On This Day

What Happened in October 1979

Historical Events

  • Oct 1 Nigeria adopts constitution, Alhaji Shagari becomes president
  • Oct 1 Pope John Paul II begins his first papal visit to the USA in Boston
  • Oct 1 RKO radio network begins operation
  • Oct 1 US returns Canal Zone (but not the canal) to Panama after 75 years
  • Oct 1 Shehu Shagari becomes first and only President of Nigeria's Second Republic

Papal Visit

Oct 2 Pope John Paul II visits New York City, and at the U.N. denounces all concentration camps and torture

  • Oct 4 Hugh Leonards "Life" premieres in Dublin
  • Oct 4 USSR performs nuclear test
  • Oct 4 Typhoon Tip forms near Pohnpei in Micronesia, would go on to be the most intense and largest tropical cyclone then ever recorded
  • Oct 6 Harry Drake set long distance footbow shot record of 2,006 yds 1'9"
  • Oct 6 Pope John Paul II is 1st Pope to visit The White House, meeting with President Jimmy Carter in Washington, D.C.
  • Oct 6 MLB American League Championship: Baltimore Orioles beat California Angels, 3 games to 1
  • Oct 7 "1940s Radio Hour" opens at St James Theater NYC for 105 performances
  • Oct 7 Musical review "Eubie!", based on the songs of composer Eubie Blake, closes at Ambassador Theater, NYC, after 439 performances
  • Oct 7 Cleveland Browns' Dino Hall sets club records with 9 kickoff returns
  • Oct 7 USSR performs underground nuclear test

Sports History

Oct 7 Frank Mahovlich formally retires from the NHL after a failed comeback attempt with the Detroit Red Wings

  • Oct 7 Ferrari driver Jody Scheckter retires with tyre trouble in US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen; becomes first South African to claim Formula 1 World Drivers Championship; wins by 4 points from race winner Gilles Villeneuve
  • Oct 8 Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields and Al Dubin's musical "Sugar Babies" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater, NYC; runs for 1208 performances
  • Oct 9 Howard Stern begins broadcasting on WCCC in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Oct 10 Fleetwood Mac gets a star in Hollywood
  • Oct 10 Nordiques' Real Cloutier sets NHL record of a hat trick in 1st game
  • Oct 10 Panama assumes sovereignty over Canal Area (ie Canal Zone)
  • Oct 10 Recorded trace of snow in Central Park NYC
  • Oct 11 "Most Happy Fella" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 53 performances
  • Oct 11 German DR frees dissidents Rudolf Bahro & Nico Hubner
  • Oct 11 Allan McLeod Cormack & Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield win Nobel Prize for medicine for developing CAT scan
  • Oct 12 Typhoon Tip becomes the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded with peak sustained winds of 305km/h (190mph) and a wind diameter of 2,220km (1,380mi)
  • Oct 12 The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in Guam, in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip

NBA Record

Oct 12 Boston Celtics guard Chris Ford scores first 3-point basket in NBA history in 1st quarter of 114-106 win v Houston at Boston Garden; game also marks debut of Boston rookie Larry Bird

Sports History

Oct 12 Future Basketball Hall of Fame forward Magic Johnson makes his debut for Los Angeles Lakers at the San Diego Clippers; Lakers win, 103-102

  • Oct 14 100,000 demonstrate in Bonn against nuclear energy
  • Oct 14 Flyers start 35 game unbeaten streak beating Toronto 4-3

Sports History

Oct 14 NHL's greatest scorer Wayne Gretzky scores his 1st NHL goal

  • Oct 14 1st Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. by over 100,000 people

Television Premiere

Oct 14 NBC premiere of U.S. TV adaptation of Helen Keller's life story "The Miracle Worker"

  • Oct 14 NHL NY Rangers retire Rod Gilbert's uniform number 7, the first number to be retired by the team
  • Oct 15 1st Monday night game from NYC, Jets beat Vikings 14-7 (Shea Stad)
  • Oct 15 Chinese premier Hwa Kwofeng visits Paris
  • Oct 15 Military coup in El Salvador: President Carlos Romero flees

Sports History

Oct 15 NY Knicks retire 2nd number, # 10, Walt Frazier

Film & TV History

Oct 16 Comedy sketch show "Not the Nine O'Clock News" debuts starring Rowan Atkinson, Chris Langham, Pamela Stephenson and Mel Smith on BBC 2

  • Oct 16 First global telenovela Mexican "Los ricos también lloran" (The Rich Also Cry) premieres, second foreign series to be screened in the Soviet Union
  • Oct 16 Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to Theodore Schultz and William Arthur Lewis for economic development research, particularly for developing countries [1]
  • Oct 17 "Beatlemania" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 920 performances
  • Oct 17 D Bautista of Mexico completes 20,000 m walk in record 1:20:06.8

Nobel Prize

Oct 17 Mother Teresa of Calcutta awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Sports History

Oct 17 Baseball World Series: Pittsburgh Pirates beat Baltimore Orioles, 4-1 at Memorial Stadium for 4 games to 3 series win; MVP: Pirates 1B Willie Stargell

Historic Event

Oct 17 US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating Department of Education

  • Oct 18 "Beatlemania" opens in London

Historic Event

Oct 18 Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini orders mass executions to stop

  • Oct 18 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • Oct 18 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Music History

Oct 20 Bob Dylan appears on "Saturday Night Live"

Historic Event

Oct 20 John F. Kennedy Library dedicated in Boston

  • Oct 20 John Tate beats Gerrie Coetze in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

New York City Marathon

Oct 21 New York City Marathon: Bill Rodgers wins 4th straight men's title in 2:11:42; defending champion Grete Waitz of Norway takes out women's event in 2:27:33

Historic Event

Oct 21 Israeli minister of Foreign affairs Moshe Dayan resigns

  • Oct 21 Ozzie Newsome begins NFL streak of 150 consecutive game receptions
  • Oct 22 "One Mo' Time" with Vernel Bagners premieres in NYC

Historic Event

Oct 22 Deposed Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi arrives in NYC for medical treatment

  • Oct 22 Walt Disney World's 100-millionth guest

Sports History

Oct 24 Billy Martin punches a marshmallow salesman, puts job in jeopardy

Music History

Oct 24 Guinness Book of Records presents Paul McCartney with a rhodium disc as all-time best selling singer-songwriter

  • Oct 25 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Oct 26 Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea is assassinated by KCIA head Kim Jae-kyu. Choi Kyu-ha becomes the acting President; Kim is executed the following May.
  • Oct 27 Islanders score 2 goals within 6 seconds 3 goals within 44 seconds
  • Oct 27 St Vincent & Grenadines becomes independent of UK (National Day)
  • Oct 27 Voluntary Euthanasia Society publishes how-to-do-it suicide guide
  • Oct 28 Dick Howser (best Yank manager win-lost pct .636) returns to New York, replacing Billy Martin
  • Oct 28 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Oct 29 Billy Martin fired as Yankee manager (2nd time)
  • Oct 30 NASA launches space vehicle S-203
  • Oct 30 Richard Arrington, Jr. is elected the first African American mayor in Birmingham, Alabama

Music History

Oct 30 Tamla/Motown releases Stevie Wonder's documentary film soundtrack "Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants"

  • Oct 31 Mike Flanagan, wins AL Cy Young Award
  • Oct 31 US DC-10 crashes at Mexico-City, 74 killed

Famous Birthdays

  • Oct 1 Gilberto Martínez, Costa Rican soccer defender (61 caps; Brescia), born in Golfito, Costa Rica
  • Oct 1 Rudi Johnson, American NFL running back (Pro Bowl 2004; Cincinnati Bengals), born in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Oct 2 Francisco Fonseca, Mexican soccer striker and broadcaster (43 caps, 21 goals), born in León, Guanajuato
  • Oct 2 Maja Ivarsson, Swedish new wave rock singer (The Sounds - "Living In America"), born in Åhus, Scania, Sweden
  • Oct 3 John Hennigan, American professional wrestler
  • Oct 3 Daniel Hollie, American professional wrestler
  • Oct 4 Rachael Leigh Cook, American actress (She's All That), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Oct 4 Stefan Booth, British actor (Eastenders)
  • Oct 4 Adam Voges, Australian cricket batsman (20 Tests; oldest [35] to score a century on Test debut 2015), born in Perth, Western Australia
  • Oct 4 Caitriona Balfe, Irish actress (Outlander), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Oct 5 Jaime Chambers, American television reporter, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Oct 5 Curtis Sanford, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Owen Sound, Canada
  • Oct 5 Vincenzo Grella, Australian soccer player, born in Dandenong, Australia
  • Oct 5 Yao Chen, Chinese actress and Sina Weibo personality, born in Shishi City, Quanzhourn
  • Oct 6 David Di Tommaso, French footballer (d. 2005)
  • Oct 6 Richard Seymour, American football player
  • Oct 6 Lex Shrapnel, English actor
  • Oct 7 Simona Amânar, Romanian gymnast, born in Constanța, Romania
  • Oct 7 Aaron Ashmore, Canadian actor, born in Richmond, Canada
  • Oct 7 Shawn Ashmore, Canadian actor, born in Richmond, Canada
  • Oct 7 Tang Wei, Chinese actress, born in Hangzhou, China
  • Oct 8 (Gregori) Chad Petree, American indie-rock singer-songwriter (Shiny Toy Guns - "You Are The One"), born in Shawnee, Oklahoma
  • Oct 8 Kristanna Loken, American actress (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines), born in Ghent, New York
  • Oct 8 Paul Burchill, English professional wrestler, born in Guildford, England
  • Oct 9 Gonzalo Sorondo, Uruguayan footballer (Defensor), born in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Oct 9 Brandon Routh, American actor (Superman Returns), born in Norwalk, Iowa
  • Oct 9 Alex Greenwald, American musician (Phantom Planet), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Oct 9 Todd Kelly, Australian racing driver, born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Oct 10 Mýa [Mya Marie Harrison], American pop and R&B singer ("Lady Marmalade" from Moulin Rouge!), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Oct 10 Nicolás Massú, Chilean tennis player, born in Viña del Mar, Chile
  • Oct 10 Wu Chun, Bruneian-Taiwanese actor (The Butterfly Lovers), born in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
  • Oct 10 Kangta [Ahn Chil Hyun], South Korean lead singer (H.O.T.), born in Seoul, South Korea
  • Oct 11 Bae Doona, South Korean model and actress, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • Oct 11 Andy Douglas, American professional wrestler, born in Kentucky
  • Oct 11 Gabe Saporta, Uruguayan-born American musician (Cobra Starship, Midtown), born in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Oct 12 Jordan Pundik, American singer (New Found Glory), born in Englewood, New Jersey
  • Oct 13 Wes Brown, English footballer, born in Longsight, Manchester, England
  • Oct 14 Stacy Keibler, American actress / ex-professional wrestler
  • Oct 15 Paul Robinson, English football player (Tottenham), born in Beverley, England
  • Oct 15 Māris Verpakovskis, Latvian football player, born in Liepāja, Latvia
  • Oct 15 Blue Adams, American Football Player, born in Miami, Florida

Kimi Räikkönen

Oct 17 Kimi Räikkönen, Finnish auto racer (F1 World Champion 2007), born in Espoo, Finland

  • Oct 17 Marcela Bovio, Mexican heavy metal singer and violinist (Stream of Passion; MaYans), born in Monterrey, Mexico
  • Oct 17 Kostas Tsartsaris, Greek basketball player
  • Oct 18 Ne-Yo [Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr], American pop and R&B singer and songwriter, born in Camden, Arkansas
  • Oct 19 Brian Robertson, American ska-punk-rock trombonist (Suburban Legends), born in Orange County, California
  • Oct 19 José Luis "Parejita" López, Mexican footballer
  • Oct 20 Paul Ifill, English footballer, born in Brighton, England
  • Oct 20 John Krasinski, American actor, director and producer (The Office, A Quiet Place), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Oct 20 Paul O'Connell, Irish rugby player and coach, born in Limerick, Ireland
  • Oct 20 Nargis Fakhri, American actress (Rockstar), born in New York City
  • Oct 21 Gabe Gross, American baseball player
  • Oct 23 Simon Davies, Welsh footballer (Fulham), born in Haverfordwest, Wales
  • Oct 23 Jorge Solís, Mexican boxer (WBA Super Featherweight title 2010), born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
  • Oct 23 Prabhas, Indian actor (Mirchi), born in Madras, India
  • Oct 24 Ben Gillies, Australian drummer (Silverchair), born in Newcastle, Australia
  • Oct 25 Milena Roucka, Canadian model and professional wrestler, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Oct 25 Rob Hulse, English footballer (Sheffield United), born in Crewe, England
  • Oct 25 Sarah Thompson, American actress (Brooklyn's Finest), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Oct 25 Tony Torcato, American baseball player, born in Woodland, California
  • Oct 26 Movsar Barayev, Chechen Islamist militia leader during the Second Chechen War, born in Argun, Chechen–Ingush ASSR, Soviet Union (d. 2002)
  • Oct 27 Melanie Vallejo, Australian TV actress (Power Rangers Mystic Force), born in Adelaide, Australia
  • Oct 28 Aki Hakala, Finnish rock drummer (The Rasmus), born in Espoo, Finland
  • Oct 28 Martin Škoula, Czech ice hockey player
  • Oct 30 Jason Bartlett, Filipino-American baseball player, born in Mountain View, California
  • Oct 30 Yukie Nakama, Japanese actress, born in Urasoe, Okinawa, Japan
  • Oct 31 Simão Sabrosa, Portuguese footballer, born in Vila Real, Portugal
  • Oct 31 Ricardo Fuller, Jamaican footballer, born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Oct 31 Saaphyri Windsor, American reality TV figure, born in Los Angeles, California

Famous Weddings

Tim Raines

Oct 16 MLB outfielder Tim Raines (20) weds his high school sweetheart Virginia Hilton

Famous Deaths

  • Oct 1 Roy Harris, American composer, dies at 81
  • Oct 3 Charles White, American artist (The Contribution of the Negro to American Democracy), dies at 61
  • Oct 3 Claudia Jennings [Mary Ellen Chestrerton],, American actress and Playboy playmate (Nov, 1969, Playmate of the Year 1970), dies in car crash at 29
  • Oct 4 Christina Spierenburg, Dutch singer, dies at 56
  • Oct 5 Charlie Smith, self-proclaimed oldest American (137 year), dies; post-mortem research posits age 100 or 105
  • Oct 6 Elizabeth Bishop, American poet (North & South, Pulitzer 1956), dies at 68
  • Oct 8 June Nash, American actress (Strange Cargo, Dynamite), dies at 68
  • Oct 10 Paul Paray, French organist, conductor (Detroit Symphony, 1951-62), and composer, dies at 93
  • Oct 10 Christopher Evans, British psychologist and computer scientist (b. 1931)
  • Oct 12 Celia Lovsky, Austrian-American actress (Man of a Thousand Faces), dies from natural causes at 82
  • Oct 13 Clarence Muse, American actor, screenwriter and director (Casablanca, Black Stallion), dies at 89
  • Oct 13 Rebecca Clarke, British-American violist and classical composer (Morpheus), dies at 93
  • Oct 16 Johan Borgen, Norwegian author (Lillelord), dies at 77
  • Oct 17 John Stuart, Scottish actor (Kittie, Superman, Number Seventeen), dies at 81
  • Oct 17 Karel Reiner, Czech pianist, composer, and Theresienstadt concentration camp survivor, dies at 69
  • Oct 17 S J Perelman, American author, humorist and screenwriter (The New Yorker, Around the World in 80 Days), dies at 75
  • Oct 22 Jesse Bishop, murderer, dies in Nevada gas chamber
  • Oct 22 Nadia Boulanger, French composer and conductor (1st woman to conduct Boston Symphony), dies at 92
  • Oct 26 Park Chung-hee, South Korean general and President (1963-79), assassinated by the director of the Korean Intelligence Agency at 61
  • Oct 27 Father Charles Coughlin, Canadian-American Roman Catholic priest and pro-Fascist radio broadcaster, dies at 88
  • Oct 29 Ramon "Tiki" Fulwood, American funk drummer (Parliament-Funkadelic; Miles Davis), dies of stomach cancer at 35
  • Oct 30 Barnes Wallis, English scientist, engineer and inventor (bouncing bomb), dies at 92
  • Oct 30 Donna Rachele Mussolini, wife of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, dies at 89