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Historical Meet-Ups

Unlikely encounters between famous people

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Posts tagged Ronald Reagan

Dec 7 '10
John LennonEx-Beatle and erstwhile 1960s icon
meets
Ronald ReaganEx-actor and future 1980s icon
The outgoing former Mop Top met the outgoing California governor on December 9, 1974 during halftime of a Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Lennon was in town to promote his recently released album, Walls and Bridges, while Reagan was about to turn over the keys to the mansion to Governor-elect Jerry Brown after eight years in Sacramento. Play-by-play man Frank Gifford invited Reagan—an old friend from his movie days—to drop by the Monday Night Football booth, and was pleasantly surprised when Lennon accepted an invitation for the same night. Both men were slated for halftime interviews. “Gifford, you take the governor and I’ll take the Beatle,” acerbic commentator Howard Cosell informed Gifford shortly before the end of the second quarter. While the two guests waited to go on the air, Reagan put an arm around Lennon and attempted to explain the rules of American football. Lennon must have been a quick study, because in the ensuing on-air exchange with Cosell he showed a keen grasp of the differences between the U.S. game and English rugby. The evening’s only loser—besides the Rams, who were throttled by the Redskins 23-17—was color commentator Alex Karras, who complained to Cosell that he had been pushed out of the booth and into the men’s room to make room for Lennon and Reagan. Eerily enough, it was six years later—almost to the day—that Cosell would report Lennon’s murder to the nation live on another Monday Night Football telecast. Ronald Regan went on to become president of the United States and survive his own assassination attempt in March of 1981.

John Lennon
Ex-Beatle and erstwhile 1960s icon

meets

Ronald Reagan
Ex-actor and future 1980s icon

The outgoing former Mop Top met the outgoing California governor on December 9, 1974 during halftime of a Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Lennon was in town to promote his recently released album, Walls and Bridges, while Reagan was about to turn over the keys to the mansion to Governor-elect Jerry Brown after eight years in Sacramento. Play-by-play man Frank Gifford invited Reagan—an old friend from his movie days—to drop by the Monday Night Football booth, and was pleasantly surprised when Lennon accepted an invitation for the same night. Both men were slated for halftime interviews. “Gifford, you take the governor and I’ll take the Beatle,” acerbic commentator Howard Cosell informed Gifford shortly before the end of the second quarter. While the two guests waited to go on the air, Reagan put an arm around Lennon and attempted to explain the rules of American football. Lennon must have been a quick study, because in the ensuing on-air exchange with Cosell he showed a keen grasp of the differences between the U.S. game and English rugby. The evening’s only loser—besides the Rams, who were throttled by the Redskins 23-17—was color commentator Alex Karras, who complained to Cosell that he had been pushed out of the booth and into the men’s room to make room for Lennon and Reagan. Eerily enough, it was six years later—almost to the day—that Cosell would report Lennon’s murder to the nation live on another Monday Night Football telecast. Ronald Regan went on to become president of the United States and survive his own assassination attempt in March of 1981.