One Day in Your Life: June 20, 1976

June 20, 1976, is a Sunday.  An Associated Press story appearing in papers around the country discusses the potential development of an electronic mail system by the Postal Service. The system could involve either computer printouts delivered by the mailman or electronic messages delivered directly to a user’s computer, possibly for about as much as a current first-class stamp, which is 15 cents. President Ford, National Security Advisor Scowcroft, and other top officials meet in the Oval Office from about 2AM until dawn to monitor the situation in the Middle East. American ambassador to Lebanon Francis Meloy, another diplomat, and their driver were assassinated in Beirut just days before; later today, Ford orders the evacuation of Americans from Lebanon, goes to church, and plays a round of golf. It is Father’s Day, but Ford’s daughter is not at home; Susan Ford is in Florida for the opening of Disney’s River Country, the world’s first water-centric theme park. Caril Fugate, accomplice of serial killer Charles Starkweather, is paroled from prison in Nebraska after serving 17 years. Future major-league baseball player Carlos Lee is born.

For the light-hitting outfielder and team statistician of the Monroe United Methodist softball team, the weekend did not get off to a very good start; after winning their first two games, the team lost to Juda 11-5 in the Friday-night church league. The outfielder spends part of his Sunday watching his beloved Chicago Cubs lose to the Atlanta Braves 5-0. Elsewhere, the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 7-3. Rookie pitching sensation Mark Fidrych gets the win to extend his record to 6-and-1.

In Pennsylvania, Warren Zevon plays Bryn Mawr and the New Riders of the Purple Sage play Reading. Fleetwood Mac plays the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, and the Electric Light Orchestra plays London. AC/DC, Bob Marley, and ZZ Top continue their ongoing tours. Jerry Samuels, better known as Napoleon XIV, is the guest on this weekend’s edition of The Dr. Demento Show, where Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine tops the weekly Funny Five countdown. “Silly Love Songs” is still Number One on the latest survey at WLS, for the fourth week in a row. New in the Top 10 is “Love in the Shadows” by Neil Sedaka. The biggest mover on the WLS survey is the Beach Boys’ “Rock and Roll Music,” up to 16 from 31; oddly enough, their great 60s rivals, the Beatles, are also hot, as “Got to Get You Into My Life,” their first single to chart since 1970, moves from 39 to 29. The highest-debuting song on the survey this week (at Number 40) is by an unknown group, the Starland Vocal Band. It’s called “Afternoon Delight.”

Perspective From the Present: I have my doubts about whether Fleetwood Mac really played the Iowa State Fair on this date, mostly because another source mentions that the Eagles headlined the 1976 fair. Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles played at least one show together that summer, so perhaps both of them played the fair. But if they did, why doesn’t my second source mention the Mac?

And finally: “Love in the Shadows” remains surprisingly evocative of the early summer of 1976. Every time I hear it, I’m transported to one of those first warm, humid evenings in June. As the sun sinks in the west, sounds from the barn are audible across the driveway and the dooryard. I will not be sticking around to listen to them long, however. I slide behind the wheel of the Hornet, start her up, turn on the radio, and fly off to seek adventure, somewhere. Probably not on Sunday, June 20th, but surely within a day or two of it.

One Day in Your Life: June 14, 1976

(This summer, we’re trying to recreate the summer of 1976, one day at a time, one post a week. Find other posts in the series here.)

June 14, 1976, is a Monday. It’s Flag Day, and Liberty State Park opens across from the Statue of Liberty in New Jersey. Presidential candidates Morris Udall and Frank Church release their delegates and throw their support to Jimmy Carter, which should put him over the top for the Democratic nomination. The Supreme Court refuses to intervene in the Boston school busing controversy. Among the events on President Ford’s schedule today is a speech by telephone to the Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology, being held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He also receives the first volume of his public papers in a brief ceremony. The Viking I spacecraft, closing in on Mars, begins sending pictures back to Earth. Later in the week it will enter Martian orbit, and it will land on July 20th. Federal judge Oliver J. Carter, who presided over Patty Hearst’s bank robbery trial earlier this year, dies at age 65, and future pro hockey player Ryan Johnson is born. High jumper Dwight Stones is on the cover of Sports Illustrated; Time reports on the continuing Wayne Hays/Elizabeth Ray sex scandal. Newsweek runs a brief feature story about singer Tom Waits. California governor and Democratic presidential candidate Jerry Brown is on the cover of People.

The Monday specials at Conrad’s Supper Club in McFarland, Wisconsin, give diners a choice between a tenderloin and deep-fried frog legs, either one for $3.50. The Grateful Dead plays the Beacon Theater in New York; elsewhere in the city, Diana Ross plays the Palace Theater. Concert tours continue for AC/DC (Sheffield, England), Paul McCartney and Wings (San Francisco) and Bob Marley (Paris, France). On The Mike Douglas Show this week, the co-host is Barney Miller star Hal Linden. The Gong Show premieres on NBC. Only two big-league baseball games are broadcast nationally each week; tonight on ABC’s Monday Night Baseball, it’s the Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati. The Reds win in the bottom of the ninth when Ken Griffey singles home Dave Concepcion. A young Cubs fan in southern Wisconsin will watch the game, passing up the CBS reruns of Rhoda, Phyllis, All in the Family, Maude, and Medical Center.

The Cubs fan will not have to work on the farm today. After a hot and stormy weekend, the weather remains iffy, so he will spend much of the day with the radio on. At WLS, “Silly Love Songs” by Wings holds the top spot for a third week; new in the Top 10 are “Get Up and Boogie” by Silver Convention and “Misty Blue” by Dorothy Moore. The biggest move within the station’s top 45 belongs to Thin Lizzy again this week—“The Boys Are Back in Town” is up 11, from 33 to 22. Among the new songs on the chart this week are “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen and “Crazy on You” by a new band, Heart.

Perspective From the Present: By mid-June, my life has settled into a summer pattern, although my 1976 daybook offers little insight into exactly what the pattern was that week, apart from a dentist appointment on Thursday and a softball game on Friday. I can’t even be sure I watched the Cubs/Reds game on Monday night, although I doubt I would have skipped it. But from all the available evidence, Monday, June 14, 1976, was one of those days that disappears.

One Day In Your Life: November 24, 1971

November 24, 1971, is a Wednesday. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Headlines on the morning’s newspapers include passage of a major defense bill by the United States Senate and the ongoing tensions in south Asia, where India and Pakistan are on the brink of war. On an inside page of the Wisconsin State Journal, hungry pre-Thanksgiving shoppers learn that they can get a spaghetti dinner with salad, roll, and beverage for 95 cents at their local Rennebohm’s lunch counter. Future actress Lola Glaudini, who will appear on NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, and Criminal Minds, is born, and so is future professional hockey player Keith Primeau. Radio relay operator Rick Holt of Dundalk, Maryland, with less than 30 days remaining on his hitch in Vietnam, writes two letters home. Tonight, a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle will be hijacked by a man who claims to have a bomb in his briefcase. He demands $200,000 and two parachutes. The plane lands to release the other passengers and get the hijacker his money, then takes off again. Somewhere over Washington state, the man jumps out of the plane, and he is never seen again. Although he’s on the passenger list as Dan Cooper, his name will be reported by the media, and he will be remembered forever after, as D. B. Cooper. In today’s Doonesbury strip, documentarian Mark intrudes on B. D.’s football huddle.

The CBS-TV lineup tonight features The Carol Burnett Show, Medical Center, and Mannix; on NBC, it’s Adam-12, McCloud, and Night Gallery. In the UK, George Harrison is a guest on The David Frost Show. Led Zeppelin plays Manchester, England. The Kinks album Muswell Hillbillies is released. The Doors, minus the late Jim Morrison, play at the University of Pennsylvania, while King Crimson and Yes play the Academy of Music in New York City. At WWDJ in Hackensack, New Jersey, there’s lots of movement at the top of this week’s chart: “Family Affair” by Sly and the Family Stone leaps from 9 to 1, and “Got to Be There” by Michael Jackson jumps from 17 to 2. Last week’s Number-One, “Gypsys Tramps and Thieves” by Cher falls to Number Three. Also moving up: “Superstar” by the Temptations, from 16 to 11, and “I Know I’m Losing You” by Rod Stewart from 21 to 14. New on the chart this week are David Cassidy’s “Cherish,” “Scorpio” by Dennis Coffey, and “Hallelujah” by Sweathog.

A sixth-grader in Wisconsin (who will shortly buy “Scorpio” on a 45)  looks forward to Thanksgiving Day, to be spent with his mother’s side of the family. He’ll play with his cousins and watch football with the men of the family. The day will end too early, as such days always do.

Just as tomorrow will do. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, and thanks for your continued support of this Internet feature.