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Freed U.S. Troops Describe Enemy Torture; Dodgers Lose to Mets

September 3, 2009 |  8:00 am
Sept. 3, 1969, Cover

Sept. 3, 1969: Ho Chi Minh is gravely ill -- in fact, he's dead ... the Massachusetts Supreme Court postpones an inquest in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne ... searchers in the Holy Land find the wallet and passport of Dr. James A. Pike, former Episcopal bishop of California ... and a nondupe by Noel Greenwood!


Sept. 3, 1969, Torture

A Navy pilot and a Navy postal clerk freed by the North Vietnamese describe being tortured. The men told about "prisoners kept in cages, of men hung in straps, of others whose fingernails were removed. They described solitary confinement and poor medical treatment."

"Are broken bones and solitary confinement humane? Navy Lt. Robert F. Frishman of Long Beach asked. "Is sitting on a hot stool in a hot room with no sleep with mosquitoes biting you until you make a lousy statement humane? I know what it's like. In two days your feet swell up and then it moves up your legs until they are numb. Weather and your physical condition are the determining factors on how long you can last. Some can go on for 150 hours. Others pass out from heat exhaustion in 48."


Sept. 3, 1969, The Italian Job
"The Italian Job" starts today!


Sept. 3, 1969, Women
Ranch hand Beverly Chandler "is cute as all get-out and as strong as a heifer." By a woman writer!
Sept. 3, 1969, Ranch Woman
"Marriage doesn't hold much for me yet, because I don't lack for excitement around here. But mom says I'll be married to a rancher someday and I suppose I will," Chandler says.

Sept. 3, 1969, Dennis the Menace

One panel that will never appear in the legacy version of "Dennis the Menace."

Sept. 3, 1969, Sports Willie Davis hit his way into the Dodger record book, batting safely in 30 consecutive games.

That broke the Dodger record set in 1916 by Zach Wheat, who was 81 in 1969 and had sent Davis a good-luck telegram. It also was one game closer to the National League record of 37 games by Tommy Holmes of the Braves in 1945. The Times didn't even mention Joe DiMaggio's 56-game streak.

Davis didn't get a hit with the game on the line and the Dodgers lost to the Mets, 5-4. "I got my hit at the wrong time," he said. The Dodgers' center fielder came up in 1960 and was with the team through 1973. He went to Montreal in a trade for reliever Mike Marshall, then bounced to Texas, St. Louis and finally the Angels.

As for Wheat, he told the Dodgers' Red Patterson that his streak should have reached 41 games but he "was robbed of a hit by the first-base umpire. I still remember it."

Being on the Dodgers meant there was more than baseball--you could be on TV! Here's a '60s classic with Willie Davis watching Mr. Ed's tryout at Dodger Stadium.


::


During his playing days, O.J. Simpson also received star treatment in the papers.

The Buffalo Bills' rookie was heading back to L.A. to play the Rams and said all the right things during an interview with Mal Florence.

" 'I'm really looking forward to it,' said Simpson, making no effort to conceal his enthusiasm. 'In fact everyone on the Buffalo team is looking forward to it. War Memorial Stadium is OK, but there's nothing like the Coliseum. It's synonymous with football. I know I won't have much time there but I still hope to see my friends and get over to USC and visit with the team."

It's hard to find profiles of Simpson from this era that don't include his comments about his plans after football.

"Someday when I retire, I want to come back to L.A. and be just another USC alum--taking in those football games at the Coliseum on Saturday afternoons."

--Keith Thursby


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