February 4, 1975: Be Not Proud

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(Pictured: President Ford roughhouses with his new golden retriever, Liberty, on February 2, 1975.)

February 4, 1975, was a Tuesday. Headlines this morning include President Ford’s budget for fiscal year 1976, which was released yesterday. Despite drastic curbs on goverment spending, the budget runs the largest peacetime deficit in history. Democratic leaders in Congress say they have no intention of going along with cuts to popular spending programs. Today, Ford is in Atlanta to give a speech, and he also holds an afternoon press conference. The majority of the questions involve what can be done to boost the weak American economy. Ford is also asked about a report that Republican senator Howard Baker is considering a run for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination, and whether Ford will run for a full term. He says it is his intention to do so, and that other people may run if they choose. In a political upset, Margaret Thatcher is elected leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, defeating former prime minister Edward Heath in an election he called and was expected to win. For the last several weeks, officials in China have recommended the evacuation of people from Liaoning province, believing that an earthquake is imminent. Early this evening, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake strikes the city of Haicheng, killing 2,000 and injuring over 27,000. Later estimates will claim that the number of dead and injured could have been 150,000 without the warnings. Jump blues artist Louis Jordan dies at age 66. Future singer Natalie Imbruglia is born. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, you can buy a half-gallon of milk at VIP Discount Center for 66 cents or three packs of cigarettes for $1.28 with no limits.

On TV tonight, CBS airs Good Times, M*A*S*H, Hawaii Five-O, and Barnaby Jones. ABC counters with the TV movie premiere Death Be Not Proud starring Arthur Hill, Jane Alexander, and Robby Benson, followed by Marcus Welby, MD. NBC’s lineup includes Adam-12, a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of All Creatures Great and Small starring Michael Caine, and an episode of Police Story. Later tonight, Johnny Carson’s guests include Fernando Lamas, Susan Sarandon, and singer Roger Miller.

Genesis plays Chicago and Lynryd Skynyrd plays Rochester, New York. Led Zeppelin plays on Long Island. When Zeppelin’s 1975 American tour was announced, the band had a date in Boston scheduled for tonight. Tickets were to go on sale at 10AM on January 7. On the night of the 6th, officials at Boston Garden opened the doors at 11PM so those in line for tickets could wait inside. A riot ensued, doing up to $75,000 in damage to the arena. To pacify the crowd, the Garden began selling tickets at 2:30AM—but when it became clear that some of the same people who had rioted now had tickets to the February 4 show, city officials feared a repeat of the violence and canceled it.

At KHJ in Los Angeles, “Please Mr. Postman” by the Carpenters goes to #1. Last week’s #1, “Laughter in the Rain” by Neil Sedaka, falls all the way to #13. The rest of the KHJ Top Five: “Mandy” by Barry Manilow, “Best of My Love” by the Eagles, “Pick Up the Pieces” by AWB, and the Ohio Players’ “Fire.” Two songs are new in the Top 10: “Black Water” by the Doobie Brothers and “One Man Woman, One Woman Man” by Paul Anka. Three new songs debut on the station’s survey: “#9 Dream” by John Lennon, “The No-No Song” by Ringo Starr, and “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton. The oldest song on the survey is “When Will I See You Again” by the Three Degrees, which is still at #20 in its 20th week on the chart. The new #1 album in Los Angeles is Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel, which knocks Elton John’s Greatest Hits to #2. Elton’s 1969 debut album, Empty Sky, reissued last month, is up to #11. The hottest album on the KHJ chart is Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, which jumps to #7 from #20.

Perspective From the Present: I had just started the second semester of my freshman year in high school, and I was taking a course called Personal Typing. I expect I would have learned how to type eventually, even if it was some sort of do-it-yourself hunt-and-peck method. But I am not sure that I would have become the writer I am today if it wasn’t for the speed of touch-typing, which allowed the words to hit the page almost as fast as I thought them up, and still does.

I had begun to notice a girl in typing class, and after asking around, it turned out that she had noticed me, too. And on Valentine’s Day, we verified our mutual attraction.

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