On This Day

What Happened in 1979

Important Events

  • Feb 1 Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile
  • Apr 11 Tanzanian army captures Kampala, the capital of Uganda forcing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin to flee into exile in Libya
  • May 4 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Jun 3 Ixtoc I rig in the Gulf of Mexico blows, spilling 3 million barrels of oil in one of the worst oil spills in history
  • Jun 23 Supertramp's "Breakfast in America" becomes No. 1 album in the US featuring "Take the Long Way Home"
  • Aug 27 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and last Viceroy of India, is killed along with three companions, two of them children by the IRA when his boat is blown up near Sligo, Ireland
  • Nov 5 Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini describes the United States as "The Great Satan" amid accusations of imperialism and the sponsoring of corruption
  • Dec 27 After invading Afghanistan two days earlier Soviet forces pull off a coup in Kabul, killing President Hafizullah Amin

More Historical Events

1979 in Film & TV

1979 in Music

  • May 8 The Cure release their debut album "Three Imaginary Boys" (Boys Don't Cry in US, Australia)
  • Oct 24 Guinness Book of Records presents Paul McCartney with a rhodium disc as all-time best selling singer-songwriter
  • Nov 23 Pink Floyd's "The Wall" released, sells 6 million copies in 2 weeks

1979 in Sport

  • Nov 25 Pat Summerall and John Madden broadcast a game together for the first time, a pairing that would last 22 years and become one of the most well-known partnerships in TV sportscasting history


World Leaders in 1979

Famous People in 1979

Would You Believe?

President Jimmy Carter is attacked by a swamp rabbit which swam up to his fishing boat in Plains, Georgia

On April 20, 1979

Famous Weddings

Famous Divorces

  • Feb 26 Actor Max Von Sydow (49) divorces actress Christina Olin after 28 years of marriage
  • Aug 3 Professional boxer George Foreman (30) divorces Cynthia Lewis after more than a year of marriage

More Weddings & Divorces