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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of December 8, 1970 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts




In The News

President Nixon carries his campaign for reform of the nation’s welfare program to the opening session of the White House Conference on Children. He called his family Assistance Plan “the most important piece of social legislation in our nation’s history” in terms of consequences for children.

1st Lt. William L. Calley Jr. is accused by a witness of two new atrocities, swearing that the young officer methodically executed My Lai villagers as they were herded to him in groups and that he killed a woman as she raised her hands in surrender. Calley’s lawyers promptly moved for a mistrial, contending the surprise testimony went beyond the crimes alleged in the court martial’s bill of particulars.

President Nixon confers with King Hussein of Jordan on ways to get the Middle East peace talks started again and on economic and military aid to Jordan. They met for an hour in the President’s office. At night, the President gave a small stage dinner for the king. 

Leading members of the House Crime Committee are proposing whether drug companies should be forced to curtail their production of amphetamines, the stimulants known to young addicts as “speed,” pep pills and “bennies.”

Farm labor leader Cesar Chavez under court order to end a lettuce boycott or stay in jail, promises to “escalate” his campaign instead.

President Nixon confers with Israeli defense Minister Moshe Dayan, hoping to prod Israel into resuming Middle East peace talks with the Arabs.

An explosion and fire rip through Ryan’s Bar and Grill - a tavern opposite City Hall in Manhattan. 60 are injured.

A rail strike sweeps across the nation in defiance of a congressional ban and a plea by President Nixon that rail workers return to their jobs.

The nationwide rail strike is abruptly called off after 18 yours but the dispute that caused it is far from settled.

President Nixon comments on a report by his Commission on Campus unrest that only he could provide the moral leadership to reconcile violently divided Americans and reunite the country. The report came in the wake of disruptions on hundreds of college campuses. The outbreak followed the move of U.S. troops into Cambodia and led to the deaths of six students at Kent State and Jackson State College. Said President Nixon – “During these past 22 months, I have tried to exercise that authority to bring an end to violence and bitterness and I have sought to use the power of this office to advance the cause of peace abroad and social justice at home. These are matters upon which every President answers daily to his conscience and quadrennially, to his judge –the American people.”

President Nixon threatens to renew the bombing of North Vietnam if the enemy takes advantage of the American troop withdrawal from South Vietnam to make new military gains. 

South Vietnam and the United States jointly propose at the Vietnam peace talks an immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of war on both sides, but were flatly turned down by the North Vietnamese.

The East Germans in an attack on West Berlin’s ties to West Germany, reject a plea of West Berlin Mayor Klaus Schuetz to open the Berlin Wall during Christmas for family reunions. The rejection meant that West Berliners again would be barred from passing through the wall to visit their East Berlin relatives as they have been barred for the last four Christmases. About 500,000 West Berliners have close relations in East Berlin.

Cambodian forces beat off heavy enemy assaults in hand-to-hand combat 38 northeast of Phnom Penh. But field reports said a large number of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops remained in the area.


More news - December 8, 1970

The Defense Department issues a call for 17,000 army draftees in January – the highest monthly quota since last April.

Ralph Nader accuses business of spending hundreds of millions to deceive the public and proposes that firms be required to scientifically back up advertising claims for products ranging from dog food to diet cookies. 

Hubert Humphrey says that if a year from now one democratic presidential aspirant appears unbeatable for the nomination, the other hopefuls should forgo any challenge to him in the 1972 state primaries.

Leroy Bates – a black civics teacher in Ft. Lauderdale, is suspended because he refused to pledge allegiance to the American Flag because “there isn’t liberty and justice for all.” “As far as I can see, these are not even goals people are subscribing to.” He says he doesn’t consider himself anti-American: “Since I was in the ninth grade, I’ve seen very little justice, very little equality."

An all-points bulletin is issued for Ronald Hughes, missing defense attorney in the Tate La-Bianca murder trial. His absence forced the trial into a day-to-day adjournment to give another attorney time to prepare to defend Hughes’ client, Leslie Van Houten. (He would be found murdered).

The Army has ordered “rapid and positive actions” to improve the lives of soldiers, including beer at super, and end to most reveille formations and the elimination of evening bed checks. The Army’s action follows the lead of the navy, which last month, ruled beer permissible in shore installations. The aim is to lure more young men to sign up for military careers and ultimately depend on an all-volunteer force, rather than the draft.


Sports news – December 8, 1970

Cassius Clay defeats Ringo Bonavena at a bout in Madison Square Garden, setting up a Clay showdown with Joe Frasier.


Music news – December 8, 1970

This Wednesday on ABC-TV – Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, David Frost and the Everly Brothers join Petula Clark in a TV Special: Petula. Don’t miss it!

Elton John, The Who, Steppenwolf, Chicago. Ten Years After, Stephen Stills. B.B. King, Curtis Mayfield and Iron Butterfly will featured in a Metromedia Special “Big Record” later this month. In New York – over WNEW-TV.

WOW! – Next Saturday on American Bandstand – The Brady Kids (Brady Bunch) sing Jingle Bells and Silent Night.

Miles Davis is voted Jazzman of the year in the 35th annual international readers poll conducted by Down Beat magazine. For the first time, a rock-pop group was a double winner: Blood, Sweat & Tears was voted the best combo in its genre and producer of the year’s best pop album.  Other winners – Quincy Jones – best arranger; Leon Thomas and Ella Fitzgerald, best male and female singers. In a new category – pop musician of the year – Frank Zappa edged out by the late Jimi Hendrix by five votes.

Get “Susan Sings Songs From Sesame Street” On Scepter Records.

Music on Television – “The Petula Clark Show” on ABC-TV. This week – The Everly Brothers.

Music at the Movies - See Elvis Presley – A film about him: “That’s The Way It Is” as He Sings Songs Such as “Suspicious Minds,” “The Next Stop Is Love,” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”

Leon Russell is on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.


Entertainment/Celebrity news – December 8, 1970

Evel Knievel, who broke his back trying to jump a motorcycle over 13 cars four months ago, will attempt the same stunt. It’ll be filmed as part of the pre-production shooting in a movie of Knievel’s life. George Hamilton will portray Knievel.  Evel’s record jump is 18 cars made on an American Eagle last April at Kent, Washington. He has attempted about 200 multi-car jumps and has missed 11 times – resulting in crushing injuries.


Television news – December 8, 1970

Jodie Foster (8) is signed to costar with Paul Sand in a TV pilot called S.A.M. for ABC-TV.

WABC-TV is finally giving WCBS-TV and WNBC-TV a run for the news money in NY. WABC used to be a distant third, but now, it’s competing, and sometimes beating its competitors with “Eyewitness News” – the brainchild of Albert Primo. “Our concept has jelled. We’re committed to it. Our way is the way to do news in the 70’s. It’s nice to know the others are starting to think as we do.”


Friday night television listings/programs/TV guide – December 8, 1970

CBS – The Interns, Headmaster, Movie, Merv Griffin

NBC – High Chaparral, Name of the Game, Bracken’s World, Johnny Carson

ABC – Brady Bunch, Nanny and the Professor, Partridge Family, that Girl, Love American Style, Tom Jones, Dick Cavett


Brady Bunch – Bobby develops a fear of heights after he falls out of his tree house.

Partridge Family – In this episode, the family sings their big hit “I Think I Love You” as Keith commits them to sing at a women’s lib rally.

Tom Jones – Caterina Valente, George Kirby, Ace Trucking Company. 

Merv Griffin – Ruth Gordon, Alex Dreier, Chuck Connors and Dinah Shore.

Johnny Carson – Rodney Dangerfield, Karen Wyman.

Dick Cavett – Jennifer Jones, Story Theater, Sunday’s Child. 

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