Thursday, December 31, 2009

The '68 Comeback Special

December 3 – The '68 Comeback Special marks the concert return of Elvis Presley.

Recorded in late June, the special aired on December 3, 1968, as a Christmas telecast called simply Elvis. Later known as the '68 Comeback Special, the show featured lavishly staged studio productions as well as songs performed live with a band in front of a small audience—Presley's first live appearance as a performer since 1961. The live segments saw Presley clad in tight black leather, singing and playing guitar in an uninhibited style reminiscent of his early rock and roll days. Director and coproducer Steve Binder had worked hard to reassure the nervous singer and to produce a show that was not just an hour of Christmas songs, as Parker had originally planned. When the ratings were released the next day, NBC reported that Presley had captured 42 percent of the total viewing audience. It was the network's highest rated show that season. Jon Landau of Eye magazine remarked, "There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home. He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect of rock 'n' roll singers. He moved his body with a lack of pretension and effort that must have made Jim Morrison green with envy." The New Rolling Stone Album Guide calls the performance one of "emotional grandeur and historical resonance."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1968 Spain's Head of State

Francisco Franco Bahamonde (4 December 1892 in Ferrol – 20 November 1975 in Madrid), commonly known as Francisco Franco (Spanish pronunciation: [fɾanˈθisko ˈfɾaŋko]), or simply Franco, was a military general and dictator of Spain from October 1936, and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in 1975. As head of state, Franco used the title Caudillo de España, por la gracia de Dios, meaning; Leader of Spain, by the grace of God. During his almost forty year reign, Franco's governance went through various different phases, although the most common ideological features present throughout included a strong sense of Spanish nationalism and protection of the country's territorial integrity, Catholicism, anti-communism, anti-masonry and traditional values.

"Up to the mountains and down to the villages" movement

December 22, 1968 - Mao Zedong advocates that educated youth in urban China be re-educated in the country. It marks the start of the "Up to the mountains and down to the villages" movement.

Monday, December 21, 2009

David and Julie's wedding

David Eisenhower marries Julie Nixon, the daughter of U.S. President-elect Richard Nixon.

On December 22, 1968, after her father was elected president but before he took office, Julie married David Eisenhower, grandson of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The couple had known each other since meeting at the 1956 Republican National Convention. The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale officiated in the non-denominational rite at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City.

The Eisenhowers have three children. Jennie Elizabeth, Alexander Richard and Melanie Catherine.