On This Day April 20

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1912 – With 27,000 people in the stands, the Boston Red Sox play their first game at Fenway Park and defeat the New York Highlanders (later renamed the Yankees) by a score of 7-6 in 11 innings. 

1916 – The first National League game played at Chicago’s Wrigley Field (then Weeghman Park) sees the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings. A bear cub is in attendance at the ballpark, which becomes known as Cubs Park in 1920 after the Wrigley family purchases the team from Weeghman. It is named Wrigley Field in 1926 in honor of William Wrigley Jr., the club’s owner.

1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the practice of busing to desegregate schools, ruling in the case of Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Two years later, the high court makes a second ruling restricting the use of busing, concluding that students could only be bused across district lines if there was evidence that multiple districts had implemented deliberately discriminatory policies.

1977 – The comedy “Annie Hall” opens, starring director Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. The film goes on to win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

1980 – The Castro regime announces that all Cubans wishing to emigrate to the U.S. are free to board boats at the port of Mariel west of Havana, launching the Mariel Boatlift.

1999 – The school day at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado is shattered by deadly gunfire. Two seniors fatally shoot 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives. Twenty-three others are injured in what ushers in a wave of U.S. school shootings over the next two decades.

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1957 – Elvis Presley is on top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart for a second week with “All Shook Up.” The track remains at No. 1 for eight weeks and becomes the biggest single of 1957, selling more than two million copies.

1963 – The Chiffons wrap up a four-week domination of the pop chart with “He’s So Fine.”

1968 – “Honey,” by Bobby Goldsboro, is in the middle of a five-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1970 – The New York Times reports that Catholic and Protestant youth groups have adopted The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine as a religious symbol and formed so called “submarine churches.”  These churches featured the outline of a yellow submarine with a small cross on its periscope as their symbol. It is displayed alongside peace signs, flowers and other popular emblems of the period.

1974 – “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” by MFSB featuring the Three Degrees, claims the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. 

1991 – Wilson Phillips’ “You’re in Love” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1996 – Céline Dion’s Grammy-winning “Because You Loved Me” continues a six-week ride atop the U.S. singles chart. The track is from the 1996 movie “Up Close and Personal,” starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

2002 – Ashanti launches a 10-week run on top of the pop chart with “Foolish,” off her self-titled debut album.

2013 – Bruno Mars kicks off a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “When I Was Your Man.”

On This Day April 24

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1916 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion (also known as Easter Rising), a six-day armed uprising against British rule. 

1945 – President Harry Truman is briefed on the full details of the Manhattan Project, an effort by American scientists to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. The project was so secret that President Franklin Roosevelt never informed Truman, his fourth-term vice president, that it existed by the time FDR died.

1962 – The first coast-to-coast satellite telecast takes place, as signals from California bounce off the first experimental communications satellite, Echo I, and are received in Massachusetts. 

1967 – Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is killed in Soyuz 1 when the spaceship’s parachute fails to open during its descent to Earth. It is the first in-flight fatality in aerospace history.  

1980 – Eight U.S. servicemen die in a failed mission to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran. The fatalities occur when two U.S. military aircraft collide. In a nationally broadcast address, President Jimmy Carter says he assumes full responsibility for the disastrous outcome of Operation Eagle Claw.

1980 – Longtime Illinois Congressman John Anderson announces he is quitting the Republican party and will run as an independent presidential candidate against incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. He ends up finishing a distant third, capturing less than 7 percent of the vote and failing to win a single electoral vote.

1982 – Already well established as an Oscar-winning actress and outspoken political activist, Jane Fonda adds fitness guru to her credentials with the release of the million-plus-selling “Jane Fonda’s Workout” video. The video sparks the aerobics craze and popularizes leg-warmers and Spandex among fitness-minded women.

On This Day April 26

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On This Day April 11

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1960 – Movie music dominates the pop chart as Percy Faith’s “Theme From A Summer Place” remains at No. 1 for an eighth consecutive week. The track holds the top spot for a total of nine weeks and goes on to capture a Grammy for Record of the Year.

1964 – “Can’t Buy Me Love,” by The Beatles, is in the middle of five weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

1970 – The Beatles’ “Let It Be” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains there for two weeks. It is the Fab Four’s last hit before their break-up.

1981 – Rocker Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli (“One Day at a Time”) tie the knot, The marriage lasts until 2007, when their divorce is finalized.

1981 – Darryl Hall & John Oates have the No. 1 single in the U.S. with “Kiss on My List.” The song remains on top of that list for three weeks.

1988 – Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley (of The Righteous Brothers) perform “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” at the Academy Awards. The song, from the “Dirty Dancing” movie soundtrack, becomes the third one by Warnes to capture an Oscar.

1992 – “Save the Best for Last,” by Vanessa Williams, is parked at the summit of the Billboard Hot 100. It holds the top spot for five weeks.

1998 – “All My Life,” by R&B duo K-Ci & JoJo, is midway through a three-week domination of the Billboard pop chart.

2006 – June Pointer, the youngest of the four Pointer Sisters, who went from teenage gospel singers to the top of the pop chart with hits like “‘Fire,” “Slow Hand” and “I’m So Excited,” dies of cancer at the age of 52.

2009 – The Billboard Hot 100 deals Lady Gaga a favorable hand as “Poker Face” begins a week at No. 1. The track, which also tops the charts in 19 other countries, wins Best Dance Recording honors at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

On This Day April 9

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On This Day April 5

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1969 – Tommy Roe enjoys his fourth and final week on top of the pop chart with “Dizzy.”

1975 – “Lovin’ You,” by Minnie Riperton, tops the Billboard Hot 100. At the end of the track, you can hear her sing, “Maya, Maya” to her daughter, actress-comedian and “SNL” alum Maya Rudolph. Tragically, Riperton dies of breast cancer four years later at the age of 31.

1980 – “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II,” by Pink Floyd, is the No. 1 single. 

1984 – The funeral service for Motown legend Marvin Gaye takes place at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and other Motown talent are on hand to pay their respects.

1985 – At 3:50 p.m. GMT, more than 5,000 radio stations around the world simultaneously broadcast the single “We Are the World,” produced as a charity to benefit Ethiopian famine relief. The single, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones, features the voices of some of the biggest musical acts of the day.

1994 – Grunge music icon Kurt Cobain, Nirvana founder and frontman, commits suicide. His body is discovered at his Seattle home three days later by an electrician who showed up to  install a security system.

1997 – “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” by Puff Daddy featuring Mase, is in the middle of a six-week ride atop the Billboard Hot 100.

2008 – Leona Lewis has the No. 1 single with “Bleeding Love.” The track holds the top spot for a week.

On This Day March 25

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On This Day March 22

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On This Day March 21

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On This Day March 20

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