On This Day September 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1813 – The United States gets its nickname, “Uncle Sam.” The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. Wilson stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to their rations as “Uncle Sam’s.”

1965 – Hurricane Betsy churns across extreme southern Florida en route to Louisiana where it kills 76 people and triggers widespread flooding. She’s the first hurricane to cause more than a billion dollars in damage, earning the nickname “Billion-Dollar Betsy.” 

1968 – Fifty women led by the New York Radical Women feminist group stages the first protest against the Miss America pageant. 

1977 – President Jimmy Carter signs a treaty granting Panama control over the Panama Canal beginning in the year 2000. The treaty ends an agreement signed in 1904 between then-President Theodore Roosevelt and Panama, which gave the U.S. the right to build the canal and a renewable lease to control five miles of land along either side of it.

1979 – The sports network ESPN debuts on cable TV. 

1980 – The 33rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony takes place, with statues going to the producers of “Taxi” and “Lou Grant” and performers Ed Asner and Barbara Bel Geddes — Asner for his starring role as newspaper editor Lou Grant, and Bel Geddes for her role as Miss Ellie, the Ewing family matriarch in the prime time soap “Dallas.” 

1986 – Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu becomes the first black man to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa. 

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1936 – Rock ‘n’ roll legend Buddy Holly is born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas. He produces a string of hits before his death at age 22 in a 1959 plane crash that also claims the lives of musical greats Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” (J.P. Richardson).

1968 – The Rascals claim the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “People Got to Be Free.

1974 – “(You’re) Having My Baby,” by Paul Anka and Odia Coates, wraps up three weeks on top of the singles chart.

1978 – Acclaimed drummer Keith Moon of the British rock band The Who dies of a drug overdose at the age of 32. 

1985 – The theme from the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire” (“Man In Motion”), by John Parr, is the No. 1 single. 

1994 – With TV host David Letterman as her escort, Madonna hands Aerosmith the Best Video award for “Cryin’” during the MTV Video Music Awards at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

2001 – Michael Jackson is reunited onstage with the Jackson Five at his 30th Anniversary Celebration in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

2002 – “Dilemma,” by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland, rules the Billboard Hot 100.

2003 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Warren Zevon (“Werewolves of London,” “Lawyers, Guns and Money”) dies of lung cancer at the age of 56. Ironically, Zevon earned the Grammys posthumously for his final album, “The Wind,” which was released just two weeks before his death.

2013 – “Blurred Lines,” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell, enters its 12th and final week as a Billboard chart-topper.

On this Day July 6

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On this Day June 22

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1944 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the GI Bill to provide financial aid to veterans returning from World War II.

1950 – Prominent figures in the music industry, including Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lena Horne, Pete Seeger and Artie Shaw, are named publicly as suspected Communist sympathizers as part of America’s infamous Red Scare.T Their names appear in Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television.

1966 – Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton grace the big screen with the release of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” It’s the first movie to contain certain four-letter words and adult content, but still receive the production code seal of approval.

1969 – Award-winning actress-singer Judy Garland, best known for playing Dorothy in the classic film “The Wizard of Oz,” is found dead of a drug overdose in her London home just days after her 47th birthday.

1981 – Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to the murder of music legend and former Beatle John Lennon.

2001 – There’s plenty of burning rubber on the screen as the action movie “The Fast and the Furious,” starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, debuts in U.S. theaters. The film becomes a blockbuster — grossing $200 million worldwide — and spawns several sequels.

2011 – After 16 years on the run from law enforcement, James “Whitey” Bulger, a violent Boston mob boss wanted for 19 murders, is arrested in California. Bulger was among the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” fugitives. He dies in prison in 2018 at the age of 89.