February 26, 1973: Deliverance

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(Pictured: released American POWs get a red-carpet welcome at an American base in the Phillippines on February 12, 1973.)

February 26, 1973, is a Monday. President Nixon’s reelection committee files a lawsuit against the Washington Post, New York Times, Washington Star-News, and Time magazine demanding they reveal notes and sources of their reporting on the Watergate investigation. Those subpoenaed include Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and Post publisher Katherine Graham. NBC and CBS lead their newscasts tonight with news from Vietnam, where a peace agreement was signed last month. They also cover the ongoing return of released prisoners of war to the United States. ABC leads with economic news before getting to the Vietnam stories. The White House is preparing for confirmation hearings for FBI director-designate L. Patrick Gray, which will begin on Wednesday. Gray has been acting director since the death of J. Edgar Hoover in May 1972. Gray will fail to win Senate confirmation to the permanent post, and will resign as acting director in April after he admits to destroying certain documents relating to national security at the request of Nixon aides John Dean and John Ehrlichman. At Cape Kennedy in Florida, NASA rolls out the Saturn 1B rocket that will launch the first Skylab crew into space in May.

On primetime TV tonight, NBC airs Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, which features guest stars Johnny Carson, Sandy Duncan, Arthur Godfrey, and Charlie Callas. NBC follows Laugh-In with a TV movie called The Stranger, about an astronaut who crashes on a previously unknown planet that is a twin of the earth. ABC presents an episode of The Rookies in which two of the young cops are detailed to a different precinct to help solve a murder. CBS shows tonight include Gunsmoke, The Lucy Show, and The Doris Day Show. Later tonight, Johnny Carson’s guests include David Brenner, Ross Martin, and Paul Williams.

Future football star Marshall Faulk is born. On a pro wrestling card at Madison Square Garden in New York, Verne Gagne defends his AWA world heavyweight championship by defeating Eddie Graham. The New York Times publishes a review of a new musical by Stephen Sondheim, A Little Night Music, which opened at the Shubert Theater on Broadway last night. The Grateful Dead play Lincoln, Nebraska, and Frank Zappa plays Atlanta. Black Sabbath plays Munich, Germany, and Bruce Springsteen plays the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Barry Manilow plays Massey Hall in Toronto. Neil Young plays Kansas City, Missouri, and the Rolling Stones play Sydney, Australia.

At WAMS in Wilmington, Delaware, “Love Train” by the O’Jays and “Last Song” by Edward Bear hold at #1 and #2 on the station’s new survey. Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly,” “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, and “Lucky Man” by Emerson Lake and Palmer round out the Top Five. New songs in the Top 10 include “Dueling Banjos” from the Deliverance soundtrack and “Don’t Cross the River” by America. They bump “Hi Hi Hi” by Wings and “Don’t Expect Me to Be Your Friend” by Lobo. “Dueling Banjos” is the week’s biggest mover, but “Ain’t No Woman Like the One I’ve Got” by the Four Tops is hot, too. Debuts on the singles chart include “Give Me Your Love” by Barbara Mason and “Teacher I Need You,” a cut from Elton John’s album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player. The latter is one of five albums the station lists on its survey, unranked. The others are More Hot Rocks by the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys’ Holland, Shootout at the Fantasy Factory by Traffic, and the self-titled album by Stealers Wheel.

In Wisconsin, a boy soon to turn 13 looks forward to his birthday. A couple of friends will come to his house and stay overnight to celebrate; they’ll watch monster movies on TV, talk about sports, and listen to the radio.

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February 18, 1965: I’ve Got Five Dollars

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(Pictured: the cast of My Three Sons, 1965.)

February 18, 1965, was a Thursday. In Marion, Alabama, civil rights marchers protesting the arrest of one of their number clash with a crowd that includes state troopers, auxiliary police, and private citizens. Protester Jimmie Lee Jackson is shot inside a restaurant while trying to protect his mother. He will die on February 26. Jackson’s death helps to inspire the Selma-to-Montgomery march later in the year. Among those injured is NBC News correspondent Richard Valeriani, who’s hit with an axe handle. Defense secretary Robert MacNamara testifies before the House Armed Services Committee, and he says that the United States has little choice but to continue defending Southeast Asia from Communist aggression. He says the situation in South Vietnam is “grave but by no means hopeless.” Early this morning, NASA’s Ranger 8 spacecraft makes a midcourse correction on its way to the moon. On Saturday, it is scheduled to spend just under 14 minutes taking and sending back over 4,000 pictures of a potential landing site for a manned mission to the moon. It will then crash into the surface at 5,800 miles per hour. In Rome, an archaeologist claims that she has discovered the tomb of the Apostle Peter. After 68 years as a British colony in Africa, the Gambia becomes an independent country.

Many retailers are planning Washington’s Birthday sales for the coming weekend and Monday. At South Shore Mall in Bayshore, New York, shoppers can register to win one of 22 AKC-registered beagle puppies to be given away on Monday. Elsewhere on Long Island, in Farmingdale, a local meat market offers smoked hams for 49 cents a pound, prime rib for 59 cents a pound, and top sirloin roast for 79 cents a pound. At McDonalds in Ann Arbor, Michigan, hamburgers are 15 cents, triple-thick shakes 23 cents, and the Filet-o-Fish sandwich is 24 cents.

Activist Malcolm X appears on a TV talk show in New York City with journalist Aubrey Barnette to discuss the nature of the Black Muslim movement. Three days later, just before a scheduled speech in Manhattan, Malcolm will be shot to death. Future rapper and producer Andre Young, who will be known professionally as Dr. Dre, is born. ABC’s TV lineup tonight includes Jonny Quest, The Donna Reed Show and My Three Sons; NBC’s offerings include Daniel Boone, Dr. Kildare, and Hazel; CBS airs The Munsters, Perry Mason (“The Case of the Lover’s Gamble”), Password, The Baileys of Balboa, and The Defenders, a critically acclaimed legal drama starring E. G. Marshall and Robert Reed. At Abbey Road Studios, the Beatles continue work on what will be the Help! soundtrack, including nine takes of “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” during an afternoon session. John Coltrane and his band continue a session at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The Who plays the London borough of Ealing. Elsewhere in London, Rod Stewart and the Soul Agents play the Marquee Club. The Beach Boys play Worcester, Massachusetts.

At WKY in Oklahoma City, Petula Clark holds the #1 spot on the new Top 50 again this week with “Downtown.” Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” is #2, and “King of the Road” by Roger Miller is up to #3. Two versions of “Red Roses for a Blue Lady,” an instrumental by Bert Kaempfert and a vocal by Vic Dana, are new in the Top 10, sharing the #6 position. Also new in the Top 10: “The Birds and the Bees” by Jewel Akens and the Kinks with “All Day and All of the Night.” The Beatles are exploding up the chart with “Eight Days a Week” and “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party,” up from #48 last week to #12 this week. Also making a gigantic leap is the double-sided Gerry and the Pacemakers hit “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and “Pretend,” which went from #43 to #14, and “Midnight Special” by Johnny Rivers is up to #19 from #46 one week ago. Eleven songs are new among the Top 50. They include “Shotgun” by Jr. Walker and the All-Stars, “People Get Ready” by the Impressions, and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by the Animals. The highest debut, however, belongs to George Jones and Gene Pitney. Their song “I’ve Got Five Dollars and It’s Saturday Night” comes on all the way up at #21.

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February 12, 1982: The First Big Thing

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(Pictured: Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond.)

February 12, 1982, was a Friday. This year’s Academy Award nominations were announced yesterday. Reds is up for 12 Oscars including Best Picture. On Golden Pond, the current weekly box-office champ, received 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Henry Fonda, Best Actress for Katharine Hepburn, and Best Supporting Actress for Jane Fonda. The other Best Picture nominees are Chariots of Fire, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Atlantic City. Today, as he leaves the White House for the long Presidents Day weekend at Camp David, President Reagan answers questions from reporters about whether American military advisors in El Salvador are carrying rifles, which would be against policy. Senators opposed to American actions in Central America are considering whether to invoke the War Powers Act and to require Reagan to get Congressional approval for them. (The El Salvador story leads network newscasts tonight.) Reagan also reiterates his insistence on budget cuts in the new fiscal year. On a pilgrimage to Africa, Pope John Paul II visits Lagos, Nigeria.

A double-elimination women’s basketball tournament involving Big Ten schools opens today in East Lansing, Michigan. The league will not officially sponsor any women’s sports until this fall; Big Ten schools compete as independents or as members of other women’s leagues. Ohio State will win the tournament championship. The Daytona 500 will be run on Sunday. Today, Tim Richmond passes Slick Johnson on the last lap to win a 30-lap consolation race at the speedway and a purse of $4,450.

On TV tonight, CBS airs first-run episodes of its popular Friday-night lineup: The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas, and Falcon Crest. ABC opens its night with Benson, followed by sitcoms Open All Night (about an oddball family running a convenience store), Best of the West (an Old West spoof), and It’s a Living (starring Ann Jillian), before wrapping up the night with an episode of the police drama Strike Force starring Robert Stack. NBC starts with the news show NBC Magazine and follows with episodes of McClain’s Law, starring James Arness, and Cassie and Co., starring Angie Dickinson. NBC announced today that Cassie and Co. will be yanked from the schedule after next Friday’s broadcast. Also getting the axe from NBC today: the limited-run Billy Crystal Comedy Hour and Harper Valley, a sitcom starring Barbara Eden.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, stereo shoppers at the Electronics Center can save on receivers, turntables, and speakers, including Cerwin-Vega U-123s. A newspaper ad says of the speakers, “Meet the lease-breaker!” Depeche Mode plays Cardiff, Wales, the Police play the Cow Palace in San Francisco, and Alice Cooper plays Birmingham, England. Ozzy Osbourne and UFO play Cincinnati, and Prince plays Santa Monica, California. Dan Fogelberg plays Houston. On the new Cash Box magazine chart coming out tomorrow, the top three songs are in the same positions for the third week in a row: “Centerfold” by the J. Geils Band at #1, “I Can’t Go for That” by Hall and Oates at #2, and “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John at #3. “Sweet Dreams” by Air Supply and “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg are new in the Top 10. The biggest move within the Cash Box Top 40 is made by Buckner and Garcia’s “Pac Man Fever,” up 10 spots to #29; Stevie Wonder’s “That Girl” is up nine spots, from #21 to #12. On the Billboard 200 album chart, Freeze-Frame by the J. Geils Band is in its second week at #1. Filling out the Top 5: Journey’s Escape, IV by Foreigner, Hooked on Classics by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Private Eyes by Hall and Oates. The highest-debuting album is The First Family Rides Again, a Reagan parody starring Rich Little, at #95.

Perspective From the Present: On this day, I was wrapping up the second week of my full-time radio career, on the air weekdays from 1 to 6 on KDTH in Dubuque. It was also my second week in a new apartment. But those would not be all of life’s big changes in this week. On this night, my girlfriend would be coming over. I don’t remember if we went out for dinner or stayed in, but I do remember that I gave her an engagement ring. I had planned to save it for Valentine’s Day on Sunday, but I couldn’t wait. It was the first big thing I’d bought with my princely new radio salary of $180 a week.

(I’m pleased to see that the Cash Box Archives are back online. The pop charts are up now, and country and R&B charts are supposed to be coming soon. Also: for more about the music of this week in 1982, visit good brother HERC here.)

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.

February 29, 1968: Leap Day

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(Pictured: 1968 Grammy winner Boris Karloff.)

(There’s no 29th this year, of course, but I’m not waiting until 2020 to post this. And I have some experience in observing the 29th on the 28th anyway.)

February 29, 1968, is a Thursday. The big headline on the morning papers is about the withdrawal yesterday of former Michigan governor George Romney from the Republican presidential race just two weeks before the New Hampshire primary. In the latest New Hampshire polling, Romney trails former vice-president Richard Nixon 73-19, and he has failed to improve his standing with New Hampshire voters despite a well-financed and strenuous seven-week campaign. The Kerner Commission, formed after riots tore through American inner cities in the summer of 1967, releases its final report. President Lyndon Johnson will be forced to ignore many of its recommendations because the Vietnam War makes it impossible for the country to afford new social programs. Vietnam architect Robert McNamara spends his final day as Secretary of Defense, a post he has held since 1961. Last November, President Johnson announced that McNamara would become head of the World Bank. Clark Clifford takes over the post tomorrow. In the Panama Canal, a traffic record is set with 65 ships making the transit in a single day. In Amarillo, Texas, Western Plaza Mall opens.

In Norway, Leif-Martin Henriksen is born. He joins a brother, born on February 29, 1964, and a sister, born on February 29, 1960. Also born today: future pro football player Bryce Paup and future American Olympic curler Pete Fenson. In Madison, Wisconsin, you can book a weekend room at the Ramada Inn on East Washington Avenue with one double bed for $9, or with two double beds for $14, and cribs are free. The Thursday night top sirloin special at the Goalpost is $3.50, but the smorgasbord at the Golden Rooster is just $2.00.

Late-night talk show host Joey Bishop welcomes Henry Fonda, Sammy Davis Jr., and Lulu, while Merv Griffin’s guests include James Brown and Soupy Sales. On primetime TV tonight: Dragnet, Bewitched, and one of the last episodes of Batman, titled “The Joker’s Flying Saucer.” The Grammy Awards are presented: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles is Album of the Year, but Record of the Year and Song of the Year go to “Up Up and Away.” Bobbie Gentry wins Best New Artist, and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” wins two R&B awards. Boris Karloff and Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois win Grammys for the albums How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Gallant Men, respectively.

The Cowsills are among the artists performing at the Grammy show. Jimi Hendrix plays a Milwaukee club called the Scene. Jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman and his group play the Royal Albert Hall in London. Yoko Ono joins them on vocals for one number, “Emotion Modulation (A.O.S),” which is eventually released, although the rest of the show is not. Former Supreme Florence Ballard marries former Motown chauffeur Thomas Chapman. At WCFL in Chicago, the new Sound 10 Survey is released. “Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat and “Spooky” by the Classics IV run the top for the second straight week. Otis Redding’s “The Dock of the Bay” takes a huge leap from #16 to #7. “I Wish It Would Rain” by the Temptations is also new in the Top Ten at #9. “Just Dropped In” by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition moves from #18 to #12. One of the new songs in the top 20 is “Up on the Roof” by Chicago favorite the Cryan Shames.

Some 120 highway miles from Chicago, a future WCFL listener celebrates his second “real” birthday on Leap Day.  There’s a birthday party at some point around the 29th, and home movies are taken. He will look at them 50 years from now and find himself with no words to describe the feeling of watching eight or ten young boys playing party games, eating cake, and mugging for the camera. He recognizes all the faces, and he knows what became of some, but not all, of his best buds from a half-century ago.

February 24, 1980: Closing Ceremony

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(Pictured: Americans Steve Christoff and Mark Johnson celebrate a goal in the 1980 Olympic gold medal hockey game against Finland.)

February 24, 1980, was a Sunday. Two days after stunning the heavily favored Soviet team, the United States hockey team wins the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, with a 4-2 win over Finland. It’s the final day of the games; East Germany leads the medal count with 23, although the Soviets record the most gold medals with 10. Team USA records 12 medals: six goal, four silver, and two bronze. Besides the hockey gold, the other five American gold medals are won by speed skater Eric Heiden. Darrell Waltrip wins the Richmond 400, the third race of the NASCAR season. Two days before the New Hampshire presidential primary, several political commentators say that George Bush, who won the Iowa caucuses in January, is now the front-runner for the Republican nomination. NBC reporter Tom Pettit has suggested that Ronald Reagan, considered the leader of the pack before Bush’s surprise Iowa win, “is politically dead.” On Tuesday, Reagan will win New Hampshire with 50 percent of the Republican vote. On the Democratic side, President Carter will defeat Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy 47 percent to 37 percent.

On TV tonight, ABC broadcasts the closing ceremony from the Winter Olympics. CBS counterprograms the night with 60 Minutes, an hour-long episode of One Day at a Time, Alice, The Jeffersons, and Trapper John M.D. NBC airs the made-for-TV movie Harper Valley P.T.A., based on the 1968 #1 hit by Jeannie C. Riley and starring Barbara Eden. It’s not just the top-rated show of the night, but it wins the ratings for the entire week. Mary Tyler Moore opens on Broadway in Whose Life Is It Anyway?, which will run for 96 performances and earn her a Tony award. Pink Floyd brings The Wall tour to Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Weather Report plays Atlanta. The Jerry Garcia Band plays Stony Brook, New York, John Denver plays Lake Charles, Louisiana, Madness plays the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, and the Ramones play in Paris. The Ramones get a mention in the popular Sunday newspaper insert Parade, in an article headlined “Rock rolls into new wave,” which introduces readers to the “hard-boiled assessments of life” performed by the Ramones, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Blondie, the Knack, the B-52s, the Clash, the Police, and others. “Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes is #1 on the Funny Five, part of this week’s Dr. Demento radio show. Also among the five: “Titties and Beer” by Frank Zappa and “Bounce Your Boobies” by Rusty Warren. Tonight’s edition of the King Biscuit Flower Hour features Molly Hatchet and .38 Special.

KQCR, Q-103 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, airs the Weekly Top 30, a syndicated countdown hosted by Mark Elliott, from 9AM til noon. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen is #1 again this week. Dan Fogelberg’s “Longer” is up to #2, and last week’s #2, “Yes I’m Ready” by Teri de Sario and KC, slips to #3. “Working My Way Back to You” by the Spinners blasts to #4 from #14; “Romeo’s Tune” by Steve Forbert is at #5. Another major mover is “Desire” by Andy Gibb, up to #6 from #15. Other hot records include “Him” by Rupert Holmes, up to #12 from #23; “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” by Pink Floyd, making the biggest move of the week, from #27 to #13; and “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar, at #16 from #26. “Refugee” by Tom Petty is the week’s top debut, all the way up at #17. The only other new song among the Top 30 is “Back on My Feet Again” by the Babys at #28.

Perspective From the Present: I watched neither the Miracle on Ice game nor the gold medal hockey game at the Winter Olympics. I most likely missed the gold medal game because I was working my weekend radio gig at KDTH. How I missed the win over the Russians, I don’t remember. I recall other guys in the dorm watching it. Maybe that’s why I didn’t. I liked neither living in the dorm nor the people I had to live with (although my own roommate was OK), and I kept my distance from them as much as I could.

February 18, 1977: Hot Line

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(Pictured: the Sylvers, 1977.)

February 18, 1977, is a Friday. NASA’s new craft, the space shuttle, makes a test flight bolted to a 747. The flight lasts a little over two hours and reaches an altitude of 16,000 feet. In a nod to Star Trek fans, the test vehicle is called the Enterprise. Today’s Washington Post contains a story by Bob Woodward about CIA payments to King Hussein of Jordan. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance continues a tour of the Middle East and meets with Hussein, as well as the president of Lebanon. Seattle’s first Fat Tuesday carnival week celebration gets rowdy, with reports of public intoxication, public drug use, and one case of public sexual intercourse, which attracts a crowd of 100. An exhibition of paintings by Andy Warhol closes in Washington. Character actor Andy Devine, who frequently appeared on TV and in westerns alongside Roy Rogers, Walter Brennan, and John Wayne and possessor of a distinctively scratchy voice, dies at age 71. Harley Race successfully defends his NWA heavyweight wrestling title by defeating Wahoo McDaniel in Richmond, Virginia. Two Japanese astronomers discover a new asteroid, to be named 5017 Tenchi. In Uruguay, a dog is killed by a UFO.

Celebrity guests on The $25,000 Pyramid this week are Joanne Worley and John Schuck. Tonight, the spy series Hunter premieres on CBS-TV, but will be canceled after only eight episodes. (A different show with the same title will run for nine seasons on NBC in the 80s.) Also on TV tonight: The Rockford Files.

Elvis plays Columbia, South Carolina, and KISS plays Madison Square Garden in New York City. Santana and Tower of Power open a two-night stand at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Al Stewart and Wendy Waldman perform in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, and the Kinks are at Winterland in San Francisco. The Marshall Tucker Band plays Passaic, New Jersey; in 2007, the show will be released on DVD. In Cincinnati, ELO shares a bill with Steve Hillage and Gentle Giant, and Triumph plays San Antonio. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Greg Kihn Band are together for the third of four nights in Berkeley, California. After nine years in court, Neil Diamond buys the masters of his early recordings on the Bang label.

At WLS in Chicago, “Hot Line” by the Sylvers tops the new music survey that will be out tomorrow. Also on the WLS chart, Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” and “Fly Like an Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band make strong moves into the Top 10. Also moving nicely: “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart from #16 to #11 and “Crackerbox Palace” by George Harrison from #34 to #26 (featuring what will in later years be called a music video, directed by Eric Idle of Monty Python). The single biggest leap belongs to “Boogie Child” by the Bee Gees, from #41 to #31. In southern Wisconsin, a sometime listener to WLS is in love for the first time. Even “Boogie Child” sounds romantic to him.

February 10, 1964: Last Night

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(Pictured: the Beatles onstage at Carnegie Hall, February 12, 1964.)

February 10, 1964, was a Monday. By a vote of 290 to 130, the House of Representatives passes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and sends it to the Senate. President Lyndon Johnson makes a statement in the Cabinet Room regarding the certification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing the poll tax. The amendment which gained enough states for ratification late last month. Johnson also sends a message to Congress advocating adoption of a public-health program that will be known as Medicare, and he releases a report recommending a new system of satellites for global communication. Two Australian navy ships on maneuvers collide in Jervis Bay; 81 sailors die. Future media personality Glenn Beck is born. The Rotary Club of Dickinson, Texas, holds its first meeting. The Manley Popcorn Machine company, which makes commercial poppers and other concession equipment used in theaters, stadiums, and schools, gets a patent for a new control mechanism.

Guests on The Ed Sullivan Show last night included Terry McDermott, America’s lone gold-medal winner at the just-completed Winter Olympics, held in Innsbruck, Austria, and the Beatles. (Before the show, McDermott, who is a barber, was photographed pretending to cut Paul McCartney’s hair.) Today, the Beatles hold a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York, where they are presented with gold records for Meet the Beatles and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They will remain in the city until tomorrow, when a snowstorm will force them to take a train to Washington, D.C., for the first date on their American tour, on Tuesday at the Washington Coliseum. On Wednesday, the Beatles will return to New York to play Carnegie Hall. On TV tonight, ABC airs The Outer Limits and Wagon Train; CBS has episodes of I’ve Got a Secret (with special guest Jonathan Winters), The Lucy Show, The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and East Side, West Side, which stars George C. Scott as a New York social worker. Tonight’s episode of the latter is the pilot, which has never been broadcast because some roles were recast with different actors before the series premiered last September. CBS is apparently running it at last because they’ve decided to cancel the show.

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers record an entire album, to be called Free for All. An item in the Harvard Crimson announces that Bob Dylan will be the featured performer on Jubilee Weekend in April. Del Shannon will also appear.  At WIBG in Philadelphia, where DJs Joe Niagara and Hy Lit call themselves the fifth and sixth Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and “I Saw Her Standing There” are co-#1s on the station’s survey. The Beatles are also at #3 with “She Loves You” (tucked in behind Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me”), at #13 with “Please Please Me” and “From Me to You,” and at #44 with “My Bonnie,” an old recording with Tony Sheridan. The hottest record on the survey does not belong to the Beatles, however: “Dawn” by the Four Seasons is up to #6 from #34. Others in the top 10 are Major Lance (“Um, Um, Um, Um, Um”), Rick Nelson (“For You”), the Marketts (“Out of Limits”), Andy Williams (“A Fool Never Learns”), the Impressions (“Talking About My Baby”), and the Tams (“What Kind of Fool”). Notable farther down: “My Boyfriend Got a Beatle Haircut” by Donna Lynn (#71) and  “The Boy With the Beatle Hair” by the Swans (#84).

Perspective From the Present: Donna Lynn was 14 in 1964, and she actually got a whole album out of her novelty single. It features chipper-sounding versions of several recently popular songs and something called “I Had a Dream I Was a Beatle,” which sounds almost exactly like “My Boyfriend Got a Beatle Haircut.” The Swans’ “The Boy With the Beatle Hair” was released on Philadelphia’s Cameo label. Both made the Hot 100; Lynn got to #83 and the Swans to #85 , peaking in early March.

But the Beatles proved to have somewhat greater staying power.

February 1, 1968: Hippie Hooray

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(Pictured: Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched, from an episode aired on February 1, 1968.)

February 1, 1968, was a Thursday. Two days ago, North Vietnam began a major offensive in South Vietnam on the holiday known as Tet. In Saigon today, South Vietnamese police chief Nguyen Loc Loan executes Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem while reporters watch. Photographer Eddie Adams captures the pistol shot to the prisoner’s head; the photo will become one of the most famous ever taken. Video of the execution will be broadcast by NBC News tomorrow night. Among his public events today, President Lyndon Johnson sends his annual economic message to Congress and awards the Congressional Medal of Honor to Air Force Major Merlyn F. Dethlefsen for heroism in Vietnam.

The minimum wage in the United States goes up for many workers, from $1.40 to $1.60 an hour. Certain service workers can be paid less; their minimum wage goes from $1.00 to $1.15. In Memphis yesterday, 22 black sewer workers were sent home without pay due to inclement weather while their white supervisors were permitted to stay and get paid. Today, black sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker, aged 36 and 30, are accidentally crushed to death by the compactor mechanism in their truck. The incidents will lead sanitation workers to go on strike on February 12, a job action eventually supported by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In New Hampshire, former vice president Richard Nixon announces his candidacy for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination. Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi announces his retirement, which has been rumored since the Packers won Super Bowl II last month. He will remain as general manager. Former pro golfer Lawson Little, who won the U.S. Open in 1940, dies at age 57. Nine months to the day after her parents’ wedding, Lisa Marie Presley is born. Also born: future actor Pauly Shore and future hockey star Mark Recchi.

In today’s Peanuts strip, Lucy terrorizes the boys. On TV today, Bobby Darin co-hosts The Mike Douglas Show. Guests include actress Geraldine Chaplin and jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. Shows on ABC tonight include The Flying Nun, That Girl, and Bewitched, with an episode titled “Hippie, Hippie, Hooray,” in which mistaken identity leads to big laffs when Samantha’s sister Serena becomes a hippie and gets on the front page of the local newspaper. (Elizabeth Montgomery is on the cover of TV Guide as Serena this week.) NBC’s lineup includes Daniel Boone, Ironside, and Dragnet. CBS kicks off primetime with the Western drama Cimarron Strip. Janis Joplin of Big Brother and the Holding Company signs with Columbia Records as a solo performer. The Velvet Underground, whose new album White Light/White Heat was officially released on Tuesday, play an album release party at Aardvark Cinemathique in Chicago. The Grateful Dead plays Seattle. In San Francisco, the Jimi Hendrix Experience plays two shows at the Fillmore with Albert King, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and Soft Machine; the Jefferson Airplane plays the Matrix, the tiny club where they debuted in 1965; the show is recorded and will be released in 2010. Also in San Francisco, the Santana Blues Band wraps up a three-night stand at the Straight Theater. Your $1 ticket also entitles you to see the Federico Fellini film La Dolce Vita.

In Cleveland, at 3:05 this afternoon, WKYC debuts a format it calls Power Radio, which is intended to better compete with local station WIXY and CKLW from Detroit. The top four songs on WKYC’s new survey are in the same positions as last week: “Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat, “Itchycoo Park” by the Small Faces, “Spooky” by the Classics IV, and “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” by the Foundations. “Bottle of Wine” by the Fireballs blasts to #6 from #17. “Everything That Touches You” by the Association is up 15 spots, from #37 to #22. Also moving fast: “Words” by the Bee Gees, up 12 to #23 and “Tomorrow” by the Strawberry Alarm Clock,” up 10 to #30. The highest-debuting new song on the survey is listed as “Sittin’ on the Dock” by Otis Redding, ranking at #29.

Perspective From the Present: On this day, I was in a new school. In January, I had been among the students moving from the early-2oth-century monolith Lincoln School to the newly built Northside School in our town. Northside was the most modern of buildings—by 1968 standards. Today, it’s the oldest elementary school in town.

One online calculator indicates that the 1968 minimum wage of $1.60 an hour is equivalent to over $11.00 today. Today’s minimum wage of $7.25 would be equivalent to a little over $1.00 in 1968.

(Editor’s note: This is our second 1968 post in the last couple of weeks. I suspect there are going to be more as this year unfolds.)

February 28, 1977: Every Piece

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(Pictured: the Electric Light Orchestra takes a bow in February 1977.)

February 28, 1977, is a Monday. President Jimmy Carter is in the Oval Office by 7AM today; his agenda includes afternoon meetings with five Democratic governors in town for the National Governors’ Conference, and with Mr. and Mrs. John Denver. At a press briefing, Carter’s deputy press secretary Walter Wurfel is asked about Carter’s statement during his presidential campaign that he would make available “every piece of information this country has” about UFO sightings. Wurfel says Carter was referring only to information that wasn’t “defense sensitive.” Any sensitive information would remain secret. Carter has family time in the evening, including about an hour in the White House bowling alley with the First Lady, his son Jeff, and other guests. Future country star Jason Aldean is born; Jack Benny’s sidekick Eddie “Rochester” Anderson dies at age 71. Linda Ronstadt is on the cover of Time; the cover story about her has a distinctly sexist edge. Ralph Nader is on the cover of People. In today’s Peanuts strip, Snoopy and Woodstock converse.

Jack Albertson of Chico and the Man gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On Dinah!, Dinah Shore welcomes author Alex Haley and several members of the cast of Roots, which aired last month and became a cultural phenomenon. Merv Griffin welcomes country singer Mel Tillis, actor David Soul, and Ed McMahon. On CBS tonight, long-running hits The Jeffersons and Maude are sandwiched around two newer sitcoms, Busting Loose, starring Adam Arkin as a young man who’s just moved out of his parents’ house, and All’s Fair, starring Richard Crenna and Bernadette Peters as a conservative newspaper columnist and liberal photographer who fall in love despite their political and age differences.

Ray Charles plays the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles; during the show, a fan jumps on stage with a rope and tries to strangle him. Concert security subdues the man before Charles is injured. The concert continues without further incident and no police report is ever filed. In Toronto, Keith Richards is arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play St. Louis. Genesis plays Buffalo, New York. The Electric Light Orchestra concludes a three-night stand at the Uptown Theater in Chicago. At WABC in New York City, George Michael is on the evening shift. On the station’s new Musicradio survey, officially out tomorrow, “Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary Macgregor holds at #1 for a fourth week; “New Kid in Town” by the Eagles, which tops the Billboard Hot 100, holds at #2. The hottest song on the survey is Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” moving to #7 from #17. Also new in the Top 10: “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart at #8. The survey lists the Top 10 albums but doesn’t number them; first on the list is the soundtrack from A Star Is Born. Also listed: Hotel California, Pink Floyd’s Animals, Songs in the Key of Life, Boston, Rumours, Year of the Cat, Night Moves, Wings Over America, and Jethro Tull’s Songs From the Wood.

Perspective From the Present: The album charts from the winter of 1977 remain astounding after all this time. One album not listed is one I wanted for quite a while and received for my birthday, probably during the weekend before: Olé ELO, a compilation by the Electric Light Orchestra. My girlfriend gave it to me under protest, saying that an album didn’t seem like a personal-enough gift. Although I don’t recall the details after all this time, she probably gave me other, more personal gifts that weekend as well.