(This summer, we’re trying to recreate the summer of 1976, one day at a time, one post a week. Find other posts in the series here.)
June 14, 1976, is a Monday. It’s Flag Day, and Liberty State Park opens across from the Statue of Liberty in New Jersey. Presidential candidates Morris Udall and Frank Church release their delegates and throw their support to Jimmy Carter, which should put him over the top for the Democratic nomination. The Supreme Court refuses to intervene in the Boston school busing controversy. Among the events on President Ford’s schedule today is a speech by telephone to the Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology, being held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He also receives the first volume of his public papers in a brief ceremony. The Viking I spacecraft, closing in on Mars, begins sending pictures back to Earth. Later in the week it will enter Martian orbit, and it will land on July 20th. Federal judge Oliver J. Carter, who presided over Patty Hearst’s bank robbery trial earlier this year, dies at age 65, and future pro hockey player Ryan Johnson is born. High jumper Dwight Stones is on the cover of Sports Illustrated; Time reports on the continuing Wayne Hays/Elizabeth Ray sex scandal. Newsweek runs a brief feature story about singer Tom Waits. California governor and Democratic presidential candidate Jerry Brown is on the cover of People.
The Monday specials at Conrad’s Supper Club in McFarland, Wisconsin, give diners a choice between a tenderloin and deep-fried frog legs, either one for $3.50. The Grateful Dead plays the Beacon Theater in New York; elsewhere in the city, Diana Ross plays the Palace Theater. Concert tours continue for AC/DC (Sheffield, England), Paul McCartney and Wings (San Francisco) and Bob Marley (Paris, France). On The Mike Douglas Show this week, the co-host is Barney Miller star Hal Linden. The Gong Show premieres on NBC. Only two big-league baseball games are broadcast nationally each week; tonight on ABC’s Monday Night Baseball, it’s the Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati. The Reds win in the bottom of the ninth when Ken Griffey singles home Dave Concepcion. A young Cubs fan in southern Wisconsin will watch the game, passing up the CBS reruns of Rhoda, Phyllis, All in the Family, Maude, and Medical Center.
The Cubs fan will not have to work on the farm today. After a hot and stormy weekend, the weather remains iffy, so he will spend much of the day with the radio on. At WLS, “Silly Love Songs” by Wings holds the top spot for a third week; new in the Top 10 are “Get Up and Boogie” by Silver Convention and “Misty Blue” by Dorothy Moore. The biggest move within the station’s top 45 belongs to Thin Lizzy again this week—”The Boys Are Back in Town” is up 11, from 33 to 22. Among the new songs on the chart this week are “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen and “Crazy on You” by a new band, Heart.
Perspective From the Present: By mid-June, my life has settled into a summer pattern, although my 1976 daybook offers little insight into exactly what the pattern was that week, apart from a dentist appointment on Thursday and a softball game on Friday. I can’t even be sure I watched the Cubs/Reds game on Monday night, although I doubt I would have skipped it. But from all the available evidence, Monday, June 14, 1976, was one of those days that disappears.