Yesterday: John Lennon Assassinated 29 years ago; Blizzard, Cold Wave across nation


lennon-photo

On This Date in History: John Lennon was shot and killed on this date in 1980. I remember I was in my dorm lennon-mirrorroom at Jester Hall at the University of Texas at Austin. 13th floor…methinks it was room 1325. Gary Hindman was my roomate. I called him Captain America. It was a Monday night because Howard Cosell announced the shooting toward the end of Monday Night Football.

Public Gathers Outside The Dakota

Public Gathers Outside The Dakota

Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, lived in an apartment in New York called The Dakota. A bunch of people were hanging around waiting to catch a glimpse of the couple. Mark David Chapman was a messed up guy who got into reading JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. He related to the protagonist of the novel about disaffected youth. Chapman lived in Hawaii and decided that he would shoot Lennon since he mused that Lennon was a phony. He bought a gun in Hawaii and flew to New York. He called his wife to tell him what he was going to do but she did not report it or say anything because she did not believe him. Chapman was unable to purchase ammunition for his gun in New York so he flew to Atlanta where he bought dum-dum bullets and a copy of Catcher in the Rye. He returned to New York and when Lennon and Ono emerged from The Dakota, he shot him in the back and then twice in the shoulder. I read some report that claimed Lennon lost 80% of his blood.

Chapman Mugshot Dec 9 1980

Chapman Mugshot Dec 9 1980

An interesting thing about Lennon’s death is that the reporting and public reaction were similar to that when JFK, RFK and MLK were assassinated. It mirrored what would happen a few months later when President Reagan was shot…I was in Jester Hall then too. But those guys were all politicians. He was a musician but one who had an influence perhaps on par with presidents. Now, Chapman at the last moment pleaded guilty instead of copping an insanity plea. He was given 20 years to life….

Here’s the kicker….he went to Attica Prison where in 1970 the famous riot broke out and Lennon became inspired to write Attica State, aka Free All Prisoners Everywhere. Chapman became a born-again Christian in prison and does evangelical writing.

Here’s a detailed sketch regarding the death of John Lennon on December 8, 1980.

CLICK ON NWS IMAGE for ANIMATION

Weather Bottom Line: The weather forecast is unfolding pretty much on line.  Rain Tuesday afternoon.  Possibly heavy rain Tuesday night and maybe even some rumbles of thunder.  The NAM still calls for no snow but it possible for a few wet snowflakes around 7 AM or so.  Now, the GFS is indicating some snow after 7AM on Wednesday but if it did it wouldn’t be much and the ground would be too warm for any accumulation unless we get a little from the wrap around by late Wednesday.  Even then it will be minor.  Nevertheless, the drive to work will be rather dicey so you may want to give yourself some extra time.  The big story will be the wind and the cold.  Wednesday the temperatures will be dropping and temps in the 30’s will feel much much colder with 25 to 40 mph winds.  Thursday, I bet we do not see the 30’s…highs will be in the 20’s.  I would think that the best chance for snow will be next Wednesday.  Regardless, its going to be colder than average for the forseeable future.

To give you an idea about the potency of this storm, in Des Moines Iowa here is the warning from the NWS:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
149 PM CST TUE DEC 8 2009

…AN EPIC AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WINTER STORM TODAY THROUGH
WEDNESDAY…

.INTENSE LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES WILL PUSH ACROSS
THE SOUTHERN PLAINS BY TONIGHT…AND CONTINUE TO TRACK EAST
NORTHEAST THROUGH THE MIDWEST AND INTO THE GREAT LAKES REGION.
THIS SYSTEM WILL IMPACT CENTRAL IOWA FOR A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF
TIME. HEAVY SNOW THROUGH TONIGHT ALONG WITH STRONG NORTH TO
NORTHWEST WINDS DEVELOPING BY LATE TONIGHT ARE EXPECTED TO
PRODUCE BLIZZARD CONDITIONS TONIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY ACROSS ALL OF
CENTRAL IOWA.

Here are the highlights of what is expected: Winds over 50 mph, snow totals of 10-15 inches, snow drifts of 10-15 feet,  High temperature of 12 with windchills of 10 to 20 degrees below zero.  Visibility will be less than a half mile at times.  All of this during the Global Warming Conference in Copenhagen.  Seems like every time they have something like this, there is extreme cold weather.

One Response

  1. Hi Symon..I was reading your archives and came across this post regarding the death of John Lennon. I hate to nitpick, but Lennon was shot going into The Dakota, not coming out. He also called his wife to tell ‘her’ (not ‘him’) what he was going to do. Well, on second thought, considering Chapman’s troubled mind, ‘her’ could’ve actually been a ‘him’, but I don’t even want to go down that road…
    This is the second time I’ve accosted your blog while researching various topics that interest me. I initially found your blog while researching the $2B loan allocated by the Export/Import Bank for oil exploration off the Brazilian coast. I agree with your assessment of that situation–better to help develop oil sources from friendly neighbors than rely on unstable regimes in the Middle East.
    Do you compose a daily blog? How can I receive E-mail notification when new columns are posted? Keep up the good work–I enjoy your topics and writing style. 🙂

    Bill Lewis

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