1977 News and Interesting History Tidbits


The King Elvis Presley Dies Of Heart Attack
Elvis Presley dies at the age of 42, leaving rock and roll fans worldwide mourning his loss. Elvis was found dead at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. The cause of death is pronounced as cardiac arrhythmia which is a form of heart attack. Since his divorce from Priscilla Presley four years ago he has had problems with ill health which forced him to cancel a number of concerts due to exhaustion.






Roots TV Mini Series
The Alex Haley book "Roots" is turned into a TV Mini Series of 8 episodes and the first episode is shown on 23rd January and the last episode shown on 30th January. The mini series made history when it won 9 Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award. The Roots Part VIII finale episode is also still listed in the Top 3 network prime time telecasts of all time in Percent of Households with 51.1%

1. 1983 --- M*A*S*H series finale: "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" 60.2%

2. 1980 --- Dallas episode: "Who Done It?" aka "Who Shot J.R.?" 53.3%

3. 1977 --- Roots Part VIII (finale) 51.1%








Space Shuttle Maiden Flight
The space shuttle Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747, went on its maiden flight above the Mojave Desert









Yitzhak Rabin Peace talks
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visits the United States for the first time and President and Mrs. Carter played host, the trip eventually led to the Camp David peace talks held between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Rabin’s replacement, Menachem Begin, in 1978.








Jumbo Jets Collide Tenerife
Two 747 jumbo jets a KLM Boeing 747, attempting to take off, crashed into a Pan Am 747 on the runway at an airport in the Canary Islands, killing 582 passengers and crew members.








Hostages Released Washington DC
130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims are freed when ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined negotiations.








105 children and six teachers held hostage Netherlands
South Moluccan militants armed with machine guns hold 105 children and six teachers hostage in a primary school in northern Holland. Marines attack the school on June 11 in the early morning, an armoured car and explosives punches a hole in the wall and marines enter the building, the terrorists give in without a fight. The children had been released earlier due to a mysterious illness and teachers are all found safe and well.
A second band of gunmen held about 50 persons on a train about 10 miles from the school in Bovensmilde.








Roman Polanski
Film director Roman Polanski is charged with four charges including rape, sodomy, child molestation and giving drugs to a minor in the case of raping a 13-year-old girl at the home of Hollywood star Jack Nicholson.

While awaiting trial Polanski jumped bail and fled to France in February 1978.









Blackout Hits New York
A lightening strike strikes a substation on the Hudson River, tripping two circuit breakers in Westchester County, then a second lightning strike caused the loss of two 345,000 volt transmission lines causing a 25hrs blackout of the New York City area.
In some areas of New York Looting and vandalism were widespread with the hardest hit Crown Heights.
Subway services, LaGuardia and Kennedy airports are closed and the city struggles for the next 24 hours.







65% Non Smoking Seats
Non Smokers win court battle with Eastern Airlines which required Eastern to have at least 65% non smoking seats , this was a landmark case in many ways and the forerunner to smoking being banned on all flights.










Picadily Tube Line to Heathrow
The Queen opens the new underground link on the Picadily Line from central London to Heathrow's terminals which will run every 4 minutes and take 40 minutes and cost 80 pence one way. ( current price £3.80 )








Egypt Breaks Off Relations
Following the hard line countries opposition to Egypt and signing the Declaration of Tripoli which includes sanctions against Egypt because President Anwar al-Sadat became the first Arab leader to recognise the state of Israel. President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt has broken all relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria and South Yemen.








Bermuda Race Riots
In Hamilton, Bermuda British soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers were called in to control race riots in the city. The riots went on for three days and caused $5 million in damages. Civilians and 5,000 tourists stayed hidden indoors. There had been two nights of firebombing by youth, but severe rains quelled the violence.








Oil Starts Flowing Alaska
Crude oil from Alaska begins flowing south down the trans-Alaska pipeline to the ice-free port of Valdez, Alaska








Beverly Hills Supper Club fire
A fire takes hold and fire races through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky killing 165 people. When the fire began it is believed over 3,000 were in the club and the combination of lack of sprinkler systems and audible automatic fire alarms together with poorly marked fire exits resulted in the large number of deaths that night.











Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin a center-right politician for the Likud party became Israel's sixth prime minister. This is the first time the left had lost power in Israel.
The center right politics ( Likud party ) in Israel believe in the creation and control of the "Greater Israel" which includes parts of the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip and the whole of Jerusalem. They also do not believe in Palestinian statehood .









Pump Your Own Gas 1977
Not Only do Gas station attendants no longer wash your windscreen or check your oil and water soon you will be expected to pump your own gas
We accept this now as the norm how times change








Red Rum wins Third Grand National
Red Rum wins the English Grand National for a record third time after winning in 1973 and 1974.








Seattle Slew wins Triple Crown
Seattle Slew wins the Triple Crown for three-year-old thoroughbred horses.

The Three Races for the Triple Crown in the US are
(1) The Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky;
(2) The Preakness Stakes, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland;
(3) The Belmont Stakes, at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.








Firefighters on Strike
Firefighters in England are on strike demanding more than the 10% public sector pay ceiling imposed by the government and Troops with Green Goddess fire engines are only covering the worst emergencies throughout the UK .








The Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols had chosen to perform first for their British fans instead of their American ones. The band was to be on Saturday Night Live in America, but chose to perform at home in England because the one year British ban had been lifted off them.









CIA and Mind Control Budget 25 million dollars
As of today the CIA has spent a total of $25 million over 25 years to study mind control and brainwashing. Research was done by Dr. D. Ewen Cameron on sensory deprivation, isolation, and his own methods of “psychic driving”. He did these experiments at McGill University in Montreal. The psychiatric patients that Cameron used as subjects were damaged for life. The CIA also funded drug experiments on patients and staff at Memorial Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Brainwashing experiments were also done at Cornell University Medical Center and Dr. Carl Pfeiffer did LSD studies on federal inmates in Atlanta, and the Bordentown Reformatory in New Jersey from 1955-64.







Queen Elizabeth II Celebrates Silver Jubilee
The Queen of England "Queen Elizabeth II" celebrates 25 years as the monarch and more than one million people line the streets of London to watch the Royal Family on their way to St Paul's at the start of the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations








The Clash
The Clash an English punk rock band,and part of the original wave of British punk rock release their first album "The Clash " .
The Clash had their first gig supporting the Sex Pistols in 1976








First Star Wars Movie Opens
Star Wars written and directed by George Lucas and released by 20th Century Fox opens in American Theaters.

The original Star Wars grossed nearly $800 million world wide and won multiple awards at the 50th Annual Academy Awards and created a cult following for future Star Wars Movies.








Baader Meinhof
Four Palestinian hijackers hijack a Lufthansa airliner demanding the release of 11 imprisoned members of Germany's Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, also known as the Red Army Faction.








Vietnam draft dodgers
President Carter granted a complete and unconditional pardon today to all Vietnam draft dodgers








Gary Gilmore Executed By Firing Squad
Gary Gilmore, convicted in the double murder of an elderly couple, is shot to death by a firing squad in Utah, becoming the first person to be executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated .











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