Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of October 15, 1977 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News
State Supreme Court Justice John Starkey rules that David R. Berkowitz is competent to stand trial as the accused Son of Sam killer: “There is no question as to Mr. Berkowitz’s fitness to proceed.” Berkowitz told doctors that he was ordered to kill by “howling and crying demons demanding blood.”
The House votes to keep the Social Security system from going broke by drastically increasing the taxes. Under the bill the maximum Social Security tax would more than triple in the next decade, from $965 per year to $3,025.
In Cologne, West Germany - a fire raged through the spare parts warehouse of the German Ford plant causing an estimated damage at more than $43 million. The blaze still burned out of control six hours after the alarm was given. The company said the warehouse and spare parts inside are valued at more than $87 million.
Senator Hubert Humphrey returns to the Senate for the first time since mid-August. Doctors told Humphrey that he has inoperable cancer. “I had a really rough time. I feel so much better now, it’s just a joy to be around.”
James Earl Ray, serving a 99-year sentence for the killing of Martin Luther King, is convicted of escape for his breakout from prison last June. Ray testified he broke out to win a new trial for the 1968 slaying of King. The jury imposed the minimum sentence allowed - one to two years, to be served in addition to his regular sentence.
Falls City Brewing Company in Louisville announces that it will begin brewing a beer to the liking of Billy Carter and bear his signed endorsement. The beer will go on sale in four states beginning next week.
In Winchester England, police answer an emergency call from a man who said his wife is holding him against his will by hiding his artificial leg. “We managed to recover the leg and smooth things out.”
In Houston, Texas, a convicted murderer who fell asleep in court woke up just in time to find that he had been sentenced to death. Billy Wayne White (20) is the youngest man sentenced to death since the new capital murder statute was enacted in 1974. His attorney pleaded with the jury to give him a life sentence while his snores could be heard. White slept through the closing arguments.
In Reno a man grabbed a woman’s paper cups filled with paper dollars while she was playing the slots. An hour later, the woman - Lorraine Bull was making a phone call when someone tapped her on the shoulder to ask for change. It was the same man and this time, he flashed a gun and robbed her of $400 cash.
Sports news – October 15, 1977
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Dave Hutchison is slashed with a knife by a female assailant on a downtown street in Vancouver, B.C. The incident occurred has Hutchison and five teammates were returning to their hotel after a game with the Canucks... Left handed pitcher Sparky Lyle of the Yankees wins the Cy Young award - becoming the first relief pitcher ever to win the award.
Entertainment/Celebrity news – October 15, 1977
A judge rules that movie director Roman Polanski can stay to work on a movie until December 19, but that the director’s imprisonment “will not be delayed beyond that date under any circumstances.” The hearing was to determine if Polanski (who is in Germany) is indeed just a tourist or working on a movie. Testifying, Dino de Laurentis said Polanski did go to Germany to negotiate distribution of a movie. Polanski pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with a 13 year-old girl at the home of Jack Nicholson on March 10. Polanski is to undergo 90 days of psychiatric evaluation prior to final sentencing
Some best-selling books – October 15, 1977
“Dynasty” - Robert Elegant, “The Silmarillion” - J.RR. Tolkien, “The Amityville Horror” - Jay Anson, “All Things Wise and Wonderful” - James Herriot.
Saturday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – October 15, 1977
(CBS) Bob Newhart, Tony Randall Show, The Jeffersons, Baby, I’m Back, Carol Burnette Show...(NBC) Movie...(ABC) Fish, Operation Petticoat, Starsky and Hutch, The Love Boat.
NBC Movie - “Little Big Man”
Music news – October 15, 1977
Lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and five other persons die when a chartered plane carrying the Lynyrd Skynard band apparently ran out of fuel and crashed in a swampy area near McComb, MS. The other dead are identified as Steve Gaines, a guitar player, Cassie Gaines, Steve’s sister and a vocalist, Dean Kilpatrick - the group’s assistant road manager and the pilot and co-pilot the aircraft.
Top pop hit music singles(top-40) USA – October 15, 1977
“Boogie Nights” - Heatwave, “Nobody Does It Better” - Carly Simon, “You Light Up My Life’ - Debby Boone, “Keep It Coming Love” - KC & The Sunshine Band, “I Feel Love” - Donna Summer, “Star Wars Theme” - Meco, “Your Smiling Face’ - James Taylor, “Swingtown” - Steve Miller, “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me” - Barry White, “Brick House” - The Commodores, “Strawberry Letter $23” - The Brothers Johnson, “Don’t Stop” - Fleetwood Mac, “That’s Rock & Roll” - Shaun Cassidy, “Cold As Ice” - Foreigner.
Top Music Albums – October 15, 1977
“Aja” - Steely Dan, “Rumours” - Fleetwood Mac, “Foreigner” - Foreigner, “Chicago XI” - Chicago, “Simple Dreams” - Linda Ronstadt, “Shaun Cassidy” - Shaun Cassidy, “Anytime...Anywhere” - Rita Coolidge.
Top Country Hit Music Singles – October 15, 1977
“I’m Just A Country Boy” - Don Williams, “Heaven’s Just A Sin Away” - The Kendalls, “Daytime Friends” - Kenny Rogers, “I’ve Already Loved You In My Mind” - Conway Twitty.
Top movies – October 15, 1977
Oh God - George Burns, John Denver, Teri Garr, Donald Pleasence
Looking For Mr. Goodbar - Tuesday Weld
Julia - Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave
“Damnation Alley - Jan-Michael Vincent, George Peppard