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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of March 23, 1971 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

A jury of six combat officers finds 1st Lt William Calley Jr. guilty of premeditated murder of 22 defenseless Vietnamese Men, woman and children at My Lai in 1968 - in what has been dubbed the “My Lai Massacre.” Calley will either be hanged or imprisoned for life in the U.S. disciplinary barracks at Ft Leavenworth, Kansas.

Twenty-seven verdicts of death against the Tate-La Bianca murders are returned against Charles Manson (36), Patricia Krenwinkel (23), Susan Atkins (22) and Leslie Van Houten (21). All receive the death penalty. The jury deliberated a total of 10 hours.

The Senate kills funding for the supersonic transport plane (SST) - voting 51-46 to stop financing by March 30. Two prototype models are still in development of the 1,800 mph jets. Boeing is the prime contractor.

In Vietnam news - Scores of U.S. warplanes attack North Vietnamese tanks (which were) chasing South Vietnamese troops out of Laos. Communist tanks managed to shoot down a U.S. Air Force fighter-bomber, but American pilots destroyed nine tanks.


Fascinating Facts – White House Doesn’t Like Dick Cavett – March 23, 1971

The White House accuses Dick Cavett of helping to defeat the SST bill. A spokesman said that the Cavett, an ardent conservationist - loaded his program with anti-SST people over the past year.  


Best-selling books – March 23, 1971

 “Love Story” - Erich Segal, “Passenger to Frankfurt” - Agatha Christie, “QB VII” - Leon Uris, “Rich Man, Poor Man” - Irwin Shaw, “The Greening of America” - Charles A. Reich, “The Sensuous Man” - M, “Future Shock” - Alvin Toffler, “Stilwell and the American Experience in China - 1911-45” - Barbara W. Tuchman, “Civilization: A Personal View” - Kenneth Clark, “Khruschchev Remembers” - translated by Strobe Talbott.


Sports news – March 23, 1971

 Gary Player wins his second consecutive golf tournament at the National Airlines Open in Miami. Player won by a two-stroke margin over Lee Trevino to win the $200 thousand prize. 


Entertainment/Celebrity/Broadway news – March 23, 1971

 Frank Sinatra (55) announces his retirement from show business. In a letter, the singer said his decision was “final.” “For over three decades, I have had the great and good fortune to enjoy a rich, rewarding and deeply satisfying career as an entertainer and public figure. Those years: fruitful, busy, uptight, loose, sometimes boisterous, occasionally sad, but always exciting, allowed me little opportunity for reflection, reading, self-examination and that need which every thinking man has for a fallow period.” The letter was addressed to a New York Daily News columnist. 


Tony awards this week - “Company,” directed by Harold Prince, is named best musical of the 1971 Broadway season. “Sleuth” wins best drama.

Best actress in a musical - Helen Gallagher - “No No Nanette”

Best actor in a musical - Hal Linden - “The Rothschilds”

Best actress in a play - Maureen Stapleton - “Gingerbread Lady”

Best actor in a play - Brian Bedford - “The School For Wives”


President Nixon presents the Medal of Freedom to ailing moviemaker Samuel Goldwyn (88) in Beverly Hills. The president told the audience Goldwyn “proved you could have a movie that was good box office, that was entertainment, that was exciting, that was not dull and still was not dirty.”

 Actor Laurence Olivier takes his seat in the House of Lords and becomes Baron Olivier of Brighton.

Paramount Pictures begins shooting the movie version of Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” in New York City this week. The first scene shot: two characters Christmas shopping in 1945. The city traffic department supplied old lampposts and street signs to go with the studio’s old cars. 150 extras were used. 

Lawrence Welk continues - Even though ABC has cancelled “The Lawrence Welk Show,” the show will continue to be produced through syndication. “The Welk Network” will begin after the last show is aired on ABC in early September, so it won’t miss a beat. Don Fedderson will continue to produce. Running on ABC for 16 years, the contingency network has been planned for several years. 

The Alka Seltzer television commercial “Mama Mia, tha’s a-some spicy meatball!” is judged the finest at the 11th annual International Broadcast Awards. Pepsi’s “You’ve Got a Lot to Live (and Pepsi’s got a lot go give)” - television and radio spots were also winners. 


Friday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – March 23, 1971

 CBS - The Interns, Andy Griffith, Movie ... NBC - High Chaparral, Special- Hallmark Hall Of Fame, Strange Report ... ABC - The Brady Bunch, nanny and the Professor, Partridge Family, That Girl, Odd Couple, Love, American Style


Brady Bunch - Carol writes a story about the family for a women’s magazine, but the group makes the mistake of celebrating before the article is completed.

Partridge Family - a man sues the family after mom nudges his car with the family bus.Harry Morgan guests. Series stars Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Jeremy Gelbwaks, Suzanne Crough and Dave Madden.  

Hallmark Hall of Fame - Peter Ustinov and Jose Ferre star in “Gideon”

Strange Report - Adam Strange probes the suicide of a neurosurgeon whose X-rays showed he had a brain tumor. Strange finds out he died of an overdose of insulin. Anthony Quayle stars as Adam Strange with Kaz Garas, Anneke Wills.


CBS - The Merv Griffin Show - guests Ralph Nader, Dr Will Nolan, Dr Paul  Revere, author Michael Chrichton.

NBC - The Tonight Show w/Johnny Carson - Bette Midler, Dr Paul Ehrlich, Rodney Dangerfield.

ABC - The Dick Cavett Show - Jane Fonda, Judy Collins, Anthony Burgess, Harriet Van Horne.


Radio news – March 23, 1971

Robert W. Morgan (now in Chicago at WIND) is battling Wally Phillips (WGN), Larry Lujack (WLS) and Clark Weber (WCFL). WIND also features Ron Britain from WCFL – afternoons.

Larry Van Nuys moves into middays from overnights over KGIL (San Fernando) as Wink Martindale moves over to KMPC, Los Angeles.

Anticipation – WJRZ in Hackensack is about to go top-40, giving WABC a run for their money.  


Music news – March 23, 1971

In London, at a court action seeking to formally dissolve “The Beatles” - brought on by Paul McCartney - John Lennon says in a statement that McCartney was a Beatle odd man out from the group’s earliest days in Liverpool. McCartney preferred pop-type music to Lennon’s “underground-leaning” tastes.

Grand Funk Railroad just kicked-off a 52-day tour. Every arena has a minimum of 10,000 seats. Opening act is “Bloodrock.”

Also touring in the U.S now – “Badfinger” (Peter Ham, Mike Biggons, Tom Evans and Joe Moland). Their current release “No Dice” will be followed by a new album.


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) USA – March 23, 1971

“Me and Bobby McGee” - Janis Joplin, “She’s A Lady” - Tom Jones, “Just My Imagination” - The Temptations, “Proud Mary” - Ike and Tina Turner, “Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted” - The Partridge Family, “For All We Know” - The Carpenters, “Help Me Make It Through The Night” - Sammi Smith, “What’s Going On” - Marvin Gaye, “One Bad Apple” - The Osmonds, “What is Life” - George Harrison, “Country Road” - James Taylor, “Heavy Makes You Happy” - The Staple Singers, “Temptation Eyes’ - The Grass Roots, “Another Day” - Paul McCartney, “Joy To The World” - Three Dog Night, “Rose Garden” - Lynn Anderson, “Amos Moses” – Jerry Reed, “Love Story (Where Do I Begin)” - Andy Williams, “Mamas Pearl” - The Jackson 5, “Friends’ - Elton John, “No Love At All” - B.J. Thomas, “Wild World” - Cat Stevens


Top music albums – March 23, 1971

“Pearl” - Janis Joplin, “Love Story” - original soundtrack, “Jesus Christ Superstar” - various artists, “Love Story” - Andy Williams, “The Cry of Love” - Jimi Hendrix, “Abraxas” - Santana, “Chicago III” - Chicago, “All Things Must Pass” - George Harrison, “Stoney End” - Barbra Streisand, “Tumbleweed Connection’ - Elton John, “Golden Bisquits” - Three Dog Night


Top Soul Hit Music – March 23, 1971

What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You – Wilson Pickett

You’re All I Need To Get By – Aretha Franklin

Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) – Temptations

Soul Power – James Brown

Mama’s Pearl – Jackson 5

Proud Mary – Ike & Tina Turner

Jody Got Your Girl And Gone – Johnnie Taylor


Top Country Hit Music Singles – March 23, 1971

I’d Rather Love You – Charley Pride

Help Me Make It Through The Night – Sammi Smith

After The Fire Is Gone – Conway Twitty

Soldier’s Last Letter – Merle Haggard

Empty Arms – Sonny James

I’m Gonna Keep On Loving You – Billy Walker

Knock Three Times – Bill “Crash” Craddock

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Buck Owens & His Buckeroos

Come Sundown – Bobby Bare

The Arms of A Fool – Mel Tillis


Top pop hit music singles in Britain – March 23, 1971

Baby Jump - Mungo Jerry

Another Day – Paul McCartney

Rose Garden – Lynn Anderson

Pushbike Song – Mixtures

It’s Impossible – Perry Como

My Sweet Lord – George Harrison

Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

Hot Love – Tyrannosaurus Rex

Amazing Grace – Judy Collins

Stoned Love – Supremes


Some top movies – March 23, 1971

Love Story - Ali MacGraw, Ryan O’Neal, John Marley, Ray Milland

Gimmie Shelter - The Rolling Stones

Tora! Tora! Tora!

They Might Be Giants - George C. Scott, Joanne Woodward, Jack Gilford

The House That Screamed - Lilli Palmer, Cristina Galbo, John Moulder Brown

They Call Me Mr. Tibbs - Sidney Poitier, Martin Landau, Barbara McNair

Five Easy Pieces - Jack Nicholson

The Owl and the Pussycat - Barbra Streisand, George Segal

The Landlord - Beau Bridges, Lee Grant, Diana Sands, Pearl Bailey

Ryan’s Daughter  - Robert Mitchum

Zachariah - John Rubinstein, Pat Quinn Don Johnson, Country Joe and the Fish, The James Gang, Dough Kershaw.

THX 1138 - Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence

The Heart of the Act - Genevieve Bujold, Donald Sutherland

The Priest’s Wife - Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni

The Lion In Winter - Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn

Vanishing Point - Barry Newman, Dean Jagger, Cleavon Little

Julius Caesar - Charlton Heston, Jason Robards, Robert Vaughn, Richard Chamberlain, Diana Rigg. 

Cotton Comes To Harlem - Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St Jacques

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