May 28, 1980: Stealing Home

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(Pictured: Mount St. Helens erupting, with Washington’s Mount Hood in the background, 1980.)

May 28, 1980, was a Wednesday. Headlines this morning include yesterday’s presidential primaries in Idaho, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Nevada, in which the big winners were Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter. Carter now seems likely to hold off a challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy. Former president Gerald Ford endorsed Reagan yesterday, but ruled out the possibility of being Reagan’s running mate. He also pressed Illinois GOP Congressman John Anderson to abandon his independent campaign for the presidency, fearing it might throw the November election into the House of Representatives, where Carter would win.

Today, Iran’s parliament meets for the first time since the Islamic Revolution. Legislators and the Ayatollah Khomeini are apparently in no hurry to consider the fate of the 53 Americans currently being held hostage there. A special prosecutor is ready to clear White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan of allegations that he used cocaine on a visit to New York’s Studio 54 last year. Washington state continues to cope with the aftermath of the eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano earlier this month. More earthquakes were felt today as search-and-recovery efforts continue. Sixty-eight people are still missing in the area. It’s graduation day at West Point, where the first female cadets, 62 of them, receive their commissions from the United States Military Academy as second lieutenants. The Associated Press reports that 73 percent of American workers between the ages of 25 and 44 have little or no confidence that the Social Security system will have funds enough to pay them benefits at retirement. The ninth annual meeting of the International Trombone Association opens in Nashville.

Michigan and Notre Dame announce that their hockey teams will leave the Western Collegiate Hockey Association after the 1980-81 season to join the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. In the majors, the New York Yankees continue to own the best record in baseball despite a 6-3 loss to the last-place Detroit Tigers. Jack Morris gets the win; Ron Guidry takes the loss. American League West leader Kansas City loses 6-2 to Oakland. The A’s score four runs in the first inning, including two steals of home. The National League’s best record belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are idle today. This afternoon in the NL, the game between the Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos is suspended due to lightning, which knocks out the public address system at Wrigley Field. The game is tied 3-3 in the 10th inning and will be resumed on August 8.

Popular movies in theaters include The Empire Strikes Back, The Shining, Fame, Coal Miner’s Daughter, The Long Riders, and Friday the 13th. At a U2 show in Bristol, England, Bono, Adam Clayton, and the Edge enthusiastically jump into the crowd and accidentally unplug their instruments and microphones, leaving drummer Larry Mullen to carry on by himself for a bit. Toto, just off a Memorial Day gig at the Iowa Jam in Des Moines with Molly Hatchet, the Babys, and Off Broadway, moves on to Milwaukee. Ted Nugent, the Scorpions, and Def Leppard continue their tour in Seattle. The Osmonds play in the Philippines, and Christopher Cross plays the Bottom Line in New York City. At K-EARTH in Los Angeles, “Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia is the new #1 song. “Cars” by Gary Numan is #2, and last week’s top song, “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc., is #3. Three songs are new in the Top 10: “Coming Up” by Paul McCartney, “All Night Thing” by the Invisible Man’s Band, and “Let’s Get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson. The latter makes the biggest move of the week, up 13 spots. Also making strong moves up: “Shining Star” by the Manhattans and Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” Among the new songs on the Top 30 are “Let Me Love You Tonight” by Pure Prairie League and “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John.

Perspective From the Present: For a few hours on one night during the Republican National Convention later in the summer, it looked as if Ford would become Reagan’s running mate after all, but he did not. The Invisible Man’s Band was made up of members of the Burke family, who had recorded under the name of the Five Stairsteps and hit big with “Ooh Child” in 1970. “All Night Thing” would get to #45 on the Hot 100. And on this day I was settling in on the album-rock night shift at WXXQ in Freeport, Illinois, where I’d started working only a week or two before.

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