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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of February 15, 1985 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

American Journalist Jeremy Levin, kidnapped 11 months ago in Beirut is free from captivity. Either he escaped or was set free. Levin is being cared for in Damascus and is in good condition. 

The price of a first-class mail stamp goes up to 22 cents this week - the first rate increase in more than three years.

The Reagan Administration abandons its claim that aid to Nicaraguan rebels is justified because the insurgents intercept arms shipments to El Salvador. Instead, it plans to ask Congress to renew such assistance on the grounds that military pressure is needed to force the leftist Manugua regime to negotiate.

Third Artificial Heart Operation is Successful - Dr William C DeVries and his team, implant an artificial heart in Murray P. Haydon in Louisville. The patient, 58, is in very stable condition. 

Gen William C. Westmoreland decides to withdraw his $120 million lawsuit against CBS without going to the jury. He had charged that the network libeled him in a 1982 documentary on the Vietnam War. Westmoreland is America’s best-known field general since World War II. 


Bestselling books - February 15, 1985

If Tomorrow Comes - Sidney Sheldon

The Talisman - Stephen King

The Sicilian - Mario Puzo

So Long and Thanks For All The Fish - Douglas Adams

Moscow Rules - Robert Moss

Illusions of Love - Cynthia Freeman

Glitz - Elmore Leonard

The Finishing School - Gail Godwin

Iacocca - Lee Iacocca

Loving each Other - Leo Buscaglia

Citizen Hughs - Michael Drosnin

What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School - Mark H. McCormanck

Nothing Down - Robert G. Allen

Women Coming of Age - Jane Fonda

Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn - Evan S. Connell

The Bridge Across Forever - Richard Bach


Technology news – February 15, 1985

Computer News - In San Jose, a 15 year-old boy becomes the first person cited under a new California law against computer trespassing. The youth allegedly attempted to get into Stanford University’s system with a home computer. Authorities say he was not formally arrested, but was cited for an infraction. He could have been charged with a misdemeanor. The new law provides penalties for adults of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Intel Corp announces it will lay off nearly 900 workers when it closes to plants in California and cuts back operations at facilities in Oregon and Arizona. Two components-testing plants will close in Santa Clara. Said a spokesman - “Our components operations have been hurt by a sharp drop in demand caused by a major inventory correction underway among our customers, especially those in office automation.”

Xerox announces that it is getting out of the personal computer market. Analysts say that, although the company was first with a PC model, the company failed to cash in “on crucial lead time.” According to Ad Age, Eagle Computer and Columbia Data Products “are barely afloat.” The company will try to sell its remaining inventory through its direct sales force and dealers. The company plans to announce new computer products my midyear. 

Burial in space becomes closer to reality - Transportation Department grants “mission approval” for preliminary plans of Space Services Inc - a fledging rocket company, to carry cremated human remains into space in late 1986 or 1987. The company says it wants to use its own “Conestoga” rocket for the Celestis Group of Melbourne, Fla to carry the ashes of more than 10,000 persons into a 1,900 orbit. The company says burial in space would cost $3,900 and the orbiting container would be coated with a highly reflective surface to make it easy to spot from the ground through small telescopes or binoculars. Celestis says it will mail 23,000 flyers to funeral directors to brief them on the service.


Sports news – February 15, 1985

 Tug McGraw (40) - Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher, announces his retirement from baseball. In his 17year pro career, he played with the New York Mets for the first 10, and then moved to Philly.


Radio news – February 15, 1985

Rona Barrett will provide a daily 90-second segment titled “Rona Barrett’s Entertainment Report” on the Mutual Radio Network. It begins April 15.

DIR debuts Scott Muni’s “Ticket To Ride.” The program claims to be the first coast-to-coast weekly Beatles show.

Paul Schaefer from “Late Night With David Letterman” now hosts a weekly Friday morning show over New York’s WAPP (103.5).

Rolling Stone Magazine’s reader’s poll names WMMS (Cleveland) “radio station of the year.” It’s the sixth consecutive time.


Jane Fonda Videos – February 15, 1985

Jane Fonda becomes the first artist to have three titles on Billboard’s Top Video cassettes sales top 10 at the same time. They are “Jane Fonda’s Workout,” Prime Time Workout” and “Workout Challenge.” “Jane Fonda’s Workout” has been a top 10 title for 145 weeks.


Entertertainment news - February 15, 1985

Passing - actor Nicholas Colasanto (61) - best known for his role on the television series “Cheers” where he played Ernie Pantusso, a former baseball coach tending bar in Boston. The actor suffered a heart attack while sitting in bed watching television at home. He wasrecently hospitalized by a long-standing heart ailment and had missed several episodes of the show. Last week, he attended a taping of the show as a spectator, assuring the cast that he was feeling better and expected to rejoin the cast for the final show of the season.

The movie “Peggy Sue Got Married” which was suppose to begin shooting next month - won’t. Its star - Debra Winger, aggravated a back injury suffered in high school. The herniated disc will keep her out for “six weeks to six months” according to her publicist. Producer Paul Gurian is a little upset - “I have an entire crew assembled and ready to begin principal photography. This is a picture designed for one star and we’ve been through a lot of rocky roads.” (She would be replaced by Kathleen Turner). 

Singer/actress Cher accepts the “Women of the Year” award from Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals Club. Students appeared in their traditional 20-minute parade through Harvard Square decked in wigs of all colors, overdone makeup, overstuffed bosoms and fringed or tasseled floor-length gowns. Cher rode in the parade perched atop a 1930’s vintage Lincoln Continental convertible. Accepting her small gold pot after the parade - she said, “This is a nightmare. I don’t know what the other recipients did with their pots, but I’m going to make mine into an earring.”


Television news – February 15, 1985

Sports – ABC-TV is less than happy with its clearance for the 1985 USFL season which debuts next week. Fewer TV stations will carry the games this year.  

Next month, the Nashville Network celebrates two years and in April, will debut a weekly airing of “Grand Ole Opry.” It’s the first time the program will be offered to a national audience. TNN can be seen in 20.6 million houses.

Group W Cable begins a campaign aimed at educating its subscribers in the use of their VCR’s. They’ve discovered that many of their customers had trouble hooking up their devices with a cable connection – a quite often, they’re blamed for the problem.

Walt Disney Pictures will begin supplying cartoon programming for Saturday morning network TV for the first time with the first two shows headed to CBS and NBC. CBS will air “The Wuzzles” and NBC will offer “The Gummi Bears.”

ABC’s “Nightline” has received permission from the South African government to broadcast five programs from the racially divided nation beginning the week of March 18. On the air for “Nightline,” Ted Koppel, commentator Jeff Greenfield and correspondent Ken Walker.                         .


Thursday Night Television listings-programs/TV guide – February 15, 1985

CBS- Magnum, PI, Simon & Simon, Knots Landing

NBC - Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Night Court, Hill Street Blues

ABC - Movie, 20/20

PBS - The Nature of Things, Mystery!, Faulty Towers, To The Manor Born, Late night America

MTV - Video Music

 Disney Channel - From Disney With Love, Mousterpiece Theater, Movie, Disney Family Album, Movie 


Cheers - A friend turns up to collect on a bet Sam made during his drinking days.

Hill Street Blues - Goldblume is an unlikely heartthrob hero of an attractive young women when he saves her life during an undercover investigation into international weapons sales.

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson - Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme and Lavern McDavitt (whose 97 years-old). 


Music news – February 15, 1985

British rock ‘n’ roll series “The Tube,” is picked-up by MTV for U.S. cablecast the first Sunday of each month. The 60-minute show is hosted by Jools Holland and Paula Yates and features performances, talk and archival footage. It’s been the U.K airwaves for two years. 

CD sales tripled in 1984 to 15.6 million – up from 4.9 million in 1983.

The song “New York, New York” is declared Gotham’s official song at a City Hall ceremony. New York Mayor Ed Koch presented a certificate of appreciation to the songwriters – John Kander and Fred Ebb. 

Prince, Linda Ronstadt and Pat Benatar are the first three artists set to contribute a track to the forthcoming “USA For Africa” album due in April. Neither appeared on the single “We Are The World.” Ronstadt had the flu, Benatar was in the last weeks of pregnancy and Prince simply didn’t show up. Prince will offer “Tears InYour Eyes and Ms. Ronstadt is contributing “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now” an outtake from her “Lush Life” album.

Barry Richards debuts a TV show that mimics the newfound “Zoo” morning shows heard on radio. Debuting over KDOC-TV in Anaheim, the show is titled “Video Zoo.” Guests will include recording artists, local celebrities and an assortment of characters including “the world’s largest weatherman – he’ll have a map of the United States on his stomach. Richards is best-known for TV music shows around the Washington/Baltimore area. 


Videos Playing On MTV – February 15, 1985

 Run To You – Bryan Adams

Easy Lover – Bialey and Collins

Tender Years – John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band

You’re The Inspiration – Chicago

I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner

Boys Of Summer – Don Henley

Keepin’ the Faith - Billy Joel


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – February 15, 1985

Careless Whisper - Wham

Easy Lover - Philip Bailey/Phil Collins

Can’t Fight This Feeling - REO Speedwagon

The Heat Is On - Glenn Frey

 Method of Modern Love - Hall and Oates

Sugar Walls - Sheena Easton

Lover Boy - Billy Ocean

I Want to Know What Love Is - Foreigner

Neutron Dance - Pointer Sisters

The Heat Is On - Glenn Frey

California Girls - David Lee Roth

Method of Modern Love - Hall and Oates

The Old Man Down the Road - John Fogarty

Neutron Dance - The Pointer Sisters

I Would Die 4 U - Prince

Solid - Ashford & Simpson

Love Light in Flight - Stevie Wonder

Rockin’ At Midnight - The Honeydrippers

Lover Girl - Teena Marie

Misled - Kool and the Gang

Mr. Telephone Man - New Edition

One More Night - Phil Collins

Material Girl - Madonna

Too Late For Goodbyes - Julian Lennon


Top Music Albums – February 15, 1985

Like a Virgin - Madonna

Make It Big - Wham

Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen

Centerfield - John Fogerty

New Edition - New Edition

Reckless - Bryan Adams

17 - Chicago

Private Dancer - Tina Turner

Agent Provocteur - Foreigner 

Purple Rain - Prince


More Music Albums – February 15, 1985

I Feel For You - Chaka Khan

Big Bam Boom - Hall & Oates

What’s New - Linda Ronstadt and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra

Sports - Huey Lewis & The News

Special Beat Service - The English Beat

Fame & Fashion - David Bowie

Beverly Hills Cop - soundtrack

Volotte - Julian Lennon

Wheels are Turning - REO Speedwagon

Crazy From The Heat - David Lee Roth

Emergency - Kool and the Gang

40 Hour Week - Alabama

Chinese Wall - Philip Bailey

Solid - Ashford & Simpson


Top Country Hit Music Singles – February 15, 1985

Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On - Mel McDaniel

Baby Bye Bye – Gary Morris

You Turn Me On (Like A Radio) – Ed Bruce

My Only Love – The Statler Brothers

My Baby’s Got Good Thing – Dan Seals

A Lady Like You – Glen Campbell

Make My Life With You – Oak Ridge Boys

Crazy For Your Love – Exile

What She Wants – Michael Martin Murphy

A Tangled Up In Love – Gus Hardin


Top Videocassettes Movie  Rentals – February 15 1985

Police Academy


All of Me

The Natural

Romancing the Stone


Top movies – February 15, 1985

The Killing Fields - Sam Waterson, Dr Haing S Ngor, Craig T. Nelson, John Malkovich

Purple Rain - Prince

Heaven Help Us - Andrew McCarthy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kevin Dillon, Malcolm Danare, Kate Reid, Wallace Shawn

The Breakfast Club (They only met once, but it changed their lives forever) - Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Turk - 182 - Timothy Hutton, Robert Urich, Kim Cattrall, Robert Culp, Darren McGavin, Peter Boyle

The Mean Season - Kurt Russell, Muriel Hemingway

Fast Forward - John Scott Clough, Don Franklin

Beverly Hills Cop

The Falcon and the Snowman - John Schlesinger, Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn

The Cotton Club - Richard Gere,  Gregory Hines, Diane Laine

Witness - Harrison Ford

1984 - Richard Burton, John Hurt

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