One Day in Your Life: March 21, 1980

March 21, 1980, is a Friday. President Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will boycott the upcoming Summer Olympics in Moscow in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later in the day, he heads for Camp David. After West Virginia teachers receive only a $950-per-year raise from the legislature, about a quarter of them stage a one-day strike. Wool-handlers in Australia end an 11-week strike. Future soccer star Ronaldinho is born, and Philadelphia crime boss Angelo Bruno dies, shot in the head while sitting in his car.

In Doonesbury today, Mike continues work on Republican congressman John Anderson’s presidential campaign, while Garfield invites Odie to dinner. On daytime TV, Dinah Shore welcomes actress Polly Holliday, whose new sitcom Flo will premiere on CBS tonight, to Dinah!, while The Mike Douglas Show features co-host Charlene Tilton and guests including actor James Franciscus and sportscaster Curt Gowdy. Celebrity guests on The $20,000 Pyramid are Joanna Gleason and David Letterman. On CBS tonight, in addition to Flo and an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard, it’s the season finale of Dallas, in which J. R. Ewing is shot. The mystery of who shot him, which will not be solved until the November 21 episode, will inspire the widespread TV practice of end-of-season cliffhangers. NBC counterprograms with an episode of Pink Lady and Jeff. It’s a quiet weekend at the movies; Kramer vs. Kramer will top the box-office again.

ZZ Top and the Rockets play Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati; it’s the first rock concert held at the venue since the deaths of 11 people in a stampede at a Who concert the previous December. Rick James plays Cleveland with his opening act, Prince. The Outlaws play at Rutgers University, Van Halen plays Medford, Oregon, and Rush plays Spokane, Washington. Gary Numan plays Brussels, Belgium, and Harry Chapin plays Binghamton, New York. On the new Cash Box magazine chart out tomorrow, “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd knocks Dan Fogelberg’s “Longer” from Number One to Number Three. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen holds at Number Two. New in the Top 10 is “Call Me” by Blondie, up from 20 and the biggest mover within the Top 40. There’s not much activity otherwise: Next to “Call Me,” the biggest move within the Top 40 belongs to “Sexy Eyes” by Dr. Hook, up to 31 from 39. Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” is debuts in the Top 40 at Number 32.

The highest-debuting song on the Cash Box chart, at Number 81, is “Train in Vain (Stand By Me)” by the Clash. It appears on their album London Calling but is not listed on the sleeve or the label. A couple of the jocks at WSUP, the student station at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, will demonstrate themselves pathologically unable to figure out where it is, and will insist on playing the wrong cut, or not playing the Clash at all. The station’s program director, not a patient fellow under the best of circumstances, is not amused.

3 thoughts on “One Day in Your Life: March 21, 1980

  1. J.A. Bartlett

    When I put this post out on Twitter this afternoon, I mentioned that it was 32 years since Buck & Ev’s in Dodgeville and the Wonder Inn in Cobb. Upon further review, I believe that’s an error. The night on which it was REVEALED who shot JR, which was in November 1980 and not in March, was the night of a memorable college road trip that took several of us to various small-town bars in southwestern Wisconsin.

    I remember two things about the Wonder Inn: first, we were far and away the youngest people in there, and second, it was the only bar in America where “Dallas” wasn’t on the TV. The Wonder Inn TV was tuned to Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos.”

    Unless I hallucinated the whole thing, which can never be ruled out.

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