On This Day April 7

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1776 – U.S. Navy Captain John Barry (a.k.a. “Father of the American Navy”), commander of the warship Lexington, achieves the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he seizes the British warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture of the Edward and its cargo turns Barry into a national hero and boosts the morale of the Continental forces.

1948 – The United Nations establishes the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote “the highest possible level of health” around the globe. A major cornerstone of WHO is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. World Health Day is observed internationally every April 7.

1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower coins one of the most famous Cold War phrases when he suggests the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a “domino effect” in Southeast Asia. The so-called “domino theory” guided U.S. strategy toward Vietnam for the next decade.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy lobbies Congress to fund the preservation of historic monuments in Egypt’s Nile Valley threatened by construction of the Aswan High Dam.

1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material (Stanley v. Georgia). 

1970 – At the 42nd annual Academy Awards, screen legend John Wayne ropes his first and only Oscar: Best Actor for his role in the Western “True Grit.”

1978 – President Jimmy Carter cancels planned production of the neutron bomb.

1994 – Violence in Rwanda fuels the launch of what becomes the worst episode of genocide since World War II: the massacre of an estimated 500,000 to 1 million innocent civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

On This Day January 1

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On This Day December 11

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On This Day December 4

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On This Day October 24

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On this Day May 11

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1959 – The instrumental “The Happy Organ,” by organist-pianist Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez, is the No. 1 single for a week and becomes a fixture at roller skating rinks across the U.S. Cortez makes one more trip to the Top-10 during his career with “Rinky Dink” in 1962.

1963 – Little Peggy March wraps up three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Will Follow Him.”

1970 – The three-disk soundtrack to the Woodstock Festival is released and goes gold within two weeks.

1972 – John Lennon makes a guest appearance on “The Dick Cavett Show” and claims the FBI is tapping his phone.

1981 – Jamaican singer-songwriter and guitarist Bob Marley, who introduced international audiences to reggae music, dies of cancer at the age of 36. Marley is posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 2001, receives a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

1985 – Madonna has the No. 1 single with “Crazy for You,” from the soundtrack to the movie “Vision Quest,” starring Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino. The track garners Madonna her first Grammy nomination in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category.

1991 – “Joyride,” by Swedish pop duo Roxette, is the No. 1 single for a week.

1996 – Mariah Carey begins her second and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Always Be My Baby.”

2002 – Ashanti maintains her hold on the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Foolish.” The track remains a chart-topper for 10 weeks.