On This Day April 4

History Highlights

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established by the U.S. and 11 other Western nations.

1960 – William Wyler’s Technicolor epic ,”Ben-Hur,” sets an Academy Awards record when it sweeps 11 of the 12 categories for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Charlton Heston).

1968 – A sniper shoots and kills civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 39, on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel. As word of the assassination spreads, riots erupt in cities across the U.S., and National Guard troops are deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. In 1991, the murder scene—the Lorraine Motel—is dedicated as part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

1969 – CBS cancels the most popular show on TV at the time, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” because the brothers failed to submit their script to network executives to review before broadcast. 

1973 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held in New York’s Lower Manhattan to dedicate the original World Trade Center. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC, or the North Tower, and 2 WTC, the South Tower, would provide nearly 10 million square feet of office space. Reaching more than a quarter of a mile into the sky, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period, the tallest buildings in the world. 

1975 – At a time when most Americans are using typewriters, childhood friends and self-proclaimed computer geeks Bill Gates and Paul Allen establish Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Four years later, they relocate the business to Washington State and grow it into a major multinational technology corporation.

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The Beatles 1962-1966 (The Red Album)

The Beatles

Bedtime Stories

Madonna

Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last 31 Hours

Joseph Rosenbloom

City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center

James Glanz and Eric Lipton

Iron Man

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges, and directed by Jon Favreau

The Dark Knight

Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger, and directed by Christopher Nolan

On This Day February 26

History Highlights

1919 – The U.S. Congress passes an act establishing the Grand Canyon as a National Park in Arizona. 

1929 – The U.S. Congress establishes Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

1934 – President Franklin Roosevelt orders the creation of a Communications Commission, which would become the FCC later that year by an act of Congress.

1972 – A mining dam collapses, sending millions of gallons of black coal wastewater across a wide area of Logan County, West Virginia. The Buffalo Creek Disaster claims 125 lives and leaves 4,000 people homeless.

1993 – Six people are killed and more than 1,000 others are injured when a bomb, planted inside a parked van, explodes in the garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. The blast leaves a crater 150 feet wide and causes the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors. Six terrorists are eventually captured, tried and convicted for the attack.

1998 – A jury finds Oprah Winfrey not guilty in a $10 million defamation lawsuit brought by Texas cattle ranchers. The plaintiffs had accused the talk show host of harming the U.S. beef industry with a 1996 broadcast about mad cow disease. Exiting the courtroom, Winfrey exclaims, “Free speech not only lives, it rocks!”

2012 – Trayvon Martin, an African-American teen, is fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman while walking home from a Sanford, Florida convenience store. The killing sparks a national outcry over race relations and self-defense gun laws, as Martin was unarmed when he was shot.

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Hotel California

Eagles

Thriller

Michael Jackson

National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States

National Geographic

The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy

Deborah Davis

The Hustler

Starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie and George C. Scott, and directed by Robert Rossen

Johnny Cash: The Life

Robert Hilburn

On This Day November 3

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Da Doo Ron Ron: The Very Best Of The Crystals

The Crystals

No More Drama

Mary J. Blige

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age

Matthew Brzezinski

The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1)

Robert A. Caro

One World Trade Center: Biography of the Building

Judith Dupré

The Great Escape

Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough, and directed by John Sturges

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Starring Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw, and directed by Steven Spielberg

On This Day October 19

History Highlights

1781 – Hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution. The event is known as the Siege of Yorktown or the Battle of Yorktown.

1960 – The Cold War heats up as the U.S. imposes an embargo on exports to Cuba. The original embargo covers all exports except medicine and some food products. President John F. Kennedy expands the embargo to cover U.S. imports from Cuba, which is made permanent in early 1962.

1970 – In New York City, One World Trade Center welcomes its first tenants, even as construction of the upper floors of the world’s tallest building continues.

1977 – An aviation icon, the supersonic Concorde SST, makes its first landing at New York’s JFK International Airport. The aircraft provides high-speed trans-Atlantic service until a 2003 Air France crash during takeoff from Paris that kills everyone on board.

1982 – Auto executive John DeLorean is arrested for drug trafficking and money laundering after FBI agents nab him with a briefcase containing $24 million worth of cocaine.

1987 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffers the largest-ever one-day percentage decline, dropping 508 points (22.6 percent), in what comes to be known as “Black Monday.” It is a bigger collapse than what rocked Wall Street in 1929, right before the Great Depression.

1991 – What begins as a small fire on private property in the hills of Oakland, California grows into an inferno that consumes 2.5 square miles of mostly residential neighborhoods. The Oakland Hills Firestorm kills 25 people and injures 150 others, and destroys nearly 3,500 homes and apartments.

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Ultimate Collection: Billy Preston

Billy Preston

Time And Again: The Ultimate a-ha

a-ha

City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center

James Glanz and Eric Lipton

The DeLorean Story: The Car, The People, The Scandal

Nick Sutton

Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of The Brady Bunch

Sherwood Schwartz and Lloyd J. Schwartz

The Universe of Peter Max

Peter Max

On This Day September 11

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The John Lennon Letters

John Lennon and Hunter Davies

The Best of Donnie Osmond: The Millennium Collection

Donny Osmond

Get Smart

Starring Don Adams and Barbara Feldon

9/11 - The Filmmakers' Commemorative Edition

Directed by the Naudet brothers

Sideways

Starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen, and directed by Alexander Payne

Your Songs

Harry Connick, Jr.

On this Day August 7

History Highlights

1782 – General George Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the “Badge for Military Merit” — a decoration for valor consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk with the word “Merit” stitched across the face. Only three soldiers were awarded the badge before it fell into disuse. It was revived in 1932 as the Purple Heart, consisting of a bust of Washington below a coat of arms.

1959 – The sheaves of wheat image on the U.S. penny is replaced with the Lincoln Memorial. 

1959 – NASA launches the Explorer 6 satellite to study trapped radiation, galactic cosmic rays and geomagnetism in the upper atmosphere. It is the first spacecraft to transmit images of Earth from orbit.

1972 – Yogi Berra, Sandy Koufax, Lefty Gomez and Early Wynn are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. 

1974 – After six years of planning and preparation, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit walks a tightrope a quarter mile above the streets of Manhattan between the World Trade Center towers.

1990 – President George H. W. Bush orders the launch of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2. The order prepares American troops to join an international coalition in the war against Iraq that would be launched as Operation Desert Storm in January 1991.

2005 – Longtime ABC News anchor and reporter Peter Jennings loses his battle with cancer at the age of 67.

2005 – The seven-person crew of a small Russian submarine (Priz) is rescued by an unmanned British submersible that freed the sub after its propellers became entangled in fishing nets deep in Pacific waters.

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Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits

Bee Gees

Mirage (Deluxe Edition)

Fleetwood Mac

The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball's Greats

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Man on Wire

Philippe Petit

Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey

Brian Urquhart

North Country

Starring Charlize TheronFrances McDormand andSean Bean, and directed by Niko Caro

On this Day May 26

History Highlights

1897 – The first copies of the classic vampire novel “Dracula,” by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appear in London bookshops.

1927 – It’s the end of the road for Ford’s iconic Model T automobile. The 15 millionth and last Model T Ford rolls off a Detroit assembly line with Ford founder Henry Ford in the front passenger seat and his son, Edsel, behind the wheel. The touring car, with hand-stamped VIN 15000000, marked the symbolic end of the groundbreaking automobile’s 19-year production run.

1953 – The first 3-D sci-fi movie premieres in Los Angeles: “It Came from Outer Space,” based on a Ray Bradbury story.

1959 – Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves before losing, 1-0, in the 13th. It’s the first time a pitcher throws more than nine perfect innings in major league history.

1969 – Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing. During descent from its lunar orbit, the spacecraft sets a record for the fastest speed attained by a manned vehicle.

1972 – Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Richard Nixon, meeting in Moscow, sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements.

1977 – The so-called “human fly,” George Willig, scales the South Tower of New York City’s World Trade Center by attaching himself to a window washing track and walking straight to the top and into the custody of waiting police officers. It takes Willig three and a half hours to make the climb and costs him $1.10 in fines — one penny per floor.

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Power To The People: The Hits

John Lennon

They Only Come Out At Night

The Edgar Winter Group

It Came from Outer Space

Starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush and Charles Drake, and directed by Jack Arnold

The World Trade Center Remembered

Sonja Bullaty, Paul Goldberger and Angelo Lomeo 

Big Fish

Starring Ewan McGregor, Helena Bonham Carter, Albert Finney, Hailey Anne Nelson and Billy Crudup, and directed by Tim Burton

Greatest Hits

Lenny Kravitz