What Happened in December 1980

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 46th Heisman Trophy Award: George Rogers, South Carolina (RB)
  • Dec 1 Mel Harris appears on M*A*S*H in "Cementing Relationships"
  • Dec 1 US Justice Dept sues Yonkers siting racial discrimination
  • Dec 2 4 American Maryknoll nuns killed by death squads in El Salvador
  • Dec 3 NY Federal jury finds Reps Thompson D-NJ & Murphy, D-NY, guilty
  • Dec 4 2 months after death of drummer John Bonham, Led Zeppelin breaks up
  • Dec 4 Islanders end 15 game undefeated streak (13-0-2) (Col Rockies)
  • Dec 5 Bank of Canada's Canadian Currency Museum opens
  • Dec 6 Jim Bakker rapes Jessica Hahn
  • Dec 6 NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 502
  • Dec 7 69th Davis Cup: Czechoslovakia beats Italy in Prague (4-1)
  • Dec 8 "Bravo" network premieres on cable TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 8 Annie Leibovitz has a photo-shoot with John Lennon, the last person to professionally photograph him before his death

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
Photographer Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz
  • Dec 9 61°F in Boston at 1 AM
  • Dec 10 Soyuz T-3 returns to Earth
  • Dec 10 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Dec 11 Dirk Wellham scores 100 on 1st-class debut, NSW v Victoria
  • Dec 11 The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (known as either CERCLA or Superfund) is enacted by the U.S. Congress.

Film release premierFilm Premier

Dec 11 "Magnum P.I." starring Tom Selleck premieres on CBS

  • Dec 12 US's copyright law amended to include computer programs
  • Dec 13 "Perfectly Frank" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • Dec 14 "Onward Victoria" opens/closes at Martin Beck NYC for 1 performance
  • Dec 14 Anders Kailur scores on 6th Islander penalty shot
  • Dec 14 At 2 PM EST there is 10 minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon
  • Dec 14 Minnesota Vikings pass for 456 yards against Cleveland Browns, winning 28-24
  • Dec 14 Nancy Lopez/Curtis Strange wins LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic
  • Dec 14 New Orleans Saints end 14 game losing streak, beat NY Jets 21-20
  • Dec 14 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 14 Massacre at Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Los Angeles with 3 people killed and 6 injured
  • Dec 15 NY Yankee Dave Winfield becomes highest-paid player, 10 years $15M
  • Dec 15 Premier Queddei troops conquers Chad capital N'djamena
  • Dec 15 ZBZ Sangha registered after 5 yrs of administrative hassles in Warsaw

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 16 President-elect Reagan announces Alexander Haig as secretary of state

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • Dec 17 Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 17 Mauritania provisional constitution published
  • Dec 18 Bruce Sprinsteen's concert at Madison Sq Garden
  • Dec 18 Dutch 2nd Chamber accepts minister Van Agts abortion laws
  • Dec 18 IRA's Sean McKenna becomes critically ill, ends hunger strike
  • Dec 18 Vietnam adopts constitution
  • Dec 19 Anguilla becomes a British dependency separate from St Kitts
  • Dec 19 Iran requests $24 billion in US guarantees to free hostages
  • Dec 19 Mutual Broadcasting cancels Sears Radio Theater

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 19 "Raging Bull", directed by Martin Scorsese starring Robert De Niro as boxer Jake LaMotta and Cathy Moriarty as his wife, is released

Film Director Martin Scorsese
Film Director
Martin Scorsese
Actor Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Actress Cathy Moriarty
Cathy Moriarty
  • Dec 20 NBC broadcasts NY Jets' 24-17 win over Dolphins without audio
  • Dec 20 USSR formally announces death of Alexei Kosygin
  • Dec 21 Harold Carmichael ends NFL streak of 127 consecutive game receptions
  • Dec 22 Cardinals release outfielder Bobby Bonds
  • Dec 22 US President-elect Ronald Reagan appoints J Kirkpatrick (UN) & James Watt (Interior)
  • Dec 23 Sam Shepard's "True West" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 24 Americans remembered Iran hostages by shining lights for 417 seconds
  • Dec 26 Aeroflot puts the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.
  • Dec 26 10th Fiesta Bowl: #10 Penn State beats #11 Ohio State, 31-19
  • Dec 27 Calvin Murphy (Rockets) begins longest NBA free throw streak of 78
  • Dec 28 Mexico terminated fishing agreements with US
  • Dec 29 Shuttle STS-1 moves from Vandenberg AFB to Launch Complex 39A
  • Dec 30 "Wonderful World of Disney" last performance on NBC-TV
  • Dec 31 A Jewish owned hotel in Nairobi Kenya is bombed killing 18
  • Dec 31 NY Islanders greatest shutout margin (9-0) vs Chicago Black Hawks
  • Dec 31 Senegal president Leopold Senghor resigns

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Mohammad Kaif, Indian cricketer
  • Dec 3 Anna Chlumsky, actress (My Girl), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 3 Jenna Dewan, American actress
  • Dec 3 Jim Sorgi, American football player
  • Dec 5 Shizuka Ito, Japanese voice actress (seiyū)
  • Dec 5 Ibrahim Maalouf, Lebanese-born French trumpeter
  • Dec 6 Steve Lovell, British footballer
  • Dec 6 Ehren Wassermann, American baseball player
  • Dec 7 John Terry, English footballer
  • Dec 9 Ryder Hesjedal, Canadian cyclist
  • Dec 9 Simon Helberg, actor (The Big Bang Theory), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 10 Sarah Chang, American violinist
  • Dec 10 Ledley King, English footballer
  • Dec 10 Massari, Lebanese-born Canadian singer
  • Dec 11 Arya [Jamshad Cethirakath], Indian actor, born in Trikaripur, Kerala
  • Dec 14 Didier Zokora, Ivorian footballer
  • Dec 14 Frankie J, American singer
  • Dec 14 Tata Young, Thai-American singer
  • Dec 15 Sergio Pizzorno, English guitarist (Kasabian)
  • Dec 17 Ryan Hunter-Reay, American race car driver
  • Dec 17 Eli Pariser, American political activist (MoveOn.org)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 18 Christina Aguilera, American singer (Genie in a Bottle, What a Girl Wants), born in Staten Island, New York

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 19 Jake Gyllenhaal, actor (Donnie Darko, Jarhead), born in Los Angeles, California

  • Dec 19 Marla Sokoloff, American actress
  • Dec 20 Ashley Cole, English footballer
  • Dec 20 Fitz Hall, English footballer
  • Dec 20 Tony, French-born Portuguese footballer
  • Dec 21 Royce Ring, American Major League Baseball Player
  • Dec 22 Chris Carmack, American actor
  • Dec 23 Cody Ross, American baseball player
  • Dec 24 Tomas Kalnoky, American musician (Streetlight Manifesto)
  • Dec 25 Locó, Angolan footballer
  • Dec 25 Marcus Trufant, American football player (Seattle Seahawks)
  • Dec 25 Reika Hashimoto, Japanese actress
  • Dec 25 Laura Sadler, British actress (d. 2003)
  • Dec 26 Serena Phillips, Corvallis Ore, figure skater (1997 Pruetten champ)
  • Dec 26 Todd Dunivant, American soccer player
  • Dec 27 Claudio Castagnoli, Swiss wrestler
  • Dec 27 Cas Haley, American singer and guitarist
  • Dec 28 Lomana LuaLua, Congo footballer
  • Dec 28 Vanessa Ferlito, American actress
  • Dec 30 Eliza Dushku, actress (This Boy's Life, True Lies, Journey), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Dec 30 Kenny Kwan, Hong Kong singer
  • Dec 31 Richie McCaw, New Zealand rugby player
  • Dec 31 Matt Cross, American professional wrestler

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 22 Actor Martin Short (30) weds comic actress Nancy Dolman (29)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Sam Levene, actor (Purple Heart, Designing Women), dies at 75
  • Dec 2 Romain Gary, Lithuanian-born French writer (b. 1914)
  • Dec 3 Oswald Mosley, British politician (b. 1896)
  • Dec 4 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh], Polish-born American sprinter (Olympic gold 1932), dies shot during an armed robbery, at 69
  • Dec 5 Don Taylor, cricketer (3 Tests for NZ 1947-56, 159 runs), dies
  • Dec 7 Darby Crash, rocker, dies at 22

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 8 John Lennon, British musician, pop star and member of The Beatles (Imagine), shot and killed in NY by Mark David Chapman at 40

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • Dec 12 Jean Lesage, politician, premier of Quebec (b. 1912)
  • Dec 13 Harm van Riel, Dutch Liberal Party politician, dies at 73
  • Dec 14 Elston Howard, MVP catcher (NY Yankees), dies at 59

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 16 Colonel Harland Sanders, American founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, dies at 90

Businessman and Restaurateur Colonel Sanders
Businessman and Restaurateur
Colonel Sanders
  • Dec 16 Hellmuth Walter, German engineer and inventor (b. 1900)
  • Dec 18 Alexei N Kosygin, Soviet PM (1964-80), suffers heart attack at 76
  • Dec 21 Marc Connelly, playwright (One Minute Please), dies at 90
  • Dec 24 Alec Lafayette Chew Wilder, composer, dies at 73

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 24 Karl Dönitz, German naval admiral, and last leader of Nazi Germany (b. 1891)

Admiral and Navy Commander Karl Dönitz
Admiral and Navy Commander
Karl Dönitz
  • Dec 24 Siggie Nordstrom, model, actress, entertainer, socialite and lead singer of The Nordstrom Sisters (b. 1893)
  • Dec 25 Fred Emney, actor (Adventures of a Private Eye), dies at 80
  • Dec 25 Louis Neefs, Belgian singer, dies at 43
  • Dec 25 Oscar Romero, archbishop of El Salvador, murdered
  • Dec 26 Tony Smith, American sculptor (b. 1912)
  • Dec 28 Amir Elahi, cricketer, 1st Pakistani Test cricketer to die
  • Dec 28 Jersey calf, lived 222 days with an artificial heart
  • Dec 29 Roy Engle, actor (Police Chief-My Favorite Martian), dies at 67
  • Dec 29 Tim Hardin, American singer (Bird on a Wire), dies of a drug overdose at 39
  • Dec 29 Nadezhda Mandelstam, Russian writer (b. 1899)
  • Dec 31 Arthur Wellard, cricketer (2 Tests for England, legendary 6-hitter), dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 31 Marshall McLuhan, Canadian cultural philosopher, dies at 69

Philosopher of Communication Theory Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher of Communication Theory
Marshall McLuhan
  • Dec 31 Raoul Walsh, US director (High Sierra), dies at about 88