July 2, 1969: Misadventure

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(Pictured: Reggie Jackson at bat, circa 1969.)

July 2, 1969, was a Wednesday. In Greenwich Village, New York City, protests and rioting continue in the wake of a police raid on the Stonewall Inn a few nights before. (The Stonewall Raid and its aftermath will mark the birth of the gay pride movement.) President Nixon signs a treaty with Mexico standardizing the use of the AM radio band in both countries and permitting several American AM stations broadcasting on frequencies allocated to Mexico to operate during certain hours before sunrise and after sunset. NASA decides which agency official will be responsible for the quarantine of the Apollo 11 astronauts and anything they bring back from the moon later in the month. The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise returns from a six-month deployment in the western Pacific. Bobby McCoy of Toledo, Ohio, Dennis Sydor of Jersey City, New Jersey, Richard Crudo of East Meadow, New York, and Steven Moody of Malverne, New York, are killed in action in Vietnam. Three other soldiers die in a helicopter crash. Pro wrestler Iron Mike DiBiase dies of a heart attack in the ring during a match in Amarillo, Texas. Future major league outfielder So Taguchi is born. Reggie Jackson becomes the first member of the Oakland A’s to hit three home runs in a game; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jerry Arrigo hits three Atlanta Braves batters with pitches in a single inning.

The International Hotel, the world’s largest, opens on the Las Vegas Strip one day after the Landmark; the two hotels had been racing to completion. Barbra Streisand headlines the 2000-seat showroom. Jerry Lee Lewis and Pacific Gas and Electric play the Schaefer Beer Music Festival in Central Park. At Abbey Road, the Beatles start work on “Golden Slumbers”/”Carry That Weight” and record “Her Majesty.” At Olympic Studios, the Rolling Stones wrap up another day of work on the Let it Bleed album. That night, Brian Jones, who had been kicked out of the Stones in early June, goes for a swim and is later discovered motionless at the bottom of the pool. He will be pronounced dead by misadventure in the early hours of July 3. The Byrds continue work on The Ballad of Easy Rider. Janis Joplin plays Veterans Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa; tickets cost $4, $3, and $2.

Variety reports that officials in New Zealand are considering whether to ban the Hair original soundtrack album. Australian police have already ordered copies of the album to be confiscated and destroyed. Cast members of Hair will be tried for obscenity in New Zealand, but acquitted. At WMCA in New York, the biggest leap on its latest music survey is the double-sided hit “Where Do I Go?”and “Be-In (Hare Krishna)” by the Happenings, two songs from Hair, which leaps from #29 last week to #16 this week.  “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans leaps from #6 to #1. Other big movers on the WMCA survey: “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James from #19 to #8; “My Pledge of Love” by the Joe Jeffrey Group from #18 to #13; and “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond from #28 to #19.

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