Mary Martin Performs Hello Dolly for 4,000 troops in ‘Nam – October 9, 1965

With Mary Martin performing the role of Dolly Levi, 4,000 American troops in Vietnam watched a full scale theatrical production of the Broadway show, “Hello Dolly.” October 9, 1965 saw the first of 11 shows that Martin and the cast of “Dolly” would perform in Vietnam. The Los Angeles Times reported that “Opening night for ‘Hello Dolly in Vietnam came at high noon in sweltering weather and suffering humidity, inside an Air Force maintenance hanger. General William C. Westmoreland and Premier Nguyen Cao Ky were also in attendance

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LBJ Gall Bladder Operation – October 8, 1965

LBJ Shows his scar

LBJ Shows his scar

LBJ Gall Bladder Operation – October 8, 1965

On October 20, 1965 in one of the most famous photographs of his presidency, LBJ revealed his scar to the press.

The following year in a cartoon that became almost as famous as Johnson’s scar-revealing photo, caricaturist David Levine depicted Johnson showing off his scar, which was in the shape of a map of Vietnam.

LBJ Scar cartoon

LBJ Scar cartoon

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Russian Moon Landing Failed – October 7, 1965

A Russian Moon Landing that was attempted on October 7, 1965 is believed to have failed.

From Reuters:Signals from Luna 7, Russia’s two-ton space craft designed to reach the moon stopped at eight minutes past 11 last night, the time scheduled for impact. Sir Bernard Lovell, who was in charge of tracking operations at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, said : We can’t say at the moment what this means. We don’t know whether it is a crash landing or whether it is continuing to work, and the Russians have deliberately switched off the signals.” Later he said that all the evidence indicated that Luna made a destructive impact on the moon. He went on:— “It is impossible to do more than guess at what, if anything, has gone wrong. but out assumption was that the Russians intended to make a soft landing of instruments on the lunar surface ” On that assumption the final stages of firing the retrorockets were only partially successful.”

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Yom Kippur Koufax Does Not Pitch – October 6, 1965

There are three things any self-respecting Jewish boy should want to grow up to be: a doctor, a lawyer, or Sandy Koufax. Unfortunately, I don’t like blood, I’m afraid of courtrooms, and Sandy Duncan has a better arm than I do. Read more The Atlantic

Half a century ago, when Los Angeles Dodgers ace Sandy Koufax chose not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins because it fell on Yom Kippur, Elliot Strom was a 15-year-old baseball fan in Toronto. After attending services that morning, Strom, who acknowledges that at the time he “wasn’t the best synagogue attender in the world,” told his father he planned to stay home that afternoon and watch the World Series on TV rather than return for late services. This did not go over well.

“My father was very unhappy with me,” Strom recalls. “He said, ‘The star pitcher for the Dodgers is not going to pitch in the game. This is the kind of commitment he’s showing. Where is your commitment?'” Read more ESPN

There are three things any self-respecting Jewish boy should want to grow up to be: a doctor, a lawyer, or Sandy Koufax. Unfortunately, I don’t like blood, I’m afraid of courtrooms, and Sandy Duncan has a better arm than I do.

Alas, I became a reporter, a profession that at least allows me to write about Koufax, who I continued to idolize long after my baseball career ended in the sixth grade. It’s been 45 years since Koufax refused to pitch the first game of the World Series on Yom Kippur, yet he remains the go-to American Jewish sports icon. He’s even name-checked in The Big Lebowski: Read more The Atlantic

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LBJ and RFK Phone Conversation – October 5, 1965

LBJ and RFK have a “cordial” conversation. It starts when the president calls Senator Robert Kennedy, late in the afternoon of Ocotber 5, 1965. After a quick “Bobby how are ya’, the president tells him “I’m going to have a little operation on Friday mornin’ [He tells the senator about his gall bladder “condition.”] The real purpose of the call though is that LBJ wants to tell Kennedy that he’s going to be nominating Jim Watson for the U.S. International Court of Trade. “the Customs Court,” as the president referred. Bobby says “that’s fine.”

Then Bobby brings up the topic of the Dominican Republic. LBJ says “We’re very distressed about what’s happened there.” Johnson continues”I’m confident we’d a had another Castro if hadn’t a gone in when we did.” For the next six minutes of the call, the president and the senator go back and forth, very politely, not quite agreeing with each about how to handle the situation.

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