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Flashback calendar

Pink Star diamond sets world record price of $71 million for a gem

The Pink Star is a diamond weighing 59.60 carats, rated in color as Fancy Vivid Pink by the Gemological Institute of America. It was mined by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa. The Pink Star was sold at an auction in Hong Kong for $71 million to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.

Video game The Elder Scrolls Online is released

The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing video game developed by ZeniMax Online Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game is set in the continent of Tamriel and features a storyline indirectly connected with the other games in the Elder Scrolls franchise.

"Kinky Boots" opens on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre

Kinky Boots is a Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein. The Broadway debut started previews at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Both the Chicago and original Broadway casts starred Billy Porter as Lola, Stark Sands as Charlie and Annaleigh Ashford as Lauren.

Queen Elizabeth receives an honorary BAFTA award

Bafta chairman John Willis paid tribute to the Queen - and drew laughter from the audience as he referred to her famous cameo role alongside James Bond last year. Her appearing to parachute jump into the stadium with 007 was widely considered a highlight of the London Olympics opening ceremony.

The Silence of the Lambs spinoff, Hannibal, debuts on NBC

Hannibal is an American psychological horror–thriller television series developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC. The series is based on characters and elements appearing in Thomas Harris' novels Red Dragon and Hannibal, with focus on the relationship between FBI special investigator Will Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

Building collapse in India burried 74 people

A building collapsed on tribal land in Mumbra, a suburb of Thane in Maharashtra, India. It has been called the worst building collapse in the area. Seventy-four people were killed, while more than 100 survived. A total of 15 suspects were arrested including builders, engineers, municipal officials and other responsible parties.

Somalia's National Theatre is struck by a suicide bomber

At least six people, including two of Somalia’s top sports officials, were killed when a female suicide bomber struck a ceremony at Mogadishu’s national theatre in an attack Islamist insurgents said was aimed at killing senior government figures. Al Shabaab rebels claimed responsibility for the blast.

Günter Grass publishes controversial poem

Günter Grass was a German novelist and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. In 2012 he published a prose poem named "What must be said". The poem discusses a threat of annihilation of the Iranian people and the writer's fears Germany's delivery to Israel of a sixth Dolphin-class submarine capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Grumpy Cat is born

Grumpy Cat is an American cat internet celebrity known for her permanently grumpy facial appearance. She rose to prominence when a photograph of her was posted on social news website Reddit, and lolcats parodies created from the photograph went viral.

Google announces “Project Glass”

Google Glass is a brand of smart glasses, an optical head-mounted display designed in the shape of a pair of eyeglasses. It was developed by X with the mission of producing a ubiquitous computer, which would display information in a smartphone-like, hands-free format.

A revival of "Lend Me a Tenor" opens at the Music Box Theatre

Lend Me a Tenor earned Tony Award nominations for Best Revival of a Play, Best Featured Actress for Jan Maxwell and Best Costume Design for Martin Pakledinaz. The cast also featured three-time Tony nominee Maxwell as Maria, Mary Catherine Garrison as Maggie, Tony nominee Jennifer Laura Thompson as Diana, and Jay Klaitz as the Bellhop.

Beyoncé marries Jay-Z

Beyoncé and Jay-Z married secretly. The couple started dating in 2000. In 2012, their daughter Blue Ivy Carter was born, and in 2017, their twins Rumi and Sir were born. In 2006, Beyoncé and Jay-Z were listed as the most powerful couple for TIME magazine's 100 most influential people.

2004

The last tie to ever occur in the NHL

Each National Hockey League regulation game is 60 minutes long. The game is composed of three 20-minute periods with an intermission between periods. At the end of regulation time, the team with the most goals wins the game. If a game is tied after regulation time, overtime ensues. The last tie in NHL occurred in April 2004.

"What a Girl Wants" is released

What a Girl Wants is a 2003 American teen comedy film directed by Dennie Gordon and written by Jenny Bicks and Elizabeth Chandler. Based on the 1955 play The Reluctant Debutante by William Douglas-Home, it is the second adaptation for the screen of this work. It stars Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, and Oliver James.

"The Graduate" opens at the Plymouth Theatre

The Graduate is written by Terry Johnson, adapted from the original novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. The comedy is directed by Johnson, and features Kathleen Turner as Mrs. Robinson, Jason Biggs as Benjamin and Alicia Silverstone as Elaine.

"42nd Street" returns to Broadway

42nd Street is an American musical with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer, and music by Harry Warren. It opened at the Foxwoods Theatre, where it ran for 1,524 performances. The cast included Michael Cumpsty as Julian, Christine Ebersole as Dorothy, Kate Levering as Peggy, and David Elder as Billy.

Alibaba is founded

Alibaba Group is a Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI, and technology conglomerate. It was founded by Jack Ma and Peng Lei. Its name comes from the character Ali Baba from the Arabian literature One Thousand and One Nights.

Space shuttle Columbia is launched

This mission was originally intended to be on orbit for 15 days and 16 hours. It was, however, cut short. The reason was a problem with fuel cell number two. It seemed like oxygen and hydrogen could uncontrollably mix in it, which could end by an explosion. Mission Flight Rules required that the fuel cell is shut down and flight terminated.

1996

Chicago wins its NBA record 44th consecutive home game

Chicago beat Miami 100-92 to win its NBA record 44th consecutive home game and its NBA record 37th consecutive home game at the start of a season. The Bulls lost their next game to the Hornets 98-97 on April 8, ending both streaks. The elder Curry was the hero for the Hornets He scored 19 points and hit the final two free throws.

Mosaic Communications Corporation is founded

Mosaic Communications Corporation, currently Netscape, was founded by Jim Clark, Marc Andreessen, and William Foss. It was the 1st company to attempt to capitalize on the nascent World Wide Web. Its 1st product was the web browser, called Mosaic Netscape 0.9.

American game designer Alfred Butts dies

Butts is famous as the inventor of the Scrabble game. Although an architect by training, he switched to board game development in the 1930s. He wanted to create a game that utilized both chance and skill by combining elements of anagrams and crossword puzzles. Butts studied the New York Times front page to now many of each letter he would include in the game.

1993

WrestleMania IX

WrestleMania IX was the ninth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation. The event took place at Caesars Palace in Paradise, Nevada, in April 1993, and was the first WrestleMania event held outdoors.

John Heinz plane crashes

Heinz and six other people, including two children, were killed when a Sun Co. Aviation Department Bell 412 helicopter and a Piper Aerostar with Heinz aboard collided in mid-air above Merion Elementary School in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. All aboard both aircraft, as well as two children at the school, were killed.

President Ronald Reagan calls for an international ban on chemical weapons

Reagan opened his 23rd formal news conference Wednesday evening by announcing plans to offer the Soviet Union a global ban on chemical weapons during the upcoming meeting of the U.N. Committee on Disarmament in Geneva. Opponents of the chemical weapons program assailed his motives.

Space Shuttle Challenger makes its maiden voyage into space

STS-6 was the sixth NASA Space Shuttle mission and the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. It was the first Space Shuttle mission during which a spacewalk was conducted. Challenger returned to Earth on 9 April 1983 at 10:53 am PST.

The 26th Eurovision Song Contest

The 26th Eurovision Song Contest took place at the Simmonscourt Pavilion of the Royal Dublin Society in Dublin, Ireland. The UK won the contest with the song "Making Your Mind Up" performed by Bucks Fizz. A total of 20 countries entered the contest, with Cyprus making its début in the contest.

Microsoft is founded

At a time when most Americans use typewriters, childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft, a company that makes computer software. The pair were total computer geeks in an age when any access to computers was hard to come by. The original name of "Micro-Soft" was suggested by Allen.

1974

Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth's home-run record

Braves management wanted Hank Aaron to break the record in Atlanta and were, therefore, going to have Aaron sit out the first three games of the season. He played two out of three, tying Babe Ruth's record in his very first at-bat, on his first swing of the season, off Reds pitcher Jack Billingham, but did not hit another home run in the series.

World Trade Center opens

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of 7 buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It featured the landmark Twin Towers, which were destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world.

"Follies" opens on Broadway

Follies is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Goldman. Follies premiered on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre. It was directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, with choreography by Bennett, scenic design by Boris Aronson, costumes by Florence Klotz, and lighting by Tharon Musser.

NASA launches Apollo 6

Apollo 6 was an unmanned test of the Saturn V launch vehicle and the final unmanned Apollo test mission. Two minutes into the flight, the rocket experienced severe pogo oscillations for about 30 seconds. Ten hours after launch, it landed 43 nautical miles from the planned touchdown point in the North Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement. While standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.

The Beatles top the US singles chart with "Can't Buy Me Love"

Can't Buy Me Love topped the US chart for 4 weeks. The song was composed by Paul McCartney and released by the Beatles. The song is included on the band's 3rd studio album A Hard Day's Night. The Rolling Stone magazine ranks the song at number 295 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The 32nd Academy Awards are held

The 32nd Academy Awards took place at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. The film Ben-Hur won 11 Oscars and broke the all-time record of 9 set the year before by Gigi. It remained the most honored motion picture in Academy Award history until Titanic equaled the feat in 1997.

American engineer Steven Sasson is born

He is known as the inventor of first self-contained digital camera. He developed it shortly after leaving an engineering school as a new employee of the Kodak Company. His prototype was about the size of a toaster and weighed three and half kilos. It had resolution 100 × 100 pixels. The image was recorded onto a cassette tape and this process took 23 seconds.

NATO is formed

NATO was established under the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington by 10 Western European countries and two from North America. The essence of NATO is collective defense, which provides mutual assistance, including military aid, in case of an attack on a party or parties to the Treaty.

St. Anthony's Hospital fire

St. Anthony's Hospital fire was a disaster that occurred in Effingham, Illinois. The disaster killed 74 people at the hospital. It is used as a prime example of possible fire hazards hospitals could and can have. St. Anthony's Hospital in Effingham, Illinois, was operated by the Sisters of St. Francis, who lived in a convent next door.

US forces liberate the Nazi death camp Ohrdruf in Germany

The concentration camp near Ohrdruf was the 1st Nazi concentration camp liberated by US troops. After soldiers of 4th Armored Division and 89th Infantry Division entered the camp, they discovered piles of bodies. Following this, General Eisenhower requested a band of a journalist to let the world know of the Nazi crimes.

First bombardment of oil refineries in Bucharest by Anglo-American forces

Bucharest was heavily bombarded by Allied planes but included a bombing by Nazi Germany after the royal coup. The bombardments targeted Ploiesti oil fields, Brasov factories, Turnu Severin port and train station.The official toll was 2,942 dead and 2,126 wounded.

The Akron is destroyed in a thunderstorm

USS Akron was a helium-filled rigid airship operated by the U.S. Navy. She was the world's first purpose-built flying aircraft carrier. The Akron was destroyed in a thunderstorm off the coast of New Jersey, killing 73 of the 76 crewmen and passengers. This accident involved the greatest loss of life in any airship crash.

Vitamin C is isolated

American biochemist Charles Glen King isolated the Vitamin C. The substance was independently isolated by a Hungarian chemists Albert Szent-Györgyi and Joseph L. Svirbely. There was a dispute over priority. Szent-Györgyi was later awarded by Nobel Prize for the discovery, while King wasn't. Vitamin C is essential for prevention of scurvy.

Automobile manufacturer Karl Benz dies

Karl Benz died at his home in Ladenburg, Germany, at the age of 84 from a bronchial inflammation. The Benz home has been later designated as historic and is used as a scientific meeting facility for a nonprofit foundation, that honors Karl Benz and his wife Bertha for their roles in the history of automobiles.

Jeannette Rankin begins her term as 1st woman member of US House of Reps

Jeannette Rankin was a politician, lifelong pacifist and women's rights advocate. Her campaign for a seat in the congressional election was supported by her brother Wellington. She was later elected and become one of the fifty Congress members to vote against the declaration of war on Germany during WWI.

Vltava by Bedřich Smetana premieres in Prague

Vltava, also known by its English name The Moldau, and in German Die Moldau, was premiered under Adolf Čech. It is about 13 minutes long, and is in the key of E minor. In this piece, Smetana uses tone painting to evoke the sounds of one of Bohemia's great rivers.

Bryant's Minstrels debut "Dixie" in New York City

Bryant’s Minstrels premiered the song in a show at Mechanics’ Hall. The printed playbill called it “Dixie’s Land.” The final act of most minstrel shows of the time were blackface burlesques of mainstream theater, but "Dixie" and songs like it prompted an industry-wide revival of plantation-related material.

The city of Los Angeles is incorporated

After the end of the Mexican-American War, LA and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and became part of the US. Roughly 2 years later, LA was incorporated as a municipality, governing over the adjacent area. In 5 months after this, California achieved statehood.

John Tyler becomes the 10th President of the United States

When former president Harrison died in office, the Cabinet met and determined that Tyler would be Vice-President acting President. However, Tyler had himself sworn as President and took the oath, therefore becoming the youngest man to assume the office to that point. He kept the Harrison's cabinet members as his own.

Philip Astley stages the first modern circus

Englishman Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in London. Astley’s trick riding received such a favorable response that he soon hired other equestrians, a clown, and musicians. Astley rode in a circle rather than a straight line as his rivals did, and thus changed the format which was later named a circus.

Robert Walpole becomes the first British prime minister

The resignation of Sunderland and the death of Stanhope left Walpole as the most important figure in the administration. He was appointed First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. Walpole's de facto tenure as "Prime Minister" is often dated to his appointment as First Lord of the Treasury.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous