July 3, 1981: You Cannot Be Serious

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(Pictured: John McEnroe at Wimbledon, July 4, 1981.)

July 3, 1981, was a Friday. It’s the legal holiday before Independence Day tomorrow. President Reagan is among those with the day off. He has no public events, takes only a couple of phone calls, and otherwise spends the day with the First Lady and an old friend from California. Outside the White House today, demonstrators protest a number of issues including budget cuts, defense spending, and Reagan’s foreign policy positions. In Israel, the outcome of Tuesday’s election is still in doubt. It is unclear whether the Likud Party retained enough seats in the Knesset for Menachim Begin to remain as prime minister, or whether the Labor Party’s Shimon Peres will take over. But the lead story on all three network newscasts regards the visit of Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to Poland, which has been the site of labor unrest and the Solidarity movement since 1980. Also in the news tonight is the possibility that Reagan might name Arizona appeals court judge Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first woman on the United States Supreme Court. A report on page 20 of today’s New York Times is headlined “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals.” It refers to a disease currently described as GRID, for “gay related immune disorder.” Actor Ross Martin, best known for playing Artemus Gordon on the 60s TV show The Wild Wild West, dies of a heart attack while playing tennis. He was 61 years old.

Tomorow, the Reagans will travel to Virginia to celebrate the First Lady’s birthday before returning to host a White House staff Independence Day party and to watch the DC fireworks from the Truman Balcony. Also tomorrow, the National Symphony Orchestra will perform on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the first time, and the Beach Boys will headline a show on the National Mall.

Chris Evert Lloyd wins the women’s singles championship at Wimbledon, defeating Hanna Mandlikova in straight sets. She is the first woman in 14 years to win the title without losing a set. (Among those watching at Wimbledon today is Lady Diana Spencer, who will marry Britain’s Prince Charles later this month.) Tomorrow’s Wimbledon men’s final matches John McEnroe against Bjorn Borg. There’s no major-league baseball today due to the ongoing players’ strike. Players walked off the job on June 12 over free agency rules.

At the movies this weekend, popular options include Superman II, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only, and Bill Murray in Stripes. Rush plays Bloomington, Minnesota, with opening act the Joe Perry Project. The two bands will move on to Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee, for a show on the Fourth of July. Def Leppard plays Barcelona, Spain. Santana opens a two-night stand in Hyannis, Massachusetts; their show tomorrow night will be broadcast live on a nationwide network of album-rock radio stations. Bruce Springsteen plays East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Van Halen plays Detroit. In Eugene, Oregon, the Oregon Jam stars Heart, Blue Oyster Cult, Pat Travers, and Loverboy; the same four acts will be joined tomorrow by Ozzy Osborne for the annual Day on the Green in Oakland, California. Ozzy is in Bakersfield tonight. Heart, Travers, and Loverboy will be joined by Jimmy Buffett at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego on Sunday.

At KEZR in San Jose, California, “Hearts” by Marty Balin jumps to #1. “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates is #2 and last week’s #1, “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, is #3. The hottest record on the survey is the Greatest American Hero theme by Joey Scarbury, up 10 spots to #9. Kraftwerk’s “Pocket Calculator” is up one spot to #12. The highest-debuting song on the survey is “Cool Love” by Pablo Cruise at #24.

Perspective From the Present: the disease once known as GRID would later be named AIDS; the New York Times story on this date is the first mention of the disease in the national media. Baseball resumed with the All-Star Game on August 9. The Capitol lawn concerts continue to this day and are broadcast annually as A Capitol Fourth. John McEnroe won the Wimbledon men’s final but spent most of the match berating the officials. At one point, he disputed a call by shouting “You cannot be serious!,” which became an iconic moment in his career and in 2002, the title of his autobiography. I am guessing I worked a lot of radio over the holiday weekend, and on the Fourth, Ann and I watched the fireworks at the football stadium in our college town. I think. It’s been too long to remember.

June 26, 2000: Everything You Want

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(Pictured: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on stage on June 26, 2000.)

(This post is a long-overdue request, from a reader who asked if I would move this feature into the new millennium.)

June 26, 2000, was a Monday. All three broadcast network newscasts lead tonight with the announcement that for the first time, the human genome has been mapped. President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair made the announcement revealing the first DNA sequence at the White House today. Also in the news today: the Supreme Court has reaffirmed by a 7-2 margin that suspects must be read their Miranda rights at the time of arrest. Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia dissent. Debate continues over how the United States should spend its budget surplus, and there has been a new court filing in the custody case of six-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez. Character actor Logan Ramsey, best known for appearances in Walking Tall, Star Trek, M*A*S*H, and Scrooged, just a few of his many movie and TV roles from the 50s to the 90s, dies at age 79.

Sports fans are still buzzing over ABC’s recent announcement that this fall, comedian Dennis Miller will join play-by-play man Al Michaels and color analyst Dan Fouts in the Monday Night Football booth. There’s a partial schedule in Major League Baseball today. Only two of the six division leaders are in action: NL West-leading Arizona beats Houston 6-1 and NL Central-leading St. Louis loses to Cincinnati 3-2. Also in the National League, the San Diego Padres light up Orel Hershiser for eight runs in the second inning and then hold off the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5. It will be the final appearance of Hershiser’s 18-year big-league career.

The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers list is led by The Indwelling, the seventh book in the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. The top New York Times nonfiction book is Flags of Our Fathers, the story of the Iwo Jima flag-raisers, by James Bradley and Ron Powers. Top movies at the box office over the weekend were Me, Myself and Irene starring Jim Carrey and the animated Chicken Run. They knock off last week’s 1-2 tandem, Shaft and Gone in 60 Seconds. On TV tonight, ABC has the highest rated program, an edition of Peter Jennings Reporting called “The Search for Jesus.” CBS presents two episodes of The King of Queens plus Everybody Loves Raymond, Becker, and the news show 48 Hours. On NBC, it’s Dateline NBC, Law and Order, and Third Watch. Fox presents That 70s Show, Titus, and Ally McBeal.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are wrapping up their 1999-2000 reunion tour with a run of shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Springsteen’s performance of “American Skin (41 Shots),” about the 1999 murder of Amadou Diallo by four New York City police officers, has caused some fans to boo, especially cops among the crowds. Pearl Jam plays Hamburg, Germany, and the Dave Matthews Band plays Cincinnati. NSYNC plays Lexington, Kentucky, and Coldplay does a radio concert in the Netherlands. On the Billboard Hot 100, “Be With You” by Enrique Iglesias is #1, taking over the top spot from “Try Again” by Aaliyah. “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon is #3, and Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” is #4. “Breathe” by Faith Hill is #5 in its 34th week on the Hot 100. “Higher” by Creed, currently at #11, is also in its 34th week. Neither is the oldest record on the Hot 100, however: that’s “Smooth” by Santana with Rob Thomas, at #33 in its 48th week. “Amazed” by Lonestar is in its 47th week and still at #25. The #1 album of the week is The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem; Oops!…I Did It Again by Britney Spears is at #2.

In suburban Madison, Wisconsin, a couple who have just moved to town are getting settled in their new place. They are both adjusting to new jobs, although three months in, he’s already decided he doesn’t like his. He’s still figuring out how to manage his immediate supervisor who, in an earlier life, was a tutor for Aaliyah. It doesn’t help matters that a friend and former colleague from Iowa City visited over the weekend to remind him how much he misses it.

Programming Reminder: This weekend is the 50th anniversary of the Iola People’s Fair, a Wisconsin rock festival that featured a riot involving bikers and fans. I talked with a guy who was there, and also at Wisconsin’s other big 1970 rock festival, Sound Storm. That conversation is here and I hope you will listen to it and share it with people who might be interested.

June 7, 1975: Missed My Ride

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(Pictured: Billy Preston harmonizes with Ronnie, Mick, and Keef in June 1975.)

(A rare Sunday post, by request. If you have a request for this feature or anything else at this website, get in touch.)

June 7, 1975, was a Saturday. One of the big stories in the news this past week has concerned the likely prospects of President Ford’s energy plan in Congress. Designed to help wean the country from its dependence on foreign oil, the plan includes a new federal gas tax of 23 cents a gallon. The National Governors Conference continues in New Orleans. Some states, New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan among them, are having trouble meeting budget obligations due to cuts in federal funding made necessary by the ongoing economic recession. West Virginia governor Arch Moore, however, says his state is running a surplus for the sixth straight year, and would be “willing to consider loaning some funds to New York or others of our sister states.” Michigan prison inmate Dale Remling is back in jail after being snatched from the state prison yard in Jackson by a hijacked helicopter yesterday morning. The helicopter landed a short hop away, where Remling and his accomplice were supposed to be picked up by other accomplices in a car, but in the confusion Remling missed the ride and had to take off on foot. He is arrested in a small-town bar about 15 miles from the prison today. In Cape Girardeau, Missouri, you can have lunch at the Shakey’s Pizza buffet for $1.68 per person.

Avatar wins the Belmont Stakes. Each of this year’s Triple Crown races was won by a different horse: Foolish Pleasure took the Kentucky Derby (and finished second in the other two races); Master Derby won the Preakness Stakes. In the National League East, the Pittsburgh Pirates take a one-game lead over the Chicago Cubs; the Pirates beat San Francisco 7-6 and the Cubs lost to Cincinnati 8-1. The Reds’ win leaves them just percentage points behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the West after the Dodgers drop a 4-0 decision to Steve Carlton and the Philadelphia Phillies. American League East-leading Boston beats Minnesota and West-leading Oakland loses to Detroit. Future professional basketball player Allen Iverson is born.

On TV tonight, ABC presents Kung Fu and the 1970 theatrical movie The Molly Maguires starring Richard Harris and Sean Connery as immigrant coal miners in Pennsylvania. On CBS, the lineup includes All in the Family, The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. On NBC, it’s Emergency! and the 1964 theatrical movie The World of Henry Orient, which stars Peter Sellers as an eccentric concert pianist. Pink Floyd plays Atlanta and KISS plays San Diego with Rush opening. Alice Cooper plays New Orleans and Elvis Presley plays Shreveport. In Wisconsin, concertgoers are fired up for tomorrow’s show at Milwaukee County Stadium starring the Rolling Stones, whose lineup includes Billy Preston on keyboards, plus opening acts the Eagles and Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. A crowd of over 50,000 is expected. Tickets are $10.

On the American Top 40 show heard around the country this weekend, five songs are new on the show. The highest debut is “Listen to What the Man Said” by Paul McCartney and Wings, which zooms from #65 to #35 in its second week on the Hot 100. Also new: “Dynomite” by Bazuka, “Hey You” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Lizzie and the Rainman” by Tanya Tucker, and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” by Elvis. The biggest mover on the chart is “Love Will Keep Us Together” by the Captain and Tennille, up 13 spots to #12. The new #1 song is “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver. “Sister Golden Hair” by America moves to #2 from #5; “How Long” by Ace holds at #3. Last week’s #1, “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” by Freddy Fender, dips to #7. (“Before the Next Teardrop Falls” has been on the Hot 100 longer than any other record: 19 weeks.) The #1 song on the soul chart is “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” by Major Harris, which is #9 on the pop chart; #1 country is “Window Up Above” by Mickey Gilley. The #1 album is Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John, which is the first album ever to make #1 in its first week on the Billboard album chart.

Across the country, school is out, or it will be within a few days. Although the calendar won’t say so for a couple of weeks yet, another American summer has begun.

May 28, 1980: Stealing Home

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(Pictured: Mount St. Helens erupting, with Washington’s Mount Hood in the background, 1980.)

(This is the last in a series of repeats of ODIYL posts from the defunct blog of that name, for now.)

May 28, 1980, was a Wednesday. Headlines this morning include yesterday’s presidential primaries in Idaho, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Nevada, in which the big winners were Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter. Carter now seems likely to hold off a challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy. Former president Gerald Ford endorsed Reagan yesterday, but ruled out the possibility of being Reagan’s running mate. He also pressed Illinois GOP Congressman John Anderson to abandon his independent campaign for the presidency, fearing it might throw the November election into the House of Representatives, where Carter would win.

Today, Iran’s parliament meets for the first time since the Islamic Revolution. Legislators and the Ayatollah Khomeini are apparently in no hurry to consider the fate of the 53 Americans currently being held hostage in Tehran. A special prosecutor is ready to clear White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan of allegations that he used cocaine on a visit to New York’s Studio 54 last year. Washington state continues to cope with the aftermath of the eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano earlier this month. More earthquakes were felt today as search-and-recovery efforts continue. Sixty-eight people are still missing in the area. It’s graduation day at West Point, where the first female cadets, 62 of them, receive their commissions from the United States Military Academy as second lieutenants. The Associated Press reports that 73 percent of American workers between the ages of 25 and 44 have little or no confidence that the Social Security system will have funds enough to pay them benefits at retirement. The ninth annual meeting of the International Trombone Association opens in Nashville.

Michigan and Notre Dame announce that their hockey teams will leave the Western Collegiate Hockey Association after the 1980-81 season to join the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. In the majors, the New York Yankees continue to own the best record in baseball despite a 6-3 loss to the last-place Detroit Tigers. Jack Morris gets the win; Ron Guidry takes the loss. American League West leader Kansas City loses 6-2 to Oakland. The A’s score four runs in the first inning, including two steals of home. The National League’s best record belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are idle today. This afternoon in the NL, the game between the Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos is suspended due to lightning, which knocks out the public address system at Wrigley Field. The game is tied 3-3 in the 10th inning and will be resumed on August 8.

Popular movies in theaters include The Empire Strikes Back, The Shining, Fame, Coal Miner’s Daughter, The Long Riders, and Friday the 13th. At a U2 show in Bristol, England, Bono, Adam Clayton, and the Edge enthusiastically jump into the crowd and accidentally unplug their instruments and microphones, leaving drummer Larry Mullen to carry on by himself for a bit. Toto, just off a Memorial Day gig at the Iowa Jam in Des Moines with Molly Hatchet, the Babys, and Off Broadway, moves on to Milwaukee. Ted Nugent, the Scorpions, and Def Leppard continue their tour in Seattle. The Osmonds play in the Philippines, and Christopher Cross plays the Bottom Line in New York City. At K-EARTH in Los Angeles, “Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia is the new #1 song. “Cars” by Gary Numan is #2, and last week’s top song, “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc., is #3. Three songs are new in the Top 10: “Coming Up” by Paul McCartney, “All Night Thing” by the Invisible Man’s Band, and “Let’s Get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson. The latter makes the biggest move of the week, up 13 spots. Also making strong moves up: “Shining Star” by the Manhattans and Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” Among the new songs on the Top 30 are “Let Me Love You Tonight” by Pure Prairie League and “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John.

Perspective From the Present: For a few hours on one night during the Republican National Convention later in the summer, it looked as if Ford would become Reagan’s running mate after all, but he did not. The Invisible Man’s Band was made up of members of the Burke family, who had recorded under the name of the Five Stairsteps and hit big with “Ooh Child” in 1970. “All Night Thing” would get to #45 on the Hot 100. And on this day I was settling in on the album-rock night shift at WXXQ in Freeport, Illinois, where I’d started working only a week or two before.

May 26, 1974: Let It Happen

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(Pictured: Paul McCartney and Wings, 1974.)

(Life on lockdown is continuing for us (if not for many others in my state) but Life on Lockdown is taking this Tuesday off. Here’s another post from the old One Day in Your Life blog that has never appeared here.)

May 26, 1974, is a Sunday. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. President Nixon is spending a second consecutive weekend at his home in Key Biscayne, Florida. A wire service story observes that six months ago, aides would have discouraged him from taking back-to-back weekends off, fearing bad press, but Nixon has reportedly adopted a “let it happen” attitude, given the impeachment hearings now taking place in Congress. Investigators in California have intensified their search for a man they believe can lead them to Patty Hearst and her Symbionese Liberation Army cohorts, who have been on the run since six SLA members were killed in a shootout with Los Angeles police on May 17th. At a funeral home in New York City, mourners have been filing past the casket of composer and bandleader Duke Ellington, who died on Friday. His funeral will be held tomorrow.

The Treasury Department and U.S. Mint say 32 million pennies are “missing.” The director of the Mint says the shortage is because people keep pennies “in dresser drawers, pickle jars, piggy banks,” although a Treasury official blames simple neglect of the unpopular coin. The shortage of pennies has prompted some stores to round prices to the nearest nickel and others to make change with one-cent postage stamps. Still others are rewarding customers who pay with pennies. Osco Drug Stores in the Chicago area have a weekend special on Schlitz beer, at $1.15 for a six-pack. Fifths of selected brands of bourbon, vodka, rum, and gin are $2.98 each. JC Penney Auto Centers have a closeout special on a FM stereo/8-track tape deck for your car, originally $119.95, now $79.88. Automobile air conditioning units are also on sale, starting at $159.88 plus installation.

The best-selling fiction book this week is Watership Down by Richard Adams; Merle Miller’s Plain Speaking, an oral history-style biography of Harry S Truman, is the nonfiction best-seller. In her nationally syndicated newspaper column, Dr. Joyce Brothers writes about sexuality among older adults. “The young think sex is their prerogative and therefore resist the notion that their grandparents can not only have but enjoy sex.” In baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox, dueling for the top of the American League East, continue a weekend series. The Brewers won yesterday, 9-2, to reclaim first, which the Sox had taken with a win on Friday night. A. J. Foyt has the pole position for today’s running of the Indianapolis 500. New safety measures are in place after the fiery 1973 crash involving driver Swede Savage, who died about a month later; activities leading up to the race were curtailed in response to the ongoing gasoline shortage.

On TV tonight, ABC has its traditional tape-delayed broadcast of the Indy 500, which is won by Johnny Rutherford. The CBS lineup includes Apple’s Way (a family drama from the creator of The Waltons), Mannix, and Barnaby Jones; on NBC it’s The Wonderful World of Disney, Columbo, and a news special on cancer. At KHJ in Los Angeles, the top three songs are unchanged from the week before: “The Streak,” “The Loco-Motion,” and “Band on the Run.” Three new songs move into the Top 10: “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by the Stylistics, “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely” by the Main Ingredient, and “For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays. They replace Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets,” “The Show Must Go On” by Three Dog Night, and Mike Oldfield’s Exorcist theme, “Tubular Bells.” The biggest mover on the station’s chart is “Be Thankful for What You Got” by William DeVaughn, up eight spots to #18.

Perspective From the Present: I have written elsewhere about the smoky fire we had in our house sometime in the spring of 1974, although I no longer remember the precise date. It was, and it was not, a remarkable disruption in our lives; my brother and I were displaced from our bedrooms for the whole summer amidst the repainting of the house upstairs and down, but I merely moved my hanging-out space to our furnished basement. With a radio, a TV, and a couch, I had everything I needed.

Many of “the young” Dr. Joyce Brothers wrote about in 1974 are grandparents now, and another generation of grandchildren is skeeved out at the idea of Nana and Papa getting it on. But they are, kids. They are. Possibly even as you’re reading this.

May 8, 1970: Run Through the Jungle

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(Pictured: antiwar demonstrators sing in front of the White House on May 9, 1970.)

(Unlike our recent One Day in Your Life repeats, this is a brand-new post.)

May 8, 1970, is a Friday. In the Midwest, it’s an unusually warm day for early May, with high temperatures in the 80s. Out west, predicted highs are cooler than normal. A nationwide student strike shuts down college campuses after the shooting of 13 students, four fatally, by National Guardsmen at Kent State University on Monday: Illinois State, Washington, Harvard, Purdue, Northern Illinois, Kansas, Yale, North Carolina, Western Kentucky, Texas, the entire University of California system, and dozens of others, big and small, hold marches and vigils. Today, an antiwar protest on Wall Street in New York City is broken up by construction workers. Tonight, President Nixon holds a televised news conference, where he faces tough questioning about the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and the nationwide campus unrest. Leaving the White House after the press conference, Nixon aides note large numbers of soldiers deploying to protect the White House from protesters. At around 4AM tomorrow morning, Nixon and his valet will visit the Lincoln Memorial and talk with protesters camped there.

Nixon’s press conference pre-empts programming on the major TV networks. Programs scheduled earlier tonight include Get Smart, The Tim Conway Show, and Hogan’s Heroes on CBS and High Chaparral and The Name of the Game on NBC. ABC airs Game 7 of the NBA Finals before the press conference. In that game, the New York Knicks win the championship, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 113-99 to take the seven-game series. Just before the game, Knicks center Willis Reed, who had not been expected to play due to an injury that had caused him to miss Game 6, limps out of the locker room and onto the court. He scores only four points in 27 minutes of play, but his effort is credited with giving the Knicks an important emotional lift. In baseball, the American League-leading Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins both win their games. Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer goes the distance in a 6-1 win over the Chicago White Sox; the Twins get three runs in the 8th to beat Cleveland 7-6. In the National League, the division-leading Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds play home-run derby at Wrigley Field. For the Reds, Hal McRae hits two home runs and Johnny Bench and Tony Perez each hit one; Billy Williams, Jim Hickman, and J. C. Martin each homer for the Cubs, who win 10-7.

Future Houston radio personality Jeffrey Thames is born. The Beatles release the album Let It Be. In Hollywood, the Wrecking Crew lays down instrumental tracks for “I Think I Love You,” a song that will be featured on a new ABC situation comedy airing this fall, The Partridge Family. The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays at the University of Oklahoma in Norman with Bloodrock opening. The Doors play Detroit and Joe Cocker plays Port Chester, New York. At WBGN in Bowling Green, Kentucky (home of Western Kentucky University), “Run Through the Jungle” by Creedence Clearwater Revival is the #1 song again this week, and CCR’s “Up Around the Bend” leaps from #10 to #4. In between are “Soolaimon” by Neil Diamond at #2 and “Which Way You Goin’, Billy” by the Poppy Family at #3. Four songs are new in the WBGN Top 10: “Puppet Man” by the Fifth Dimension, “Cotton Fields” by the Beach Boys, “It’s All in the Game” by the Four Tops, and “Daughter of Darkness” by Tom Jones, which is up from #36 last week. Eight new songs debut on the station’s Top 40; the highest is “Gimme Dat Ding” by the Pipkins; also new is the Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road.” The new #1 hit on the Hot 100, the Guess Who’s “American Woman,” does not appear on the WBGN chart; neither does last week’s Billboard #1, the Jackson Five’s “ABC.”

Perspective From the Present: The construction workers’ breakup of the Wall Street protest has gone down in history as the Hard-Hat Riot. Nixon’s visit to the Lincoln Memorial was remembered by staffers as possibly the single weirdest event of his presidency. Willis Reed’s inspirational appearance in Game 7 of the NBA Finals remains one of the most memorable moments in NBA history. “I Think I Love You” would become a #1 single and a 70s icon a few months later. And those of us who were around on that day are a half-century older. Or, in the case of my longtime Internet friend Jeffrey, a half-century old.