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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of March 21, 1983 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

More than 300 Palestinian schoolgirls are hospitalized for nausea and dizziness caused by a mysterious poison gas that struck three high schools in the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the Jordan River.

A crowd described as hostile forces former Vice President Walter F. Mondale and democratic mayoral candidate Harold Washington to abruptly cut short a visit to a Palm Sunday church service in Chicago. The crowd of about 150 persons was mostly white.

 The Israeli Parliament elects Chaim Herzog, the candidate of the opposition labor party to the largely ceremonial post of president of Israel. It’s a stunning parliamentary defeat form Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who is said to be shocked by the vote for Herzog as President.

President Regan nominates Bill Ruckelshaus as EPA administrator.

A jury in the Groucho Marx estate case returns a verdict in favor of the bank, which sued Erin Fleming - Groucho’s companion and secretary. The Bank of American sued Fleming for $428,000, claiming that she got that amount in money, stocks and property by browbeating and coercing the comedian. A lawyer representing the bank said she was more than a classic goldigger - “She was totally vulgar.” She was his companion and secretary from 1971 until his death at 86 in 1977. The issue in the civil suit was whether Fleming wrongfully took money and gifts from the superstar comedian during his final years.

Teamsters President Roy L. Williams is sentenced to 55 years in prison and fined $29,000 for his part in a conspiracy to bribe former U.S. Sen. Howard Cannon of Nevada. The judge told him  “Mr. Williams, you sold the working man out. You were willing to take the working man’s pension and use it. Yes use it four your own aggrandizement.” The union maintains his innocence and will appeal.

The nation’s unemployment rate edges down to 10.3%, a .1 drop from January’s and February’s 10.4%.

The Soviet Union criticizes President Reagan’s proposal for an interim agreement limiting medium-range missiles in Europe, calling it a negotiating ploy to pacify public opposition to the planned deployment of such weapons by NATO. A formal response by the Kremlin is due in a few days. 

Challenger makes its inaugural flight  - Space shuttle Challenger soars into orbit after being delayed for weeks. It’s debut had been set for late January, but fuel leaks sprung in all three of its main engines and in a fourth brought in as a replacement. On board, mission commander Paul Weitz, Karol Bobko, mission specialist; Story Musgrave, a medical doctor and Donald Peterson - an engineer. The crew is set to deploy the world’s largest communications satellite and execute the first U.S. space walk in nearly a decade. The satellite is intended to revolutionize space communications by relaying messages between Earth and as many as 26 orbiting satellites. 

The United States announces that it is granting political asylum to Hu Na, the 19-year-old Chinese tennis star who defected to the United States last summer. She was taking part in a tennis tournament last summer when she decided to defect.

A gallon of gas goes up 5 cents this week due to a federal excise tax increase. Ave price is now $1.11. 


Bestselling books – March 21, 1983

The Delta Star - Joseph Wambaugh

The Little Drummer Girl - John Le Carre

Lonesome Gods - Louis L’Amour

 Space - James A. Michener

Banker - Dick Francis

Master of the Game - Sidney Sheldon

The Valley of Horses - Jean  Auel

In Search of excellence: Lessons From America’s Best Run Companies - Thomas J. Peters

Blue Highways - William Least Heat Moon

Megatrends” Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives - John Naisbitt

Living, Loving and Learning - Leo Buscaglia

Jane Fonda’s Workout Book - Jane Fonda

Mary Ellen’s Help Yourself Diet - Mary E. Pinkham

Life Extension - Durk Pearsons and Sandy Shaw


Medical/Health news – March 21, 1983

At University of Utah Medical Center - Barney Clark dies some 112 days after becoming the first recipient of a permanently implanted artificial heart.

In vitro fertilization - The United States’ first “test-tube” twins – a boy and a girl – are born at North shore University Hospital on Long Island, New York.  Her name is Heather Jane and the boy is Todd. Both weighed over 7 pounds.


Fascinating Business news – March 21, 1983

Braniff Airways says that it has agreed in principle to sell 20 of its grounded 727 jetliners for $80 million to People Express airlines – a 2-year-old airliner serving the Northeast and Florida. Braniff is in bankruptcy protection and now says it plans to submit a reorganization plan calling for the sale or lease of its aircraft and related engines and spare parts.

For the first time in 30 years, Adolph Coors Co of Golden, Colo, puts a new beer on the market. Its “Golden Lager” goes on the shelves in five test markets this week. The company says the new beer is positioned “smack up against Budweiser,” the leader in the premium segment which also includes such products as Miller High Life, Schlitz, Olympia and others.


Entertainment News – March 21, 1983

Woody Allen files suit claiming that last December, the USA Cable Network broadcast an unauthorized interview with him. Allen charges that USA presented the interview – conducted in Toronto last summer to its national audience despite an oral agreement that the interview would not be shown in the U.S.

Looks like “E.T.” the video game is doing poorly in sales. It has been on the market since the holiday season and a New York analyst reports that $40 million to $50 million worth of E.T. video game cartridges are gathering dust in distributors’ warehouses.


Music news – March 21, 1983

Motown’s 25th anniversary concert – an incredible assemblage of talent is held at the Pasadena (CA) Civic Auditorium. Performing – Michael and all the Jacksons, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and others. The show will be broadcast by NBC in May.

Let’s face it, when it comes to the Culture Club, Boy George is the one everyone’s interested in. About his half masculine/half feminine  unique look, the soulful singer says – “It’s important to me as a person. It makes me feel good. I’ve gotten things I want being this way. I’ve been to great parties. I’ve met lots of interesting people. Looking like this makes some people want to know me.”

Coming In May – Another “US” Festival – Same Place In San Bernardino, CA.

Hot videos on MTV - “Bad To The Bone - George Thorogood. Features Bo Diddley and a cameo by Willie Mosconi. Also hot - “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” but MTV isn’t showing the original video, because it’s too controversial. The one you see is a Culture Club performance video from the British TV show “Top of the Pops.” The original shows Boy George serenading a jury wearing minstrel black face.


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – March 21, 1983

Billie Jean - Michael Jackson

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me - Culture Club

Hungry Like The Wolf - Duran Duran

Mr. Roboto - Styx

You Are - Lionel Ritchie

We’ve Got Tonight - Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton

One on One - Daryl Hall & John Oates

Separate Ways - Journey

Twilight Zone - Golden Earring

Der Kommissar - After The Fire

All Right - Christopher Cross

I Know There’s Something Going On - Frida

Fall In Love With Me - Earth, Wind & Fire

I’ve Got a Rock N’ Roll Heart - Eric Clapton

Change of Heart - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Poison Arrow - ABC

Whirly Girl - Oxo

Lies - Thompson Twins

Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners

Beat It - Michael Jackson


Top music albums – March 21, 1983

Thriller - Michael Jackson

H2O - Men at Work

Frontiers - Journey

Rio - Duran Duran

Lionel Ritchie - Lionel Ritchie

Toto IV - Toto

Pyromania - Def Leppard

Kilroy Was Here - Styx

The Distance - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Business As Usual - Men At Work

The Art of Falling Apart - Soft Cell

On the One - The Dazz Band

Side Kicks - The Thompson Twins

Trouble In Paradise - Randy Newman

We’ve Got Tonight - Kenny Rogers

Powerlight - Earth, Wind & Fire


Entertainment/Celebrity news – March 21, 1983

Nude pictures of Brooke Shields (now 17), standing and sitting in a bathtub when she was 10 years-old may be republished - rules the New York state appeals court, but not in pornographic magazines. Photographer Garry Gross says the pictures may be used in posters, but he hasn’t decided.  

Passing - Lorraine Collett Petersen, (90) the original Sun-Maid Raisin Girl in Fresno, Calif. She has adorned the famous red boxes since 1915. San Francisco artist Fanny Scafford produced the portrait, for which Mrs Petersen received nothing but her usual weekly salary of $15.00.

Passing - Gloria Swanson (84) - the silent movie queen who became a symbol of Hollywood’s golden years. 


Television news – March 21, 1983

The first installment of ABC’s “The Thorn Birds beat the opening episode of “The Winds of war,” the most watched miniseries of all time. “The Thorn Birds” runs for a total of 10 hours.  But wait, McDonalds has advised its franchise holders not to advertise in connection with “The Thorn Birds” unless their spots are placed early in the program before the Roman Catholic priest portrayed by Richard Chamberlain breaks his vow of chastity. 

Dorothy Fulheim (90) - who may be the nation’s oldest full-time TV reporter, signs another three-year contract with WEWS-TV in Cleveland.

Actor Ted Knight, who plays anchorman Ted Baxter on “Mary Tyler Moore” gives his WJM-TV blue blazer to the television hall of the Smithsonian Institution. The blazer joins other artifacts such as the chairs used by Archie and Edith Bunker and the leather jacket worn by the Fonz. 


Tuesday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – March 21, 1983

CBS - Ace Crawford, Private Eye, Gun Shy, Movie-”High Anxiety”

NBC - The A Team, Remington Steele

ABC - Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Thorn Birds

PBS - Nova, American Playhouse, What Price Health Care?

ESPN - Sportscenter, USFL Football - Oakland Invaders and Denver Gold

HBO - Movie-Escape From New York, La Cage Aux Folles II


On The A Team - a two-hour adventure. Reporter Amy Cullen persuades the team to search for her friend who has disappeared without a trace in the hills above Acapulco.

The Thorn Birds - Part III.

On the Tonight Show With Johnny Carson - Placido Domingo guests.


Top movies – March 21, 1983

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life - Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Spring Break - David Knell, Perry Lang, Paul Land, Steve Bassett

The Year of Living Dangerously - Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Kerr, Michael Murphy, Linda Hunt

Betrayal - Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, Patricia Hodge

10 to Midnight (forget what’s legal... do what’s right) - Charles Bronson, Lisa Elbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley

King of Comedy - Robert DeNiro, Jerry Lewis, Tony Randall, Diahnne Abbott, Dandra Bernhard

Walt Disney’s The Sword in the Stone

48 Hours - Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole

Britannia Hospital - Leonard Rossiter, Graham Crowden

Tender Mercies - Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley

Gandhi - Ben Kinglsey, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, Martin Sheen

The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton’s classic novel about youth) - C Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, Leif Garrett

E.T. - The Extraterrestrial - Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Henry Thomas

Tootsie - Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning

Savannah Smiles - Mark Miller, Donovan Scott, Bridgette Anderson, Michael Parks, Carol Wayne, Peter Graves

Tough Enough - Dennis Quaid, Stan Shaw, Carlene Watkins, Pam Grier, Warren Oates

Max Dugan Returns - Marsha Mason, Jason Robards, Donald Sutherland

High Road To China - Tom Selleck, Bess Armstrong  

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