On This Day

What Happened in December 1980

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 46th Heisman Trophy Award: George Rogers, South Carolina (RB)
  • Dec 1 Mel Harris appears on M*A*S*H in "Cementing Relationships"
  • Dec 1 US Justice Department sues Yonkers siting racial discrimination
  • Dec 2 4 American Maryknoll nuns killed by death squads in El Salvador
  • Dec 3 NY Federal jury finds Reps Thompson D-NJ & Murphy, D-NY, guilty
  • Dec 3 Don Sutton, the winningest pitcher in Los Angeles Dodgers history, signs a 4-year contract with Houston; Astros career shortened by a patellar fracture; returns to Dodgers in 1988 after stints with 3 other MLB clubs

Music History

Dec 4 Two months after death of drummer John Bonham, Led Zeppelin announces they will disband

  • Dec 4 Islanders end 15 game undefeated streak (13-0-2) (Col Rockies)
  • Dec 5 Bank of Canada's Canadian Currency Museum opens
  • Dec 6 NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 502
  • Dec 7 69th Davis Cup: Czechoslovakia beats Italy in Prague (4-1)

Sports History

Dec 7 PGA Seniors' Championship Men's Golf, Turnberry Isle CC: Arnold Palmer wins with a birdie on the 1st playoff hole against Paul Harney

  • Dec 8 "Bravo" network premieres on cable TV

Famous Photo

Dec 8 Annie Leibovitz has a photo-shoot with John Lennon, the last person to professionally photograph him before he is murdered on the same day

  • Dec 9 61°F in Boston at 1 AM
  • Dec 10 Soyuz T-3 returns to Earth
  • Dec 10 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Dec 11 Dirk Wellham scores 100 on 1st-class debut, NSW v Victoria
  • Dec 11 The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (known as either CERCLA or Superfund) is enacted by the U.S. Congress.

Television Premiere

Dec 11 "Magnum P.I." starring Tom Selleck premieres on CBS

  • Dec 12 US's copyright law amended to include computer programs
  • Dec 12 Apple makes its initial public offering on the US stock market - 38 years later it would become the first US company valued at over $1 trillion
  • Dec 13 "Perfectly Frank" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • Dec 14 "Onward Victoria" opens and closes at Martin Beck NYC after 1 performance
  • Dec 14 Anders Kailur scores on 6th Islander penalty shot
  • Dec 14 At 2 PM EST there is 10 minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon
  • Dec 14 Minnesota Vikings pass for 456 yards against Cleveland Browns, winning 28-24
  • Dec 14 New Orleans Saints end 14 game losing streak, beat NY Jets 21-20
  • Dec 14 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 14 Massacre at Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Los Angeles with 3 people killed and 6 injured

Sports History

Dec 15 NY Yankee Dave Winfield becomes highest-paid player, 10 years $15M

  • Dec 15 Premier Queddei troops conquers Chad capital N'djamena
  • Dec 15 ZBZ Sangha registered after 5 yrs of administrative hassles in Warsaw

Historic Event

Dec 16 President-elect Ronald Reagan announces Alexander Haig Jr. as 59th Secretary of State

  • Dec 17 Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 17 Mauritania provisional constitution published
  • Dec 18 Dutch 2nd Chamber accepts minister Van Agts abortion laws
  • Dec 18 IRA's Sean McKenna becomes critically ill, ends hunger strike
  • Dec 18 Vietnam adopts constitution
  • Dec 19 Anguilla becomes a British dependency separate from St Kitts
  • Dec 19 Iran requests $24 billion in US guarantees to free hostages
  • Dec 19 Mutual Broadcasting cancels Sears Radio Theater

Film Release

Dec 19 "Raging Bull", directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro as boxer Jake LaMotta and Cathy Moriarty as his wife, is released in the United States

  • Dec 20 USSR formally announces death of Alexei Kosygin
  • Dec 21 Harold Carmichael ends NFL streak of 127 consecutive game receptions
  • Dec 22 MLB St. Louis Cardinals release outfielder Bobby Bonds
  • Dec 22 US President-elect Ronald Reagan appoints Jeanne Kirkpatrick (UN) & James Watt (Interior)
  • Dec 24 Americans remembered Iran hostages by shining lights for 417 seconds
  • Dec 26 Aeroflot puts the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.
  • Dec 26 10th Fiesta Bowl: #10 Penn State beats #11 Ohio State, 31-19
  • Dec 27 Calvin Murphy (Rockets) begins longest NBA free throw streak of 78
  • Dec 28 Mexico terminated fishing agreements with US
  • Dec 29 Shuttle STS-1 moves from Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center (Florida) to Launch Complex 39A
  • Dec 30 "Wonderful World of Disney" last performance on NBC-TV

Football Awards

Dec 30 Ballon d'Or: Bayern Munich forward Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is named best European football player; beats German international teammate Bernd Schuster of FC Barcelona and Saint-Étienne midfielder Michel Platini

  • Dec 31 After being struck by an orange thrown from the crowd West Indian fast bowler Sylvester Clarke knocks out a spectator with a brick during 4th Test against Pakistan in Multan

Music Concert

Dec 31 Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band's "The River Tour" concert at Nassau Coliseum (Uniondale, New York) clocks in at almost 4 hours

  • Dec 31 A Jewish owned hotel in Nairobi Kenya is bombed killing 18
  • Dec 31 NY Islanders greatest shutout margin (9-0) vs Chicago Black Hawks
  • Dec 31 Senegal president Leopold Senghor resigns

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Mohammad Kaif, Indian cricket batsman (13 Tests, top score 148; 125 ODIs), born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Dec 1 Mubarak Hassan Shami, Qatari athlete (Vienna 2005, Prague 2006, Paris 2007 marathons), born in Baringo, Kenya
  • Dec 2 Adam Kreek, Canadian rower (Olympic gold eights 2008; World C'ship gold 2002-3, 07), born in London, Ontario
  • Dec 2 Bartosz Koziak, Polish classical cellist, born in Zakopane, Poland
  • Dec 3 Anna Chlumsky, American actress (My Girl, Veep), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 3 Jenna Dewan, American actress
  • Dec 5 Shizuka Itō, Japanese voice actress (seiyū), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • Dec 5 Ibrahim Maalouf, Lebanese-born French trumpeter, born in Beirut, Lebanon
  • Dec 6 Steve Lovell, British footballer (Dundee), born in Amersham, England
  • Dec 6 Ehren Wassermann, American baseball player, born in Sylacauga, Alabama
  • Dec 7 John Terry, English soccer defender (78 caps; Chelsea), born in London, England
  • Dec 8 Brandt Snedeker, American golfer (US Masters 2008, British Open 2012 3rd), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Dec 9 Ryder Hesjedal, Canadian cyclist, born in Victoria, Canada
  • Dec 9 Simon Helberg, American actor (The Big Bang Theory), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 10 Sarah Chang, Korean-American classical violinist child prodigy, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 10 Massari [Sari Abboud], Lebanese-born Canadian R&B singer (Be Easy), born in Beirut, Lebanon
  • Dec 11 Arya [Jamshad Cethirakath], Indian actor, born in Trikaripur, Kerala
  • Dec 14 Didier Zokora, Ivorian footballer, born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  • Dec 14 Tata Young, Thai-American singer, born in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Dec 15 Sergio Pizzorno, English guitarist (Kasabian)
  • Dec 15 Annalena Baerbock, Germany politician (Leader of the Greens Party), born in Hanover, West Germany
  • Dec 17 Ryan Hunter-Reay, American race car driver
  • Dec 17 Eli Pariser, American political activist (MoveOn.org)

Christina Aguilera

Dec 18 Christina Aguilera, American singer ("Genie in a Bottle"; "What a Girl Wants"), and TV personality (The Voice, 2011-16), born in Staten Island, New York

Jake Gyllenhaal

Dec 19 Jake Gyllenhaal, American actor (Donnie Darko, Jarhead), born in Los Angeles, California

  • Dec 19 Marla Sokoloff, American actress (The Practice), born in San Francisco, California
  • Dec 20 Ashley Cole, English footballer, born in Stepney, London
  • Dec 20 Fitz Hall, English footballer, born in Leytonstone, London
  • Dec 20 Tony [Anthony da Silva], French-born Portuguese footballer, born in Le Creusot, France
  • Dec 21 Royce Ring, American baseball player, born in La Mesa, California
  • Dec 22 Chris Carmack, American actor, born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 23 Cody Ross, American baseball player, born in Portales, New Mexico
  • Dec 24 Tomas Kalnoky, American musician (Streetlight Manifesto), born in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Dec 25 Locó [Manuel Armindo Morais Cange], Angolan soccer defender (40 caps; Primeiro de Agosto, Petro Atlético, Santos), born in Luanda, Angola
  • Dec 25 Marcus Trufant, American football cornerback (Pro Bowl 2007 Seattle Seahawks; Jacksonville Jaguars), born in Tacoma, Washington
  • Dec 25 Reika Hashimoto, Japanese actress, born in Tokyo, Japan
  • Dec 25 Laura Sadler, British actress, born in Ascot, United Kingdom (d. 2003)
  • Dec 27 Claudio Castagnoli, Swiss wrestler
  • Dec 27 Cas Haley, American singer and guitarist
  • Dec 28 Lomana LuaLua, Congolese football player, born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Dec 28 Vanessa Ferlito, American actress, born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Dec 30 Eliza Dushku, American actress (True Lies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Dec 30 Kenny Kwan, Hong Kong singer (Boy'z), and actor (Banana Boys), born in The Philippines
  • Dec 31 Richard "Richie" McCaw, New Zealand rugby player (All Blacks), born in Oamaru, New Zealand
  • Dec 31 Matt Cross, American professional wrestler, born in Brecksville, Ohio

Famous Weddings

Martin Short

Dec 22 Actor Martin Short (30) weds comic actress Nancy Dolman (29)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Sam Levene, American Broadway actor (Purple Heart, Designing Women), dies at 75
  • Dec 2 Romain Gary, Lithuanian-born French writer (b. 1914)
  • Dec 2 Richard Pindle Hammond, American composer dies at 83
  • Dec 3 Oswald Mosley, British politician and founder of British Union of Fascists, dies at 84
  • Dec 4 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh], Polish-born American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1932), dies when shot during an armed robbery, at 69
  • Dec 4 Francisco Sá Carneiro, 109th Prime Minister of Portugal, dies at 46
  • Dec 7 Darby Crash, American Punk rocker (Germs), dies of an overdose at 22

Murder of InterestJohn Lennon

Dec 8 John Lennon, British musician, pop star and member of The Beatles (Imagine), shot and murdered outside of his home in NYC by Mark David Chapman at 40

  • Dec 12 Jean Lesage, Canadian politician (19th Premier of Quebec), dies at 68
  • Dec 13 Harm van Riel, Dutch Liberal Party politician, dies at 73
  • Dec 14 Elston Howard, American baseball catcher (12 × MLB All-Star; 6 × World Series; AL MVP 1963; first African-American NY Yankee), dies from myocarditis at 59
  • Dec 14 Richard Gurley Drew, American inventor (created masking tape and cellophane at 3M), dies at 81
  • Dec 15 Rudolph Cleveringa, Dutch anti-nazi lawyer and professor of Law at Leiden University, dies at 86

Colonel Sanders

Dec 16 Colonel Harland Sanders, American founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, dies at 90

  • Dec 16 Hellmuth Walter, German engineer and inventor (b. 1900)
  • Dec 18 Alexei N Kosygin, Soviet PM (1964-80), suffers heart attack at 76

Marc Connelly

Dec 21 Marc Connelly, American playwright (One Minute Please), dies at 90

  • Dec 24 Siggie Nordstrom, American singer (The Nordstrom Sisters), dies at 87
  • Dec 24 Alec Wilder, American classical, jazz, and pop music composer (The Churkendoose), and musicologist (American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950), dies at 73 [1]
  • Dec 25 Fred Emney, British actor (Let the People Sing; Adventures of a Private Eye; Lilac Domino), dies at 80
  • Dec 25 (Ludwig) "Louis" Neefs, Belgian pop singer (Eurovision, 1967 & 1969), dies, along with his wife, in a car accident at 43
  • Dec 26 Tony Smith, American sculptor (b. 1912)
  • Dec 28 Amir Elahi, Pakistani cricket spin bowler (1 Test India, 5 Tests Pakistan), at 72
  • Dec 28 Jersey calf, lived 222 days with an artificial heart
  • Dec 29 Roy Engle, American writer and actor (The Man from Planet X, The Wild Wild West, My Favorite Martian), dies from meningitis at 67
  • Dec 29 Tim Hardin, American singer (If I Were a Carpenter, Reason to Believe), dies of a drug overdose at 39
  • Dec 29 Nadezhda Mandelstam, Russian writer (b. 1899)
  • Dec 31 Arthur Wellard, English cricket all-rounder (2 Tests, 7 wickets, BB 4/81; Somerset CCC), dies at 78

Marshall McLuhan

Dec 31 Marshall McLuhan, Canadian writer and 'prophet of the digital age' (the medium is the message), dies at 69

  • Dec 31 Raoul Walsh, American director (High Sierra), dies at about 88
  • Dec 31 Bob Shawkey, American baseball pitcher (World Series 1923, 27; AL ERA leader 1920, New York Yankees), dies at 90