Notable events from our shared experience.
RCA Victor introduces the world’s first 45 rpm record on March 31, 1949. Country music star Eddy Arnold’s “Texarkana Baby” is on the A side; his “Bouquet of Roses” is on the flip side. The 45 soon becomes the medium of choice for listening to and sharing music among teens.
On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson tells the nation he won’t run for reelection. (“I shall not seek, and I will not accept …”) The stunning announcement comes in the final minute of a prime-time televised speech about Vietnam.
The Beatles hold 1 through 5 on the Billboard Top 40 singles on April 4, 1964. Starting from the top: “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me.”
President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act on April 1, 1970, banning cigarette advertising on television and radio effective Jan. 2, 1971.
Competing for Best Picture at the 50th Academy Awards on April 3, 1978, Woody Allen’s Annie Hall beats out Star Wars, which goes on to spawn an industry today worth, by one account, $27 billion.
ABC television premieres General Hospital on April 1, 1963. It’s the longest-running soap opera still in production. On the same day, NBC debuts its own medical-themed soap, The Doctors, which lasts a mere 19½ years.
In Memphis, Tenn., to support striking sanitation workers, Martin Luther King Jr. says he’s been to the “mountaintop,” and continues: “I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!” The following day, April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray assassinates King.
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Credits: Marlboro ad, classic_film /Flickr; MLK on balcony with aides: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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