Jim Morrison and the Doors in History for April
Explore Jim Morrison and the Doors in a unique timing and the cultural, social, historical and political events which led up to that time.


1776 - Harvard College confers the first honorary Doctor of Laws degree to George Washington.

1783 - Washington Irving is born in New York, the youngest of 11 children. He will become the first American author to gain international recognition as a man of letters: His collection of short stories, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819-1820) included Rip Van Winkle, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, based on legends of the early Dutch settlers in the Hudson River Valley. He published his first book when he was 26, Diedrich Knickerbocker's History of New York (1809), a satire on manners and politics in the United States. His final work was a five volume biography of George Washington, completed just before his death in 1859. 'I don't go upstairs to bed two nights out of seven,' writes Charles Dickens, '...without taking Washington Irving under my arm.'

1860 - The first Pony Express carrying U.S. mail leaves both St Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California simultaneously. The western-bound post arrives a day and a half before the eastern bound. Each rider had a 75 to 100 mile run before a switch was made with another rider. The switch was made at one of 190 way stations along the route; each way station being about ten to fifteen miles apart. The Pony Express riders delivered the mail within ten days (similar to our current snail-mail) for postage paid of $5 per ounce. This style of mail service became antiquated within a short two years, being put out to pasture by the advent of the overland telegraph.

1897 - Johannes Brahms, German composer and pianist, dies.

1920 - F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre are married at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Honeymooning at the Biltmore Hotel, they behave so boisterously the management asks them to leave.

1924 - Academy Award winning actor Marlon Brando is born in Omaha, Nebraska. He burst onto the scene with his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film version of A Streetcar Named Desire.

1924 - Singer and actress Doris Day is born Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff.

1928 - Singer/songwriter Don Gibson is born. His best known work is the Percy Sledge performed hit, I Can’t Stop Loving You.

1930 - The fledgling film industry celebrates the 2nd Annual Academy Awards presentation at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

1933 - First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt informs newspaper reporters that beer will be served at the White House. This followed the March 22 legislation legalizing ‘3.2’ beer.

1941 - Jan Berry of Jan and Dean is born. Best known songs include The Little Old Lady from Pasadena, Dead Man’s Curve, and Surf City.

1942 - Actress Marsha Mason is born.

1942 - Singer and performer Carson Wayne Newton is born. He will become well known for his hits Danke Shoen, Red Roses for a Blue Lady, and Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast, as well as being a staple on the Las Vegas scene.

1945 - Richard Manuel, keyboardist for the Band, is born in Stratford, Ontario. He would commit suicide in 1986.

1949 - Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis debut on radio in an NBC program that will run until 1952.

1950 - Kurt Weil, German composer, dies; best known for his Threepenny Opera and for his collaboration with actress and singer Lotte Lenya whom he married in 1926.

1956 - Elvis Presley makes the first of two appearances on The Milton Berle Show, Presley sings Heartbreak Hotel, Money, Honey and Blue Suede Shoes and earns $5,000. It's estimated one out of every four Americans sees his performance.

1958 - Howlin' Wolf records Moanin' For My Baby.

1958 - Best known of the 5 actor brothers, Alec Baldwin is born Alexander Rae Baldwin III.

1959 - The BBC bans the Coasters song Charlie Brown because of the word spitball.

1961 - Actor and comedian Eddie Murphy is born.

1965 - Bob Dylan first appears on the pop music charts. Subterranean Homesick Blues enters the Top 40 at number 39. The song will stay on the charts for eight weeks. Dylan would chart a total of 12 singles on the pop charts between 1965 and 1979.

1966 - Tonight, Hollywood's Troubadour club hosts a performance by folk singer Peter Tork. By September, he will be more famous as a member of the Monkees.

1968 - Less than 24 hours before he will be assassinated in Memphis, TN., civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous 'mountaintop' speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers.

1968 - North Vietnam agrees to meet with U.S. representatives to set up preliminary peace talks.

1968 - The film 2001: A Space Odyssey, premieres. It was written by Arthur C. Clarke, based on his novel The Sentinel (1966).

1969 - The FBI arrests Jim Morrison on charges of obscenity and flight to avoid prosecution after the Miami concert.

1974 - Professor Longhair gets together with Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown in Bogalusa, Louisiana to record Junco Partner for the album Rock 'N' Roll Gumbo.

1978 - Blues guitar giant B.B. King joins famed defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey at a rap session and concert for inmates at Norfolk Prison in Boston as part of their ongoing duties as co-chairmen of FAIRR (Foundation for the Advancement of Inmate Rehabilitation and Recreation)

1978 - The stars come out to honor Star Wars and other films of 1977 at the 50th anniversary of the Academy Awards. Bob Hope hosts the festivities at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Although Star Wars was nominated in 10 categories including Best Picture, Annie Hall copped the top award, as well as Oscars for Best Director (Woody Allen); Best Actress (Diane Keaton); and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman). Star Wars didn’t get any of the other audience-thriller Oscars either. The Best Actor statuette went to Richard Dreyfuss for his performance in The Goodbye Girl.

1981 - Paul McCartney records an episode of MTV Unplugged.

1985 - The famed Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood closes on this day, after 57 years. All of the furnishings were kept, including famous Booth #5 where Clark Gable proposed to Carole Lombard.

1990 - Singer Sarah Vaughn dies of lung cancer in Los Angeles. She was 66 years old.


1969 - The FBI was continuing to try to have Jim Morrison extradited to Florida. While the extradition warrant was clearly illegal, it was important that Jim not appear to run from it. On April 3rd, Morrison turned himself in to the Los Angeles branch of the FBI, accompanied by Max Fink. He was arrested on the federal warrant charging him with interstate flight to avoid prosecution for six charges of lewd behavior and public exposure. Jim Morrison appeared before a United States commissioner and was released on a five-thousand dollar corporate bond. Jim's comment on being tried in Florida was simple and to the point: 'They're gonna crucify me.'

Show cancellations continue to the end of April in the aftermath of this judicial fiasco.

For more day-by-day history go to HistoryUnlimited.net