On This Day April 15

History Highlights

1865 – President Abraham Lincoln dies from the gunshot wound he sustained the night before while watching a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln’s death comes only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army, effectively ending the American Civil War.

1912 – More than 1,500 lives are lost in the early morning hours when the luxury liner Titanic sinks after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. 

1947 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American in baseball’s major leagues when he debuts with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This becomes a landmark event not only for the sport, but for the U.S. civil rights movement.

1955 – The golden arches rise in Des Plaines, Illinois with the opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant. Customers pay just 15 cents for a hamburger. The restaurant is built for drive-through service only, with indoor seating eventually added in 1962.

1959 – Four months after leading a successful revolution in Cuba, Fidel Castro begins an 11-day U.S. visit. It comes amid escalating tensions between his regime and the American government.

1997 – On the 50 anniversary of his first Major League Baseball game, the league retires Jackie Robinson’s number, 42. Robinson becomes the only player in MLB history to have his number retired across all teams, a sign of the reverence with which he is regarded decades after leading the charge to integrate the major leagues.

2013 – Two bombs go off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 others. Four days later, after an intense manhunt, authorities capture one of the bombing suspects, 19-year-old Dzhohkar Tsarnaev. His older brother and fellow suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dies following a shootout with police earlier that same day.

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Somethin' Stupid

Frank and Nancy Sinatra

Saturday Night Fever (Original Movie Soundtrack)

Bee Gees, Tavares, KC and the Sunshine Band, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining, and Style

Veronica Hinke

I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Sense and Sensibility

Starring Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, and directed by Ang Lee

50/50

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick, and directed by Jonathan Levine

On This Day March 31

Musical Milestones

1943 – Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” premieres on Broadway. In 1955, the musical is produced as a motion picture starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (in her film debut).

1958 – Chess Records releases “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song climbs as high as No. 8 on the pop chart and goes on to become a rock and roll classic.

1962 – Connie Francis claims the top spot on the pop chart for a week with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You”

1967 – Jimi Hendrix suffers minor burns to his hands when he sets his guitar on fire during a performance at Finsbury Park in London. Nevertheless, he goes on to torch guitars several times during his short career.

1973 – Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” returns to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week after The O’Jays interrupted her for a week with their hit, “Love Train.”

1979 – “Tragedy,” by the Bee Gees, dominates the singles chart for a second and final week.

1984 – Kenny Loggins kicks off a three-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “Footloose,” from the movie of the same name.

1987 – Prince releases his ninth studio album, “Sign o’ the Times,” which spawns three Top 10 hit singles: “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “U Got the Look,” (with Sheena Easton) and the title track. 

1995 – Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known as the “Mexican Madonna,” is shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club. Selena was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy, in the Best Mexican-American album category, for her 1993 album “Selena Live!” At the time of her murder, at age 23, Selena was on the brink of international fame, recording her first English language album.

2007 – “Glamorous,” by Fergie featuring Ludacris, enters its second and final week as the No. 1 single.

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Oklahoma!

Starring Gordon Macrae, Gloria Grahame and Shirley Jones, and directed by Fred Zinnemann

To Selena, With Love

Chris Perez

Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It

Jill Jonnes

Raging Bull

Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty, and directed by Martin Scorsese

The Partridge Family: The Complete Series

Starring Shirley Jones and David Cassidy

Catch Me If You Can

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On This Day March 17

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Greatest Hits / Tequila

The Champs

The Best Of Both Worlds

Van Halen

St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography

Philip Freeman

Erin Brockovich

Starring Julia Roberts and Albert Finney, and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Ultimate Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole

St. Elmo's Fire

Starring Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy, and directed by Joel Schumacher

On This Day March 3

History Highlights

1820 – Congress passes the Missouri Compromise, temporarily resolving the first serious political clash between slavery and antislavery interests by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state.

1887 – Anne Mansfield Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing at 19 months of age. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller thrived, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. 

1923 – The first edition of Time magazine is published. The 32-page issue features former U.S. House Speaker Joseph G. Cannon on the cover. 

1931 – With the stroke of President Herbert Hoover’s pen, the United States officially adopts the “Star-Spangled Banner” as its national anthem.

1950 – Marilyn Monroe makes her first screen appearance when the musical comedy “Love Happy,” starring the Marx Brothers, opens in movie theaters.

1952 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a New York state law (Feinberg Law) that prohibits communists from teaching in public schools. Coming at the height of the Red Scare in the U.S., the high court’s decision was further proof that many Americans feared possible subversive communist activity within their borders.

1991 – In what’s believed to be the first viral video, amateur video footage captures the beating of African American motorist Rodney King by four Los Angeles police officers, igniting outrage over alleged police brutality and social inequalities in LA’s black community. The cops are later tried and acquitted, which triggers riots.

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The Best of Both Worlds

Van Halen

Rhythm Nation 1814

Janet Jackson

Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America's National Anthem

Marc Ferris

The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption

Rodney King & Lawrence J. Spagnola

Jean Harlow: Tarnished Angel

David Bret

Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 1

Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig and others

On This Day March 2

Musical Milestones

1963 – “Walk Like a Man,” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart. It is the band’s third chart-topping hit.

1967 – The Beatles win three Grammys for records issued the previous year: Best Song for “Michelle,” Best Vocal Performance for “Eleanor Rigby” and Best Cover Artwork for the album design of “Revolver” by Klaus Voormann.

1974 – “Seasons in the Sun,” by one-hit wonder Terry Jacks, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and stays there for three weeks.

1974 – At the 16th Annual Grammy Awards, Stevie Wonder captures five honors: Album of the Year and Best Engineered Recording for “Innervisions,” Best R&B Song and Best Vocal for “Superstition,” and Pop Vocal Performance for “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” 

1974 – Roberta Flack wins Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammys for “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The track also garners a Song of the Year Grammy for its writers, Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox.

1985 – “Careless Whisper,” by Wham! featuring George Michael, begins its third and final week at No. 1 on the singles chart.

1985 – Sheena Easton becomes the first musical artist ever to land Top 10 hits on the pop, R&B, country, dance and adult contemporary charts when “Sugar Walls,” written by Prince, reaches No. 9.

1999 – Acclaimed British pop vocalist Dusty Springield (“I Only Want To Be With You,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”) dies at the age of 59 following a five-year battle with breast cancer.

2002 – “Always on Time,” by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti, enters its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

History Highlights

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The Very Best Of Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Greatest Hits

Sheena Easton

King Kong

Starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong and Bruce Cabot, and directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack

The Sound of Music

Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker, and directed by Robert Wise

Theodor Seuss Geisel: A Portrait of the Man Who Became Dr. Seuss

Donald E. Pease

The Long, Long Trailer

Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz and Marjorie Main, and directed by Vincente Minnelli

On This Day February 24

Musical Milestones

1958 – The Silhouettes are on top of the Billboard pop chart with “Get a Job.” Thanks to the band’s performances on “American Bandstand” and “The Dick Clark Show,” the single goes on to sell over a million copies.

1968 – French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat is in the middle of a five-week run atop the Billboard singles chart with his instrumental, “Love is Blue.” It is the only song by a French artist to ever top Hot 100.

1973 – Roberta Flack begins a five-week reign over the singles chart with “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The song garners Flack the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, with co-writers Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel earning the Song of the Year Grammy.

1975 – Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” is released in the U.S. and immediately sees one million copies ship — a whopping order for Atlantic Records. The double album, which features the iconic photo of a New York City tenement on the cover, contains some of the band’s most memorable tracks, including “Kashmir,” “Ten Years Gone” and “In My Time of Dying.”

1982 – Winners at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards include John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Album of the Year (“Double Fantasy”), songwriters Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon for Song of the Year (“Bette Davis Eyes” performed by Kim Carnes), Sheena Easton for Best New Artist and Quincy Jones for Producer of the Year.

1990 – Singer-songwriter and pianist Johnnie Ray dies of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Ray is credited with 20 Top 40 singles between 1952 and 1960, including “Just Walking in the Rain.”

1990 – Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair enjoy their third and final week as Billboard chart-toppers with “Opposites Attract.”

1996 – “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men is the No. 1 single.

2001 – “Stutter,” by Joe featuring Mystikal, kicks off four weeks on top of the pop chart.

2007 – Nelly Furtado lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Say It Right.”

History Highlights

1836 – Under attack by soldiers of the Mexican Army, Colonel William Travis issues an urgent call for reinforcements on behalf of his Texan troops defending the Alamo in Bejar, Texas (San Antonio today).

1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, which charges him with violating the Tenure of Office Act and bringing into “disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States.” Johnson, who assumed office after the Lincoln assassination, is acquitted three months later in the Senate.

1903 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signs a deal with the new government of Cuba to lease 45 square miles at the mouth of Guantanamo Bay for 2,000 gold coins a year.

1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded. In the mid-1950s, it becomes American Motors, best known for production of the Gremlin and Pacer.

1968 – The Tet Offensive ends as U.S. and South Vietnamese troops recapture the ancient capital of Hue from communist forces.

1981 – Socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering ex-lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of the bestselling “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet,” concluding a sensational trial that ignited a national debate about whether Harris was a woman scorned or a victim of abuse.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award the Reverend Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.

1991 – After the six-week-long bombing campaign against Iraq and its armed forces known as Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a massive ground offensive against Kuwait and Iraq.

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Killing Me Softly

Roberta Flack

Physical Graffiti

Led Zeppelin

Very Much a Lady: The Untold Story of Jean Harris and Dr. Herman Tarnower

Shana Alexander

Unseemly Man Hardcover

Larry Flynt

Barney Miller (Season One)

Starring Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass, Max Gail and others

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

On This Day February 10

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Elvis 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon

Kathryn Lofton

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

April E. Brucker

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins

Garry Kasparov

Jurassic Park

Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, and directed by Steven Spielberg

Catch Me If You Can

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On this Day August 10

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The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder

Songs From The Big Chair

Tears For Fears

Candid Camera: Greatest Moments

Peter Funt and Allen Funt

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Desperately Seeking Susan

Starring Rosanna Arquette, Madonna and Aidan Quinn

The Mask of Zorro

Starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony HopkinsCatherine Zeta-Jones, and directed by Martin Campbell

On this Day July 1

History Highlights

1963 – The U.S. Postal Service introduces the five-digit Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code to make mail delivery more efficient. A cartoon character named Mr. ZIP is used to help market it.

1979 – After the boombox, music becomes even more portable as Sony rolls out the Walkman, originally called the “Sound-About.” It retails for $200.

1984 – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) institutes the PG-13 rating, strongly recommending parental guidance for moviegoers age 13 or younger. Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, is the first movie to receive that rating.

1991 – “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, premieres.

1992 – “A League of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell and directed by Penny Marshall, opens in theaters.

1997 – Actor Robert Mitchum, best remembered for his roles in such films as “The Story of G.I. Joe,” “Crossfire,” “Out of the Past,” “The Night of the Hunter” and “Cape Fear,” dies at 79.

1997 – At the stroke of midnight, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

2004 – Legendary actor and Oscar winner Marlon Brando, best remembered for performances in “On the Waterfront,” “The Godfather,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Viva Zapata!,” “Julius Caesar,” ““The Wild One,” “Last Tango in Paris,” and “Apocalypse Now,” dies at the age of 80.

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The Association: Greatest Hits

The Association

All-Time Greatest Hits

Neil Diamond

A League of Their Own

Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell, and directed by Penny Marshall

On The Waterfront

Starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by Elia Kazan

Ghostbusters

Starring Bill MurrayDan AykroydSigourney Weaver, and directed by Ivan Reitman

Diana: Story of a Princess

Tim Clayton and Phil Craig

On this Day May 13

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The Ultimate Collection

Diana Ross and The Supremes

Let It Be

Starring The Beatles, and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

George Weigel

Let it Burn: MOVE, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Confrontation that Changed a City

Michael Boyette and Randi Boyette

Pulp Fiction

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

The Definitive Collection

Stevie Wonder