I may never know who died on January 20, 1977

When Carter was inaugurated in 1977, my mom kept me home to watch the ceremonies. Partly because she was so psyched about having a Democratic prez for a change, and partly because she thought I should see any inauguration, for education purposes. The school accepted this as a valid excuse (small town) on the teacher’s condition that I write a composition about the inauguration, to prove that I’d really watched it and not the Flintstones.

I don’t remember what I had to say about the ceremony, but at the end, I put, “P.S. [name I can’t remember] died today.” As I remember, I added that because it was mentioned as an aside on the nightly news, and I felt bad for this guy who, it seemed to me, was thoroughly out of the loop, dying while everyone else was rejoicing.

For years, I wondered just who the heck it was who died that day. Just now, I took it upon myself to do a Google search. I couldn’t find a page devoted entirely to people who died on a certain date. Few this-day-in-history pages acknowledged death dates at all. Finally, I found one that did, but didn’t have anyone marked for 1977.

Then it occurred to me that just because my mom (she was the one who called my attention to it) made note of this guy’s death, doesn’t mean he was a noteworthy figure to the people who compile historical calendars. She once e-mailed me to tell me that an umpire had died. Mr. 1/20/77 could have been the inventor of the tea bag, or Gary Cooper’s stand-in, or the guy who wrote “The Poky Little Puppy”, for all I know.

And I may never know!

Elvis Presley died on 1/20/77 - I typed january 20, 1977 into Yahoo search and got that.

Though I did remember that he had died about then…

Excuse me - I’d typed “january 20, 1977 death” into the search engine…

I thought Elvis died in August - around the 16th.

Crap! You’re right, reprise. Maybe I should read a little more carefully…

Great. Now I won’t be able to rest until I figure this out…

reprise is correct. If Elvis had died on Inauguration Day, I would have devoted my entire essay to it, because it would have pre-empted the ceremonies. (I hope not, but…)

Also can’t get over the fact that Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis BOTH died on November 22, 1963. No urban legend, that.

Is this the site you’d found?

No, it’s not. Thank you, though.

I’ll refer to my crystal oblate spheroid for information on the subject…



I’m getting…

I see…

Was it Timothy Mitchell? He was a gentle man, about 5’10", in his sixties when he passed away on 1/20/77. He had brown hair and brown eyes, and a mild complexion. He liked to eat pork and peas, watch baseball, and molest little children.

Or was it…

John Garner Adams? A portly man, given to excess, and rather boorish. He got drunk every night and beat his wife, often within inches of her life, and then raped her afterwards. He died when she finally snapped, grabbed his gun, and shot him six times. If he had lived another year, he would have accidently found the cure for cancer.

Or perhaps it was…

Wilbur C. Macklinstogie, a crazy old coot, by all accounts, who liked to tinker in his garage. He had already created a more efficient toaster, an hamsterless hamster wheel, and artificial polyester. However, he died when his lab exploded while he was attempting to construct his own nuclear bomb for the purpose of blowing up the capitol.

Those are the three names that my crystal oblate spheroid is picking up… I shall try again later if those aren’t the ones you’re thinking of.

I’d suggest heading off to the local library and calling up the newspapers from that day. That or Time Magazine.

None of the “This day in history” pages seem to have the answer either.

There are about 5,500 people who died on that date. Good luck.

Carl-Gunnar Wingård?

None of those sound likely.

Newspapers and magazines sound promising. Thanks, Osiris.

Do you mean 5,500 people whose death might have been mentioned on the news? Or just 5,500 people total?

Two United States presidents died on the same day, too. Jefferson and (I think) John Adams both died, ironically, on July 4, 1826. I remember being fascinated with the coincidence when I first heard it as a kid.

I realize this doesn’t help your search at all, but I just had to comment.

Well, what I mean is I went to the Social Security Death Index and looked at how many people that listed as dying in Jan 1977 and divided by 31. Now this is only Americans who received Social Security death benefits but I figured it was close enough. I adjusted it up a bit just in case. Sorry we couldn’t be more help.

Although there’s always the possibility that someone may show up who knows more.

Here is a site with some info. http://www.inthe70s.com/generated/obit1977.shtml

My puppy died on Jan. 20, 1977. Thanks for bringing up some bad memories! :mad:


kidding, really.

My wedding day, August 16, 1997, was the 20th anniversary of Elvis’ death. I didn’t realize it until the next day, when I saw film of the doings at Graceland.

I sure as hell don’t know who died January 20, 1977, because I was born two days later. . .

It’s a damn good possibility I’m that person’s reincarnation.