On This Day April 4

History Highlights

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established by the U.S. and 11 other Western nations.

1960 – William Wyler’s Technicolor epic ,”Ben-Hur,” sets an Academy Awards record when it sweeps 11 of the 12 categories for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Charlton Heston).

1968 – A sniper shoots and kills civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 39, on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel. As word of the assassination spreads, riots erupt in cities across the U.S., and National Guard troops are deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. In 1991, the murder scene—the Lorraine Motel—is dedicated as part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

1969 – CBS cancels the most popular show on TV at the time, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” because the brothers failed to submit their script to network executives to review before broadcast. 

1973 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held in New York’s Lower Manhattan to dedicate the original World Trade Center. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC, or the North Tower, and 2 WTC, the South Tower, would provide nearly 10 million square feet of office space. Reaching more than a quarter of a mile into the sky, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period, the tallest buildings in the world. 

1975 – At a time when most Americans are using typewriters, childhood friends and self-proclaimed computer geeks Bill Gates and Paul Allen establish Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Four years later, they relocate the business to Washington State and grow it into a major multinational technology corporation.

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The Beatles 1962-1966 (The Red Album)

The Beatles

Bedtime Stories

Madonna

Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last 31 Hours

Joseph Rosenbloom

City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center

James Glanz and Eric Lipton

Iron Man

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges, and directed by Jon Favreau

The Dark Knight

Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger, and directed by Christopher Nolan

On This Day March 19

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Inside Graceland: Elvis' Maid Remembers

Nancy Rooks

A Star Is Born

Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson

A Preliminary to War: The 1st Aero Squadron and the Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916

Roger G. Miller

Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History

Gail Kinn and  Jim Piazza

Fatal Attraction

Starring Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer, and directed by Adrian Lyne

The Sixth Sense

Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan

On This Day March 5

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The Definitive Collection

Patsy Cline

Thriller

Michael Jackson

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill

William Manchester and Paul Reid

The Blues Brothers

Starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Carrie Fisher and John Candy, and directed by John Landis

My Fair Lady

Starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, and directed by George Cukor

Next Level Thinking: 10 Powerful Thoughts for a Successful and Abundant Life

Joel Osteen

On This Day January 4

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Elvis 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

The Best of Bobby Vinton

Bobby Vinton

Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society

John Andrew

The Nixon Tapes

Richard M. Nixon

In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003

R.E.M.

Sabrina

Starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear, and directed by Sydney Pollack

On this Day August 18

Celebrity Birthdays

1927 – Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

1933 – Director Roman Polanski, born Raimund Polanski, whose first American movie was 1968’s “Rosemary’s Baby”

1936 – Oscar-winning actor, director, producer and Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford (“Barefoot in the Park,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Candidate,” “The Way We Were,” “The Sting,” “All the President’s Men,” “Ordinary People,” “Out of Africa,” “Legal Eagles,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”)

1943 – Actor-comedian Martin Mull (“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Fernwood 2 Night,” ” Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “Two and a Half Men”)

1952 – Actor Patrick Swayze (“Red Dawn,” “Uncommon Valor,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost,” “Donnie Darko”) (d. 2009)

1957 – Actor-comedian Denis Leary (“True Crime,” the “Ice Age” movie series, “Rescue Me,” “Recount,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Draft Day,” “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll”)

1969 – Golden Globe-winning actor Christian Slater (“The Legend of Billie Jean,” “Heathers,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “True Romance,” “Murder in the First,” “Mr. Robot”)

1969 – Oscar-winning actor-director Edward Norton (“Primal Fear,” “American History X,” “Fight Club,” “The Italian Job,” “The Illusionist,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”)

1970 – Actor-director Malcolm-Jamal Warner, best known for his role as Theo Huxtable on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show”

1978 – Golden Globe-winning comedian, actor, musician and “SNL” alum Andy Samberg (“Hot Rod,” “I Love You, Man,” “That’s My Boy,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” the “Hotel Transylvania” movies, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”)

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Neil Sedaka: The Definitive Collection

Neil Sedaka

All The Great Hits / Diana Ross

Diana Ross

The Woman's Hour

Elaine Weiss

Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov

Barefoot in the Park

Starring Robert Redford, Jane Fonda and Charles Boyer, and directed by Gene Saks

Fight Club

Starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by  David Fincher

On this Day July 21

History Highlights

1861 – In the first major clash of the Civil War, the Battle of Bull Run, a large Union force under General Irvin McDowell is routed by a Confederate army led by General Pierre G.T. Beauregard.

1925 – The so-called “Monkey Trial” ends with Tennessee high school biology teacher John Scopes found guilty of teaching evolution in class. He is fined $100.

1955 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower presents his “Open Skies” plan at the Geneva summit. It calls on the U.S. and Soviet Union to exchange maps showing the location of every military installation in their respective nations.

1961 – Astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom, piloting Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space in a suborbital mission. 

1970 – After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in Egypt is completed.

1989 – Writer-director Spike Lee’s celebrated third feature film, “Do the Right Thing” about racial tensions boiling over in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on the hottest day of the year — opens in U.S. theaters. The movie receives Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Danny Aiello.

2005 – Terrorists attempt to attack the London transit system with bombs planted on three subways and a bus, however none detonates completely. The plot comes two weeks after terrorists killed 52 people and wounded over 700 others in the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II.

2011 – NASA’s 30-year space shuttle program comes to an end with the early-morning landing of shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 13-day mission to the International Space Station was the 33rd for Atlantis and 135th for NASA’s shuttle fleet.

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20 Greatest Hits

The Coasters

Appetite for Destruction

Guns N’ Roses

The Scopes Monkey Trial

Randy Moore and William McComas

Liberty Bell 7: The Suborbital Mercury Flight of Virgil I. Grissom

Colin Burgess

The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway

Good Will Hunting

Starring Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Minnie Driver, and directed by Gus Van Sant

On this Day June 11

History Highlights

1944 – Lieutenant John F. Kennedy receives one of the Navy’s highest honor for gallantry for his heroic actions as a gunboat pilot during World War II. The future U.S. president also receives a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in battle.

1955 – Carnage at Le Mans, as an Austin-Healey and Mercedes-Benz collide, showering flaming wreckage onto spectators. Eighty-two people are killed and at least 100 injured in one of auto racing’s worst accidents.

1962 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin become the only prisoners to successfully escape from Alcatraz prison. No one ever saw or heard from them again, although there were multiple unconfirmed sightings over the years.

1967 – The Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors ends with a United Nations-brokered ceasefire. That November, the U.N. Security Council adopts a resolution establishing a formula for Arab-Israeli peace whereby Israel would withdraw from territories occupied in the war in exchange for peace with its neighbors.

1963 – An outspoken opponent of school desegregation, Alabama Governor George Wallace physically blocks two African American students from entering the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. President John F. Kennedy responds by federalizing the Alabama National Guard and ordering troops to escort the students to their classes. Wallace then steps aside, but that evening, Kennedy delivers a national address about segregation regarded by many historians as one of the turning points in the civil rights movement.

1977 – MLK assassin James Earl Ray escapes from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee, but is recaptured three days later.

1979 – Cancer claims the life of screen legend John Wayne (“El Dorado,” “Rio Bravo,” “True Grit,” “The Comancheros”) at the age of 72.

1982 –  Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” opens in U.S. theaters and becomes a box office bonanza. The movie launches the career of actress Drew Barrymore, and in 1994, is selected for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” 

1986 – “Bueller… Bueller…” The now-classic John Hughes film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck and Mia Sara, opens in U.S. theaters.

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Elv1s 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

The Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd

Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights

Steven E. Levingston

True Grit

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

Young Frankenstein

Starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr and Madeline Kahn, and directed by Mel Brooks

House

Starring Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer

On this Day May 5

History Highlights

1862 – During the Battle of Puebla, Mexican troops under General Ignacio Zaragoza — outnumbered three to one — defeat invading French forces. The historic event is marked each year with Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

1925 – Teacher John Scopes is arrested for violating the Butler Act, which prevents the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools. He is later tried in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial.

1945 – One woman and five children are killed in rural Oregon while attempting to drag a Japanese balloon out the woods. The balloon was armed and exploded after the group began tampering with it. They were the first and only known American civilians killed in the continental U.S. during World War II.

1955 – The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) becomes a sovereign state when the U.S., France and Great Britain end their 10-year military occupation. The move clears the way for West Germany to rearm and become a full-fledged member of the western alliance against the Soviet Union.

1961 – Astronaut Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into outer space during a suborbital flight of 15 minutes aboard the Mercury capsule named Freedom 7.

1985 – President Ronald Reagan angers Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors by visiting the Bitburg war cemetery in Germany, unaware that the cemetery houses the graves of 49 Nazi officers.

2002 – “Spider-Man” becomes first movie to top $100 million in an opening weekend. Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire in the title role, the eagerly awaited comic book adaptation rakes in a staggering $114.8 million.

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West Side Story (The Original Sound Track Recording)

Music by Leonard Bernstein; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

20 Greatest Hits

The Shirelles

We Seven: By the Astronauts Themselves

Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter “Wally” Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald “Deke” Slayton

A Religious Orgy in Tennessee:
A Reporter's Account of the Scopes Monkey Trial

H.L. Mencken

Witness for the Prosecution

Starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton, and directed by Billy Wilder

19

Adele