On This Day October 18

History Highlights

1867 – The U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre.

1898 – One year after Spain grants Puerto Rico self-rule, American troops raise the U.S. flag over the Caribbean nation, formalizing U.S. authority over the island’s one million inhabitants.

1931 – Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, dies from complications of diabetes in his West Orange, New Jersey home at the age of 84. Edison is most famous for inventing the phonograph, motion picture camera and the incandescent light bulb.

1954 – Music, information and sports become portable as Texas Instruments and the Regency division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates introduce the transistor radio. Marketed as the “world’s first pocket radio,” the Regency Model TR-1 retails for $49.95.

1961 – “West Side Story” opens in theaters, featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The movie musical captures 10 Academy Awards.

1967 – “The Jungle Book” opens at the box office. It’s the last animated feature personally produced by Walt Disney, who died during production.

1968 – The U.S. Olympic Committee suspends two African American sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a “Black Power” salute during their medal ceremony at the Mexico City games.

1988 – The sitcom “Roseanne” premieres on ABC, starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.

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The Definitive Collection

The Temptations

Control / Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

West Side Story

Starring Natalie WoodRichard BeymerRuss Tamblyn, and directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise with music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim

Something in the Air: American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics

Richard Hoffer

Patton

Starring George C. Scott, Frank Latimore and Karl Malden, and directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

The Greatest Showman

Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams, and directed by Michael Gracey

On this Day June 19

History Highlights

1865 – Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, land at Galveston, Texas with news that the war has ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which became official on January 1, 1863. June 19 is observed around the U.S. as Juneteenth.

1905 – The world’s first nickelodeon opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and draws some 450 guests. The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged each patron a nickel.

1934 – Congress establishes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate broadcasting in the United States.

1953 –  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, die in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both deny wrongdoing and proclaim their innocence right up to the time of their execution. The Rosenbergs were the first American civilians executed for espionage during the Cold War.

1973 – In separate games, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds and Willie Davis of the L.A. Dodgers achieve their 2,000th career hits.

1978 – Cartoonist Jim Davis introduces readers of 41 newspapers around the U.S. to a pleasantly plump, lazy, lasagna-loving cat named Garfield.

1981 – A caped superhero returns to U.S. movie theaters with the release of “Superman II,” starring Christopher Reeve as “The Man of Steel.”

2013 –  Actor James Gandolfini, best known for his role as crime boss Tony Soprano in the HBO series “The Sopranos,” dies of a heart attack at age 51 while vacationing in Italy. 

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Essential Collection

The Four Tops

Tapestry

Carole King

Garfield At Large

Jim Davis

The Sopranos: The Complete Series

Starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli, and directed by John Patterson and Timothy Van Patten 

The Notebook

Starring Ryan Gossling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner and Gena Rowlands, and directed by Nick Cassavetes

The War of the Roses

Starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito, and directed by Danny DeVito