Sep 28, 2009
Compiled by Rodger Mullen
No doubt about it, 1969 was a heck of a year.
From the first moon walk to the Woodstock music festival, the last
year of the 1960s brought about no shortage of epochal events, many
of which have been endlessly celebrated in 40-year retrospectives
(see "moon landing" and "Woodstock music festival").
But obvious anniversaries aside, there was plenty going on in 1969
that's worth remembering. Here's a look back at what else the year
had to offer.
Sunny day ...
"Sesame Street" premiered Nov. 10 on the National Educational
Television (NET) network. Soon, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster and
Kermit the Frog became like family to children.
Here's the story ...
On Sept. 26, "The Brady Bunch" premiered on ABC. Though never a
critical favorite - to say the least - the show and its various
spin-offs continue to attract fans today.
Nixon to kick around
Richard Milhous Nixon was inaugurated as the 37th president on Jan.
20. It didn't end well.
End of an era
The Beatles gave their last public performance on the roof of their
London recording studio on Jan. 30. The band that changed popular
music was unceremoniously shut down by police. The dream was over.
The Dustin Hoffman-Jon Voight movie "Midnight Cowboy" was released on
May 25. Though tame by today's standards, it was given an "X" rating,
and it became the only movie with that rating to win an Academy Award.
On July 18, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy drove off a bridge on his way home
from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Mass. His companion in the
car, Mary Jo Kopechne, died in the submerged car.
On Aug. 9, members of a cult led by Charles Manson murdered actress
Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and her friends - Folgers
coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and Hollywood
hairstylist Jay Sebring. Also killed was Steven Parent, leaving from
a visit. The next day, the Manson family killed Leno and Rosemary
LaBianca, wealthy Los Angeles businesspeople.
Cash on demand
The first automated teller machine in the U.S. was installed Sept. 2
in Rockville Centre, New York. Cash-starved consumers no longer would
have to wait until Monday to get money.
The "miracle" New York Mets won the World Series on Oct. 16, beating
the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles 4 games to 1. Just a few years
before, the Mets had been the laughingstock of the National League.
A behemoth is born
On Oct. 31, Wal-Mart incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. In the next
40 years, the company grew to become the world's largest, to the
delight of cost-conscious shoppers and the horror of mom-and-pop
On Nov. 15, Dave Thomas opened his first restaurant in a former
steakhouse in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The restaurant, famous for its
square burgers, was named after Thomas' daughter Melinda Lou, whose
nickname was Wendy.
Providing a tragic bookend to the Woodstock festival in August, the
Altamont Free Concert was held Dec. 6 at the Altamont Speedway in
northern California. A fan was murdered as chaos broke out at the
concert, which featured the Rolling Stones and had security provided
by - huh? - the Hell's Angels.
Meanwhile, in Fayetteville
Here are some local happenings that made news in 1969:
In January, the 2 millionth tool was made at the Black & Decker plant
on U.S. 301.
In April, a "Poor People's" march made a stop in Fayetteville.
In May, Charles Holt was sworn in as mayor.
In October, three students at Seventy-First High School were
suspended for wearing armbands in protest of the war in Vietnam.
In December, the first tire rolled off the assembly line at the new
Kelly Springfield plant on Raleigh Road.
Born in 1969
Actor Jason Bateman, Jan. 14
Actress Jennifer Aniston, Feb. 11
Football player Brett Favre, Oct. 10
Rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs, Nov. 4
Rapper Jay-Z, Dec. 4
Died in 1969
Actor Boris Karloff, Feb. 2
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, March 28
Actress and singer Judy Garland, June 22
Boxer Rocky Marciano, Aug. 31
Writer Jack Kerouac, Oct. 21.