As the decade of the 1960’s comes to a close, these were some of the memories of this year
In the year 1969, the United States economy was struggling with inflation. From January to March, torrential rains would hit Southern California. These were the heaviest rains in 100 years, leaving 100 people dead and causing over $60,000,000 in property damage. Richard M. Nixon would be inaugurated President on January 20. In March, James Earl Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison for the assassination of Martin Luther King. On April 3 the U.S combat deaths in Viet Nam would surpass the number of combat deaths in the Korean War. On April 23 Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on June 6, 1968. He was being held in custody in California and in 1972 California got rid of the death penalty. His sentence was then commuted to life in prison. On May 18, the first manned mission to the Moon (Apollo 10) would begin. Thomas P. Stafford, Eugene A Cernan and John W Young, aboard the Lunar Excursion Module, would descend to within 10 miles of the Moon’s surface. They would return to Earth on May 26. On July 18 an event happened that would forever haunt the career of Senator Ted Kennedy. The car he was driving crashed off a bridge into the waters of Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. The passenger in his car, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned while Kennedy left the scene of the accident. He reported the accident the next day and apologized to the people of Massachusetts. In a televised statement on July 25 he called his actions indefensible and he asked his constituents to help him decide whether or not to continue his career in the Senate. After a favorable response from the voters, he returned to the Senate. One of the top events of this century would occur on July 21 as Apollo 11 approached the Moon. The eyes of the nation were riveted to the television as this adventure unfolded.
In less than a month from Man’s landing on the moon, mother nature unleashed her fury on the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Camille would be second biggest hurricane to ever hit the United States, at that time. Winds of 170 mph were recorded.
Also in the month of August, Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York was the scene for the Woodstock Music Festival (over 400,000 would attend this 3 day event).
——————————————–Cost Of Living—————————————
———————————————The World Of Sports————————————
In the world of football, Super Bowl III was played on January 12. The New York Jets would defeat The Baltimore Colts 16 to 7. The 1969 championship games for the AFL and NFL would be played in January of 1970, followed by Super Bowl IV two weeks later. In the NBA, The Boston Celtics would defeat The Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 3 to win the NFL title. In the ABA, The Oakland Oaks defeated The Indiana Pacers 4 games to 1 to win the ABA title (Rick Barry was the first major star to join the ABA and he would lead the Oaks to a title in 1969. In the world of baseball, the Major Leagues would celebrate their 100th anniversary with the addition of 4 new teams. The San Diego Padres and Montreal Expos were added to the National League and The Kansas City Royals and The Seattle Pilots were added to the American league. The Seattle Pilots would eventually become The Milwaukee Brewers. On September 22, Willie Mays would hit the 600th home run of his career. The 1969 World Series was won by The New York Mets as they would defeat The Baltimore Orioles 4 games to 1. “The Amazin’ Mets” had gone from the lovable losers in 1962 ( a record of 40-120) to World Champs in 1969.
——————————————The World Of Television—————————-
The top shows on TV this year were “The FBI” (ABC, Sunday 8:00-9:00 PM), “Bewitched” (ABC, Thursday 8:30-9:00 PM), “Saturday Night Movie” (NBC, Saturday 9:00-11:00 PM), “Mod Squad” (ABC, Tuesday 7:30-8:30 PM), “Movie Of The Week” (ABC, Tuesday 8:30-10:00 PM), “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” (CBS, Wednesday 7:30-8:30 PM), “Hawaii Five O” (CBS, 10:00-11::00 PM), “Beverly Hillbillies” (CBS, Wednesday 8:30-9:00 PM), “Ironside”(NBC, Thursday 8:30-9:30PM)
“My Three Sons” (CBS, Saturday 8:30-9:00 PM), “The Dean Martin Show” (NBC, Thursday 10:00-11::00 PM), “The Carol Burnett Show” (CBS, Monday 10:00-11:00 PM), “The Jim Nabors Hour” (CBS, Thursday 8:00-9:00 PM), “The Bill Cosby Show” (NBC, Sunday 8:30-9:00 PM), “The Doris Day Show” (CBS, Monday 9:30-10:00 PM), “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World Of Color” (NBC, Sunday 7:30-8:30 PM), “Marcus Welby, MD” (ABC, Tuesday 10:00-11:00 PM), “The Red Skelton Hour” (CBS, Tuesday 8:30-9:30 PM), “Here’s Lucy” (CBS, Monday 8:30-9:00 PM), “Family Affair” (CBS, Thursday 7:30-8:00 PM), “Mayberry RFD” (CBS, Monday 9:00-9:30 PM), “Bonanza” (NBC, Sunday 9:00-10:00 PM) and “Gunsmoke” (CBS, Monday 7:30-8:30PM). The top rated show this year was still “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In” (NBC, Monday 8:00-9:00 PM).
The announcer coming to you from beautiful downtown Burbank was none other than Gary Owens. Gary had been a disc jockey on San Francisco-Oakland radio station KEWB back in 1959. Other shows on TV this year would include “Medical Center” (CBS, Wednesday 9:00-10:00 PM), “Wild Kingdom” (NBC, Sunday 7:00-7:30 PM), “The Johnny Cash Show” (ABC, Saturday 9:30-10:30 PM), “Hee Haw” (CBS, Sunday 9:00-10:00 PM), “Land Of The Giants” (ABC, Sunday 7:00-8:00 PM), “Room 222” (ABC, Wednesday 8:30-9:00 PM), “The Ghost & Mrs.Muir” (ABC, Thursday 7:30-8:00 PM), “Adam 12” (NBC, Saturday 8:30-9:00 PM), “The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father” (ABC, Wednesday , “The Dating Game” (ABC, Saturday 7:30-8:00 PM) and “Hollywood Palace” (ABC, Saturday 9:30-10:30 PM). 🙂 🙂 🙂
References: “Chronicles Of America” published by Dorling Kindersley, “What happened When” by Gorton Carruth and “The Complete Directory To Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present” by Tim Brooks & Earle Marsh.