by Joseph Scodney
It’s 1969 and Tricky Dick is the President of the United States. I Heard it Through the Grapevine is the number one song in America and Elvis has just released his smash hit Suspicious Minds. The Chevy Camaro is the coolest car on planet Earth. Burger Chef is cranking out hamburgers and shakes that’ll make a grown man cry. Barbershops and beauty parlors in every corner of this great nation are shaping up beehives, mop-tops, bobs, and pageboys by the dozen. Our boys are dying by the thousands at the hands of the NVA and Vietcong on the other side of the world. Led Zeppelin is born. Broadway Joe Namath sits atop the football world and the Boeing 747 takes its first flight. Sirhan Sirhan admits to killing Robert F. Kennedy, and James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. John Lennon and Yoko Ono are married. UCLA wins its third NCAA basketball championship in a row. Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart. The Montreal Expos become Major League Baseball’s first team to represent a city outside of the United States. Robert R. succumbs to Pneumonia and dies at the young age of 16. In the late 1980s, his condition is identified as one of the earliest confirmed cases of HIV/AIDS in North America. The LGBT rights movement is born. Tragically Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones drowns in a swimming pool. The Zodiac Killer arrives on scene to terrorize the state of California. Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy (D-MA) drives off a bridge into a ravine on his way home from a party killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. The Beatles take a famous photo on Abbey Road. Sharon Tate and friends are brutally murdered by crazed Manson family followers. The Woodstock Festival in White Lake, New York showcases some of the top rock musicians of all time. Category five Hurricane Camille slams the coast of Mississippi causing $1.5 billion in damage. Long John Silvers is created. Ho Chi Minh dies. Scooby Doo debuts. John Lennon quits the Beatles, and Willie Mays reaches the 600 career home run milestone. China carries out an underground nuclear bomb test. The Brady Bunch airs for the first time. The New York Mets sit atop the baseball world. Walmart becomes incorporated. Big Bird and Sesame Street burst onto the children’s TV programming scene. The Texas Longhorns defeat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl to claim the NCAA Football National Championship.
Oh, and we landed on the moon! America! On July 20th at 9:56 PM Central Time, the Apollo 11 mission becomes man’s greatest exploration achievement to date. The lunar module containing astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touches down on the surface of the moon. Armstrong exits the module and officially becomes the first man to walk on the moon. He proudly implants the American flag in lunar soil, thus instantly breaking poor Commie Soviet hearts everywhere. Where were you when we landed on the moon?