April 29, 1986: Roger Clemens has first 20 strikeout game

Today in 1986, Roger Clemens struck out 20 Seattle Mariners for a 3-1 victory. Going into that evening, Boston fans were focusing more on the Larry Bird and the Celtics, who were on their way to their 16th NBA title, and facing the “Human Highlight Film” Dominique Wilkins and the Atlanta Hawks.
But, Clemens struck out the first 3 batters he faced. Then he struck out 2 in the next inning. He went on to be the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game. He broke Steve Carlton, of the St. Louis Cardinals, record of 19 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, which was set in 1969 and duplicated by the Mets’ Tom Seaver in 1970 and the California Angels’ Nolan Ryan in 1974.
Future Red Sox player, Spike Owen was strikeout victim number nineteen and Phil Bradley was number twenty. Boston Red Sox trainer Charlie Moss said in the dugout after those two historic Ks to starter Bruce Hurst, “We should get the ball to save it.” Hurst replied, “You don’t have to, that ball ain’t going anywhere” and he was correct as Ken Phelps grounded out to end this legendary game. Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson each recorded 20-strikeout games after Clemens. However, Clemens repeated the feat 10 years later on September 18, 1996, in a game against the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium.

However, Roger Clemens’ reputation is now tainted since his name came up in the Mitchell Report, which alleged he used performance-enhancing drugs during the 1998-2001 seasons.

Reference: Baseball Almanac

April 23, 1985: The “New Coke” Debacle Begins

On April 23, 1985, the Coca-Cola Company made a huge announcement: They were changing the formula for one of the world’s most popular soft drinks. It was the first formula change in 99 years. That same week, the company ended production of their original formula. Here are a couple of commercials for New Coke:











However, not long after the release of New Coke there was some backlash. People did not like the change. Pepsi capitalized with this commercial:







In the summer, when soda sales normally begin to rise, Coke’s sales did not take off like they were expecting. On July 11, 1985, Coke brought back the original formula, and called it Coca-Cola Classic®. Towards the end of the year, Coke recovered, and was even outselling Pepsi.
They continued to sell the New Coke, along with Coke Classic. Later, New Coke’s name changed to Coke II.

References:
http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/heritage/cokelore_newcoke.html
http://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/23/opinion/topics-cars-and-colas-coke-jokes.html

Patriot’s Day: 1980





Patriot’s Day is observed every year in Massachusetts every third Monday in April. It commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which were the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.
Every Patriot’s day, the Boston marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon is run. Also, the Boston Red Sox have played at home every Patriot’s Day since 1959 (with the exceptions of rainouts or strikes). And since 1968, the games have begun at 11:00 AM.

On April 21, 1980, the 84th Boston Marathon was run, and there was great controversy. Rosie Ruiz appeared to complete the marathon with a record time of 2:31:56, and was crowned the winner. But, she appeared well rested. In the thousands of photos and extensive film shot at the event, Ruiz appeared only in the last half-mile. After eight days of controversy, Rosie Ruiz was stripped of her title, but she maintained her innocence and refused to return her medal. Finally, spectators came forward to say they had seen Ruiz join the race less than a mile from the finish. At the same time, officials began to question her time in the New York Marathon, where she had qualified to run Boston. Witnesses said that they had spoken with her during that race — riding on the subway. Ruiz was eventually disqualified from the New York Marathon.

Given the overwhelming evidence, the board of the Boston Athletic Association voted unanimously to strike Ruiz’s name from the record books and declare Jackie Gareau as the winner of the women’s division. Ruiz continued to insist that she had won fairly and refused to give up her medal.

The Boston Red Sox also had a good game against the Chicago White Sox on that day, as they won 9-8.

The Red Sox starting lineup was as follows:

Dwight Evans rf
Rick Burleson ss
Fred Lynn cf
Jim Rice lf
Tony Perez 1b
Carlton Fisk dh
Ted Sizemore 2b
Glenn Hoffman 3b
Gary Allenson c

And Bruce Hurst was the starting pitcher. Skip Lockwood got the win and Dick Drago got the save as the Red Sox, down 8-6 in the bottom of the 8th came back with 3 runs to go ahead 9-8. They held on for the win in the 9th. Unfortunately, all I have is the box score. If anybody finds, or knows the details of this game, let us know.

Boston Marathon reference: http://www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=120

Stuck in the ’80s “Horrible Hits of 1987”

The Stuck in the ’80s gang released their most recent podcast this weekend, with their topic being The Horrible Hits of 1987. They count down the worst songs that became hits in 1987. Some of their choices are controversial. Here is their list:

10. I’ve Had the Time of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
9. Songbird – Kenny G
8. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany
7. With or Without You – U2
6. Head to Toe – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
5. Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi
4. Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis
3. La Isla Bonita – Madonna
2. Always – Atlantic Starr
1. Heaven is a Place on Earth

I can’t believe “With or Without You” was on there. Same with “Wanted Dead or Alive”. But I do remember how MTV was heavily promoting Bon Jovi’s new video at the time, but would not say what it was. Everybody assumed that it would be “Never Say Goodbye”, but it ended up being “Wanted Dead or Alive”. I did not care too much for the song until Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora performed their historic unplugged version on the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.

Does anybody think that any of these other songs don’t belong on the list? Are there other hits from 1987 that should be on the list instead?

April 16, 1981 – The final episode of “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” aired on NBC

Today in 1981, the final episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is aired.
The series ran for two seasons between 1979 – 1981, and the pilot was released in theaters a few months before the series aired. Much like the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers was inspired by the success of Star Wars. The title character, Captain William Anthony “Buck” Rogers, was played by Gil Gerard. He was a NASA pilot who commanded Ranger 3, a space shuttle that is launched in May 1987. Because of a life support malfunction, Buck is accidentally frozen for 504 years before the derelict spacecraft is discovered in the year 2491. He was revived, and found out that civilization on Earth was rebuilt after a nuclear war. The series followed him as he tried to fit into 25th-Century culture. Due to his pilot and combat skills, he was able to help defend Earth against evil. Rogers is aided in his adventures by his friend and semi-romantic interest, Colonel Wilma Deering, played by Erin Gray (who would later appear in Silver Spoons), and his comic sidekick robot, Twiki. Twiki was voiced by Bugs Bunny’s Mel Blanc. Ratings dropped significantly after the second season premiere. NBC cancelled the series at the end of an eleven-episode strike-abbreviated season.

April 14, 1986: U.S. bombs Libya

“When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in the world, we will respond in self-defense. Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again.” – Ronald Reagan discussing the air strikes on Libya.

The following is from the History Channel:

On April 14, 1986, the United States launches air strikes against Libya in retaliation for the Libyan sponsorship of terrorism against American troops and citizens. The raid, which began shortly before 7 p.m. EST (2 a.m., April 15 in Libya), involved more than 100 U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft, and was over within an hour. Five military targets and “terrorism centers” were hit, including the headquarters of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi.

During the 1970s and ’80s, Qaddafi’s government financed a wide variety of Muslim and anti-U.S. and anti-British terrorist groups worldwide, from Palestinian guerrillas and Philippine Muslim rebels to the Irish Republican Army and the Black Panthers. In response, the U.S. imposed sanctions against Libya, and relations between the two nations steadily deteriorated. In 1981, Libya fired at a U.S. aircraft that passed into the Gulf of Sidra, which Qaddafi had claimed in 1973 as Libyan territorial waters. That year, the U.S. uncovered evidence of Libyan-sponsored terrorist plots against the United States, including planned assassination attempts against U.S. officials and the bombing of a U.S. embassy-sponsored dance in Khartoum, Sudan.

In December 1985, five American citizens were killed in simultaneous terrorist attacks at the Rome and Vienna airports. Libya was blamed, and U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered expanded sanctions and froze Libyan assets in the United States. On March 24, 1986, U.S. and Libyan forces clashed in the Gulf of Sidra, and four Libyan attack boats were sunk. Then, on April 5, terrorists bombed a West Berlin dance hall known to be frequented by U.S. servicemen. One U.S. serviceman and a Turkish woman were killed, and more than 200 people were wounded, including 50 other U.S. servicemen. U.S. intelligence reportedly intercepted radio messages sent from Libya to its diplomats in East Berlin ordering the April 5 attack on the LaBelle discotheque.

On April 14, the United States struck back with dramatic air strikes against Tripoli and Banghazi. The attacks were mounted by 14 A-6E navy attack jets based in the Mediterranean and 18 FB-111 bombers from bases in England. Numerous other support aircraft were also involved. France refused to allow the F-111s to fly over French territory, which added 2,600 total nautical miles to the journey from England and back. Three military barracks were hit, along with the military facilities at Tripoli’s main airport and the Benina air base southeast of Benghazi. All targets except one were reportedly chosen because of their direct connection to terrorist activity. The Benina military airfield was hit to preempt Libyan interceptors from taking off and attacking the incoming U.S. bombers.

Even before the operation had ended, President Reagan went on national television to discuss the air strikes. “When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in the world,” he said, “we will respond in self-defense. Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again.”

Operation El Dorado Canyon, as it was code-named, was called a success by U.S. officials. Qaddafi’s 15-month-old adopted daughter was killed in the attack on his residence, and two of his young sons were injured. Although he has never admitted it publicly, there is speculation that Qaddafi was also wounded in the bombing. Fire from Libyan surface-to-air missiles and conventional anti-aircraft artillery was heavy during the attack, and one F-111, along with its two-member crew, were lost in unknown circumstances. Several residential buildings were inadvertently bombed during the raid, and 15 Libyan civilians were reported killed. The French embassy in Tripoli was also accidentally hit, but no one was injured.

On April 15, Libyan patrol boats fired missiles at a U.S. Navy communications station on the Italian island of Lamedusa, but the missiles fell short. There was no other major terrorist attack linked to Libya until the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 passengers and crew of that flight were killed, and 11 people on the ground perished. In the early 1990s, investigators identified Libyan intelligence agents Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah as suspects in the bombing, but Libya refused to turn them over to be tried in the United States. But in 1999–in an effort to ease United Nations sanctions against Libya–Colonel Moammar Gadhafi agreed to turn the suspects over to Scotland for trial in the Netherlands using Scottish law and prosecutors. In early 2001, al-Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, although he continues to profess his innocence and work to overturn his conviction. Fhimah was acquitted.

In accordance with United Nations and American demands, Libya accepted responsibility for the bombing, though it did not express remorse. The U.N. and U.S. lifted sanctions against Libya; the country then paid each victim’s family approximately $8 million in compensation. In 2004, Libya’s prime minister said that the deal was the “price for peace,” implying that his country only accepted responsibility to get the sanctions lifted, angering the survivors’ families. He also admitted that Libya had not really accepted guilt for the bombing. Pan Am Airlines, which went bankrupt as a result of the bombing, is still seeking $4.5 billion in compensation from Libya in civil court.

Qaddafi surprised many around the world when he became one of the first Muslim heads of state to denounce al-Qaida after the attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2003, he gained favor with the administration of George W. Bush when he announced the existence of a program to build weapons of mass destruction in Libya and that he would allow an international agency to inspect and dismantle them. Though some in the U.S. government pointed to this as a direct and positive consequence of the ongoing war in Iraq, others pointed out that Qaddafi had essentially been making the same offer since 1999, but had been ignored. In 2004, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Libya, one of the first western heads of state to do so in recent memory; he praised Libya during the visit as a strong ally in the international war on terror.

R.I.P. Dixie Carter – (May 25, 1939 – April 10, 2010)

Dixie Carter at the 41st Emmy Awards
Dixie Carter, best known for her role as Julia Sugarbaker on the TV show Designing Women, from 1986–1993 has died. According to CNN, Carter, who was 70, died from complications arising from cancer. Dixie Carter had been married to actor Hal Holbrook since 1984. Carter is also Carter is survived by two daughters from a previous marriage, Mary Dixie and Ginna. Carter suffered from endometrial cancer, which forms in the the tissue lining the uterus.

In addition to playing Julia on Designing Women, Dixie Carter also played Margaret “Maggie” McKinney on Diff’rent Strokes. She first appeared in the series in February 1984, during a three-part story arc that took the cast to California. Maggie and Philip Drummond fell in love, so in a “jump the shark” moment, Maggie and her son Sam came home with the Drummonds. Due to bad ratings, NBC dropped the show, which was then picked up by ABC for one last season. Dixie Carter was replaced by Mary Ann Mobley as Maggie.

But Carter went on to further success by playing Julia Sugarbaker in Designing Women alongside Delta Burke, who played her sister Suzanne Sugarbaker. Together they launched an interior design firm called Sugarbaker Designs.

More recently, Carter earned an Emmy nomination for playing the very disturbed Gloria Hodge on Desperate Housewives during the 2006-2007 season.

Ronald Reagan Quote of the Week – 4/12/10

I just wanted to speak to you about something from the Internal Revenue Code. It is the last sentence of section 509A of the code and it reads: ‘For purposes of paragraph 3, an organization described in paragraph 2 shall be deemed to include an organization described in section 501C-4, 5, or 6, which would be described in paragraph 2 if it were an organization described in section 501C-3.’ And that’s just one sentence out of those fifty-seven feet of books.

80's Pop Culture and News

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