Historical Events in 1981

Events 1 - 200 of 775

  • Jan 1st Greece is 10th country to join European Economic Community
  • Jan 1st International Year for the Disabled begins
  • Jan 1st Palau (Trust Territory of Pacific Is) becomes self-governing
  • Jan 1st Roger Smith becomes CEO of General Motors
  • Jan 1st 67th Rose Bowl: #5 Michigan beats #16 Washington, 23-6
  • Jan 1st 47th Sugar Bowl: #1 Georgia beats #7 Notre Dame, 17-10
  • Jan 1st 47th Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma beats #2 Florida State, 18-17
  • Jan 2nd Mary Terstegge Meagher swims female record 200 m butterfly (2:05.65)
  • Jan 2nd Sylvester Clarke knocks out spectator with brick, WI v Pakistan
  • Jan 3rd Cleveland Cavaliers retire jersey # 34, Austin Carr
  • Jan 3rd Greg Chappell scores 204 v India at the SCG
  • Jan 3rd Mary Terstegge Meagher swims female record 100 m butterfly (58.91)
  • Jan 4th "Frankenstein" opens & closes on Broadway
  • Jan 4th "Peter Pan" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 578 performances
  • Jan 4th British police arrest Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper"
  • Jan 4th "Red Right 88", trailing 14–12 with little time remaining the Browns chose to attempt an end zone pass play (Red Right 88) before trying for a game-winning field goal in the final minute, but the pass is intercepted by Raiders safety Mike Davis and Oakland wins
  • Jan 4th 69th Men's Australian Open: Brian Teacher beats Kim Warwick (7-5, 7-6, 6-3)

Sport awardTennis Open

Jan 4th 69th Women's Australian Open: Hana Mandlikova beats Wendy Turnbull (6-0, 7-5)

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Hana Mandlikova
  • Jan 5th "Nightline" with Ted Koppel extended from 20 mins to 30 mins
  • Jan 5th British police arrest Peter Sutcliffe, a truck driver later convicted of "Yorkshire Ripper" murders of 13 women
  • Jan 6th 50th hat trick in Islander history-John Tonelli scored 5 goals
  • Jan 8th "Pirates of Penzance" opens at Uris Theater NYC for 772 performances
  • Jan 8th India all out 63 in one-day international v Australia
  • Jan 8th Reds become last team to sign a free agent (Larry Biitner)
  • Jan 9th Francisco Balsamao elected President of Portugal
  • Jan 10th El Salvador guerrilla group FMLN opens "general offensive"
  • Jan 10th John Severin sets 100-mi unicycle speed record, 9 h 21 m
  • Jan 11th "Tintypes" closes at John Golden Theater NYC after 93 performances
  • Jan 11th Palau adopts constitution
  • Jan 11th British team led by Ranulph Fiennes completes longest & fastest crossing of Antarctica, reaching Scott base after 75 days (2,500 miles)
  • Jan 11th AFC Championship Game: Oakland Raiders beat San Diego Chargers 34-27
  • Jan 11th NFC Championship Game: Philadelphia Eagles beat Dallas Cowboys 20-7
  • Jan 12th Soap opera "Dynasty" produced by Aaron Spelling and starring John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Joan Collins premieres on ABC-TV
  • Jan 12th -35°F (-37°C), Chester, Massachusetts (state record)
  • Jan 13th Barbara Sonntag, Colo, crochets record 147 stitches/min for 1/2 hour
  • Jan 13th Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to May Swenson & Howard Nemerov

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 13th Islander's Mike Bossy's 15th career hat trick-4 goals

Ice Hockey Great Mike Bossy
Ice Hockey Great
Mike Bossy
  • Jan 14th US Federal Communications Commission frees stations to air as many commercials an hour as they wish
  • Jan 15th "Hill Street Blues" premieres on NBC-TV
  • Jan 15th Bob Gibson elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 15th Pope John Paul II receives Lech Walesa and Solidarity delegation at the Vatican

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16th Boxer Leon Spinks is mugged, his assailants even took his gold teeth

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Leon Spinks
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Leon Spinks
  • Jan 16th John Lennon releases "Woman" in UK
  • Jan 16th Protestant gunmen shoot & wound Bernadette Devlin McAliskey & husband

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16th Ivan Lendl intentionally loses a match in Volvo Masters in order to avoid having to play Bjorn Borg

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg
  • Jan 17th Philippino president Marcos ends state of siege
  • Jan 18th Iran accepts US offer of $7.9 billion in frozen assets
  • Jan 18th Wendy O Williams arrested in Milwaukee for on-stage obscenity
  • Jan 18th Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield become the first two people to BASE jump from objects in all four categories (buildings, cliffs, bridges, antennae) after parachuting off a Houston skyscraper

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 19th Muhammad Ali talks a despondent 21 year old out of committing suicide

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali
  • Jan 19th US & Iran sign agreement to release 52 American hostages
  • Jan 20th 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed
  • Jan 20th Adm Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret), ends term as 12th director of CIA
  • Jan 20th Frank C Carlucci, ends term as deputy director of CIA
  • Jan 20th Islander Glenn Resch's 25th & last shut-out opponent-Flames 5-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 20th Ronald Reagan inaugurated as 40th US President

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • Jan 20th The US diplomats and citizens held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran begin their journey home
  • Jan 21st "Shakespeare's Cabaret" opens at Bijou Theater New York City for 54 performances
  • Jan 21st Bernhard Goetz is assaulted for 1st time on a New York City subway train
  • Jan 21st Norman Stronge and his son James (both former Ulster Unionist Members of Parliament) are assassinated by the Irish Republican Army at their home Tynan Abbey, which is then burnt down
  • Jan 22nd 40th Islander shut-out opponent-3-0 vs Red Wings-Billy Smith 15th
  • Jan 22nd O A "Bum" Phillips becomes head coach of New Orleans Saints
  • Jan 23rd 1st Richard Nixon museum opens (San Clemente California)
  • Jan 23rd Jochem Bird elected mayor of West Berlin
  • Jan 23rd Mike Bossy becomes 1st in NHL to score 50 goals in 50 games
  • Jan 23rd Red Sox trade Fred Lynn to Angels for Frank Tanana & Joe Rudi
  • Jan 24th Islanders scored 5 power play goals against Nordiques
  • Jan 24th Kim Hughes scores 213 v India at Adelaide
  • Jan 25th 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived back in US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25th Mao's widow Jiang Qing sentenced to death

Chinese Communist & Wife of Mao Zedong Jiang Qing
Chinese Communist & Wife of Mao Zedong
Jiang Qing
  • Jan 25th Super Bowl XV: Oakland Raiders beat Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10 in New Orleans Super Bowl MVP: Jim Plunkett, Oakland, QB
  • Jan 26th Sandeep Patil scores memorable 174 v Australia at Adelaide Oval
  • Jan 28th "5 O'Clock Girl" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 12 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 28th William J Casey becomes 13th director of CIA (until 1987)

CIA Director William Casey
CIA Director
William Casey
  • Jan 28th Olympic Glory tanker at Galveston Bay, Texas, spills 1 million gallons of oil in a ship collision
  • Jan 29th AL approves sale of White Sox to Jerry Reinsdorf & Eddie Einhorn for $20 million, & 80% of Mariners to George Argyros for $104 million

Music awardsMusic Awards

Jan 30th 8th American Music Awards: Barbra Streisand & Kenny Rogers win

Singer-songwriter & Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-songwriter & Actress
Barbra Streisand
Country Singer Kenny Rogers
Country Singer
Kenny Rogers
  • Jan 31st "The Tide Is High" by Blondie hits #1

Film tv awardsFilm and TV Awards

Jan 31st 38th Golden Globes: Ordinary People, Robert De Niro, & Mary Tyler Moore win

  • Jan 31st Gaetan Boucher skates world record 1000m (1:13.39)

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Feb 1st Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies," premieres in NYC

Jazz Musician and Composer Duke Ellington
Jazz Musician and Composer
Duke Ellington
  • Feb 1st Dutch Antilles census is 231,932
  • Feb 1st French government accord sends 60 Mirage fighter jets to Iraq
  • Feb 1st NFL Pro Bowl: NFC beats AFC 21-7
  • Feb 1st Sandra Palmer wins LPGA Whirlpool Golf Championship of Deer Creek
  • Feb 1st Trevor Chappell bowls underarm to Brian McKechnie, WSC Final MCG
  • Feb 1st 31st NBA All-Star Game: East beats West 123-120 at Richfield, Ohio
  • Feb 3rd Australia beats NZ 3-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup
  • Feb 3rd Gro Harlem Brundtland elected premier of Norway
  • Feb 5th "Piaf" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 165 performances
  • Feb 5th Largest Jell-O made (9,246 gallons of watermelon-flavor) in Brisbane
  • Feb 5th Milt jury in NC convicts Robert Garwood of collaborating with enemy

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Feb 5th Joni Mitchell inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame

  • Feb 6th "Brady Brides" debuts on NBC TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 6th Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr & George Harrison record a tribute to John Lennon

Musician & member of the Beatles Paul McCartney
Musician & member of the Beatles
Paul McCartney
Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison
  • Feb 6th Suleiman Nyambui runs world record 5k indoor (13:20.4)

Film release premierFilm Release

Feb 6th Crime film "Fort Apache: The Bronx" starring Paul Newman released amid protests in the US

Actor & Entrepreneur Paul Newman
Actor & Entrepreneur
Paul Newman
  • Feb 8th "5 O'Clock Girl" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 12 performances
  • Feb 8th "Brigadoon" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 133 performances
  • Feb 8th Sally Little wins LPGA Elizabeth Arden Golf Classic
  • Feb 8th US female Figure Skating championship won by Elaine Zayak
  • Feb 8th US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton
  • Feb 10th 33rd NHL All-Star Game: Campbell beat Wales 4-1 at LA
  • Feb 10th 8 killed & 198 injured by fire at Las Vegas Hilton
  • Feb 10th Dennis Lillee becomes Australian Cricket's top wicket-taker with 249
  • Feb 11th Australia all out 83 v India at MCG chasing 143 to win
  • Feb 11th Polish premier Jozef Pinkowski replaced by Wojciech Jaruzelski
  • Feb 12th Admiral Bobby R Inman, USN, becomes deputy director of CIA
  • Feb 12th Arbitrator Goetz declares Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent
  • Feb 12th Cape Verde amends its constitution
  • Feb 12th Pete Squires sets record for 1575 steps of Empire State Bldg, 10m
  • Feb 13th Longest sentence published by NY Times-1286 words
  • Feb 13th A series of sewer explosions destroys more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Feb 13th 31st Berlin International Film Festival: "Hurry, Hurry!" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 14th Stardust Disaster: A fire in a Dublin nightclub kills 48 people
  • Feb 15th Joanne Carner wins LPGA S&H Golf Classic
  • Feb 15th Rocket-powered ice sled attains 399 kph, Lake George, NY
  • Feb 15th 23rd Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins (169.651 MPH)
  • Feb 17th Chrysler Corp reports largest corporate losses in US history

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 19th George Harrison is ordered to pay ABKCO Music $587,000 for "subconscious plagiarism" "My Sweet Lord" with "He's So Fine"

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison
  • Feb 20th Flight readiness firing of Columbia's main engines; 20 seconds
  • Feb 20th James Sanford equals 50m indoor world record (5.61 sec)
  • Feb 21st "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe, murderer of 13 women, captured
  • Feb 21st Charles Rocket clearly says "fuck" on "Saturday Night Live"
  • Feb 21st Japan launches Hinotori satellite to study solar flares (580/640 k)
  • Feb 21st NASA launches Comstar D-4
  • Feb 22nd Amy Alcott wins LPGA Bent Tree Ladies Golf Classic
  • Feb 23rd People mag features drug ordeal of Mackenzie & Papa John Phillips
  • Feb 23rd Spanish coup under lt-col Antonio Tejero Molina fails

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 24th Britain's Prince Charles announces engagement to Lady Diana Spencer

Princess of Wales Diana Spencer
Princess of Wales
Diana Spencer
His Royal Highness Prince Charles
His Royal Highness
Prince Charles
  • Feb 24th Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Scarsdale diet doctor Tarnower
  • Feb 24th An earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale hits Athens, killing 16 people and destroying buildings in several towns west of the city.

Music awardsMusic Awards

Feb 25th 23rd Grammy Awards: Sailing, Christopher Cross, Billy Joel wins

Pianist, songwriter, and composer Billy Joel
Pianist, songwriter, and composer
Billy Joel
  • Feb 25th Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo elected premier of Spain
  • Feb 25th NHL most penalized game; Bruins vs Northstars, 84 penalties (392 mins)
  • Feb 25th NY Islanders give up their most goals (11) vs Calgary Flames
  • Feb 25th Rita Jenrette (wife of Abscam congressman) appears on Donahue
  • Feb 25th US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 25th Exec Board of Baseball Players' Association votes unanimously to strike on May 29 if the issue of free-agent compensation remains unresolved
  • Feb 26th 3 Anglican missionaries detained in Iran since Aug 1980 are released
  • Feb 26th 84 penalties (406 mins) assessed for a brawl between NHL Minn & Bost
  • Feb 26th French Train Grande Vitesse averages 380 kph on trial run
  • Feb 27th Greatest passenger load on a commercial airliner-610 on Boeing 747
  • Feb 27th Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder record "Ebony & Ivory"
  • Feb 28th Calvin Murphy (Hou), sets NBA record with 78 consecutive free throws
  • Feb 28th China PR throws out Neth ambassador due to submarine sale to Taiwan
  • Mar 1st Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies" opens at Lunt-Fontanne, NYC for 767 performances
  • Mar 1st Sally Little wins LPGA Olympia Gold Golf Classic
  • Mar 1st Republican prisoners in the Maze began a second hunger strike; among the prisoners is Bobby Sands
  • Mar 2nd Aircraft hijacked by 3 Pakistani terrorists
  • Mar 2nd Howard Stern begins broadcasting on WWDC in Wash DC
  • Mar 3rd Isle's Mike Bossy 9th & final hat trick of season-4 goals
  • Mar 3rd NY Islanders & Edmonton Oilers play to an 8-8 tie
  • Mar 5th Michael Stewart's musical "Bring Back Birdie" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC for 4 performances
  • Mar 5th Ice Dance Championship at Hartford won by Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean (GRB)
  • Mar 5th Ice Pairs Champ at Hartford won by Irina Vorobieva & I Lisovski (URS)
  • Mar 5th Men's Figure Skating Champions in Hartford won by Scott Hamilton (USA)
  • Mar 5th US government grants Atlanta $1 million to search for black boy murderer
  • Mar 6th France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island
  • Mar 6th Soyuz 39 returns to Earth

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 6th Walter Cronkite signs off as anchorman of "CBS Evening News"

Broadcast Journalist Walter Cronkite
Broadcast Journalist
Walter Cronkite
  • Mar 6th Worlds Ladies Figure Skating Champ in Hartford won by Denise Biellmann
  • Mar 7th Michael Stewart's musical "Bring Back Birdie" closes at Martin Beck Theater, NYC, after 4 performances
  • Mar 7th 1st homicide at Disneyland, 18 year old is stabbed to death
  • Mar 7th 28th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: North Carolina beats Maryland, 61-60
  • Mar 7th 22nd SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Ole Miss beats Georgia, 66-62
  • Mar 8th "Shakespeare's Cabaret" closes at Bijou Theater NYC after 54 performances
  • Mar 8th Dennis Lillee ct by Qld 12th man Dennis Lillie in Shield game
  • Mar 8th Nancy Lopez wins LPGA Arizona Copper Golf Classic
  • Mar 9th Dan Rather becomes primary anchorman of CBS-TV News

Film tv awardsFilm and TV Awards

Mar 9th 7th People's Choice Awards: Clint Eastwood, Jane Fonda & Goldie Hawn win (Motion Picture) and Alan Alda & Carol Burnett win (TV)

Actor and Director Clint Eastwood
Actor and Director
Clint Eastwood
Actress Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda
  • Mar 11th Chile constitution takes effect, Augusto Pinochet 2nd term begins
  • Mar 11th Johnny Mize & Rube Foster elected to baseball Hall of Fame
  • Mar 12th Soyuz T-4 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station
  • Mar 12th Stephen Sondheim's musical "Marry Me a Little," premieres in NYC
  • Mar 12th Walter R T Witschey installs world's largest sundial, Richmond, VA
  • Mar 13th NCAA St Joseph's upsets top seed DePaul
  • Mar 15th "Broadway Follies" opens/closes at Nederlander Theater NYC
  • Mar 15th Patty Hayes wins LPGA Sun City Golf Classic
  • Mar 15th Suriname failed coup under sgt-mjr Wilfred Hawker
  • Mar 17th FC Lisse, Dutch soccer team forms
  • Mar 18th Buffalo Sabres sets NHL record of 9 goals in 1 period (vs Toronto)
  • Mar 19th -21] Emmy 8th Daytime Awards - Susan Lucci loses for 2nd time
  • Mar 19th 2 workers killed in space shuttle Columbia accident
  • Mar 19th Buffalo Sabres beat Toronto Maple Leafs 14-4
  • Mar 20th Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron sentenced to 8 years
  • Mar 20th Jean Harris sentenced 15-to-life for slaying of Scarsdale Diet Dr
  • Mar 22nd US 1st class postage raised to 18 cents from 15 cents
  • Mar 22nd Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA Desert Inn Pro-Am Golf Tournament
  • Mar 22nd Soyuz 39 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Mongolian) to Salyut 6
  • Mar 22nd Toshihiko Seko runs world record 25k (1:13:55.8)/30k (1:29:18.8)
  • Mar 23rd US Supreme Court upholds law making statutory rape a crime only for men
  • Mar 23rd US Supreme Court rules states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls sought abortions
  • Mar 24th "Nightline with Ted Koppel" premieres on ABC
  • Mar 24th Bombay beat Delhi by innings & 46 to win Ranji Cricket Trophy
  • Mar 24th Colombia drops diplomatic relations with Cuba
  • Mar 26th Police & Albanian demonstrators battle in Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Mar 26th Soyuz T-4 lands
  • Mar 27th John Lennon single "Watching the Wheels" released posthumously in UK
  • Mar 28th Christa Rothenburger skates ladies world record 500 m 40.18 sec)