On This Day January 2

Musical Milestones

1965 – The Beatles’ eighth single, “I Feel Fine,” is in the middle of three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. It is reported to be the first recorded song to incorporate guitar feedback (the opening note).

1971 – George Harrison’s first solo album, “All Things Must Pass,” featuring the hits “My Sweet Lord” and “What is Life,” begins a seven-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. In January 2014, the album is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

1979 – The murder trial of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious begins, with the punk rocker accused of stabbing his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, to death in a New York City hotel three months earlier. On February 2, 1979, before the trial is over, Vicious is found dead of a heroin overdose at the age of 21.

1982 – Olivia Newton-John is in the middle of a 10-week ride on top of the Billboard singles chart with her 80s workout anthem, “Physical.”

1988 – During a four-week run as a Billboard No. 1, “Faith,” by George Michael, officially becomes the first chart-topping single of 1988.

1993 – Whitney Houston is in the midst of a 14-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Will Always Love You,” a song originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton in 1973.

1999 – The Céline Dion-R. Kelly duet, “I’m Your Angel,” is the No. 1 single.

2010 – Kesha kicks off nine weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Tik Tok.”

2016 – Adele begins the fourth of 10 non-sequential weeks on top of the Billboard album chart with her Grammy-winning album, “25.”

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 May 21

History Highlights

1881 – After being around wounded soldiers during the Civil War and, later, the Franco-Prussian War overseas, nurse and educator Clara Barton establishes the American Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters as well as to military personnel and their families.

1901 – Connecticut becomes the first state to impose a speed limit for motor vehicles (known then as “horseless carriages”). Motorists are required to keep it to 12 miles per hour in the city and 15 miles per hour on country roads. Speed limits were first enacted in Connecticut because horseless carriage manufacturers were springing up all across New England, and New Englanders were buying, and driving, their products.

1917 – The Great Atlanta Fire destroys much of that city’s Fourth Ward, including nearly 2,000 homes and businesses. Ten thousand people—nearly one tenth of the city’s population—are left homeless.

1979 – Gay rights activists riot outside San Francisco City Hall following the conviction of Dan White for the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, an openly gay San Francisco supervisor. Protesters participating in the so-called White Night Riots contend that White’s sentence is too light.

1980 – A new installment to George Lucas’ “Star Wars” film saga opens in U.S. theaters: “The Empire Strikes Back.”

1999 – Ninetheenth time’s the charm! After 18 straight years of being nominated for a Best Actress Daytime Emmy Award and never winning, Susan Lucci finally captures the coveted honor for her portrayal of Erica Kane in the popular ABC soap opera “All My Children.”

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The Great Twenty-Eight

Chuck Berry

Let's Dance

David Bowie

The American Red Cross from Clara Barton to the New Deal

Marian Moser Jones

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, and directed by Irvin Kershner

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Starring Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Judge Reinhold, and directed by Amy Heckerling

Face/Off

Starring John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen and Nick Cassavetes, and directed by John Woo