On This Day February 3

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The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the "Big Bopper," and Ritchie Valens

Larry Lehmer

Briefcase Full of Blues

The Blues Brothers

Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War America

Audra J. Wolfe

Serpico

Starring Al Pacino, John Randolph and Jack Kehoe, and directed by Sidney Lumet

American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell

Deborah Solomon

The Birdcage

Starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman, and directed by Mike Nichols

On This Day December 25

History Highlights

1776 – General George Washington and 2,400 of his Continental Army troops cross the icy waters of the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey.

1914 – Gunfire is replaced with the sounds of Christmas carols as German troops serving in World War I lay down their weapons and break into song on Christmas morning. Russian, French and British troops do the same and even shake hands and exchange cigarettes with enemy soldiers along the eastern and western fronts during the Christmas Truce of 1914. 

1962 – “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters, starring Gregory Peck, who wins a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as attorney Atticus Finch.

1973 – “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a pair of 1930s grifters, premieres.

1977 – British director, producer and comedic actor Charlie Chaplin, an icon of the silent film era, dies at the age of 88.

1989 – Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, are executed following a popular uprising.

1989 – Former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin dies in a traffic accident at the age of 61.

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union just days after 11 of the former Soviet republics establish the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1996 – Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is killed in her Boulder, Colorado, home. Her parents call police the following morning to report their daughter missing and discover a ransom note demanding $118,000. The girl’s body is found in the basement that afternoon. The crime becomes a national sensation that remains unsolved today.

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White Christmas

Bing Crosby

Dino The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life

Peter Ackroyd

Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

Bill Pennington

The Twilight Zone (Season 1)

Created by Rod Serling

Coal Miner's Daughter

Starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones and Levon Helm, and directed by Michael Apted

On This Day December 8

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Styx: Greatest Hits

Styx

Let Me Take You Down: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman,the Man Who Killed John Lennon

Jack Jones

Sophie's Choice

Starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol, and directed by Alan J. Pakula

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

Daniel Ellsberg

Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together

Frank J. Lisciandro

Batman (1989)

Starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger, and directed by Tim Burton

On This Day December 7

History Highlights

1941 – Japanese forces launch a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, thrusting the U.S. into World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt calls it “a date which will live in infamy.”

1963 – Decades before the DVR and years before the first Super Bowl, instant replay is used for the first time during an Army-Navy college football game. As the CBS broadcast replays Rollie Stichweh’s winning touchdown, commentator Lindsey Nelson tells viewers, “Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!”

1972 – Apollo 17 hurtles toward space, carrying a three-man crew to the last moon landing of the Apollo program.

1982 – The nation’s first execution by lethal injection takes place at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Charles Brooks, Jr. was convicted of kidnapping and murdering an auto mechanic.

1993 – Colin Ferguson opens fire on a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) commuter train after it pulls out of New York’s Penn Station, killing six and injuring 19. Other passengers overpower Ferguson when he stops to reload his pistol. The incident comes to be known as the Long Island Rail Road Massacre.

2001 – The heist film “Ocean’s Eleven,” starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts, and directed by Steven Soderbergh, opens in theaters. It is a remake of the 1960 movie of the same name that starred “Rat Pack” members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., along with Angie Dickinson.

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Welcome to the Real World

Mr. Mister

Achtung Baby

U2

Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack

Steve Twomey

A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts

Andrew Chaikin

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Starring Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson and Diane Ladd, and directed by Martin Scorsese

When the Game Was Ours

Larry BirdEarvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and others

On this Day June 7

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The Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track

Philippe Margotin & Jean-Michel Guesdon

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937

Darrell Rooney and Mark A. Vieira

The Battle of Midway

Craig L. Symonds

Dino: The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Schindler's List

Starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On this Day May 16

History Highlights

1929 – A far cry from the pageantry of today’s Oscar ceremonies, about 270 guests attend a dinner at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where the first Academy Awards are handed out.

1960 – Two weeks after the Soviet downing of an American U-2 spy plane, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev lashes out at the U.S. and President Dwight D. Eisenhower at a Paris summit between the two heads of state. Khrushchev’s outburst angered Eisenhower and doomed any chances for successful talks or negotiations.

1965 – The Franco-American food company revolutionizes the way American kids eat when it introduces SpaghettiOs — canned pasta rings in tomato and cheese sauce. “The neat round spaghetti you can eat with a spoon…Uh-Oh! SpaghettiOs.”

1977 – A commuter helicopter accident on the roof of the Pan Am Building (now MetLife Building) in Manhattan leaves five people dead, eight others injured. Investigators blame the crash on “metal fatigue,” which caused the landing gear to fail. The helipad is never used again.

1988 – Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issues a report stating that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.

1996 – The final episode of “Murder, She Wrote,” starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher, airs on CBS, ending a successful 12-season run.

2014 – Broadcast journalist and TV personality Barbara Walters retires from ABC News and as co-host of the daytime program “The View.” The 84-year-old Walters blazed a trail for women in television news during a distinguished career spanning more than 50 years.

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The Best of The Guess Who

The Guess Who

The Joshua Tree

U2

The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter

Jeremy Arnold and Robert Osborne

Audition: A Memoir

Barbara Walters

The Grapes of Wrath

Starring Henry Fonda, Dorris Bowdon, Jane Darwell and Russell Simpson, and directed by John Ford

Urban Cowboy

Starring John Travolta, Debra Winger and Scott Glenn, and directed by James Bridges