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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of March 15, 1987 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

Funerals are held for three of four teens that died in a suicide pact in Bergenfield, NJ. The four had requested in a suicide note that they be buried together but the families arranged separate services.

John Gotti, reputed boss the largest Mafia family in the U.S. and six co-defendants are acquitted of all counts of racketeering and conspiracy.

Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis announces he will enter the contest for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, bringing to the campaign what his supporters claim is the appeal of traditional liberalism, combined with state-of-the-art managerial efficiency.

The INS sets rules for the landmark immigration law and it includes fees to be charged people seeking legal resident status beginning May 5. Under the law, an illegal immigrant cannot qualify   for the legal status if he seems likely to become a public charge, relying on social welfare programs. Ways to determine this possibility include looking at employment history and whether he has received government assistance. The INS intends to assess each illegal seeking legal residency $185 – some $10 higher than the agency first proposed. In addition, dependent children under 18 will be charged $50, but a family will charged no more than $420.

The House agrees by a narrow margin to allow states to raise the speed limit to 65mph on rural interstate highways. Later, the measure is thrown into limbo as Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole vowed to amend the legislation in a way that would please President Reagan. It’s said that Dole is trying to create a situation in which the House will be forced to accept a reduction in transportation spending or risk a deadlock that would not only doom the higher speed limit, but also could bring all federal highway aid to a halt.

Iran-contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh reaches an agreement with congressional investigators to allow former White House National Security Adviser John M. Poindexter to testify in secret about the scandal by mid-May under a limited grant of immunity from prosecution.

President Reagan emphatically denies that he had any prior knowledge that funds from the Iran arms-and-hostages deal were to be diverted to aid the anti-Sandinista rebels in Nicaragua.

Copycat teen suicide attempt – in Bergenfield, NJ – a 20-year-old woman and her 17-year-old boyfriend tried to kill themselves in the same garage where an acquaintance and three other teens carried out a suicide pact last week. 


Television evangelist meltdown – March 15, 1987

Television evangelist Oral Roberts, claiming his life is at stake says he will climb into his prayer tower in Tulsa to fast and pray for just over $1 million more in donations for his medical missionary program.

Later - Oral Roberts, facing what he called a deadline from God to raise $8 million by March 31 or die, receives the final $1.3 million from a Florida man. Roberts who said he had planned to fast and pray for the remaining money, now doesn’t have to, thanks to Jerry Collins, who owns several greyhound racetracks in the state. 

TV evangelist Jim Bakker is replaced by Jerry Falwell as chairman of the PTL Club. On March 9, Bakker’s wife and TV co-host Tammey Faye Bakker said she would leave the program for at least a year while being treated for drug dependency.


Medical/Health/AIDs  news update – March 15, 1987

Dr. Daniel Zagury, a French AIDS scientist injects himself with a prototype AIDS vaccine, beginning the first human testing of a vaccine against the deadly illness. Zagury doesn’t have the virus, but he doesn’t know the side effects of the test vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration grants final approval for the prescription sale of AZT, the first drug known to be effective in treating AIDS patients.


Entertainment/Celebrity/Movie news – March 15, 1987

Passing – Bil Baird, creator of puppets during television’s early years. “Charlemane, a hand puppet and the Bairds’ most popular had first appeared on CBS-TV’s “The Morning Show” in 1954 with Walter Cronkite.

Princess Diana, who was the guest of honor at a jazz ballet production at London’s Hippodrome club, spotted singer Boy George sitting below her and sent word she wanted to meet him. But when he got in line to meet her, officials told him go get out of the line. Just as a Buckingham Palace aide was hustling him away, the Princess broke free and shook his hand.

 Passing – Actor Robert Preston – best known for his starring role in the “Music Man.” He was 68.  

Vanna White – the popular letter-turner drops her attempt to keep Playboy from publishing semi-nude photos of her in May. She’s seen posing in Lingerie.

David Bowie and Tina Turner will appear in new Pepsi commercials. He’ll soon begin his “Glass Spider Tour” of which Pepsi is a sponsor.

In his USA Today column, talk show host Larry King says the heart attack he suffered last month has taught him a lesson in survival. He quit smoking, changed his diet and began regular exercise.

Interviewed on Gary Collins’ “Hour Magazine” – actor Burt Reynolds says rumors that he has AIDS are port of a carefully orchestrated and clandestine smear campaign. “Somebody’s doing a beautiful job of it.”

Woody Allen files a $10 million suit against Men’s World Outlet of New York – a men swear firm, for placing newspaper ads in which a look-alike of the comedian peddles suits he claims made him a “sex symbol.”

13th annual People’s Choice Awards –

Bill Cosby – favorite male TV performer/entertainer

Cybill Shepherd – favorite female TV performer

Barbara Mandrel – tied with Cybill Shepard – favorite female entertainer

Lionel Ritchie – favorite male musical performer.


Television news – March 15, 1987

Marlene Sanders is leaving CBS News. The network had proposed to give her radio-only work on nights and weekends.

The Walt Disney Company says it will buy KHJ-TV (Los Angeles) for $320 million from embattled RKO General. 

This week on the Oprah Winfrey show – Rape victims confront rapists! Women tell why they fell in love with criminals. Plus Hollywood’s hot new comedy acts.

So far this month, CBS news has laid-off more than 200 staffers as part of a $30 million budget cut. That’s getting a lot of attention for non-union CNN, which operates much leaner than its network counterparts. Several newspapers have done comparisons. CNN has an annual budget of $100 million/2,250 on staff compared to $275 million/1,200 on staff for ABC, $270 million/1020 on staff for CBS and $273 million/1,250 on staff for NBC.

CBS grants Phyllis George’s request to be released from her $1.2 million contract so she can help her husband, John Brown run for governor of Kentucky. 


Thursday night television listings/TV guide – March 15, 1987

CBS – The Wizard, Movie, NCAA Basketball

NBC – The Cosby Show, Debut-Roomies, Cheers, Cheers, Debut-Bronx Zoo, Tonight Show

ABC – Our World, The Colbys, 20/20

Fox – Late Show Starring Joan Rivers

PBS – Great Performances

Disney – Best of Walt Disney Presents, Movie (1973)-Tom Sawyer, DTV

USA – Riptide, Movie (1979)Saint Jack, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Dragnet


(Debut)  Roomies – A retired career Marine shares college quarters with a 14-year-old genius. Stars Burt Young and Corey Halm

CBS Movie – Play It Again Sam – Woody Allen.

Cheers #2 – Diane falls victim to her own experiment in paranoia.

(Debut) – Bronx Zoo – Ed Asner stars as a high school principal whose efforts to quell crime and chaos in his new job stir strong emotions. 

On the Tonight Show – Dalton Stevens the button king and Joe Garagiola.


Music news – March 15, 1987

Boy George, who has one conviction for heroin possession, pleas guilty to possessing marijuana. Judge Maria Black said the singer, whose real name is George O’Dowd, had made “amazing efforts” to come off drugs, and she let him go on a two-year “conditional discharge.” If he gets into trouble again with the law in that period, the marijuana charge can be brought back against him along with any new charges.

Record companies are beginning to send radio stations CD promo copies including CD singles. Many CD promo singles now feature more than one mix of a song. Warner Bros recently serviced a CD of Paul Simon’s “The Boy In The Bubble” with a 7-inch remix and a six-minute extended version.


Radio news – March 15, 1987

Soupy’s gone from NBC radio as two shows are canned -  WNBC radio cancels comedian Soupy Sales – who was doing the 10a-3p shift. He had been with the station since April 1985. NBC Radio Entertainment cancels the syndicated “Soupy Sales’ Moldy Oldie Show” effective March 27. It had been on the air since last April.

After a year in Philadelphia and WTRK, Ross Britain is returning to the Morning Zoo at Z-100 with Scott Shannon.


Top music albums  – March 15, 1987

Licensed to Ill – Beastie Boys

Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi

Invisible Touch – Genesis

The Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby & The range

Night Songs – Cinderella

Graceland – Paul Simon

Georgia Satellites

Control – Janet Jackson

 Fore! – Huey Lewis And The News

The Final Countdown – Europe

Life, Love and Pain – Club Nouveau

Rapture – Anita Baker


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – March 15, 1987

Jacob’s Ladder – Huey Lewis And The News

Let’s Wait Awhile – Janet Jackson

Somewhere Out There – Linda Ronstadt/James Ingram

Lean On Me – Club Nouveau

Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi

Big Time – Peter Gabriel

You Got It All – The Jets

You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party – Beastie Boys

Tonight Tonight Tonight – Genesis

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship

Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis

 Brand New Lover – Dead Or Alive

I Wanna Go Back – Eddie Money

Keep Your Hands To Yourself – Georgia Satellites

Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House

Will You Still Love Me? – Chicago

The Final Countdown – Europe

Let’s Go! – Wang Chung

Candy – Cameo


Top hit music singles in Britain – March 15, 1987

Stand By Me – Ben E. King

When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge

Male Stripper – Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish

Live it Up – Mental As Anything

Crush On You – Jets

Down To Earth – Curiosity Killed The Cat

Everything I Own - Boy George

I Get The Sweetest Feeling – Jackie Wilson

The Great Pretender – Freddie Mercury


Top country hit music singles – March 15, 1987

Baby’s Got A New Baby – S-K-O

Twenty Years Ago – Kenny Rogers

No Place Like Home – Randy Travis

I’ll Still Be Loving You – Restless Heart

Talkin’ To The Moon – Larry, Steve, Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers

Ocean Front Property – George Straight

Forever – The Statler Brothers

You’ve Got The Touch – Alabama

Take The Long Way Home – Jim Schneider

The Right Left Hand – George Jones

Kids of the Baby Boom – Bellamy Brothers


Top movies – March 15, 1987

Lethal Weapon

Nightmare on Elm Street – Part 3


Angel Heart

Outrageous Fortune

Some Kind of Wonderful


Black Widow


Radio Days

Crocodile Dundee

Over The Top

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