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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of December 15, 1983 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

Responding to criticism of escalating U.S. military involvement in Lebanon, President Regan declares American Marines will be withdrawn fro Beirut if there is a “collapse of order” there.

Salvadoran armed forces vow to eradicate right-wing death squads, abdicating to U.S. military pressure.

Wholesale prices fell by .2% in November led by declining costs of fuel and food.

Italian ferry Appia, carrying 93 wounded Palestinian guerrillas and civilians, sails from Tripoli to begin the humiliating second evacuation from Lebanon of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization.

Israeli gunboats fire on Tripoli, forcing trapped PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and thousands of his guerrilla followers to cancel their evacuation by sea, at least for a day.

Two bombs explode minutes apart at French regional headquarters and at a hotel bar in west Beirut. A total of 12 are killed.

President Regan says that U.S. Marines will remain in Lebanon until they accomplish their peacekeeping mission, unless the Lebanese government undergoes a “complete change of course” and asks that they be withdrawn.

The Irish Republican Army says that its guerrillas planted a deadly car bomb outside Harrods department store without authorization from the IRA high command. The group apologized for the civilian casualties and said it has taken steps to prevent a repetition of “this type of operation.”

San Francisco – Fourteen Laotian refugees are critically ill in Bay Area hospitals after eating a deadly species of wild mushrooms of which there is no known antidote.

Right to die - Elizabeth Bouvia, the 26-year-old cerebral palsy victim who wants to escape what she considers a hopeless life, has no right to starve herself to death – a Superior Court judge ruled in Riverside, CA. 

Secretary of State George Shultz complains that reporters always want to reveal information “that’s going to screw things up” and President Regan said the ban on the media during the Grenada invasion cut casualties. Interviewed, he delivered this explanation –“In World War II, reporters were involved all along. And on the whole, they were on our side. But today, it seems as though reporters are always against us… they’re always seeking to report something that’s going to screw things up.” 

A car plows into a crowd of holiday shoppers on New York’s 5th Avenue, injuring at least 51, after a police officer told an occupant of a parked car to drive it away.

78 are killed when fire sweeps through a crowded disco in Madrid.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. passed the New York state bar on his second try.


Fascinating Business news – December 15, 1983

Fotomat – the film processor and developer, whose retail outlets are a fixture in shopping areas coast-to-coast, says it lost $13.6 million in the last quarter and is near default on $12.5 million in bank loans.


Sports news – December 15, 1983

Wayne Gretsky scores two goals Sunday night at Winnipeg and assisted tow others to reach 100 points – quicker than any player in NHL history (34 games).

Vita Blue – a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher and one of baseball’s biggest stars through the 1970’s, is ordered to spend three months in prison and fined $5,000 on a drug charge.

Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends Dodgers pitcher Steve Howe for the entire 1984 season – after Howe was tested for cocaine and results came out positive.


Technology news – December 15, 1983

Home video tape sales doubled this year to 11 million.

First 71-minute CD – the most you can have on a compact disc is being offered by Denon It’s Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. 


Radio news – December 15, 1983

The most fascinating radio station in the world is atomic time station WWV, near Ft Collins, CO. Scripps-Howard’s Deborah Frazier writes an article this month about this unique shortwave station, which can save lives… Thanks Scripps-Howard! You can hear WWV on your shortwave radio at 2.5, 5.0, 10.0, 15.0 and 20mhz depending on your location and time of day. Sister station is WWVH in Hawaii on the same channels. WWV’s time announcer is male.

More top-40 FM stations as WASH, Washington and KDWB, Minneapolis complete their switches.

Legendary New York personality Dan Ingram is returning to the air with a weekly countdown show . Ingram’s been off the air since WABC went talk May of last year. He says he’s been offered at least three morning and afternoon air shifts in New York, including Z-100 and WPLJ, which is owned by ABC, “but the money was never right.” His countdown show has a twist – in that the five CBS-FM affiliates signed to carry the show will participate in its music research. Ironically, the show has not yet cleared in Ingram’s New York City, where he held afternoons on WABC for 21 years.


Entertainment/Celebrity news – December 15, 1983

In Boston - Actress Jodi Foster is fined $100 by a U.S. Customs official for carrying what appeared to be a small amount of cocaine – and will face charges if lab tests prove that the substance was cocaine. 


Top TV Shows/Nielsen ratings – December 15, 1983

60 Minutes – 29.4

Dallas – 27.3

The A-Team – 27.1

Dynasty – 25.7

 Simon & Simon – 24.7

Falcon Crest – 24.4

Magnum, P.I. – 24.4

All Star Party – 23.0

Hotel – 22.0

Knots Landing – 21.8

Love Boat – 21.5

Monday Night Football – 21.2

Remington Steele – 20.7

Movie-Through Naked Eyes – 20.2

Barbara Walters Special – 19.7

Hill Street Blues – 18.9

Best Christmas Pageant ever – 18.9

AfterMash – 18.7

Knight Rider – 18.6

Jeffersons – 18.3

Newhart – 19.2

T.J. Hooker – 18.0

Fantasy – Island – 17.7


Television news – December 15, 1983

Former President Gerald Ford, his wife Betty and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger make $330 each for their cameo appearances on this week’s “Dynasty” on ABC-TV.

Anthony Geary is leaving his role of Luke Spencer on General Hospital at the end of the year. He had been with the afternoon soap for five years.

Seen in syndication – Dick Clark’s Salute! This week features Jerry Lee Lewis.

Don’t miss Perry Como’s Christmas In New York featuring Michele Lee of Knot’s Landing. On ABC-TV.

Another holiday special – “John Schneider’s Christmas Holiday” which finds the “Dukes of Hazzard” star singing “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Christmas Waltz” and others.


Sunday night television – December 15, 1983

CBS – 60 Minutes, Alice, One Day At A Time, Circus of the Stars

NBC – First Camera, Knight Rider, Movie

ABC – The Pope and the Vatican, Hardcastle & McCormick, Movie

PBS – Nature, Masterpiece Theater

HBO – Fraggle Rock, Movie-Six Weeks w/Dudley Moore, The Hitchhiker

USA – Countdown to ’84, PBA Bowling, Pro Boxing

MTV – The Kids Are Alright/Film on The Who, Music videos


On First Camera – With anchor Lloyd Dobyns.

On Knight Rider – Michael and KITT rescue a Gypsy con artist who stole a piece of important evidence in a stick-up.

NBC Movie – “National Lampoon’s Animal House” with John Belushi, Tim Matheson and John Vernon.

 ABC Movie – “Goldfinger” with Sean Connery as James Bond.


Music news – December 15, 1983


Music quotes –

Boy George – “We don’t ask people at the door, “hey are you a fat? It doesn’t matter. Pop music is popular, and popular is everyone. As long as people enjoy our music, that’s what we are there for.”

Thanksgiving record and tape sales were the strongest since 1979 with gains of 5-30% reported by retailers.

Pepsi Cola’s deal with the Jacksons for their 1984 tour sponsorship is $10 million.

New artist – Cyndi Lauper. Originally from Brooklyn. In 1977, she joined keyboardist/saxophonist John Turi to form Blue Angel Records. Her “Girls Just Want To have Fun,” written by Robert Hazard, looks like a hit.

MTV – At a video music conference, MTV head Bob Pittman offered some reasons why the video music business is growing:

“The TV babies are now of age and they have different expectations of their TV set. We don’t know life without TV. The set is part of our lives. TV babies will accept new forms, but broadcast TV still programs in a linear form, with a beginning, a middle and end. TV babies hunger for new forms; video games and video music television.

Continues Pittman – “We hear a lot today about kids not passing tests, but those tests measure linear comprehension. Kids today process information in a different way. They can pick up information from different sources and process it. They process information in clusters. You can see this influence in the movies, as in ‘Flashdance,’ and on MTV. Music videos are not based on plot and continuity. Video music is the hottest new development in the entertainment industry.”


Billboard’s Top Pop  Music Artists For 1983:

Michael Jackson

Men At Work

The Police

Duran Duran

Def Leppard


Daryl Hall & John Oates


Lionel Richie


Culture Club


Stray Cats

Billy Joel

Laura Branigan


Bob Seger & The Sliver Bullet Band

Thomas Dolby

Willie Nelson

Pink Floyd

Stevie Nicks

David Bowie

The Fixx

Pat Benatar

Bryan Adams

Olivia Newton-John


Kenny Rogers

Phil Collins

Jane Fonda

Flock of Seagulls

Little River Band


Top pop hit singles in Britain – December 15, 1983

Only You – Flying Pickets

Love Of The Common People – Paul Young

My Oh My – Slade

Hold Me Know – Thompson Twins

Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

Calling Your Name – Marilyn

Move Over Darling – Tracey Ullman

Let’s Stay Together – Tina Turner

Please Don’t Fall In Love – Cliff Richard


Top pop hit singles(top-40) – December 15, 1983

Say Say Say – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

All Night Long (All Night) – Lionel Richie

Twist of Fate – Olivia Newton-John 

Union of the Snake – Duran Duran

Church of the Poison Mind – Culture Club

Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

Undercover of the Night – Rolling Stones

Whey Me? – Irene Cara

Owner of a Lonely Heart – Yes

Major Tom (Coming Home) – Peter Schilling

Crumblin’ Down – John Cougar Mellencamp

Cum On Feel The Noize – Quiet Riot

I Guess That’s Why The Call It The Blues – Elton John

Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder

Synchronicity II – The Police

In A Big Country – Big Country

Ain’t Nobody – Rufus With Chaka Khan

 Souls – Rick Springfield

Joanna – Kool and the Gang  

Time Will Reveal – DeBarge

Karma Chameleon – Culture Club

Read ‘Em And Weep – Barry Manilow

If I’d Been The One – 38 Special

That’s All - Genesis 

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