March 4, 1966
In an interview, Beatles member John Lennon states that “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” This prompted Beatles Bonfires and the banning of their music by radio stations. The interview was published in The London Evening Standard, and caused little commotion. However, when quotes from the interview were reprinted in the U.S. teen magazine DATEbook four months later, there was a large public outcry in the U.S. “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll 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 that ruins it for me.” Mark David Chapman would cite Lennon’s comments on Jesus as one of the reasons he killed Lennon.
March 5, 1982
33-year-old comedian John Belushi, one of the seven original cast members of Saturday Night Live (1975-81), dies of an overdose from a lethal combination of cocaine and heroin, known as a speedball.
Two months later, the woman who was with Belushi at the time of his death, Cathy Smith, gave an interview with the National Enquirer in which she admitted she had administered the fatal speedball shot. The article was titled “I Killed Belushi”. The case was then reopened and Smith was charged with first-degree murder. A plea bargain reduced the charge to involuntary manslaughter, and she served 15 months in prison.
“And that’s the way it is”
March 6, 1981
Walter Cronkite anchors his last evening newscast.
Cronkite became known as “the most trusted man in America” after being so named in a public opinion poll.