On This Day April 29

Musical Milestones

1967 – Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy maintain their hold on No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart with “Somethin’ Stupid.” The duet remains a chart-topper for four weeks.

1969 – On his 70th birthday, jazz legend Duke Ellington receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Richard Nixon in the East Room of the White House. Nixon concludes the presentation by playing the piano and singing. 

1970 – George Harrison tells reporters that The Beatles will reunite eventually and announces plans for his first post-Beatles solo album.

1976 – Bruce Springsteen wraps up a concert performance in Memphis as part of his “Born to Run” tour and he and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt decide to pay their idol, Elvis Presley, a visit at his Graceland estate. Security guards escort Springsteen off the grounds after he jumps the gate and runs toward the front door. The King was not home at the time. 

1978 – Topping the singles chart for the seventh consecutive week: The Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

1989 – Madonna has the No. 1 single with “Like a Prayer,” from her album of the same name.

1993 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Barry White appears in the “Whacking Day” episode of the animated series “The Simpsons.” As White sings, Bart and Lisa place loudspeakers on the ground to lure snakes away from Springfield residents trying to kill them as part of Whacking Day tradition.

1995 – “This Is How We Do It,” by Montell Jordan, is in the midst of a seven-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100. 

2000 – “Maria Maria,” by Santana featuring The Product G&B, is in the middle of a 10-week domination of the singles chart.

2006 – Daniel Powter owns the top spot on the pop chart with “Bad Day.”

History Highlights

1854 – Originally established as The Ashmun Institute, Lincoln University receives its charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, becoming the first degree-granting college in the U.S. founded solely for African-American students.

1945 – U.S. military forces liberate the Dachau concentration camp in Nazi Germany.  More than 188,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Dachau between 1933 and 1945, and more than 28,000 died in the camp and its sub-camps.

1974 – President Richard Nixon announces that he will release edited transcripts of taped White House conversations in response to a subpoena in the Watergate scandal. The House Judiciary committee insists that he also turn over the tapes. 

1986 – Pitching for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Roger Clemens sets a Major League Baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1992 – Riots erupt across Los Angeles after four LAPD officers are acquitted in the beating of unarmed African American motorist Rodney King. Protesters in south-central L.A. block freeway traffic, wreck and loot shops and set more than 100 fires. The rioting continues for five days and sparks a national conversation about racial and economic disparities and police brutality — a debate still raging today.

2004 – The National World War II Memorial opens in Washington, D.C. It honors the 16 million people who served as part of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

2004 – General Motors’ last Oldsmobile rolls off a Lansing, Michigan assembly line, marking the end of America’s oldest automotive brand. The final model is an Alero GLS sedan, which factory workers signed under the hood.

2011 –  Great Britain’s Prince William marries his longtime girlfriend, Catherine “Kate” Middleton, at Westminster Abbey in London. An estimated two billion people around the world watch the ceremony on television.

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The Essential Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Sound Track)

Bee Gees, Tavares, KC and the Sunshine Band, Yvonne Elliman and other artists

Where the Birds Never Sing: The True Story of the 92nd Signal Battalion and the Liberation of Dachau

Jack Sacco

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Anna Deavere Smith

16 Biggest Hits

Willie Nelson

Hairspray

Starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken, and directed by Adam Shankman

On This Day February 21

Musical Milestones

1970 – Sly & the Family Stone begin the second and final week as chart-toppers with “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).”

1976 – Paul Simon begins his third and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” The track, off his Grammy-winning “Still Crazy After All These Years” album, is the only No. 1 Simon has ever achieved as a solo act.

1976 – The Willie Nelson-Waylon Jennings album “Outlaws” becomes the first country music album to go platinum.

1977 – Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” is released. The album goes on to sell more than 15 million copies worldwide and spends 31 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

1981 – Dolly Parton rules the singles chart with the title track from the motion picture “9 to 5.” Parton co-stars in the movie with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman.

1987 – “Livin’ on a Prayer,” by Bon Jovi, is in the midst of a four-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart.

1990 – “Let the River Run,” by Carly Simon, wins Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture at the 32nd annual Grammy Awards. The track, which had previously been honored with an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, is from the movie “Working Girl,” starring Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford.

1998 – Usher wraps up two weeks as a Billboard chart-topper with “Nice & Slow.”

2004 – “Slow Jamz,” by Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, begins a week on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

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Still Crazy After All These Years

Paul Simon

Rumours

Fleetwood Mac

Washington's Monument And the Fascinating History of the Obelisk

John Steele Gordon

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

Malcolm X, Alex Haley and Attallah Shabazz

Backdraft

Starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro and Scott Glenn, and directed by David Westgor

Juno

Starring Ellen Page, Ellen Page and Michael Cera, and directed by Jason Reitman

On This Day September 22

History Highlights

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation establishing January 1, 1863 as the date that more than three million slaves in the U.S. would be freed. While the proclamation only frees between 20,000 and 50,000 slaves within the 10 states still in rebellion, it provides the legal framework for the eventual emancipation of all others.

1953 – The world’s first four-level interchange (“Stack”) opens in Los Angeles at the intersection of the Harbor, Hollywood, Pasadena, and Santa Ana freeways. The Saturday Evening Post called it “a mad motorist’s dream.”

1975 – U.S. President Gerald Ford survives a second assassination attempt in less than three weeks while leaving a San Francisco hotel. Sara Jane Moore had aimed and was getting ready to fire the first shot when a bystander thwarted her plans.

1976 – “Charlie’s Angels” premieres on ABC with Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and the late Farrah Fawcett as a trio of detectives working for their unseen boss, Charlie, who telephoned in their assignments. 

1980 – The Iran-Iraq War begins as Iraqi armed forces invade western Iran along the nations’ joint border. The conflict drags on for eight years.

1982 – “Family Ties” debuts on NBC, starring Michael J. Fox as Alex, the smart, conservative and financially driven teenage son of parents played by Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross. 

1994 – NBC introduces “Friends,” starring Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt Le Blanc. The sitcom becomes one of primetime TV’s most popular shows during a 10-season run.

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The Essential Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Let's Get It On

Marvin Gaye

A. Lincoln: A Biography

Ronald C. White

Charlie's Angels, Season 1

Starring Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith

Tommy Lasorda: My Way

Colin Gunderson

Greatest Hits: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

On this Day August 21

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Patsy Cline Showcase

Patsy Cline

An Officer and a Gentleman

Starring Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett, Jr., and directed by Taylor Hackford

Who Stole Mona Lisa?

Ruthie Knapp

Dirty Dancing

Starring Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach, and directed by Emile Ardolino

Number Ones

Kenny Rogers

The Matrix

Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne, and directed by the Wachowski brothers