1989 – “The Arsenio Hall Show” is first broadcast

First broadcast on the evening of January 3rd, 1989, “The Arsenio Hall Show” was a very popular talk and variety show in the United States. Hosted, as the name suggests, by comedian and actor Arsenio Hall, it rapidly became the place to be seen – especially if one was attempting to reach that market sector known as ‘the MTV Generation.’

The show ran for five years, for a total of 1248 episodes, before its cancellation. The final episode was broadcast on May 27th, 1994. Today, it is probably best-remembered for the June 1992 appearance of Bill Clinton on the show – he played “Heartbreak Hotel” on his saxophone, impressing many young viewers with his ‘coolness’.

Referenced in:
My Generation (Part II) – Todd Snider

1971 – D.B. Cooper hijacks a plane, gets the money, and is never heard from again

It is one of few truly great unsolved crimes. The facts are as follows:

The man who gave his name as ‘Dan Cooper’ (the ‘DB’ monicker is based on later errors in the media, but has become more widely known) boarded Flight 305 in Portland, Oregon, bound for Seattle. Using the threat of a bomb in his suitcase, Cooper hijacked the plane shortly after take off.

It landed in Seattle, where Cooper released the passengers unharmed in exchange for his ransom demands being met: $200,000 in unmarked bills and 4 parachutes. After taking on these items, Cooper directed the crew to take off once more, and fly to Reno, Nevada.

During this second flight, he sent all the crew to the cockpit, and parachuted from the plane with the money. He was never apprehended, and although approximately $5000 was later found in the area that he parachuted into, nothing else ever was. Cooper has never been identified, and his true name may never be known. The FBI has stated that it believes him to have died upon landing, and decayed to nothing before he could be found. Of course, they also claimed that he was rude and abusive in conversations with them, which is at variance with the recollections of the crew members who heard these conversations, so it’s possible that the Bureau may be engaged in a certain amount of ass-covering.

Referenced in:

DB Cooper – Senses Fail
Dan Cooper – End of a Year
D. B. Cooper. – Todd Snider
D.B. Cooper – Everything is Fine
Bag Full of Money – Roger McGuinn
D. B. Cooper – Streetside Symphony
Vapor Trails and Light – Everything is Fine
The Ballad of D. B. Cooper – Chuck Brodsky
D.B. Cooper: Where Are You? – Judy Sword

1986 – L.A. Law is first broadcast

Steven Bochco’s popular lawyer drama L.A. Law premiered at 10PM EST, on Thursday, September 15, 1992. It was replacing Hill Street Blues (also a Bochco creation), and expectations on the part of both viewers and the network were high.

Fortunately, it lived up to them. The show ran for eight years, and for the first six its Nielsen Ratings placed it in the top 30 shows. In its time, it was often controversial – which probably helped its popularity no end.

Referenced in:

My Generation (Part II) – Todd Snider