On This Day April 20

Musical Milestones

1957 – Elvis Presley is on top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart for a second week with “All Shook Up.” The track remains at No. 1 for eight weeks and becomes the biggest single of 1957, selling more than two million copies.

1963 – The Chiffons wrap up a four-week domination of the pop chart with “He’s So Fine.”

1968 – “Honey,” by Bobby Goldsboro, is in the middle of a five-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1970 – The New York Times reports that Catholic and Protestant youth groups have adopted The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine as a religious symbol and formed so called “submarine churches.”  These churches featured the outline of a yellow submarine with a small cross on its periscope as their symbol. It is displayed alongside peace signs, flowers and other popular emblems of the period.

1974 – “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” by MFSB featuring the Three Degrees, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. 

1991 – Wilson Phillips’ “You’re in Love” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1996 – Céline Dion’s Grammy-winning “Because You Loved Me” continues a six-week ride atop the U.S. singles chart. The track is from the 1996 movie “Up Close and Personal,” starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

2002 – Ashanti launches a 10-week run on top of the pop chart with “Foolish,” off her self-titled debut album.

2013 – Bruno Mars kicks off a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “When I Was Your Man.”

History Highlights

1912 – With 27,000 people in the stands, the Boston Red Sox play their first game at Fenway Park and defeat the New York Highlanders (later renamed the Yankees) by a score of 7-6 in 11 innings. 

1916 – The first National League game played at Chicago’s Wrigley Field (then Weeghman Park) sees the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings. A bear cub is in attendance at the ballpark, which becomes known as Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchases the team from Weeghman. It is named Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the club’s owner.

1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the practice of busing to desegregate schools, ruling in the case of Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Two years later, the high court makes a second ruling restricting the use of busing, concluding that students could only be bused across district lines if there was evidence that multiple districts had implemented deliberately discriminatory policies.

1977 – The comedy “Annie Hall” opens, starring director Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. The film goes on to win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

1980 – The Castro regime announces that all Cubans wishing to emigrate to the U.S. are free to board boats at the port of Mariel west of Havana, launching the Mariel Boatlift.

1999 – The school day at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado is shattered by deadly gunfire. Two seniors fatally shoot 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives. Twenty-three others are injured in what ushers in a wave of U.S. school shootings over the next two decades.

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Absolutely The Best!

The Chiffons

Yellow Submarine

Starring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and directed by George Dunning

Images of America: Fenway Park

David Hickey, Raymond Sinibaldi and Kerry Keene

A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

Sue Klebold 

Hamp: The Legendary Decca Recordings

Lionel Hampton

Star Trek (The Original TV Series)

Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley and George Takei, and produced by Desilu Productions

On This Day April 7

History Highlights

1776 – U.S. Navy Captain John Barry, commander of the warship Lexington, achieves the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he seizes the British warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture of the Edward and its cargo turns Barry into a national hero and boosts the morale of the Continental forces.

1948 – The United Nations establishes the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote “the highest possible level of health” around the globe. A major cornerstone of WHO is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. World Health Day is observed internationally every April 7.

1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower coins one of the most famous Cold War phrases when he suggests the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a “domino effect” in Southeast Asia. The so-called “domino theory” guided U.S. strategy toward Vietnam for the next decade.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy lobbies Congress to fund the preservation of historic monuments in Egypt’s Nile Valley threatened by construction of the Aswan High Dam.

1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material (Stanley v. Georgia). 

1970 – At the 42nd annual Academy Awards, screen legend John Wayne ropes his first and only Oscar: Best Actor for his role in the Western “True Grit.”

1978 – President Jimmy Carter cancels planned production of the neutron bomb.

1994 – Violence in Rwanda fuels the launch of what becomes the worst episode of genocide since World War II: the massacre of an estimated 500,000 to 1 million innocent civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

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The Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track

Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon

Make It Big

Wham!

John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail

Tim McGrath

True Grit

Starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby, and directed by Henry Hathaway

The Essential Billie Holiday: The Columbia Years

Billie Holiday

A Beautiful Mind

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris, and directed by Ron Howard

On This Day March 30

History Highlights

1814 – European forces allied against Napoleonic France march triumphantly into Paris, formally ending a decade of French domination on the continent.

1842 – Anesthesia is used for the first time in an operation by Dr. Crawford Long. 

1858 – The first wooden pencil featuring a built-in rubber eraser on top is patented by Philadelphia inventor Hymen Lipman, who later sells his patent for $100,000 (about $2 million in today’s market). In 1875, The Supreme Court invalidates the patent, ruling that because the pencil combined two existing devices, it was not a legitimate invention. Nevertheless, this is observed as National Pencil Day.

1867 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase is ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s Folly.” 

1964 – The popular game show “Jeopardy!” premieres on NBC with host Art Fleming. Current host Alex Trebek takes over in 1984.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John Hinckley, Jr., who claims he was seeking to gain the attention of actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a psychiatric hospital until 2016, when he is allowed to live with his mother in her Virginia home. Reagan is released from the hospital less than two weeks after the attempted assassination.

2009 – President Barack Obama issues an ultimatum to struggling American automakers General Motors (GM) and Chrysler: In order to receive additional bailout loans from the government, he says, the companies need to dramatically change the way they run their businesses. 

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The Chiffons Absolutely The Best!

The Chiffons

John Denver's Greatest Hits

John Denver

Jeopardy! HD - America's Favorite Quiz Game

Sony Pictures Television

The Reagan Diaries

Ronald Reagan

Bonnie and Clyde

Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Michael J. Pollard, and directed by Arthur Penn

The Best Of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

On This Day March 15

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1

The Beatles

The Very Best of The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers

Caesar: Life of a Colossus

Adrian Goldsworthy

Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy

Gary May

Independence Day

Starring Bill Pullman, Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, and directed by Roland Emmerich

Elephunk

The Black Eyed Peas

On This Day February 27

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Pearl

Janis Joplin

Faith

George Michael

New Orleans Carnival Krewes: The History, Spirit & Secrets of Mardi Gras

Rosary O’Neill

A Brief History of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Piero Pierotti

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives, and directed by Richard Brooks

On This Day February 24

Musical Milestones

1958 – The Silhouettes are on top of the Billboard pop chart with “Get a Job.” Thanks to the band’s performances on “American Bandstand” and “The Dick Clark Show,” the single goes on to sell over a million copies.

1968 – French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat is in the middle of a five-week run atop the Billboard singles chart with his instrumental, “Love is Blue.” It is the only song by a French artist to ever top Hot 100.

1973 – Roberta Flack begins a five-week reign over the singles chart with “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The song garners Flack the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, with co-writers Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel earning the Song of the Year Grammy.

1975 – Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” is released in the U.S. and immediately sees one million copies ship — a whopping order for Atlantic Records. The double album, which features the iconic photo of a New York City tenement on the cover, contains some of the band’s most memorable tracks, including “Kashmir,” “Ten Years Gone” and “In My Time of Dying.”

1982 – Winners at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards include John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Album of the Year (“Double Fantasy”), songwriters Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon for Song of the Year (“Bette Davis Eyes” performed by Kim Carnes), Sheena Easton for Best New Artist and Quincy Jones for Producer of the Year.

1990 – Singer-songwriter and pianist Johnnie Ray dies of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Ray is credited with 20 Top 40 singles between 1952 and 1960, including “Just Walking in the Rain.”

1990 – Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair enjoy their third and final week as Billboard chart-toppers with “Opposites Attract.”

1996 – “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men is the No. 1 single.

2001 – “Stutter,” by Joe featuring Mystikal, kicks off four weeks on top of the pop chart.

2007 – Nelly Furtado lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Say It Right.”

History Highlights

1836 – Under attack by soldiers of the Mexican Army, Colonel William Travis issues an urgent call for reinforcements on behalf of his Texan troops defending the Alamo in Bejar, Texas (San Antonio today).

1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, which charges him with violating the Tenure of Office Act and bringing into “disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States.” Johnson, who assumed office after the Lincoln assassination, is acquitted three months later in the Senate.

1903 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signs a deal with the new government of Cuba to lease 45 square miles at the mouth of Guantanamo Bay for 2,000 gold coins a year.

1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded. In the mid-1950s, it becomes American Motors, best known for production of the Gremlin and Pacer.

1968 – The Tet Offensive ends as U.S. and South Vietnamese troops recapture the ancient capital of Hue from communist forces.

1981 – Socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering ex-lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of the bestselling “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet,” concluding a sensational trial that ignited a national debate about whether Harris was a woman scorned or a victim of abuse.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award the Reverend Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.

1991 – After the six-week-long bombing campaign against Iraq and its armed forces known as Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a massive ground offensive against Kuwait and Iraq.

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Killing Me Softly

Roberta Flack

Physical Graffiti

Led Zeppelin

Very Much a Lady: The Untold Story of Jean Harris and Dr. Herman Tarnower

Shana Alexander

Unseemly Man Hardcover

Larry Flynt

Barney Miller (Season One)

Starring Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass, Max Gail and others

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

On This Day February 15

Musical Milestones

1964 – “Meet The Beatles!” reaches No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, becoming The Beatles’ first chart-topping album in the U.S. It holds the top spot for eleven weeks and sells more than four million copies by the end of that year.

1965 – The Beatles record “Another Girl” and “Ticket to Ride” for the “Help!” album. Earlier that day, John Lennon earns a personal ticket to ride by passing his driving test. 

1965 – Entertainer Nat King Cole (“Unforgettable,” “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” “The Christmas Song,” “Mona Lisa”), who earned early acclaim as a jazz pianist and became the first African American performer to host a network TV variety show, dies of lung cancer at the age of 45.

1969 – Sly & the Family Stone rule the Billboard singles chart with “Everyday People,” which remains at No. 1 for four weeks.

1975 – “You’re No Good,” by Linda Ronstadt, is the No. 1 single.

1984 – Beloved actress-singer Ethel Merman, best known for her rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” dies at the age of 75.

1986 – “How Will I Know,” by Whitney Houston, becomes the most popular single in the U.S. for two weeks.

1992 – One-hit-wonder Right Said Fred is in the middle of three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m Too Sexy.”

2003 – “All I Have,” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J, is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart.

History Highlights

1879 – President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana (Cuba) Harbor, killing more than 260 crewmen. The incident prompts the U.S. to declare war on Spain. 

1903 – The first teddy bear, named for U.S. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, goes on sale. Toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window after personally getting Roosevelt’s permission to name them after him.

1933 – Two weeks before his inauguration, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt is fired upon by a would-be assassin after giving a speech in Miami. FDR is unharmed, but a bullet strikes Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who dies three weeks later.

1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. 

1978 – Leon Spinks takes the heavyweight boxing champion title away from defending champ Muhammad Ali in a split decision in Las Vegas. 

1985 – “The Breakfast Club” opens in U.S. theaters. Directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy — members of the so-called “Brat Pack” — it becomes an ’80s movie classic. In 2016, the film is selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

1998 – Racing great Dale Earnhardt, Sr. wins his first Daytona 500, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) season opener and an event dubbed the “Super Bowl of stock car racing.”

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Help!

The Beatles

Love Songs

Nat King Cole

One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, And The Myth Of The Heavyweight Title

John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro

The Breakfast Club

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol's Crack Ups

Carol Burnett

The Simpsons: Season 1

Starring Albert Brooks and Maggie Roswell, and directed by Brad Bird and David Silverman

On This Day February 5

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The Ultimate Petula Clark

Petula Clark

The Essential Toto

Toto

Apollo 14: To Fra Mauro

Ed Mitchell

Hot Potato: How Washington and New York Gave Birth to Black Basketball and Changed America's Game Forever

Bob Kuska

This Is Spinal Tap

Starring Rob Reiner, Kimberly Stringer and Chazz Dominguez, and directed by Rob Reiner

Dolores Claiborne

Starring Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Judy Parfitt, and directed by Taylor Hackford

On This Day January 22

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On Broadway

The Drifters

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

Nancy Sinatra

Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade

Clarke D. Forsythe

The Unabomber Manifesto: Industrial Society and Its Future

Theodore Kaczynski

Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke

Peter Guralnick

The Exorcist

Starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by William Friedkin

On This Day December 13

History Highlights

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Venus

Shocking Blue

The Way It Is

Bruce Hornsby And The Range

Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon, 1963-1972

David West Reynolds (Author), Gene Cernan (Afterword), Wally Schirra (Foreword)

Sports Illustrated Basketball's Greatest

The Editors of Sports Illustrated

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 1

Dick Van Dyke (Actor), Mary Tyler Moore (Actor), James Komack (Director), John Rich (Director)

Ray

Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King

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