June 12, 1981: Too Much Time on My Hands

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(Pictured: James Young of Styx, onstage in 1981.)

June 12, 1981, was a Friday. It’s the first day of a strike by Major League Baseball players after their union failed to reach an agreement with owners regarding free-agent compensation. It is unknown when the season will resume. The Middle East remains tense in the wake of Israel’s bombing of a nuclear reactor in Iraq last Sunday. Arab foreign ministers are appealing to the United Nations for sanctions against Israel. The United States has canceled delivery of four F-16 jet fighter planes to Israel, and President Reagan has expressed concerns about the attack. At the same time, he has assured Israel that its relationship with the United States is unchanged. Today, Reagan is in his office by 9AM and has several meetings with aides and Cabinet officers, as well as lunch with Vice President George Bush, who is celebrating his 57th birthday. Reagan also receives credentials from a number of new foreign diplomats and attends a ceremony declaring July 17 as POW/MIA Recognition Day. His working day ends at 3:20, although he speaks to a evening gathering of Republican National Committee members at the White House. In Italy, efforts continue to rescue a six-year-old boy who fell into a 213-foot-deep well shaft on a construction site two days ago. Today’s rescue attempt is broadcast on Italian television and watched by a crowd of 2,000 at the site. It also leads ABC’s World News Tonight, although the other two evening news shows report on it later in their broadcasts. Future supermodel Adriana Lima is born. Larry Holmes retains the world heavyweight boxing championship with a third-round TKO of Leon Spinks.

On TV tonight, HBO airs a comedy special starring former NBC daytime talk-show host David Letterman called Looking for Fun, which was filmed in 1979. Movies opening in theaters this weekend include Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Mel Brooks film History of the World Part 1, and Clash of the Titans. Popular video rentals this weekend are likely to be 9 to 5, Airplane, Stunt Man, Flash Gordon, and Caddyshack, which are the top five selections on Billboard‘s Videocassette Top 40. Bob Dylan plays Pine Knob Music Theater in suburban Detroit, Rush plays Anaheim, California, and Van Halen plays Oakland. Joe Walsh plays Chicago and ZZ Top plays Louisville. Three Dog Night and April Wine play separate venues in Maryland.

At KRLA in Los Angeles, there’s not much chart action. The top 12 songs of the week are the same as last week, and only four of them have moved at all, one spot apiece. The #1 song is “Medley” by Stars on 45; “Double Dutch Bus” by Frankie Smith is #2. Other hits in the Top 10 include “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, Sheena Easton’s “Morning Train,” “Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton, and Smokey Robinson’s “Being With You.” Big movers are George Harrison’s “All Those Years Ago,” up seven spots to #15, and “Living Inside Myself” by Gino Vannelli, up eight to #17. The highest debuts on the chart are “Too Much Time on My Hands” by Styx and “Watching the Wheels” by John Lennon. Hitbound songs include “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates and “Seven Year Ache” by Rosanne Cash. The Seven Year Ache album is #1 on Billboard‘s Hot Country LPs chart. On the magazine’s Top LPs and Tape chart, Hi Infidelity by REO Speedwagon, Paradise Theater by Styx, and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC hold at #1, #2, and #3.

Perspective From the Present: The baseball season resumed on August 10. The first-place teams on June 12—the Yankees, A’s, Phillies, and Dodgers—were given a pass to the playoffs, and the post-strike games were designated the season’s “second half.” The young boy down the Italian well, Alfredo Rampi, died there on June 13. Several of the hits of June 1981 would remain radio staples for years thereafter, even though they left a 21-year-old college radio DJ mostly cold.

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June 5, 1979: Hot Stuff

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(Pictured: anti-nuclear protesters march in Boston, 1979.)

June 5, 1979, was a Tuesday. Today’s papers continue to follow up on worldwide anti-nuclear protests over the weekend, sparked by the Three Mile Island disaster in March. Headlines this morning also include an order by the Federal Election Commission that President Carter’s campaign committee must reimburse taxpayers approximately $50,000 of the $26 million in federal funds it received in 1976 because the money was used for purposes not permitted by law. Today, a judge grants a temporary injunction sought by the Airline Passengers Association that will ground all Boeing DC-10 airplanes for safety inspections after 273 people died in a DC-10 crash in Chicago last month. Pope John Paul II continues his first visit to his native country of Poland since being elevated to the papacy last fall. Yesterday, he celebrated mass for 50,000 people in Czestochowa, where he will give a number of speeches today. Tomorrow, he will visit Krakow, where he attended college until the Second World War broke out. Public comments are now being sought after a federal panel approved suggested guidelines for the expanded export of wild American ginseng, and also the export of the hides of American alligators, which are an endangered species. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, shoppers at Meijer can get fresh spare ribs for $1.28 a pound, a 14-ounce bag of potato chips for 77 cents, and a six-pack of Sprite, Dr. Pepper, or Coke for $1.09 plus deposit with a newspaper coupon. Future singer Pete Wentz is born.

Thirteen games are played in the majors today. The Montreal Expos have the best record in baseball despite a slump in which they’ve lost four of their last five games, including a 4-1 loss to Atlanta today. In the American League, the Boston Red Sox have the best record; they beat Texas 9-3 today thanks to home runs by Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, and Carl Yastrzemski. Baseball holds its 1979 amateur draft today; the top pick is outfielder Al Chambers, taken by the Seattle Mariners. The New York Mets take pitcher Tim Leary at #2. The San Diego Padres use a sixth-round pick on shortstop Harold Reynolds and the New York Yankees get first baseman Don Mattingly in the 19th round. The National Hockey League continues negotiations with the players’ association that have temporarily derailed the league’s plans to add four former World Hockey Association franchises (Hartford, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Quebec) to the NHL this fall.

Talking Heads continue a brief tour Down Under in Wellington, New Zealand, and Van Halen continues their first world tour as a headliner in Birmingham, Alabama. Heart plays St. Louis and the Ramones play Seattle. The Scorpions play Tokyo, the Beach Boys play Los Angeles, and Journey plays Buffalo. Yes plays Oklahoma City and Badfinger plays Houston, opening a tour with a new lineup: former Yes keyboard player Tony Kaye and British session drummer Pete Clarke join Joey Molland and Tom Evans. In New York City, Rod Stewart brings his Blondes Have More Fun tour to Madison Square Garden. Price of a loge ticket: $12.50. In Chicago, 64-year-old bluesman Muddy Waters marries for the third time; his bride is Marva Jean Brooks, age 25. His best man is Eric Clapton. At CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, just across the river from Detroit, “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward and “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer lead the Music Guide survey again this week. “Just When I Needed You Most” by Randy Vanwarmer is #3. There’s not a great deal of movement on the chart: the lone new song in the Top 10 is “The Logical Song” by Supertramp at #10, and the biggest mover is the Doobie Brothers’ “Minute by Minute,” up from #25 to #19. The Gamble-and-Huff production “You’re Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else” by the Jones Girls debuts on the Top 30 at #17. Breakfast in America by Supertramp is the #1 album, followed by Van Halen II, Journey’s Evolution, and Cheap Trick at Budokan.

Perspective From the Present: It’s likely that this is the week I started summer school at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. It was my first summer-school experience, and I found that I liked the summer-school vibe; I would take summer courses in 1981 and when I returned to college at the University of Iowa in the mid 90s.

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.

May 13, 1964: In From the Cold

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(Pictured: Barbra Streisand with President Kennedy, 1963.)

May 13, 1964, is a Wednesday. After weeks of negotiations, senators reach a tentative agreement on a new version of a comprehensive civil rights bill. The current bill, which has been under debate in Congress since March, is being filibustered in the Senate. In a phone call captured by his White House taping system, President Johnson discusses the act with Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois today. Johnson says, “We don’t want this to be a Democratic bill, we want it to be an American bill.” Last night in New York City, Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater spoke to a crowd of 18,000 at Madison Square Garden. He accused the Johnson Administration of fomenting racial unrest, and he criticized the idea that integration could be accomplished through legislation: “You cannot pass a law that will make me like you, or you like me.” In Teaneck, New Jersey, the school board votes in favor of busing all of the district’s sixth-grade students to a single school starting in the fall, making Teaneck the first school in America to voluntarily desegregate, as opposed to doing so by court order. Cambridge, Maryland, which was torn by race riots last summer, has been under martial law and patrolled by National Guardsmen ever since. On Monday, a crowd protesting an appearance by Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace was tear-gassed. Today, about 100 people hold a silent protest, and they are confronted by Guardsmen with rifles and fixed bayonets.

At the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, NASA runs another test on the Apollo space vehicle, which will eventually be used to send astronauts to the moon. In Las Vegas, Lt. Raynor Hebert takes off in an F-105 jet from Nellis Air Force Base. Due to a technical problem, Hebert’s plane can’t gain altitude. He realizes that if he bails out, the plane will probably crash into an elementary school, where 800 students are in class. So he keeps the plane aloft until it has passed the school, after which it crashes into a residential neighborhood. Hebert dies in the crash along with four people on the ground. Future comedian and talk-show host Stephen Colbert and future actor and TV producer Tom Verica are born. John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold leads the New York Times Best Sellers list for fiction this week; the nonfiction list is led by the UPI/American Heritage book Four Days, about the assassination of President Kennedy last November, and by Jim Bishop’s A Day in the Life of President Kennedy. Kennedy’s own Profiles in Courage is also on the Best Sellers list.

The sixth annual Grammy awards were presented last night at ceremonies in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, and were not televised. Henry Mancini won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Days of Wine and Roses.” Album of the Year was The Barbra Streisand Album. The Swingle Singers were named Best New Artist. Pop Grammys were won by Jack Jones, Peter Paul and Mary, and Al Hirt, among others. The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Recording Grammy went to Nino Tempo and April Stevens for “Deep Purple.” At the Granada Theater in Harrow, England, tonight’s concert bill stars the Kinks, the Hollies, and the Dave Clark Five. In Bromley, England, the Yardbirds perform. Chuck Berry headlines the Globe Theater in Stockton, England, with Carl Perkins, the Animals, the Swinging Blue Jeans, and other acts. At KIMN in Denver, the Beatles rule the station’s new survey with the double-A-sided “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” at #1 and “Do You Want to Know a Secret” at #2. Three songs are new in the Top 10: “Love Me With All Your Heart” by the Ray Charles Singers, “Little Children” by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and “People” by Barbra Streisand. The #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, “Hello Dolly” by Louis Armstrong, is not on the KIMN chart.

Perspective From the Present: The rewritten civil rights bill was formally introduced in Congress later in May, passed in June, and signed into law as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in July. The Ray Charles breaking into the Top 10 in Denver in this week was not the soul singer; it was Perry Como’s longtime musical director. “Love Me With All Your Heart” became an MOR classic, and another one of those records I heard before I noticed it. And I’m pretty sure a copy of Four Days is somewhere in my office.

May 7, 1992: Red Hot

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(Pictured: the cast of Basic Instinct, Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, and Jeanne Tripplehorn, photographed on May 7, 1992.)

May 7, 1992, is a Thursday. Funeral services are pending for actress and femme fatale Marlene Dietrich, who died yesterday in Paris at age 90. Today, a freak snowstorm strikes the Carolinas and East Tennessee, dropping three to five feet of snow in some mountainous areas. State legislatures in Michigan and New Jersey ratify the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, thereby making it the law of the land. The amendment forbids Congressional pay raises to take effect until after the election following their passage. It was originally proposed as one of 12 amendments in 1789 but was ratified by only six states at the time. It lay mostly dormant until 1983, when a Texas college student began writing legislators suggesting that the amendment could still be ratified. Also today, the space shuttle Endeavour takes off on its maiden voyage, on a mission to capture and redeploy a communications satellite.

Eight teams are still alive as the NBA playoffs continue. Portland beats Phoenix and the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks in games tonight. Utah plays Seattle and Boston plays Cleveland tomorrow. The NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are also down to the final eight. Boston beats Montreal and the New York Rangers beat Pittsburgh tonight. Tomorrow, Vancouver plays Edmonton and Chicago plays Detroit. Eleven games are played in the majors today. The Pittsburgh Pirates still have the best record in baseball, 19-and-8, even after a 4-2 loss at home to Atlanta; Braves pitcher Tom Glavine runs his record to 5-and-1 with the win. The Toronto Blue Jays have the American League’s best record, 21-and-9; tonight, Dave Winfield’s ninth-inning grand slam gives the Jays an 8-7 win over Seattle.

John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief leads the New York Times Best Sellers List for fiction; Gloria Steinem’s Revolution From Within is #1 on the nonfiction list. For the past three weeks, the same three movies have swapped positions atop the box-office rankings: Basic Instinct, White Men Can’t Jump, and Beethoven. This weekend’s lackluster slate of new openings, including Crisscross with Goldie Hawn and Wild Orchid 2, won’t dislodge them. On TV tonight, NBC airs The Cosby Show, A Different World, Cheers, Wings, and L.A. Law. On Fox, it’s The Simpsons, In Living Color, and Beverly Hills 90210. CBS presents the reality show Top Cops and a repeat of the 1989 theatrical movie Sea of Love starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. ABC follows an episode of Columbo with the news show Prime Time Live.

Weezer plays Club Dump in Los Angeles and Lou Reed plays Denver. Bob Dylan plays Berkeley and Cher plays Wembley Stadium in London. Metallica plays Boise and Pearl Jam plays Bozeman, Montana. After a show in Japan, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante quits the band and flies home to Los Angeles. The group will cancel or postpone tour dates until July, and Frusciante will remain out of the band until 1998. On the Billboard Hot 100, “Jump” by Kris Kross is in its second week at #1. The rest of the Top Five are “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams, “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen (popular again after being featured in the movie Wayne’s World), and “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue. “Tears in Heaven” is in its third week at #1 on the adult contemporary chart. On the Billboard 200 album chart, Adrenalize by Def Leppard, which debuted at #1 three weeks ago, still holds the #1 spot. Other top albums include Human Touch by Bruce Springsteen, the Wayne’s World soundtrack, Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nevermind by Nirvana, and Ropin’ the Wind by Garth Brooks.

Perspective From the Present: At some point in late May or early June of 1992 The Mrs. and I, who had been working as party DJs for a couple of years, got assigned to a high-school graduation party. We were not hip to what the Class of ’92 was into, and what they were into mostly was Kris Kross and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was one of the first times we ever looked back across the Generation Gap from the far side of it.

May 2, 1982: Heat of the Moment

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(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.

April 26, 1970: The Hands of Time

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(Pictured: Raquel Welch and Tom Jones pass the time backstage, 1970.)

April 26, 1970, is a Sunday. This morning at 2AM, clocks in most places across the country went forward one hour for this year’s start of Daylight Saving Time. Today, President Nixon issues a National Security Council Decision Memorandum authorizing US forces to operate in Cambodia. When the decision becomes public later in the week, the nation’s college campuses will explode in protest. In the Sunday papers, reporters and colunnists examine the aftermath of the aborted mission of Apollo 13 earlier this month and the first Earth Day, celebrated last week. Also this past week, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a Constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College in favor of direct election of the president by popular vote. The measure now goes to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. Another big story from the past week involves Florida’s U.S. Senate race, which took a turn when G. Harrold Carswell jumped in, leaving the federal bench to run for the Republican nomination to face Democratic incumbent Spessard Holland in the fall. Earlier this month, Carswell failed to win confirmation to a seat on the United States Supreme Court, the second of Nixon’s nominees to be rejected for the seat vacated by the resignation of Associate Justice Abe Fortas. In Yugoslavia today, Melanija Knavs is born. She will later modify the spelling of her name to Melania Knauss, pursue a career as a fashion model, and in 2005, marry New York real estate developer Donald Trump. In Des Moines, Iowa, Tionne Watkins is born. She will adopt the stage name T-Boz as part of the group TLC. Burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee dies at age 59.

In the National Hockey League today, the Boston Bruins qualify for the Stanley Cup Final, completing a four-game sweep of the Chicago Black Hawks with a 5-4 win. The Pittsburgh Pengins beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 to tie their semifinal series at 2. Game 5 will be in St. Louis on Tuesday night. In Chicago, Ron Santo’s sixth-inning grand slam propels the first-place Cubs to a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros. Ferguson Jenkins is the winning pitcher. Other winning pitchers on this day include Tom Seaver for the Mets, Luis Tiant for Minnesota, Mel Stottlemyre for the Yankees, Phil Niekro for Atlanta, and Bob Gibson for St. Louis. The NBA Finals will resume tomorrow night in New York; the Knicks took Game 1 over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, 124-112.

On a farm near Poynette, Wisconsin, the Sound Storm Festival concludes its three-day run with a performance by the Grateful Dead. In Providence, Rhode Island, Judy Collins closes Brown University’s Spring Weekend. Other stars performing at Brown this weekend included Ray Charles, the Jefferson Airplane, Delaney and Bonnie, James Taylor, and John Mayall. In Minneapolis, Rod Stewart and the Small Faces play the Labor Temple with Alice Cooper opening, Joe Cocker plays the Fillmore West in San Francisco, and Jimi Hendrix plays Sacramento, California. On TV tonight, Ed Sullivan welcomes Richie Havens, Lesley Gore, Jane Morgan, John Gary, Moms Mabley, Stiller and Meara, and Robert Klein, along with Victor Julian and his performing dogs. Also on CBS tonight, Raquel Welch stars in her first TV special, Raquel!. Guest stars are Tom Jones, John Wayne, and Bob Hope, who performs the Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon” with Welch. At the movies this weekend, Patton tops the box office for the fourth week. Other popular movies include Airport, M*A*S*H, The Boys in the Band, and Woodstock.

At KYA in San Francisco, “Woodstock” by Crosby Stills Nash and Young has fallen out of the station’s Top 10 and is now at #11, and “Airport Love Theme” by Vincent Bell is at #24. The Jackson Five’s “ABC” is #1, and the Guess Who’s two-sided hit, “American Woman” and “No Sugar Tonight” is up to #2. “Turn Back the Hands of Time” by Tyrone Davis holds at #3. “Cecelia” by Simon and Garfunkel and “What Is Truth” by Johnny Cash make strong moves into the Top 10.

In Wisconsin, it’s a regular Sunday that will be far down the memory hole 49 years hence. A 10-year-old boy and his family most likely go to church and maybe for dinner at a restaurant afterward. Then it’s home to watch TV or play, maybe have homemade pizza for dinner and popcorn with TV in the evening, and then off to bed before another week in the fourth grade.

April 19, 1987: Easter Bunnies

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(Pictured: Pat LaFontaine of the New York Islanders shoots and scores early in the morning of April 19, 1987.)

April 19, 1987, was Easter Sunday. Headlines on the Sunday papers include continuing nuclear-weapons control negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union and a brewing trade war between the United States and Japan in response to new American tariffs on certain Japanese goods. A feature story discusses the political future of Vice President George Bush. He’s assumed to be considering a run for president in 1988 but has yet to officially declare, even though other Republican hopefuls have done so. Bush has begun fundraising, however.

Early this morning, the New York Islanders won their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series over the Washington Capitals, taking Game 7 by a score of 4-3 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland. The game is decided in the fourth overtime on a goal by Pat LaFontaine after nearly 69 minutes of extra play. Today is the final day of the National Basketball Association’s regular season; the playoffs will begin on Thursday with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics holding the top seeds. The Lakers finished the season with a league-best record of 65-and-17. In major-league baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers win their 12th straight game to open the season, coming from a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth on home runs by Rob Deer and Dale Sveum to beat the Texas Rangers 6-4. The Brewers’ win streak will reach 13 with a win over the Chicago White Sox tomorrow before the Sox snap the streak on Tuesday. Among the spectators at County Stadium in Milwaukee today is 16-year-old Craig Counsell, whose father works for the Brewers. Counsell will eventually play for and manage the team.

On TV tonight, Fox airs 21 Jump Street, Married . . . With Children, The Tracey Ullman Show, and two episodes of Duet, a sitcom about the romantic lives of two couples. The Tracey Ullman Show includes a cartoon short titled “Good Night.” It’s the first appearance of the animated Simpson family on TV. NBC airs the family drama Our House; an episode of Rags to Riches, a family comedy/drama in which the characters occasionally break into song; the holiday special Bob Hope and His Beautiful Easter Bunnies; and a one-off episode of This Is Your Life, in which host Ralph Edwards surprises Betty White and Dick Van Dyke with people from their pasts. On CBS tonight, 60 Minutes is followed by Murder She Wrote (which tops the night’s ratings) and a two-hour episode of High Mountain Rangers, an adventure series starring Robert Conrad and his sons Christian and Shane. ABC counters with its annual presentation of the 1956 movie The Ten Commandments.

Because it’s Easter Sunday, the concert calendar is fairly light. The Grateful Dead plays Laguna Hills, California, and Slayer plays Birmingham, England. Tina Turner plays Munich, Germany, and Kool and the Gang plays Denver. On the new Cash Box Top 100 that came out yesterday, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by the Starship is #1 for a third week. “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael is up to #2. It swaps places with recent #1 “Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau, which is now #3. Three songs are new in the Top 10: Lou Gramm’s “Midnight Blue,” “The Finer Things” by Steve Winwood, and “Walking Down Your Street” by the Bangles. The biggest mover in the Top 40 is U2’s “With or Without You,” up seven spots to #15. Five songs are new in the Top 40 including “I Know What I Like” by Huey Lewis and the News, “If She Would Have Been Faithful” by Chicago, and Kim Wilde’s cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” Three songs among the Top 100 share the distinction of being around the longest, 23 weeks: “You Got It All” by the Jets, “Will You Still Love Me” by Chicago, and “Nobody’s Fool” by Cinderella, which is at #100 for the week.

Perspective From the Present: We most likely took it easy around our two-bedroom apartment in Davenport, Iowa, on this day, probably watching the Chicago Cubs lose 3-1 to the Montreal Expos. The Cubs were without announcer Harry Caray, who had suffered a stroke in February. A series of guest announcers filled in until he returned in May. The previous Monday, Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell called a near-no-hitter by Cubs pitcher Jamie Moyer. Bill Murray made his famous appearance on Friday; on this day, Chicago TV and radio personality Bob Sirott took Harry’s spot.

April 15, 1962: Knock Yourself Out

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(Pictured: Louis Armstrong on stage, 1962.)

April 15, 1962, is Palm Sunday. Making headlines on the newspapers today is Fidel Castro’s decision to release for health reasons 60 prisoners held since the Bay of Pigs invasion last year. The released prisoners will be flown from Havana to Miami. Over 1,100 rebels still remain in custody. Georges Pompidou is the new prime minister of France; he took office yesterday following the resignation of Michel Debré. Debré left office at the request of French president Charles de Gaulle. Today in Chicago, firefighters are busy with three separate blazes. One of them, at a garage where ice-cream trucks are serviced, does $400,000 in damage, and over 100 firefighters are affected by fumes from the refrigerant used in the trucks. Six people are injured and 20 have to be rescued from a fire at the Tivoli Hotel, and a third fire damages an auto-parts store and a bar adjacent to it. Clara Blandick, who played Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz, dies at age 85. In Monroe, Wisconsin, a two-year-old who will grow up to waste his time with not one but two blogs now has a brother, born yesterday.

The baseball season is one week old. The National League’s Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals remain unbeaten; the best record in the American League belongs to the Los Angeles Angels, who are 3-and-1 after a 6-3 win over the Minnesota Twins today. The Twins use three pitchers in the game, including 18-year-old Jim Manning, who pitches three scoreless innings in his major-league debut. Manning will pitch in four more games with the Twins in the next three weeks, including one start. They will be his only big-league appearances. Back in the National League, the Milwaukee Braves get their first win, beating Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers 6-3 in Los Angeles. In Milwaukee, Braves fans attend an open house at Milwaukee County Stadium, where they tour the clubhouses, press box, and team offices before the home opener later in the week. The stadium has a new scoreboard this season, and fans will get there on a new expressway. The Chicago Black Hawks beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 in Chicago, but the Leafs still lead the Stanley Cup Final two games to one. It’s an off-day in the NBA Finals. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers took a 3-1 lead with a 126-121 win over the Boston Celtics. Elgin Baylor scored 61 points for the Lakers, a playoff record that will stand until 1986. Game 6 will be tomorrow night in Boston.

Tomorrow, CBS will launch a new evening news broadcast titled Walter Cronkite With the News. Cronkite, who will double as managing editor, is taking over the anchor chair from Douglas Edwards, who has anchored the evening news on CBS since 1947. Shows on TV tonight include Lassie, Dennis the Menace, Maverick, The Bullwinkle Show, The Ed Sullivan Show (featuring Liberace, Sophia Loren, and Teresa Brewer), Bonanza, The Jack Benny Program, General Electric Theater, Candid Camera, What’s My Line, and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Among the acts featured on the latter is a family group called the Osmond Brothers, who are making their national TV debut, along with Annette Funicello, Bobby Rydell, and Louis Armstrong. The performances are recorded; on this night, Armstrong is performing with his All-Stars in Berlin, Germany. Ray Charles plays the Apollo Theater in Harlem and Frank Sinatra opens a world tour in Mexico City. Proceeds from the 30-date, two-month tour will benefit children’s charities.

At WOHO in Toledo, Ohio,”Soldier Boy” by the Shirelles is #1, ahead of “Stranger on the Shore” by Mr. Acker Bilk and Elvis Presley’s “Good Luck Charm.” Dee Dee Sharp has two songs on the chart: “Slow Twistin'” with Chubby Checker at #4 and her own “Mashed Potato Time” at #12. Two young stars of TV’s The Donna Reed Show have hit records:  “Johnny Angel” by Shelley Fabares at #8 (it’s currently #1 on the Billboard Hot 100) and “She Can’t Find Her Keys” by Paul Petersen at #30. Also charted: “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” by Connie Francis, “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)” by Ernie Maresca, Jimmy Dean’s “P.T. 109,” “You Better Move On” by Arthur Alexander, and “Uptown” by the Crystals. With the twist remaining a national craze, WOHO is charting several twist record, including its own “Wally Wo-Ho Twist” by the Tip Top Twisters. Wally Wo-Ho is the station’s mascot; the record is produced by the jingle company Richard H. Ullman Inc., so the Tip Top Twisters may in fact be the Johnny Mann Singers.

April 9, 1959: It’s Just a Matter of Time

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(Pictured: the Boston Celtics celebrate winning the NBA championship on April 9, 1959.)

April 9, 1959, was a Thursday. NASA names seven military test pilots as the first group of astronauts for its Mercury program: Air Force pilots Gus Grissom, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton, Navy men Alan Shepard, Scott Carpenter, and Wally Schirra, and Marine John Glenn. Over 500 names were originally submitted from all four branches of the service. The number was eventually winnowed to 25 finalists; of the 18 who didn’t make the final cut, three will eventually join the astronaut corps: Pete Conrad, Jim Lovell, and Edward Givens. Tonight, Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy speaks at the Gridiron Club dinner in Milwaukee. He tells the audience that brainpower is more important than atomic, military, or industrial power. “The dinosaur was bigger and stronger than anyone else . . . but he was also dumber. And look what happened to him.” Speaking to a religious group in Washington, Minnesota senator Hubert Humphrey says, “It is impossible to win a war with the Communists by military and economic means—it has to be won by spiritual zeal.” CIA director Allen Dulles gives a speech in Lubbock, Texas, titled “Alert to the Communist Challenge.” Architect Frank Lloyd Wright dies at age 91.

The Boston Celtics win the NBA championship, completing a four-game sweep of the Minneapolis Lakers with a 118-103 win. It’s the second title in the last three seasons for Boston. They will win the next seven in a row. The National Hockey League Stanley Cup final opens tonight; Montreal beats Toronto 5-3. The Canadiens will take the series in five games to claim their fourth straight championship. In baseball, it’s Opening Day. At Crosley Field in Cincinnati, the Reds win the traditional National League opener 4-1 over Pittsburgh. Bob Purkey gets the complete-game win; Frank Robinson goes 2-for-4 with a home run and three runs batted in. In the American League, the Washington Senators beat Baltimore 9-2 on the strength of a four-run fourth inning that includes home runs by Harmon Killebrew and Reno Bertoia. In the bottom of the fifth, the Orioles turn a triple play. Game-time temperature in Washington is 89 degrees. For the first time since taking office in 1953, President Eisenhower does not throw out the first pitch at the Senators’ home opener. Vice President Nixon substitutes for him.

On TV tonight, ABC’s lineup includes Leave It to Beaver, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, The Real McCoys, and Zorro. The CBS lineup includes December Bride, Playhouse 90, Yancey Derringer, and Zane Grey Theater. NBC’s offerings tonight include The Ford Show (sponsored by the Ford Motor Company and hosted by Tennessee Ernie Ford) and You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx. The Ford Show is broadcast in color. Opening tonight at the Shoals Theater in Florence, Alabama, are The Party Crashers starring Connie Stevens, “Prying the lid off the TEENAGE problem!” and As Young As We Are, starring Robert Harland and Pippa Scott, “TEEN-AGE shocker with a DIFFERENT TWIST!”

In Mason City, Iowa, a pair of eyeglasses is found in the cornfield where Buddy Holly’s airplane crashed in February. It’s determined that the glasses belonged to Holly, and they’re given to the county sheriff. On the new Cash Box Top 100 that will come out on Saturday, Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” is at #30, up from #31 last week. “Come Softly to Me” by the Fleetwoods is the new #1 song, ending the five-week run of Frankie Avalon’s “Venus” at #1. “Venus” is #2 this week, ahead of “Pink Shoe Laces” by Dodie Stevens, “It’s Just a Matter of Time” by Brook Benton, and “A Fool Such as I” by Elvis Presley. Elvis has a second hit in the Top 10: “I Need Your Love Tonight” is #8 in its third week on the chart. Ricky Nelson also has two hits high on the chart: “Never Be Anyone Else” at #6 and “It’s Late” at #11. “It’s Late” is one of three songs to drop out of the Top 10 this week; the other two are “Tragedy” by Thomas Wayne, now at #12, and “Alvin’s Harmonica” by David Seville and the Chipmunks, now at #16. Eight songs are new in the Top 40 including two by the Everly Brothers, “Poor Jenny” and “Take a Message to Mary,” at #35 and #38 respectively.

Perspective From the Present: The name of astronaut Edward Givens is not familiar to you because he died in a 1967 traffic accident before he could fly in space. Buddy Holly’s glasses remained in the files of the Cerro Gordo county sheriff’s department in Iowa until 1980, when they were returned to Holly’s widow. The Fleetwoods, atop the chart on this day, would hit the Top 10 with a version of “Tragedy” in 1961.