October 29, 1971: A Space in Time

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(Pictured: Duane Allman.)

October 29, 1971, was a Friday. News headlines this morning include the British Parliament’s vote yesterday to join the European Common Market. An Associated Press story appearing in newspapers around the country today discusses the political future of Vice President Spiro Agnew. There’s been speculation that President Nixon might want to replace Agnew in 1972 with Treasury Secretary and former Texas governor John Connally. Agnew wants Nixon to decide “in a cold and practical political way” whether to keep him. Agnew also says he believes Nixon can’t make a decision yet. In Macon, Georgia, guitarist Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band dies in a motorcycle accident. In Winona, Minnesota, future actress Winona Ryder is born. Seven games are played in the National Basketball Association tonight. After seven straight wins to open the season, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks lose their first, 125-114 to the Boston Celtics. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the former Lew Alcindor, who has adopted his new name with the new season, leads all scorers with 43 points. Dave Cowens leads the Celtics with 37.

On TV tonight, ABC presents The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, The Odd Couple, and Love American Style. After the late local news on ABC, guests on The Dick Cavett Show include United Nations ambassador George Bush, U.S. senator Edmund Muskie, and actress Gloria Swanson. CBS starts its night with a sitcom set during Prohibition, The Chicago Teddy Bears, and the crime drama O’Hara: US Treasury starring David Janssen. Also on CBS tonight: the TV movie Murder Once Removed starring John Forsythe and Barbara Bain. NBC’s highlight tonight is a special celebrating the October 1 opening of Walt Disney World in Florida, which stars Julie Andrews, Glen Campbell, Jonathan Winters, and Buddy Hackett, with a special appearance by Bob Hope.

In Orono, Maine, Sampson’s Supermarkets have special prices on ham (58 cents a pound), pork chops (68 cents a pound), and oysters (99 cents a pound. A 50-pound bag of #1 winter keeper potatoes is $1.49. In Bowling Green, Ohio, the Big N department store is having an anniversary sale, with albums priced at $3.99 including A Space in Time by Ten Years After, Master of Reality by Black Sabbath, and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by the Moody Blues. Sale eight-tracks are priced at $2.27, including Iron Butterfly’s Ball and Cream’s Wheels of Fire. At Discount Records in Carbondale, Illinois, albums priced at $5.99 or higher are one-third off today only, including Chicago at Carnegie Hall, Cahoots by the Band, Steve Miller’s Rock Love, and Meddle by Pink Floyd. Customers can pre-order the forthcoming album by Sly and the Family Stone, There’s a Riot Goin’ On. The student newspaper at the University of Cincinnati reports that fewer rock concerts may be coming to campus in the future due to financial losses at past shows. The university’s cultural events coordinator says, “This whole rock business is not very stable or very ethical.” For example, a Jethro Tull concert scheduled on campus for November 12 had to be rescheduled when a promoter scheduled Three Dog Night for an appearance in town the very same night. The Ike and Tina Turner Revue will play the university’s fieldhouse tonight; Tull plays Portland, Maine.

At WRKO in Boston, “Gypsies Tramps and Thieves” by Cher and “Imagine” by John Lennon hold at #1 and #2. “Theme From Shaft” by Isaac Hayes is up to #3. Chicago’s “Questions 67 and 68” is up to #4 from #10, and two other songs make big moves to reach the Top 10: “Baby I’m-a Want You” by Bread (to #9 from #19) and “Two Divided by Love” by the Grass Roots (to #10 from #17). They take the places of “I’d Love to Change the World” by Ten Years After (down to #17 from #9) and “Yo Yo” by the Osmonds (down to #20 from #7). Two songs debut in the Top 30: “Behind Blue Eyes” by the Who and “Family Affair” by Sly and the Family Stone. WRKO’s top albums are John Lennon’s Imagine, Santana III, and Cat Stevens’ Teaser and the Firecat.

Perspective From the Present: I was two months into the sixth grade at Northside School, in Mr. Schilling’s class. He was a very large, very loud, and—I am guessing now—very young man. Academic subjects are pretty easy for me; I get all A’s in the first quarter of the year except in math. I do less well in art, music, and physical education, and a note on my report card says I need to improve my self-control.

I already know I want to be on the radio someday.

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October 22, 1976: The Song Remains the Same

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(Pictured: Robert Plant on stage at Madison Square Garden in 1973 during the filming of The Song Remains the Same.)

(Edited below.)

October 22, 1976, was a Friday. Amendments to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s rules governing movement and handling of livestock at fairs and exhibitions go into effect today. The FDA bans red dye #2 due to a potential cancer risk. (Late edit: the dye was banned in February; today, the FDA recalled tons of candy made with it.) The decision will cause M&M/Mars to stop selling red M&Ms. President Ford starts his day with a doctor’s appointment after breakfast, then has a morning of meetings concerning the presidential campaign and a photo op with Noor Hussain, an 80-year-old Pakistani woodcarver who presents him with an ivory table. At noontime, President and Mrs. Ford leave the White House for Williamsburg, Virginia, and tonight’s final debate with Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter. The presidential debate leads all three evening newscasts and is carried on all three networks. CBS precedes the debate with an episode of Spencer’s Pilots, an adventure series about a private aviation company. NBC presents an episode of Sanford and Son called “I Dream of Choo-Choo Rabinowitz,” in which Fred tries to break a world record for staying awake, and an episode of Chico and the Man. ABC airs Donny and Marie, with guest stars Cindy Williams and Charley Pride. The movie Car Wash is new in theaters.

It’s the second night of the NBA regular season; all four former American Basketball Association teams that joined the older league this summer make their debuts. The New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs, and Denver Nuggets get wins; the Nuggets beat their former ABA foe, the Indiana Pacers. Future major-league catcher Michael Barrett is born. In Monroe, Wisconsin, the Cheesemaker football team’s losing streak reaches six after a 37-0 home loss to Sun Prairie that drops them to 2-and-6 on the season with one game to play. After the game, late that night, a Monroe police officer will have to kick several couples out of Twining Park for parking after closing time.

Last night, the Who closed their 1976 tour at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. It would be the last performance featuring drummer Keith Moon. Tonight, Barry Manilow plays Dallas, and Elvis Presley plays Champaign, Illinois. Black Sabbath opens a tour in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the Eagles play the Forum in Los Angeles. Their performance of “Wasted Time” will appear on the 1980 album Eagles Live. Album releases today include Elton John’s Blue Moves, Bob Seger’s Night Moves, and Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same, which is the soundtrack to the movie that came out earlier this week. At B100 in San Diego, “Do You Feel Like We Do” by Peter Frampton is #1 on the new survey out today, knocking last week’s top hit, “Lowdown” by Boz Scaggs, to #2. The rest of the Top 10: “Rock’n Me” by the Steve Miller Band, “Shake Your Booty” by KC and the Sunshine Band, “Devil Woman” by Cliff Richard, Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven,” “Still the One” by Orleans, “Getaway” by Earth Wind and Fire, Heart’s “Magic Man,” and Rick Dees’ “Disco Duck.” Five songs are new in the Top 30; the highest debut belongs to Rod Stewart and “Tonight’s the Night.”

Perspective From the Present: I have told the story at my other blog several times, I think: at the football game, my girlfriend and I were on our first date since splitting up over a year before, and afterward, we wanted to make up for lost time. I recognized all of the other cars that were kicked out of the park with us, and their drivers recognized me. Such was my reputation with the ladies that one of the other guys said to me on Monday, “I thought to myself, that’s Jim’s car, but who would he be here with?” That night, and the several months that followed it, are among the very favorite times of my life. We only fall good and truly in love for the first time one time, and it tends to leave a mark.

October 16, 1978: Virtuous and Vicious

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(Pictured: Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, on the right, on his way to court in October 1978.)

October 16, 1978, is a Monday. In Rome, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, the current archbishop of Krakow, Poland, is elected pope and takes the name John Paul II. He is the first non-Italian pope since 1523. The Supreme Court refuses to get involved in the case of a group of Nazis who want to march in the largely Jewish Chicago suburb of Skokie; it appears that the march will go on as planned. A study on controlling pine vole infestation begins at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Hispanic Americans are featured on the current edition of Time magazine. The cover story notes that Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the United States and “are bidding to become an increasingly influential one.” Herbert A. Simon wins the Nobel Prize for economics. Actor Dan Dailey dies at age 62; he had been in several movie musicals during the 40s and 50s and starred in the TV series The Governor and J.J., which ran in 1969 and 1970. On TV tonight: M*A*S*H and Little House on the Prairie.

Oklahoma tops the new Associated Press college football poll; Penn State is #2. In the NFL yesterday, the Green Bay Packers jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and beat the Seattle Seahawks 45-28 to raise their record to 6-and-1. After losing Game 5 last night at Yankee Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers are on the brink of elimination in the World Series. The Yankees will take Game 6 tomorrow night and win the series.  The new NBA season opened over the weekend; new Detroit Pistons coach Dick Vitale is in the hospital after two games with an intestinal infection. NBA star Marvin “The Human Eraser” Webster of the New York Knicks is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

On TV tonight, the CBS lineup includes WKRP in Cincinnati, M*A*S*H, One Day at a Time, and Lou Grant. ABC shows Welcome Back Kotter, Operation Petticoat, and Monday Night Football with the Chicago Bears at the Denver Broncos. NBC has a 90-minute episode of Little House on the Prairie followed by the first-run TV movie Human Feelings, starring Billy Crystal as an angel trying to find six virtuous people in Las Vegas to keep God, played by Nancy Walker, from destroying the city. The Sex Pistols’ record company wires the group’s manager $50,000 to bail Sid Vicious out of jail, where he’s held on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep play Buffalo, Little Feat plays Champaign, Illinois, and Santana plays the Bottom Line in New York City. Today’s Peanuts strip features Snoopy as “the world-famous disco dancer.” At WRKO in Boston, Donna Summer’s disco version of “MacArthur Park” vaults to #1, knocking off Exile’s “Kiss You All Over” (now #3) and leaping over the Little River Band’s “Reminiscing” (now #2), among others. Farther down the chart is an album track from Bob Seger’s Stranger in Town, “Till it Shines,” at #15, “5.7.0.5” by City Boy at #16, and the title track from Van Morrison’s new album Wavelength at #24.

Among the songs not yet charted at WRKO is Hall and Oates’ passive-aggressive “It’s a Laugh.” In Wisconsin, it’s right in the wheelhouse of an unhappy college freshman who, despite the fact that he is finally getting started with the radio career he has always wanted, is having the worst month of his life.

October 11, 1958: Tea for Two

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(Pictured: Buddy Holly with fellow Crickets Joe Mauldin and Jerry Allison, 1958.)

October 11, 1958, was a Saturday. Catholics around the world are mourning the death of Pope Pius XII, who died on Thursday after 19 years as Supreme Pontiff. Yesterday, his body lay in state in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Today, NASA, the newly formed American space agency, launches its first satellite, Pioneer 1, from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The spacecraft, developed by the Air Force, is intended to fly by the moon, but engine problems will cause controllers to shoot for Earth orbit instead. That attempt will fail also, and on Monday, Pioneer 1 will burn up in the atmosphere on reentry. The launch is broadcast live on WLTV in Jacksonville. In her syndicated newspaper column My Day, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt has been writing about her recent trip to the Soviet Union. In today’s column, she tells about her recent visit with Yekaterina Furtseva, the highest-ranking female member of the Supreme Soviet. (Today is Mrs. Roosevelt’s 74th birthday.) In Orfordville, Wisconsin, a farmer from rural Monroe and a schoolteacher from rural Brodhead get married. They will go to Yellowstone National Park for their honeymoon, getting as far as Cuba City, Wisconsin, on their wedding night.

In a clash of college football titans this afternoon, #3 Army beats #4 Notre Dame 14-2. Top-ranked Auburn beats Kentucky 8-0 while #2 Oklahoma loses its annual showdown with Texas 15-14. Ohio State, which was ranked #1 in preseason polls but has slipped to #5 despite winning its first two games, beats Illinois 19-13. Among the other Big Ten results, Wisconsin blows out Purdue 31-6 and Iowa beats Indiana 34-13. Baseball fans are waiting to learn whether New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel will return for an 11th season next year. The Yankees won the World Series this past Thursday afternoon, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the defending champion Milwaukee Braves in seven games. (Stengel does indeed return, and he will manage the Yankees through 1960.)

Prime-time TV is packed with westerns tonight, including Wanted: Dead or Alive, Have Gun Will Travel, Gunsmoke, and the debut episode of Cimarron City, starring George Montgomery, Audrey Totter, and John Smith, set on the Oklahoma frontier in the 1890sAlso airing tonight: Perry Mason, The Gale Storm Show, The Perry Como ShowSteve Canyon, and The Lawrence Welk Show. The latter has been broadcast with stereo sound in several American cities since its season premiere in September; ABC says the stereo broadcast will soon expand to 75 markets covering 80 percent of the country. Viewers will get one side of the stereo broadcast on TV and the other from tuning in the radio. Also on ABC, The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show is broadcast live from Atlanta with guests including Sam Cooke, Danny and the Juniors, and Conway Twitty. The Ku Klux Klan has threatened to disrupt the show over Cooke’s appearance, so National Guard troops are on standby against trouble. In the UK, the sports show Grandstand premieres on the BBC. Showing a mix of live events and highlights, it will run until 2007.

The Biggest Show of Stars tour, which is playing 17 cities in 17 days, reaches Columbus, Ohio, on the ninth day. Stars include Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Clyde McPhatter, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Darin, the Coasters, Dion and the Belmonts, and others. On the new Fabulous Forty Survey at KFWB in Los Angeles, “It’s All in the Game” by Tommy Edwards and “Tears on My Pillow” by Little Anthony and the Imperials hold at #1 and #2 for another week. Bandleaders Cozy Cole and Tommy Dorsey are in the Top 10 with “Topsy Part 2” and “Tea for Two Cha Cha” respectively, at #3 and #5. “Bird Dog” by the Everly Brothers is #4. Three songs are new in the Top 10: “It’s Only Make Believe” by Conway Twitty, “Rockin’ Robin” by Bobby Day, and “To Know Him Is to Love Him” by the Teddy Bears. The biggest mover on the chart is “Non Dimenticar” by Nat King Cole, up 21 spots to #17 in its second week on. The highest debut is “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper at #21.

Perspective From the Present: Stereo sound was new, having been launched by the major record labels late in 1957. One review of September’s Lawrence Welk season premiere said, “The stereo sound under this setup, where the speakers and sound systems are unbalanced, is not very good, but it’s a gimmick that helps rivet attention to the show’s sound.” Read more about the first year of stereo here.

The farmer and the schoolteacher became my parents, and today is their 60th wedding anniversary. We’ll have a family celebration this weekend.

October 7, 1976: Hope Springs Eternal

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(Pictured: Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford debate, 1976.)

October 7, 1976, is a Thursday. At last night’s second Ford/Carter debate, President Ford said there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Today, Ford’s campaign unveils a new ad touting the president’s biography. Hua Kuo-Feng is named chairman of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, succeeding Mao Tse-Tung, who died last month. In a meeting with the foreign minister of Argentina, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gives indications that the United States will not oppose Argentina’s “dirty war” against its own people. Gary Gilmore is convicted of murder in Utah; he will insist on a speedy execution by firing squad, and in January 1977, become the first person to be executed in the United States since the death penalty was banned by the Supreme Court in 1972. Future actress Rachel McAdams, future singer Taylor Hicks, and future Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Charles Woodson are born. Hank Aaron, baseball’s all-time home run king, joins the Atlanta Braves’ front office after retiring as a player. High-school football fans in Monroe, Wisconsin, look forward to tomorrow night’s game despite the fact that their team is mired in a losing streak; hope nevertheless springs eternal because the team opened the season in September with two straight wins, equaling their total over the two previous seasons.

Connie Stevens is this week’s cohost on The Mike Douglas Show. Burt Reynolds is today’s guest. On the competing daytime show Dinah!, Dinah Shore’s guests include Sid Caesar and Marsha Mason. Shows on TV tonight include the NBC sci-fi series Gemini Man and the CBS crime drama Barnaby Jones. Elton John appears on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone. In the cover story, he reveals his bisexuality. Frank Sinatra plays Hartford, Connecticut, Neil Diamond plays Fort Worth, Texas, and Lynryd Skynyrd plays Spokane, Washington.

At KYA in San Francisco, “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees is #1 again this week; “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry holds at #2. Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do” jumps from #11 to #5; in Cash Box, it’s the highest-debuting record on the magazine’s chart for over a year, coming on the Top 100 at #48. Three new songs debut on the KYA survey: “Rock’n Me” by the Steve Miller Band, “You Are My Starship” by Norman Connors, and “Still the One” by Orleans. The station adds three songs to its playlist: “Nadia’s Theme” by Perry Botkin Jr., “Just to Be Close to You” by the Commodores, and “Muskrat Love” by the Captain and Tennille. “Muskrat Love” is the biggest mover within the Cash Box survey, up 29 spots to #31. The Captain and Tennille’s TV variety show is new on ABC, with its fourth episode scheduled for this coming Monday night. Guests will include Leonard Nimoy, Rita Moreno, and the cast of What’s Happening!! In its first three episodes, the show has already scored guest appearances by Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope, and Redd Foxx.

October 2, 1970: Fun Company

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(Pictured: Martha and John Mitchell, 1970. He’s the Attorney General of the United States; she’s his eccentric and outspoken wife.)

October 2, 1970, was a Friday. A plane carrying 36 members of the Wichita State University football team and a crew of four, en route to a game in Utah, crashes in Colorado. Only nine survive. (Six weeks later, a plane carrying 75, including 37 members of the Marshall University football team, will crash in West Virginia, killing everyone aboard.) Future talk-show host and actress Kelly Ripa is born. Martha Mitchell, wife of U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, is on the cover of Life magazine. Inside, an article on Saturday morning TV features a photo of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. President Nixon travels from Zagreb to Madrid, continuing a foreign tour that has taken him to Rome and will also take him to the UK and Ireland. Nixon accepts a key to the city of Madrid and attends a state dinner given by Generalissimo Francisco Franco. A conference sponsored by American Library Association and the U.S. Office of Education Bureau of Libraries and Educational Technology closes in Warrenton, Virginia. Papers presented at the conference include “Broad Bandwidth Telecommunications Systems” and “World Wide Information Networks.” The National League and American League championship series are set to begin tomorrow, although probably with minor-league umpires, as major-league umpires are on strike in a contract dispute with baseball owners. Billy Martin is hired as manager of the Detroit Tigers.

Shows on ABC tonight include The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family (an episode titled “The Sound of Money,” featuring an actress named Farrah Fawcett credited as “Pretty Girl”). This Is Tom Jones features Zero Mostel, Diahann Carroll, and the Ace Trucking Company. On NBC, guest stars on Name of the Game are Barbara Feldon and Mickey Rooney. In London, the Monty Python comedy troupe films an episode titled “The Attila the Hun Show” that will be broadcast in November. Derek and the Dominoes play Nottingham, England. At KADI in St. Louis (“The Fun Company, 96FM”), several records are outperforming their national chart number, including “As the Years Go By” by Mashmakhan, “Our World” by Blue Mink, and “Holy Man” by Diane Kolby, a Christian pop tune that will reach the Top 20 in St. Louis, Denver, and the Twin Cities. Up at the top, however, KADI is in step with the rest of the country: The top five are “Lola” by the Kinks, Three Dog Night’s “Out in the Country,” “All Right Now” by Free, “Candida” by Dawn, and “Look What They’ve Done to My Song” by the New Seekers. In Wisconsin, “Candida” is the first song a new Top 40 listener really loves.

Perspective From the Present: A lot of Christian-pop crossovers you can hear as generic love songs. Not “Holy Man.” There’s no way to hear it as anything but a love song to Jesus, and a borderline-erotic love song at that, although the part where she sings to him, “You’re the one who knows when I will die” is not so much erotic as it is creepy. But you’ll have to judge for yourself.

October 30, 1974: Rumble and Jump

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(Pictured: Evel Knievel poses with his Sky Cycle, a picture taken after his unsuccessful attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in September 1974.)

October 30, 1974, was a Wednesday. Last night here in the States (but at 4AM on the 30th in Zaire, where the fight is held), Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in the eighth round to regain the heavyweight championship in “the Rumble in the Jungle.” In one of four games played in the World Football League tonight, Southern California beats Charlotte 34-25. Today, President Ford holds a cabinet meeting. Among the subjects discussed: how to ensure better public compliance with the 55MPH speed limit. The Omaha Register newspaper reports on a Nebraska state trooper who claims to have been abducted by a UFO, and the Gettysburg Times covers the dedication of a new parking lot at the First Lutheran Church in New Oxford, Pennsylvania. A teenager named Laura Aime disappears after a Halloween party in Utah. She will be found murdered, and in 1988, serial killer Ted Bundy will confess to the crime. Chicken magnate Frank Perdue is involved in a fatal traffic accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike; he will eventually be charged with involuntary manslaughter, but the case will be dismissed.

Shows on TV tonight include Cannon and The Manhunter, starring Ken Howard, on CBS, Little House on the Prairie on NBC, and the TV movie Death Cruise on ABC. In the UK, filming continues on The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Spirit plays Denver and Golden Earring plays Chicago. Eric Clapton plays Boston, Fleetwood Mac plays Jackson, Mississippi, KISS plays Columbus, Ohio, and David Bowie plays Radio City Music Hall in New York. At WDRQ in Detroit, “I Love Q, I Honestly Love Q” by Olivia Newton-John holds at #1; another record that some radio stations have altered to promote themselves, “Life Is a Rock” by Reunion, is at #16. (In Chicago, it’s heard as “life is a rock but WLS rolled me” and “life is a rock but ‘CFL rolled me”). Al Green’s magnificent “Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)” leaps from #12 to #5, and “I Can Help” by Billy Swan vaults from #20 to #13. In Wisconsin, a high-school freshman hears Green’s chuckle at the start of “Sha La La” and knows precisely what it means—the song feels so good that you just can’t keep it in.

Perspective From the Present: Some of the stuff on the WDRQ chart that I never heard back then is mighty fine, like “Let’s Straighten it Out” by Latimore (#3). It’s a slow-cookin’ deep soul record that would barely sneak into the national Top 40. “Evil Boll Weevil” by Grand Canyon (#24) is a break-in record about Evel Knievel’s then-recent attempt to jump over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. It was devised by Jeff McKee and Ed Brown, jocks at WQXI in Atlanta, although the first voice heard on it is almost certainly Chicago legend Fred Winston. Brown impersonates Ed Sullivan, who died in mid-October 1974; McKee said that Sullivan’s death kept many stations from adding the record.

October 28, 1985: Blown Call

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(Pictured: St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar, ejected from Game 7 of the 1985 World Series, gives umpire Don Denkinger a piece of his mind about Game 6.)

October 28, 1985, was a Monday. The headline on the nation’s sports pages today is the meltdown of the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost Game 7 and the World Series to Kansas City last night 11-0. On Saturday night, the Cardinals had lost Game 6 on a call by umpire Don Denkinger that TV replays clearly showed to be wrong. In tonight’s NFL game, the Los Angeles Raiders run their record to 6-and-2 with a 34-21 win over San Diego. Future NFL player Early Doucet is born, and former player Tommy Thompson dies. Chris Evert takes over the #1 ranking among female tennis players from Martina Navratilova, who had taken it from Evert two weeks only, and who will get it back a month from now.

A series of stories in the current Time magazine dissects the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro earlier this month, and the joint American-Italian operation that intercepted a plane carrying the Palestinian hijackers. People‘s cover story is on the best and worst-dressed people of the year. Portions of Massachusetts are declared a federal disaster area after Hurricane Gloria struck the East Coast in late September. TV preacher Pat Robertson will claim the hurricane missed his headquarters in Virginia because of his prayers. A total eclipse of the moon is visible throughout all of Asia, but cannot be seen in North and South America.

Top movies at the box office this past weekend included Jagged Edge, Krush Groove, Commando, and Back to the Future. Among the soaps on daytime TV today: Ryan’s Hope. Tonight, PBS airs a documentary about the Statue of Liberty, directed by Ken Burns. On network TV, it’s the made-for-TV movie A Time to Live, starring Liza Minnelli in a role that will win her a Golden Globe award for Best Actress, and the retooled sitcom What’s Happening Now. Joan Rivers is guest host on The Tonight Show with John Larroquette and Howie Mandel. The Grateful Dead opens a two-night stand in Atlanta, Eric Clapton plays Milan, Italy, R.E.M. plays London, and Miles Davis plays Copenhagen, Denmark. Barbra Streisand shoots a video for “Somewhere” at the Apollo Theater in New York.

On the American Top 40 show broadcast over the preceding weekend, Charlie Van Dyke filled in for Casey Kasem. Seven songs entered the Top 40 for the first time. The highest debut was “Soul Kiss” by Olivia Newton-John at #34, followed by Scritti Politti’s “Perfect Way” at #35, plus new hits by ZZ Top, Billy Joel, Alive and Kicking, Ray Parker Jr., and Klymaxx. The biggest upward move within the 40 was made by Mr. Mister’s “Broken Wings,” up eight spots to #27.  The biggest drop belonged to “Cherish” by Kool and the Gang, down 13 spots to #26 in its 17th week on the Hot 100. Whitney Houston took the #1 spot with “Saving All My Love for You,” knocking last week’s #1, “Take on Me” by a-ha, to #3. “Part Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder was at #2. The show included two Long Distance Dedications: “I Won’t Hold You Back” by Toto and “You’re Only Human” by Billy Joel.

Perspective From the Present: We lived in a one-bedroom basement apartment in the fall of 1985. It was in what was otherwise a commercial building, owned by the insurance agent whose office was across the hall, with an optometrist and some other office upstairs. We’d been there exactly two years at that point, but would soon move to a rented house. I can still see myself in that little apartment, sitting in the big easy chair I scrounged from my parents’ basement, watching the sixth and seventh games of the World Series. But when I went to look at the Google Street View of the address not long ago, I didn’t recognize it at all.

October 21, 1976: No Perspective

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(Pictured: Thurman Munson of the Yankees heads for home plate, defended by Johnny Bench of the Reds, during the 1976 World Series.)

October 21, 1976, was a Thursday. The Cincinnati Reds beat the New York Yankees 7-2 to sweep the World Series, giving them back-to-back championships. President Gerald Ford issues a statement expressing pride in the fact that Americans have won all five Nobel prizes: medicine, economics, physics, chemistry, and literature. Ford meets with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who reports that former vice-president Hubert Humphrey wants Ford to defeat Jimmy Carter in the upcoming presidential election. Later in the day, both Ford and Carter will campaign in New York before tomorrow night’s final debate in Williamsburg, Virginia. Carter’s brother Billy speaks to an audience in Georgia, telling them that his brother drinks Scotch, and that “I’ve never trusted a Scotch drinker.” A new Gallup poll shows Carter’s lead over Ford down to six points. Also today, Ford signs a bill mandating the expansion of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. With the nation preparing for the outbreak of swine flu, the Cass City Chronicle of Cass City, Michigan, publishes local residents’ memories of the 1918 flu epidemic. On the night of their season-opening game, the NBA’s New York Knicks retire the number of longtime center Willis Reed. Future actor Jeremy Miller and future pop singer Josh Ritter are born.

On TV tonight: Barney Miller (an episode set on Election Day), The Waltons, and Barnaby Jones. Aerosmith plays Erlangen, Germany, and Elvis Presley plays Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Eagles play the second night of a stand at the Los Angeles Forum; their performance of “Desperado” will later appear on the album Eagles Live. The Who plays Toronto. In London, Paul McCartney and Wings wrap up their “Wings Over the World” tour at the Empire Pool, Wembley. In New York City, George Michael is rockin’ the evening shift at WABC, taking over from the legendary Cousin Brucie Morrow. “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees is #1 on the station’s latest survey, knocking “A Fifth of Beethoven” by Walter Murphy out of the top spot. “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago is at #3. New in the Top 10 are “Rock’n Me” by the Steve Miller Band and “She’s Gone” by Hall and Oates. “Fernando” by ABBA is at #29 on the survey. They lip-synch it on today’s episode of the long-running syndicated kids’ show Wonderama.

Perspective From the Present: When it comes to this particular date, and this particular season, I’ve got no perspective. Everyone, if they’re lucky, has a single season in which they’d live forever, given the opportunity. The fall of 1976 is mine. If I could keep it in perspective, it wouldn’t be what it is.

October 1973: The Way We Were

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(Pictured: Gerald Ford speaks after Richard Nixon announces his appointment as vice president on October 14, 1973.)

Normally, this feature examines a single day. This time, we’ll look at several days from one extraordinary month—October 1973, when Egypt and Israel brought the world to the brink of war, Richard Nixon went nose-to-nose with the Constitution only to blink first, and Cheech and Chong had a hit single.

October 8, 1973, is a Monday. Two days after Arab forces led by Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Israel launches an unsuccessful counterattack. The Soviet Union supplies arms to Egypt and Syria. Wayne Newton co-hosts The Mike Douglas Show; primetime TV shows tonight include The Rookies and Here’s Lucy. Scandal-plagued Vice President Spiro Agnew is on the cover of Newsweek.

October 10, 1973, is a Wednesday. Agnew makes a deal: He pleads no contest to tax evasion, agrees to repayments and a fine, and resigns the vice presidency. Nixon will appoint Congressman Gerald Ford of Michigan to replace him. Tensions rise further in the Middle East after the United States pledges unlimited military aid to Israel. Israeli counterattacks recapture some of the territory lost in the war’s first hours. Future actor and TV personality Mario Lopez is born. The New York Mets win the National League pennant, defeating the Cincinnati Reds.

October 16, 1973, is a Tuesday. After a tense week in which the Soviet Union threatened to intervene in the Arab-Israeli war on behalf of Egypt and Syria, and the United States continued to send aid to Israel, Egypt asks the Soviets to get the UN to order a cease-fire. OPEC cuts oil production and announces an embargo on sales to the West, especially the United States. The embargo will remain in place for five months and have a drastic effect on the American economy. Henry Kissinger wins the Nobel Peace Prize for the Vietnam peace accords. His North Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, declines the award. Bette Midler plays Madison, Wisconsin, and the movies The Way We Were and The Paper Chase open in theaters.

October 19, 1973, is a Friday. After a long refusal to turn over tapes of his Oval Office conversations to Congressional investigators looking into the Watergate break-in, President Nixon offers to permit hard-of-hearing Senator John Stennis of Mississippi to review them. The Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, immediately refuses the offer and continues efforts to force Nixon to surrender the tapes. Bob Marley and the Wailers play San Francisco, the Rolling Stones wrap up their current tour in West Berlin, and the Steve Miller Band plays Dallas with Muddy Waters opening. The Who releases Quadrophenia. Among the shows on TV tonight: The Brady Bunch and The Odd Couple.

October 20, 1973, is a Saturday. On kids’ TV this morning: Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and The New Scooby Doo Movies. This evening, President Nixon orders Attorney General Elliott Richardson to fire Archibald Cox, but Richardson refuses and resigns in protest. Richardson’s deputy, William Ruckelshaus, is ordered to fire Cox, but when he refuses, Nixon fires him. Solicitor General Robert Bork finally fires Cox, and Nixon announces that he has abolished the office of special prosecutor. The events are quickly termed the Saturday Night Massacre. Oakland beats the Mets 3-1 to tie the World Series at three games each. (The A’s will win it tomorrow.) The Six Million Dollar Man premieres on ABC. New Riders of the Purple Sage and Commander Cody play Duke University, and Genesis plays London.

October 23, 1973, is a Tuesday. Eight impeachment resolutions against Nixon are introduced in the House of Representatives, and he agrees to turn over the Watergate tapes to the Justice Department. The UN passes a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Arab-Israeli War. It will go into effect tomorrow, but when fighting continues to flare, the Soviets will threaten to send troops to support Egypt. In response, American forces around the world, including nuclear forces, will be placed on a higher alert. Toyota officials hold their first-ever American press conference to tout the fuel efficiency of their vehicles, just days after the OPEC oil embargo has begun. Fleetwood Mac plays Greeley, Colorado, and Lynryd Skynyrd plays Athens, Georgia.

October 27, 1973, is a Saturday. The Arab-Israeli war does not escalate further; tomorrow, the two sides will begin talking about a resolution. Central Florida is hit by an earthquake, and a meteorite strikes in Colorado. Allan “Rocky” Lane, a cowboy actor of the 30s and 40s better known as the voice of TV’s Mister Ed, dies at age 69. Mott the Hoople plays Boston with Aerosmith opening, and Miles Davis plays Stockholm, Sweden. At WCFL in Chicago, “Angie” by the Rolling Stones takes over the #1 slot, knocking out “Half Breed” by Cher. The top album is Goats Head Soup by the Stones; Los Cochinos by Cheech and Chong is #2. The single from that album, “Basketball Jones,” is in WCFL’s Top Ten. It features guest appearances by George Harrison, Billy Preston, Carole King, Tom Scott, Nicky Hopkins, Darlene Love, and Michelle Phillips.