On This Day December 2

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On This Day September 24

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1789 – Congress passes and President George Washington signs the Judiciary Act of 1789 into law, establishing the U.S. Supreme Court as a tribunal comprised of six justices who were to serve until they voluntarily step down, retire or die. 

1941 – The Japanese consul in Hawaii is instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones, calculate the number of battleships in each zone and report the findings back to Japan. Unbeknownst to U.S. military officials, this information is used to lay the groundwork for Japan’s devastating December 7, 1941 attack.

1957 – President Dwight Eisenhower orders federal troops to escort nine African American students, nicknamed the “Little Rock Nine,” into the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

1968 – One of television’s longest-running news magazines debuts on CBS. It’s “60 Minutes,” with hosts Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace presenting documentary-style coverage of the week’s news.

1969 – The trial of the “Chicago 8” begins. The band of protesters is accused of conspiracy and inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. 

1977 – “The Love Boat” sets out on its maiden TV voyage on ABC, featuring a cruise ship full of celebrity passengers with tales of romance found and hearts broken. 

1988 – Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson runs the 100-meter dash in 9.79 seconds to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. However, Johnson tests positive for steroids three days later and is stripped of the medal, which is instead awarded to American Carl Lewis.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1966 – “Cherish,” by The Association, begins three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1982 – Prince releases the single “1999,” a month before releasing the album of the same name. It climbs as high as No. 44 that December. Re-released in 1983, the track rises to No. 12 that July. Warner Brothers releases it again in 1985 as a 12″ single with “Little Red Corvette” as the B-side. Within two weeks, it’s a No. 2 hit. The song returns to the pop chart in December 1998, becoming Prince’s last Top 40 hit before his death in 2016.

1983 – Billy Joel rules the singles chart with “Tell Her About It,” off his “An Innocent Man” album. 

1988 – Bobby McFerrin begins a two-week run on top of the singles chart with “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” the first a cappella record to be a No. 1. The accompanying music video features the late actor-comedian Robin Williams.

1991 – The pioneering grunge band Nirvana releases “Nevermind” — the album containing the hit singles “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come as You Are,” “Lithium” and “In Bloom.” It reaches No. 1 on the album chart in January 1992 and goes on to sell around 30 million copies worldwide.

1994 – “I’ll Make Love to You,” by Boyz II Men, is in the middle of a 14-week domination of the pop chart.

2005 – “Gold Digger,” by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx, is the No. 1 single.

2011 – “Moves Like Jagger,” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, begins three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

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 June 2

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1865 – Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. Smith’s surrender effectively dissolves the last Confederate army, formally ending the Civil War — the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.

1924 – President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizen Act, granting automatic American citizenship to Native Americans born in the United States. 

1935 – Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, ends his Major League playing career after 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs.

1941 – Another baseball legend, Lou Gehrig, dies of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a rare type of paralysis commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

1953 – Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is crowned in Westminster Abbey during the first televised coronation ceremony.

1979 – Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit a communist country when he tours his native Poland.

1989 – Moviegoers discover a darker side of comedian-actor Robin Williams when “Dead Poets Society” opens in U.S. theaters, starring Williams as an unconventional prep school English teacher. The performance garners Williams a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

1997 – Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. Army soldier, is convicted on 11 counts of murder, conspiracy and using a weapon of mass destruction for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He is later sentenced to death.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones