February 25, 1967: How It Was Done

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(Pictured: host Bob Eubanks quizzes wives on The Newlywed Game.)

February 25, 1967, was a Saturday. This morning, confessed Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo remains at large after escaping from a Massachusetts mental hospital yesterday. His brothers, Richard and Joseph, who are believed to have aided his escape, are arrested today. DeSalvo was sentenced to life in prison last month on rape and assault charges not related to the Strangler murders. An Associated Press story appearing around the country this weekend quotes New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison as saying his office has solved the JFK assassination case. “We know the key individuals, the cities involved, and how it was done.” Garrison spoke in response to the recent death of David Ferrie, a man Garrison considered a prime witness. In Fergus Falls, Minnesota, shoppers at the local National Food Store can get spare ribs for 55 cents a pound this weekend. A one-pound package of Top Taste skinless beef wieners is 59 cents, and a 32-ounce jar of Gedney brand sauerkraut is 35 cents. Three dozen sweet and juicy navel oranges are one dollar.

Phyllis Diller is on the cover of TV Guide. On TV tonight, CBS presents The Jackie Gleason Show, Mission Impossible, Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats (a sitcom set in the Old West), and Gunsmoke. On NBC, primetime starts with Flipper, then Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Get Smart, and NBC Saturday Night at the Movies featuring the new made-for-TV film The Borgia Stick, starring Don Murray and Inger Stevens as a suburban couple who are actually undercover mobsters. ABC’s lineup includes The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Lawrence Welk Show, and Hollywood Palace, hosted tonight by Van Johnson. His guests include Liza Minnelli, Mickey Rooney, George Carlin, and the Beatles, who are seen in films of their newly released songs, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane.”

Three games are played in the NBA tonight. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks 133-132 in overtime. Jerry West of the Lakers plays all 53 minutes and scores 42 points. Elgin Baylor adds 28. Lenny Wilkens leads the Hawks with 34. In other games, the Cincinnati Royals beat the San Francisco Warriors 129-116, while the New York Knicks get a nip-and-tuck 116-114 win over the Baltimore Bullets. College basketball powerhouse UCLA, which has been ranked #1 all year, defeats Washington State 100-78.

Jimi Hendrix plays a show in the UK and the Who play in Italy while the Grateful Dead are at the Fillmore in San Francisco and Johnny Cash plays Lincoln, Nebraska. At WTMA in Charleston, South Carolina, “Kind of a Drag” by the Buckinghams is #1. The rest of the Top Five are “Ruby Tuesday” by the Rolling Stones, “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” by the Supremes, “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” by the Casinos, and “Green Green Grass of Home” by Tom Jones. Some hard-rockin’ stuff is making waves at WTMA, including “Gimme Some Lovin'” by the Spencer Davis Group, “I Had Too Much to Dream” by the Electric Prunes, and “We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet” by the Blues Magoos. Farther down the chart is the pleasing combination of “Wild Thing” by Senator Bobby and “Good Thing” by Paul Revere and the Raiders at #26 and #27. Toward the bottom of the WTMA chart are “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen, “So You Want to be a Rock and Roll Star” by the Byrds, and “For What It’s Worth” by the Buffalo Springfield.

Perspective From the Present: On some day in this week, and we might as well call it Saturday, February 25, I am visited by a photographer from the local newspaper, who takes a shot of me pointing forlornly at a calendar with no February 29th on it. The paper, which had done a story on me on the occasion of my first “real” birthday in 1964, put that picture on the front page of the March 1 edition, presumably because there was no other news that day.

5 thoughts on “February 25, 1967: How It Was Done

  1. Wesley

    Interesting how Mission: Impossible, which did only so-so in its first season following The Jackie Gleason Show, went on to be a big hit Sunday nights after The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour the next season, only to return Saturdays in 1970 to replace The Jackie Gleason Show, which CBS canceled more to demographics than ratings (meaning older viewers, something that CBS always has seemed to have more of than any other network). The show following Mission: Impossible in 1966-67, Gunsmoke, nearly got canceled until it got a reprieve and moved to Monday nights, where it would have a resurgence and last until 1975.

    Speaking of older viewers, The Lawrence Welk Show outrated Mission: Impossible in the 1966-67 season and even finished in the top 10 for the year. There still was a strong market for square, cornball music presented antiseptically even during the rise of rock music.

    And WTMA sounds like a great station to listen to some 56 years ago around this time.

  2. Aaron

    Of course, OCD me is internally annoyed by the double misspelling of “calendar” in the newspaper photo caption. I’ll get over it.

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