One Day in Your Life: September 7, 1978

September 7, 1978, is a Thursday. Future actor Devon Sawa and future pro hockey player Matt Cooke are born. General George P. Hays, who won the Medal of Honor in World War I and commanded troops in Europe during World War II, dies at age 85. The Italian-American Club of Livonia, Michigan, publishes its first newsletter. At Camp David, President Carter referees a tense day of secret meetings between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, negotations that will result in the Camp David Accords later this month. In Iran, a month of anti-Shah demonstrations reaches its peak as two million rally against the regime in Tehran. The Shah imposes martial law; the next day, Iranian troops will kill thousands of demonstrators. In London, Bulgarian expatriate writer and journalist Georgi Markov is walking to work at the BBC when he feels a stinging pain in his thigh. Four days later he will be dead of ricin poisoning, delivered by a KGB agent’s umbrella. By proclamation of Mayor Michael Bilandic, it’s Peace Day in Chicago. The New York Yankees open a four-game series by beating the Boston Red Sox 15-3; before the game, Yankees manager Billy Martin, angry over an interview in which Boston pitcher Bill Lee called the Yankees “stormtroopers” and Martin “Herman Goering,” has a dead fish hung in Lee’s locker. (Or not. See below.) The Yankees will sweep the series to pull even in the standings with the Red Sox, who had a 14-game lead in mid-July. TV5 News in Platteville, Wisconsin, previews the series on that night’s broadcast; the sports anchor is an erstwhile radio broadcaster in his second week at college. Celebrity guests on Match Game 78 this week are Robert Mandan, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Lee Meriwether, Richard Paul, and Betty White. NBC airs the premiere episode of the new series Grandpa Goes to Washington, starring Jack Albertson and Larry Linville. When it moves to its regular Tuesday slot, it will be on opposite another new series, CBS’ The Paper Chase. Both shows hope to pick up any viewers who aren’t watching Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, the two top-rated shows on TV. In Bayside, New York, the Virgin Mary appears to Veronica Lueken, who had been seeing her regularly since 1970. Lueken is told: “Satan, Lucifer in human form, entered into Rome in the year 1972.” Some will interpret the statement as meaning that Pope Paul VI was replaced by an impostor in 1972, and that the so-called Third Secret of Fatima, historically believed to refer to the end of the world, actually refers to a Russian takeover of the Catholic Church.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are on the cover of Rolling Stone. The magazine contains a full-page ad for the new album by the Who, Who Are You. After attending the London premiere of The Buddy Holly Story with Paul McCartney and a post-premiere party at which he discussed with Eric Idle a role in the upcoming Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Keith Moon returns to a flat he and his girlfriend had borrowed from Harry Nilsson. Moon has been prescribed pills to help wean him off alcohol; he takes 32 of them, has a few drinks, and dies of an overdose. At WRKO in Boston, “Three Times a Lady” by the Commodores tops the chart again. There’s not a lot of movement on the chart: The most impressive moves are made by Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” jumping to 7 from 11, “Kiss You All Over” by Exile, climbing from 18 to 12, and “Hot Child in the City” by Nick Gilder, moving from 22 to 15. Debuting at Number 30 is the second solo single by Kenny Loggins, “Whenever I Call You Friend,” which features backing vocals by Stevie Nicks and Melissa Manchester. They’re a bit behind on this one in the Midwest—it won’t chart at WLS for a month yet. It will take the erstwhile DJ-turned-sportscaster mentioned earlier in this post a lot longer—several years—before he stops associating the record with his difficult transition to college life and just starts digging it.

“Whenever I Call You Friend”/Kenny Loggins (buy it here)

One response

  1. Fun piece. I’ve heard that Billy Martin story before, but the thing is, by September of 1978, Billy Martin wasn’t managing the Yankees anymore, having been tossed in July. Bob Lemon was at the helm when they made their incredible comeback.

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