1995 – “Money Train” premieres

Not the greatest movie in the career of either Wesley Snipes or Woody Harrelson, and seen as decidedly average by most reviewers, “Money Train” tells the story of an out of work man (Harrelson) who plans a train robbery and his foster brother (Snipes) who works as a transit cop.

The film made only $77 million – not even $10 million more than its budget – and was rated only 22% on Rotten Tomatoes (a ‘rotten’ rating).

Referenced in:

OJ — Young Jeezy

1965 – The Young Rascals release “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore”

The Young Rascals – later simply the Rascals – were a quartet from New Jersey: Eddie Brigati (vocals), Felix Cavaliere (keyboard, vocals), Gene Cornish (guitar) and Dino Danelli (drums). In a career lasting a mere eight years, they had three number one singles in the USA, including “People Got To Be Free” and “Groovin'”.

“I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” was their first single, which reached only to #52 on the American charts. It was included on their debut album, released in late March of 1966, and has been covered a number of times. The best known of these covers is likely the Divinyls’ version from 1992, which appeared on the soundtrack of the original “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” film. Other artists to cover the song include the Jackson Five and Shania Twain.

Referenced in:

R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. — John Cougar Mellencamp

1963 – Lyndon Johnson sworn in as President

It’s an event that is easily overlooked, but it had a great deal of significance for the entire world: the swearing in of Lyndon Baines Johnson as the 36th President of the United States of America at 2:38pm on November 22, 1963, a little over 2 hours after President Kennedy was shot in Dallas.

Johnson took the oath of office in cramped conditions aboard Air Force One, with 27 people crammed into a 16 square foot stateroom for the historic event – while down the hall, Jackie Kennedy sat grieving next to her husband’s corpse. Johnson would go on to be one of the most controversial Presidents in American history, remembered for the civil rights reforms of his Great Society program, but also for presiding over the massive escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War.

Referenced in:

Purple Toupee – They Might Be Giants

1963 — U.S. President John F Kennedy is assassinated

One of the defining events of its era, the assassination of President Kennedy remains a remarkably controversial one, even today. Conspiracy theories abound as to who shot Kennedy and why.

While the official story, that Lee Harvey Oswald did it, with the rifle, in the book depository, is plausible, it is also notably incomplete – there are any number of holes and anomalies in it. The murder of Oswald only two days later, before he could stand trial, has done nothing to quell these uncertainties.

On a symbolic level, the death of Kennedy was the end of an era in many ways. Quite aside from the idealism that he brought to the nation, his death marked a change in the way America saw itself – no longer the lily-white paladin, but more the grim avenger willing do the dirty work no one else would – although in fairness, this change of self-image would take the rest of the decade to be complete.

Referenced in:

Civil War — Guns n’ Roses
Tabloid Junkie — Michael Jackson
Tomorrow, Wendy — Andy Prieboy
We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel
He Was A Friend of Mine — The Byrds
Tomorrow, Wendy — Concrete Blonde
Song for a Friend — The Kingston Trio
Purple Toupee — They Might Be Giants
She Is Always Seventeen — Harry Chapin