September 7, 1978: Who Are You?

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(Pictured: Keith Moon and Annette Walter-Lax at the London premiere of The Buddy Holly Story on September 6, 1978.)

While it’s pleasant to read your old stuff and think, “Yeah, that’s still pretty good,” sometimes you read your old stuff and go, “Dear goddess I hope nobody saw this.” The post below first appeared in 2007, before I’d figured out the form of One Day in Your Life posts, and the original has some other problems. So here it is again, rebooted.

September 7, 1978, was a Thursday. At Camp David, President Carter referees a tense day of secret meetings between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, negotations that will result in the Camp David Accords later this month. In Iran, a month of anti-Shah demonstrations reaches its peak as two million rally against the regime in Tehran. The Shah imposes martial law; the next day, Iranian troops will kill thousands of demonstrators. In London, Bulgarian expatriate writer and journalist Georgi Markov is walking to work at the BBC when he feels a stinging pain in his thigh. Four days later he will be dead of ricin poisoning, delivered by a KGB agent’s umbrella. By proclamation of Mayor Michael Bilandic, it’s Peace Day in Chicago. The Italian-American Club of Livonia, Michigan, publishes its first newsletter. In Bayside, New York, the Virgin Mary appears to Veronica Lueken, who had been seeing her regularly since 1970. Lueken is told: “Satan, Lucifer in human form, entered into Rome in the year 1972.” Some will interpret the statement as meaning that Pope Paul VI was replaced by an impostor in 1972, and that the so-called Third Secret of Fatima, historically believed to refer to the end of the world, actually refers to a Russian takeover of the Catholic Church. Future actor Devon Sawa and future pro hockey player Matt Cooke are born. General George P. Hays, who won the Medal of Honor in World War I and commanded troops in Europe during World War II, dies at age 85.

In the majors, the New York Yankees open a four-game series by beating the Boston Red Sox 15-3; the Yankees will sweep the series to pull even in the standings with the Red Sox, who had a 14-game lead in mid-July. Six Five future Hall of Fame players appear in the game. TV5 in Platteville, Wisconsin, the campus cable TV station, previews the series on that night’s news broadcast; the sports anchor is an erstwhile radio broadcaster in his second week at college. Celebrity guests on Match Game ’78 this week are Robert Mandan, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Lee Meriwether, Richard Paul, and Betty White. NBC airs the premiere episode of the new series Grandpa Goes to Washington, starring Jack Albertson and Larry Linville. When it moves to its regular Tuesday slot, it will be on opposite another new series, CBS’ The Paper Chase. Both shows hope to pick up any viewers who aren’t watching Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, the two top-rated shows on TV.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are on the cover of Rolling Stone. The magazine contains a full-page ad for the new album by the Who, Who Are You. After attending the London premiere of The Buddy Holly Story with Paul McCartney and a post-premiere party at which he discussed with Eric Idle a role in the upcoming Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Keith Moon returns to a flat he and his girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax had borrowed from Harry Nilsson. Moon has been prescribed pills to help wean him off alcohol; he takes 32 of them, has a few drinks, and dies of an overdose. At WRKO in Boston, “Three Times a Lady” by the Commodores tops the chart again. There’s not a lot of movement: The most impressive moves are made by Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” jumping to #7 from #11, “Kiss You All Over” by Exile, climbing from #18 to #12, and “Hot Child in the City” by Nick Gilder, moving from #22 to #15. Debuting at #30 is the second solo single by Kenny Loggins, “Whenever I Call You Friend,” which features backing vocals by Stevie Nicks and Melissa Manchester. They’re a bit behind on this one in the Midwest—it won’t chart at WLS for a month yet. It will take the erstwhile DJ-turned-sportscaster mentioned earlier in this post a lot longer—several years—before he stops associating the record with his difficult transition to college life and just starts digging it.

4 thoughts on “September 7, 1978: Who Are You?

  1. mikehagerty

    Somehow, 43 years ago, I missed the detail that Keith Moon died in Harry Nilsson’s London flat. I just looked it up—the same flat—in fact the same room, where Mama Cass Elliot died four years earlier.

    Wow.

  2. Chris Herman

    “In Bayside, New York, the Virgin Mary appears to Veronica Lueken, who had been seeing her regularly since 1970.”

    Does anybody remember Lueken from her TV program that used to air on public access channels throughout the US? As I recall, after she died her followers took it over and mainly aired old tapes of her sermons and prophecies.

    As for the Yankee/Red Sox game, I checked the link and could only find five future HOFers in the lineup that day (Jackson, Hunter, Yaz, Rice, and Fisk). Dennis Eckersley was on the Red Sox that year but didn’t pitch in the game. Am I overlooking someone?

      1. You might be thinking of Roberto Clemente, who received early induction following his death in a plane crash.
        Munson’s credentials, and his chances of completing a Hall of Fame-worthy career had he lived, will always be disputed; Clemente’s credentials were much clearer-cut.
        (My two cents are that Munson qualified for the Hall of Very Good, but not ultimately the HoF. Your mileage may vary.)

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