Pop culture anniversaries 2017: 'Star Wars' turns 40, 'Titanic' turns 20, more


In 2017, we’ll be celebrating many significant pop culture anniversaries from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Star Wars” to the arrival of the Spice Girls and the departure of “The Sopranos.” Here’s our annual, extremely subjective list of notable anniversaries — designed, as always, to make you shout out loud, “I can’t believe it’s been that long!”

50th anniversary: On these dates in 1967

The Beatles album,
(Credit: Capitol)

"Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" released

JUNE 1 The Beatles’ masterpiece, still regarded by many as the No. 1 album of all time.

The Doors’ 'Light My Fire' hits No. 1

Members of the Doors pose for an undated
(Credit: AP)

JULY 29 Jim Morrison couldn’t get much higher when the song hit No. 1.

'Bonnie and Clyde' hits theaters

Fay Dunaway as Bonnie Parker and Warren Beatty
(Credit: Warner Bros.)

AUG. 13 Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway turn a pair of frowzy ’30s gangsters into glamorous pop idols.



'The Graduate' debuts

EMBARGOED UNTIL 11 P.M. EDT, JUNE 16, 1998--FILE--Dustin
(Credit: AP)

DEC. 22 Mike Nichols’ hip movie launched Dustin Hoffman’s career and immortalized “plastics” as a career option.

40th anniversary: On these dates in 1977

(Credit: The Family Channel)

"Roots" debuts

JAN. 23-30 Alex Haley’s epic miniseries about slavery kept America spellbound for eight nights. 

'Annie Hall' debuts

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Woody Allen's
(Credit: MGM)

APRIL 20 What can we say? We still need the eggs.

'Star Wars' debuts

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford appear
(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

MAY 25 The original will always will be the “I” in our hearts even if today’s audiences know it as “IV.”

Elvis Presley dies

FILE-----Elvis Presley is shown performing in Providence, R.I.
(Credit: AP)

AUG. 16 Or was that him we saw last week scarfing down a tailgater sandwich at Dunkin’ Donuts?



'Saturday Night Fever' debuts

** FILE ** In this 1977 file photo
(Credit: Paramount Pictures)

DEC. 16 No one wore a white suit better than Travolta’s Tony Manero. Not even Col. Sanders.

30th anniversary: On these dates in 1987

(Credit: Fox)

"21 Jump Street" debuts

APRIL 12 A week after the Fox Network debuts, breaking the three-network monopoly, the world is introduced to Johnny Depp for the first time. 

'Whitney' debuts at No. 1

Singer Whitney Houston performs at New York's Madison
(Credit: AP/Mario Suriani)

JUNE 2 Whitney Houston’s much-anticipated second album didn’t disappoint — becoming the first album by a female artist to debut at No. 1 and spawning four No. 1 singles.

'Dirty Dancing' debuts

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in
(Credit: Live Entertainment)

AUG. 21 Even after 30 years, nobody puts Baby in a corner.

'thirtysomething' debuts

1988 -- From the television show THIRTYSOMETHING -
(Credit: ABC)

SEPT. 29 Yuppies come to prime-time TV, raising whining to an art form. How come we’re not seeing the long-awaited sequel, “sixtysomething?”



'Wall Street' debuts

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in
(Credit: 20th Century Fox/Andy Schwartz)

DEC. 11 No, Mr. Gekko, greed is not good.

25th anniversary: On these dates in 1992

ABC15 (10/29/96)-- WAYNE'S WORLD 2-- Mike Meyers and
(Credit: Paramount Pictures)

"Wayne's World" debuts

FEB. 14 The best of all the movies inspired by “Saturday Night Live” skits? No way? Way.

'My Cousin Vinny' debuts

Marisa Tomei, Fred Gwynn, and Joe Pesci in
(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

MARCH 13 Novice lawyer heads south to defend two wrongfully arrested yutes.

Johnny Carson’s final 'Tonight Show'

[20050124 (IE/A15,OC/A15,LA/A15,SF/A15,VN/A15) -- A DIVINE SEND-OFF Entertainer Bette
(Credit: AP/Douglas C. Pizac)

MAY 22 A classier leave-taking there never will be.

Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 'Baby Got Back' tops the charts

After a six-year-break from music making, Anthony Ray,
(Credit: AP/JIm Bryant)

JUNE 28 Even in our increasingly PC world, the song’s opening line (“I like big butts and I cannot lie . . . ”) has endured, even if the artist hasn’t.

'The Contest' episode of 'Seinfeld'

Michael Richards, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Jason
(Credit: NBC/Chris Hastom)

NOV. 18 Self-denial was never funnier.

20th anniversary: On these dates in 1997

FILE--Laura Dern playing
(Credit: AP/Mike Ansell)

Ellen DeGeneres comes out

APRIL 30 With a boost from a therapist played by Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Morgan (Ellen DeGeneres) comes out of the closet, and prime time’s first gay leading character arrives.

Spice Girls hit our shores

The Spice Girls perform on stage at the
(Credit: AFP/Fiona Hanson)

MAY 31 The British girl group becomes a U.S. sensation as well, with the biggest-selling album of 1997.

'South Park' debuts

(Credit: Comedy Central)

AUG. 13 Comedy Central’s foul-mouthed, crudely drawn kids still have the ability to shock us.

'Titanic' released

Left to right: Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack Dawson
(Credit: 20th Century Fox / Paramount Pictures)

DEC. 19 Oceans of tears ensue, along with 11 Oscars and, for the first time, $1 billion in box-office earnings.

10th anniversary: On these dates in 2007

This image taken from a KABC Television, Los

Britney Spears has a meltdown

FEB. 17 In the midst of dealing with a multitude of personal issues, Britney Spears shaves her head. Asked why, she said, “Because of you.”

CBS radio fires Don Imus

NY, NY. Monday, April 9, 2007. Radio personality
(Credit: Newsday/Moises Saman)

APRIL 12 Imus axed. Shock jock Don Imus is fired by CBS radio days after he racially slurred members of Rutgers University’s women’s basketball team.

'The Sopranos' finale

In this photo, released by HBO in 2007,
(Credit: AP/Craig Blankenhorn)

JUNE 10 Ten years later, we’re still trying to figure out whether Tony is dead or alive.

'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' premieres

Pictured: (l-r) Kendall Jenner, Rob Kardashian, Scott Disick,
(Credit: E! Entertainment)

OCT. 14 Ten years later, we’re still trying to figure out why people care.

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