Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who died Friday after being shot while giving a speech in the western city of Nara, attended the USC School of Public Policy for two years in the late 1970’s.
In 2015, Abe, who was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, returned to USC. He spent three semestersat USC in 1978 studying English and taking courses in political science, international relations and history.
Abe was not the only Japanese prime minister to have attended USC. Takeo Miki, who led the country from 1974-76, was a student at USC in the 1930’s.
- Former USC safety Chris Hawkins and offensive tackle Sam Baker are assistant coaches at Tustin High School. Hawkins was fired with cause by Arizona State on Jan. 21.
- And now for some history:
- I finally found a picture of McKeever’s Trojan Barrel circa 1968. This was originally “Stubby’s Trojan Barrel” from 1955-65. Then the McKeever brothers (Marlin and Mike) bought it and in 1975 it became “Julie’s Trojan Barrel.”
- It was a different world in 1969. And if you told someone back then that USC would join the Big Ten in 2024, they might say you were crazy.
- In 1969, the USC baseball team played the University of San Francisco at Candlestick Park. Baseball was bigger.
- If you want to know how different it was in the late 1960’s, two-sport athletes were commonplace. Here’s the USC Rugby team and that’s tight end Bob Klein jumping for the ball. Think about it. Klein was eventually going to a first-round draft pick but he and many teammates still played rugby in the spring.
- Here’s Don Crenshaw, fresh off being named most improved player on the basketball team, competing in the high jump.
- The Trojan Knights used to decorate the goal posts in the late 1960’s.
- Glen Campbell performed at the Sports Arena for the Bob Hope Show, which benefitted the USC Scholarship Fund. Other celebrity guests were James Garner, Eddie Fisher, Juliet Prowse and Barbara McNair. USC graduates Fess Parker and John Wayne also appeared.
- Jimmy Gunn sacks Washington QB Tom Manke in the No. 1-ranked Trojans’ 14-7 victory in 1968.
Bob Seagren won four NCAA indoor and outdoor titles in the pole vault and won the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics.
- USC had a men’s gymastics team in 1969 led by Jim Betters, who was one of the top all-around gymnasts in the Pac-8.
RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
CURRIE’S ICE CREAM PARLOR
- If you were a USC student in the late 1960’s, you should remember Currie’s Ice Cream, where students often stopped after classes. It looks like the kind of place USC could use today.
Currie’s was a chain throughout Southern California, famous for its “Mile-High Cones” and many flavors of ice cream.
- Here’s a photo from the 1969 production of the film, “The Rain People,” starring James Caan, who died Thursday at age 82. Among those in the picture are Robert Duvall and the film’s director, Francis Ford Coppola.
And standing atop the van is an aspiring filmaker from USC, George Lucas, who shadowed Caan and Coppola for weeks. Lucas produced a short film about the making of “The Rain People.” You can watch it here.
SHOW OF THE WEEK
In 1969, the Troubadour featured comedian Richard Pryor. Coming soon: Hoyt Axton.
MARKET OF THE WEEK
If you were a new student in 1969, you needed to know where the 32nd Street Market was.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
If you attend a concert in another country, try Argentin. It gives new meaning to audience participation. Here is singer Noel Gallagher (formerly of Oasis) performing a hit song in English and the crowd knows every word. You might get chills listening to the chorus.