On This Day

What Happened in January 1978

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 "Your Arm's Too Short..." closes at Lyceum NYC after 429 performances
  • Jan 1 Air India B747 explodes near Bombay killing 213
  • Jan 1 News editor Donald Woods finally arrives in London after escaping the apartheid regime in South Africa
  • Jan 1 Los Angeles Police chief Edward Davis retires from police force

Sport awardAFC Championship

Jan 1 AFC Championship, Mile High Stadium, Denver: Denver Broncos beat Oakland Raiders, 20-17

NFL Coach and Sportscaster John Madden
NFL Coach and Sportscaster
John Madden
  • Jan 1 NFC Championship, Texas Stadium, Irving: Dallas Cowboys beat Minnesota Vikings, 23-6
  • Jan 2 Rhino Records releases their 1st album "Wildmania"
  • Jan 2 64th Rose Bowl: #13 Washington beats #4 Michigan, 27-20
  • Jan 2 44th Sugar Bowl: #3 Alabama beats #9 Ohio State, 35-6
  • Jan 2 44th Orange Bowl: #6 Arkansas beats #2 Oklahoma, 31-6
  • Jan 3 Indian cricket spin bowler B. S. Chandrasekhar becomes first in Test history to register identical figures in both innings (6 for 52) in Indian innings win over Australia in 3rd Test in Melbourne
  • Jan 5 Bülent Ecevit becomes Prime Minister of Turkey for the 3rd time

Music ConcertSex Pistols' Break Up

Jan 5 Start of the Sex Pistols final tour in Atlanta, Georgia

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Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious on stage during the band's last show at Winterland in San Francisco, January 14, 1978
Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious on stage during the band's last show at Winterland in San Francisco, January 14, 1978
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  • Jan 6 1st postage stamp copyrighted by US (Carl Sandburg stamp)
  • Jan 6 US hand over St Stephan crown to Hungary
  • Jan 7 Angola revises its constitution in include a state security law

  • Jan 8 Israeli government votes to 'strengthen' settlements in occupied Sinai

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Jan 8 Harvey Milk becomes the 1st openly gay person elected to public office in California

American Politician Harvey Milk
American Politician
Harvey Milk

Appears on tv showTelevision Debut

Jan 8 TV series "All Creatures Great and Small" debuts on BBC TV, based on the books by James Herriot, starring Robert hardy and Christopher Timothy

Veterinarian and Novelist James Herriot
Veterinarian and Novelist
James Herriot

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 8 American Jimmy Connors beats Björn Borg of Sweden 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to win his first and only season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Legend Jimmy Connors
Tennis Legend
Jimmy Connors
Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg
  • Jan 9 Commonwealth of Northern Marianas established
  • Jan 10 Soyuz 27 launches, carrying 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station
  • Jan 11 Soyuz 27 links with Salyut 6 & Soyuz 26 (1st time 3 spacecraft link)
  • Jan 13 NASA select its first American women astronauts

Music concertMusic Concert

Jan 14 Sex Pistols' final concert held in Winterland, San Francisco

Rocker Steve Jones
Steve Jones
  • Jan 15 Theodore Bundy kills Fla State U coeds Lisa Levy & Margaret Bowman
  • Jan 15 Super Bowl XII, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA: Dallas Cowboys beat Denver Broncos, 27-10; MVP: Harvey Martin, Dallas, DE & Randy White, Dallas, DT

Music awardsMusic Awards

Jan 16 5th American Music Awards: Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac & Conway Twitty

Singer-Songwriter Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
  • Jan 16 Soyuz 27 returns to Earth

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 17 After a tumultuous final tour The Sex Pistols break up as a band, which is announced the following day

Band Manager and Pioneer of Punk Malcolm McLaren
Band Manager and Pioneer of Punk
Malcolm McLaren
Rocker Steve Jones
Steve Jones
  • Jan 18 Geoff Boycott captains England for the 1st time, v Pakistan at Karachi
  • Jan 18 Roof of 3-yr-old Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut collapses (no injuries)
  • Jan 18 Thiokol conducts 2nd test firing of space shuttle's SRB
  • Jan 19 Eddie Mathews elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Jan 19 Judge William H. Webster appointed head of FBI

CarVolkswagen Beetle

Jan 19 The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany leaves VW's plant in Emden. Beetle production in Latin America would continue until 2003.

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The last edition of an 'old style' VW Beetle
The last edition of an 'old style' VW Beetle
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  • Jan 20 Columbia Pictures pays $9.5 million for movie rights to "Annie"

#1 in the ChartsSaturday Night Fever Goes #1

Jan 21 Bee Gees' album "Saturday Night Fever" goes #1 for 24 weeks

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The Bee Gees collect a Billboard #1 Music Award for Saturday Night Fever
The Bee Gees collect a Billboard #1 Music Award for Saturday Night Fever
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 21 Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán becomes undisputed world lightweight champion with a 12th-round TKO of Esteban De Jesus at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas; defends his WBA title for 12th time, also takes De Jesus’ WBC title

  • Jan 23 Belgian industrial Haron Empain kidnapped in Paris
  • Jan 23 NFL Pro Bowl, Tampa Stadium: NFC beats AFC, 14-13; MVP: Walter Peyton, Chicago Bears, RB
  • Jan 23 Sweden becomes the first nation in the world to ban aerosol sprays, believed to be damaging to earth's ozone layer.
  • Jan 24 31st NHL All-Star Game, Buffalo Municipal Auditorium, Buffalo, NY: Wales beats Campbell, 3-2 (OT); MVP: Billy Smith, NY Islanders, G
  • Jan 24 Carter Executive Order on Intelligence (# 12036)
  • Jan 25 Muriel Humphrey (D-Mn) appointed to fill late husband's Senate seat
  • Jan 25 Padres trade pitcher Dave Tomlin & $125,000 to Rangers for Gaylord Perry (He wins 1978 Cy Young Award)
  • Jan 26 Frank Herbert completes his novel "Destination: Void"
  • Jan 26 International Ultraviolet Explorer placed in Earth orbit

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 26 Mário Soares forms Portuguese government

President of Portugal Mário Soares
President of Portugal
Mário Soares
  • Jan 26 Strikers riot in Tunisia, killing about 40
  • Jan 28 Ranger's Don Murdoch failed on 4th penalty shot against Islanders
  • Jan 28 Ted Nugent autographs a fan's arm with his knife

Film tv awardsGolden Globes

Jan 28 35th Golden Globes: "The Turning Point", Richard Burton, & Jane Fonda win

Actress Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda
Stage and Screen Actor Richard Burton
Stage and Screen Actor
Richard Burton
  • Jan 29 JoAnne Carner wins Colgate Triple Crown Match-Play Golf Championship
  • Jan 29 Sweden outlaws aerosol sprays due to their harmful effect on the ozone layer, becoming the first nation to enact such a ban.
  • Jan 30 Addie Joss & Larry MacPhail elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 30 Mutual Broadcasting Network begins airing Larry King Show on radio

TV and Radio Host Larry King
TV and Radio Host
Larry King
  • Jan 31 "Elvis: The Legend Lives!" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 101 performances
  • Jan 31 Israel turns 3 milt outposts in West Bank into civilian settlements

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda, Indian spiritualist
  • Jan 1 Nina Bott, German actress
  • Jan 1 Philip Mulryne, Northern Irish soccer midfielder (27 caps; Norwich City) and Dominican friar and priest, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Jan 1 Tarik O'Regan, British composer
  • Jan 2 Devin Doherty, actor (Jimmy Clayton-Swan's Crossing)
  • Jan 2 Toyoguchi Megumi, Japanese seiyuu (voice actress)
  • Jan 2 Karina Smirnoff, Ukrainian-American ballroom dancer and TV personality (Dancing with the Stars), born in Kharkiv, Ukraine
  • Jan 3 Kimberley Locke, American singer
  • Jan 3 Park Sol-mi, South Korean actress
  • Jan 3 Dominic Wood, English children's television presenter and magician
  • Jan 4 Dominik Hrbatý, Slovakian tennis player, born in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Jan 4 Mai Meneses, Spanish pop singer-songwriter (Nena Daconte), born in Madrid, Spain
  • Jan 4 Patrick Farrell, American jazz and klezmer accordionist, born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Jan 5 Franck Montagny, French Formula One driver, born in Feurs, France
  • Jan 5 January Jones, American actress, born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Jan 5 Sabrina Harman, American military figure and accused torturer, born in Lorton, Virginia
  • Jan 6 Steve Hartsell, American pairs skater (with partner Danielle Hartsell), born in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Jan 6 Nikki Einfeld, Canadian coloratura soprano, born in Manitoba
  • Jan 6 Casey Fossum, American baseball player, born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
  • Jan 6 Tara Spencer-Nairn, Canadian actress, born in Montreal, Canada
  • Jan 7 Kevin Mench, American baseball player, born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • Jan 8 Boris Avrukh, Israeli chess grandmaster, born in Karaganda, Kazakhstan
  • Jan 9 Gennaro Gattuso, Italian footballer, born in Corigliano Calabro, Italy
  • Jan 9 Mathieu Garon, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Chandler, Canada
  • Jan 9 Chad Johnson, American football player, born in Miami, Florida
  • Jan 9 A.J. McLean, American pop singer (Backstreet Boys), born in West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Jan 9 Maggie Rizer, American model & AIDS activist, born in Staten Island, New York
  • Jan 10 Brent Smith, American rock singer (Shinedown), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Jan 10 Matt Roberts, American rock guitarist (3 Doors Down - "When I'm Gone"), born in Escatawpa, Mississippi (d. 2016)
  • Jan 11 Michael Duff, Northern Irish footballer, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Jan 11 Emile Heskey, English footballer, born in Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Jan 11 Holly Brisley, Australian actress, born in Adelaide, Australia
  • Jan 12 Bonaventure Kalou, Ivorian footballer, born in Oumé, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Jan 12 Amerie, American singer & songwriter, born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Jan 12 Luis Ayala, Mexican baseball pitcher, born in Los Mochis, Mexico
  • Jan 12 Jeremy Camp, American musician, born in Lafayette, Indiana
  • Jan 12 Kim Sa Rang, Korean actress, born in Daegu, South Korea
  • Jan 12 Kris Roe, American musician (The Ataris), born in Anderson, Indiana
  • Jan 14 Just Blaze [Justin Smith], American hip hop producer, born in Paterson, New Jersey
  • Jan 14 Shawn Crawford, American sprinter, born in Van Wyck, South Carolina
  • Jan 15 Franco Pellizotti, Italian cyclist, born in Latisana, Italy
  • Jan 15 Eddie Cahill, American actor, born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 16 Alfredo Amézaga, Mexican baseball player, born in Ciudad Obregón, Mexico
  • Jan 17 Charles Richard "Ricky" Wilson, British singer-songwriter (Kaiser Chiefs - "Ruby"), born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, England
  • Jan 18 Thor Hushovd, Norwegian former professional road bicycle racer widely considered the greatest Norwegian cyclist of all time, born in Grimstad, Norway
  • Jan 18 Brian Falkenborg, American baseball player, born in Newport Beach, California
  • Jan 20 Sonja Kesselschläger, German heptathlete, born in Finsterwalde, Germany
  • Jan 20 Allan Søgaard, Danish football player, born in Brædstrup, Denmark
  • Jan 20 Joy Giovanni, American actress & glamour model, born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Jan 21 Faris al-Sultan, German-Iraqi triathlete
  • Jan 21 Tamir "Nokio" Ruffin, American Singer
  • Jan 21 Phil Stacey, American Idol finalist
  • Jan 21 Andrei Zyuzin, Russian ice hockey player
  • Jan 22 Chone Figgins, American baseball player, born in Leary, Georgia
  • Jan 25 Charlene Princess of Monaco [Charlene Wittstock], Zimbabwean South African born wife of Prince Albert II, and Olympic swimmer, born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia
  • Jan 25 Denis Menchov, Russian cyclist, born in Oryol, Russia
  • Jan 25 Jason Roberts, English-born footballer, born in London, United Kingdom
  • Jan 25 Derrick Turnbow, American baseball player, born in Union City, Tennessee
  • Jan 25 Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian comedian & politician, President of Ukraine (2019-), born in Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR
  • Jan 26 Estéban Germán, Dominican baseball player, born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Jan 26 Corina Morariu, American tennis player, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Jan 26 Kelly Stables, American actress, born in St Louis, Missouri
  • Jan 27 Pete Laforest, Canadian baseball player
  • Jan 28 Gianluigi Buffon, Italian footballer
  • Jan 28 Papa Bouba Diop, Senegalese soccer midfielder (63 caps; Lens, Fulham, Portsmouth, West Ham Utd), born in Dakar, Senegal (d. 2020)
  • Jan 28 Jamie Carragher, English footballer
  • Jan 29 Martin Schmitt, German ski jumper, born in Villingen-Schwenningen, West Germany
  • Jan 29 Rob Bironas, American football player, born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Jan 30 John Patterson, American baseball player, born in Orange, Texas
  • Jan 31 Fabián Caballero, Argentine footballer, born in Misiones Province, Argentina
  • Jan 31 Brad Rutter, Jeopardy! champion, born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 31 Ray Shah, Irish Big Brother contestant, born in Dublin, Ireland

Famous Weddings

  • Jan 24 Rose Dugdale and Eddie Gallagher become the first convicted prisoners to marry in prison in the history of the Republic of Ireland.

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 4 Willem Bruynzeel, Dutch timber/lumber/wood manufacturer, dies at 76
  • Jan 6 John D. MacArthur, American insurance billionaire, dies at 80
  • Jan 6 Burt Munro, New Zealand motorcycle racer, dies at 78 (b. 1899)
  • Jan 8 Walter Keirnan, TV panelist (I've Got a Secret), dies at 75
  • Jan 9 Eddie Gilbert, cricket (Aboriginal Qld quick got Don for a duck), dies
  • Jan 10 John D. Rockefeller III, US billionaire/philanthropist, dies at 71
  • Jan 10 Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, of La Prensa, assassinated in Managua
  • Jan 10 Zeb Turner, country-rock performer (Chew Tobacco Rag), dies at 62
  • Jan 10 Don Gillis, American composer (Symphony 5½ - A Symphony for Fun), dies at 65
  • Jan 11 Michael Bates, English actor (Clockwork Orange, Salt & Pepper), dies at 57
  • Jan 11 Ibn-e-Insha, Pakistani humorist and Urdu poet (b. 1927)

Person of interestHubert Humphrey

Jan 13 Hubert Humphrey, American politician, 38th Vice President of the United States (1965-69), and 1968 Presidential candidate, dies of bladder cancer at 66

US Vice President Hubert Humphrey
US Vice President
Hubert Humphrey
  • Jan 13 Joe McCarthy, American Baseball Hall of Fame manager (World Series 1932, 36–39, 41, 43; New York Yankees), dies at 96
  • Jan 14 Blossom Rock [Edith Marie Blossom MacDonald], American actress (Grandmamma-The Addams Family), dies at 81
  • Jan 14 Robert Heger, composer, dies at 91
  • Jan 14 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold & silver 1924), dies at 78
  • Jan 14 Kurt Gödel, Austrian-American mathematician (Gödel's incompleteness theorems), dies at 71
  • Jan 15 Margaret Bowman & Janet Levy, Chi Omega, FSU, killed by Ted Bundy
  • Jan 15 Jack Jackson, British trumpeter, dance band leader, and influential BBC disc jockey, dies at 71
  • Jan 16 Virginia Pope, American fashion editor (New York Times), dies at 92
  • Jan 18 Carl Betz, American actor (The Donna Reed Show, Love of Life), dies of lung cancer at 56
  • Jan 18 Ivan Ivonovich Dzerzhinsky, Russian composer, dies at 68
  • Jan 18 Hasan Askari, Pakistani philosopher, critic and writer, dies at 58
  • Jan 18 Walter H. Thompson, English Scotland Yard detective, bodyguard of Winston Churchill (b. 1890)
  • Jan 21 Freda Utley, British scholar and author. (b. 1898)
  • Jan 22 Herbert Sutcliffe, English cricketer (54 Tests for England 4555 runs), dies at 83
  • Jan 22 Oliver Leese, British World War II general, dies at 83
  • Jan 23 Jack Oakie, American actor (The Great Dictator, 1974 Photoplay Award), dies at 74
  • Jan 23 Terry Kath, American musician and songwriter (Chicago), accidentally shot in head at 31
  • Jan 23 Vic Ames, American singer (Ames Brothers), dies in a car accident at 52
  • Jan 24 Herta Oberheuser, German doctor (b. 1911)
  • Jan 25 Tango Duke, dies in Australia at 42; oldest known thoroughbred horse
  • Jan 26 Leo Genn, British lawyer and actor (Mourning Becomes Electra, Moby-Dick, Affair in Monte Carlo), dies at 72
  • Jan 27 Marguerite Canal, composer, dies at 87
  • Jan 27 Oscar Homolka, Hungarian actor (Sabotage, The Seven Year Itch, Ball of Fire, I Remember Mama), dies at 79
  • Jan 29 Tim McCoy, American actor (Arizona Bound) and soldier, dies at 86