “Dilemma,” by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland, rules the Billboard Hot 100.

2003 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Warren Zevon (“Werewolves of London,” “Lawyers, Guns and Money”) dies of lung cancer at the age of 56. Ironically, Zevon earned the Grammys posthumously for his final album, “The Wind,” which was released just two weeks before his death.

2013 – “Blurred Lines,” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell, enters its 12th and final week as a Billboard chart-topper.

On this Day July 12

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1933 – Architect, engineer and philosopher Buckminster Fuller produces the first of three prototypes of the three-wheeled, multi-directional, rear-engine Dymaxion. The aerodynamic concept car could transport up to 11 passengers, got 30 miles to the gallon and reached a top speed of 90 miles per hour. However, a rollover accident during Dymaxion’s debut at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago kills the driver, injures three passengers and scares off investors, ensuring that the vehicle never goes to market.

1960 – Way before the advent of the iPad, Xbox and PlayStation, Etch A Sketch is introduced to consumers by the Ohio Art Company. The distinctive red plastic drawing toy with two white knobs has since sold over 175 million units worldwide and was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York in 1998. 

1976 – The TV game show “Family Feud” premieres with host Richard Dawson. It is currently hosted by Steve Harvey.

1982 – After 60 years of production, the last Checker taxi cab rolls off a Kalamazoo, Michigan assembly line.

1984 – Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale becomes the first major-party candidate to choose a woman as a running mate when he announces his choice of Geraldine Ferraro. 

1990 – The quirky series “Northern Exposure,” starring Rob Morrow as a New York doctor transplanted to a tiny town in Alaska, premieres on CBS. 

1991 – John Singleton makes his directorial debut with the release of “Boyz N the Hood,” a drama about life in South Central Los Angeles. The movie stars two future Oscar winners — Cuba Gooding Jr. and Regina King — and two Oscar nominees who are Hollywood legends: Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.