(Pictured: Gato del Sol and jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, at left, cross the finish line at the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 1982.)
May 2, 1982, is a Sunday. Headlines on the Sunday papers include yesterday’s opening of the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. President and Mrs. Reagan were among the dignitaries present. Today, British forces launch air attacks on the Falkland Islands, escalating Britain’s month-long war with Argentina. A British sub sinks the Argentinian ship General Belgrano, killing over 300 of its thousand-man crew. Exxon announces that it’s ending the Colony shale-oil project in Colorado, putting 2,000 people out of work. The closure will devastate the economy of Grand Junction, Colorado, and the surrounding area. Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy speaks at Vassar College. Liddy once served as district attorney of Dutchess County, New York, where Vassar is located. Protesters march outside the venue, opposed to the college having paid Liddy $4,000 to speak.
Yesterday, Gato del Sol, a 21-1 shot before the race began, won the Kentucky Derby. Today, the NBA playoffs continue. The Los Angeles Lakers complete a sweep of their Western Conference semifinal series with a 112-107 win over Phoenix. Also in the West, the San Antonio Spurs take a 3-1 lead on Seattle with a 115-113 win. In the Eastern Conference, Boston and Philadelphia win today to take 3-1 leads on Washington and Milwaukee. It’s an off-day in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks lead their conference final series by margins of 3-0 and 2-1 respectively. In the majors, three of the four division leaders win their games today: the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals. Only the California Angels are a loser. In Chicago, pitcher LaMarr Hoyt runs his record to 5-0 as the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 10-3. Darrell Waltrip wins today’s Winston 500 at Talladega, Alabama.
Future TV news anchor Poppy Harlow is born. Actor Helmut Dantine, who played supporting roles in Casablanca, To Be or Not to Be, and Mrs. Miniver, dies at age 63. Porky’s tops the box office for the seventh straight weekend. The top-grossing new movie is Partners, starring Ryan O’Neal and John Hurt as mismatched Los Angeles cops who go undercover in the city’s gay community. Other popular movies this weekend include The Sword and the Sorcerer, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, and Victor/Victoria. On TV tonight, cable viewers get their first look at the Weather Channel, which launches at 8PM Eastern time. On broadcast TV, ABC premieres Counterattack: Crime in America. Hosted by actor George Kennedy, the show describes unsolved crimes around the country and encourages viewers to call an 800 number with tips, and offers crime-prevention advice. Also tonight: 60 Minutes, which will be the top-rated show for the week, and Mae West, a biographical movie starring Ann Jillian as West, which will be #3 in the ratings. Other shows airing tonight include CHIPS, The NBC Sunday Night Movie, Archie Bunker’s Place, One Day at a Time, Alice, Trapper John M.D., and The Jeffersons (which will also make the Nielsen Top 10 for the week).
Asia plays New York City. Talking Heads close a brief Japanese tour in Nagoya. Meat Loaf plays Edinburgh, Scotland, and Jethro Tull plays Rome. Bonnie Raitt plays Charlottesville, Virginia, with Leo Kottke opening. Bruce Springsteen plays the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Most of Springsteen’s shows this year will be either at the Stone Pony or at Big Man’s West in Red Bank.) On the Billboard Hot 100, “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is in its seventh week at #1. The instrumental theme from Chariots of Fire by Vangelis is #2, and “Ebony and Ivory” by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder is at #3. Only one song is new in the Top 10: “I’ve Never Been to Me” by Charlene. It makes the biggest move within the Top 40, going from #20 to #10. However, Asia’s “Heat of the Moment” debuts in the Top 40 at #20, and “Man on Your Mind” by the Little River Band is new at #28. Jett’s version of “Crimson and Clover” is the highest debut on the Hot 100 at #63.
Perspective From the Present: I was livin’ large in my one-bedroom furnished apartment in Dubuque, the first place I’d ever lived entirely by myself. Sometime that spring, shortly after I moved in, the local cable company expanded its offerings, although I don’t remember if the Weather Channel was among them. MTV was, and I followed the directions for hooking the cable to my receiver so I could get the music in stereo.