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June 1971








Elvis Presley's birthplace, a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, is opened to the public.
Farm-labor contractor Juan Corona is charged with murder afer the bodies of 24 migrant workers are found buried in California.
Tickets go on sale for Grand Funk Railroad's appearance at New York City's Shea Stadium, and are sold out within seventy-two hours, netting the band $306,000, which tops the Beatles' Shea Stadium ticket sales of $304,000 in 1966. Promoter Sid Bernstein, who also bought the Beatles to Shea Stadium, comments: "I would never say that anyone is more popular than the Beatles, but Grand Funk's fans have certainly responded more quickly and with a different kind of enthusiasm." Over 21,000 fans show up at the stadium the morning tickets go on sale, many of them having waited over twenty-four hours for the ticket booths to open.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on stage for the first time since 1969, joining Frank Zappa for a jam at the Fillmore East. Says Lennon of the encounter: "I expected sort of a grubby maniac with naked women all over the place. The first thing I said was, 'Wow, you look so different. You look great!'" Zappa had his own preconceptions, too. The first thing he said, recounts Lennon, was, "You look clean too."

The Soviet Union's Soyuz 11 dockes with space station Salyut 1; it is the first successful manned docking in space. Tragically, the crew perishes when a valve accidentally opens on its return journey.

TV's Ed Sullivan Show, which had featured such rock legends as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Supremes and the Doors, broadcasts for the last time, with featured musical guests Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Carole King's Tapestry, one of the largest selling LP's of all time, goes gold. Tapestry remains on the charts for more than three years and gives King her biggest selling hit, "It's Too Late," which is Number One for five weeks in the summer of 1971.

Health food enthusiast and entrepreneur Jerome Rodale, 72, appears on The Dick Cavett Show. Known as the guru of organic food, Rodale runs a successful publishing house and claims he'll "live to a hundred unless I'm run down by some sugar-crazed taxi driver." After his interview, as host Dick Cavett talks with journalist Pete Hamill, Rodale appears to nod off. "Are we boring you?" quips Cavett. But Rodale isn't asleep -- he's dead after suffering a heart attack. The show never airs, though Cavett marvels in later years about the people who constantly tell him they watched it on television.

A Jethro Tull concert at Denver's Red Rock Amphitheater is marred by police, who fire off tear-gas canisters to quell disturbances among some of the 10,000 assembled. Undaunted, Tull plays anyway, even though keyboardist John Evan can't see his piano through the tear gas.
The South African Broadcasting Company decides to remove its ban on Beatles records, a ruling which has been in effect since 1966. The reason? John Lennon's controversial statement that the group had become more popular than Jesus.

Tricia Nixon is married to Edward Finch Cox in the White House Rose Garden.

The Top Five
1. "Want Ads" - Honey Cone
2. "Brown Sugar" - Rolling Stones
3. "Rainy Days & Mondays" - Carpenters
4. "It Don't Come Easy" - Ringo Starr
5. "Joy to the World" - Three Dog Night

The New York Times publishes the first installment of the Pentagon Papers, a series of classified documents leaked to the press by former war analyst Daniel Ellsberg, that outline the growth of American involvement in Vietnam and reveal repeated official recommendations to end it. In the following weeks, more installments will be published by the Times and other dailies. Ellsberg will be arrested for his role and the Nixon administration will make a failed attempt to legally block publication on the grounds of national security.
A gold record is awarded to Black Sabbath, a fire-and-brimstone quartet from Birmingham, England, for their eponymously-titled 1970 debut LP. The band joyfully plays a form of heavy metal termed "downer rock." If that sounds like a contradiction, an interview with one of the band's early fans sheds some light on its macabre appeal: "It's freaky. It makes you feel like you're in a graveyard. It makes you feel more alive."

Fifteen American Indians, seeking to reclaim Alcatraz Island as Indian territory, are arrested by federal agents, ending the Native Americans' year-and-a-half occupation of the former prison in San Francisco Bay.

President Nixon names the head of his new Office of Drug Abuse Prevention and requests from Congress an additional $155 million to help stop drug abuse.
Rock guru Don Kirshner, a power behind The Monkees' success, forms a new group called Tomorrow, which immediately fails and disbands. One of the members is a winsome 23-year-old Australian named Olivia Newton-John.

The Top Five
1. "It's Too Late"/"I Feel the Earth Move" - Carol King
2. "Rainy Days & Mondays" - Carpenters
3. "Want Ads" - Honey Cone
4. "Brown Sugar" - Rolling Stones
5. "It Don't Come Easy" - Ringo Starr

The Celebration of Life festival finally gets underway -- three and a half days late -- in Pointe Coupe Parish, Louisiana. Advertiesments for the eight-day festival boast an impressive array of rock, jazz and blues acts, including Pink Floyd, the Beach Boys, Miles Davis and B.B. King. A telltale sign of how the festival will fare is given at the very beginning, when guru Yogi Bahjan takes the stage and requests a minute of silence. "Fuck you, let's boogie!" responds a member of the crowd.

In "McKeiver v. Pennsylvania," the U.S. Supreme Court rules 6-3 that juveniles do not have a constitutional right to jury trials.

Klute, director Alan Pakula's complex psychological thriller starring Jane Fonda as a modern, practical call girl and also featuring Donald Sutherland and Roy Scheider, opens. Fonda gets strong reviews in a role than had been turned down by Barbra Streisand, and wins an Oscar for best actress. Offscreen, Fonda and costar Sutherland cofound a troupe that travels the college circuit protesting the Vietnam War. Life will imitate art just seven years later when Fonda wins a second best actress Oscar for her role as an anti-war wife in Coming Home.
The Celebration of Life Festival is shut down by authorities after the promoters fail to provide sufficient supplies of food, and medical and sanitary facilities. During the three days of the aborted festival, three fans drowned, and one fan died of a drug overdose. The crowd was becoming increasingly unruly, because of the twenty-seven groups advertised to appear, only eight showed up, and more than 150 festival-goers were arrested.
Country artist Jody Miller slides onto the pop charts with her version of The Chiffons hit "He's So Fine." Her arrangement of the song, which peaks at #53, was similar to George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," which was a plagiarized version of "He's So Fine."
It's an emotional evening as Bill Graham officially closes the Fillmore East after three years, due to what the iconic rock impressario perceives to be the increasing commercialization of rock and greedy musicians who'd rather play 20,000-seat arenas than smaller, more intimate venues. The send-off is in the style of a New Orleans jazz funeral, and is highlighted by the performances of the Allman Brothers Band, Mountain, the Beach Boys, who turn out thirteen strong, and newcomers from Boston, the J. Geils Band. Patrons attending the final night are given commemorative posters at the door and find red roses on their seats. A week later there's a similar lively end at San Francisco's Fillmore West to the sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana and Tower of Power.
Muhammad Ali emerges triumphant as the Supreme Court overturns his draft-dodging conviction, though the heavyweight title remains in the hands of Joe Frazier.

In Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Supreme Court rules 8-1 that Pennsylvania's Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which allowed the Superintendent of Public Schools to reimburse private schools (mostly Catholic) for the salaries of teachers who taught in these private schools, was unconstitutional.

The Memphis City Council votes to rename Highway 51 South in Memphis Elvis Presley Boulevard. In January 1972, when it becomes official, Elvis's home, Graceland, will be at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard.
Paul Revere and the Raiders receive a gold record for their only Number One hit, "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)." It is their last Top Twenty hit.

San Francisco's famed rock theater at Fillmore West closes, in the wake of police harassment of the theater's promoter,
Bill Graham. Police had threatened to cancel the permit for Graham's other San Francisco rock theater, Winterland, when a soft drink sold at a concert there was allegedly discovered to be spiked with LSD and passed through the audience, with people told, "Pass the drinks to your friends; they may be thirsty too."

After four days of deliberation, the Supreme Court upholds the right of the New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers. Within two months the Nixon administration releases an edited version of their own secret studies of the Vietnam conflict.


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