On This Day April 21

Musical Milestones

1956 – Elvis Presley scores his first No. 1 single with “Heartbreak Hotel.” The song remains on top of Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart for eight weeks.

1962 – Elvis returns to the top of the singles chart with “Good Luck Charm.”

1973 – Tony Orlando and Dawn begin a four-week run on top of the singles chart with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree,” which becomes the hottest-selling single of the year.  

1984 – Phil Collins has the most popular single on the radio with the title track from the movie “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).” The song spends three weeks at No. 1. 

1990 – Paul McCartney sets a new world record for the largest concert audience for a solo artist. A total of 184,000 people attend the final show of his tour at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1990 – “Nothing Compares 2 U” lands Sinéad O’Connor on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. The song was written by Prince.

2008 – Soul singer-songwriter Al Wilson (“The Snake,” “Show and Tell”) dies of kidney failure at the age of 68. 

2016 – Pop megastar Prince dies of an accidental opioid overdose at his Paisley Park compound in suburban Minneapolis. He is just 57 years old, and news of his death sends shockwaves among millions of fans around the world. More than 150 million of the Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winner’s records have sold internationally,  ranking Prince among the best-selling musicians of all time.

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Elv1s 30 #1 Hits

Elvis Presley

The Very Best of Prince

Prince

Eighteen Minutes: The Battle of San Jacinto and the Texas Independence Campaign

Stephen L. Moore

Images of Modern America: The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair

Bill Cotter and Bill Young

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë

Zorba the Greek

Starring Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates and Irene Papas, and directed by Michael Cacoyannis

On This Day April 14

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The Very Best of The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers

All For You

Janet Jackson

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase to Catch Lincoln's Killer

James L. Swanson

Titanic 1912: The original news reporting of the sinking of the Titanic

Ken Rossignol

Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter

Loretta Lynn

Sixteen Candles

Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, and directed by John Hughes

On This Day April 6

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The Graduate

Starring Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross, and directed by Mike Nichols; music by Simon & Garfunkel

The Essential Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

World War I: The Definitive Visual History

DK

National Pastime: U.S. History Through Baseball

Martin C. Babicz and Thomas W. Zeiler

Star Wars (Episode V): The Empire Strikes Back

Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams, and directed by Irvin Kershner

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Starring Steve Carell, Catherine Keener and Paul Rudd, and directed by Judd Apatow

On This Day March 28

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The Beatles 1962 - 1966 (The Red Album)

The Beatles

Autoamerican

Blondie

The Greatest Shows on Earth: A History of the Circus

Linda Simon

Yes, I Glow in the Dark! One Mile from Three Mile Island to Fukushima and Nuclear Hotseat

Libbe HaLevy

Wedding Crashers

Starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, and directed by David Dobkin

The Bourne Ultimatum

Starring Matt Damon, Julia Stiles and David Strathairn, and directed by Paul Greengrass

On This Day February 25

History Highlights

1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, is sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress. He is assigned to serve on the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on the District of Columbia.

1916 – German troops seize Fort Douaumont, the most formidable of the forts guarding the walled city of Verdun, France, four days after launching their initial attack. The Battle of Verdun becomes the longest and bloodiest conflict of World War I, lasting 10 months and resulting in over 700,000 casualties.

1950 – The TV comedy “Your Show of Shows,” hosted by Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, premieres, eventually helping launch the successful entertainment careers of Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others.

1964 – Twenty-two-year-old Cassius Clay (who later changes his name to Muhammad Ali) stuns odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout in Miami Beach.

1984 – A massive explosion, triggered when gasoline from a ruptured pipeline ignited, levels a shantytown outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing at least 500 people — mostly young children. However, investigators speculate that the actual death toll may have been closer to 700 since many bodies were incinerated in the intense blaze.

1986 – President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines flees the nation after 20 years of rule. Corazon Aquino becomes that nation’s first woman president. 

2004 – “The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson’s controversial film about the final hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, opens in U.S. theaters, starring  Jim Caviezel as Jesus. It receives three Oscar nominations.

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Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross

1984

Van Halen

Black is Best: The Riddle of Cassius Clay

Jack Olsen

Diary of a Dictator -- Ferdinand & Imelda: The Last Days of Camelot

William C. Rempel

Deep Impact

Starring Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni and Elijah Wood, and directed by Mimi Leder

The Social Network

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer, and directed by David Fincher

On This Day February 6

History Highlights

1917 – Three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson severs diplomatic relations with Germany and warns that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted, a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.

1933 – The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing the beginning and ending of the terms of elected federal offices, takes effect. 

1937 – John Steinbeck’s novella, “Of Mice and Men,” the story of the bond between two migrant workers during the Great Depression, is published. Eight months later, the stage adaptation opens in New York and earns Steinbeck the New York Drama Critics’ Circle’s Best Play Award in 1938.

1952 – Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen of England when her father, King George VI, dies following a long illness. But it takes the 25-year-old Elizabeth more than a day to learn of her new royal status. She was on safari at the time, inside a Kenyan tree hut watching a herd of elephants gather at a watering hole.

1978 – One of the worst Nor’easters in New England history pounds the region for more than 30 hours, with wind gusts exceeding 100 mph and snowfall of four inches an hour. High tides cause damaging coastal flooding, while inland, thousands of cars are stranded in snow drifts. Remembered as “The Blizzard of ’78,” the monster storm leaves about 100 people dead and 4,500 others injured.

1993 – Tennis champion Arthur Ashe, the only African-American man to win Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens, dies of complications from AIDS, at age 49 in New York City.

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The Very Best Of The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody

The Righteous Brothers

Tony Orlando & Dawn: The Definitive Collection

Tony Orlando & Dawn

Understanding Legislative Term Limits

Edward Sternisha, J.D.

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

An American Life: The Autobiography

Ronald Reagan

The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth

Leigh Montville

On This Day January 28

History Highlights

1915 – The American merchant ship William P. Frye becomes the first casualty of World War I as a German cruiser opens fire and sinks the vessel. Despite apologies from the German government, the attack sparks outrage in the U.S.

1922 – Ninety-eight guests are killed, 133 others are injured when the roof of Washington, D.C.’s Knickerbocker Theatre collapses under the weight of a heavy snowfall. The disaster ranks as one of Washington’s worst, and the “Knickerbocker Snowstorm,” as it is known, still holds the record for Washington’s single greatest snowfall.

1958 – The interlocking stud-and-tube plastic Lego brick is patented by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, whose father founded the Lego toy company (“Lego,” from the Danish term “leg godt,” meaning “play well”). Bricks manufactured today remain compatible with the original ones.

1964 – The State Department accuses the Soviet Union of shooting down an unarmed Air Force trainer jet over East Germany, killing its three occupants.

1986 – A nation watches in horror as Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51-L) explodes 73 seconds into flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe — who was to have been the first civilian in space — and fellow crew members Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnick, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair and Gregory Jarvis.

1997 – Four apartheid-era police officers, appearing before a tribunal in South Africa, admit to the 1977 killing of Stephen Biko, a leader of the South African “Black consciousness” movement.

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The Best of The Monkees

The Monkees

We Are The World

U.S.A. For Africa

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

David Robertson and Bill Breen

Space Shuttle Disaster: The Tragic Mission of the Challenger

Henry M. Holden

M*A*S*H: The Complete Collection

Starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Harry Morgan, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit and others

The Green Mile

Starring Tom Hanks, David Morse and Bonnie Hunt, and directed by Frank Darabont

On This Day December 25

History Highlights

1776 – General George Washington and 2,400 of his Continental Army troops cross the icy waters of the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey.

1914 – Gunfire is replaced with the sounds of Christmas carols as German troops serving in World War I lay down their weapons and break into song on Christmas morning. Russian, French and British troops do the same and even shake hands and exchange cigarettes with enemy soldiers along the eastern and western fronts during the Christmas Truce of 1914. 

1962 – “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters, starring Gregory Peck, who wins a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as attorney Atticus Finch.

1973 – “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a pair of 1930s grifters, premieres.

1977 – British director, producer and comedic actor Charlie Chaplin, an icon of the silent film era, dies at the age of 88.

1989 – Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, are executed following a popular uprising.

1989 – Former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin dies in a traffic accident at the age of 61.

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union just days after 11 of the former Soviet republics establish the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1996 – Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is killed in her Boulder, Colorado, home. Her parents call police the following morning to report their daughter missing and discover a ransom note demanding $118,000. The girl’s body is found in the basement that afternoon. The crime becomes a national sensation that remains unsolved today.

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White Christmas

Bing Crosby

Dino The Essential Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life

Peter Ackroyd

Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

Bill Pennington

The Twilight Zone (Season 1)

Created by Rod Serling

Coal Miner's Daughter

Starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones and Levon Helm, and directed by Michael Apted

On This Day December 18

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The Definitive Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

H2O

Hall & Oates

Verdun: The Lost History of the Most Important Battle of World War I

John Mosier

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Lionel Jeffries, and directed by Ken Hughes

GoodFellas

Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, and directed by Martin Scorsese

Inglourious Basterds

Starring Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz, and directed by Quentin Tarantino

On This Day November 11

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The Best Of Donna Summer: The Millennium Collection

Donna Summer

Daydream

Mariah Carey

A World Undone: The Story of the Great War

G. J. Meyer

The Route 66 Photo Road Trip

Rick & Susan Sammon

The Devil Wears Prada

Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci, and directed by David Frankel

Catch Me If You Can

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, and directed by Steven Spielberg

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