On This Day December 31

Musical Milestones

1966 – The Monkees swing to the top of the singles chart with “I’m a Believer” and hold on for seven weeks, finally yielding to The Buckinghams’ “Kind of a Drag” in mid-February.

1970 – Eight months after the The Beatles’ breakup and subsequent release of their last album, “Let It Be,” Paul McCartney files suit against bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to officially dissolve their partnership.

1972 – Dick Clark begins a new holiday tradition as his first “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” concert is broadcast on ABC-TV, featuring performances by Three Dog Night and Al Green. Clark hosts the annual event for the next 32 years before turning the reins over to Ryan Seacrest.

1977 – “How Deep Is Your Love,” by the Bee Gees, is in the middle of three weeks as the No. 1 single. The song is part of the “Saturday Night Fever” movie soundtrack.

1983 – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson are in the middle of a six-week domination of the pop chart with “Say Say Say.”

1985 – Former teen idol Ricky Nelson and six others are killed when their chartered plane crashes in Texas.

1988 – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” by Poison, is in the midst of a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard single chart.

2005 – Mariah Carey begins a two-week hold on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Don’t Forget About Us.”

2015 – Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter Natalie Cole (“This Will Be,” “I’ve Got Love On My Mind,” “Miss You Like Crazy,” “Unforgettable”), daughter of legendary crooner and jazz pianist Nat King Cole, dies of congestive heart failure at the age of 65.

History Highlights

1781 – The first bank in the U.S. opens under the name The Bank of North America.

1862 – Nine months after engaging in the most famous naval battles in American history, the ironclad warship USS Monitor sinks in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Sixteen crewmen are killed. The Monitor had dueled to a standstill with another ironclad, the CSS Virginia (originally the CSS Merrimack), off Hampton Roads, Virginia on March 9, 1862.

1879 – Inventor Thomas Edison demonstrates his incandescent light bulb to the public for the first time.

1904 – The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in New York’s Times Square — known then as Longacre Square — at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street in Manhattan. Three years later, in 1907, the tradition of the dropping ball is introduced.

1946 – President Harry Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.

1984 – Bernhard Goetz, the white man known as the “subway vigilante” after he shot four young black men on a New York City subway train, turns himself in to authorities in New Hampshire.

1999 – Days after Mikhail Gorbachev is re-elected head of the Soviet Communist Party, Boris Yeltsin, president of the Republic of Russia, stuns his country and the world by announcing his resignation six months before the end of his term. He turns control over to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, undercutting Gorbachev’s efforts to keep the struggling Soviet Union together. 

1999 – The United States officially turns control of the Panama Canal over to Panamanian authorities for the first time.

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

Rick Nelson: Greatest Hits

Ricky Nelson

One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World

Joe McKendry

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World

Randall E. Stross

Patsy Cline: The Definitive Collection

Patsy Cline

The Silence of the Lambs

Starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and directed by Jonathan Demme

Gandhi

Starring Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, and directed by Richard Attenborough

On this Day August 4

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The Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Roddy McDowall, Shelley Winters, and directed by Ronald Neame

Double Fantasy

John Lennon

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics

Jeremy Schaap

Mississippi Burning

Starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe, and directed by Alan Parker

Sling Blade

Starring Dwight YoakamJ. T. Walsh, and directed by Billy Bob Thornton

The Rocket That Fell to Earth

Jeff Pearlman

On this Day May 29

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Sticky Fingers

The Rolling Stones

Janet

Janet Jackson

Sir Edmund Hillary: An Extraordinary Life

Alexa Johnston

Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies

Christel Schmidt

The American President

Starring Michael Douglas, Annette Bening and Martin Sheen, and directed by Rob Reiner

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917 - 1963

Robert Dallek

On this Day May 8

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Let It Be

The Beatles

Welcome Back, Kotter

Starring Gabe Kaplan, Marcia Strassman, John Sylvester White, Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Ron Palillo and John Travolta

The Day the War Ended/May 8, 1945 : Victory in Europe

Martin Gilbert

Dr. No

Starring Sean Connery, Ursula Andress and Jack Lord, and directed by Terence Young

Little House on the Prairie

Starring Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project

Starring Don Rickles, Robin Williams and Bob Newhart, and directed by John Landis