On This Day January 27

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Peppermint Twist

Joey Dee & The Starliters

Talking Book

Stevie Wonder

Flushed With Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper

Wallace Reyburn

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

Gene Kranz

The Donna Reed Show

Joanne Morreale

Star Trek VIII: First Contact

Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and James Cromwell, and directed by Jonathan Frakes

On This Day January 26

History Highlights

1788 –  Britain’s First Fleet sails into Sydney Harbor and begins the European colonization of Australia. The fledgling colony marks this event each year as Australia Day, however in recent years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have objected because they see the occasion as the beginning of the deliberate destruction of their people and culture.

1905 – A 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. Weighing 1.33 pounds,  it is the largest diamond ever found, and is named the Cullinan after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine.

1926 – Scottish inventor John Logie Baird gives the first public demonstration of a true television system (called a “televisor”) in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment.

1950 – The Republic of India is formed as the Indian constitution takes effect.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet Travell, 59, as his personal physician, making her the first woman in history to hold that post. 

1979 – The General Lee, a bright orange Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag on its roof, kicks up dust clouds as “The Dukes of Hazzard” premieres on CBS.

1988 – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has its first Broadway performance at the Majestic Theatre. 

1998 – During one of the most memorable news conferences of his presidency, Bill Clinton tells reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Clinton later confesses that he did indeed have an “improper physical relationship” with Monica Lewinksky, a 24-year-old White House intern.

2005 – Condoleezza Rice assumes the post of U.S. Secretary of State two months after her nomination by President George W. Bush. She becomes the highest ranking African American woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet.

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Photograph: The Very Best Of Ringo

Ringo Starr

Like A Virgin

Madonna

Dukes of Hazzard: Season 1

Starring Tom Wopat and John Schneider

The Phantom Of The Opera

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Cool Hand Luke

Starring Paul Newman, George Kennedy and J.D. Cannon, and directed by Stuart Rosenberg

The Right Stuff

Starring Scott Glenn, Ed Harris and Barbara Hershey, and directed by Philip Kaufman

On This Day January 22

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On Broadway

The Drifters

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

Nancy Sinatra

Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade

Clarke D. Forsythe

The Unabomber Manifesto: Industrial Society and Its Future

Theodore Kaczynski

Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke

Peter Guralnick

The Exorcist

Starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb, and directed by William Friedkin

On This Day December 12

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The Best Of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: The Millennium Collection

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Faith (Remastered)

George Michael

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, and directed by Stanley Kramer

The Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Red Buttons, and directed by Ronald Neame

Double Indemnity

Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson, and directed by Billy Wilder

Sinatra: Best Of The Best

Frank Sinatra

On This Day December 4

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Greatest Hits

The Byrds

The Ultimate Collection: Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison

United Nations: A History

Stanley Meisler

I Was a Pan Am Princess of the Sky

Fumiko Takahashi

The Big Lebowski

Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Julianne Moore, and directed by Joel Coen

My Cousin Vinny

Starring Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei and Fred Gwynne, and directed by Jonathan Lynn

On This Day November 30

History Highlights

1965 – Consumer advocate Ralph Nader publishes “Unsafe at Any Speed,” a book that singles out the Chevy Corvair while criticizing U.S. auto safety standards. It immediately becomes a bestseller and prompts passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, seat belt laws in 49 states (all but New Hampshire) and other highway safety initiatives.

1967 – Senator Eugene McCarthy, who advocated for a negotiated end to the Vietnam War, declares that he will challenge President Lyndon Johnson for the Democratic Party nomination. However, four months later, Johnson announces that he is not seeking re-election.

1971 – The made-for-television movie “Brian’s Song” premieres on ABC, starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo, the Chicago Bears running back who is stricken with terminal cancer, and Billy Dee Williams as his teammate, Gale Sayers. It leaves audiences sobbing with its compelling portrayal of the strong friendship the two athletes form. The movie captures five Emmy Awards.

1977 – After nearly four decades with CBS News, anchor Eric Sevareid retires. Sevareid was among a group of elite war correspondents hired by legendary CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, and nicknamed “Murrow’s Boys.” He was the first to report the Fall of Paris when the city was captured by the Germans in World War II.

1993 – President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Bill into law, requiring a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.

Celebrity Birthdays

1835 – Author Mark Twain, a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, best known for his classic American novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” (d. 1910)

1874 – Winston Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is born in Oxfordshire, England. (d. 1965) 

1918 – Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (“77 Sunset Strip,” “The F.B.I.”) (d. 2014)

1927 – Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume, best known for his role as the butler in the ABC sitcom “Benson”

1929 – Legendary TV host and producer Dick Clark, born Richard Wagstaff Clark, who is credited with such popular shows as “American Bandstand,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” “The $25,000 Pyramid” and “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes,” among others. (d. 2012)

1937 – Emmy-winning director-producer Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Gladiator,” “Black Hawk Down,” “American Gangster,” “The Martian”)

1947 – Tony-winning playwright, screenwriter and director David Mamet (“The Verdict,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Wag the Dog,” “Ronin”)

1952 – Emmy and Tony-winning actor Mandy Patinkin (“Yentl,” “The Princess Bride,” “Dick Tracy,” “The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland,” “Chicago Hope,” “Criminal Minds”)

1955 – Rock singer-guitarist Billy Idol, born William Albert Michael Broad (“Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face,” “Rock the Cradle of Love”)

1965 – Emmy-winning actor, director and comedian Ben Stiller (“Reality Bites,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Zoolander,” the “Meet the Parents” trilogy, “DodgeBall,” “Tropic Thunder,” the “Madagascar” series, the “Night at the Museum” trilogy, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”)

1978 – Singer and “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken, born Clayton Holmes Grissom

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The Best Of Diana Ross & The Supremes: The Millennium Collection

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Thriller

Michael Jackson

Unsafe At Any Speed

Ralph Nader

Brian's Song

Starring James Caan, Billy Dee Williams and Jack Warden, and directed by Buzz Kulik

The Princess Bride

Starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Chris Sarandon, and directed by Rob Reiner

Night at the Museum

Starring Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino and Dick Van Dyke, and directed by Shawn Levy

On This Day November 29

Celebrity Birthdays

1927 – Retired Hall of Fame sportscaster Vin Scully, play-by-play announcer for the Brooklyn and later the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 seasons

1935 – Golden Globe-winning actress Diane Ladd, born Rose Diane Lanier (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Alice,” “Wild at Heart,” “Rambling Rose”)

1940 – Jazz trumpeter Chuck Mangione, best known for his 1978 smash “Feels So Good”

1949 – Comedian-actor Garry Shandling (“It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” “The Larry Sanders Show”) (d. 2016)

1954 – Oscar-winning director Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers (“Blood Simple,” “Raising Arizona,” “Miller’s Crossing,” “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” “No Country for Old Men,” “A Serious Man,” “True Grit”)

1955 – Comedian-actor and TV host-judge Howie Mandel (“St. Elsewhere,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Bobby’s World,” “America’s Got Talent”)

1960 – Actress Cathy Moriarty (“Raging Bull,” “Soapdish,” “The Mambo Kings,” “Casper,” “Analyze That,” “The Bounty Hunter”)

1961 – Emmy-winning actress Kim Delaney (“NYPD Blue,” “All My Children,” “Philly,” “CSI: Miami”)

1962 – Actor-director Andrew McCarthy (“St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Mannequin,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Less Than Zero,” “Orange is the New Black”)

1964 – Golden Globe-winning actor Don Cheadle (“Boogie Nights,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Crash,” “House of Lies,” “Iron Man 2,” “Iron Man 3,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War”)

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Fly Robin Fly

Silver Convention

Slippery When Wet

Bon Jovi

Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure

Richard E. Byrd

Splendor in the Grass

Starring Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty and Pat Hingle, and directed by Elia Kazan

Raging Bull

Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty, and directed by Martin Scorsese

Hotel Rwanda

Starring Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte and Joaquin Phoenix, and directed by Terry George