August 9th, 1969–> Manson Family Strikes
On this day 48 years ago the Manson Family first struck. They would appear in the national spotlight and capture the interest of an entire country as a result. Members of Charles Manson’ famous cult/commune traveled to the estate of Tate and famous director Roman Polanski (The Pianist, Rosemary’s Baby) and carried out the murder of five people in the house at the request of Charles, who was not physically present. Polanski was also out of town for the murders, Manson’s followers claimed the lives of Tate, coffee company heiress apparent Abigail Folger, and three others. Now I won’t go into all the theories and happenings of the cult, although I could, but reading on this subject is certainly captivating so I urge you to do it if you live under a rock and haven’t yet. Manson’s trial for the influence of the murders became a public circus frenzy, and he was given the death penalty in 1971. Because capital punishment would be overturned in California before Manson could be murdered legally, he is still serving his life sentence.
August 9th, 1974–> Tricky Dick Avoids Impeachment
You sneaky bastard, you. On this day, Nixon adhered to his resignation statement from the night before and officially resigned. Following the infamous Watergate Scandal, Nixon was facing heavy criticism and impeachment. Not wanting to be the first president to be successfully impeached (Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were both charged for impeached but acquitted), Nixon got outta town before the shit really hit the fan. A few minutes later, sitting vice president Gerald Ford was sworn in as the new POTUS, and, in a truly shocking move, would soon pardon Nixon.
August 9th, 1995–> RIP in Peace Jer-Bear
All good things, they say, never last. Thus was the case when Jerry Garcia, the leader and soul of the Grateful Dead, died on August 9th 1995. At the age of just 53 the Fat Man died in a residential drug treatment facility in Forest Knolls, CA. Jerry led a legion of life lovers through his music and captivating personality and worldview from 1965 to 1995. A lot of people forget that Jerry actually did a stint in the army before seriously pursuing his musical career. Born and raised in San Francisco, Jerry learned the piano at a young age, picking up the guitar at 15. He played with various San Fran scene artists before eventually landing with The Warlocks. These Warlocks would become the Grateful Dead with a lineup of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzman, and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan. They added second drummer Mickey Hart in ’67. Getting their big break playing Ken Kesey’s famous Acid Tests, the Dead took off rather quickly. They would soon become one of best touring acts in American music history, some years playing up to 150 shows. They would frequently sell many of these shows out. This band would also inspire a generation in the process. Future musicians would blend in pieces of Jerry in everything they played. Not to mention the fact that so many bands after the Dead followed the same model of success. For everything you’ve given us, and it was a lot, we thank you Jerry. RIP in peace.