April 9, 1973: Fact-Finding

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(Pictured: Golfer Tommy Aaron receives his green jacket as 1973 Masters champion from 1972 winner Jack Nicklaus.)

April 9, 1973, was a Monday. Newspapers headline yesterday’s death of Pablo Picasso at the age of 91. The New York Times reports that Watergate burglar James McCord has told the Senate Watergate Committee that the Nixon campaign made cash payoffs to the burglars. A new Gallup poll released today shows President Nixon’s approval rating at 54 precent, somewhat lower than it was earlier in the year when Vietnam POWs were first returning home. Network newscasts lead tonight with news from Southeast Asia, including accusations that North Vietnam has shot down helicopters belonging to the International Control Commission, a body created to monitor the cease-fire agreed to in January. General Alexander Haig, vice chief of staff of the US Army, is in Thailand on a fact-finding visit. South Vietnamese president Thieu visits Pope Paul VI at the Vatican; the pope asks him to release political prisoners in the country’s jails. A giant spring snowstorm moved into the midwestern United States starting yesterday; today it dumps heavy snow, whipped by winds up to 70 miles per hour. Madison, Wisconsin, records 13 inches of snow and Milwaukee gets a foot; in Dubuque, Iowa, 19 inches falls. In Green Bay, Wisconsin, the snow’s misery is compounded by Fox River flooding. Water is four feet deep in some parts of the city. Some of the same locations buried in snow today had 70-degree temperatures last Friday.

In today’s Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown’s team wins a game when Linus and Lucy’s little brother Rerun draws a walk. Four games are played in the majors today. In Milwaukee, the Brewers’ home opener is postponed by the snowstorm. Boston Red Sox infielder Luis Aparicio says his son is under 24-hour guard back home in Venezuela due to kidnapping threats. In Augusta, Georgia, Tommy Aaron wins the Masters; the last two rounds were delayed one day after heavy rain postponed Saturday’s play.

On TV tonight, CBS airs Gunsmoke, Here’s Lucy, The Doris Day Show, and The New Bill Cosby Show, a variety series with cast members including Lola Falana and Foster Brooks, and an orchestra led by Quincy Jones. ABC presents The Rookies and the 1965 theatrical movie Situation Hopeless . . . But Not Serious, a World War II comedy starring Alec Guinness, Robert Redford, and Mike Connors. NBC shows its own theatrical movie set during World War II, The Secret War of Harry Frigg, a 1968 drama starring Paul Newman. It’s preceded by an episode of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Lou Reed plays Toronto with Genesis opening. Queen plays the Marquee Club in London and Faces play in Oxford, England. King Crimson plays Paris, and the J. Geils Band plays at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

At WLS in Chicago, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence makes a huge leap from #12 to #1 on the new music survey out today. Last week’s #1, “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” by Deodato is down to #5. Between them are “Ain’t No Woman Like the One I’ve Got” by the Four Tops, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Roberta Flack, and “Neither One of Us” by Gladys Knight and the Pips. “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn is new in the Top 10 at #6. The biggest mover on the chart is War’s “The Cisco Kid,” up nine spots to #12. Four songs are new on the survey; the highest debut is “The Twelfth of Never” by Donny Osmond.

Perspective From the Present: The Monday snowstorm and cold weather the rest of the week kept the Brewers from seeing the field until Friday. Charlie Brown’s victory was short-lived; at the conclusion of a story arc that took most of the month, the win was taken away when it was revealed that Rerun had bet on the game.

The snowstorm kept us out of school for a couple of days, which would not normally have been much of a problem, except that my mother was in bed with back trouble and in no mood to deal with boys aged 13, 10, and 6. Fortunately, Dad couldn’t do much around the farm because of the storm, so he was available for more wrangling than usual. Nevertheless, it was a pretty salty couple of days around our house.

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