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This Week in Boomer History: Nixon Resigns ... Manson Murders ... Voting Rights Act

Notable events from our shared experience

Richard Nixon resigns the presidency Aug. 9, 1974; Vice President Gerald Ford takes the oath of office and says " our long national nightmare is over."

President Ronald Reagan fires more than 11,000 air traffic controllers on Aug. 5, 1981, two days after they went on strike and defied Reagan's order to return to work.

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Charles Manson followers murder actress Sharon Tate, heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, hairstylist Jay Sebring and 18-year-old delivery boy Steven Parent in Los Angeles Aug. 9, 1969. The following night, Manson joins in the murder of two more victims.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law on Aug. 6, fortifying the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sixteen-year-old Brian Hyland's "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" hits No. 1 on  Aug. 8, 1960. Hyland scores later hits with "Sealed With a Kiss" and "Gypsy Woman." Hyland is still performing at age 70.

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After five years as a local show in Philadelphia, American Bandstand premieres on the ABC television network Aug. 5, 1957. Dick Clark's musical showcase with dancing teens is broadcast live five days a week until 1963, when it becomes a weekly program taped in Los Angeles.

On Aug. 7, 1974 Philippe Petit walks a tightrope strung between the towers of the World Trade Center. The story is retold in the documentary Man on Wire and the novel Let the Great World Spin.

Philippe Pettit World Trade Center


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Images - Jack Nicholson Time magazine cover: Tony Korody - Sygma; Philippe Petit: Photo by Alan Welner/AP

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