June 10, 1972, was a Saturday on which the weather was the news. It was cold here in Madison–the National Weather Service recorded a killing frost, the latest one ever. In Rapid City, South Dakota, a series of thunderstorms dropped 15 inches of rain in six hours, causing a flood that killed 237 people.
President Nixon officially submitted the SALT Treaty with the Soviet Union to the Senate for ratification. The Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, who were to the 1970s what Al Qaeda is to the new millennium, blew up a bomb at the West German embassy in Dublin, Ireland. No one was hurt. The rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun officially retired from NASA. Barbara Jordan, who that fall would be elected the first black woman to serve in Congress, was officially governor of Texas all day. The governor and lieutenant governor were both out of state, making Jordan, president of the State Senate, the highest-ranking official in the state.
In sports, I was watching on TV when Riva Ridge won the Belmont Stakes. (He had also won the Kentucky Derby a few weeks before.) And I’m sure I noticed that Hank Aaron became the all-time National League leader in home runs when he hit the 694th of his career, a grand slam, as the Atlanta Braves beat Philadelphia 15-3.
On that day in music, jazz pianist Bill Evans played in Ljubljiana, Yugoslavia. Elvis Presley played his first-ever concerts in New York City, at Madison Square Garden, one in the afternoon and another in the evening. John Lennon and Bob Dylan both attended. David Cassidy drove the little girls wild at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. On that same day in Britain, David Bowie played in Leicester, while Gordon Lightfoot played the Royal Albert Hall in London, and Badfinger played in Whitchurch.
The Rolling Stones, one week into their epic 1972 American tour, played in Long Beach, California, the same day Exile on Main Street hit Number One on the U.S. album chart. However, the new Number One on the singles chart was “The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr. Less offensive singles on the radio that same day included Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” “Take it Easy” by a new band called the Eagles, “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes (the 45 version probably, without the glorious piano and slide guitar coda, alas), and the magnificent soul of Luther Ingram’s “I Don’t Want to Be Right.”