Saturday, March 19, 1966: Texas Western 72, Kentucky 65

With a starting lineup of five black players, Texas Western College beats the University of Kentucky (which did not have a single black player on its roster) for the NCAA men's basketball championship. Many accounts of the game -- including those from the Associated Press, United Press International, The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, all linked below -- did not mention the game's social significance. Shown here are two exceptions -- a column by sportswriter Harvey Yavener of The Trentonian (N.J.) newspaper, published March 21; and a story by Time magazine, published March 25). Texas Western is now known as the University of Texas at El Paso.

* Associated Press game story: @
* United Press International: @
* New York Times (from www.bigbluehistory.net): @
* Sports Illustrated (from www.UTEPathletics.com): @
* The Road to Glory (UTEP website): @
* "Significance of Texas Western's 1966 NCAA title not realized at first" (Jon Solomon, CBS Sports, 2016): @
* "Basketball's Game-Changer" (John Feinstein, Washington Post, 2008): @
* "A Win for Texas Western, A Triumph for Equality" (Michael Wilbon, Washington Post, 2006): @
* "Texas Western's 1966 title left lasting legacy" (Frank Fitzpatrick, ESPN Classic, 2003): @
* "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (Curry Kirkpatrick, Sports Illustrated, 1991): @
* "The Game: A Study in Black & White, 1966" (Bryan Woolley, Nova magazine, 1991): @
* "In An Alien World" (Jack Olsen, Sports Illustrated, 1968): @
* "All-America First: All-Negro 1st Team Topped by Alcindor" (Associated Press, 1967): @
* "And The Wheels Turned" (UTEP student-produced documentary): @
* "And The Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Basketball Game That Changed American Sports" (Frank Fitzpatrick, 2000): @
* "Basketball's Biggest Upset: Texas Western Changed The Sport With A Win Over Kentucky in 1966" (Ray Sanchez, 2005): @
* "Benching Jim Crow: The Rise and Fall of the Color Line in Southern College Sports, 1890-1980" (Charles H. Martin, 2010): @ 


Friday, March 11, 1966: Ronald Reagan's tree quote

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) -- Ronald Reagan called upon private industry Friday to battle the "infinite danger" of growing federal government. "The might of the government is awesome," said the Republican gubernatorial candidate. "We have got to act fast. We're running out of time." Reagan made the remarks in a speech to about 500 persons attending the annual meeting of the Western Wood Productions Association. He urged the group to join with other private industries, such as privately operated utility firms, in combating federal power. "The time has come," he said, "for more control of the government by the people instead of more control of the people by the government."
     ... Regarding proposed federal plans for a Redwood National Park in Northern California, Reagan said he hadn't fully studied new bills now before Congress, but that he favored a "common sense limit" on the program. He explained that both the natural beauty of the area and the economic needs of the lumber industry should be considered. He added, "a tree's a tree -- how many more do you need to look at?"

-- "Reagan Flays Federal Grip on Private Industry," Long Beach Independent, March 12, 1966
-- Editorial cartoon from Fresno Bee, March 15
-- NOTE: Many online resources (and books, for that matter) state that Reagan spoke on March 12. However, newspaper accounts of the time -- both before and after the event -- show that it actually took place on Friday, March 11.

* "If You've Seen One Tree ..." (snopes.com): @
* "The Wrong Side of History" (Center for Western Priorities): @
* Excerpt from "Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power" (Lou Cannon, 2003): @ 


Friday, March 4, 1966: 'We're more popular than Jesus now'

In a story written by Maureen Cleave and published in the London Evening Standard, John Lennon of The Beatles says:

Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first -- rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it ruins it for me.

Lennon's comments attracted little attention until they were reprinted in the September edition of Datebook magazine. (The cover and inside headline used the phrase "I don't know which will go first -- rocknroll or Christianity.") 

The backlash in the United States was swift, beginning with radio station WAQY in Birmingham, Alabama, which in August encouraged listeners to throw away or burn the band's records. Other stations followed suit and stopped playing Beatles songs, while the group was condemned by politicians and religious figures.

-- Jackson, Mississippi, August 1966; photo by Corbis Images

* March 4 summary from The Beatles Bible: @
* July 29 summary from The Beatles Bible: @
* Summary from The Beatles Ultimate Experience: @
* "John Lennon and Jesus, 4 March 1966" (Gordon Thompson, author of "Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out"): @
* " 'Christianity will go' comment stirs up fans" (Ottawa Citizen, August 3, 1966): @
* "John's Gospel" (David Frost, The Spectator, August 12): @
* "Beatle Lennon Apologizes" (The Nashua, N.H., Telegraph, August 12): @
* "Stations No, No Beatles Disks" (Billboard, August 13): @
* "Beatles Running Strong -- With Powerhouse Stations' Blessings" (Billboard, August 20): @
* "Warm Welcome for Beatles in 'Bible Belt' " (Sydney Morning Herald, August 21): @
* "Vatican 'forgives' John Lennon" (Reuters, November 22, 2008): @
* Film clips of controversy: @ 

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