Greetings, you beautiful people.
With just one week left to go now, I hope you’re all well – as well as we all can be – and enjoying the holiday season. And, of course, I hope you’re imagining scenes like this one – especially with more light by which to enjoy some of “Nature’s Symphony,” let’s call it.
To go with our soon-to-be-enjoyed, brightening skies, let’s take a look back. Yeah, let’s jump back a few decades; let’s say five of ’em.
Let’s talk some 1970s, shall we? (And for you younger readers, I’ll do my best to describe some of the things you missed. Hard to believe how long ago it all is, but for you guys, I’ll stretch my old memory as long as it
And now, without any further ado, a seven-date 1970s panoply for your review:
- April 1970 – After nearly six days of uncertainty and potential disaster, the crew of Apollo 13 finally splashes down to safety on the morning of 17 April, in the South Pacific Ocean.
- July-September 1972 – Reykjavik, Iceland is the venue for the World Chess Championships, then marketed as “the match of the century.” The challenger, twenty-nine year old American, Chicago-born Bobby Fischer, faces off against returning Russian champion, Boris Spassky. Fischer eventually dethrones Spassky, ending nearly 25 years of Soviet dominance. And the victorious Fischer becomes a worldwide celebrity, earning the moniker of the “Einstein of chess.”
- May 1974 – Ray Stevens’ “The Streak,” spends three weeks at the top of the charts. The novelty song (Stevens’ second #1 hit, having first topped the charts with “Everybody’s Beautiful,” 1970) capitalizes on the then-new streaking craze on college campuses. The object of such shenanigans? Running from point a to point b, wearing nothing but a smile.
- April 1975 – Albuquerque, New Mexico becomes the birthplace of Microsoft Corporation. Starting out with just 11 employees, today, the company boasts over 163,000 full-times associates worldwide.
- August 1977 – Badly compromised by drug abuse and weighing nearly 350 pounds, Elvis Aaron Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll,” dies at age 42 in Memphis, TN.
- February 1978 – A serial killer known as the “Hillside Strangler,” later determined to actually be two separate killers, is/are apprehended in Los Angeles, CA. The killings, beginning in October 1977, ultimately claim ten victims. (The “Hillside” nickname originates from the fact that the majority of the bodies are discovered in the hills surrounding greater Los Angeles.)
- July 1979 – Major League Baseball’s Comiskey Park (then home to the Chicago White Sox) sponsors an event known as “Disco Demolition Night.” (The White Sox, then a mediocre team with poor attendance, desperately need a novelty.) So, Mike Veeck, son of legendary team owner Bill Veeck, and the team’s Assistant Business Manager, reaches out to local rock deejay Steve Dahl.
Dahl, then having recently lost his job, because his former employer has changed to an all-disco format, is furious. And when he lands a new gig at another station, where he begins to hold
“Death to Disco” rallies, the opportunistic Veeck can’t resist. And he commissions Dahl to launch the first Disco Demolition Night, between games of a doubleheader vs. the Detroit Tigers.
Nearly 50,000 fans show up for the event, anticipating Dahl’s plan to detonate an entire crate of disco recordings and related paraphernalia. After nine injuries, 39 arrests, thousands of dollars worth of damage, and some 7,000 fans having stormed the field, the host White Sox are eventually forced to forfeit the 2nd game of the doubleheader. And for all intents and purposes, the event marks the beginning of the end for the disco music genre.
Hope you all enjoyed that recap of some of the events of the “decadent ’70s,” as they were often known.
Let’s meet back here tomorrow for some more fun!