What Happened in January 1979

Historical Events

  • 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 1 65th Rose Bowl: #3 Southern California beats #5 Michigan, 17-10
  • Jan 1 45th Sugar Bowl: #2 Alabama beats #1 Penn State, 14-7
  • Jan 1 45th Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma beats #6 Nebraska, 31-24
  • 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)

MurderMurder of Interest

Jan 2 Sid Vicious' trial for murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen begins

Musician Sid Vicious
Sid Vicious

Sport awardTennis Open

Jan 3 67th Men's Australian Open: Guillermo Vilas beats John Marks (6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3)

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Guillermo Vilas
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Guillermo Vilas
  • Jan 3 67th Women's Australian Open: Christine O'Neil beats Betsy Nagelsen (6-3, 7-6)
  • 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 7 AFC Championship Game: Pittsburgh Steelers beat Houston Oilers 34-5
  • Jan 7 NFC Championship Game: Dallas Cowboys beat Los Angeles Rams 28-0
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 9 K-Mart pulls Steve Martin's "Let's Get Small" for being in "bad taste"

Actor and Comedian Steve Martin
Actor and Comedian
Steve Martin
  • Jan 9 Supreme Court strikes down (6-3) PA law requiring doctors performing an abortion to try to preserve lives of potentially viable fetuses

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 9 Bobby Orr's #4 jersey is retired by the Boston Bruins

Ice Hockey Legend Bobby Orr
Ice Hockey Legend
Bobby Orr
  • Jan 10 1st brother Billy Carter makes allegedly anti-Semitic remarks

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 11 "Grand Tour" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 61 performances

Music awardsMusic Awards

Jan 12 6th American Music Awards: Barry Manilow, Linda Ronstadt win

Musician Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow
  • Jan 12 LA's Hillside Strangler, Kenneth Bianchi, arrested in Bellingham
  • Jan 12 Record blizzard strikes the US 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.
  • Jan 14 John McEnroe wins his first of 3 season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis titles 6–7, 6–3, 7–5 against fellow American Arthur Ashe at Madison Square Garden, NYC

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 NY Islanders didn't get a shot off in 1 period against NY Rangers
  • 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 19 US President Jimmy Carter announces he is awarding Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to anthropologist Margaret Mead

Cultural Anthropologist Margaret Mead
Cultural Anthropologist
Margaret Mead
39th US President Jimmy Carter
39th US President
Jimmy Carter

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 21 Super Bowl XIII: Pittsburgh Steelers beat Dallas Cowboys, 35-31 in Miami Super Bowl MVP: Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh, QB
  • Jan 22 10,000s UK public sector workers go on strike

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Jan 23 Willie Mays elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • 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 26 "The Dukes of Hazzard" premieres on US TV network CBS
  • Jan 26 Music Center Vredenburg opens in Utrecht Neth

Film tv awardsFilm and TV Awards

Jan 27 36th Golden Globes: Midnight Express, Jon Voight & Jane Fonda win

Actress Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda
Actor Jon Voight
Jon Voight
  • Jan 27 Islanders ends 23 undefeated games at home streak (15-0-8)
  • Jan 28 "Wiz" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 1672 performances
  • 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 NFL Pro Bowl: NFC beats AFC 13-7
  • 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.

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Koichi Domoto, Japanese artist
  • Jan 1 Brody Dalle, Australian singer (The Distillers)
  • Jan 2 Jonathan Greening, British footballer
  • Jan 2 Suranne Jones, British actress
  • Jan 3 Francesco Bellissimo, Italian mangaka
  • Jan 4 Tristan Gommendy, French racing driver
  • Jan 4 Jeph Howard, American musician (The Used)
  • Jan 5 Ronnie O'Brien, Irish footballer
  • Jan 7 Bipasha Basu, Indian model
  • Jan 7 Mariangel Ruiz, Venezuelan actress and model
  • Jan 7 Ryan Tedder, American singer
  • Jan 8 Sarah Polley, actress (Sweet Hereafter)
  • Jan 8 Sequoyah, chimpanzee (son of Washoe)
  • Jan 8 Adrian Mutu, Romanian footballer
  • Jan 8 Stipe Pletikosa, Croatian footballer
  • Jan 8 Seol Ki-Hyeon, South Korean footballer
  • Jan 9 Tomiko Van, Japanese singer
  • Jan 10 Chris H E Smith, [Daddy Mack], rapper (Kris Kross-Warm it Up), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Jan 11 Darren Lynn Bousman, US film director, born in Overland Park, Kansas
  • Jan 11 Siti Nurhaliza, Malaysian singer, born in Kampung Awah, Malaysia
  • Jan 12 Jenny Schmidgall, ice hockey forward (USA, Olympics 1998)
  • Jan 12 Grzegorz Rasiak, Polish footballer
  • Jan 13 Jill Wagner, American Actor
  • Jan 14 John Reuben, American hip hop artist
  • Jan 14 Karen Elson, British supermodel
  • Jan 14 Angela Lindvall, American supermodel
  • Jan 15 Drew Brees, American football player (New Orleans Saints), born in Austin, Texas
  • Jan 15 Young Dro, American rapper
  • Jan 15 Ken Chu, Taiwanese singer-actor and taichi champ
  • Jan 15 Martin Petrov, Bulgarian footballer
  • Jan 16 Aaliyah [Haughton], American singer and actress, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2001)
  • Jan 16 Brenden Morrow, Canadian ice hockey player
  • Jan 16 Jason Ward, Canadian ice hockey player
  • Jan 16 Rashawn Ross, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, trumpeter (Dave Mathews Band)
  • Jan 18 Paulo Ferreira, Portuguese footballer
  • Jan 18 Jay Chou, Taiwanese singer and producer
  • Jan 18 Brian Gionta, American ice hockey player
  • Jan 18 Kenyatta Jones, American football player, born in Gainesville, Florida
  • Jan 18 Leo Varadkar, Irish politician, Prime Minister (2017-), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Jan 19 Josu Sarriegi, Spanish/Basque footballer
  • Jan 19 Svetlana Khorkina, Russian gymnast
  • Jan 19 Wiley, English Rapper (Grime)
  • Jan 20 Rob Bourdon, American musician (Linkin Park)
  • Jan 20 Asaka Kubo, Japanese gravure idol of 20th Century
  • Jan 20 Will Young, British singer
  • Jan 21 Byung-Hyun Kim, Korean baseball player
  • Jan 21 Spider Loc, American rapper, member of G-Unit
  • Jan 21 Brian O'Driscoll, Irish rugby union footballer
  • Jan 23 Sampsa Astala, Finnish musician (Lordi)
  • Jan 23 Larry Hughes, American basketball player
  • Jan 23 Juan Rincón, Venezuelan baseball player
  • Jan 24 Tatyana M Ali, actress (Sesame St, Fresh Prince of Bel Air), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 25 Christine Lakin, US actress (Step by Step), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Jan 25 Pi Hongyan, Chinese-born French badminton player, born in Chonqing, China
  • Jan 25 Gabe Jennings, US distance runner
  • Jan 26 Sara Rue, American actress
  • Jan 27 Rodrigo Ribeiro, Brazilian racing driver, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Jan 27 Rosamund Pike, British actress (Gone Girl), born in London
  • Jan 27 Liesbet Van Breedam, Belgian beach volleyball player
  • Jan 27 Daniel Vettori, New Zealand cricketer
  • Jan 28 Ali Boulala, Swedish skateboarder
  • Jan 29 Andrew Keegan, actor (Step by Step, Party of Five)
  • Jan 29 April Scott, American actress and model
  • Jan 29 Sui Feifei, Chinese basketball player
  • Jan 30 Karen Smith, Australian field hockey midfielder/halfback (Olympics 1996)
  • Jan 31 Daniel Tammet, British autistic savant

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

Jan 1 Film director John Carpenter (30) weds actress Adrienne Barbeau (33)

Horror film director John Carpenter
Horror film director
John Carpenter

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 3 Conrad Hilton, US founder (Hilton Hotels), dies at 91
  • Jan 5 Charles Mingus, US jazz bassist/composer/orchestra leader, dies at 56
  • Jan 7 Zbigniew Turski, composer, dies at 70
  • Jan 8 Sara Carter, American country musician, songwriter and vocalist (Carter Family), dies at 81
  • Jan 9 Avery Claflin, composer, dies at 80
  • Jan 9 Pier Luigi Nervi, Italian engineer and architect (Nuove Struttura), dies at 87
  • Jan 11 Jack Soo [Goro Suzuki], Japanese-American actor (Flower Drum Song, Barney Miller), dies of esophageal cancer at 61
  • Jan 11 Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, German-French art dealer and publisher, dies at 94
  • Jan 13 Donny Hathaway, American rocker (Ghetto), commits suicide at 33
  • Jan 13 Marjorie Lawrence, Australian soprano (b. 1907)
  • Jan 14 Thomas DeSimone, gangster associate of the Lucchese crime family (b. 1950)
  • Jan 16 Fred Elizalde, composer, dies at 71

Person of interestTed Cassidy

Jan 16 Ted Cassidy, actor (Lurch-Addams Family), dies at 46

  • Jan 16 August Heissmeyer, German SS officer (b. 1897)
  • Jan 18 Cyril Mockridge, composer, dies at 82
  • Jan 19 Paul Meurisse, actor (Diabolique, Truth, Suspects, Monocle), dies
  • Jan 20 Gustav Winckler, Danish singer, dies at 53
  • Jan 22 Ali Hassan Salameh, [Abu Hassan], killed by car bomb; believed to have helped mastermind massacre of 1972 Munich Olympics athletes
  • Jan 24 Jerry Damon, comedian (That Was The Week That Was), dies at 51
  • Jan 24 Mabel Taliaferro, actress (My Love Come Back), dies at 91
  • Jan 25 J Robertson Hare, actor (Fighting Stock), dies at 87

Person of interestNelson Rockefeller

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 Baba Auliya, Indian Sufi master (Azeemiyya order), dies at about 81
  • Jan 28 Eileen Shanahan, Irish Poet (b. 1901)
  • Jan 31 Grant Green, American jazz guitarist, dies of a heart attack at 43