On This Day January 15

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On This Day March 21

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On This Day January 15

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On This Day December 23

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1783 – Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, General George Washington resigns as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retires to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

1888 – Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, uses a razor to sever part of his left ear. He later documents the event in a painting titled “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.” Over years, however, a variety of new theories have emerged about this incident.

1913 – President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Reserve Act into law establishing the Federal Reserve, which continues serving as the nation’s central banking system today and is responsible for executing monetary policy.

1947 – John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley with Bell Laboratories unveil their invention of the transistor, which revolutionizes communications and electronics.

1968 – The crew and captain of the American intelligence gathering ship USS Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the North Korean government.

1986 – Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager complete the first non-stop flight around the world without refueling. They set a new world record of 216 hours of continuous flying in the experimental aircraft Voyager.

1993 – The movie “Philadelphia,” starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, and directed by Jonathan Demme, opens in U.S. theaters. It is the first major Hollywood film to address the HIV/AIDS crisis and garners Hanks a Best Actor Oscar and Bruce Springsteen a Best Original Song Oscar for his track, “Streets of Philadelphia.”

On this Day July 9

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1777 – New York elects its first governor, Brigadier General George Clinton, who becomes not only the longest serving New York governor, but longest serving governor in the U.S. In 1805, he is elected vice president, serving under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, until his death in 1812.

1877 – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then a suburb of London. Twenty-one amateurs show up to compete in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament — the only event at that time.

1941 – British cryptologists break the secret Enigma code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on Europe’s Eastern front.

1948 – Leroy “Satchel” Paige is 42 years old when he pitches two innings for the Cleveland Indians in his debut with the newly–and barely–integrated American League. The game comes 21 years after the great pitcher’s first Negro League appearance.

1968 – Sports history is made in Houston as the first All-Star game played indoors and on artificial turf gets underway in the Astrodome. The National League wins and Willie Mays is declared MVP. 

1971 – President Richard Nixon’s National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, makes a secret trip to the People’s Republic of China to negotiate a detente between the U.S. and China.

1974 – Former U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren, who headed the commission that investigated the JFK assassination, dies in Washington, D.C. at the age of 83.

1999 – The teen sex comedy “American Pie,” starring Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan, opens and becomes a box office sensation, spawning an empire of sequels and direct-to-DVD spin-offs.

2000 – Venus Williams wins at Wimbledon for the first time, becoming the first female African American Wimbledon champion since Althea Gibson won back-to-back titles in 1957 and 1958. 

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1955 – “Rock Around the Clock,” by Bill Haley & His Comets, becomes the first rock ‘n’ roll record to reach No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart, known then as Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart.  The single spends eight weeks on top.

1958 – Johnny Cash signs with Columbia Records, where he remains for the next 30 years, releasing more than 60 albums.

1962 – Bob Dylan records the legendary protest song, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” for his second album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” Hundreds of artists have recorded the song over the years, with Peter, Paul & Mary achieving the most commercially successful version. In 1994, the track is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

1977 – Songwriter-turned-singer Alan O’Day has the hottest single with “Undercover Angel.” 

1983 – The Police have a No. 1 hit for eight weeks with “Every Breath You Take,” the first single released from “Synchronicity” — the band’s most successful and last studio album. 

1988 – Cheap Trick’s “The Flame” burns bright for two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.

1994 – “I Swear,” by All-4-One, is in the midst of 11 weeks as a Billboard chart-topper. Earlier that same year, the original recording of that song was a No. 1 country hit for John Michael Montgomery.

2005 – Mariah Carey returns to the top of the pop chart with “We Belong Together,” which spent four weeks at No. 1 until Carrie Underwood bumped it for a week with “Inside Your Heaven.” Carey’s hit reigns for 10 more weeks.

On this Day June 30

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1859 – Frenchman Jean Francois Gravelet, a.k.a.  The Great Blondin, or Charles Blondin, becomes the first daredevil to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Thousands of spectators line the American and Canadian sides of the falls to observe the feat, which he  performs along an 1,100-foot-long tightrope suspended 160 feet above the raging waters of Niagara Gorge.

1934 – In what comes to be known as the Night of the Long Knives, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler orders a bloody purge of his own political party, assassinating hundreds of Nazis whom he believed had the potential to become political enemies in the future.

1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Gone with the Wind,” one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for the blockbuster 1939 movie, is published.

1971 – “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” a movie musical-fantasy starring Gene Wilder, opens in theaters. It’s an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

1971 – Three Soviet cosmonauts who made up the crew of the world’s first space station are killed when their spacecraft, Soyuz 11, depressurizes during reentry to Earth’s atmosphere.

1974 – The July 4th scene from the movie “Jaws” is filmed on Martha’s Vineyard, with 400 screaming, panic-stricken extras in bathing suits running from the water multiple times until director Steven Spielberg gets the right take.

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.

1993 – The legal thriller “The Firm,” directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Gene Hackman, opens in theaters. It’s based on the 1991 novel of the same name by John Grisham.

1995 – Director Ron Howard’s high-intensity drama “Apollo 13,” about NASA’s desperate efforts to bring the crew of Apollo 13 safely home after an explosion that denies them a moon landing, opens in U.S. theaters. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise, the movie receives nine Oscar nominations and wins for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

On this Day July 1

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1963 – The U.S. Postal Service introduces the five-digit Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code to make mail delivery more efficient. A cartoon character named Mr. ZIP is used to help market it.

1979 – After the boombox, music becomes even more portable as Sony rolls out the Walkman, originally called the “Sound-About.” It retails for $200.

1984 – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) institutes the PG-13 rating, strongly recommending parental guidance for moviegoers age 13 or younger. Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, is the first movie to receive that rating.

1991 – “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, premieres. In this sequel to the original “The Terminator,” the Schwarzenegger character is transformed from villain to savior.

1992 – “A League of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell and directed by Penny Marshall, opens in theaters.

1997 – Actor Robert Mitchum, best remembered for his roles in such films as “The Story of G.I. Joe,” “Crossfire,” “Out of the Past,” “The Night of the Hunter” and “Cape Fear,” dies at 79.

1997 – At the stroke of midnight, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

2004 – Legendary actor and Oscar winner Marlon Brando, best remembered for performances in “On the Waterfront,” “The Godfather,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Viva Zapata!,” “Julius Caesar,” ““The Wild One,” “Last Tango in Paris,” and “Apocalypse Now,” dies at the age of 80.

On this Day May 19

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1749 – England’s King George II grants the Ohio Company of Virginia a charter of 200,000 acres stretching out from the forks of the Ohio River on the present site of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1921 – Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act (also known as the Immigration Act of 1921), establishing national quotas on the immigration of foreigners into the U.S.

1935 – T.E. Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. He is just 46. The legendary war hero, author, and archaeological scholar succumbed to to severe brain injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident six days earlier. His death eventually led to development of the crash helmet. Lawrence was famously portrayed in the Oscar-winning 1962 movie, “Lawrence of Arabia,” by actor Peter O’Toole.

1962 – Marilyn Monroe takes center stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden as she sings “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. About 15,000 people are on hand for the star-studded gala that takes place 10 days before JFK’s actual birthday.

2006 – Amid a firestorm of publicity and controversy, director Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s mega-bestselling thriller, “The Da Vinci Code,” debuts in theaters, starring Tom Hanks.

2016 – EgyptAir Flight 804, an Airbus A320 on a routine flight from Paris to Cairo, disappears over the Mediterranean Sea with 66 passengers and crew. It takes weeks to find signs of the wreckage, and while terrorism is suspected initially, investigators conclude that the aircraft broke up in midair after a fire broke out in the cockpit and quickly spread.

On this Day May 9

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