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February 1972








New York City's WABC-TV airs the Geraldo Rivera-hosted documentary "Willowbrook: The Last Great Disgrace" about abuse and neglect in Staten Island's Willowbrook State School, New York City's largest home for its retarded. Rivera will win a Peabody Award for his reporting.
The first Winter Olympics held in Asia are opened by Emperor Hirohito in Sapporo, Japan.
Paul Simon releases his first new song minus Art Garfunkel, "Mother and Child Reunion," which becomes a Top Five hit. The Paul Simon album, issued concurrently, also reaches #4, and shows Simon further expanding his musical horizons, incorporating Latin and other influences. The LP's second hit, "Me and Julio down by the Schoolyard," is one of the quirkest songs of the year and one of the first instances of reggae influence on rock music.

With five planes having been hijacked since January 1 of this year (a sharp increase over last year's total of 25), the Federal Aviation Administration institutes the first mandatory screening of passengers and their baggage on all domestic and foreign flights by US airlines. The new system includes weapon detection devices, body searches, the requirement for passengers to show identification, and psychological profiles. Air travel is never the same again.

The Federal Election Campaign Act, requiring full disclosure of all campaign contributions and limiting the spending of candidates, is signed into law.
Paul McCartney and Wings go mobile, traveling around England in a bus and playing unnanounced in clubs and halls. On this date they perform a ninety-minute set at the University of Nottingham. The group now includes guitarist Henry McCullough, formerly of the Grease Band.
The Top Five
1. "Let's Stay Together" - Al Green
2. "American Pie" - Don McLean
3. "Without You" - Nilsson
4. "Precious and Few" - Climax
5. "Never Been to Spain" - Three Dog Night

John and Yoko begin a week-long stint as co-hosts on The Mike Douglas Show, a talk show for housewives, and not exactly known for its radical leanings. Highlights include an appearance by Chuck Berry, who is greeted with a shout of "My hero!" by John; the spectacle of Jerry Rubin onstage beating a conga drum, and a mind-boggling mixture of guests, from Black Panther Bobby Seale and Ralph Nader to Louis Nye and the Surgeon General of the United States.

With America swept by Fifties nostalgia, "Grease" opens at New York's Eden Theater on Broadway, where it will run for the next decade. The comedy takes an irreverent look at Fifties fashion, morals and music, which it gently mocks with its own selection of original numbers like "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee." It will be turned into a smash movie six years later.

Los Angeles mayor
Sam Yorty declares "Steppenwolf Day" in honor of the band's "retirement." (They will unretire just a few years later.) At a press conference to announce the group's disbanding, leader John Kay explains that the members were tired of being "locked into a style of music" and their leather-clad image.
The Anti-Bootlegging Bill, Public Law 92-140, which provides a federal copyright protection for sound recordings and grants to owners of such copyrights the same legal remedies against unauthorized reproduction that owners of other copyrights have had since 1909, goes into effect. Musicians and singers had been asking for similar legislation since the mid-Fifties.
Jonathan Edwards is awarded a gold record for "Sunshine," the lone hit for this Virginia folkie. Edwards handles his brief fame in typically laid-back fashion. Instead of buying himself a Porsche, Edwards' manager says with a chuckle, "He got himself a fancy truck."

Pink Floyd begin a four-night stand at London's Rainbow Theater during which they premiere The Dark Side of the Moon a full year before its release as an album.

President Nixon, his wife Pat, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and other senior officials depart for the first official U.S. visit to Communist China in 22 years. The following week, they meet Premier Chou En-lai, issue a joint communiqué calling for greater cooperation, visit the Great Wall and return with gifts including a pair of captive panda bears.

A special committee to the U.S. surgeon general issues a report linking aggressive behavior to the viewing of TV violence.

Magazine publisher Ralph Ginzburg, whose obscenity trial reached the Supreme Court, begins serving a three-year jail sentence. Convicted in 1963 of distributing the magazine Eros, he busted taboos and became embroiled in many legal rulings. The Supreme Court ruled not on Eros' content but its promotion, holding that if "the purveyor's sole emphasis is on the the sexually provocative aspects of his publications," that could constitute obscenity.

Neil Young receives a gold record for Harvest, the only Number One record of his lengthy career. The album includes the Number One single, "Heart of Gold."
Led Zeppelin achieve their second biggest 45, "Black Dog," which hits #15 and goes on to become an FM radio staple.

Paul McCartney releases "Give Ireland Back to the Irish," his commentary about the Britain-Ireland conflict, and it's immediately banned by the BBC because of a law that prohibits public figures from making statements about public events that are under a Crown Investigation. The notoriety the song receives from the banning only increases its popularity in England, where it goes Top Twenty.

Jazz trumpeter
Lee Morgan is shot to death in Slug's, a jazz club on New York City's Lower East Side. Morgan was killed by his girlfriend Helen More while he was relaxing at the bar after a late-night set by his quintet. He was thirty-three.

The Top Five
1. "Without You" - Nilsson
2. "Let's Stay Together" - Al Green
3. "Hurting Each Other" - Carpenters
4. "Precious and Few" - Climax
5. "Never Been to Spain" - Three Dog Night

Rockin' the Fillmore, Humble Pie's breakthrough album, and their last with guitarist Peter Frampton, goes gold. The two-record set was recorded at the Fillmore East in 1971 and included the Pie's nine-minute version of "I Don't Need No Doctor."
Soviet unmanned probe Luna 20 returns to Earth after drilling for rock samples on the moon's surface.
A New York magazine article written by Peter McCabe accuses Allen Klein and his ABKCO Industries, Inc. of skimming $1.14 million off the profits from each Bangla Desh album. Klein then sues the publication for for $150 million, citing damages "for injuries to ABKCO's credit and reputation."
John Lennon's U.S. immigration visa expires. Thus begins the ex-Beatle's three-and-a- half-year fight to remain in the country. Meanwhile, officials ponder whether or not Lennon is deserving of the special status of "outstanding artists whose presence would be of cultural advantage to the U.S." Lennon's problems supposedly stem from a 1968 British conviction for possession of marijuana.

An International Telephone and Telegraph internal memorandum published by columnist Jack Anderson reveals a direct link between the settlement of a government antitrust action against the conglomerate and a large ITT contribution to the Republican party.


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