On This Day February 2

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The Way We Were: Original Soundtrack

Barbra Streisand

Off The Wall

Michael Jackson

Groundhog Day

Don Yoder

Grand Central Terminal: 100 Years of a New York Landmark

Anthony W. Robins

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce

Star Trek: The Next Generation (Season 1)

Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Levar Burton and Brent Spiner

On This Day January 2

History Highlights

1959 – The Space Race intensifies as the Soviet Union launches Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the moon and orbit the sun. It was originally called Cosmic Rocket, but renamed Luna 1 to reflect the Soviets’ planned series of Luna missions to the moon. 

1971 – Known as the “Ibrox Disaster,” 66 football (soccer) fans die in a stampede at a stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, as they attempt to leave a game after a late goal by the home team. Nearly 200 other fans are injured.

1974 – President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the speed limit across the U.S. to 55 miles per hour in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo. The measure, known as the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, remains in effect until Congress repeals it in 1995.

1980 – Angered by Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter requests that the Senate postpone action on the SALT II nuclear weapons treaty and recalls the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. 

1980 – Sherry Lansing is named the head of Fox Productions, becoming the first woman in charge of production at a major movie studio as well as one of the highest-paid female executives in any industry.

1990 – Actor Alan Hale, Jr., who played the Skipper on TV’s “Gilligan’s Island,” dies of cancer at the age of 68. 

2009 – Shortly after the death of British surgeon Harold Carr, his family discovers the rare, unrestored 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe that he owned — sitting in a garage, undriven for some 50 years. One month later, the car sells at a Paris auction for $4.4 million.

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All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

Sid Vicious: Rock 'n' Roll Star

Sid Vicious

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

Deborah Cadbury

Gilligan's Island

Starring Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise and others

I, Robot

Isaac Asimov

Jerry Maguire

Starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Renee Zellweger, and directed by Cameron Crowe

On this Day July 20

Musical Milestones

1963 – Beach music is the favorite on this day, as Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” hits No. 1 on the singles chart. 

1968 – Trumpeter Hugh Masekela begins a two-week run on top of the singles chart with the jazz instrumental “Grazing in the Grass.” In 2018, the song is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

1968 – Heavy metal strikes the album chart for the first time in the form of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” which was originally supposed to be titled “In The Garden of Eden.” The 17-minute title track takes up all of Side Two and was edited down to 2:53 for release as a single.

1974 – Early disco hit “Rock Your Baby,” by George McCrae, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single.

1985 – Duran Duran begin their second and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “A View to a Kill,” from the James Bond movie of the same name.

1986 – The movie “Sid & Nancy,” based on the life of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, premieres in London, starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb.

1991 – One-hit-wonder EMF kick off a week at No. 1 on the pop chart with “Unbelievable.”

1996 – “How Do U Want It,” by 2Pac featuring K-Ci & JoJo, grabs the top spot on the Billboard single chart. The track remains at No. 1 for a week.

2002 – “Hot in Herre,” by Nelly, is in the midst of a seven-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track garners Nelly a 2003 Grammy for Best Male Rap Solo Performance, a brand new category at the time.

History Highlights

1944 – A plot to murder German dictator Adolf Hitler fails as a bomb planted in a briefcase goes off, but leaves him only slightly wounded. Known as Operation Valkyrie, the assassination attempt was masterminded by senior-level German military officials who wanted to remove Hitler in order to establish a new government. Hitler’s would-be assassins are executed after being discovered.

1969 – More than a billion people around the world are glued to TV sets and radios as Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to step onto the surface of the moon. He famously marks the landmark event by saying, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

1973 – Actor and martial arts icon Bruce Lee dies unexpectedly at the age of 32, just before the release of his film, “Enter the Dragon.” The official cause of death is a brain edema, possibly triggered by a reaction to a prescription painkiller that Lee was reportedly taking for a back injury.

1976 – On the seventh anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, Viking 1, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, becomes the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars. 

1976 – In Major League Baseball, “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron hits his 755th and final home run during the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the California Angels. 

1977 – A flash flood washes over Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing 84 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. The disaster marks the third time that floods, caused by dam failures, devastate the same community. The Great Flood of 1889 killed more than 2,000 people in Johnstown. A second flood in 1936 left two dozen people dead.

2012 – Twelve people are killed and 70 others are injured when a gunman opens fire inside a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  The theater was packed with Batman fans that were there for a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The tragedy becomes the deadliest mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine shooting in 1999 in which 12 high school students and a teacher were gunned down.

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In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

Iron Butterfly

Sid & Nancy

Starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, and directed by Alex Cox

The Plots Against Hitler

Danny Orbach

Apollo 11

This documentary features never-before-seen Apollo 11 footage; directed by Todd Douglas Miller

Splendor in the Grass

Starring Natalie WoodWarren BeattyPat Hingle, and directed by Elia Kazan

Sideways

Starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh, and directed by Alexander Payne

On this Day May 10

History Highlights

1869 – The heads of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific meet in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial golden spike into the track that connects their lines. Completion of the transcontinental railroad made the American West easily accessible, paving the way for trade, business and population growth.

1924 – J. Edgar Hoover is named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI). By the end of the year, he is  promoted to director, beginning a 48-year tenure in power during which he personally shapes American criminal justice in the 20th century.

1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the globe, logging about 42,000 miles in the process.

1970 – Bobby Orr scores the winning goal 40 seconds into sudden-death overtime to lift the Boston Bruins over the St. Louis Blues for the Stanley Cup title — the Bruins’ first championship in 29 years.

1977 – Oscar-winning actress Joan Crawford dies at the age of 72. Crawford won a Best Actress Oscar for her starring role in 1945’s “Mildred Pierce” and received two Oscar nominations in later years.

1980 – Decades before the GM-bailout, the nearly bankrupt Chrysler Corporation secures $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees — the largest rescue package ever granted by the U.S. government to an American corporation at that time.

1994 – John Wayne Gacy, convicted of the sex-related killings of 33 young men and boys, is put to death by lethal injection as the nation’s worst serial killer on record.

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Rock Around the Clock

Bill Haley and His Comets

Please

Pet Shop Boys

Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

Stephen E. Ambrose

Mildred Pierce

Starring Joan Crawford, Jack Carson and Zachary Scott, and directed by Michael Curtiz

Funny Face

Starring Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson, and directed by Stanley Donen

Gone With the Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, directed by Victor Fleming and produced by David O. Selznick