On This Day February 12

History Highlights

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded. It is America’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. 

1976 – Oscar-nominated actor Sal Mineo (“Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant,” “Exodus,” ” The Longest Day”) is stabbed to death outside his West Hollywood apartment at the age of 37. It takes authorities more than two years to arrest Lionel Williams, who is convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison.

1986 – After spending eight years in Soviet prisons and labor camps, human rights activist Anatoly (Natan) Scharansky is released.  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan brokered the amnesty deal at a summit meeting three months earlier.

1999 – The five-week impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton comes to an end, with the Senate voting to acquit Clinton on both articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice.

2002 – Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial at The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of genocide and war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. The trial drags on for four years until Milosevic is found dead of a heart attack in his prison cell at the age of 64. 

2008 – Struggling auto giant General Motors (GM) attempts to cut costs by offering buyouts to all 74,000 of its U.S. hourly employees represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

2008 – Hollywood’s longest work stoppage since 1988 ends when members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) overwhelmingly vote to go back to work following a 100-day walkout. The strike crippled the production of countless TV shows and cost the California economy more than $2 billion. It also gave rise to more reality TV programming that required little or no scripting.

Celebrity Birthdays

1809 – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (d. 1865)

1809 – Scientist Charles Darwin, who laid the foundations for the theory of evolution in his book, “The Origin of Species”  (d. 1882)

1915 – Radio announcer-turned-actor and singer Lorne Greene, best know as Ben Cartwright in the TV western “Bonanza,” and Commander Adama in the sci-fi TV series “Battlestar Galactica” (d. 1987)

1923 – Director-producer Franco Zeffirelli, known for his Shakespeare film adaptations, including “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Romeo and Juliet” (d. 2019)

1934 – Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star Bill Russell, who led the Boston Celtics to 11 championships from 1957 to 1969

1938 – Best-selling author Judy Blume, known for her children’s books and young-adult novels, including “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” 

1952 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and former Doobies Brothers vocalist Michael McDonald 

1956 – Actor, comedian and former talk show host Arsenio Hall 

1968 – Actor Josh Brolin (“The Goonies,” “No Country For Old Men,” “W,” “Milk,” “Men in Black 3,” “Hail, Caesar!”, “Deadpool 2”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Once Upon A Deadpool”, “Avengers: Endgame”, ) 

1980 – Actress Christina Ricci (“The Addams Family,” “Casper,” “The Ice Storm,” “The Opposite of Sex,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Monster,” “Pan Am”) 

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The McGuire Sisters Greatest Hits

The McGuire Sisters

A Star Is Born

Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson

Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement

Patricia Sullivan

The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild

Miranda J. Banks

The Addams Family

Starring Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci and Anjelica Huston, and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition

Charles Darwin

On This Day November 5

History Highlights

1912 – Democrat Woodrow Wilson is elected the 28th president of the United States in a landslide victory, defeating Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt. It is the only presidential election in American history in which two former presidents were defeated by another candidate.

1940 –  Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt is re-elected for an unprecedented third term as president of the United States. He is re-elected again in 1944, which paves the way for ratification of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1951, limiting all future presidents to two elected terms.

1968 – Republican Richard Nixon wins the presidential election, defeating Vice President Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest political races in U.S. history.

1968 – New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She serves for 14 years.

1994 – Forty-five-year-old George Foreman knocks out 26-year-old Michael Moorer to become the oldest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas watch Foreman dethrone Moorer, who entered the fight with a 35-0 record.

2007 – A writers strike in New York and Los Angeles interrupts the production of more than 60 television shows and results in the loss of an estimated $3 billion to the LA economy alone. The walkout, by members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), lasts more than three months.

2009 – Thirteen people are killed and more than 30 others are wounded, nearly all of them unarmed soldiers, when a U.S. Army officer goes on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in central Texas. The deadly assault, carried out by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, becomes the worst mass murder at a U.S. military installation.

Celebrity Birthdays

1911 – American singer, cowboy and actor Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye and known as the “King of the Cowboys” (d. 1998)

1913 – Actress Vivian Leigh (“Gone With the Wind,” “A Streetcar Named Desire”) (d. 1967)

1931 – R&B singer-songwriter Ike Turner who had a string of hits with then-wife Tina Turner (d. 2007)

1940 – Golden Globe-winning actress Elke Sommer (“The Prize,” “A Shot in the Dark,” “The Art of Love,” “The Oscar,” “Boy, Did I Get the Wrong Number”)

1941 – Singer-songwriter Art Garfunkel, formerly of the Grammy-winning rock-folk duo Simon & Garfunkel

1943 – Pulitzer Prize-winning actor and playwright Sam Shepard (“Days of Heaven,” “Paris, Texas,” “The Right Stuff,” “Country,” “Steel Magnolias”) (d. 2017)

1947 – Peter Noone, born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone, frontman for the 1960s British pop group Herman’s Hermits

1959 – Grammy-winning rock singer-songwriter Bryan Adams (“Cuts Like a Knife,” “Summer of ’69,” “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”)

1960 – Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton (“Edward II,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Michael Clayton,” “Burn After Reading,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Doctor Strange”)

1963 – Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal (“Paper Moon,” “The Bad News Bears,” “Nickelodeon,” “Little Darlings”)

1968 – Actor Sam Rockwell (“The Green Mile,” “Galaxy Quest” “Iron Man 2,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “A Single Shot”)

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits

The Beach Boys

Unbought and Unbossed

Shirley Chisholm

God In My Corner: A Spiritual Memoir

George Foreman

Gone With The Wind

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard, and directed by Victor Fleming

Michael Clayton

Starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton, and directed by Tony Gilroy