On This Day April 29

Musical Milestones

1967 – Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy maintain their hold on No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart with “Somethin’ Stupid.” The duet remains a chart-topper for four weeks.

1969 – On his 70th birthday, jazz legend Duke Ellington receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Richard Nixon in the East Room of the White House. Nixon concludes the presentation by playing the piano and singing. 

1970 – George Harrison tells reporters that The Beatles will reunite eventually and announces plans for his first post-Beatles solo album.

1976 – Bruce Springsteen wraps up a concert performance in Memphis as part of his “Born to Run” tour and he and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt decide to pay their idol, Elvis Presley, a visit at his Graceland estate. Security guards escort Springsteen off the grounds after he jumps the gate and runs toward the front door. The King was not home at the time. 

1978 – Topping the singles chart for the seventh consecutive week: The Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

1989 – Madonna has the No. 1 single with “Like a Prayer,” from her album of the same name.

1993 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Barry White appears in the “Whacking Day” episode of the animated series “The Simpsons.” As White sings, Bart and Lisa place loudspeakers on the ground to lure snakes away from Springfield residents trying to kill them as part of Whacking Day tradition.

1995 – “This Is How We Do It,” by Montell Jordan, is in the midst of a seven-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100. 

2000 – “Maria Maria,” by Santana featuring The Product G&B, is in the middle of a 10-week domination of the singles chart.

2006 – Daniel Powter owns the top spot on the pop chart with “Bad Day.”

History Highlights

1854 – Originally established as The Ashmun Institute, Lincoln University receives its charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, becoming the first degree-granting college in the U.S. founded solely for African-American students.

1945 – U.S. military forces liberate the Dachau concentration camp in Nazi Germany.  More than 188,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Dachau between 1933 and 1945, and more than 28,000 died in the camp and its sub-camps.

1974 – President Richard Nixon announces that he will release edited transcripts of taped White House conversations in response to a subpoena in the Watergate scandal. The House Judiciary committee insists that he also turn over the tapes. 

1986 – Pitching for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Roger Clemens sets a Major League Baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1992 – Riots erupt across Los Angeles after four LAPD officers are acquitted in the beating of unarmed African American motorist Rodney King. Protesters in south-central L.A. block freeway traffic, wreck and loot shops and set more than 100 fires. The rioting continues for five days and sparks a national conversation about racial and economic disparity and police use of force — a debate that still rages today.

2004 – The National World War II Memorial opens in Washington, D.C. It honors the 16 million people who served as part of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

2004 – General Motors’ last Oldsmobile rolls off a Lansing, Michigan assembly line, marking the end of America’s oldest automotive brand. The final model is an Alero GLS sedan, which factory workers signed under the hood.

2011 –  Great Britain’s Prince William marries his longtime girlfriend, Catherine “Kate” Middleton, at Westminster Abbey in London. An estimated two billion people around the world watch the ceremony on television.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Essential Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Sound Track)

Bee Gees, Tavares, KC and the Sunshine Band, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

Where the Birds Never Sing: The True Story of the 92nd Signal Battalion and the Liberation of Dachau

Jack Sacco

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Anna Deavere Smith

16 Biggest Hits

Willie Nelson

Hairspray

Starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken, and directed by Adam Shankman

On this Day June 10

History Highlights

1692 – Bridget Bishop, the first Massachusetts Bay colonist to be tried in the Salem witch trials, is hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft.

1752 – Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects ambient electrical charge in a Leyden jar, enabling him to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity along with an understanding of positive and negative charges. His experiment leads to development of the lightning rod, which grounded buildings thereby helping prevent deadly fires.

1935 – Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA, is founded by two recovering alcoholics — Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Ohio surgeon. Today, the organization continues to fulfill the pair’s original mission to help alcoholics stop drinking and stay sober.

1943 – Hungarian Laszlo Biro patents the ballpoint pen. In many languages, the word for ballpoint pen is “biro.”

1967 – In the Middle East, the Six-Day War ends when Israel and Syria agree to a U.N.-brokered ceasefire.

1980 – A letter written by imprisoned anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela and smuggled out of Robben Island prison, is shared publicly by the African National Congress (ANC). The letter is a call to arms against apartheid.

2007 – An estimated 12 million viewers tune in to “Made in America” — the final episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed, award-winning Mob family drama, “The Sopranos,” starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco and Steven Van Zandt.

Celebrity Birthdays

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Grease: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and other artists

Ray

Starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington and Regina King, and directed by Taylor Hackford

Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Ernest Kurtz

The Sopranos: The Complete Series

Starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco and Steven Van Zandt, and produced by David Chase

Gone With the Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, and directed by Victor Fleming

The Wizard of Oz

Starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger and Frank Morgan, and directed by Victor Fleming