January 4, 1970: Final Edition

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(Pictured: members of the Kansas City Chiefs carry coach Hank Stram off the field after defeating Oakland to win the last AFL championship.)

January 4, 1970, is a Sunday. The NFL and AFL hold their championship games: In the NFL, Minnesota defeats Cleveland 27-7. In the AFL, Kansas City defeats Oakland 17-7. It is the final game in the AFL’s 10-year history; later in the year, the two leagues will merge. In two weeks, Kansas City will win the AFL’s second straight Super Bowl. The New York Times reports on a claim by statisticians that the December 1969 lottery of birthdays to determine priorities for the military draft, the first such lottery held since World War II, was not entirely random; the later in the year the birthday, the less likely it would be selected. News reports say that the proposed Apollo 20 mission to the moon, scheduled for 1974, has been canceled. Later in the year, Apollo 18 and Apollo 19 will be canceled as well. Future astronaut Chris Cassidy is born.

Transit fares in New York City increase from 20 cents a ride to 30 cents. It’s one of the stories broadcast on WCBS-AM, which has continued to air the syndicated program Music ‘Til Dawn even after going all news in 1967. Today, the show airs for the final time. It has run in various markets across the country since 1953. On WUHY in Philadelphia, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead is interviewed, and peppers his comments with the words “shit” and “fuck.” The FCC, which has been monitoring the station after earlier complaints, will declare the language indecent and fine the station $100. The BBC airs an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. CBS-TV airs the final edition of the documentary series The 21st Century after 13 seasons. Also on CBS, guests on the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour are Walter Brennan, Joey Heatherton, and Norm Crosby. On Bonanza, Ben Cartwright attempts to help a recently widowed circus midget make a new start in Virginia City.

Who drummer Keith Moon accidentally runs over his bodyguard outside a pub in Hatfield, England. In Studio 2 at Abbey Road, the Beatles hold their final recording session to do several takes of overdubs for “Let it Be,” including the addition of guitar, brass, strings, and backing vocals by Paul and George. Fleetwood Mac wraps up a three-night stand at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Also playing at the Fillmore: the Byrds. At WLOF in Orlando, Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” tops the survey for another week, holding off “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” by B. J. Thomas, which zooms from #9 to #2. New in the Top 10 are “Jingle Jangle” by the Archies and “Venus” by the Shocking Blue. Also on the WLOF chart, up five spots from #30 to #25: “American Moon” by Bobby Dimple with the Lunar Ladies Chorus, the Lipple Kutie Kids, and the Hutch Davie Diggers Band. Written by Bob Crewe, it’s a song celebrating the Apollo 11 moon landing, and was featured in a musical called Heart’s Delight Follies ’69. The show never made it to Broadway, which may not be all that hard to understand.

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