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WGN Channel 9 - Pope John Paul II Comes to Chicago (Promo, 1979)

Here's a promo for an upcoming one-hour special, Pope John Paul II Comes to Chicago (a.k.a. Pope John Paul II: The Visitor We Won't Forget, a.k.a. A Remembrance - Pope John Paul II Visit to Chicago), for Sunday, December 23rd at 8pm on WGN Channel 9.

Voiceover by John Drury, who hosted this special.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Friday, December 21st 1979 shortly before 9am.

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This clip aired on Friday, December 21st 1979, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

When exactly in 1979 did he visit? I remember watching some sort of motorcade/parade with him on TV. People were throwing bouquets of flowers and I remember that he passed the Jefferson Park "Terminal".
Comment posted by Smctopia on Saturday, December 24th 2011 at 11:34pm.

The Pope, I.I.N.M., was on a general tour of the U.S.; he'd stopped over in Chicago on October 5th where he visited the Holy Name Cathedral. On October 2nd and 3rd, he had been in New York where he visited Madison Square Garden, Yankee and Shea Stadiums, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. During his tour, he also met with President Carter.
Comment posted by W.B. on Sunday, December 25th 2011 at 8:15am.

A friend of mine was in the crowd just south of the Jefferson Park transit terminal. He said the crowd was so thick you literally could not move.
Comment posted by SuperCFL on Monday, December 26th 2011 at 12:13am.

I believe he was in Chicago during the Fall of that year.
Comment posted by Loyal32Fan on Monday, December 26th 2011 at 2:07pm.

I was working third shift and was on the 47th Street bus coming from Pulaski when we were stopped at California to let his motorcade pass through. All the Polish businesses on 47th had decorated their display windows in honor of his coming to Chicago, including a women's corset shop. I swear, they had the portrait of him surrounded by packages from women's brassieres, and they had gone so far as to make it look as though the models on the packages were gazing at him. I think it was about the funniest thing I had seen.
Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Monday, December 26th 2011 at 8:20pm.

I was thinking about this visit today after hearing all about Pope Benedict and his resigning. I remember when Pope John Paul 2 came and how excited so many people were. It really was something exciting that he came because it so far hasn't happened again. Contrary to what many would believe he is exalted as saintly and many people think he was the greatest Pope ever. I wish I had met him along with Cardinal Bernardin (who I think was perhaps the greatest Cardinal Chicago has ever had). The closest I have come to meeting powerful religious people was meeting the Bishop Conlon of the Joliet Diocese after he presided over the confirmation at church and him telling me how terrific I sounded in the choir (I sing in the choir and teach religious education).
Comment posted by LaPrincess on Thursday, February 28th 2013 at 1:27am.

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This clip has been viewed 1408 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Saturday, December 24th 2011.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by HUdson 3-2700 on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 8:52pm CT

GalagaFleetCommander - Johnny Unitas used to wear his hair in a crewcut until about 1970, when he decided to let it grow out to where he could part it. A real square...


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by GalagaFleetCommander on Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 9:23pm CT

Johnny Unitas did WHAT? I can't believe that! He's got that perfect haircut you can set a watch to like Abe Simpsons said! I wonder if he made anyone any significant amount of money.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by ER3017 on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 7:37am CT

About 2 years ago, my brother and I was on our way to the park and I saw boxes and boxes of videos, and my brother and I agreed to get almost all of them. Unfortunately, due to my strength, I didn't carry a lot, so I grabbed like 2 boxes and some videos are quite interesting I tell you. I'am still waiting to deliver these to you because if I wait, not only they'll rot but worried that these will be in the dumpster like my mom did but retrieved by me thank god.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 12:48pm CT

davismv - Thanks Mark! Well, we do have some late-breaking developments - once again provided by our researcher extraordinaire, Mr. Chris Tufts (Phantom). He found this interesting article on the development of Teletext in the U.S. as well as it's use on Nite-Owl. It's from New Scientist magazine and dates to July 22nd 1982. After reading this one has to wonder - what happened? Everything seemed so rosy. They had lots of viewers, and were making some advertising money apparently. So why did Nite-Owl quit just about a month later at the end of August 1982? Were they just tired of "giving it away for free"?

In any case, Chris found another interesting article, this time from Broadcasting Magazine dated September 7th 1981. In it, we finally learn that the true start date of Nite-Owl was early Friday, September 4th at 12 Midnight! Therefore, we can say with certainty that the clip you see here is the opening of Nite-Owl's Second Episode! We'll have to adjust the airdates of a few other clips to reflect this new information.

(T.K. - the answer to your question regarding Nite-Owl's music is also in this article - although who knows, perhaps they changed music providers at some point during the run of the show)

One other thing - the article mentions that WFLD was actually including teletext pages over its regular broadcasts since April of 1981. I had never heard this before. This information just leaves me wanting more. Did they transmit the teletext pages over every program that aired on WFLD since April 1981? Secondly, if you have a recording of a WFLD broadcast from that time period and you are able to fashion some kind of decoder, can you see the original teletext pages that aired during the broadcast? According to this article, there were at least 100 decoders floating around the Chicagoland area. Did anyone save one?

davismv - Regarding your questions: this was recorded by someone who was a "serial taper" but who also apparently had a short attention span. His tapes are filled up with 4-6 hours of material per tape, and rarely are there complete programs, but instead have little "snippets" (no pun intended) of news, sports, commercials, and whatever else struck his fancy I guess. There are a lot of good "bits" but unfortunately almost each one makes you wish he stuck with the recording at least a little longer. (but then again, if he recorded longer segments we wouldn't have the variety that he captured, so it's a six-of-one situation)

Regarding finding tapes: more and more I believe that the best way to find tapes is by asking neighbors, friends, or acquaintances. Why? Because unfortunately these home recorded tapes are seen by most people as virtually worthless most of the time, and if something is viewed as worthless it has way less of a chance of even making it to a thrift store or garage sale. People would just throw them out (which is sad, I know).

Also, some thrift stores now have policies of not letting "home-recorded" tapes make it to the shelf at all - they will just toss or recycle them if donated. The reason I've heard for this is that either someone complained before about something they found on one of the tapes ("adult" content perhaps), or the thrift store people are just being proactive and trying to avoid any issues like this from happening in the first place. In any case, it does stink. One idea I had that you might want to do is call all of your local thrift stores in your area and ask them if they ever get any home-recorded tapes and what they do with them. (first hurdle is making sure they understand what you're talking about - I usually use the term home-recorded tapes and then make sure it's clear by saying I'm not talking about "store-bought" movie type tapes - but tapes that people recorded themselves at home off of TV) If they say that their policy is to just throw them away or recycle them, tell them to save them for you. Give them your name and number and tell them you will pay for them too if they are what you're looking for. Make sure you're talking to a manager or someone at the store that actually has the power to make this change. Also remind the manager to inform his workers so that they are aware of what to do with the tapes too. And lastly, it couldn't hurt to call the stores again every couple months or so, and talk to the same manager if possible, to double check they are still saving tapes for you and that they haven't lost your contact info. :-)

One last tip - when buying tapes I don't buy them based on what is on the labels. The stuff written on the labels can be a red herring. I go by the age of the tapes. If you've been doing this long enough you can identify a pre-1985 videotape just by the box style as well as certain markings on the videotape itself. The stuff written on the labels can be a nice clue, but again I don't hold much stock in it. There could be a Sony K-60 Betamax tape that could potentially date to 1975 and the person could have recorded over most of it and wrote "Jurassic Park 2" on the label - doesn't matter - because you may still find an untouched 10-20 minutes at the end of the tape of a 1978 airing of Baretta with original commercial breaks for all you know. Anyway, happy hunting and of course please let me know if you find anything good. :-)


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by Phantom on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 6:41pm CT

An article in Broadcasting Magazine in February 1982 says Nite-Owl had as many as 110,000 viewers on some nights.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by T.K. on Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 10:04pm CT

It struck me how much Keyfax resembles the graphics of the Prodigy online service several years later. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because they both used the NAPLPS graphics language, which was originally developed for videotex and teletext use.

Now I'm curious how Nite-Owl's music feed originated. Usually the all-night news tickers run by stations in other cities simply carried audio from a sister radio station or the local National Weather Service broadcast. It sounds like Nite-Owl had a dedicated playlist. Did WFLD have a full-blown radio automation system with multiple carts and reels run off a clock, like something by Harris or IGM? Or did someone just dub everything together onto a new reel for each night's playback? Or did the overnight master-control operator sit there and play each song back from its own cart?


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 12:09pm CT

Kinda neat to see an early computer-based newsfax system up and running for a UHF Station in a big market about this time. I'm thinking WFLD was trying this out to see if it became successful, it would have been used within years at the other Field stations across the country. Another possibility was to compete locally against WGN, WBBM and possibly WSNS (with of course, ON-TV) in the wee hours of the morning.

But what's neater-than-neat? Watching the Empire State Building take off like a Saturn V rocket in Commodore 65 form!


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Son of Svengoolie - "Monster on the Campus" (Partial Mail Segment with Chicago Lions Showgirls, 1981) by HUdson 3-2700 on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 2:57pm CT

http://chicagolions.com


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Son of Svengoolie - "Monster on the Campus" (Partial Mail Segment with Chicago Lions Showgirls, 1981) by GalagaFleetCommander on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 11:57am CT

A Chicago team with Detroit Lion colors? That's awkward!


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by davismv on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 10:39am CT

This is an incredible find, Rick. Could it be possible that this was Nite Owl's debut airing? Where did you get the tape from, and does that person happen to know why this was recorded? It appears that it was recorded for a specific reason as there are rainbow VHS wobbly vertical lines at the beginning of the recording, indicating that someone just hit the record button and it was seconds prior to when the ship takes off. I am at garage sales and thrift stores often and always look for home recorded VHS and beta tapes from the very early 1980's, hoping to find one with the words Nite Owl on it. Funny story though, I did recently purchase a tape that was labeled Three Stooges and was a very dated Quasar VHS tape. Turns out that it was a prerecorded dub from another tape... I was hoping it would end and that someone left the VCR recording back in 1982....


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