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This Day in Pop Culture for August 16

Aretha Franklin

2018: The Queen of Soul Passes Away

It was on this day in 2018 that the world said goodbye to singer Aretha Franklin, aka the “queen of soul.” At the age of 76, Franklin died due to advanced pancreatic cancer. Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25, 1942. When Franklin was 14 years old, she began touring with her father’s “gospel caravan” tours performing in various churches and helped her sign her first record deal, Songs of Faith in 1956. By the age of 16, she was touring with Martin Luther King Jr. In September of 1960, her first single with Columbia Records, “Today I Sing the Blues,” was issued followed by her album, Aretha: With the Ray Bryant Combo in January 1961. In 1967 Franklin released the album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, which also featured “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” earned her first #1 R&B song and gold album. Her career continued on for more than five decades. In 2009, she sang at the inauguration of President Obama and her final album, A Brand New Me came out in 2017. (Image: Wikimedia)

(Sports Illustrated)

1954: ‘Sport Illustrated’ Publishes its First Issue

Did you know that there were actually two different magazines that were published with the title of Sports Illustrated before the one we know today? The first was published monthly between 1936-1938 and focused on golf, tennis and skiing. The name was sold to Dell who produced a new version that focused on baseball, basketball and boxing, but only lasted for six issues. It wasn’t until this day in 1954 that the current weekly version came about. It is said that the goal wasn’t for it to be A sports magazine but THE sports magazine. However, it wasn’t until the early ‘60s that the magazine began to make a profit. Today, the mag is read by 23 million people each week.

1996: Gorilla Saves 3-Year-Old Boy

It was on this day in 1996 when a 3-year-old boy fell more than 20 feet into the gorilla pit at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois. The boy laid lifeless for a few moments until Binti Jua, an 8-year-old gorilla, picked him up, cradled him in her arms and protected him from the other apes. She later handed the boy over to zookeepers who then rushed the boy to the hospital. The zookeepers said that since the ape was raised by humans, she was more “people-oriented.” The boy made a full recovery and the story warmed the hearts of many.

Movies Released

  • At Middleton (2014)
  • Final Destination 2 (2003)
  • Gretel and Hansel (2020)
  • Murphy’s Romance (1985)
  • The Recruit (2003)
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

TV Series Debuts

  • A Million Little Things (2018)
  • Brady Bunch (1969)
  • Downton Abbey (2010)
  • Evil (2019)
  • Gilligan’s Island (1964)
  • Joan of Arcadia (2003)
  • Hope & Faith (2003)
  • Knight Rider (1982)
  • Private Practice (2007)
  • The Beverly Hillbillies (1962)
  • The Chew (2011)
  • The Equalizer (2014)
  • Wife Swap (2004)
  • Without a Trace (2002)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1926: Zig Ziglar (author)
  • 1946: Sally Field (actress)
  • 1972: Rebecca Romijn (model)
  • 1988: Emma Stone (actress)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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