(April 14-20, 1994)
Richard Nixon’s spokeswoman revealed the deteriorating nature of the 37th U.S. president’s health, telling news media he suffered a stroke at his residence in Park Ridge, N.J., while preparing for dinner, and an ambulance took him to New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.
Nixon was stable, awake and alert the next morning, but unable to speak.
The Associated Press reported, “Nixon’s doctors would not give a prediction on his prospects until 24 hours after the stroke, (spokeswoman Kim) Taylor said.
“The Daily News quoted an unidentified emergency room worker as saying Nixon, wearing an oxygen mask, waved to companions as they visited him in the emergency room.”
The 81-year-old’s condition worsened the next day.
The AP reported Nixon suffered swelling of the brain and that doctors described his stroke the previous day as major.
Meanwhile in sports, football teams continued their spring reshuffling. The Miami Dolphins signed quarterback Bernie Kosar to a two-year deal, the Washington Redskins waived Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien, the Dallas Cowboys hired future Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer to handle their secondary, and the CFL’s Shreveport Pirates signed former Miami wide receiver Mark Duper along with kicker Bjorn Nittmo.
Nittmo caught his 15 minutes of fame when, as kicker for the New York Giants several years earlier, he became the source for a running series of jokes by late-night comedian David Letterman.
In men’s college basketball, ousted Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson took over the program at Arkansas-Little Rock, Pitt named future Georgia coach Tom Crean as an assistant, and Michigan announced Jalen Rose was entering the NBA Draft.
In celebrity news, singer Billy Joel and model Christie Brinkley broke up.
(April 14-16, 1969)
U.S. Sen. Herman Talmadge, D-Ga., had enough of the behavior of student activists on campuses across the country and — speaking at a meeting of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia in Savannah — took newly elected President Richard Nixon to task for not cracking down.
The AP reported, “He urged the president to make full use of a recently enacted law permitting cut-off of federal loans and grants to students involved in disorders and acts of violence.
“‘Time is long overdue when our college administrators should take action in this matter,’ Talmadge told the association’s 55th annual convention meeting at the DeSoto Hilton Hotel.”
Talmadge went on to label the student activists as a roving band of anarchists who go state to state to stir up trouble.
On in the opinion section, The News’ editors observed:
“People who claim cats are dumb have rarely displayed any ability themselves to get three squares a day and oodles of love just by purring.”
“A pessimist is a reformed optimist.”
“No Gwendolyn, net profit isn’t what you pick up on a tennis bet.”
“Kids now growing up will recall with nostalgic wonder the cakes grandma used to thaw.”
“If everyone minded their own business, what would we talk about at lunch?”
(April 18-20, 1944)
Goodbye single wing, hello T formation.
There once was a time in which it wasn’t how you lined up and spaced your wide receivers on any given play in football, but the look of your offensive backfield.
Variants of the single wing — a three-back offense dependent on precision blocking and essentially faking out the defense — dominated college football and the lower levels for the better part of a generation.
The T formation — also a three-back package — put two halfbacks and a fullback lined up next to each other, parallel to the line of scrimmage, a few yards into the backfield. As with modern innovations, teams went to it because it meant faster play and more points.
In Athens, Georgia head coach Wally Butts decided that, for the 1944 season, he was ditching the single wing used to such success in 1942 for the T formation, no matter what he was left with as young men continued to go to war.
The AP reported, “‘I don’t expect to get too far with the “T” this first time, but we’re going to stick with it, win or lose, for a while,’ said Butts, pausing during spring drill for his squad of 30.
“It’s no sudden decision of Butts — this switch to the ’T’ formation. He has been experimenting with it for three spring practices, only to lose his key man at the last minute.”
In Brunswick, the cobbled-together varsities of Glynn Academy and Jesup High School were set to play in a spring scrimmage. Jesup was on a 16-game losing streak to GA, only scoring in two of those games, and had not posted a point since 1933. However, they were ready to claim a win, albeit one that wouldn’t officially count.
The Red Terrors, on offense, would be working out their own T-formation.
“In the backfield will be possibilities galore, but the boys are green, though anxious,” The News reported. “Edwin Fendig will be at quarterback of a T formation to start his football career as key man of the Academy offense next fall. He will also do most of the passing and the kicking for his team.”
Glynn Academy’s Coach Yancey said the T formation would be used especially in spring practice, to “save strength of a squad through cleverness and deception. However, if the experiment with the T formation does not make suitable progress, the old power single-wing formation will be relied upon.”