On this Day June 19

History Highlights

1865 – Union soldiers land in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War has ended and that enslaved African Americans were now free. The announcement comes two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on January 1, 1863. Some historians blame the delay on poor communication of that era while others believe Texan slave owners intentionally withheld the information. June 19 is observed around the U.S. as Juneteenth. On June 17, 2021, it became a federal holiday.

1905 – The world’s first nickelodeon opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and draws some 450 guests. The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged each patron a nickel.

1934 – Congress establishes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate broadcasting in the United States.

1953 –  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, die in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both deny wrongdoing and proclaim their innocence right up to the time of their execution. The Rosenbergs were the first American civilians executed for espionage during the Cold War.

1973 – In separate games, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds and Willie Davis of the L.A. Dodgers achieve their 2,000th career hits.

1978 – Cartoonist Jim Davis introduces readers of 41 newspapers around the U.S. to a pleasantly plump, lazy, lasagna-loving cat named Garfield.

1981 – A caped superhero returns to U.S. movie theaters with the release of “Superman II,” starring Christopher Reeve as “The Man of Steel.”

2013 –  Actor James Gandolfini, best known for his role as crime boss Tony Soprano in the HBO series “The Sopranos,” dies of a heart attack at age 51 while vacationing in Italy. 

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Essential Collection

The Four Tops

Tapestry

Carole King

Garfield At Large

Jim Davis

The Sopranos: The Complete Series

Starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli, and directed by John Patterson and Timothy Van Patten 

The Notebook

Starring Ryan Gossling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner and Gena Rowlands, and directed by Nick Cassavetes

The War of the Roses

Starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito, and directed by Danny DeVito

On this Day June 1

Musical Milestones

1963 – “It’s My Party,” by Lesley Gore, kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single.

1964 – The Rolling Stones step onto American soil for the first time when they arrive at New York’s Kennedy Airport to kick off their debut U.S. tour. At the time, they were not as well known in the U.S. as The Beatles were when they arrived four months earlier.

1967 – The Beatles release the groundbreaking album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The album took four months and cost $75,000 to complete. It goes on to sell more than 8 million copies and spends 15 weeks at No. 1.

1968 – Simon & Garfunkel grab the top spot on the singles chart with “Mrs. Robinson.” The song, from the duo’s “Bookends” album, is also in the soundtrack to the movie “The Graduate,” starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman. It goes on to capture a Record of the Year Grammy.

1974 – Ray Stevens’ novelty song, “The Streak,” begins its third and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1985 – Prince and The Revolution launch a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Around The World In A Day,” which contains Top 10 hits “Raspberry Beret” and “Pop Life.”

1991 – “I Don’t Wanna Cry,” by Mariah Carey, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 hit.

1996 – “Tha Crossroads,” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, is in the middle of an eight-week domination of the singles chart.

2002 – Ashanti maintains her hold on the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Foolish.”

2013 – “Modern Vampires of the City,” by Vampire Weekend, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

History Highlights

1938 – Publication of “Action Comics No. 1” introduces the world to Superman and is considered the first true superhero comic. It not only marks the first appearance of the Man of Steel, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, but launches the entire superhero genre. A pristine copy sells on eBay for $3.2 million in 2014 — the highest price ever paid for a single comic book.

1942 – News of Holocaust death camp killings becomes public for the first time. Liberty Brigade, a Warsaw underground newspaper, reports on the gassing of tens of thousands of Jews at Chelmno, a Nazi-operated death camp in Poland— nearly seven months after extermination of prisoners began. 

1968 – Helen Keller, who overcame blindness and deafness to become a world-renowned writer, lecturer, humanitarian and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), dies at the age of 87.

1974 – The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims is published in the journal Emergency Medicine.

1980 – Cable News Network (CNN) debuts as TV’s first all-news service. The first broadcast is co-anchored by David Walker and Lois Hart.

1990 – President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agree to halt their production of chemical weapons and commit to the eventual destruction of 80 percent of their chemical weapons stockpiles.

2004 – Opening statements begin in the trial of Scott Peterson, who was accused of murdering his wife Laci and the couple’s unborn son in a case that dominated the headlines for nearly two years.

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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles

Around The World in a Day

Prince

Superman: Action Comics

DC Comics/Grant Morrison and Rags Morales

The Story of My Life

Helen Keller

Driving Miss Daisy

Starring Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy and Dan Aykroyd, and directed by Bruce Beresford

The Seven Year Itch

Starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell, and directed by Billy Wilder