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



In The News

Speaking at West Point, President Nixon tells cadets his highest hope was that, “The great majority of you will never be called to serve in any war.”

Passing – Former Sen. Thomas Dodd. He was 63.

Mariner 9 rockets from Cape Kennedy on a 247-million-mile race to orbit Mars in November.

Susan Atkins changes her plea in the Hinman - Shea murder case and pleads guilty to killing musician Gary Hinman nearly two years ago.

An estimated 4,000 police officers, some from cities as far away as Boston and Cleveland, form ranks before a simple Negro church in the Bronx to pay their last respects to Waverly Jones. He and his partner, patrolman Joseph Plagentini were shot to death in Harlem. 

Play – NY -  Andy Warhol’s “Pork” just got a closed two-week trial run at the La Mama Experimental Theater and will soon open in London. It was inspired by some taped raps between Andy and various hands at the Factory, the downtown loft (referred to in “Pork”” as the Locale) where he makes his movies.  

Two congressmen, investigating mounting heroin addition among GI’s in Vietnam say that so many were now addicted – up to 15% - that the drug problem alone was reason enough to speed troop pullouts.

U.S. Treasury Secretary John B. Connally says the world financial crisis will be solved only when the “United States major partners shape up to their trade, fiscal and defense responsibilities."

A federal judge orders Dist. Atty. Jim Garrison to stop prosecuting Clay Shaw because Garrison has a “significant financial interest’ in continued prosecution and in his JFK assassination investigation. Three days after Shaw was acquitted on March 1, 1969, on charges of conspiring with Lee Harvey Oswald and others to assassinate President John F. Kennedy, garrison filed perjury charges against Shaw.

The Soviet Union’s supersonic TU-144 airliner makes its debut in the West, swooping down like a giant bird with a hooked beak at Le Bourget Airport for the 29th Paris Air show. 

Census gains – The typical 1970 family of a husband, wife and two kids still is about the same size it was in 1950, but the children are in their middle or late teens instead of under 5 as they were 20 years ago. Parents are a bit older too. The average father is now 45 instead of 42 and the median family income was $9,870 an increase of nearly 200% from the $3,300 median in 1950.  With inflation, a 1970 family still could buy $6,100 worth of goods – twice that of the 1950 family. That’s partly because more wives and children are working today.

Charges against actress Jane Fonda of assaulting a customs officer and fraudulently bringing pills into the country are dropped.

Indy 500 – Al Unser becomes the fourth driver in history to win back-to-back Indy 500 races. Some 20 persons were injured, one critically in a pace car accident. The speeding stock car, which set the 125 mph getaway pace for the 500-mile auto race field, went out of control on the it apron, careening into a photographers’ stand and injuring 20. And, gasoline Alley, the last bastion of a mechanic’s independence, is opened to ladies for the first time in the 55 years of the Indianapolis 500.


Sports news – May 23, 1971

Lee Trevino reconfirms he would end his boycott of the Masters tournament after winning the $175,000 Danny Thomas Memphis Golf Classic.

Golfer Dave Hill files a $1 million damage suit against the Tournament Players division of the PGA. The suit charges the TPD with violating of Hill’s civil rights, violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law and abridgment of his right of free speech.

Milwaukee Bucks’ Lew Alcindor plans to get married then fly to the NBA-ABA All-Star game in Houston .


Radio news – May 23, 1971

 Los Angeles radio talk transplant Bob Grant now does an afternoon (two-way) talkshow over WMCA New York. Grant says that New York is not like Los Angeles, where he spent many a year doing telephone talk radio over KABC and KLAC. “L.A. radio is really hip compared to New York. Here the scene is very provincial and ethnic and liberal. Being a conservative, I am referred to by most of my callers as the house right-winger or fascist. Actually, it gets pretty funny because they do more yelling at me than engaging in useful debate. The audience in Los Angeles was much more sophisticated.” “Since WMCA started Dialog Radio, it’s really shot up in the ratings, we’ve gone from around 12th to third in the market.” “One of the things WMCA is big on, though, is newsmaker calls and I do a lot of them. And management is hot on special reports. In fact, soon I’m leaving for Israel to do a special series.”


Music news  - May 23, 1971

At the Apollo in Harlem – Robert Flack, Donny Hathaway, Joe Williams and the Cannonball Adderly 5.

Sonny and Cher will be star-hosts of a comedy-variety series debuting Aug. 1 on CBS-TV.

The BBC imposes a ban on songs about drugs. The first victim – a song by “Mongo Jerry” from the album Lady Rose called “Have a Wiff on Me.”

At the Fillmore East – Lee Michaels and Humble Pie.

More Music – Don’t Miss Grand Funk Railroad – The Hottest Rock Group Today As Sid Bernstein Presents Mark, Don & Mel In Concert At Shea Stadium, Friday -July 9.


Television news – May 23, 1971

Underdog “All in the Family’ has shot up into 2nd place (would have been first except for the Emmy telecast). The show, which debuted to no-so-favorable reviews by TV critics, was #55 in the rankings when it debuted in mid-March. By mid-April the program, spurred by word-of-mouth, began to get better ratings, then hit the 14th position. Creator Norman Lear credits its success in large part to Robert Wood, president of CBS-TV who “stuck his neck out for the program when it counted.”

Francis Ford Coppola who won an Oscar for coauthoring “Patton,” has a deal with Metromedia Producers’ Corp. to develop and produce a TV feature of the ABC Movie of the Week.

Muhammad Ali has invited Lester Maddox and George Wallace to appear on his first television program. His weekly half-hour talkshow is to begin in about six weeks. Maddox, Lt. Gov. of Georgia, and Wallace, governor of Alabama, are self-proclaimed segregationists.


Monday night television listings/programs/TV guide – May 23, 1971

CBS – Gunsmoke, Here’s Lucy, Mayberry RFD, Doris Day Show, Suspense Playhouse, Merv Griffin

NBC – From a Bird’s Eye View, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, NBC Monday night at the Movies, Tonight

ABC – Dating Game, Newlywed Game, It Was A Very Good year, Movie, Dick Cavett



Rowan and Martin – Joey Bishop.

It Was A Very Good Year – Giselle MacKenzie tells us about 1959.

Merv Griffin – Walter Matthau, Willie Shoemaker, Danny Arnold, Sheeley Green.

On the Tonight Show – Joan Rivers, Cliff Gorman, Irving Stone.

Dick Cavett – Phil Silvers, Victor Borge. 


Some top movies – May 23, 1971

Song of Norway

Dr. Phibes

Andromedia Strain

Ryan’s Daughter

Red Sky at Morning

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