October 7, 1976: Hope Springs Eternal

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(Pictured: Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford debate, 1976.)

October 7, 1976, is a Thursday. At last night’s second Ford/Carter debate, President Ford said there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Today, Ford’s campaign unveils a new ad touting the president’s biography. Hua Kuo-Feng is named chairman of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, succeeding Mao Tse-Tung, who died last month. In a meeting with the foreign minister of Argentina, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gives indications that the United States will not oppose Argentina’s “dirty war” against its own people. Gary Gilmore is convicted of murder in Utah; he will insist on a speedy execution by firing squad, and in January 1977, become the first person to be executed in the United States since the death penalty was banned by the Supreme Court in 1972. Future actress Rachel McAdams, future singer Taylor Hicks, and future Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Charles Woodson are born. Hank Aaron, baseball’s all-time home run king, joins the Atlanta Braves’ front office after retiring as a player. High-school football fans in Monroe, Wisconsin, look forward to tomorrow night’s game despite the fact that their team is mired in a losing streak; hope nevertheless springs eternal because the team opened the season in September with two straight wins, equaling their total over the two previous seasons.

Connie Stevens is this week’s cohost on The Mike Douglas Show. Burt Reynolds is today’s guest. On the competing daytime show Dinah!, Dinah Shore’s guests include Sid Caesar and Marsha Mason. Shows on TV tonight include the NBC sci-fi series Gemini Man and the CBS crime drama Barnaby Jones. Elton John appears on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone. In the cover story, he reveals his bisexuality. Frank Sinatra plays Hartford, Connecticut, Neil Diamond plays Fort Worth, Texas, and Lynryd Skynyrd plays Spokane, Washington.

At KYA in San Francisco, “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees is #1 again this week; “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry holds at #2. Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do” jumps from #11 to #5; in Cash Box, it’s the highest-debuting record on the magazine’s chart for over a year, coming on the Top 100 at #48. Three new songs debut on the KYA survey: “Rock’n Me” by the Steve Miller Band, “You Are My Starship” by Norman Connors, and “Still the One” by Orleans. The station adds three songs to its playlist: “Nadia’s Theme” by Perry Botkin Jr., “Just to Be Close to You” by the Commodores, and “Muskrat Love” by the Captain and Tennille. “Muskrat Love” is the biggest mover within the Cash Box survey, up 29 spots to #31. The Captain and Tennille’s TV variety show is new on ABC, with its fourth episode scheduled for this coming Monday night. Guests will include Leonard Nimoy, Rita Moreno, and the cast of What’s Happening!! In its first three episodes, the show has already scored guest appearances by Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope, and Redd Foxx.

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