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This Week in Boomer History: Bob Dylan ... Challenger Disaster ... 'We Are the World'

Noteworthy events from our shared experience:

John Roberts is born Jan. 27, 1955. Fifty years later, he's sworn in as chief justice of the United States, becoming the first boomer to hold that position and the third youngest ever, after John Jay (43) and John Marshall (45).

On Feb. 1, 1964, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" becomes the first Beatles single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. "She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)" knocks it out seven weeks later.

Late Night With David Letterman premieres on NBC  Feb. 1, 1982. Three years later, the first Top Ten list - "Top Ten Words That Almost Rhyme With 'Peas' " -  debuts. Number one? "Meats!"


This week in 1968, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese launch the Tet Offensive, stunning American forces in Vietnam.

Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan and many other superstars finish tracks for "We Are the World" on Jan. 28, 1985. The project, suggested by singer-activist Harry Belafonte, raises $60 million for African famine relief.

On Feb. 2, 1970, at the Golden Globes, John Wayne ( True Grit) wins Best Actor - Drama over Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, both nominated for their leading roles in Midnight Cowboy. At the Oscars two months later, Wayne wins again.

It's a devastating week in space program history.  Jan. 27, 1967: A cabin fire kills Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom and two other astronauts during rehearsal for an Apollo 1 launch.  Jan. 28, 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger breaks apart 73 seconds after launch, killing science teacher Christa McAuliffe and six other crew members.  Feb. 1, 2003: Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates on reentry, killing its seven crew members.

Apollo 1 crew: Edward H. White II, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom and Roger B. Chaffee.


Let us read "This Week in Boomer History" to you:

[soundcloud url="" params="color=00ff50&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Credits - John Roberts: U.S. Supreme Court via Wikipedia; South Vietnamese Troops: Dept. of Defense via Wikipedia; Astronauts: NASA via Wikipedia; Promo image of Christa McAuliffe: NASA
Music - Test Drive: Zapac via ccMixter

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