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 March 11

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On This Day October 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1881 – The Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. The gunfight only lasts 30 seconds, but when the dust clears, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers are dead, and Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday are wounded.

1958 – The Jet Age begins as the first Boeing 707 commercial airliner, operated by Pan Am, takes off from New York’s Idlewild Airport (now JFK) and crosses the Atlantic to Paris-Le Bourget Airport on an 8.5-hour flight.

1970 – The “Doonesbury” comic strip, created by Garry Trudeau, premieres in 28 newspapers across the U.S.

1982 – “St. Elsewhere,” a drama set at the fictional St. Eligius Hospital in Boston, captivates viewers when it premieres on NBC. Then-unknown actors Denzel Washington and Howie Mandel co-star.

1984 – Surgeons place a baboon heart into the chest of Baby Fae (Stephanie Fae Beauclair), an infant with a heart defect that normally kills newborns within their first 10 days of life. The transplant keeps Baby Fae alive for 21 days.

1984 – Director James Cameron’s career-launching sci-fi action film, “The Terminator,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, opens in theaters. The movie is produced on a $6.4 million budget and grosses more than $78 million worldwide. It supercharges Schwarzenegger’s acting career, and “I’ll be back” becomes a popular catch-phrase.

2001 – President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law drawn up in response to the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

On This Day October 20

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On this Day June 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1927 – Coney Island’s iconic Cyclone roller coaster begins operating. The ride quickly becomes a fan favorite, with long lines of repeat customers paying 25 cents per ride. In 1988, it is designated a New York City Landmark, and in 1991, it is added to the National Register of Historic Places.

1948 – Known as the “Berlin Airlift,” U.S. and British planes begin delivering food and supplies through airdrops to (West) Berlin, Germany after Soviet forces seal off rail, road, and water access with a blockade. The crisis finally ends almost a year later when Soviet forces lift the blockade on land access to the city.

1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II preside at a ceremony marking the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which creates a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

1963 – President John F. Kennedy speaks the famous words, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” in a speech before cheering throngs in democratic West Berlin.

1974 – Grocery shopping is revolutionized with the introduction of the bar code. The first item scanned is a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1993 – President Bill Clinton punishes Iraq for a plot to assassinate former U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

2015 – Marking a major milestone for civil rights, the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage cannot be banned in the United States and that all same-sex marriages must be recognized nationwide, finally granting same-sex couples equal rights to heterosexual couples under the law.

On this Day June 10

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1692 – Bridget Bishop, the first Massachusetts Bay colonist to be tried in the Salem witch trials, is hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft.

1752 – Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects ambient electrical charge in a Leyden jar, enabling him to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity along with an understanding of positive and negative charges. His experiment leads to development of the lightning rod, which grounded buildings thereby helping prevent deadly fires.

1935 – Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA, is founded by two recovering alcoholics — Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Ohio surgeon. Today, the organization continues to fulfill the pair’s original mission to help alcoholics stop drinking and stay sober.

1943 – Hungarian Laszlo Biro patents the ballpoint pen. In many languages, the word for ballpoint pen is “biro.”

1967 – In the Middle East, the Six-Day War ends when Israel and Syria agree to a U.N.-brokered ceasefire.

1980 – A letter written by imprisoned anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela and smuggled out of Robben Island prison, is shared publicly by the African National Congress (ANC). The letter is a call to arms against apartheid.

2007 – An estimated 12 million viewers tune in to “Made in America” — the final episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed, award-winning Mob family drama, “The Sopranos,” starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco and Steven Van Zandt.

On this Day June 2

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1865 – Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. Smith’s surrender effectively dissolves the last Confederate army, formally ending the Civil War — the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.

1924 – President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizen Act, granting automatic American citizenship to Native Americans born in the United States. 

1935 – Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, ends his Major League playing career after 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs.

1941 – Another baseball legend, Lou Gehrig, dies of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a rare type of paralysis commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

1953 – Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is crowned in Westminster Abbey during the first televised coronation ceremony.

1979 – Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit a communist country when he tours his native Poland.

1989 – Moviegoers discover a darker side of comedian-actor Robin Williams when “Dead Poets Society” opens in U.S. theaters, starring Williams as an unconventional prep school English teacher. The performance garners Williams a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

1997 – Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. Army soldier, is convicted on 11 counts of murder, conspiracy and using a weapon of mass destruction for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He is later sentenced to death.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

On this Day May 6

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