June 8, 1976: Happy Days

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(Pictured: Shirley, the Fonz, and Laverne.)

June 8, 1976, is a Tuesday. A heat wave continues in the Midwest. At an appearance last night in Bowling Green, Ohio, President Ford was momentarily stunned by an exploding flash bulb. Among his appointments today, Ford gets a briefing on the Teton River Dam collapse in Idaho last Saturday, meets the attorney general of Mexico, and greets finalists in the National Spelling Bee. It’s also the final primary day of the 1976 campaign, with contests in California, Ohio, and New Jersey. Jimmy Carter will not clinch the nomination, but he will win enough delegates to make him the prohibitive favorite. On the Republican side, Ronald Reagan wins California, but Ford takes Ohio. There’s no Republican contest in New Jersey.

ABC’s Tuesday night lineup includes Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and a 1968 theatrical movie called Prudence and the Pill. CBS counters with a repeat of Really Rosie, an animated adaptation of the Maurice Sendak children’s book starring the voice of Carole King. Also in the CBS lineup tonight, Good Times and M*A*S*H. NBC’s shows include the trucker drama Movin’ On and Police Woman starring Angie Dickinson. Future pro tennis player Lindsay Davenport is born, and former NBA player, coach, and general manager Bob Feerick dies at age 56. The major-league baseball amateur draft begins. Pitcher Floyd Bannister is taken first overall by the Houston Astros. Future Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson, and Wade Boggs are selected in later rounds, as are pitcher Jack Morris and shortstop Alan Trammell. In Wisconsin, a baseball fan with more interest than ability attends his first softball practice of the summer. The church league season begins on Friday night.

AC/DC plays Portsmouth, England, Bob Marley plays Dusseldorf, Germany, and the Eagles play Seattle. At WLS in Chicago, “Silly Love Songs” holds the #1 position on the singles chart; the four songs behind it were also in the top five last week, but have shuffled positions: “Shannon” by Henry Gross, “Happy Days” by Pratt & McClain, “Love Hangover” by Diana Ross, and “Welcome Back” by John Sebastian. New in the top 10 is “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” by Elvin Bishop. The biggest moves on the chart belong to “The Boys Are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy (#44 to #33), “Takin’ It to the Streets” by the Doobie Brothers (#34 to #25) and “More More More” by the Andrea True Connection (#35 to #27).

The softball player knows that there will be hay to make in a day or so, which means he will be expected to spend his mornings and long afternoons driving a tractor in the heat. There’s no radio on the tractor, but it doesn’t matter. All the songs that matter are in his head.

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