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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of January 1, 1986 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

 (New Year’s Eve) Singer Rick Nelson (45) is killed with six others in the crash of a plane carrying his band to a New Year’s Eve concert in Dallas. The pilot and co-pilot of the DC-3 survived. The plane, on fire, landed in woods just short of an airport runway near De Kalb, Tex. Nelson and his band had appeared in Guntersville, Alabama and were headed for Dallas to play at the new Park Suite Hotel.  Among those killed – his fiancée – Helen Blair (27) and band members Rick Intveld, Andy Chapin, Bobby Neal and Patrick Woodward. Also dead – soundman Clark Russell.

Historic - New Year’s peace exchanges on television as President Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev use the medium go give each country a peace appeal. Seen on American TV – Gorbachev’s message expressed hope for a reduction of mistrust between the two countries. On Soviet television – President Reagan, in a five minute address, emphasized that “there is much work to be done” before the two nations can enjoy genuine peace. The messages were broadcast at the same time.   

The United States urges some nations of Western Europe to stop selling Libya machinery and spare parts for its oil industry, in retaliation of its sponsorship of the terrorists who attacked the Rome and Vienna airports a few days ago.

President Reagan scorned a threat by Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi, saying he does not responding to anyone who approves of terrorist attacks on children. The President was asked about Kadafi’s warning that any retaliation by Israel and the United states for the airport bombings in Rome and Vienna would lead to a “tit for tat’ cycle of violence and include Libyans harassing “American citizens in their own streets.” “I don’t answer fellows who think it’s all right to shoot11-year-old girls,” said the President, a reference to Natasha Simpson – an American girl killed in the Rome attack on Dec. 27.

White House spokesman Larry Speakes says the Reagan Administration has “firm evidence” that Libya harbors training camps for terrorists and has provided sanctuary for Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal.

The Navy with the routine deployment of a carrier battle group into the Mediterranean Sea has forces in place to launch a retaliatory strike against Libya. President Reagan says it was business as usual –"I’m not aware that we’re doing anything out of the ordinary at all” he told reporters.

The Los Angeles school board orders all-year school and wants it implemented within 5 years. There’s just two-many students to go a regular year.

Chilean air force officers recover the bodies of eight American globetrotters and two Chilean crewmen killed when their chartered plane crashed into an Antarctic glacier and were flying them back to Chile.

 Postmaster General Paul Carbin a career postal service worker who rose to the top job a year ago, is ousted and replaced by former American Airlines Chairman Albert Casey. The action reflected displeasure over slow and costly shifts to automated mail handling and a controversial ZIP plus 4 coding system among other woes.

Agriculture Secretary John Block who presided over the most difficult times for American farmers since the depression, announces his resignation hailing “better times ahead for farmers.”

Rioting inmates who seized control of the West Virginia Penitentiary release six hostages under an agreement that will allow them to air their grievances on television and called for a face-to-face meeting with the governor. 

A record number of women and blacks say they support President Reagan, according to a poll which finds that 68% of Americans approve of his performance. 


Sports news – January 1, 1986

John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors win their opening matches in the $500,000 AT&T Challenge tournament at Atlanta. Second-seeded McEnroe defeated Kevin Curren and fourth-seeded Connors beat Yannick Noah.

 Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers is simply on fire. In a game against the Flyers, he scored a hat trick – his 36th hat trick of his seven-year career. Most of the season, Gretzky has been content setting up his teammates for goals. He is on a record-breaking assist pace, with 70 in 37 games.


Bowl games –

Rose Bowl – UCLA 45   Iowa – 28

Sugar Bowl – Tennessee – 35   Miami – 7

Cotton – Texas A&M - 36   Auburn- 16

Orange Bowl – Oklahoma – 25   Penn State - 10


Entertainment/Celebrity news – January 1, 1986

 Rick Nelson is eulogized as a humorous and sensitive artist. About 250 family members and friends packed the Forest Lawn Memorial park in the Hollywood Hills daughter Tracy Nelson (22) characterized her dad as a “quiet and honorable man…” Among those attending – Col. Tom Parker, Skip Young who played Rick’s best friend Wally on the family sitcom and actor Don DeFore. Brother David recalled that when he and Rick were youngsters, their dad would play hide and seek with them at bedtime, then kneel between their beds while they all sang the Lord’s Prayer. 


Playing in Las Vegas –

Pointer Sisters – Caesars Palace

Bobby Vinton, Smothers Brothers – Desert Inn

Dean Martin – MGM Hotel


Music news – January 1, 1986

 A judge rejects singer David Crosby’s request to return to a drug rehabilitation center he waked away from last Feb. 24 and orders him back to jail.

Christopher Cross, the Oscar and Grammy award-winning pop-rock singer-songwriter wants to be a competitive race driver. The desire to drive struck him several years ago and he’s hooked.

Columbia Records says that Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” has surpassed 10 million sales. The label’s other big album of the year was Wham!’s “Make It Big” at about 3.5 million.

Warner Brothers had a good year – Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” has topped 6 million. Dire Straits is nearing 4 million and Talking Heads had its first platinum album with “Little Creatures.” Prince’s “Around the World In a Day” album has sold nearly 3 million, but still sold less than a third of his previous album, “Purple Rain.” The label also had a platinum EP from David Lee Roth and gold records from newcomers A-Ha.


Television news – January 1, 1987

Showtime airs “Garry Shandling’s 25th Anniversary Special. Guests include Johnny Carson, Doug McClure and Donny Osmond.

Aggressive Sam Donaldson, defending his interviewing techniques tells TV Guide: “Presidents like reporters who get in there and play. This President – he was an actor – he likes people with the knack. I’m not advocating rudeness or impertinence for impertinence’s sake, but I’ far more worried about the reporters who are either too afraid or to disinclined to ask questions and to fight for answers than I am about the reporters who may be overzealous.”

More and more consumer (big C-band) satellite dishes are popping up, but the problem is, they can tune into direct feeds of pay-TV channels such as HBO.

HBO and the like want to scramble their signals, but manufacturers and owners of satellite receiving dishes want Congress to block the move.


Wednesday night television listings/programming/TV guide – January 1, 1986

CBS – Mary, Happy New Year, Charley Brown, Movie,

NBC – Orange Bowl, Tonight Show

ABC – The Sugar Bowl, Nightline

PBS – From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration, Mark Russell

HBO – Movie-“2010,” Everly Brothers Reunion Concert.

A&E – Icebound in the Antarctic

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