What Happened in August 1979

Historical Events

  • Aug 1 12th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at U.S. Grant Hotel
  • Aug 1 Maria de Lurdes Pintasilgo forms government in Portugal
  • Aug 2 "Broadway Opry '79" closes at St James Theater NYC after 6 performances
  • Aug 2 "Gilda Radner: Live From New York" opens at Winter Garden Theater, NYC; runs for 52 performances
  • Aug 2 MLB New York Mets purchase contract of outfielder José Cardenal from Philadelphia Phillies between games of a double-header between the two teams
  • Aug 2 Washington, D.C. trial attorney Edward Bennett Williams buys MLB's Baltimore Orioles from Jerold Hoffberger for reported $12.3 million
  • Aug 3 Fastest jai-alai shot (188 mph), Jose Arieto at Newport Jai Alai, Rhode Island

PGA Championship

Aug 3 Sam Snead, at 67 years, 2 months and 7 days sets the record for the oldest player to make the cut in a major - PGA Championship at Oakland Hills CC

  • Aug 3 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Aug 4 Italian government of Cossiga begins
  • Aug 4 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Aug 5 "But Never Jam Today" closes at Longacre Theater, NYC, after 7 performances
  • Aug 5 Government of Mauretania signs peace treaty with Polisario
  • Aug 5 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Oakland Hills CC: Australian David Graham wins on the 3rd playoff hole against Ben Crenshaw

Baseball Record

Aug 5 Philadelphia Phillies 3rd baseman Pete Rose collects NL record 2,427th career single in a 5-2 home loss vs Pirates

  • Aug 5 Varetta Shankle (Miss), crowned 12th Miss Black America

Hall of Fame

Aug 5 Willie Mays, Warren Giles, and Hack Wilson inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY

  • Aug 6 Marcus Hooper, 12, becomes then youngest person to swim English Channel


Aug 8 Iraqi President Saddam Hussein executes 22 political opponents

  • Aug 9 English seaside resort Brighton gets 1st British nude beach

Album Release

Aug 10 "Off the Wall" 5th studio album by Michael Jackson is released (Billboard Album of the Year 1980)

  • Aug 10 Ecuador adopts its 17th constitution, extending citizenship and suffrage to all Ecuadorians over 18
  • Aug 10 Wings release single "Getting Closer" & "Baby's Request"
  • Aug 11 28°F in Embarrass Minnesota
  • Aug 11 British rock band Led Zeppelin performs for what becomes the final time in England at Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire, before over 200,000 fans
  • Aug 11 Phillies Tug McGraw gives up record 4th grand slam of year
  • Aug 12 "Whoopee!" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 204 performances
  • Aug 12 Iranian press censors start massive book burnings
  • Aug 13 MLB St Louis Cardinals Lou Brock, is 14th MLB player to get 3,000 hits
  • Aug 14 Rainbow seen in Northern Wales for a 3 hours duration

Film Release

Aug 15 "Apocalypse Now", directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Martin Sheen, is released (Palme d'Or 1979)

  • Aug 15 Andrew Young resigns as US ambassador to the United Nations

Film Premiere

Aug 17 "Monty Python's Life of Brian" directed by Terry Jones, starring Graham Chapman, Mickael Palin, & John Cleese, premieres in US theaters

  • Aug 17 2 Russian passenger planes collide above Ukraine, 173 killed

Historic Event

Aug 18 Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini demands Saint War against Kurds

  • Aug 18 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Aug 19 "My Sharonna" by the Knack hits #1, stays at top for 6 weeks
  • Aug 19 Soviet Cosmonauts Vladimir Lyakov and Valery Ryumin return to Earth aboard Soyuz 34 after a record 175 days in space
  • Aug 20 American singer Vikki Carr (39) weds businessman Michael Nilsson
  • Aug 20 India premier Charan Singh resigns
  • Aug 20 The East Coast Main Line rail route between England and Scotland is restored when the Penmanshiel Diversion opens.
  • Aug 21 Mets win a protested game against Astros, 5-0
  • Aug 21 Russian Bolshoi Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov defects in NYC; joins the American Ballet Theatre, and works as a film actor
  • Aug 22 200 black leaders meet in NY to support Andrew Young
  • Aug 23 Iranian army opens offensive against Kurds
  • Aug 23 UN's Vienna office opens
  • Aug 24 36th Venice Film Festival opens

Film Premiere

Aug 24 Musical film "Rock 'n' Roll High School" directed by Allan Arkush and featuring the Ramones, premieres in NYC (released throughout the US 20 days later)

  • Aug 24 NFL fans (60,916) choose old Patriots logo over new
  • Aug 24 Rock band "The Cars" play concert at the Wollman Rink in NYC's Central Park
  • Aug 24 UN's Vienna office begins issuing postage stamps
  • Aug 25 "Madwoman of Central Park West" closes at 22 Steps NYC after 86 performances
  • Aug 25 California Angels trounce Toronto Blue Jays, 24-2
  • Aug 25 Somali adopts constitution

Television Premiere

Aug 25 TV series "Hart to Hart" starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers premieres in the US on ABC

Historic Event

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

  • Aug 27 Warrenpoint ambush: 18 British Army soldiers killed when Provisional IRA explode two roadside bombs as a British convoy passes Narrow Water Castle
  • Aug 28 IRA bomb explodes in Brussels' Great Market
  • Aug 28 Train crash at Nijmegen, 7 die
  • Aug 29 Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Aug 29 Sheridan Broadcasting Corp purchases Mutual Black Network
  • Aug 30 -Sept 13] Hurricane David, kills 1200 in Florida, Domincana & Dominican Republic
  • Aug 30 1st recorded occurrence of a comet hitting the sun, releases energy equal to one million hydrogen bombs

Sports History

Aug 30 Cricketer Ian Botham passes 1000 runs and 100 wickets in Tests in his 21st match for England

US Men's Tennis Open

Aug 30 In a wild encounter at the US Open, John McEnroe beats Ilie Năstase 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Năstase is defaulted by the umpire then reinstated

  • Aug 31 Comet Howard-Koomur-Michels collides with Sun
  • Aug 31 Donald McHenry named to succeed Andrew Young as US UN ambassador

Sports History

Aug 31 In the battle of American teenage tennis prodigies, 16 year old Tracy Austin beats 14 year old Andrea Jaeger 6-2, 6-2 in the 2nd round at US Open

Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 1 Honeysuckle Weeks, Welsh actress (Foyle's War), born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales

Jason MomoaJason Momoa (43 years old)

Aug 1 American actor (Game of Thrones, Aquaman), born in Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Aug 1 Junior Agogo, Ghanaian footballer, born in Accra, Ghana
  • Aug 2 Reuben Kosgei, Kenyan athlete, born in Kapsabet, Kenya
  • Aug 3 Evangeline Lilly, Canadian actress (Lost, The Hobbit), born in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
  • Aug 3 Kris Jenkins, American NFL defensive tackle (Pro Bowl (20-03, 06, 08; All-Pro 2002-03; Carolina Panthers, New York Jets), born in Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • Aug 4 Brandi Siegel, rhythmic gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Miami, Florida
  • Aug 4 Robin Peterson, South African cricketer
  • Aug 5 David Healy, Northern Irish footballer and manager (Linfield), born in Killyleagh, County Down
  • Aug 7 Eric Johnson, American actor, born in Austin, Texas
  • Aug 8 Paris Latsis, Greek shipping heir
  • Aug 8 Rashard Lewis, American basketball forward (NBA All-Star 2005, 09; NBA C'ship 2013; Miami Heat), born in Pineville, Louisiana
  • Aug 8 Richard Harwood, British cellist
  • Aug 8 Sam Totman, English musician (Dragonforce)
  • Aug 9 Alizah Allen, American figure skater (1997 North Atlantic Sr champ), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 10 Dinusha Fernando, Sri Lankan cricketer
  • Aug 10 Joanna Garcia, Cuban actress
  • Aug 10 Ted Geoghegan, American filmmaker and author
  • Aug 10 Yannick Schroeder, French racing driver
  • Aug 12 Cindy Klassen, Canadian speed skater
  • Aug 12 D.J. Houlton, American baseball player
  • Aug 13 Corey Patterson, American baseball player, born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Aug 13 Román Colón, Dominican baseball player, born in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic
  • Aug 13 Taizō Sugimura, Japanese politician, born in Asahikawa, Hokkaidō
  • Aug 14 Paul Burgess, Australian athlete, born in Perth, Australia
  • Aug 14 Yoichiro Morikawa, Japanese film director, born in Fukui, Japan
  • Aug 15 Ailyn Perez, American operatic soprano, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Aug 15 Carl Edwards, American NASCAR driver
  • Aug 16 Michael Stahlman, American rower and coach
  • Aug 16 Monder Rizki, Belgian athlete, born in Brussels, Belgium
  • Aug 17 Antwaan Randle El, American football player and coach, born in Riverdale, Illinois
  • Aug 17 Marcus Patric, British actor (Hollyoaks), born in Gosport, England
  • Aug 19 Dave Douglas, American drummer (Relient K), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Aug 19 Oumar Kondé, Swiss footballer, born in Binningen, Switzerland
  • Aug 20 Cory Sullivan, American baseball player (Colorado Rockies), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Aug 20 Jamie Cullum, English singer-songwriter, pianist and radio presenter, born in Rochford, England
  • Aug 21 Ashley Whitney, 800m freestyle relay (Olympics 1996), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Aug 21 Kelis Rogers-Jones, American singer ("Milkshake"), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 22 Brandon Quintin Adams, American actor (The People Under the Stairs), born in Topeka, Kansas
  • Aug 22 Jennifer Finnigan, Canadian actress (The Bold and the Beautiful), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Aug 22 Steve Kornacki, American political journalist, writer and TV presenter (NBC), born in Groton, Massachusetts
  • Aug 23 Edgar Sosa, Mexican boxer, born in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Aug 23 Ritchie Neville, British musician, born in Solihull, United Kingdom
  • Aug 24 (Katherine) "Kaki" King, American guitarist, lap steel guitar player and composer, born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Aug 24 Elva Hsiao, Taiwanese singer, born in Zhongli, Taoyuan, Taiwan
  • Aug 24 Michael Redd, American basketball player, born in Columbus, Ohio
  • Aug 24 Orlando Engelaar, Dutch international footballer, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Aug 25 Marlon Harewood, English footballer
  • Aug 26 Cristian Mora, Ecuadorian footing goalkeeper, born in Vinces, Ecuador
  • Aug 26 Jamal Lewis, American NFL running back (Super Bowl 2000; NFL rushing yards leader 2003; Baltimore Ravens), born in Atlanta, Georgia

Aaron PaulAaron Paul (43 years old)

Aug 27 American actor (Breaking Bad, Need for Speed), born in Emmett, Idaho

  • Aug 27 Giovanni Capitello, American filmmaker/actor
  • Aug 27 Sarah Neufeld, Canadian violinist (Arcade Fire), born in British Columbia
  • Aug 27 Tian Liang, Chinese diver
  • Aug 28 Kristen Hughes, Australian netballer
  • Aug 28 Markus Pröll, German footballer, born in Rheinbach, Germany
  • Aug 28 Robert Hoyzer, German football referee, born in Berlin
  • Aug 28 Ruth Riley, American basketball player, born in Ransom, Kansas
  • Aug 28 Shaila Dúrcal [Shaila de los Ángeles Morales de las Heras], Spanish singer, born in Madrid, Spain
  • Aug 29 Ryan Shealy, American baseball player, born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Aug 30 Juan Ignacio Chela, Argentine tennis player, born in Ciudad Evita, Argentina
  • Aug 30 Leon Lopez, British actor (Brookside), born in Liverpool, England
  • Aug 30 Niki Chow, Hong Kong actress and singer, born in Hong Kong
  • Aug 30 Tavia Yeung, Hong Kong actress
  • Aug 31 Mickie James, American professional wrestler (WWE Women's Champion 2006), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • Aug 31 Ramón Santiago, Dominican baseball infielder, coach (only player in history to hit walk-off, grand slam home run in last MLB at-bat), born in Las Matas de Farfán, DR
  • Aug 31 Simon Neil, Scottish rock musician (Biffy Clyro), born in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland, S

Famous Weddings

Carlene Carter

Aug 18 British rock singer-songwriter Nick Lowe (30) weds American country singer Carlene Carter (23) (her third marriage); divorce in 1990

Famous Divorces

George Foreman

Aug 3 Professional boxer George Foreman (30) divorces Cynthia Lewis after more than a year of marriage

Peter O'Toole

Aug 14 Actors Peter O'Toole and Sian Phillips divorce after nearly twenty years of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 2 Thurman Munson, American baseball catcher (MLB All-Star 1971, 73–78; World Series 1977, 78; AL MVP 1976; NY Yankees), dies in a plane crash at 32
  • Aug 3 Bertil Ohlin, Swedish economist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1899)
  • Aug 3 Renato Fasano, Italian composer, dies at 76
  • Aug 6 Kurt Kaszner [Serwicher], Austrian actor (Kiss Me Kate, Lili, Casino Royale), dies of cancer at 65
  • Aug 8 Nicholas Monsarrat, British novelist (b. 1910)
  • Aug 9 Allan Frank, American actor (Charade Quiz), dies at 64
  • Aug 9 Raymond Washington, American gangster, founder of Los Angeles gang the Crips, murdered in drive-by shooting at 25
  • Aug 9 Walter O'Malley, American baseball team owner (Dodgers), dies at 75
  • Aug 10 John Nicholas "Dick" Foran, American actor (OK Crackerby, Fort Apache, Winners of the West), dies at 69
  • Aug 10 Walther Gerlach, German physicist who, with Otto Stern, co-discovered spin quantization in a magnetic field (Stern–Gerlach effect), dies at 90
  • Aug 12 Ernst Chain, German-British chemist and bacteriologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1945 - for his work on penicillin), dies at 73

John DiefenbakerJohn Diefenbaker (1895-1979)

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

  • Aug 17 Vivian Vance [Jones], American stage and screen actress (I Love Lucy - "Ethel Mertz"; The Lucy Show - "Viv"), dies of cancer at 70
  • Aug 19 Dorsey Burnette, American rockabilly singer (The Rock and Roll Trio), and songwriter ("It's Late"), dies of a heart attack at 46
  • Aug 21 Giuseppe Meazza, Italian footballer, dies at 68
  • Aug 22 Henry Beernink, politician, dies at 69
  • Aug 22 James T. Farrell, American writer (French Girls are Vicious), dies
  • Aug 22 John Lee Granderson, American Chicago-style blues guitarist, dies at 71
  • Aug 23 Mian Mohammad Saeed, cricketer (1st Pakistan capt 1948-49), dies
  • Aug 23 Richard Hearne, British actor (Tons of Trouble, The Time of His Life), dies at 71
  • Aug 24 Hanna Reitsch, German aviator and test pilot, dies at 67
  • Aug 24 Sampson Sievers, Russian Orthodox Christian monk, priest and wonder-worker, dies at 79
  • Aug 25 Stan Kenton, American musician, jazz pianist, arranger and bandleader (Artistry In Rhythm), dies at 67
  • Aug 26 Mika Waltari, Finnish novelist (Egyptian), dies at 70
  • Aug 27 Bolesław Szabelski, Polish organist and composer, dies at 82

Lord MountbattenLord Mountbatten (1900-1979)

Aug 27 British naval officer and statesman, last Viceroy of India (1947), assassinated by an IRA bomb on his boat in Ireland at 79

  • Aug 27 Nicholas Mountbatten, Lord Mountbatten's grandson, murdered by the IRA at 14
  • Aug 28 Konstantin Simonov, Soviet journalist and poet (Wait Foe Me), dies at 73
  • Aug 29 Mary Marquet, French actress (Landru, Paris Canaille), dies at 84
  • Aug 29 Samuel I. Newhouse Sr., American businessman and publisher (Parade, Vogue, Glamour), dies at 84
  • Aug 30 Jean Seberg, American actress (Breathless, Airport), commits suicide at 40
  • Aug 31 E J "Tiger" Smith, English cricket wicket-keeper (11 Tests, 20 dismissals; Warwickshire CCC) and umpire (8 Tests 1933-38), dies at 93
  • Aug 31 Sally Rand, American burlesque dancer, vedette and actress known for her ostrich feather fan and balloon bubble dances, dies at 75