1979 in History

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 485

  • Jan 1 International Year of the Child begins
  • Jan 1 Jura, 26th canton of Switzerland, established
  • Jan 1 US & China (Peoples Republic) begin diplomatic relations
  • Jan 2 30th Islander shut-out opponent-Glenn Resch 9-0 vs Vancouver
  • Jan 2 Gavaskar gets twin tons for India for the third time (v WI)
  • Jan 6 The Village People's Y.M.C.A becomes their only UK No.1 single. At it's peak it sold over 150,000 copies a day
  • Jan 7 Vietnamese forces capture Phnom Penh from Khmer Rouge
  • Jan 8 512 die as oil tanker Bantry Bay blows up
  • Jan 8 Argentina & Chile sign Beagle Canal accord
  • Jan 8 Today Show gets a new theme song
  • Jan 8 Vietnamese troops overtook Khmer Rouge & occupy Phnom Penh
  • Jan 9 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to WS Merwin
  • Jan 9 High-school player Daryl Moreau makes 126th consecutive free throws
  • Jan 9 Supreme Court strikes down (6-3) PA law requiring doctors performing an abortion to try to preserve lives of potentially viable fetuses
  • Jan 10 1st brother Billy Carter makes allegedly anti-Semitic remarks
  • Jan 10 Entertainer of the Year Awards

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 10 The Sun paper headline is 'Crisis? What Crisis?' as UK Prime Minister James Callaghan denies that the country is in chaos during the 'Winter of Discontent' strike wave

British Prime Minister James Callaghan
British Prime Minister
James Callaghan
  • Jan 12 LA's Hillside Strangler, Kenneth Bianchi, arrested in Bellingham
  • Jan 12 Record blizzard struck midwest killing over 100
  • Jan 13 Charlie Daniels hosts Volunteer Jam
  • Jan 13 YMCA files libel suit against Village People's YMCA song

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 14 US President Jimmy Carter proposes Martin Luther King's birthday be a holiday

39th US President Jimmy Carter
39th US President
Jimmy Carter
Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi flees Iran for Egypt during the Iranian Revolution

Last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Last Shah of Iran
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
  • Jan 16 Bakhtiar government established by the Shah in Iran will preside until unrest in the country subsides
  • Jan 17 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Jan 18 Peter Jenkins finishes "A Walk Across America" at Florence, Oregon
  • Jan 19 John N Mitchell (former US Attorney General) released on parole from federal prison

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 20 1 million Iranians march in Tehran in a show of support for the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, fundamentalist Muslim leader

Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini
Supreme Leader of Iran
Ayatollah Khomeini
  • Jan 21 Neptune becomes outermost planet (Pluto moves closer)
  • Jan 21 Price of gold increases to record $875 troy oz
  • Jan 22 10,000s UK public sector workers go on strike
  • Jan 24 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Jan 25 22.2-km Oshimizu railroad tunnel holed through, central Honshu, Japan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 Pope John Paul II's 1st overseas trip as supreme pontiff

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • Jan 25 1st documented case of a robot killing a human in US
  • Jan 28 Arthur Kopit's "Wings" premieres in NYC
  • Jan 28 Pope John Paul II addresses the Third General Conference of Latin American Episcopate in Puebla, Mexico
  • Jan 29 Brenda Spencer kills 2, inspires Boomtown Rats "I Don't Like Mondays"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 29 Chinese vice-premier Deng Xiaoping visits Washington, D.C.

Paramount Leader of China Deng Xiaoping
Paramount Leader of China
Deng Xiaoping
  • Jan 29 Emerson, Lake & Palmer disband after 10 years together
  • Jan 29 US President Jimmy Carter commuted Patricia Hearst's 7 year sentence to 2 years
  • Jan 30 Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) agrees to new constitution
  • Jan 30 Varig 707-323C freighter, flown by the same commander as Flight 820, disappears over the Pacific Ocean 30 minutes after taking off from Tokyo.
  • Feb 1 Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile
  • Feb 1 Patricia Hearst is released from prison for bank robbery
  • Feb 1 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Feb 3 US female Figure Skating championship won by Linda Fratianne
  • Feb 3 US male Figure Skating championship won by Charles Tickner
  • Feb 4 End of last 3+day D/N game for 15 yrs (WSC, SCG)
  • Feb 5 Costliest single periodical ad, $3.2 million, Gulf + Western in Time
  • Feb 6 Supreme court of Lahore affirms death sentence against premier Bhutto
  • Feb 7 Colonel Benjedid Chadli succeeds president Boumedienne in Algeria
  • Feb 7 Faoud Bacchus scores 250 for WI v India at Kanpur
  • Feb 8 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 8 Denis Sassou-Nguesso became the President of the Republic of the Congo for the first time.
  • Feb 9 Beginning of James Clavell's novel "Whirlwind"
  • Feb 9 Nigeria amends constitution
  • Feb 9 UK Football club Nottingham Forest makes £1m transfer deal
  • Feb 9 New York City premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based "Hardcore"
  • Feb 11 Iran's premier Bakhtiar resigns, Ayatollah Khomeini seizes power
  • Feb 12 Kosmos 1076, 1st Soviet oceanographic satellite, launched
  • Feb 12 Bakhtiar resigns as prime minister of Iran after losing support of the military
  • Feb 13 Washington State's Hood Canal Bridge breaks up in windstorm
  • Feb 13 Formation of Guardian Angels crime fighters in New York City
  • Feb 14 In Kabul, Muslims kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police.
  • Feb 15 Paul Shirley (21) of Australia, sucked a lifesaver for 4 hrs 40 mins
  • Feb 15 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 15 Los Angeles premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based "Hardcore"
  • Feb 16 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk
  • Feb 17 China invades Vietnam, marking the start of the Sino-Vietnamese War
  • Feb 17 Eric Heiden equals skating world record 1000m (1:14.99)
  • Feb 18 -52°F (-47°C), Old Forge, New York (state record)
  • Feb 18 NASA launches space vehicle S-202
  • Feb 18 Pres Zia ur-Rahmans National Party wins elections in Bangladesh
  • Feb 18 Snow falls in Sahara Desert
  • Feb 18 21st Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins (143.977 MPH)
  • Feb 20 11 'loyalists' known as the "Shankill Butchers" are sentenced to life in prison for 19 murders; the gang was named for its late-night kidnapping, torture and murder (by throat slashing) of random Catholic civilians in Belfast
  • Feb 20 29th Berlin International Film Festival: "David" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 21 Japan launches Hakucho X-ray satellite & Corsa-B (550/580 km)
  • Feb 22 Billy Martin named manager of Oakland A's
  • Feb 22 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Primate & Cat Building is dedicated
  • Feb 22 St Lucia gains independence from Britain
  • Feb 23 Frank Peterson Jr named 1st black general in Marine Corps
  • Feb 24 Highest price ever paid for a pig, $42,500, Stamford, Texas
  • Feb 24 War between North & South Yemen begins
  • Feb 25 Soyuz 32 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station is launched
  • Feb 26 Last total eclipse of Sun in 20th century for continental US
  • Feb 28 Ernest Thompson's "On Golden Pond" premieres in NYC
  • Mar 4 US Voyager I photo reveals Jupiter's rings
  • Mar 5 Voyager I's closest approach to Jupiter (172,000 miles)
  • Mar 5 Iran resumes petroleum exports
  • Mar 8 1st extraterrestrial volcano discovered (Jupiter's satellite Io)
  • Mar 8 China withdraws invasion troops from Vietnam
  • Mar 8 Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) transported 38 miles overland from Palmdale
  • Mar 9 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Mar 13 European Monetary System is established, ECU created
  • Mar 13 Gairy dictatorship in Grenada overthrown by New Jewel Movement
  • Mar 14 A Hawker Siddeley Trident crashes into a factory near Beijing, China, killing at least 200.
  • Mar 15 Apparat releases Newdos + 2.1 for Radio Shack's TRS-80
  • Mar 15 Sarfraz takes 9-86 at MCG as Australia lose 7-5 to lose the Test

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 1 Koichi Domoto, Japanese artist
  • Jan 3 Francesco Bellissimo, Italian mangaka
  • Jan 8 Sequoyah, chimpanzee (son of Washoe)
  • Jan 14 John Reuben, American hip hop artist
  • Jan 18 Leo Varadkar, Irish politician, Prime Minister (2017-), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Jan 20 Asaka Kubo, Japanese gravure idol of 20th Century
  • Jan 30 Diva Zappa, daughter of Frank
  • Jan 31 Daniel Tammet, British autistic savant
  • Feb 4 Andrei Arlovski, Russian mixed martial artist
  • Feb 9 David Gray, English snooker player
  • Feb 12 Antonio Chatman, National Football League runningback
  • Feb 28 Michael Bisping, English mixed martial artist
  • Mar 4 Ben Fouhy, New Zealand flatwater canoeist
  • Mar 16 Rashad Moore, National Football League player
  • Apr 1 Ivano Balić, Croatian handballer
  • Apr 6 Frederick MGDL Windsor, son of English prince Michael
  • Apr 10 Tsuyoshi Domoto, Japanese artist
  • Apr 10 Rachel Corrie, American activist (d. 2003)
  • Apr 14 Randal McCloy, Survivor of the Sago Mine Disaster
  • Apr 24 Laurentia Tan, Singaporean Paralympic equestrienne
  • May 6 Nikki Hayes, Irish radio personality
  • May 12 Erdinç Saçan, Turkish-Dutch politician
  • May 13 Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
  • May 21 James Clancy Phelan, Australian novelist
  • May 21 Jamie Hepburn, Member of the Scottish Parliament
  • May 21 Scott Smith, mixed martial arts fighter
  • May 24 Frank Mir, American UFC fighter
  • May 25 Carlos Bocanegra, American footballer
  • May 29 Casey Sheehan, American soldier; son of Cindy Sheehan (d. 2004)
  • Jun 19 John Ford, American software engineer
  • Jun 24 Craig Shergold, British internet folklore subject
  • Jun 28 Florian Zeller, French novelist and playwright
  • Jun 29 Matthew Bode, Australian Rules football player
  • Jun 30 Travis Minor, National Football League Runningback
  • Jul 1 Forrest Griffin, American mixed martial artist
  • Jul 6 Nicolas Daniel Maricio, Prince of Netherlands
  • Jul 14 Axel Teichmann, German cross-country skier
  • Jul 18 Rick Baxter, American politician
  • Jul 25 Allister Carter, English professional snooker player
  • Aug 2 Reuben Kosgei, Kenyan athlete
  • Aug 8 Paris Latsis, Greek shipping heir
  • Aug 13 Taizō Sugimura, Japanese politician
  • Aug 16 Michael Stahlman, American rower and coach
  • Aug 28 Robert Hoyzer, German football referee
  • Aug 29 Chieu Luu, Canadian journalist
  • Sep 7 Pavol Hochschorner and Peter Hochschorner - Slovak slalom canoers
  • Sep 11 Nathan Gale, American murderer (d. 2004)
  • Oct 1 Cameron Bruce, Australian rules footballer
  • Oct 5 Jaime Chambers, American television reporter
  • Oct 26 Movsar Barayev, Chechen militant (d. 2002)
  • Oct 29 Ignasi Giménez Renom, Catalan politician
  • Oct 31 Saaphyri Windsor, American reality TV figure
  • Nov 1 Henry Shefflin, Irish hurler
  • Nov 3 Beau McDonald, Australian Rules Footballer
  • Nov 16 Tony Frias, American footballer
  • Nov 25 Michael Lehan, American National Football League player
  • Nov 26 B.J. Averell, American online tutor and reality television contestant
  • Dec 8 Johan Forssell, Swedish politician
  • Dec 29 Mitsuhiro Ishida, Japanese mixed-martial arts fighter
  • Dec 29 Ariel Schrag, American Cartoonist

Weddings in History


HeartWedding of Interest

May 12 US Senator Edward W. Brooke (59) weds second wife Anne Lee Fleming

US Senator Edward W. Brooke
US Senator
Edward W. Brooke

HeartWedding of Interest

Nov 24 Author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (57) weds photographer Jill Krementz (39)


Deaths in History

Deaths 1 - 100 of 125

  • Jan 3 Conrad Hilton, US founder (Hilton Hotels), dies at 91
  • Jan 9 Pier Luigi Nervi, Italian engineer and architect (b. 1891)
  • Jan 14 Thomas DeSimone, gangster associate of the Lucchese crime family (b. 1950)
  • Jan 16 August Heissmeyer, German SS officer (b. 1897)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 26 Nelson Rockefeller, American politician (Vice President: 1974-1977; Governor of New York (R), 1959-73), dies of a heart attack at 70

Businessman and US Vice President Nelson Rockefeller
Businessman and US Vice President
Nelson Rockefeller
  • Jan 27 Qalander Ba Ba Auliya, Sufi master (b. 1898)
  • Jan 28 Eileen Shanahan, Irish Poet (b. 1901)
  • Feb 6 Alain Teister, Dutch sculptor/writer, dies at 47
  • Feb 6 Arthur van Schendel, Dutch art historian, dies at 68
  • Feb 7 Josef Mengele, concentration camp doctor, drowns
  • Feb 8 Nikolay Semyonovich Tikhonov, Russian poet, dies at 82

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Feb 9 Dennis Gabor, Hungarian-British engineer and physicist (invented holography, Nobel Prize 1971), dies at 79

Physicist and Electrical Engineer Dennis Gabor
Physicist and Electrical Engineer
Dennis Gabor
  • Feb 12 Jean Renoir, French writer/director (Human Beast), dies at 84
  • Feb 14 Adolph Dubs, US ambassador to Afghanistan, murdered
  • Feb 15 Mehdi Rahimi, Iran general/milt governor of Tehran, executed
  • Feb 16 Nematullah Nassiri, Iran general/head of Savak, executed
  • Feb 23 W.A.C. Bennett, Canadian politician (b. 1900)
  • Feb 28 Mr Ed, talking horse, dies
  • Feb 28 Paul Alverdes, German writer (b. 1897)
  • Mar 1 Molla Mustafa Barzani, Iranian Kurd leader (KDP), dies at 75
  • Mar 2 Mollah Mustafa Barzani, Kurdish leader, dies at 75
  • Mar 2 Christy Ring Irish hurler (b. 1920)
  • Mar 4 Willi Unsoeld, American mountain climber (b. 1926)
  • Mar 16 Jean Monnet, French economist/CEO (ECSC), dies at 90
  • Mar 20 Mino Pecorelli, Italian journalist, shot dead in Rome at 50
  • Mar 22 Richard Sykes, British ambassador, assassinated by the IRA in The Hague, Holland
  • Mar 24 Yvonne Mitchell, writer, dies at 53
  • Mar 26 Jean Stafford, US author (Boston Adventure), dies at 63
  • Mar 28 Emmett Kelly, circus clown (Weary Willy), dies at 80
  • Mar 29 Melville Cooper, TV panelist (I Got a Secret), dies at 82
  • Mar 30 Airey Neave, British MP (Conservatives), killed by terrorist bomb
  • Apr 1 Marinus Peijnenburg, Dutch politician, dies at 51
  • Apr 4 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistani president, hanged in Pakistan at 51
  • Apr 5 Eugène Gabritschevsky, Russian biologist and artist (b. 1893)
  • Apr 7 Bruno Apitz, German writer, dies at 78
  • Apr 9 Staats Cotsworth, dies at 71
  • Apr 20 Peter Donald, host (Masquerade Party), dies at 60
  • Apr 23 Blair Peach, New Zealand-born anti-fascist (b. 1946)
  • Apr 29 Hardie Gramatky, American author and animator (b. 1907)
  • May 2 Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
  • May 8 Talcott Parsons, US sociologist, dies at 76

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 9 Cyrus S. Eaton, Canadian-American financier, industrialist and steel magnate, dies at 95

Steel Magnate Cyrus S. Eaton
Steel Magnate
Cyrus S. Eaton
  • May 10 John Cameron Andrieu Bingham Morton, satirist (Beachcomber), dies
  • May 10 Louis Paul Boon, Flemish writer (Eros & the Lonely Man), dies at 67
  • May 11 Joan Chandler, dies at 55
  • May 14 Paul van 't Veeer, Dutch journalist/writer (Vrije Volk), dies at 57
  • May 16 Asa Philip Randolph, American labor leader & civil rights pioneer, dies at 90
  • May 23 Hubert van Doorne, auto manufacturer (DAF), dies at 79
  • May 25 John Arthur Spenkelink, American murderer (b. 1949)
  • May 29 John H. Wood, Jr., American federal judge (b. 1916)
  • Jun 1 Werner Forssman, German urologist (Nobel 1956), dies
  • Jun 3 Arno Schmidt, German writer, dies at 65
  • Jun 5 Pauline Offner, Zen Theravadin nun, dies at 53
  • Jun 7 Forrest Carter, American author (b. 1925)
  • Jun 8 Herb Polesie, producer/playwright (20 Questions), dies at 79
  • Jun 15 Ernst Meister, writer, dies at 67
  • Jun 16 Liselotte Welskopf-Heinrich, writer, dies at 77
  • Jun 16 Ignatius Kutu Acheamphong, Ghanaian dictator (b. 1931)
  • Jun 19 Paul Popenoe, American eugenicist (b. 1888)
  • Jun 22 Julius Sommer, dies of heart failure, buried in Dayton Ohio
  • Jun 25 Philippe Halsman, American photographer (b. 1906)
  • Jun 26 Charles Clore, financier, dies
  • Jun 30 Alfons Vranckx, Belgian politician, dies at 72
  • Jul 8 Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Japanese physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1906)
  • Jul 8 Robert B. Woodward, American chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1917)
  • Jul 9 Cornelia Otis Skinner, dies at 78
  • Jul 11 Claude Wagner, French Canadian judge and politician (b. 1925)
  • Jul 13 Corine Griffith, dies at 84
  • Jul 15 Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, President of Mexico (b. 1911)
  • Jul 16 James F Mcintyre, archbishop of Los Angeles, dies at 93
  • Jul 21 Ludwig Renn, German writer, dies at 90
  • Jul 22 Soschtschenko, writer, dies at 83
  • Jul 23 Joseph Kessel, French journalist and novelist (b. 1898)
  • Jul 29 Herbert Marcuse, philosopher (Eros & Civilization), dies at 81
  • Aug 3 Bertil Ohlin, Swedish economist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1899)
  • Aug 8 Nicholas Monsarrat, British novelist (b. 1910)
  • Aug 9 Raymond Washington, founder of Los Angeles, California gang, the Crips
  • Aug 10 Walther Gerlach, German Physicist (Stern–Gerlach effect) dies at 90

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 16 John Diefenbaker, 13th Prime Minister of Canada (Conservative: 1957-63), dies at 83

13th Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker
13th Prime Minister of Canada
John Diefenbaker
  • Aug 22 Henry Beernink, politician, dies at 69
  • Aug 22 James T Farrell, US writer (French Girls are Vicious), dies
  • Aug 24 Hanna Reitsch, German test pilot (b. 1912)
  • Aug 24 Sampson Sievers, Russian Orthodox Christian monk and wonder-worker (b. 1898)
  • Aug 26 Mika Waltari, Finnish author (b. 1908)
  • Aug 27 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, is assassinated by an IRA bomb on his boat in Ireland
  • Aug 27 Nicholas Mountbatten, Lord Mountbatten's grandson, murdered at 14
  • Aug 28 Simonow, writer, dies
  • Aug 31 Sally Rand, stripper, dies at 75
  • Sep 2 Otto P. Weyland, American military figure (b. 1903)
  • Sep 4 Jef van de Wiele, Belgian politician, dies at 76
  • Sep 4 Canuplin, Filipino magician and bodabil entertainer (b. 1904)
  • Sep 5 Alberto di Jorio, former head of the Vatican Bank and secretary of the 1958 conclave (b. 1884)
  • Sep 10 Agostinho Neto, poet/1st President of Angola, dies at 56
  • Sep 16 Nur Mohammed Taraki, president of Afghanistan (1978-79), killed
  • Sep 20 Ludvik Svoboda, Czech general/politician, dies at 83
  • Oct 3 Charles White, artist, dies at 61 in Los Angeles
  • Oct 5 Charlie Smith, oldest American (137 year), dies
  • Oct 6 Elizabeth Bishop, poetess (North & South, Pulitzer 1956), dies at 68
  • Oct 10 Christopher Evans, British psychologist and computer scientist (b. 1931)
  • Oct 16 Johan Borgen, Norwegian author (b. 1903)