On This Day April 18

Musical Milestones

1960 – The movie tune “Theme From a Summer Place, by Percy Faith, begins its ninth and final week on top of the pop chart. 

1964 – The Beatles enjoy their third consecutive No. 1 hit with “Can’t Buy Me Love,” which holds the top spot for five weeks.

1970 – The Beatles’ “Let It Be” begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single. It is the last single released by the Fab Four while still officially considered an active group. 

1984 – Michael Jackson undergoes surgery at an L.A. hospital for injuries sustained two months earlier when his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. 

1987 – “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael, tops the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks.

1992 – Def Leppard begins five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Adrenalize.” The album spawns three major hits, including “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad.”

1992 – Vanessa Williams kicks off her fifth and final week as a chart-topper with “Save the Best for Last.”

2009  – “Boom Boom Pow,” by The Black Eyed Peas, launches a 12-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, from the band’s “The E.N.D.” album,” is nominated at the 52nd Grammy Awards for Best Dance Recording and wins Best Short Form Music Video.

2012 –  An original and extremely rare 1963 mono copy of The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” album, signed by all four musicians, sells in an eBay auction for nearly $25,000. 

History Highlights

1906 – A powerful earthquake destroys large sections of San Francisco and sparks fires that burn for days. The death toll exceeds 3,000. 

1923 – More than 74,000 fans attend opening day at the New York Yankees’ new home in the Bronx. Babe Ruth slams the door on the Boston Red Sox with a game-winning three-run homer and Yankee Stadium becomes known as “The House that Ruth Built.”

1955 – Legendary physicist Albert Einstein, who won the Nobel Prize for his General Theory of Relativity (E=mc2), dies at the age of 76.

1983 – A suicide bomber crashes a truck into the front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, setting off a massive blast that kills 63 people.

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students take to the streets of Beijing to protest government policies and call for greater democracy. Similar demonstrations begin in other cities and universities across China. The movement culminates with the bloody Tiananmen Square Massacre that June.

2012 – Entertainment icon Dick Clark, best known for hosting “American Bandstand” — an influential music-and-dance show that aired nationally for more than three decades and helped bring rock and roll into the mainstream in the late 1950s — dies of a heart attack at 82. Affectionately called “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark also hosted ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” ringing in each new year from New York’s Times Square.

2014 – Sixteen Nepali mountaineering guides, most of them ethnic Sherpas, are killed by an avalanche on Mt. Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. It is the single deadliest accident in the history of the Himalayan peak that lies between Nepal and China.

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Let It Be

The Beatles

Adrenalize

Def Leppard

Images of America: 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Richard Hansen and Gladys Hansen 

American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire

John A. Jackson

Once Upon a Time in America

Starring Robert De Niro, James Woods and Joe Pesci, and directed by Sergio Leone

Conan O’Brien Believes

Conan O’Brien

On This Day November 27

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Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles

Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf

American Experience: The Rise and Fall of Penn Station

PBS

Milk

Starring Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch and Josh Brolin, and directed by Gus Van Sant

Tao of Jeet Kune Do: New Expanded Edition

Bruce Lee

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World

Bill Nye

On This Day November 25

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The Last Waltz

Starring The Band,  Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and other musicians, and directed by Martin Scorsese

The Bodyguard

Starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, and directed by Mick Jackson

Naming Names

Victor S. Navasky

Iran-Contra: Reagan's Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power

Malcolm Byrne

56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports

Kostya Kennedy

Come to the Edge: A Memoir

Christina Haag

On This Day November 23

Musical Milestones

1936 – Blues legend Robert Johnson lays down his first-ever musical recordings — eight songs in a single session at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. The tracks include “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and his biggest hit, “Terraplane Blues.” 

1963 – “I’m Leaving It Up to You,” by Dale & Grace, is the hottest song on the radio.

1974 – Billy Swan is on top of the singles chart for two weeks with the only hit of his singing career: “I Can Help.”

1974 – The Rolling Stones score their fifth No. 1 album with “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll” — the last Stones album for guitarist Mick Taylor, who was replaced by Ronnie Wood. 

1976 – Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested for the second time in as many days. First it was drunk driving, but on this day he’s busted for brandishing a pistol outside Graceland while demanding to see Elvis.

1985 – Starship begin their second and final week orbiting around the top spot on the pop chart with “We Built This City.”

1991 – Michael Bolton’s cover of Percy Sledge’s 1966 classic, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later goes on to capture a Grammy Award.

1995 – Soul singer and saxophonist Junior Walker, best known for the hits “How Sweet It Is” and “What Does It Take, To Win Your Love, dies of cancer at the age of 64. Walker also played sax on Foreigner’s 1981 hit “Urgent.”

2002 – Eminem rules the Billboard singles chart with “Lose Yourself,” from the “8 Mile” movie soundtrack. The song holds at No. 1 for 12 weeks.

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It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

The Rolling Stones

The Essential Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton

LIFE 75 Years: The Very Best of LIFE

Editors of LIFE

I Dream of Jeannie (Season 1)

Starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman

Frankenstein

Starring Boris Karloff and Colin Clive, and directed by James Whale

Harpo Speaks!

Harpo Marx with Rowland Barber

On This Day October 17

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Best of The Jackson 5: The Millennium Collection

The Jackson 5

Essential Collection: Four Tops

Four Tops

Scarface and the Untouchable

Max Allan Collins and A. Brad Schwartz

The Way We Were

Starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, and directed by Sydney Pollack

Cheers: Season 1

Starring Ted Danson, Shelley Long, George Wendt and John Ratzenberger

Alan Jackson: The Greatest Hits Collection

Alan Jackson

On This Day September 4

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Anthology 1

The Beatles

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later

Directed by Brent and Craig Renaud

Inside Gilligan's Island: From Creation to Syndication

Sherwood Schwartz

Say Anything

Starring John CusackIone SkyeJohn Mahoney, and directed by Cameron Crowe

Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream

Starring Beyoncé Knowles

On this Day August 29

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The Ultimate Collection

Roy Orbison

#1s

Diana Ross & The Supremes

The Little Black Book of Motorcycle Wisdom

Malcolm Nelson

Katrina: After the Flood

Gary Rivlin

Off The Wall

Michael Jackson

Risky Business

Starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay and Joe Pantoliano, and directed by Paul Brickman

On this Day July 22

History Highlights

1916 – A massive parade in San Francisco marking Preparedness Day, in anticipation of the United States entering World War I, is interrupted when a suitcase bomb explodes, killing 10 bystanders and wounding 40 others.

1933 – Some 50,000 cheering New Yorkers greet aviator Wiley Post at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field as he completes the first solo flight around the world. Post logged 15,596 miles in seven days, 18 hours and 49 minutes — the fastest circumnavigation of the globe.

1934 – FBI agents gun down Public Enemy No. 1 — notorious bank robber and murderer John Dillinger, outside Chicago’s Biograph movie theater. Dillinger and his mob gang terrorized the Midwest, killing 10 men, wounding seven others, robbing banks and police arsenals, and staging three jail breaks — killing a sheriff during one and wounding two guards in another.

1937 – The U.S. Senate rejects President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts to add more justices to the Supreme Court — his so-called “court-packing” plan. 

1942 –  Agricultural chemist George Washington Carver arrives in Dearborn, Michigan at the invitation of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford to begin collaborating on crop experiments.

1987 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev indicates that he will accept a worldwide ban on intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

1991 – Milwaukee police arrest serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer after discovering dismembered victims and other evidence in his apartment. Dahmer is tried and convicted for the murders of 17 males between 1978 and 1991. While serving time in prison, he is attacked and killed by a fellow inmate in 1994.

2003 – U.S. Army Private Jessica Lynch, a prisoner-of-war who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, receives a hero’s welcome when the 20-year-old returns to her hometown of Palestine, West Virginia. Following her return, new details of her capture and rescue emerge suggesting the original accounts were exaggerated to create positive feelings about the war.

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Still Bill

Bill Withers

My Aim is True

Elvis Costello

American Outlaws: The Life and Legacy of John Dillinger

Charles River Editors

Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters

Peter Vronsky

Lethal Weapon Movie Collection

Starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover

The Very Best of Eagles

Eagles

On this Day May 28

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The Best of Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge

Songs in the Key of Life

Stevie Wonder

Cold War

Produced by Jeremy Isaacs

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou

Casino Royale

Ian Fleming

Imagination

Gladys Knight & The Pips

On this Day May 27

History Highlights

1930 – New York City’s iconic Chrysler Building opens to the public and stands as the world’s tallest building until surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931.

1936 – The ocean liner RMS Queen Mary leaves Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York with more than 1,800 passengers aboard. The ship arrives safely five days later.

1937 – The majestic Golden Gate Bridge opens, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California. San Franciscans throw a “fiesta” in honor of the new span. Schools, offices and stores either close or reduce staffing. By 6 that morning, 18,000 people are waiting to cross the span from both the sides.

1939 – A ship carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution is turned away from Havana, Cuba. Only 28 immigrants are admitted into the country. After appeals to the U.S. and Canada for entry are rejected, the rest are forced to return to Europe, where they are divided among several countries, including Great Britain and France.

1941 – The revered German battleship Bismarck is cornered and sunk in the North Atlantic by ships and planes from the British Royal Navy, ending one of the most intensive naval manhunts in history. An estimated 2,100 men are killed in the attack.

1962 – A mine fire that still burns to this day breaks out beneath the borough of Centralia, Pennsylvania.

1994 – Two decades after being expelled from the Soviet Union, Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn returns to Russia in an emotional homecoming.

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The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

The Ultimate Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites

Golden Gate Bridge: History and Design of an Icon

Donald MacDonald and Ira Nadel

Bismarck: The Final Days of Germany’s Greatest Battleship

Niklas Zetterling

An Officer and a Gentleman

Starring Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett, Jr., and directed by Taylor Hackford

The Pit and the Pendulum

Starring John Kerr, Vincent Price and Barbara Steele, and directed by Roger Corman