What Happened in April 1981

Historical Events

Film & TV History

Apr 1 CNN airs a videotape that shows that Tamara Rand predicted that Reagan is in danger from someone named Jack Humley (a hoax)

  • Apr 1 Daylight saving time is introduced in the USSR.

Sports History

Apr 1 Edmonton center Wayne Gretzky has an assist (his 103rd) in the Oilers 4-4 tie with Colorado Rockies to break Bobby Orr's 10-year mark for most assists in a single NHL season

  • Apr 2 Belgium's 4th government of Martens resigns
  • Apr 2 Heavy battle between Christian militia & Syrian army in East Lebanon
  • Apr 3 Arnie Boldt of Saskatchewan jumps 6' 8.25," with 1 leg
  • Apr 3 Race riots in London's Brixton area, England
  • Apr 4 135th Grand National: Bob Champion aboard 10/1 hope Aldaniti wins by 4 lengths from 8/1 favourite Spartan Missile
  • Apr 4 26th Eurovision Song Contest: Bucks Fizz for United Kingdom wins singing "Making Your Mind Up" in Dublin
  • Apr 4 Henry Cisneros becomes 1st Mexican-American mayor (San Antonio)
  • Apr 5 Philadelphia Flyers amass a record 2,621 penalty minutes
  • Apr 6 Belgian government of Mark Eyskens forms
  • Apr 6 Yugoslav government sends troops to Kosovo

Album Release

Apr 7 "Street Songs" 5th studio album by Rick James is released (Billboard Album of the Year 1981)

  • Apr 7 Willem Klein mentally extracts 13th root of a 100-digit # in 29 sec
  • Apr 8 Islanders scored 9 goals against Toronto in playoffs

Sports History

Apr 9 LA Dodgers Fernando Valenzuela's 1st start, beats Astros 2-0

  • Apr 9 US sub George Washington rams Japanese freighter Nisso Maru
  • Apr 10 Computer glitch keeps Space Shuttle Columbia grounded
  • Apr 10 France performs nuclear test
  • Apr 10 Imprisoned Provisional IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands elected to British Parliament for Northern Ireland county of Fermanagh and South Tyrone

Boxing Title Fight

Apr 11 Larry Holmes beats Trevor Berbick by unanimous decision in Las Vegas to retain his WBC heavyweight boxing title

  • Apr 11 Race riot in London area of Brixton
  • Apr 11 Ronald Reagan arrives home from hospital after Hinkley shot him

US Masters Golf

Apr 12 45th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Tom Watson wins his second green jacket and 5th major title by 2 strokes over Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller

  • Apr 12 Maiden voyage Space Transit System-space shuttle Columbia launched
  • Apr 13 Pulitzer prize awarded to Beth Henley for "Crimes of the Heart"
  • Apr 13 Washington Post journalist Janet Cooke wins Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing; she later admits story was a hoax and returns the prize
  • Apr 14 1st Space Shuttle, Columbia 1, returns to Earth
  • Apr 15 Janet Cooke says her Pulitzer award-winning story about an 8-year-old heroin addict is a lie, Washington Post relinquishes Pulitzer Prize on fabricated story
  • Apr 16 "Copperfield" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 13 performances

Music History

Apr 17 Carl Gottlieb's movie "Caveman", starring Ringo Starr, Shelley Long, Barbara Bach, Dennis Quaid, Jack Gilford, and John Matuszak premieres

  • Apr 17 New York Islander Dennis Potvin's 3 playoff power-play goals vs Edmonton Oilers tie NHL record
  • Apr 17 Ranger's Anders Hedberg is 2nd to score on a Stanley Cup penalty shot
  • Apr 18 Longest game in Professional Baseball: Pawtucket Red Sox tie Rochester Red Wings 2-2 in 32 innings (game resumed 23rd June)
  • Apr 19 Oakland A's runs record to 11-0
  • Apr 19 William Finn's musical "March of Falsettos" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 20 "Fire and Smoke" single released by Earl Thomas Conley (Billboard Song of the Year 1981)
  • Apr 20 85th Boston Marathon: Toshihiko Seko of Japan wins men's race in 2:09:26; Allison Roe of New Zealand takes women's title in 2:26:46
  • Apr 20 Final performance of TV show "Soap" airs
  • Apr 20 Rocker Papa John Phillips arrested for drug possession
  • Apr 21 US furnish $1 billion in arms to Saudi-Arabia
  • Apr 22 10,000 copper workers in Chile strike
  • Apr 22 Almost 1 million West German metal workers go on strike
  • Apr 22 Dodgers rookie Fernando Valenzuela tosses his 3rd shutout in 4 starts
  • Apr 22 More than $3.3 million is stolen from the First National Bank of Arizona in Tucson in the then largest US bank robbery in history
  • Apr 22 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Sports History

Apr 24 Bill Shoemaker wins his 8,000th race, 2000 more than any other jockey

  • Apr 24 San Antonio blocks 20 Golden State shots to set NBA reg game record
  • Apr 24 US ends grain embargo against USSR
  • Apr 25 More than 100 workers are exposed to radiation during repairs of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, Japan
  • Apr 25 Seattle Mariners MLB manager Maury Wills is suspended for 2 games after ordering Kingdome grounds crew to enlarge batter's boxes by one foot
  • Apr 26 "Copperfield" closes at ANTA Theater, NYC, after 13 performances
  • Apr 27 1st female soccer official is hired by NASL

Music History

Apr 27 Paul McCartney's solo rock band Wings breaks-up

  • Apr 27 Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse
  • Apr 28 "We’re Fighting Back" premieres on CBS in the US, based on the formation of the Guardian Angels
  • Apr 28 Galician current Statute of Autonomy

Baseball Record

Apr 29 MLB Philadelphia Phillies Steve Carlton is 1st lefty to strike out 3,000 batters

  • Apr 29 NFL Draft: South Carolina running back George Rogers first pick by New Orleans Saints
  • Apr 30 "Can-Can" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 5 performances

Music Awards

Apr 30 16th Academy of Country Music Awards: Barbara Mandrell and George Jones win


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Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 1 Aimee Chan, Miss Hong Kong 2006
  • Apr 1 Antonis Fotsis, Greek basketball power forward and captain (Ilysiakos, Panathinaikos, Real Madrid; NBA: Vancouver Grizzlies), born in Maroussi, Greece
  • Apr 1 Bjørn Einar Romoeren, Norwegian ski jumper (world record longest jump 239m 2005; Olympic bronze team 2006), born in Oslo, Norway
  • Apr 1 Bjørn Einar Romøren, Norwegian ski jumper (FIS Ski Flying World C'ship gold team 2004, 06; Olympic bronze LH 2006), born in Oslo, Norway
  • Apr 1 Hannah Spearritt, British pop singer (S-Club7), born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
  • Apr 2 Bethany Joy Lenz-Galeotti, American actress (One Tree Hill), born in Hollywood, Florida
  • Apr 2 Michael Clarke, Australian cricket batsman and captain (115 Tests, 8,643 runs @ 49.10, 28 x 100s; 245 ODIs) and broadcaster (9 Network, FoxSports), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Apr 3 Aaron Bertram, American ska trumpeter (Suburban Legends, 1998-2005), and children's music educator (Kids Imagine Nation), born in Lubbock, Texas
  • Apr 3 DeShawn Stevenson, American basketball player, born in Fresno, California
  • Apr 5 Mariqueen Maandig (Rezner), Filipino-American singer, songwriter, and musician (How to Destroy Angels; West Indian Girl), born in The Phillippines
  • Apr 5 Michael A. Monsoor, United States Navy SEAL killed in Iraq and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, born in Long Beach, California
  • Apr 6 Robert Earnshaw, Welsh soccer striker (59 caps; scored hat-tricks in Premier League, Divisions 1, 2 & 3, FA Cup, League Cup and international match; Cardiff City), born in Mufulira, Zambia
  • Apr 7 Suzann Pettersen, Norwegian golfer (LPGA C'ship 2007, Evian C'ship 2013), born in Oslo, Norway
  • Apr 8 Brian Burres, American baseball player, born in Oregon City, Oregon
  • Apr 8 Rebecca Wilson, Australian gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Queensland, Australia
  • Apr 8 Taylor Kitsch, Canadian actor and model (Friday Night Lights), born in Kelowna, British Columbia
  • Apr 9 Dennis Sarfate, American baseball player, born in Queens, New York
  • Apr 9 Eric Harris, American mass murderer (Columbine High School shooter), born in Wichita, Kansas (d. 1999)
  • Apr 9 Ireneusz Jeleń, Polish footballer (Polish national football team), born in Cieszyn, Poland
  • Apr 9 Milan Bartovič, Slovak ice hockey player, born in Trenčín, Slovakia
  • Apr 10 Laura Bell Bundy, American actress (Hairspray), born in Euclid, Ohio
  • Apr 10 Liz McClarnon, British singer (Atomic Kitten), born in Liverpool
  • Apr 10 Michael Pitt, American actor (The Dreamers), born in West Orange, New Jersey
  • Apr 11 Alessandra Ambrosio, Brazilian model (Victoria's Secret Angel) and actress, born in Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • Apr 11 Alexandre Burrows, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Pincourt, Quebec, Canada
  • Apr 12 Brian Vandborg, Danish cyclist, born in Snejbjerg, Denmark
  • Apr 12 Nicolás Burdisso, Argentine footballer, born in Altos de Chipión, Córdoba, Argentina
  • Apr 12 Tulsi Gabbard, American politician (Rep-D-Hawaii 2013-) 1st American-Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, born in Leloaloa, American Samoa
  • Apr 13 Courtney Peldon, American actress, born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 13 Justyna Danczowska, Polish concert pianist, born in Krakow, Poland
  • Apr 13 Nat Borchers, American soccer player, born in Tucson, Arizona
  • Apr 15 Andrés D'Alessandro, Argentine football player
  • Apr 15 Seth Wulsin, American artist
  • Apr 17 Hanna Pakarinen, Finnish singer, born in Lappeenranta, Finland
  • Apr 17 Ryan Raburn, American baseball player, born in Tampa, Florida
  • Apr 18 Brian Buscher, American MLB third baseman, born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Apr 19 Catalina Sandino Moreno, Colombian actress (Maria Full of Grace), born in Bogotá, Colombia

Hayden Christensen

Apr 19 Hayden Christensen, Canadian actor (Sam-Life as a House, Star Wars), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

  • Apr 19 Martin Havlát, Czech ice hockey player, born in Mladá Boleslav, Czechoslovakia
  • Apr 19 Troy Polamalu, American football player (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Garden Grove, California
  • Apr 20 Matus Valent, European male fitness model, born in Bratislava, Slovak Republic
  • Apr 21 Stephanie Larimore, American model
  • Apr 22 Ken Dorsey, American football player
  • Apr 23 Chris Sharma, American rock climber, born in Santa Cruz, California
  • Apr 23 Gabriella Windsor, daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, born in St. Mary's Hospital, London
  • Apr 23 Joanna Krupa, Polish-American supermodel and actress, born in Warsaw, Poland
  • Apr 23 Sean Henn, American baseball player (NY Yankees), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Apr 24 Taylor Dent, American tennis player, born in Newport Beach, California
  • Apr 25 Anja Pärson, Swedish alpine skier, born in Umeå, Sweden
  • Apr 25 Dwone Hicks, American NFL running back, born in Huntsville, Alabama
  • Apr 25 Felipe Massa, Brazilian Formula One racing driver (11 wins), born in São Paulo, Brazil
  • Apr 25 John McFall, British Paralympic sprinter, born in Frimley, Surrey, England
  • Apr 26 Caro Emerald [Caroline van der Leeuw], Dutch singer ("On A Night Like This"), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Apr 26 Matthieu Delpierre, French footballer, born in Nancy, France
  • Apr 26 Ms. Dynamite [Niomi Arleen McLean-Daley] English musician, born in Archway, North London
  • Apr 27 Fabrizio Faniello, Maltese pop singer ("I'm In Love (The Whistle Hit)": "Somebody Sent Me An Angel"), born in Floriana, Malta
  • Apr 27 Joey Gathright, American baseball player, born in Columbia, Mississippi
  • Apr 27 Patrik Gerrbrand, Swedish footballer, born in Älvsjö, Sweden

Jessica Alba

Apr 28 Jessica Alba, American actress (Dark Angel, Sin City) and businesswoman (The Honest Company), born in Pomona, California

  • Apr 29 Alex Vincent, American actor (Child's Play), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Apr 29 Émilie Mondor, Canadian athlete (d. 2006)
  • Apr 29 George McCartney, Northern Irish footballer
  • Apr 30 Emma Pierson, British actress
  • Apr 30 John O'Shea, Irish footballer
  • Apr 30 Kunal Nayyar, British-Indian actor and writer (Dr. Raj Koothrappali - The Big Bang Theory), born in London

Famous Weddings

Wedding of Interest

Apr 11 "One Day At A Time" actress Valerie Bertinelli (20) marries rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen (26)

  • Apr 25 Maureen Reagan (40) marries 3rd husband, Dennis Revell (28)

Wedding of Interest

Apr 27 Beatle Ringo Starr (40) marries American actress Barbara Bach (33) at Marylebone Town Hall, London, England


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Famous Deaths

  • Apr 1 D[ennis] F[eltham] Jones, sci-fi author (Colossus), dies at 65
  • Apr 1 Eua Sunthornsanan, Thai singer, composer and bandleader, dies of cancer at 71
  • Apr 2 Delfo Cabrera, Argentine distance runner (Olympic gold marathon 1948), dies in a car accident at 62
  • Apr 3 Juan Trippe, American airline pioneer and entrepreneur (Pan Am founder), dies at 81
  • Apr 3 Leo Kanner, Austrian-American psychiatrist and social activist known for his work related to autism, dies at 86
  • Apr 4 Brad Johnson, actor (Annie Oakley), dies at 56
  • Apr 5 Bob "Bear" Hite, rocker (Canned Heat), dies of a heart attack at 36
  • Apr 5 Cornelis Verolme, Dutch ship builder, dies at 80
  • Apr 7 Christopher "Kit" Lambert, British record producer and manager of The Who, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 45
  • Apr 8 Margaret Landis, American silent movie actress (A Million to Burn; The Empire Builders), dies at 90
  • Apr 8 Norman Taurog, American film director (Skippy), dies at 82

Omar Bradley

Apr 8 Omar Bradley, American WWII General (Invasion of Normandy) and 1st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1949-53), dies of cardiac arrhythmia at 88

  • Apr 10 Howard Thurman, African-American theologian and author (Deep River, Deep is the Hunger), dies at 81
  • Apr 11 Marie Ney, dies at 85
  • Apr 12 Hans Chemin-Petit, German composer, dies at 78
  • Apr 12 Hendrik Andriessen, Dutch organist and composer (Ballade of Merel; Te Deum), dies at 88

Joe Louis

Apr 12 Joe Louis, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1937-49), dies of cardiac arrest at 66

  • Apr 13 Prince Asaka Yasuhiko of Japan, Japanese military commander, dies at 93
  • Apr 14 Ivan Galamian, American violinist and violin teacher, dies at 78
  • Apr 15 French Duynstee, Dutch states rights leader, dies at 67
  • Apr 15 John Thach, American WWII naval aviator (developed the Thach Weave) & USN admiral, dies at 75
  • Apr 16 Eric Hollies, English cricket spin bowler (13 Tests, 44 wickets; dismissed Donald Bradman for 0 in his final Test innings), dies at 68
  • Apr 18 James H. Schmitz, American sci-fi author (Lion Game), dies at 69
  • Apr 19 Ernst Levy, Swiss composer, dies at 85
  • Apr 21 Eddie Sauter, American musician (Sauter-Finegan Band, Sat Night Revue), dies at 66
  • Apr 21 Harry Lee, cricketer (scored 18 & 1 in only Test for England), dies
  • Apr 23 Josep Pla, Spanish journalist & author, dies at 84
  • Apr 26 Jim Davis, American actor (Dallas - "Jack Ewing"), dies at 65
  • Apr 26 Madge Evans, American TV panelist (Masquerade Party), dies at 71
  • Apr 28 Cliff Battles, American football halfback (First-team All-Pro 1933, 34, 36; Boston Braves/Redskins, Washington Redskins), dies at 70
  • Apr 28 Mickey Walker, American boxer (World Welterweight Champion 1922-26; World Middleweight Champion 1926-29), dies at 79
  • Apr 28 Steve Currie, British rock bassist (T. Rex; Marc Bolan), dies in a car crash in Portugal at 33
  • Apr 30 Peter Huchel, German poet, dies at 78