On This Day April 17

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At San Quentin

Johnny Cash

The Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd

The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs

Jim Rasenberger

Three-Eight Charlie

Jerrie Mock

Stalag 17

Starring William Holden, Donald Taylor and Otto Preminger, and directed by Billy Wilder

Dallas Buyers Club

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto, and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

On This Day April 10

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Frampton Comes Alive!

Peter Frampton

Fanmail

TLC

House of Wax

Starring Vincent PriceFrank LovejoyPhyllis Kirk, and directed by André de Toth

The Death of the USS Thresher: The Story Behind History's Deadliest Submarine Disaster

Norman Polmar

The Big Country

Starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Burl Ives, Charlton Heston, Charles Bickford and Chuck Connors, and directed by William Wyler

The Exorcist

Starring Ellen McRae (Ellen Burstyn), Max von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by William Friedkin

On This Day February 18

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Rock Around The Clock

Bill Haley

What'd I Say

Ray Charles

Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards

Mason Wiley

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

Pulp Fiction

Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

Sixteen Candles

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

On This Day February 4

Musical Milestones

1967 – The Monkees maintain their grip on the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m a Believer.” In all, the track remains a chart-topper for seven weeks.

1968 – The Beatles record “Across The Universe” at London’s Abbey Road Studios with backup vocals from two teenage fans who were among the groupies (“Apple scruffs”) that routinely gathered outside the facility on recording days.

1975 – Known as “The King of the Jukebox,” American jazz, blues and rhythm & blues musician, songwriter and bandleader Louis Jordan dies at the age of 66.

1977 – Fleetwood Mac’s 11th studio album, “Rumours,” is released, introducing fans to the Top 10 hits “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” and “You Make Loving Fun.”

1978 – The Bee Gees have a No. 1 single with “Stayin’ Alive,” while another single of theirs, “Night Fever,” debuts on the pop chart, later staking its own claim to the top spot for eight weeks. Both songs are from the Grammy-winning “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

1982 – “Centerfold,” by the J. Geils Band, reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for six weeks.

1983 – Heart failure caused by chronic anorexia nervosa claims the life of 32-year-old singer Karen Carpenter of the acclaimed 1970s brother-sister pop duet, Carpenters.

1984 – Culture Club begins a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Karma Chameleon,” the band’s fifth Top 10 hit.

1995 – “Creep,” by TLC, is midway through a four-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the trio’s first chart-topper.

2006 – “Check On It,” by Beyoncé, featuring Bun B and Slim Thug, kicks off five weeks on top of the singles chart. 

History Highlights

1789 – George Washington — commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War — is unanimously elected the first president of the United States, garnering all 69 electoral votes. No other American president since has come into office with a universal mandate to lead.

1922 – The Ford Motor Company acquires the bankrupt Lincoln Motor Company for $8 million, giving Ford a luxury division to compete against Cadillac, Packard and Auburn.

1938 – Disney releases “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the first full-length animated feature (83 minutes in length) in color and with sound, and a pioneering classic tale in film history.

1945 – President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin meet at the Yalta Conference to discuss the Allied war effort against Germany and Japan.

1957 – Smith Corona Manufacturing of New York begins selling portable electric typewriters. The first machine, known as the model 5TE, weighs 19 pounds.

1974 – The radical group Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, from her California apartment. 

2004 – Nineteen-year-old Harvard University sophomore Mark Zuckerberg launches “TheFacebook.com,” an online directory designed to connect fellow Harvard students with one another. By the next day, more than a thousand people had registered. The service sparks a social media revolution, with billions now using Facebook each day.

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Saturday Night Fever

Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool and The Gang, Tavares, The Trammps, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

Freeze Frame

The J. Geils Band

His Excellency: George Washington

Joseph J. Ellis

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Starring Adriana CaselottiHarry Stockwell and Lucille La Verne, and directed by David Hand

Night of the Living Dead

Starring Duane Jones and Judith O’Day, and directed by George Romero

Mascara & Monsters: The Best Of Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

On This Day January 28

History Highlights

1915 – The American merchant ship William P. Frye becomes the first casualty of World War I as a German cruiser opens fire and sinks the vessel. Despite apologies from the German government, the attack sparks outrage in the U.S.

1922 – Ninety-eight guests are killed, 133 others are injured when the roof of Washington, D.C.’s Knickerbocker Theatre collapses under the weight of a heavy snowfall. The disaster ranks as one of Washington’s worst, and the “Knickerbocker Snowstorm,” as it is known, still holds the record for Washington’s single greatest snowfall.

1958 – The interlocking stud-and-tube plastic Lego brick is patented by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, whose father founded the Lego toy company (“Lego,” from the Danish term “leg godt,” meaning “play well”). Bricks manufactured today remain compatible with the original ones.

1964 – The State Department accuses the Soviet Union of shooting down an unarmed Air Force trainer jet over East Germany, killing its three occupants.

1986 – A nation watches in horror as Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51-L) explodes 73 seconds into flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe — who was to have been the first civilian in space — and fellow crew members Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnick, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair and Gregory Jarvis.

1997 – Four apartheid-era police officers, appearing before a tribunal in South Africa, admit to the 1977 killing of Stephen Biko, a leader of the South African “Black consciousness” movement.

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

We Are The World

U.S.A. For Africa

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

David Robertson and Bill Breen

Space Shuttle Disaster: The Tragic Mission of the Challenger

Henry M. Holden

M*A*S*H: The Complete Collection

Starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Harry Morgan, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit and others

The Green Mile

Starring Tom Hanks, David Morse and Bonnie Hunt, and directed by Frank Darabont

On This Day September 25

History Highlights

1959 – Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev kicks off two days of meetings with President Dwight Eisenhower at Camp David. The two men reach general agreement on several issues, but a spy plane incident in May 1960 crushes any hopes for further improvement in U.S.-Soviet relations during the Eisenhower years.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy gives his “Sword of Damocles” speech before the United Nations General Assembly. He outlines the threat nuclear weapons had on the world, and challenges the Soviet Union to a “peace race…until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.” 

1963 – The first in a series of 1960s teen beach movies is launched when “Beach Party,” starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, opens in U.S. theaters. 

1978 – Tragedy erupts in the skies over San Diego as a small Cessna aircraft being used for flying lessons collides with a Pacific Southwest Airlines 727 (PSA Flight 182). The accident kills 153 people, including seven on the ground, and 22 homes where the burning jet fell are damaged or destroyed. 

1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in as the first female associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

1997 – NBC’s prime time medical drama “ER,” which supercharged George Clooney’s acting career, opens its fourth season with live performances — first for East coast viewers and a second time for its West coast audience. The episode, entitled “Ambush,” draws a record 42.7 million viewers, becoming the series’ highest rating ever. “ER” aired for a total of 15 seasons, making it the longest-running primetime medical drama.

Celebrity Birthdays

1897 – Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner (“‘The Sound and the Fury,” “As I Lay Dying”) (d. 1962)

1929 – Retired Emmy-winning TV journalist-host Barbara Walters, the first woman to co-anchor a network evening news broadcast

1944 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor Michael Douglas (“The Streets of San Francisco,” “The China Syndrome,” “Romancing the Stone,” “Wall Street,” “The War of the Roses,” “Falling Down,” “The American President,” “Wonder Boys,” “Last Vegas”)

1947 – Supermodel-actress Cheryl Tiegs, remembered for adorning covers of the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue” and for her 1978 “Pink Bikini” poster, which became an iconic image of 1970s pop culture

1951 – Actor Mark Hamill, best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” movies

1952 – Actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed in a 1995 horse-riding accident (“Superman,” “Somewhere in Time,” “Deathtrap,” “The Remains of the Day”) (d. 2004)

1961 – Actress Heather Locklear (“TJ Hooker,” “Melrose Place,” “Spin City”)

1968 – Grammy-winning actor-rapper Will Smith (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” “Ali,” “I, Robot,” “I Am Legend,” “Hancock,” “After Earth,” “Suicide Squad”)

1969 – Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (“The Mask of Zorro,” “Entrapment,” “Traffic,” “Chicago,” “Oceans Twelve,” “The Terminal”)

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The Partridge Family (Season 1)

Starring Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough, Jeremy Gelbwaks and Dave Madden

Abracadabra

The Steve Miller Band

Khrushchev's Cold War

Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali

Beach Party / Bikini Beach

Starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello

The American President

Starring Michael DouglasAnnette Bening and Martin Sheen, and directed by Rob Reiner

Enemy of the State

Starring Will Smith, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight, and directed by Tony Scott

On This Day September 18

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The Very Best of Bobby Vee

Bobby Vee

Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Route 66

Starring Martin Milner, George Maharis and Glenn Corbett

The New York Times: Front Pages, 1851-2016

The New York Times

Greta Garbo: A Divine Star

David Bret

The Nutty Professor

Starring Eddie MurphyJada Pinkett Smith andJames Coburn, and directed by Tom Shadyac

On this Day August 19

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The Best of The Commodores

The Commodores

Greatest Hits

Richard Marx

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Ralph Kramer

Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident

Francis Gary Powers with Curt Gentry

My Life

Bill Clinton

Wilbur and Orville: A Biography of the Wright Brothers

Fred Howard

On this Day August 12

Musical Milestones

1960 – The Silver Beatles become The Beatles, and on this day, the newly renamed band hires Pete Best as drummer. Two years later, he is fired and replaced by Ringo Starr.

1964 – The Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night,” opens in 500 U.S. theaters to rave reviews.

1966 – The Beatles’ final U.S. tour begins with two performances at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago. During a pre-show press conference, reporters challenge John Lennon to explain his recent boast that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.

1967 – The Doors close out three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Light My Fire.” About a month later, the band performs the song before a national audience on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1978 – “Three Times a Lady,” by the Commodores featuring Lionel Richie, is the No. 1 single.

1985 – Japanese singer-actor Kyu Sakamoto is killed at the age of 43 in the crash of a Japan Airlines jetliner outside Tokyo. Sakamoto was the first Asian recording artist to have a No. 1 hit in the U.S.: “Sukiyaki” in June of 1963, which sold more than 13 million copies worldwide.

1995 – TLC is in the midst of a seven-week domination of the singles chart with “Waterfalls.”

2000 – “Incomplete,” by Sisqó, begins a two-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

2009 – Legendary guitarist Les Paul dies of pneumonia at age 94. Paul designed one of the first solid-body electric guitars, which went on sale in 1952 and was “instrumental” in the development of rock ‘n roll. He also pioneered other recording innovations such as multi-track recording and overdubbing.

History Highlights

30 B.C. – Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

1851 – Business tycoon Isaac Merritt Singer patents the sewing machine.

1939 – “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland and featuring words and music by E.Y. “Yip” Harburg and Harold Arlen, makes its world premiere at the Strand Theatre in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

1963 – The first 1964 Ford Thunderbird rolls off a Detroit assembly line. 

1977 – Space Shuttle Enterprise passes a critical test as it separates from the top of a 747 for its first free flight and makes a smooth landing in the Mojave Desert. 

1981 – IBM takes the wraps off the first personal computer (the IBM 5150) with a price tag starting at $1,565. That includes the system unit, a keyboard and color/graphics capability. It costs more for options including a display, a printer, two diskette drives, extra memory, a game adapter and application packages — including one for text processing. 

1990 – Digging on a cliff near Faith, South Dakota, paleontologist Susan Hendrickson unearths three huge bones that turn out to be part of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever discovered — a 67 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer.

2014 – Lauren Bacall, the smoky-voiced movie legend who taught Humphrey Bogart how to whistle in “To Have and Have Not,” dies at the age of 89. Bacall made more than 40 films during a 70-year career, including “The Big Sleep,” “How to Marry a Millionaire” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

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A Hard Day's Night

The Beatles

The Definitive Collection

The Commodores

Singer and the Sewing Machine: A Capitalist Romance

Ruth Brandon

Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond

Thomas J. Watson, Jr. and Peter Petre

Adventures in the Screen Trade

William Goldman

Neck and Neck

Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins

On this Day August 5

History Highlights

1858 – The first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed, stretching nearly 2,000 miles at depths of up to two miles. It is put to use on August 16, as U.S. President James Buchanan and Queen Victoria exchange formal introductory and complimentary messages.

1914 – The world’s first electric traffic signal is installed at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

1962 – Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her Los Angeles home at the age of 36. An investigation determines that her death was “caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.”

1963 – Representatives of the U.S., Soviet Union and Great Britain sign the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater or in the atmosphere. The treaty is hailed as an important first step toward the control of nuclear weapons.

1981 – President Ronald Reagan begins firing more than 11,000 striking air traffic controllers for defying his order to return to work. The move slowed commercial air travel for months.

1983 – “Risky Business” opens in theaters, propelling actor Tom Cruise to stardom. The movie’s most iconic scene features Cruise dancing at home in his underpants to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

1998 – Seventy-year-old Marie Noe is arrested and charged with the suffocation murders of eight of her 10 children over a 50-year period.

2002 – Divers recover the rusty turret of the ironclad Civil War-era warship U.S.S. Monitor, which sank 140 years earlier in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 

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Revolver

The Beatles

Some Girls

The Rolling Stones

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters

Marilyn Monroe

Risky Business

Starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca DeMornay and Joe Pantoliano, and directed by Paul Brickman

The Imitation Game

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong, and directed by Morten Tyldem

Solid Gold Hits

Beastie Boys

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