March 22, 1969, is a Saturday. A rally led by the Black Panthers and featuring several Chicago Eight defendants is held at the federal courthouse in New York City. In Oakland, members of the Black Students Union at Mills College take the school’s president hostage for several hours, demanding more involvement by minorities in college affairs. President Nixon issues a statement on campus disorders. A group calling itself the DC 9 breaks into Dow Chemical’s Washington offices and destroys files and equipment with pig blood and homemade napalm. They leave behind a letter that says, “In your mad pursuit of profit, you and others like you, are causing the psychological and physical destruction of mankind.” Ten Americans die in Vietnam today: they include Coast Guard engineman Morris Beeson of Pitkins, Louisiana, Marine corporals David Ovist of Pelkie, Michigan, and Thomas Folden of Belle Glade, Florida, and Army sergeant Armin Blake of Denver, Colorado. Future NFL player Russell Maryland is born.
UCLA wins its fifth NCAA men’s basketball championship in six years, beating Purdue 92-72. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor scores 37 points and is named the tournament’s most outstanding player in his final college game. West Chester College of Pennsylvania wins the first-ever college women’s basketball championship, beating Western Carolina 65-39. At the Wisconsin state high school tournament, Lamont Weaver of Beloit Memorial hits a 55-foot shot at the buzzer to send the championship game against Neenah into overtime. At the end of the second overtime, Weaver hits two free throws to seal an 80-79 win.
The current edition of The New Yorker is the first to include a conventional table of contents. Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched is on the cover of TV Guide. On TV tonight, Mannix, Hogan’s Heroes, and Get Smart! During the day, Neil Diamond appears on American Bandstand and sings “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.” Bandstand is followed by another Dick Clark production, Happening ’69, hosted by Mark Lindsey and Paul Revere of the Raiders. Today’s guest: the Monkees. Also on daytime TV, NBC’s The Storybook Squares, a kids’ version of Hollywood Squares starring many of the same regulars dressed as fictional or historical characters. The Grateful Dead plays Pasadena and Santana plays San Francisco. Alvin Lee and Ten Years After play Seattle. Led Zeppelin and Blodwyn Pig play Birmingham, England. Blood Sweat and Tears and Chuck Berry play Madison, New Jersey. Steppenwolf plays the Fillmore East in New York City, and Laura Nyro plays Brooklyn. Two days after their wedding, John Lennon and Yoko Ono hold their first bed-in for peace at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. The Broadway musical Billy, with songs co-written by bubblegum music master Ron Dante, closes after one performance.
Billboard magazine reports on the large number of songs from the musical Hair that have been covered and released by other artists. At WAKY in Louisville, Kentucky (where the NCAA finals are being played), Cowsills’ “Hair” debuts on the station’s survey at Number 30; the Fifth Dimension’s version of “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In” is hitbound. The Number One song in Kentuckiana is “Breakfast in Bed” by Dusty Springfield, which will do only a couple of weeks on the nationwide Hot 1oo; Number Two is “Runaway Child” by the Temptations. The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” makes a big leap from 11 to 4; “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” by Blood Sweat and Tears goes from hitbound last week to Number 12 this week. Other strong movers: “My Whole World Ended” by David Ruffin of the Temptations jumps from 27 to 18, and “I Can Hear Music” by the Beach Boys goes from 29 to 19. New songs in the Top 30 include “Will You Be Staying After Sunday” by the Peppermint Rainbow and “Time Is Tight” by Booker T. and the MGs.
In Wisconsin, a nine-year-old kid isn’t into music yet, but he’s into sports, and it will be days before he stops talking about the finish of the state basketball finals. He will watch a lot of sports in years to come, but “the shot” will remain one of the most incredible things he’s ever seen. Back in Louisville, a guy who calls himself “Weird Beard” is pumpin’ out the hits on WAKY.