History Highlights

1860 – The Pony Express launches, with horse and rider relay teams simultaneously leaving St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California as part of a new effort to speed up U.S. mail delivery. 

1948 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Economic Recovery Act of 1948 — later known as the Marshall Plan — which would foster the recovery of war-torn Europe. 

1968 – Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey” — regularly voted as one of the greatest movies ever made, but whose philosophical meaning most fans cannot explain — opens in theaters around the U.S.

1968 – Another sci-fi classic opens at U.S. theaters. It’s “Planet of the Apes,” starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans. It’s the story about an astronaut crew that crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes rule and humans are oppressed and enslaved.

1974 – More than 140 tornadoes rip through 11 states within 16 hours. The “Super Tornado Outbreak” kills 330 people and injures more than 6,000 others.

1978 – At the 50th annual Academy Awards, Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” wins the Oscar for Best Picture, beating out George Lucas’ “Star Wars.”

1986 – IBM unveils its first laptop computer. The 5140 “Convertible” retails for $1,995 and weighs 13 pounds.

1996 –  FBI agents arrest accused Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski at his rural Montana cabin. Kaczynski was linked to 16 mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others during an 18-year period.

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The Definitive Collection

The Temptations

Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan

Elaine M. Hayes

The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War

Benn Steil

2001: A Space Odyssey

Starring Douglas Rain, Frank Miller and Keir Dullea, and directed by Stanley Kubrick

On The Waterfront

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

Trading Places

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and Denholm Elliott, and directed by John Landis

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

History Highlights

1881 – The Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. The gunfight only lasts 30 seconds, but when the dust clears, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers are dead, and Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday are wounded.

1958 – The Jet Age begins as the first Boeing 707 commercial airliner, operated by Pan Am, takes off from New York’s Idlewild Airport (now JFK) and crosses the Atlantic to Paris-Le Bourget Airport on an 8.5-hour flight.

1970 – The “Doonesbury” comic strip, created by Garry Trudeau, premieres in 28 newspapers across the U.S.

1982 – “St. Elsewhere,” a drama set at the fictional St. Eligius Hospital in Boston, captivates viewers when it premieres on NBC. Then-unknown actors Denzel Washington and Howie Mandel co-star.

1984 – Surgeons place a baboon heart into the chest of Baby Fae (Stephanie Fae Beauclair), an infant with a heart defect that normally kills newborns within their first 10 days of life. The transplant keeps Baby Fae alive for 21 days.

1984 – Director James Cameron’s career-launching sci-fi action film, “The Terminator,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, opens in theaters. The movie is produced on a $6.4 million budget and grosses more than $78 million worldwide. It supercharges Schwarzenegger’s acting career, and “I’ll be back” becomes a popular catch-phrase.

2001 – President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law drawn up in response to the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

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The Very Best of Spinners

Spinners

Whitney: The Greatest Hits

Whitney Houston

Jet Age: The Comet, the 707, and the Race to Shrink the World

Sam Howe Verhovek

St. Elsewhere, Season 1

Starring Ed Flanders, Denzel Washington and Howie Mandel

The Terminator

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, and directed by James Cameron

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Starring Charles Fleischer, Stubby Kaye and Bob Hoskins, and directed by Robert Zemeckis

The Princess Bride

Starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Robin Wright and directed by Rob Reiner

History Highlights

1835 – Mounting tensions between Mexico and Texas lead to violence when Mexican soldiers attempt to disarm the people of Gonzales, sparking the Texan war for independence. The battle flag used by the Texans at the Battle of Gonzales gained recognition as the “Come and Take It” flag, referring to a small cannon that Mexican forces tried to repossess.

1919 – President Woodrow Wilson, who had just cut short a cross-country speaking tour to promote formation of the League of Nations (a precursor to the United Nations), suffers a massive stroke, which leaves him partially paralyzed on the left side of his body. The stroke is kept a secret from the public, but forces Wilson to abandon his campaign for the League and weakens his presidency.

1950 – The first Peanuts comic strip, created by Charles Schulz, is published in seven newspapers across the U.S. Schulz originally called his strip “L’il Folks,” but United Features Syndicate changed the name.

1959 – “The Twilight Zone,” created and hosted by Rod Serling, premieres with an episode called “Where Is Everybody?” starring Earl Holliman. The black & white sci-fi series runs for five seasons.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice, is sworn in to office.

1985 – Actor Rock Hudson becomes the first high-profile celebrity to die of complications from AIDS. Hudson’s death, at the age of 59, raises public awareness of the epidemic, which until that time had been ignored by many in the mainstream as a “gay plague.”

2006 – A 32-year-old milk truck driver enters the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, and fatally shoots five female students and wounds five more before taking his own life. The gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, had no criminal history or record of mental illness.

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Every Picture Tells a Story

Rod Stewart

American Fool

John Cougar (Mellencamp)

The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation

Charles Solomon

The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia

Steven Rubin

American Pie

Don McLean

Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984-1994

Sting

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

Nevermind

Nirvana

Warner Bros. Animation Art

Warner Brothers

King of the World: Muhammed Ali and the Rise of an American Hero

David Remnick

Mrs. Doubtfire

Starring Robin Williams, Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan, and directed by Chris Columbus

The King's Speech

Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by Tom Hooper

History Highlights

1900 – A hurricane packing winds in excess of 130 miles per hour and a 15-foot storm surge slams into Galveston, Texas, devastating the island. Between 6,000 and 8,000 people are killed, making the hurricane the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history up to that time. Ten thousand survivors are left homeless.

1921 – Sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C., is crowned the first Miss America at the end of a two-day pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

1966 – A television sci-fi phenom is born with the premiere of “Star Trek” on NBC. The first episode is called “The Man Trap.” The series, consisting of 79 episodes over three seasons, stars William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, first officer and science officer aboard the starship USS Enterprise. In the decades since the original series ended, “Star Trek” has spawned spin-offs, movies and conventions.

1974 – President Gerald Ford attempts to give closure to the Watergate scandal by granting his predecessor, Richard Nixon, a pardon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. 

1974 – Daredevil Evel Knievel survives a failed bid to leap the mile-wide chasm of the Snake River Canyon (Idaho) on his rocket-powered motorcycle.

1986 – “The Oprah Winfrey Show” debuts as the first talk show hosted by an African American woman. 

1994 – US Air Flight 427 crashes on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport. All 132 people on board the Boeing 737 are killed. A lengthy investigation concludes that the cause was a faulty rudder.

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Let's Get It On

Marvin Gaye

Get The Knack

The Knack

Isaac's Storm

Erik Larson

Evel: The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel

Leigh Montville

The Pink Panther

Starring David NivenPeter Sellers andRobert Wagner, and directed by Blake Edwards

Sentimentally Yours

Patsy Cline

History Highlights

1897 – The first copies of the classic vampire novel “Dracula,” by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appear in London bookshops.

1927 – It’s the end of the road for Ford’s iconic Model T automobile. The 15 millionth and last Model T Ford rolls off a Detroit assembly line with Ford founder Henry Ford in the front passenger seat and his son, Edsel, behind the wheel. The touring car, with hand-stamped VIN 15000000, marked the symbolic end of the groundbreaking automobile’s 19-year production run.

1953 – The first 3-D sci-fi movie premieres in Los Angeles: “It Came from Outer Space,” based on a Ray Bradbury story.

1959 – Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves before losing, 1-0, in the 13th. It’s the first time a pitcher throws more than nine perfect innings in major league history.

1969 – Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing. During descent from its lunar orbit, the spacecraft sets a record for the fastest speed attained by a manned vehicle.

1972 – Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Richard Nixon, meeting in Moscow, sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements.

1977 – The so-called “human fly,” George Willig, scales the South Tower of New York City’s World Trade Center by attaching himself to a window washing track and walking straight to the top and into the custody of waiting police officers. It takes Willig three and a half hours to make the climb and costs him $1.10 in fines — one penny per floor.

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Power To The People: The Hits

John Lennon

They Only Come Out At Night

The Edgar Winter Group

It Came from Outer Space

Starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush and Charles Drake, and directed by Jack Arnold

The World Trade Center Remembered

Sonja Bullaty, Paul Goldberger and Angelo Lomeo 

Big Fish

Starring Ewan McGregor, Helena Bonham Carter, Albert Finney, Hailey Anne Nelson and Billy Crudup, and directed by Tim Burton

Greatest Hits

Lenny Kravitz

History Highlights

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Bookends

Simon & Garfunkel

Make It Big

Wham!, featuring George Michael

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

Douglas Brinkley

Star Wars The Digital Six Film Collection

George Lucas

Gods and Monsters

Starring Sir Ian McKellan, Brendan Fraser and Lynn Redgrave, and directed by Bill Condon

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Starring Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley and Michael York, and dorected by Jay Roach