(Pictured: the Wembley Stadium throng at Live Aid.)
July 13, 1985, is a Saturday. President Reagan undergoes colon surgery, so for the first time in American history, a president hands over power to his vice president temporarily. George H.W. Bush is acting president for approximately eight hours while Reagan is under general anesthesia and in recovery. Public health officials in New Mexico are concerned about an outbreak of plague among cats, while celebrity watchers are abuzz over speculation that Britain’s Princess Diana might be pregnant. (She isn’t.) Two planes collide at an air show in Niagara Falls, New York, killing one pilot. Boy Scout Troop 180 of Yankton, South Dakota, is on a canoeing trip to the Boundary Waters, which will last until July 21. In a pregame ceremony, the New York Yankees retire the numbers of Roger Maris (9) and Elston Howard (32). Future major-leaguer and ESPN commentator John Kruk hits an inside-the-park home run while playing in the minor leagues for Las Vegas. Joe Aguirre, who played football for the Washington Redskins in the 1940s, dies at age 67. Future Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa, who will play for his country in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, is born.
The animated Disney film Pinocchio is released on home video for the first time. Shows on TV tonight include The Paper Chase, which is airing on Showtime after being canceled by CBS four years previously. ABC airs edited highlights from Live Aid, two giant benefit concerts held today in London and Philadelphia. NBC counters with Diff’rent Strokes, Gimme a Break, Mama’s Family, and Hunter on NBC. CBS airs an episode of Airwolf. A Los Angeles TV station broadcasts the final episode of Elvira’s Movie Macabre, which has run on local TV there since 1981, and in national syndication from 1982 to 1984.
The Grateful Dead opens a two-night stand at the county fairgrounds in Ventura, California, and Queensryche plays Irvine, California. Depeche Mode plays Brest, France, and Stevie Ray Vaughan plays the Hague in the Netherlands. Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill” hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, knocking “Sussudio” by Phil Collins from the top. There’s little movement within the Top 10, although Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” (#9) and “The Goonies ‘R Good Enough” by Cyndi Lauper (#10) replace Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” and Madonna’s “Angel.” Biggest movers include “Shout” by Tears for Fears (#23 to #14) and “Never Surrender” by Corey Hart (#29 to #20). Three songs are new within the Top 40: “Rock Me Tonight” by Freddie Jackson (#35), “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams (#38), and “State of the Heart” by Rick Springfield (#40). “You’re Only Human” by Billy Joel is the highest debut of the week on the Hot 100, coming in at #50.
Perspective From the Present: I didn’t realize what a big deal Live Aid was going to be until that day, and I spent much of that afternoon at my radio station airing reports from the venues. That night, The Mrs. and I set up a second TV set in our crummy little one-bedroom apartment so we could watch the live MTV broadcast on cable and the rebroadcast highlights of the day on ABC.