History Highlights

1915 – The American merchant ship William P. Frye becomes the first casualty of World War I as a German cruiser opens fire and sinks the vessel. Despite apologies from the German government, the attack sparks outrage in the U.S.

1922 – Ninety-eight guests are killed, 133 others are injured when the roof of Washington, D.C.’s Knickerbocker Theatre collapses under the weight of a heavy snowfall. The disaster ranks as one of Washington’s worst, and the “Knickerbocker Snowstorm,” as it is known, still holds the record for Washington’s single greatest snowfall.

1958 – The interlocking stud-and-tube plastic Lego brick is patented by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, whose father founded the Lego toy company (“Lego,” from the Danish term “leg godt,” meaning “play well”). Bricks manufactured today remain compatible with the original ones.

1964 – The State Department accuses the Soviet Union of shooting down an unarmed Air Force trainer jet over East Germany, killing its three occupants.

1986 – A nation watches in horror as Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51-L) explodes 73 seconds into flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe — who was to have been the first civilian in space — and fellow crew members Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnick, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair and Gregory Jarvis.

1997 – Four apartheid-era police officers, appearing before a tribunal in South Africa, admit to the 1977 killing of Stephen Biko, a leader of the South African “Black consciousness” movement.

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Rumours

Fleetwood Mac

We Are The World

U.S.A. For Africa

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

David Robertson and Bill Breen

Space Shuttle Disaster: The Tragic Mission of the Challenger

Henry M. Holden

M*A*S*H: The Complete Collection

Starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Harry Morgan, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit and others

The Green Mile

Starring Tom Hanks, David Morse and Bonnie Hunt, and directed by Frank Darabont

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All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Super Fly

Curtis Mayfield

Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Holiday Tradition

Keith A. Mayes

The Exorcist

Starring Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Ellen Burstyn, and directed by William Friedkin

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

Mick Brown

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

David Sedaris

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Every Great Motown Hit Of Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

Born In The U.S.A.

Bruce Springsteen

Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8

Robert Zimmerman

The Longest Night: A Personal History of Pan Am 103

Helen Engelhardt

Pulp Fiction

Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

The Lost Boys

Starring Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz, Corey Haim and Kiefer Sutherland, and directed by Joel Schumacher

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The Very Best Of Peter, Paul And Mary

Peter, Paul and Mary

The Bangles: Greatest Hits

The Bangles

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989

Frederick Taylor

The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck

The Awful Truth

Starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant and Ralph Bellamy, and directed by Leo McCarey

The Hangover

Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, and directed by Todd Phillips

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The Definitive Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

H2O

Hall & Oates

Verdun: The Lost History of the Most Important Battle of World War I

John Mosier

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Lionel Jeffries, and directed by Ken Hughes

GoodFellas

Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, and directed by Martin Scorsese

Inglourious Basterds

Starring Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

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Dance, Dance, Dance: The Best of Chic

Chic

Storm Front

Billy Joel

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charles M. Shultz and Bill Melendez

Scarface (1983)

Starring Al Pacino, Steven Bauer and Michelle Pfeiffer, and directed by Brian De Palma

Life Could Be Verse: Reflections on Love, Loss, and What Really Matters

Kirk Douglas

Being John Malkovich

Starring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Ned Bellamy and John Malkovich, and directed by Spike Jonze

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Still Crazy After All These Years

Paul Simon

The Essential Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison

Who Freed the Slaves?: The Fight over the Thirteenth Amendment

Leonard L. Richards

14 Fun Facts About the Washington Monument

Caitlind Alexander

Bewitched - Season 1 & 2

Starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York

Poltergeist

Starring Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams and Beatrice Straight, and directed by Tobe Hooper

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Elvis Presley: The 50 Greatest Hits

Elvis Presley

Belinda Carlisle: Her Greatest Hits

Belinda Carlisle

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Daniel Okrent

Into the Bermuda Triangle: Pursuing the Truth Behind the World's Greatest Mystery

Gian Quasar

The Life And Times Of Little Richard

Charles White

#BeRobin The Movie

Starring Margaret Cho, Bob Mould and Rick Overton, and directed by Kurt Weitzmann

Celebrity Birthdays

1835 – Author Mark Twain, a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, best known for his classic American novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” (d. 1910)

1874 – Winston Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is born in Oxfordshire, England. (d. 1965) 

1918 – Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (“77 Sunset Strip,” “The F.B.I.”) (d. 2014)

1927 – Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume, best known for his role as the butler in the ABC sitcom “Benson”

1929 – Legendary TV host and producer Dick Clark, born Richard Wagstaff Clark, who is credited with such popular shows as “American Bandstand,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” “The $25,000 Pyramid” and “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes,” among others. (d. 2012)

1937 – Emmy-winning director-producer Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Gladiator,” “Black Hawk Down,” “American Gangster,” “The Martian”)

1947 – Tony-winning playwright, screenwriter and director David Mamet (“The Verdict,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Wag the Dog,” “Ronin”)

1952 – Emmy and Tony-winning actor Mandy Patinkin (“Yentl,” “The Princess Bride,” “Dick Tracy,” “The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland,” “Chicago Hope,” “Criminal Minds”)

1955 – Rock singer-guitarist Billy Idol, born William Albert Michael Broad (“Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “Rock the Cradle of Love”)

1965 – Emmy-winning actor, director and comedian Ben Stiller (“Reality Bites,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Zoolander,” the “Meet the Parents” trilogy, “DodgeBall,” “Tropic Thunder,” the “Madagascar” series, the “Night at the Museum” trilogy, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”)

1978 – Singer and “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken, born Clayton Holmes Grissom

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The Best Of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

Diana Ross & The Supremes

God Bless Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim

Unsafe At Any Speed

Ralph Nader

Brian's Song

Starring James Caan, Billy Dee Williams and Jack Warden, and directed by Buzz Kulik

The Princess Bride

Starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Chris Sarandon, and directed by Rob Reiner

Night at the Museum

Starring Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino and Dick Van Dyke, and directed by Shawn Levy

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Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

52nd Street

Billy Joel

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Neal Gabler

A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown

Julia Scheeres

Big

Starring Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins and Robert Loggia, and directed by Penny Marshall

Midnight in Paris

Starring Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody and Carla Bruni, and directed by Woody Allen

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