(Pictured: Dynasty star Diahann Carroll.)
March 23, 1985, was a Monday. The lead story on all three network newscasts tonight concerns the fatal shooting of an American soldier by a sentry near a Soviet military post in East Germany. Major Arthur D. Nicholson was on an espionage patrol near the post. The United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, and France agreed after World War II to permit certain types of intelligence operations, although all four admit trying to bend the rules. The United States has lodged a protest and says the Soviet account of what happened is incorrect. It’s the first diplomatic crisis to erupt since Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet leader. The networks also report on the Reagan Administration’s efforts to persuade Congress to increase funding for the MX missile system. CBS reports on a controversial teacher competency test mandated in Arkansas. Governor Bill Clinton defends the test, while teachers’ unions are critical. CBS and NBC both report on a court decision in Chicago prohibiting night baseball at Wrigley Field. Mayor Harold Washington defends the decision, while some people fear it may eventually result in the Cubs moving out of the city. In college basketball, the field is set for this weekend’s Final Four after games on Saturday and Sunday. Georgetown, Memphis State, St. John’s, and Villanova will play in the national semifinals on Saturday, with the championship game one week from tonight.
Diahann Carroll, whose career has been revitalized by her role in Dynasty, is on the cover of TV Guide. Tonight, ABC nearly doubles the ratings of its competitors with a Barbara Walters special featuring interviews with Neil Diamond, Barbara Mandrell, and Boy George, and the 57th Academy Awards. CBS counters with its regular Monday-night lineup of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Kate and Allie, Newhart, and Cagney and Lacey. NBC shows the Clint Eastwood movie Every Which Way But Loose. At the Oscars, Best Picture nominees are Amadeus, The Killing Fields, A Passage to India, Places in the Heart, and A Soldier’s Story. F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce both get Best Actor nominations for Amadeus; Sally Field is nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Places in the Heart. All of the Best Original Song nominees were significant pop hits: “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” “Footloose,” “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” and “Ghostbusters.” Among the winners: Amadeus, Abraham, Field (who, during her acceptance speech, exclaims “You like me! You really like me!”), and “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”
Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley, who were married on a yacht in New York Harbor on Saturday, are on their honeymoon in an undisclosed location. The Grateful Dead plays Springfield, Massachusetts, and Deep Purple plays East Rutherford, New Jersey. U2 plays Richfield Coliseum in suburban Cleveland, and Julian Lennon plays Austin, Texas. At WBBM-FM in Chicago, “We Are the World” by USA for Africa vaults from #7 to #1, displacing “Material Girl” by Madonna, which falls to #2. Madonna is also at #8 with “Crazy for You,” up from #23. Several other stars have two songs on the chart: Wham, with “Careless Whisper” at #5 and “Everything She Wants,” which debuts at #29; the Time, with “Jungle Love” at #15 and “The Bird” at #24; Foreigner, with “That Was Yesterday” at #18 and “I Want to Know What Love Is” at #22; and David Lee Roth, with “California Girls” at #25 and the new “Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody” at #37.
Perspective From the Present: On April 1, Villanova would upset Georgetown in the NCAA men’s basketball final by a score of 66-64 to become the lowest-seeded team (#8) ever to win the title. And as March turned to April, “We Are the World” was the song everyone wanted to hear. In small-town Illinois, my radio station was happy to give it to them.
Note to Patrons: This is a new One Day in Your Life post. Now through the end of May, while we’re all sitting at home hoping not to get sick, I’m gonna bust out some extra content, including ODIYL posts that appeared for the first time at the now-defunct ODIYL site but never here. The repeats will run intermittently, sometimes outside my usual Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting schedule, although the first one will go up on Friday.
Beyond that, you can expect a lot of activity here, new stuff and repeats, for as long as the crisis lasts, because what else do I have to do?