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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of August 15, 1977 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

Passing – Elvis Aaron Presley (42). The singer had been scheduled to depart on a nationwide tour. Found fully clothed but unconscious in a bathroom at Graceland. The tour was supposed to begin in Portland, Maine. Dr George Nichopoulos, his longtime physician says an autopsy revealed a constriction in one of the main arteries to the heart, which restricted blood flow which brought on a heart attack. “I can say this with some certainty; drugs played no part in his death.”

President Carter issues a statement about Presley’s death: “Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. His music and personality fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense and he was a symbol to the people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country.”

 Thousands of crying and moaning fans jam the streets around Graceland - for blocks around - in a hope to be able to get a view of the singer. Presley lay in state dressed in a cream-colored suit, blue shirt and striped tie.

Elvis Presley is laid to rest in a gray marble mausoleum at Forest Hill Cemetery. Throughout the day, cars came in and out of the back gates at Graceland. Thousands keep vigil outside Graceland.

At the vigil in front of Graceland, tragedy strikes - Two teen-age girls from Louisiana are struck-down and killed by a hit-and-run driver. Treatise Wheeler, swerved toward a crowd of 2000, hitting three girls who were talking to a Memphis policeman. The third girl is clinging to life after suffering a fractured pelvis. Policemen jumped into a parked patrol car and caught him.     

Ginger Alden (20) tells a Memphis newspaper she was going to marry Elvis and it was she that found Elvis lying on a bathroom floor. “I said ‘Elvis” and he didn’t answer so I opened his bathroom door and that’s when I saw him in there... I slapped him a few times and it was like he breathed once when I turned his head. I raised one of his eyes and it was just blood red but I couldn’t move him.”

David Berkowitz - aka “Son of Sam” is indicted by a special grand jury on charges of murder, attempted murder, felonious assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Berkowitz was arrested last week, ending the greatest manhunt in New York’s history.

Berkowitz, who is accused of killing six and injuring seven persons, enters an innocent plea. The New York Post reports that Berkowitz had told workers at a hospital (where he’s confined) “I should be out hunting tonight.”

First Lady Rosalynn Carter is doing fine after doctors explored her uterious in what they describe as “a minor gynecological surgery.” She’ll be celebrating her 50th birthday this week.

In Rome - convicted Nazi war criminal Herb Kappler is stuffed into a large suitcase and dragged to a waiting car by his wife. Kappler, who is 70, was taken from a Rome hospital and is said to be full of cancer.

Accused of intimidating his fellow prisoners into joining a hunger strike - G. Gordon Liddy is transferred to a tougher jailhouse at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. He had been at a minimal facility in Allentown.  


Best-selling books – August 15, 1977

Bestsellers - “Illusions” - Richard Bach, “The Thorn Birds” - Colleen McCullough, “Looking Out For #1” - Robert Ringer, “The Dragons Of Eden’ - Carl Sagan


Medical/Health news update – August 15, 1977

The FDA orders aerosol deodorants containing zirconium off of the market due to lung cancer concerns.


Entertainment/Celebrity news – August 15, 1977

Bing Crosby does a one-night stand in Concord, CA at the Pavilion. It’s the first time he’s performed since March, when he took a 20-foot tumble off a Pasadena, CA stage.

Passing - Groucho Marx (86). At his bedside, his son, Arthur, Lois - his daughter-in-law, grandson Andrew and his girlfriend/companion - Erin Fleming. Recently, Fleming had waged a court battle against Arthur Marx for the conservatorship of Groucho’s $3 million estate.

Passing - Lou Walters (81) - famed Latin Quarter nightclub owner and father of reporter Barbara Walters. At its heyday in the 50’s, The Latin Quarter in New York City featured top stars and leggy showgirls.  


Television news – August 15, 1977

Passing - actor Sebastian Cabot (59) of a stroke. Best known for his portrayal of “Mr. French” on TV’s Family Affair in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Cabot was always comfortable with his rotund figure. “I like to think of myself as a rather dashing figure, like Falstaff. I’ve weighed 280 pounds since I was about 20 years old and I like it.” Also appeared in the series “Checkmate” and most recently hosted “Ghost Story” on NBC. 

NBC announces that Frank Sinatra will indeed host “The Tonight Show” on October 14. The singer was a guest on the show before, but has never hosted.

The communication department of the U.S. Catholic Conference proclaims the series “Soap” to be unfit for prime time television and is calling on the nation’s Catholics to take action against it. ABC says the program is “responsible entertainment."


Top TV shows – August 15, 1977

 Charlie’s Angels, The Family Way, Three’s Company, Barnaby Miller, Laverne & Shirley, MASH, One Day At A Time, Baretta, What’s Happening, Barnaby Jones, Happy Days, Dillinger, Sugar Time, Szysznyk, Little House On The Prairie, Eight Is Enough, Scott Free, Welcome Back Kotter. 


Monday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – August 15, 1977

CBS - The Jeffersons, Szysznyk, Maude, All’s Fair, Sonny and Cher ... NBC - Little House On The Prairie, Movie ... ABC - Pilot-Primary English Class, Baseball


The Jeffersons - Mother Jefferson invites one of George’s old girlfriends to dinner.

Sonny and Cher - Ann Meara, Shields and Yarnell, Peter Graves and Dr Joyce Brothers.

Johnny Carson - John Davidson guest hosts.

Syndicated - Fernwood Tonight - includes an interview with “Billy Jenkins” on how to play Monopoly with lemonade. Martin Mull, Fred Willard and Frank DeVol.


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) USA – August 15, 1977

 “Best Of My Love” - The Emotions, “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” - Andy Gibb, “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher” - Rita Coolidge, “Easy” - The Commodores, “Do You Want To Make Love” - Peter McCann, “Handy Man” - James Taylor, “You And  Me” - Alice Cooper, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” - Pablo Cruise, “Don’t Stop” - Fleetwood Mac, “”I’m In You” - Peter Frampton “My Heart Belongs To Me” - Barbra Streisand, “Undercover Angel” - Alan O’Day, “Barracuda” - Heart, “Just A Song Before I Go” - Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Looks Like We Made It” - Barry Manilow, “Float On” - The Floaters, “You Made Me Believe In Magic” - The Bay City Rollers, “Strawberry Letter #23” - The Brothers Johnson, “Da Do Run Run” - Shaun Cassidy.


Top music albums – August 15, 1977

“Rumours” - Fleetwood Mac, “CSN” - Crosby, Stills and Nash, “JT” - James Taylor, “Star Wars’ - soundtrack, “Commodores” - Commodores, “Superman” - Barbra Streisand, “I’m In You” - Peter Frampton, “Book Of Dreams” - Steve Miller Band, “Shaun Cassidy” - Shaun Cassidy, “Rejoice” - Emotions.


Top movies –August 15, 1977

The Deep - Robert Shaw, Jacqueline Bisset, Nick Nolte

One on One - Robbie Benson, Annette O’Toole

The Other Side Of Midnight - Marie France Pisier, John Beck, Susan Sarandon

Star Wars - Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

 New York, New York - Liza Minnelli, Robert DeNiro

Outlaw Blues - Peter Fonda, Susan Saint James

Smokey And The Bandit - Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason

A Bridge Too Far -  Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery

Walt Disney’s “Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo” - Dean Jones, Don Knots, Julie Sommars

The Spy Who Loved Me - Roger Moore as James Bond, Barbara Bach 

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