What Happened in December 1978

Historical Events

Sports History

Dec 1 Australian cricket fast bowler Rodney Hogg debuts in 1st Test v England in Brisbane; after Australia all out 116, Hogg makes instant impact by dismissing both high profile England openers Graham Gooch (2) and Geoff Boycott (13)

  • Dec 1 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Historic Event

Dec 1 US President Jimmy Carter more than doubles national park system size

  • Dec 2 43rd Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 34-16 in Birmingham, Alabama

#1 in the Charts

Dec 2 Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand's duet single "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" hits #1

  • Dec 2 Protesters chant "Allah is great" at an Anti-Shah protest in Tehran, Iran

Sports History

Dec 2 Sunil Gavaskar scores his second double century (205) in Test cricket (as well as 73 on the final day) to guide India to a draw against the West Indies in the 1st Test in Bombay

  • Dec 2 The Sporting News announces Baltimore Orioles shortstop Mark Belanger winner of his 8th (and final) MLB Gold Glove Award
  • Dec 3 "King of Hearts" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 48 performances
  • Dec 4 Dianne Feinstein is named as San Francisco's 1st female and Jewish mayor

Historic Event

Dec 4 Dutch war criminal Pieter Menten freed

  • Dec 4 Pioneer Venus 1 goes into orbit around Venus

Contract of Interest

Dec 5 Free agent Pete Rose signs 4-year, $32 million contract with Phillies becoming highest paid baseball player

  • Dec 5 Islanders took 28 shots in 1 period vs Penguins, Penguins' Ross Lonsberry failed on 7th penalty shot against Islanders
  • Dec 5 Pioneer Venus 1 begins orbiting Venus
  • Dec 5 Sam Shepard's "Buried Child" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 6 Spain adopts constitution

NHL Record

Dec 7 Islander's Mike Bossy's 1st career hat trick

Film Premiere

Dec 8 "The Deer Hunter", directed by Michael Cimino and starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep, premieres in Los Angeles (Academy Awards Best Picture 1979)

  • Dec 8 Commencement of the 1st day/night World Series Cricket supertest at VFL Park, Melbourne
  • Dec 9 1st game of Women's Pro Basketball League (WBL), Chicago Hustle vs Milwaukee Does
  • Dec 9 Pioneer Venus 2 drops 5 probes into atmosphere of Venus
  • Dec 10 "Platinum" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 33 performances
  • Dec 10 67th Davis Cup: USA beats Great Britain in Rancho Mirage (4-1)
  • Dec 10 Islanders ends 15 game undefeated streak (12-0-3) to Canadians

Film Premiere

Dec 10 Superman: The Movie, directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman and Margot Kidder premieres at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C.

  • Dec 11 6 masked men bound 10 employees at Lufthansa cargo area at NYC Kennedy Airport & made off with $5.8m in cash & jewelry
  • Dec 11 NBC premiere of "A Woman Called Moses"
  • Dec 13 CBS' premiere of "Lovey: A Circle of Children Part II", sequel to "A Circle of Children", which is also based on Mary Mac Cracken
  • Dec 14 "Ballroom" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 116 performances
  • Dec 14 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • Dec 14 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Album Release

Dec 15 German label Ariola Records releases eponymous debut album "Rosanne Cash", produced by future husband Rodney Crowell

  • Dec 15 Saint Maarten Patriotic Movement (SPM) forms under W. James
  • Dec 15 Test Cricket debut of Malcolm Marshall, v India at Bangalore
  • Dec 16 Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first post-Depression era city to default on its loans, owing $14,000,000 to local banks.

Historic Event

Dec 16 Ronald Reagan denounces President Jimmy Carter's recognition of People's Republic of China

  • Dec 17 OPEC raises oil prices by 18% and agrees on a 14.5% petroleum price increase for 1979, to be implemented quarterly
  • Dec 17 Referendum approves new constitution of Rwanda
  • Dec 17 The Workers' Party of Jamaica is founded by Trevor Munroe.
  • Dec 18 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Dec 18 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Dec 19 France performs nuclear test

Historic Event

Dec 20 H. R. Haldeman, Nixon's White House Chief of Staff released from jail

  • Dec 21 Charles Strouse and Lee Adams' musical "A Broadway Musical" opens and closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater, NYC, after 1 performance

Murder of Interest

Dec 21 Police in Des Plaines, Illinois, arrest John Wayne Gacy for murder

Music History

Dec 22 Kenney Jones becomes The Who's new drummer, replacing the deceased Keith Moon

  • Dec 22 Thailand adopts constitution

NHL Record

Dec 23 NY Islanders center Bryan Trottier sets NHL record scoring 6 points - 4 goals & 2 assists - in 2nd period of 9-4 win over rival NY Rangers; adds goal & assist for game total 8 points; Islanders undefeated home streak stands at 16 games

  • Dec 25 8th Fiesta Bowl: #8 Arkansas ties #15 UCLA, 10-10
  • Dec 26 India's former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi is released from jail
  • Dec 27 Ballon d'Or: Hamburg's English forward Kevin Keegan wins his 1st of 2 consecutive trophies as best football player in Europe; beats Barcelona striker Hans Krankl and Anderlecht winger Rob Rensenbrink

Television Premiere

Dec 27 CBS Television's premiere of its version of "Les Miserables", starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins

  • Dec 27 Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship as King Juan Carlos ratifies Spain's 1st democratic constitution
  • Dec 28 30th hat trick in Islander history (Mike Bossy)

Historic Event

Dec 29 Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi asks Shapour Bahktiar to form a civilian government

  • Dec 29 Spain constitution goes into effect
  • Dec 29 Test Cricket debut of Allan Robert Border, v England at the MCG
  • Dec 30 Ohio State dismisses Woody Hayes as its football coach
  • Dec 30 Revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "The King & I" closes at Uris Theater, NYC after 719 performances
  • Dec 31 "Magic Show" closes at Cort Theater NYC after 1859 performances
  • Dec 31 "Runaways" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 199 performances
  • Dec 31 CIA director, Admiral Stansfield Turner retires from the Navy
  • Dec 31 Iran shah names Chapour Bakhtiar premier
  • Dec 31 Taiwan's final day of diplomatic relations with US
  • Dec 31 The Runaways' band's last ever concert at the Cow Plalce in Daly City, California
  • Dec 31 Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, California closes after 556 concerts; Final show is the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Blues Brothers; program lasts for over 8 hours, with the Grateful Dead playing for nearly 6 hours; concert broadcast on local PBS TV station KQED, and simulcast by radio station KSAN-FM, after the show, the crowd was treated to a hot, buffet-style breakfast.

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Mat Kearney, American singer and songwriter, born in Eugene, Oregon
  • Dec 2 Chris Wolstenholme, British rock bassist (Muse), born in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England
  • Dec 2 Jarron Collins, American NBA basketball center, 2001-11 (Utah Jazz and 3 other teams); assistant coach (Golden State Warriors NBA C'ships 2015, 17-18; New Orleans Pelicans), born in Northridge, California
  • Dec 2 Jason Collins, American NBA basketball center, 2001-14 (first openly gay athlete to play in any major North American pro sports league; New Jersey Nets, Atlanta Hawks, and 5 other teams), born in Northridge, California
  • Dec 2 Maëlle Ricker, Canadian snowboarder (Olympic gold snowboard cross 2010; World C'ship gold 2005, 13), born in North Vancouver, British Columbia

Nelly FurtadoNelly Furtado (44 years old)

Dec 2 Portuguese-Canadian Juno and Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter (I'm Like a Bird; Maneater), born in Victoria, British Columbia

  • Dec 3 Trina [Katrina Laverne Taylor], American rapper (Glamorest Life), born in Miami, Florida
  • Dec 4 Jaclyn Victor, Malaysian singer (Gemilang), born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Dec 5 Marcelo Zalayeta, Uruguayan footballer (Juventus), born in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Dec 5 Neil Druckmann, Israeli-American writer & co-president Naughty Dog, born in Israel
  • Dec 5 Olli Jokinen, Finnish ice hockey player, born in Kuopio, Finland
  • Dec 6 Chris Başak, American baseball player, born in North Platte, Nebraska
  • Dec 6 Darrell Jackson, American NFL wide receiver, born in Dayton, Ohio
  • Dec 6 K. D. Aubert, American actress and singer, born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Dec 7 Chad Dukes, American radio personality, born in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Dec 7 Frankie J. [Francisco Javier Bautista, Jr.], Mexican-American singer (Kumbia Kings), born in Tijuana, Mexico
  • Dec 7 Shiri Appleby, American actress (Roswell), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 8 Anwar Siraj, Ethiopian footballer
  • Dec 8 Ian Somerhalder, American actor (Lost, Vampire Diaries), born in Covington, Louisiana
  • Dec 8 John Oster, Welsh footballer, born in Boston, England
  • Dec 8 Kate Robinson, American figure skater and ice dancer, born in Peoria, Illinois
  • Dec 8 Vernon Wells III, American baseball center fielder (Toronto Blue Jays; 3-time MLB All-Star & Gold Glove), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Dec 9 Jesse Metcalfe, American actor (Desperate Housewives; John Tucker Must Die), born in Carmel Valley, California
  • Dec 10 Brandon Novak, American skateboarder
  • Dec 10 Donna Williams, co-founder of Neopets
  • Dec 10 Summer Phoenix, American actress
  • Dec 11 Celine Sciamma, French film director (Tomboy), born in Paris, France
  • Dec 12 Derrick Delmore, African-American figure skater (1996 Grand Prix champ), born in Camp Springs, Maryland
  • Dec 12 Evren Genis, Turkish composer, born in Ankara, Turkey
  • Dec 12 Louis, Korean singer ("Jung Hwa Ban Jum")
  • Dec 12 Monica Bîrlădeanu, Romanian actress, born in Iaşi, Romania
  • Dec 13 B.J. Penn, American mixed martial artist, born in Kailua, Hawaii
  • Dec 13 Ryo Kawakita, Japanese guitarist (Maximum the Hormone), born in Tokyo
  • Dec 14 Kim St-Pierre, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Châteauguay, Canada
  • Dec 14 Martina Filjak, Croatian concert pianist, born in Zagreb, Croatia
  • Dec 14 Patty Schnyder, Swiss tennis player, born in Basel, Switzerland
  • Dec 14 Radu Sârbu, Moldovan singer (O-Zone), born in Peresecina, Moldova
  • Dec 15 Henrietta Nagyová, Slovakian tennis player (9 WTA, 9 ITF titles), born in Nové Zámky, Slovakia
  • Dec 15 Mark Jansen, Dutch guitarist (Epica)
  • Dec 16 Gunter Van Handenhoven, Belgian footballer
  • Dec 16 Kaine [Eric Jackson], American rapper (Ying Yang Twins - U.S.A. (United State of Atlanta)), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dec 16 Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japanese director (Drive my Car), born in Kanagawa, Japan
  • Dec 17 Alex Cintrón, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • Dec 17 Chase Utley, American baseball player

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao (43 years old)

Dec 17 Filipino boxer (first ever eight-division world champion), born in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines

  • Dec 17 Neil Sanderson, Canadian drummer (Three Days Grace), born in Peterborough, Ontario
  • Dec 17 Riteish Deshmukh, Indian actor
  • Dec 18 Ali Curtis, American soccer player

Katie HolmesKatie Holmes (43 years old)

Dec 18 American actress (Dawson's Creek, Batman Begins), born in Toledo, Ohio

  • Dec 18 Naomi Lang, Arcata California, dance skater (with partner Peter Tchernyshev)
  • Dec 19 Patrick Casey, American screenwriter and actor
  • Dec 20 Andrei Markov, Russian ice hockey player, born in Voskresensk, Moscow Oblast, Russia
  • Dec 20 Geremi Njitap, Cameroon footballer, born in Bafoussam, Cameroon
  • Dec 21 Amber Corwin, American figure skater (1997 National Sr - 5th), born in Harbor City, California
  • Dec 21 Michael Vitar, American actor (D2, D3, Sunset Grill, Sandlot Kids), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 23 Andra Davis, American football player, born in Live Oak, Florida
  • Dec 23 Estella Warren, Canadian model and actress, born in Peterborough, Canada
  • Dec 23 Esthero [Jenny-Bea Englishman] Canadian dance-rock musician and singer, born in Stratford, Ontario
  • Dec 23 Jodie Marsh, British glamour model, born in Brentwood, United Kingdom
  • Dec 23 Víctor Martínez, Venezuelan baseball player, born in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela
  • Dec 24 Yıldıray Baştürk, Turkish footballer, born in Herne, Germany
  • Dec 25 Jeremy Strong, American actor (Succession), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Dec 25 Simon Jones, English cricket fast bowler (18 Tests, 59 wickets, BB 6/53; Glamorgan CCC, Worcestershire CCC, Hampshire CCC), born in Swansea, Wales
  • Dec 26 Kaoru Sugayama, Japanese volleyball player, born in Iwanuma, Japan
  • Dec 28 Chris Coyne, Australian footballer (Bayswater City SC), born in Brisbane, Australia

John LegendJohn Legend (43 years old)

Dec 28 American EGOT (Emmy; Grammy; Oscar; and Tony Awards winner), piano player; singer-songwriter ("All Of Me"; "Glory"), producer, actor (Jesus Christ, Superstar), and television personality (The Voice), born in Springfield, Ohio

  • Dec 29 Kieron Dyer, English football player, born in Ipswich, United Kingdom
  • Dec 29 LaToya London, American R&B and soul singer, born in San Francisco, California
  • Dec 30 Inferno [Zbigniew Promiński], Polish heavy metal drummer (Behemoth), born in Tczew, Poland
  • Dec 30 Tyrese [Gibson], American R&B singer (Tyrese) and actor (Transformers), born in Watts, Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 31 Papoose [Shamele Mackie], American rapper, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 31 Tom Hamilton Jr., American songwriter, guitarist, producer, and singer (Brothers Past; American Babies; Billy & the Kids), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Famous Weddings

Mark Hamill

Dec 17 Star Wars actor Mark Hamill (26) weds dental hygienist Marilou York (23) on a civil ceremony

Michael Crichton

Dec 31 Best-selling author Michael Crichton (36) weds lawyer Kathleen St. Johns


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 3 William Grant Still, American composer ("Afro-American" Symphony), dies at 83
  • Dec 4 Samuel Abraham Goldsmith, Neth/US phycists, dies at 76
  • Dec 7 Alexander Wetmore, American ornithologist (b. 1886)

Golda MeirGolda Meir (1898-1978)

Dec 8 Israeli teacher, stateswoman and 4th Prime Minister of Israel (1969-74) known as the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics, dies in of lymphatic cancer at 80

  • Dec 10 Ed Wood, American filmmaker and director (Plan 9 from Outer Space), dies of heart failure at 54
  • Dec 10 Miura Isshu, Zen teacher, Hakuin Rinzai line, dies at 75
  • Dec 11 Paul O'Dea, American baseball player (b. 1920)
  • Dec 11 Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist and (1955 Nobel Prize for Chemistry - for work on sulphur compounds), dies at 77
  • Dec 12 Clifton Chenier, American blues singer (Bayou Blues), dies at 53
  • Dec 12 Fay Compton, actress (Othello), dies at 74
  • Dec 14 Salvador de Madariaga y Rojo, Spanish writer (Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards) & diplomat, dies at 92
  • Dec 15 Chill Wills, American actor (Frontier Circus, Rounders), dies at 75
  • Dec 16 Blanche Calloway, American jazz vocalist, band leader (Twelve Clouds of Joy), civil rights activist, and broadcaster, dies of breast cancer at 76
  • Dec 17 Don Ellis, American avant garde jazz trumpeter, and Grammy Award-winning film score composer (The French Connection), dies of a heart attack at 44
  • Dec 17 Don Ellis, American jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader, dies of a heart attack at 44
  • Dec 27 Bob de Lange [Jacob Bernard de Lange], Dutch actor and director (Daniel), dies at 62
  • Dec 27 Chris Bell, American rock guitarist (Big Star - "In The Street"), dies in a car crash at 27
  • Dec 27 Houari Boumédiènne, President of Algeria (1965-78), dies at 51
  • Dec 28 Harry Winston, US jeweler for the "rich & famous", dies at 82