On This Day

What Happened in March 1980

Historical Events

  • Mar 1 Commonwealth Trade Union Council established
  • Mar 1 American poet-singer Patti Smith (32) weds MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith (31) in Detroit, Michigan
  • Mar 1 Snow falls in Florida
  • Mar 1 The US enacts the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act as part of a compromise between the Carter Administration and the Congress over the decontrol of crude oil prices
  • Mar 1 27th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament, Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC: Duke beats Maryland, 73-72
  • Mar 1 21st SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, BJCC Coliseum, Birmingham, AL: LSU beats Kentucky, 80-78
  • Mar 2 Phoenix point guard Mike Bratz ends NBA free throw streak of 57 games with a miss in the Suns' 123-115 home win over the LA Lakers
  • Mar 3 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Mar 3 1st nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus is decommissioned

Historic Event

Mar 3 Pierre Trudeau sworn in, for the second time, as the 17th Prime Minister of Canada

Sports History

Mar 4 40th hat trick in Islander history-Mike Bossy

Election of Interest

Mar 4 Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) comes to power, winning the parliamentary election in Zimbabwe, making Mugabe Zimbabwe's first black prime minister

  • Mar 5 Earth satellites record gamma rays from remnants of supernova N-49

Daytime Emmy Awards

Mar 6 Emmy 7th Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci loses for 1st time

  • Mar 6 Princess Theater (Latin Quarter, Cotton Club) opens at 200 W 48th NYC
  • Mar 6 French Academy, founded in 1635, elects it 1st woman novelist (Marguerita Youcenar)
  • Mar 8 Greg Chappell 235 & Yallop 172, for 217 stand at Faisalabad
  • Mar 8 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Mar 8 The first festival of rock music kicks off in the Soviet Union

Film and TV Awards

Mar 8 6th People's Choice Awards: Burt Reynolds & Jane Fonda win (Motion Picture) and Alan Alda & Carol Burnett win (TV)

  • Mar 9 Flemish and Walloon battle in Belgium, 40 injured
  • Mar 10 Willard Scott becomes the weather forcaster on the Today Show
  • Mar 11 Rod Marsh bowls 10 overs for 51 runs in dull Aust v Pak cricket draw

Murder of Interest

Mar 12 Jury finds John Wayne Gacy guilty of murdering 33 in Chicago

  • Mar 12 NY Islanders 3rd scoreless tie, vs Pittsburgh Penguin

Album Release

Mar 12 Columbia Records releases "Glass Houses", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's seventh studio album; it features his 1st No.1 single - "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"

World Record

Mar 13 Eric Heiden skates world record 1000m (1:13.60)

  • Mar 13 Ford Motor Co found innocent in death of 3 women in a fiery Pinto
  • Mar 13 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Dortmund won by Jan Hoffmann GDR
  • Mar 13 American John Wayne Gacy receives the death sentence in Illinois for the murder of 12 people
  • Mar 14 Ice Dance Championship at Dortmund West Germany won by Regoczy & Sallay
  • Mar 14 Ice Pairs Championship at Dortmund won by Cherkasova & Shakhrai (USSR)
  • Mar 14 Polish airliner crash kills all 87 aboard (22 are US amateur boxers)
  • Mar 14 Worlds Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Dortmund won by Anett Potzsch
  • Mar 15 England beats Scotland, 30-18 at Murrayfield, Edinburgh to claim it's 18th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship, 8th Grand Slam and 15th Triple Crown
  • Mar 18 Vostok rocket explodes on the launch pad while being refueled, killing 50
  • Mar 20 The Mi Amigo ship containing England's pirate radio Caroline sinks
  • Mar 20 US appeals to International Court on hostages in Iran

Television Finale

Mar 21 On season finale cliffhanger of TV show "Dallas", villain J.R. Ewing is shot by unknown assailant

Sports History

Mar 23 Australian cricketer Allan Border becomes the first and only batsman to reach 150 in each innings of a test, in the 3rd test vs Pakistan in Lahore

  • Mar 23 France performs nuclear test

Historic Event

Mar 23 Deposed Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi arrives in Egypt

  • Mar 23 AIAW Women's Basketball Tournament, Old Dominion beat Tennessee 68-53 at Mount Pleasant

Sports History

Mar 23 18-year old American tennis star Tracy Austin wins her only WTA Tour Championship; upsets Martina Navratilova in the final 6–2, 2–6, 6–2 in NYC

  • Mar 23 PGA Tournament Players Championship, Sawgrass Country Club (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida): Lee Trevino wins by 1 stroke ahead of runner-up Ben Crenshaw
  • Mar 23 Nicaraguan National Literary Crusade begins: crusade teachers swear in plazas across the country to exterminate ignorance in just five months (will successfully reduce illiteracy from 50% to 12%) [1]
  • Mar 24 42nd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Louisville beats UCLA, 59-54; Cardinals' first title in first title game

Iran Hostage Crisis

Mar 24 ABC's nightly Iran Hostage crisis program renamed "Nightline"

  • Mar 24 Capitol Records releases some rare Beatles tracks on the LP "Rarites"
  • Mar 26 Bombay gets its 1st rock concert in 10 years (The Police)
  • Mar 27 "Happy New Year" opens at Morosco Theater NYC for 17 performances
  • Mar 27 "Reggae" opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 21 performances
  • Mar 27 Elevator in Vaal Reefs gold mine, South Africa plunges more than 1900m killing all 23 miners aboard

Mount St. Helens Erupts

Mar 27 Mount St Helens becomes active after 123 years

  • Mar 27 Norwegian oil platform Alexander Kielland collapses in the North Sea, killing 123 of its crew of 212
  • Mar 29 134th Grand National: American amateur rider Charlie Fenwick wins aboard 40/1 outsider Ben Nevis; only 4 from 30 starters finish race
  • Mar 30 Mark Medoff's "Children of a Lesser God" premieres in NYC

Boxing Title Fight

Mar 31 Almost concurrent heavyweight boxing championship fights: Larry Holmes TKOs Leroy Jones in 8 for WBC title in Las Vegas, NV whilst Mike Weaver KOs John Tate in 15 for WBA belt in Knoxville, TN

Historic Event

Mar 31 President Jimmy Carter deregulates banking industry

  • Mar 31 The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad operates its final train after being ordered to liquidate its assets due to bankruptcy and debt owed to creditors.

Famous Birthdays

  • Mar 1 Rose VBL Windsor, daughter of English prince Richard
  • Mar 1 Shahid Afridi, Pakistan cricket all-rounder (27 Tests, 5 x 100s; 398 ODIs, record 100 in 37 balls in 1st ODI innings; 99 T20I), born in Khyber, Pakistan
  • Mar 1 Djimi Traoré, Malian soccer defender (6 caps; Liverpool, Monaco), born in Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis, France
  • Mar 1 Abdur Rehman, Pakistani cricket spin bowler (22 Tests, 99 wickets; 31 ODIs), born in Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Mar 2 Lance Cade, American pro wrestler (WWE Tag Team Champion [with Trevor Murdoch] 2005), born in Carroll, Iowa (d. 2010)
  • Mar 2 Rebel Wilson, Australian actress and producer (Pitch Perfect; Bridesmaids), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Mar 3 Mason Unck, American football player
  • Mar 4 Omar Bravo, Mexican footballer
  • Mar 4 Jung Da Bin, South Korean actress (d. 2007)
  • Mar 4 Jack Hannahan, American baseball player
  • Mar 4 Arash Markazi, American sportswriter
  • Mar 7 Laura Prepon, American actress (That 70s Show - "Donna"; Orange is the New Black - "Alex"), born in Watchung, New Jersey
  • Mar 8 Stephen Milne, Australian rules footballer
  • Mar 11 Paul Scharner, Austrian footballer
  • Mar 11 Dan Uggla, American baseball player
  • Mar 11 Mark Rober, American NASA engineer and YouTuber
  • Mar 12 Douglas Murray, Swedish ice-hockey player
  • Mar 13 Caron Butler, American basketballer, born in Racine, Wisconsin
  • Mar 13 Lee Jung-hyun, South Korean pop singer and actress (Alice in Earnestland), born in Taegu, South Korea
  • Mar 13 Molly Stanton, American actress (Miss March), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 14 Matteo Grassotto, Italian racing driver
  • Mar 14 Ben Herring, New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • Mar 14 Mercedes McNab, Canadian-born actress
  • Mar 15 Freddie Bynum, American baseball player
  • Mar 16 Felipe Reyes, Spanish basketball player
  • Mar 16 Todd Heap, American football player
  • Mar 17 Danny Califf, American soccer player
  • Mar 18 Sébastien Frey, French soccer goalkeeper (2 caps; Parma, Fiorentina), born in Thonon-les-Bains, France
  • Mar 18 Sophia Myles, English actress
  • Mar 19 Mikuni Shimokawa, Japanese singer
  • Mar 19 Don Sparrow, Canadian illustrator
  • Mar 20 Jamal Crawford, American basketball player
  • Mar 20 Ock Ju-Hyun, South Korean singer


Mar 21 Ronaldinho Gaucho, Brazilian soccer midfielder (97 caps; FIFA World Cup 2002; Paris SG; FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Flamengo), born in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

  • Mar 21 Marit Bjørgen, Norwegian cross-country skier, 15 Olympic medals, 18 World Championship medals, born in Trondheim, Norway
  • Mar 21 Deryck Whibley, Canadian guitarist and singer (Sum41 - "Fat Lip"), born in Scarborough, Ontario
  • Mar 22 Pamela O'Connor, Scottish ice dancer, born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Mar 23 Russell Howard, British stan-up comedian, radio and television presenter, born in Bristol, England
  • Mar 24 Luke Edwards, Nevada City Ca, actor (Newsie)
  • Mar 24 Tassos Venetis, Greek footballer
  • Mar 25 Carrie Lam, Hong Kong actress
  • Mar 25 Joe King, American rock guitarist and songwriter (The Fray), born in Colorado
  • Mar 26 Son Ho Young, Korean American singer (g.o.d.), born in New Jersey
  • Mar 28 Stiliani Pilatou, Greek long jumper
  • Mar 28 Luke Walton, American basketball head coach (Sacramento Kings 2019; LA Lakers 2016-18; NBA C'ships 2009-10, LA Lakers), born in San Diego, California
  • Mar 28 Rasmus Seebach, Danish pop singer-songwriter, and record producer, born in Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Mar 29 Kim Tae Hee, South Korean actress (Iris), born in Ulsan, Korea
  • Mar 29 Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein, of Jordan, fourth son of King Hussein bin Talal, born in Amman, Jordan
  • Mar 29 Amy Mathews, Australian actress (Home and Away), born in Melbourne, Australia
  • Mar 30 Liriel Higa, American rhythmic gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 30 Ricardo Osorio, Mexican footballer
  • Mar 30 [Hüseyin] Yalin, Turkish pop singer-songwriter, born in Nişantaşı, Istanbul
  • Mar 31 Chien-Ming Wang, Taiwanese MLB pitcher (NY Yankees, AL wins leader 2006), born in Tainan City, Taiwan
  • Mar 31 Maaya Sakamoto, Japanese voice actor

Famous Weddings

Tony Blair

Mar 29 77th Prime Minister of UK Tony Blair (26) weds barrister and lecturer Cherie Booth

Famous Deaths

  • Mar 1 John Jacob Niles, American composer & singer, dies at 87
  • Mar 1 Dixie Dean, English soccer striker (16 caps; Everton), dies from a heart attack at 73
  • Mar 1 Wilhelmina Cooper, Dutch-American model and founder of Wilhelmina Models, dies at 40
  • Mar 1 Emmett Ashford, American MLB umpire (first certified black umpire in organised baseball), dies from a heart attack at 65
  • Mar 5 Jay Silverheels [Harold J. Smith], Canadian actor (The Lone Ranger, Key Largo), dies from a stroke at 67
  • Mar 5 Winifred Wagner-William, German World Festival organizer, dies at 82
  • Mar 9 Olga Chekova, actress (Moulin Rouge, Pawns of Possession), dies at 82
  • Mar 10 Herman Tarnower, American doctor (Scarsdale Diet), shot and killed by girlfriend Jean Harris at 69
  • Mar 10 Melville Henry Cane, American lawyer and poet (Making a Poem), dies at 100
  • Mar 12 Arthur Charles Dobson, British racing driver (b. 1914)
  • Mar 13 Tauno Pylkkänen, Finnish composer dies at 61
  • Mar 14 Mohammad Hatta, Indonesian politician (b. 1902)
  • Mar 15 Gerald Abrahams, English author (Teach Yourself Chess), dies at 72
  • Mar 16 Tamara de Lempicka, Polish-born painter (b. 1898)
  • Mar 17 Rudolf G Escher, Dutch composer (Vrai Visage de la Paix), dies at 68
  • Mar 18 Erich Fromm, German/US psychoanalyst, dies at 79
  • Mar 18 Herman Griffith, West Indian cricket fast bowler (13 Tests; 44 wickets; best 6-103), dies at 86
  • Mar 18 "Grishata" Grigor Vachkov, Bulgarian actor (At Each Kilometer), dies at 47
  • Mar 18 Ludwig Guttmann, German-British neurologist, founder of the Stoke Mandeville Games (now the Paralympics), dies at 80
  • Mar 21 Gideon Fagan, South African conductor and composer, dies at 75
  • Mar 21 Peter Stoner, American mathematician, astronomer and Christian apologist, dies at 92
  • Mar 23 Arthur Melvin Okun, American economist (Misery Index), dies of a heart attack at 51
  • Mar 24 Oscar Romero, El Salvador Roman Catholic priest, murdered during mass at 62
  • Mar 25 Roland Barthes, French literary critic and writer (b. 1915)
  • Mar 25 Milton H. Erickson, American psychiatrist and psychologist, dies at 78
  • Mar 25 Walter Susskind, Czech conductor and pianist, dies at 66
  • Mar 25 James Wright, American poet (b. 1927)
  • Mar 26 Jon-Jon Poulos, American drummer (Buckinghams), dies at 32
  • Mar 28 Richard "Dick" Haymes, Argentine-American actor and singer (Sate Fair, Real Life, Betrayal), dies of lung cancer at 61
  • Mar 28 John Poulos, American drummer (The Buckinghams - "Kind Of A Drag"), dies of heart failure at 32
  • Mar 29 Annunzio Mantovani, Italian orchestra leader (Mantovani), dies at 74

Jesse Owens

Mar 31 Jesse Owens, American athlete (4 Olympic gold 1936), dies of lung cancer at 66

  • Mar 31 Vladimír Holan, Czech poet, dies at 74