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 26

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On This Day March 31

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Musical Milestones
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.

On This Day March 2

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History Highlights
History Highlights
Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1963 – “Walk Like a Man,” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart. It is the band’s third chart-topping hit.

1967 – The Beatles win three Grammys for records issued the previous year: Best Song for “Michelle,” Best Vocal Performance for “Eleanor Rigby” and Best Cover Artwork for the album design of “Revolver” by Klaus Voormann.

1974 – “Seasons in the Sun,” by one-hit wonder Terry Jacks, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and stays there for three weeks.

1974 – At the 16th Annual Grammy Awards, Stevie Wonder captures five honors: Album of the Year and Best Engineered Recording for “Innervisions,” Best R&B Song and Best Vocal for “Superstition,” and Pop Vocal Performance for “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” 

1974 – Roberta Flack wins Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammys for “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The track also garners a Song of the Year Grammy for its writers, Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox.

1985 – “Careless Whisper,” by Wham! featuring George Michael, begins its third and final week at No. 1 on the singles chart.

1985 – Sheena Easton becomes the first musical artist ever to land Top 10 hits on the pop, R&B, country, dance and adult contemporary charts when “Sugar Walls,” written by Prince, reaches No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. That is the song that sparked the Parental Advisory music labeling system (listen carefully to the lyrics and you’ll know why).

1999 – Acclaimed British pop vocalist Dusty Springield (“I Only Want To Be With You,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”) dies at the age of 59 following a five-year battle with breast cancer.

2002 – “Always on Time,” by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti, enters its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

On This Day January 26

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History Highlights
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.

1905 – A 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. Weighing 1.33 pounds,  it is the largest diamond ever found, and is named the Cullinan after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine.

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.

On This Day November 9

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On This Day October 27

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On This Day October 6

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On This Day September 29

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1941 – The Babi Yar massacre of nearly 34,000 Jewish men, women, and children begins on the outskirts of Kiev in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine. The two-day bloodbath becomes a symbol of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust.

1966 – General Motors rolls out the sporty Chevy Camaro in an effort to go head-to-head with the popular Ford Mustang, which debuted two years earlier.

1988 – NASA launches the so-called “Return to Flight Mission” — the first space shuttle launch since the devastating Challenger explosion that claimed the lives of all seven crew members in January 1986. STS-26 marks the seventh flight for shuttle Discovery.

1988 – Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon, becomes the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.

1995 – President Bill Clinton posthumously awards voting rights advocate Willie Velasquez the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Velasquez and the organizations he founded are credited with dramatically increasing political awareness and participation among the Hispanic communities of the Southwestern U.S.

2005 – New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released from a federal detention center after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

2008 – Congress fails to pass a $700 billion bank bailout plan, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting nearly 780 points — at the time, the largest single-day point loss in history. The free fall follows the bankruptcies of Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Brothers, Savings and Loan bank Washington Mutual and the Fed’s pledge to extend an $85 billion bailout for insurance provider AIG.

On This Day September 24

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1789 – Congress passes and President George Washington signs the Judiciary Act of 1789 into law, establishing the U.S. Supreme Court as a tribunal comprised of six justices who were to serve until they voluntarily step down, retire or die. 

1941 – The Japanese consul in Hawaii is instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones, calculate the number of battleships in each zone and report the findings back to Japan. Unbeknownst to U.S. military officials, this information is used to lay the groundwork for Japan’s devastating December 7, 1941 attack.

1957 – President Dwight Eisenhower orders federal troops to escort nine African American students, nicknamed the “Little Rock Nine,” into the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

1968 – One of television’s longest-running news magazines debuts on CBS. It’s “60 Minutes,” with hosts Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace presenting documentary-style coverage of the week’s news.

1969 – The trial of the “Chicago 8” begins. The band of protesters is accused of conspiracy and inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. 

1977 – “The Love Boat” sets out on its maiden TV voyage on ABC, featuring a cruise ship full of celebrity passengers with tales of romance found and hearts broken. 

1988 – Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson runs the 100-meter dash in 9.79 seconds to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. However, Johnson tests positive for steroids three days later and is stripped of the medal, which is instead awarded to American Carl Lewis.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1966 – “Cherish,” by The Association, begins three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1982 – Prince releases the single “1999,” a month before releasing the album of the same name. It climbs as high as No. 44 that December. Re-released in 1983, the track rises to No. 12 that July. Warner Brothers releases it again in 1985 as a 12″ single with “Little Red Corvette” as the B-side. Within two weeks, it’s a No. 2 hit. The song returns to the pop chart in December 1998, becoming Prince’s last Top 40 hit before his death in 2016.

1983 – Billy Joel rules the singles chart with “Tell Her About It,” off his “An Innocent Man” album. 

1988 – Bobby McFerrin begins a two-week run on top of the singles chart with “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” the first a cappella record to be a No. 1. The accompanying music video features the late actor-comedian Robin Williams.

1991 – The pioneering grunge band Nirvana releases “Nevermind” — the album containing the hit singles “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come as You Are,” “Lithium” and “In Bloom.” It reaches No. 1 on the album chart in January 1992 and goes on to sell around 30 million copies worldwide.

1994 – “I’ll Make Love to You,” by Boyz II Men, is in the middle of a 14-week domination of the pop chart.

2005 – “Gold Digger,” by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx, is the No. 1 single.

2011 – “Moves Like Jagger,” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, begins three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

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