(Pictured: Margaret and Pierre Trudeau, 1971.)
March 5, 1971, was a Friday. Eastern Canada is digging out after an historic blizzard. Montreal received 17 inches of snow yesterday alone, setting a record that will stand until 2012. It is revealed today that Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau married Margaret Sinclair, the daughter of another prominent Canadian politician, in a secret ceremony yesterday in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He’s 51 years old; she’s 22. On Christmas Day, they’ll welcome a son and name him Justin. Hockey pioneer Punch Broadbent, who played for the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Maroons, and New York Americans between 1912 and 1929, dies at age 78. Future major league baseball players Brian Hunter, Jeffrey Hammonds, and Chad Fonville are born.
In Oakland, California, the Black Panther Party holds a Revolutionary Intercommunal Solidarity Day event honoring imprisoned Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale, controversial activist Angela Davis, and others. The event is also billed as a “Post-Birthday Celebration for Huey P. Newton,” recently released from prison. The program features “revolutionary singing by the Lumpen of the Black Panther Party backed by the Freedom Messengers,” plus music by the Vanguards and the Grateful Dead. As the Dead perform, the front of the hall is occupied by hippies, while the Panthers, who are less friendly to the Dead than the Dead are to them, stand in the back. Across the bay in San Francisco, Aretha Franklin opens a three-night stand at the Fillmore West. She is the first female performer to headline the Fillmore. Highlights of the shows will be released in May on Aretha Live at Fillmore West.
Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes play Des Moines with Mason Profitt, Badfinger plays Toledo, and Three Dog Night headlines Madison Square Garden in New York City with Stevie Wonder and Bloodrock. The Rolling Stones play Manchester Free Trade Hall in the UK. Led Zeppelin opens a spring tour of the UK at Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Their setlist includes the first public performances of several new songs, “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” “Going to California,” and “Stairway to Heaven,” all of which will be on the album the band is currently recording.
Six games are on the NBA schedule. The league-leading Milwaukee Bucks get 34 points from Oscar Robertson and 26 from Jon McGlocklin to beat the Detroit Pistons 108-95. Dave Bing of the Pistons leads all scorers with 39. Five games are played in the American Basketball Association tonight, including a triple-overtime barnburner between the league’s two worst teams, in which the Texas Chaparrals beat the Denver Rockets 158-153. On TV tonight, ABC presents The Brady Bunch, Nanny and the Professor, The Partridge Family, That Girl, The Odd Couple, and Love American Style. CBS primetime features episodes of The Interns and The New Andy Griffith Show plus the 1968 theatrical movie The Biggest Bundle of Them All starring Robert Wagner and Raquel Welch. NBC airs episodes of The High Chaparral, The Name of the Game, and The Strange Report, a British import about a freelance criminologist starring Anthony Quayle. In the Poughkeepsie Journal, Vassar College student Meryl Streep gets a positive notice for her performance in the Vassar Experimental Theater production of the 1731 play The London Merchant by George Lillo.
At KJR in Seattle, “Timothy” by the Buoys is #1 on the new Fabulous Fifty survey. “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” by the Partridge Family is #2, followed by Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady,” “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin, and the Osmonds’ “One Bad Apple.” New entries in the Top 10 are “Woodstock” by Matthews’ Southern Comfort and “Chick-a-Boom” by Daddy Dewdrop. The hottest records on the chart include “Another Day” by Paul McCartney, up 15 spots to #19; “Stay Awhile” by the Bells, up 14 to #34, and “What Is Life” by George Harrison, up 13 to #19. Harrison’s double-sided hit “My Sweet Lord” and “Isn’t It a Pity” is still on the KJR chart as well, at #36. The highest debut on the chart is “Hot Pants,” a novelty record by Salvage, at #40. Also debuting this week is the new song by Three Dog Night, “Joy to the World.”
(Note to Patrons: the recent poll about what you’d like to read here showed overwhelming interest in the 70s, some interest in the 60s and earlier, less interest in the 80s than I expected, and no votes at all for posts covering dates in the 90s or the new millennium. Since that largely reflects my own interests, I think we’ll probably carry on as we’ve been doing. If there’s a particular date you’d like to read about, send it along no less than a couple of weeks out and I’ll fulfill your request.)