On this Day August 25

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

On this Day August 18

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Celebrity Birthdays
Celebrity Birthdays

1927 – Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

1933 – Director Roman Polanski, born Raimund Polanski, whose first American movie was 1968’s “Rosemary’s Baby”

1936 – Oscar-winning actor, director, producer and Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford (“Barefoot in the Park,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Candidate,” “The Way We Were,” “The Sting,” “All the President’s Men,” “Ordinary People,” “Out of Africa,” “Legal Eagles,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”)

1943 – Actor-comedian Martin Mull (“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Fernwood 2 Night,” ” Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “Two and a Half Men”)

1952 – Actor Patrick Swayze (“Red Dawn,” “Uncommon Valor,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost,” “Donnie Darko”) (d. 2009)

1957 – Actor-comedian Denis Leary (“True Crime,” the “Ice Age” movie series, “Rescue Me,” “Recount,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Draft Day,” “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll”)

1969 – Golden Globe-winning actor Christian Slater (“The Legend of Billie Jean,” “Heathers,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “True Romance,” “Murder in the First,” “Mr. Robot”)

1969 – Oscar-winning actor-director Edward Norton (“Primal Fear,” “American History X,” “Fight Club,” “The Italian Job,” “The Illusionist,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”)

1970 – Actor-director Malcolm-Jamal Warner, best known for his role as Theo Huxtable on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show”

1978 – Golden Globe-winning comedian, actor, musician and “SNL” alum Andy Samberg (“Hot Rod,” “I Love You, Man,” “That’s My Boy,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” the “Hotel Transylvania” movies, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”)

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1962 – “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” by Neil Sedaka, is Billboard’s top-ranked single. 

1962 – Two days after firing Pete Best, The Beatles introduce new drummer Ringo Starr in time for a performance in Birkenhead, England. Starr was no stranger to the band, having stood in on several occasions in Hamburg and Liverpool, where he primarily played for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

1969 – Jimi Hendrix brings the Woodstock Music and Art Fair to a memorable close with one of the most powerful, searing renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner” ever recorded. While some believe that Hendrix improvised the electrified anthem on the spot, he had actually been experimenting with it for more than a year and would continue to play it until his untimely death in September 1970.

1973 – With “Touch Me in the Morning,” Diana Ross scores her second No. 1 single since leaving The Supremes.

1979 – “Good Times,” by Chic, tops the Billboard Hot 100. The disco standard is one of the most sampled tracks in music history, especially in hip hop. It is the band’s second No. 1 hit.

1984 – Ray Parker, Jr. continues to haunt the top spot on the pop chart with his theme from the movie “Ghostbusters.” The single spends three weeks at No. 1.

1990 – Mariah Carey is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the pop chart with “Vision of Love.”

2001 – Alicia Keys kicks off three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Fallin,” which goes on to capture three Grammy Awards.

On this Day August 11

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1934 – The first inmates, classified as “most dangerous,” arrive at the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, joining a few dozen prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.

1956 – Abstract artist Jackson Pollock dies in a drunk-driving car crash at the age of 44. 

1965 – Following the arrest of a young black motorist, the predominately black Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts erupts in riots that last six days and leave more than 30 people dead. 

1965 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the Bronco to compete with the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout. 

1973 – “American Graffiti” opens in theaters. The coming-of-age film set in 1962 California was co-written and directed by George Lucas and stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford.

1984 – During a sound check before a Saturday radio broadcast, President Ronald Reagan jokingly says, “My fellow Americans. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Reagan was unaware, however, that the feed was live. The Soviets, who find no humor in the remark, put their military on high alert.

2014 – Oscar-winning actor-comedian Robin Williams (“Mork and Mindy,” “The World According to Garp,” “Moscow on the Hudson,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Socity,” “Aladdin,”  “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Birdcage,” “Good Will Hunting”) dies by suicide at the age of 63. 

On this Day May 1

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1931 – President Herbert Hoover dedicates New York City’s iconic 102-story Empire State Building by symbolically pressing a button in Washington, D.C. that illuminates what is then the world’s tallest building. The art deco skyscraper, standing 1,250 feet tall, was built in just over a year at a cost of $41 million.

1941 – “Citizen Kane” opens in New York, and through the decades, is hailed as one of the greatest movies ever made. Written and directed by 26-year-old filmmaker Orson Welles (also the star), it chronicles the life of a newspaper magnate considered to be real-life publishing baron William Randolph Hearst. 

1958 – President Dwight Eisenhower proclaims Law Day to honor the role of law in the establishment of the United States of America. In 1961, Congress follows suit by passing a joint resolution establishing May 1 as Law Day.

1960 – An American U-2 spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union, prompting cancellation of a planned summit between U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev.

1963 – Jim Whittaker of Washington State becomes the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain.

1971 – The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) introduces passenger rail service in the U.S. with 184 trains a day. The first train, the Clocker, rolls out of New York’s Penn Station bound for Philadelphia just after midnight. AMTRAK was created through the Rail Passenger Act of 1970 to salvage the nation’s struggling passenger rail services.

1997 – After 18 years of Conservative rule, British voters give the Labour Party, a landslide victory in British parliamentary elections. In the poorest Conservative Party showing since 1832, Prime Minister John Major is rejected in favor of Tony Blair, who at age 43 becomes the youngest British prime minister in more than a century.