On This Day January 26

History Highlights

1788 –  Britain’s First Fleet sails into Sydney Harbor and begins the European colonization of Australia. The fledgling colony marks this event each year as Australia Day, however in recent years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have objected because they see the occasion as the beginning of the deliberate destruction of their people and culture.

1905 – A 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. Weighing 1.33 pounds,  it is the largest diamond ever found, and is named the Cullinan after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine.

1926 – Scottish inventor John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of a true television system (called a “televisor”) in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment.

1950 – The Republic of India is formed as the Indian constitution takes effect.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet Travell, 59, as his personal physician, making her the first woman in history to hold that post. 

1979 – The General Lee, a bright orange Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag on its roof, kicks up dust clouds as “The Dukes of Hazzard” premieres on CBS.

1988 – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has its first Broadway performance at the Majestic Theatre. 

1998 – During one of the most memorable news conferences of his presidency, Bill Clinton tells reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Clinton later confesses that he did indeed have an “improper physical relationship” with Monica Lewinksky, a 24-year-old White House intern.

2005 – Condoleezza Rice assumes the post of U.S. Secretary of State two months after her nomination by President George W. Bush. She becomes the highest ranking African American woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet.

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Photograph: The Very Best Of Ringo

Ringo Starr

Like A Virgin

Madonna

Dukes of Hazzard: Season 1

Starring Tom Wopat and John Schneider

The Phantom Of The Opera

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Cool Hand Luke

Starring Paul Newman, George Kennedy and J.D. Cannon, and directed by Stuart Rosenberg

The Right Stuff

Starring Scott Glenn, Ed Harris and Barbara Hershey, and directed by Philip Kaufman

On this Day May 24

History Highlights

1775 – Meeting in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress unanimously elects John Hancock of Massachusetts as president. That is why Hancock has the honor of being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.

1883 – New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge opens, concluding a 14-year, $18 million construction project that cost more than two dozen workers their lives. The span links the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan across the East River.

1899 – The first public parking garage in the U.S. opens in Boston as part of the Back Bay Cycle & Motor Company. It is advertised as a “stable for renting, sale, storage and repair of motor vehicles.”

1935 – Major League Baseball’s first night game is played at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1.

1976 – Service aboard the Concorde supersonic (SST) airliner begins between London and Washington, D.C.

1991 – “Thelma & Louise,” starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis and directed by Ridley Scott, opens in U.S. movie theaters. The film earns six Academy Award nominations, including Best Director for Scott and Best Actress for both Sarandon and Davis, but wins for Best Original Screenplay. “Thelma & Louise” also becomes part of the pop culture lexicon, with the two main characters representing strong women overcoming obstacles in a male-dominated world.

1991 – The firefighting drama “Backdraft,” starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Scott Glenn and Donald Sutherland, and directed by Ron Howard, opens in U.S. theaters. The film goes on to receive three Academy Award nominations.

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The Essential Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Greatest Hits

Earth Wind & Fire

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

David McCullough

Thelma & Louise

Starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, and directed by Ridley Scott

The Essential Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Guardians of the Galaxy

Starring Chris Pratt, Lee Pace, Zoe Saldana and John C. Reilly, and directed by James Gunn