This Week in Boomer History: Lenny Bruce … Gulf of Tonkin … Medicare

Lenny Bruce: Book Cover - How to Talk DirtyNoteworthy events from our shared experience

Comedian Lenny Bruce is found dead at his Los Angeles home Aug. 3, 1966. His anything-goes social satire led to multiple obscenity prosecutions while paving the way for today’s stand-up performers.

On Aug. 1, 1981, MTV begins broadcasting in the United States. Its first video? “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles.

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President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965, at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Mo., a nod to President Harry S. Truman, who proposed the programs in 1945.

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Thomas F. Eagleton resigns as the Democratic Party vice presidential candidate on July 31, 1972, after disclosures that he had undergone electric shock therapy for depression – something he hadn’t mentioned to presidential candidate George McGovern.

The Concert for Bangladesh takes place Aug. 1, 1971. Stars joining organizers George Harrison and Ravi Shankar include Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Billy Preston.

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On Aug. 2, 1964, after a series of U.S. provocations, the North Vietnamese navy attacks an American destroyer, the USS Maddox, in the Gulf of Tonkin.Two days later, the U.S. reports another attack that most historians today believe never happened. On Aug. 7, the U.S. Congress passes a joint resolution giving President Johnson leeway to send U.S. troops to Vietnam without a formal declaration of war.

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Widely reported as “the wedding of the century,” Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer marry July 29, 1981, in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Charles and Diana wedding, 1981

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Credits – Lenny Bruce cover: Flickr/Jim Barker; Prince Charles and Lady Diana: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images;

Music: Test Drive: Zapac via ccMixter

 

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3 comments
jwshupe
jwshupe 5pts

Loved the irony of beetles killing the tree(s) that were planted in honor of Beatle George Harrison.

2Papa
2Papa 5pts

Another historical event for this week is that I was born, but I am not saying the year!