The "Queen of Soul" died at 76. |

August 16, 2018

By Olivia B. Waxman

By now you've likely heard that "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin died on Thursday at the age of 76. In light of the news, we revisited TIME's June 28, 1968, cover story on the star's rise to fame. In the revolutionary year that was 1968, she was transforming pop music with her brand of soul. As the story noted, African-Americans had long been channelling their suffering and hopes into such music, which the then-26-year-old Grammy winner said was about "just living and having to get along." The cover story included a lyric-by-lyric breakdown of the traumatic events in Franklin's own life that inspired her iconic songs. You can click here to read the whole article.

Here's more of the history that made news this week:

The Ultra-Wealthy World of Crazy Rich Asians Is a Real Thing. Here’s Why

The roots of those fortunes go back centuries

Congress Faces Obstruction and Gridlock—on Purpose

The Senate ended its August recess early due to what Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calls “historic obstruction." But the Constitution's framers set Congress up for gridlock intentionally

Read Babe Ruth's Original 1948 Obituary

"He was unforgettable, even when he struck out,' TIME observed after his death on Aug. 16, 1948

The Story of the First Woman to Join the U.S. Marines

She enlisted a century ago, on Aug. 13, 1918

Beyoncé's Discovery of a Slave-Owning Ancestor Is Complicated

'We cannot know what was in the hearts of Beyoncé’s ancestors... but we can know about the society in which they lived,' writes historian Arica L. Coleman


Aug. 16, 1999

Today in 1999: The Blair Witch Project

“Money and marketing are just part of the lure. This minimalist horror film, which appears to be a self-filmed documentary of three filmmakers who get lost in the Maryland woods while tracking down a local witch legend, has become the Elvis, the E.T., the Pet Rock of 1999—the hottest item in a hot summer. Shagadelic—what's that? Jar Jar Binks—remind me. Ricky Martin—isn't he Dino's kid? For this moment (and treasure it, because it may vanish as fast as it materialized), Blair Witch is the must-attend social event for plugged-in America." (Aug. 16, 1999)

Read the full story

Aug. 16, 1976

Today in 1976: Tracking Legionnaires' Disease

“Within the week, more than 130 people, mostly men, had been stricken and hospitalized, and 25 had died. Each fresh report fueled the nation's anxiety, producing panicky calls to doctors and hospitals across the U.S. from people who developed any of the reported and not uncommon symptoms. For those relatively few who encountered the real thing, it was, as Richard Dolan of Williamsport, Pa., said, 'unbelievable.' His cousin, Jimmy Dolan, 39, became ill at the convention and died a week later. 'It just has everybody stunned. Fellows your age, your friends, are dead. I never expected anything so sudden.' Nor did any of the 2,000 Pennsylvania Legionnaires who gathered in Philadelphia with friends and relatives for their convention." (Aug. 16, 1976)

Read the full story

Aug. 15, 1983

This Week in 1983: What Babies Know

“All across the U.S., all over the world, medical and behavioral experiments like these are under way. Each by itself is a small and seemingly inconsequential affair; the results are sometimes inconclusive, sometimes obvious. But taken all together, they represent an enormous research campaign aimed at solving one of the most fundamental and most fascinating riddles of human life: What do newborn children know when they emerge into this world? And how do they begin organizing and using that knowledge during the first years of life to make their way toward the mysterious future?” (Aug. 15, 1983)

Read the full story


Hot Town Julie Besonen, writing for the New York Times, presents a poignant and thoughtful look at the world that created the 1966 hit song “Summer in the City.”

Plumb Line For CNNMoney, Parija Kavilanz tells the story of how, in the 1980s, Adrienne Bennett became America’s first black female master plumber.

Eye Robot As a reminder that some things never change, Lisa Hix at Collectors Weekly takes a deep dive into at how people have been creeped out by robots for way longer than you probably think.

What Came Before For the anniversary of last year’s “Unite the Right” rally, NPR’s Debbie Elliott examines how Charlottesville, Va., has been forced to confront its own past.

The Fixers The Tampa Bay Times recently looked at an intriguing dilemma facing historians and communities: as Paul Guzzo notes, just because something is on an official historical marker, that doesn’t mean it’s correct. So what do you do about an error on a sign that’s already posted?

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