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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of December 20, 1973 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

Congress, unable to break a deadlock, goes home for the holidays, without passing the emergency energy bill. President Nixon expresses his regret, but says voluntary curbs should suffice. The energy bill would authorize gasoline rationing, postpone implementation of tougher air pollution standards, give Congress veto power over nationwide energy conservation plans set up by the President and require action to bar windfall profits by oil companies beginning in 1975. 

A bomb planted by assassins kills Spain’s premier Adm. Luis Carrero Blanco – the #2 man to Gen Francisco Franco.

Persian Gulf oil producers say they will more than double their posted price of crude oil Jan. 1. The move will increase the rate to more than four times what it was a year ago and was certain to cause more woes for an industrialized world already hit hard by the Arab oil cutback.

Arab oil producers say they will end the monthly production cuts that have menaced the economies of Europe and Japan. But they kept the oil tap closed to the United States and the Netherlands. They make it clear, their actions are political – they say the U.S. and Netherlands remain too friendly to Israel and must still do without Arab oil. Japan and the European Common market have taken pro-Arab stances since the October Middle East war.

The Arab guerrilla organization that killed 32 persons at Rome and Athens airports last week originally had planned to assassinate Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Beirut a day earlier but was thwarted, military and diplomatic sources say. 

Bill Dobrovir – an attorney for Ralph Nader and other consumer plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit involving political contributions from milk producers, apologizes at a hastily called court hearing, for playing a Nixon White House tape at a party.

The Feminist News Service awards an ex-marine the first Feminist Extraordinaire title. Patricia Fogarty McQuillan is a veteran of WWII.

Seen this year – much less Christmas lighting due to the energy shortage.

New York - Frank Hogan, elected despite failing health in November to an unprecedented ninth four-year term as New York County district attorney announces his retirement effective Feb. 6

There is another year-end celebration besides Christmas and Hanukkah, one that is being observed by a small doubt growing number of American blacks – Kwanzaa. It means “first fruits” in Swahili, the major indigenous language of east Africa. Kwanzaa, ideological rather than religious, runs from Dec 26 through Jan. 1 and is based on the traditional African celebration of the harvesting of the season’s first corps. It stresses the unity of the black family and strength of the community. It climaxes on the seventh day with a community-wide Karamu or “feat of the harvest.” Decorations and gifts are optional for Kwanzaa. Gifts may be exchanged the last day of the celebration. Although American blacks who celebrate Kwanzaa are generally urban and do not harvest crops, the first fruits they offer at the karamu are fresh vegetables, fruits or cooked dishes brought by individual families.  


Gasoline Rationing/Crunch News Update – December 20, 1973

The Nixon administration announces a standby program for rationing gasoline that would give each licensed driver 18 years old or over, coupons for 35 gallons a month. Drivers would be permitted to purchase added coupons - if others do not need them. Federal energy administrator William Simon stresses, however, that the government still hopes to avoid activating the program. Simon recently called for a 20% reduction in gasoline production from 1972 levels. He also stressed that gasoline must bear the brunt of the nation’s conservation efforts to permit refineries to concentrate on meeting heating oil and other product requirements. 

Gasoline crunch during the holiday season - know your local gas station owner! In Oregon, Gov Tom McCall is turned-away buying gas for his Lincoln at a Union 76 station. Station manager Hugh Grondlin told him - “we’re only selling as to our regular customers ... “But I only want to top off the top” said the governor ... “Sorry governor, we’re only selling to our regular customers. This scene is being repeated all around the country due to gasoline shortages with the oil embargo.

The office of energy conservation reminds you - “Don’t Be Fuelish.” Turn the lights off when you leave the room. Speaking of this campaign - look for actor George C. Scott and football player Marv Fleming of the Miami Dolphins in the next few days, appearing in TV commercials, asking you not be fuelish about wasting energy.

Inflation stat since 1969, the cost of food, clothing and other consumer items has soared to around 30%. In the past 12 months, prices of soared 7% and most economic forecasters say next year will be just about as bad, maybe worse.  


Sports news – December 20, 1973

The Minnesota Vikings are in the playoffs after a 12-2 season. And, it’s the first time quarterback Fran Tarkenton, after 13 NFL seasons – is in the playoffs. Also in the playoffs (again) – The Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

Dave DeBusschere scores 25 points, including 10 in the first six minutes of the third period, to rally the New York Knicks to a 99-88 victory over Detroit.


Bestselling books – December 20, 1973

Burr - Gore Vidal

A Thousand Summers - Garson Kanin

The Honorary Consul - Graham Green

The Hollow Hills - Mary Stewart

The Salamander - Morris West

The First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders

The Onion Field - Joseph Wambaugh

The Joy of Sex - Alex Comfort

The Best of Life - David E. Sherman

The Art of Walt Disney - Christopher Finch

How to Be Your Best Friend - Mildred Newman

Cosell - Howard Cosell

Alistair Cooke’s America - Alistair Cooke

Upstairs at the White House - J.B. West



Entertainment/Celebrity news – December 20, 1973

In a Gallup survey - these are the most admired men in the world:

Henry Kissinger - Secretary of State

Billy Graham

President Richard M.  Nixon

Sen. Edward M Kennedy

Vice President Gerald R.  Ford

Gov George Wallace

Ralph Nader

Sen. Henry M. Jackson

Pope Paul VI

Sen. Barry Godwater


How about the most admired woman according to Gallup?

Golda Meir - Prime Minister of Israel

Pat Nixon - First Lady

Rose Kennedy

Shirley Chisholm

Indira Gandhi

Mamie Eisenhower

Lady Bird Johnson

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Queen Elizabeth II

Ethel Kennedy/Margaret Chase Smith (tie)


Going G-rated - “Deep Throat” star Linda Lovelace makes her stage debut in Philadelphia in a French sex comedy called “Pajama Tops.” The play is about a philandering husband whose mistress (Linda) shows up at his house at the invitation of his wife. Says Linda - “I made them laugh though and I really enjoyed that. I want people to have a good time. I’m very serious about that.” It’s estimated that the X-rated “Deep Throat” has grossed $15 million.


Playing in Las Vegas –

Petula Clark – Caesars Palace

Bobby Vinton – Flamingo

Phil Harris, Harry James, Frank Sinatra Jr. – Frontier

Shecky Greene, Barbara Eden – Grand

Bill Cosby, Ike and Tina Turner – Hilton

5th Dimension/Pat Cooper – Riviera

Jerry Lewis – Sahara

Wayne Newton  - Sands

Gordon MacRae - Thunderbird


Television news – December 20, 1973

Quinn Martin Productions television stars record public service spots on behalf of National Save Your Vision Week for radio. Recording the spots were William Conrad (Cannon), Buddy Ebsen (Barnaby Jones) Karl Malden (Streets of San Francisco), Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (The FBI).

Another roast - ABC’s “Wide World of Entertainment”  will future a roast to Steve Allen (his 25th anniversary). Milton Berle will host with guests George Burns, Buddy Hackett, rowan & Martin, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Jayne Meadows, Louis Nye, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tim Conway and Jack Carter. The special airs January 16. 

With the success of the Waltons, can another series with the same feel be on its way? Yes, Earl Hamner Jr. has come up with “Apples Way,” which deals with a 40 year-old Los Angeles architect who returns with his wife and four children to his Iowa hometown to experience once again, the basic values of life. Look for it soon.  


Some syndicated holiday TV shows – don’t miss these:

“Christmas Lost And Found” – Davey and Goliath learn the meaning of Christmas.

“Christmas Is” – An animated tale of a boys trip to the world of the first Christmas. Voices by Hans Conried, Richard Susceno, Janet Waldo and Don Messick.


Monday night television listings/programs/TV guide (Christmas Eve) – December 24, 1973

CBS – Gunsmoke, Here’s Lucy, New Dick Van Dyke Show, Medical Center, Bless the Lord-All ye Beasts, Christmas Eve Service From Chicago

NBC – Lotsa Luck, Diana, TV Movie, The Sounds of Christmas, Christmas Eve Mass Rome

ABC – The Rookies, TV Movie, The Comedians

PBS – The Messiah, Christmas at Pops


The Rookies – a deranged, terminally ill escaped criminal holds terry and Willie hostage. Guest star is John Saxon.

ABC TV Movie – “A Dream For Christmas” – Set in 1950, a black minister is told that he has no church and is forced to accept any jobs he can find to feed his family. From the producers of The Waltons. 

Late night – The Comedians – Tony Randall hosts part 2 of a program examining the many facets of humor. With John Byner, Dom de Luise, Rich Little, Joan Rivers, Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara.


Thursday night television listings/programs/TV guide – December 20, 1973

CBS – News with Walter Cronkite, The Waltons, CBS Thursday night movie

NBC  - News with John Chancellor, Flip Wilson, NBC Follies

ABC – News with Howard K. Smith and Harry Reasoner, ABC News Special, Kung Fu, Streets of San Francisco

PBS – Behind the Lines, Men Who Made The Movies, Conflicts


The Waltons – 13-year-old Mary Ellen wants to break away and see the world.

Flip Wilson – With guests Jack Klugman, Anthony Newley, actor Roscoe Lee Brown and comedian Franklin Ajaye.

Kung Fu - Honoring the dying request of a Franciscan priest, Caine sets out to recover the golden chalice that the friar stole from a mission and then lost to outlaws. Gilbert Roland and William Smith guest star.

NBC Follies – With Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Petula Clark and Mickey Rooney.

Streets of San Francisco – Martin Sheen guest stars as an ambitious young charmer whose true love is money.

The Tonight Show – Guest host Jerry Lewis and actress Stephanie Edwards. With Ed McMahon and Doc Severinsen.

ABC-TV  latenight – “Comedy Concert” – Stand-up comics, both veterans and newcomers, share the spotlight. With Henny Youngman, Slappy White, Carl Ballantine, Pat Paulsen, Jackie Vernon, Roger Ray, Corbett Monica, Pat Henry, Stanley Myron Handelman, Leonard Barr, Jackie Gayle, Andrew Johnson and Jimmy Martinez.


Friday night television listings/programs/TV guide – December 20, 1973

CBS - Calucci’s Department, Roll Out, CBS Reports: The Rockefellers

 NBC - Sanford and Son, Girl With Something Extra, Brian Keith Show, Adam’s Rib, NBC Presents: Special Edition

ABC - The Brady Bunch, The Odd Couple, Room 222, Adam’s Rib, Love, American Style



The Tonight Show w/Johnny Carson - Rich Little guest hosts with George Burns, James Stewart, Norm Crosby, Steve Allen.

The Midnight Special - Marty Robbins hosts an all country-western show with Tanya Tucker, Johnny Rodriquez, Doug Kershaw, Barbara Mandrell, Bobby Bare, Charlie Rich and Barbie Benton.  


Music news – December 20, 1973

Bobby Darin – singer/actor/composer is dead at 37 after undergoing open-heart surgery. The six-hour operation was for the replacement of one of the valves which was not functioning properly. There will be no funeral. His body will be donated to medical research as he requested.   

John Lennon is asked if it’s possible for a Beatle reunion. “Well, it’s possible. If you had asked me last year, I would have said ‘no, no way.' I’m not going back one step, but I just think anything is possible now. It’s not like it’s in the offering or anything, but I’m not ruling it out. Que sera, sera... If it happens, I’m sure we’ll all do something wonderful. And I’m just as sure that everybody would say it wasn’t god enough - that we were better separate or something.” His fourth LP since the breakup of the Beatles is just out - “Mind Games.” Lennon was asked if he’ll tour this time - “I would have been on tour last year or whenever it was I had ‘Elephants Memory’ together, but all that government business threw me off ... just the pressure of the immigration business. They hung me up so much I just couldn’t do anything.” “I’ve been thinking about touring again now that we’ve got all these fantastic musicians on this session. I thought, 'let’s go out now. Let’s do it now.’ But there are so many hassles to it. There’s all that money and organization. If you could just do it without 'John Lennon goes on the road.’ That sort of inhibits you.”


Top pop hit music singles(top-40)USA – December 20, 1973

The Most Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich

Time In A Bottle - Jim Croce

Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) - Helen Reddy

Show and Tell - Al Wilson

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John

Mind Games - John Lennon

Hello it’s Me - Todd Rundgren

If You Ready (Come Go With Me) - Staple Singers

The Joker - Steve Miller

Top of the World - The Carpenters

Just You 'n' Me - Chicago

The Love I Lost - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

Photograph - Ringo Starr

Love's Theme - The Love Unlimited Orchestra

Smokin' in the Boys' Room - Brownsville Station

Helen Wheels - Paul McCartney & Wings

Me and Baby Brother - War

Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up - Barry White

I've Got to Use My Imagination - Gladys Knight & the Pips                           

Heartbeat - It's a Lovebeat - The DeFranco Family featuring Tony DeFranco

You're Sixteen - Ringo Starr

Livin’ For You - Al Green

Sister Mary Elephant - Cheech & Chong

Painted Ladies - Ian Thomas


Top Music Albums – December 20, 1973

Goodbye Yellowbrick Road - Elton John

The Singles (1969 - 1973) - The Carpenters

Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Neil Diamond

Ringo - Ringo Starr

Quadrophenia - The Who

Imagination - Gladys Knight & The Pips

Mind Games - John Lennon

You Don’t Mess Around With Jim - Jim Croce

The Joker - Steve Miller

Life & Times - Jim Croce                                                                              


Some top movies – December 20, 1973

The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford

The Exoricist - Ellen Burstyn, Max Von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran

Executive Action - Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Will Geer

Alfredo Alfredo - Dustin Hoffman, Stefania Sandrelli

Papillon - Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman

A Touch OF Class - George Segal, Glenda Jackson

The Sting - Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw

The Long Goodbye - Elliott Gould, Nina Van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden

American Graffiti - Richard Dreyfuss, Ronny Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charlie Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Cindy Williams, Wolfman Jack

Sleeper - Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

 The Laughing Policeman - Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, Lou Gossett

Magnum Force - Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan, David Soul, Felton Perry, Robert Urich

The Paper Chase - Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner, John Houseman

The New Land - Max Von Sydow, Liv Ullmann

The Seven-Ups - Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Larry Haines

That Man Bolt

The Spook Who Sat By The Door - Lawrence Cook, Paula Kelly, Janet League

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