Historical Events in 1979

Events 1 - 200 of 802

  • Jan 1 45th Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma beats #6 Nebraska, 31-24
  • Jan 1 45th Sugar Bowl: #2 Alabama beats #1 Penn State, 14-7
  • Jan 1 65th Rose Bowl: #3 Southern California beats #5 Michigan, 17-10
  • Jan 1 International Year of the Child begins
  • Jan 1 John Y. Brown attends his first game as owner of the Boston Celtics NBA franchise after trading the Buffalo Braves to previous Celtics owner, Irving H. Levin
  • Jan 1 Jura, 26th canton of Switzerland, established
  • Jan 1 US & China (Peoples Republic) begin diplomatic relations
  • Jan 2 Australian Open Women's Tennis: unseeded Australian Christine O'Neil wins her first and only Grand Slam event; beats American Betsy Nagelsen 6-3, 7-6

Murder of Interest

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

Australian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 3 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Guillermo Vilas of Argentina wins 3rd Grand Slam title; beats Australian John Marks 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

  • Jan 6 The Village People's Y.M.C.A becomes their only UK #1 single. At its peak it sold over 150,000 copies a day.
  • Jan 7 AFC Championship, Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Steelers beat Houston Oilers, 34-5
  • Jan 7 NFC Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum Dallas Cowboys beat Los Angeles Rams, 28-0
  • Jan 7 Vietnamese forces capture Phnom Penh from Khmer Rouge
  • 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

Sports History

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

  • Jan 9 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to W. S. Merwin
  • Jan 9 High-school player Daryl Moreau makes 126th consecutive free throws

Film & TV History

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

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

Historic Event

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

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

Sports History

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

Sports History

Jan 14 Puerto Rican boxer Wilfred Benitez beats WBC welterweight champion Carlos Palomino of Mexico in a 15-round split decision in San Juan, Puerto Rico; becomes two-division champion at the age of 20

Historic Event

Jan 14 US President Jimmy Carter proposes Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday be a federal holiday

  • Jan 16 Bakhtiar government established by the Shah in Iran, will preside until unrest in the country subsides

Film & TV History

Jan 16 BBC landmark nature series "Life on Earth" presented by David Attenborough first shown on BBC One

Historic Event

Jan 16 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi flees Iran for Egypt during the Iranian Revolution

  • 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

Historic Event

Jan 19 US President Jimmy Carter announces he is awarding Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to anthropologist Margaret Mead

Historic Event

Jan 20 1 million Iranians march in Tehran in a show of support for the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, fundamentalist Muslim leader

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

Hall of Fame

Jan 23 NY/SF Giants / New York Mets center fielder Willie Mays elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

  • Jan 24 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Jan 25 1st documented case of a robot killing a human in US
  • Jan 25 22.2-km Oshimizu railroad tunnel holed through, central Honshu, Japan

Historic Event

Jan 25 Pope John Paul II's 1st overseas trip as supreme pontiff

  • Jan 26 "The Dukes of Hazzard" premieres on US TV network CBS
  • Jan 26 Music Center Vredenburg opens in Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Jan 27 Islanders ends 23 undefeated games at home streak (15-0-8)

Historic Event

Jan 28 Arthur Kopit's "Wings" premieres in NYC

  • Jan 28 Charlie Smalls' musical "The Wiz", an updated take on "The Wizard of Oz", starring Stephanie Mills, Stu Gilliam, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, closes at Majestic Theater in NYC, after 1,672 performances, 7 Tony and 6 Drama Desk Awards
  • 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"

Historic Event

Jan 29 Chinese vice-premier Deng Xiaoping visits Washington, D.C.

  • Jan 29 Emerson, Lake & Palmer disband after 10 years together
  • Jan 29 NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: NFC beats AFC, 13-7; MVP: Ahmad Rashād, Minnesota Vikings, WR
  • 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.
  • Feb 1 Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile
  • Feb 1 English international forward Trevor Francis becomes Britain’s first £1 million soccer player when he transfers from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest
  • Feb 1 Patricia Hearst is released from prison for bank robbery
  • Feb 1 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Feb 3 "YMCA" by Village People peaks at #2 on pop singles chart

Sports History

Feb 3 Minnesota Twins trade Rod Carew to California for 4 players

  • Feb 3 US female Figure Skating championship won by Linda Fratianne
  • Feb 3 US male Figure Skating championship won by Charles Tickner
  • Feb 4 "Co-Ed Fever," TV Comedy, debut & cancelled that outing on CBS
  • Feb 4 29th NBA All-Star Game, Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Mi: West beats East, 134-129; MVP: David Thompson, Denver Nuggets, SG
  • Feb 4 End of last 3+day D/N game for 15 yrs (WSC, SCG)
  • Feb 5 Costliest single periodical ad, $3.2 million, Gulf + Western in Time
  • Feb 5 Sears Radio Theater premieres on CBS
  • Feb 6 Supreme court of Lahore affirms death sentence against Premier Bhutto
  • Feb 7 "Supertrain", TV Anthology, Superbomb of 1979, debuts on NBC
  • Feb 7 Colonel Benjedid Chadli succeeds president Boumedienne in Algeria
  • Feb 7 Faoud Bacchus scores 250 for WI v India at Kanpur
  • Feb 8 Denis Sassou-Nguesso becomes the President of the Republic of the Congo for the first time
  • Feb 8 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 9 ABC airs "Heroes of Rock N Roll" special, featuring archival performances of 62 artists
  • Feb 9 Beginning of James Clavell's novel "Whirlwind"
  • Feb 9 New York City premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based film "Hardcore"
  • Feb 9 Nigeria amends constitution
  • Feb 9 UK Football club Nottingham Forest makes £1m transfer deal
  • Feb 9 Walter Hill's drama film "The Warriors" is released in the United States, sparking gang violence at many theaters and a halt to the film's marketing campaign

#1 in the Charts

Feb 10 "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart peaks at #1

Sports History

Feb 10 Allan Border is named 12th man for Australia, only Test Cricket he misses

Theater Premiere

Feb 11 Marvin Hamlisch, Carole Bayer Sager, and Neil Simon's musical "They're Playing Our Song", starring Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz opens at Imperial Theatre, NYC; runs for 1082 performances

  • Feb 12 Bakhtiar resigns as prime minister of Iran after losing support of the military
  • Feb 12 Kosmos 1076, 1st Soviet oceanographic satellite, launched
  • Feb 13 Formation of Guardian Angels crime fighters in New York City
  • Feb 13 Washington State's Hood Canal Bridge breaks up in windstorm
  • Feb 14 "Whoopee!" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 204 performances
  • Feb 14 In Kabul, Muslims kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police

Grammy Awards

Feb 15 21st Grammy Awards: Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are"; A Taste of Honey win

  • Feb 15 Paul Shirley (21) of Australia, sucked a lifesaver for 4 hrs 40 mins
  • Feb 15 Temple City Kazoo Orchestra appears on "he Mike Douglas Show"
  • Feb 15 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Music Single

Feb 16 George Harrison releases single "Blow Away"

  • Feb 16 Los Angeles premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based film "Hardcore"
  • Feb 16 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk

World Record

Feb 17 American speed skater Eric Heiden equals world record 1000m (1:14.99)

  • Feb 17 China invades Vietnam, marking the start of the Sino-Vietnamese War
  • Feb 18 -52°F (-47°C), Old Forge, New York (state record)
  • Feb 18 21st Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins after race leaders Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison collide with each other on final lap; first 500 mile race broadcast from start to finish
  • Feb 18 Mini-series "Roots: Next Generations" premieres on ABC TV
  • Feb 18 NASA launches space vehicle S-202
  • Feb 18 President Zia ur-Rahman's National Party wins elections in Bangladesh
  • Feb 18 Snow falls in Sahara Desert
  • Feb 20 11 'loyalists' known as the "Shankill Butchers" are sentenced to life in prison for 19 murders; the gang was named for its late-night kidnapping, torture and murder (by throat slashing) of random Catholic civilians in Belfast
  • Feb 20 29th Berlin International Film Festival: "David" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 21 2 Iowa girls HS basketball teams play 4 scoreless quarters game was won 4-2 in 4th overtime period
  • Feb 21 Japan launches Hakucho X-ray satellite & Corsa-B (550/580 km)

Sports History

Feb 22 Billy Martin named manager of Oakland A's

  • Feb 22 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Primate & Cat Building is dedicated (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Feb 22 St Lucia gains independence from Britain
  • Feb 23 "Sarava" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 140 performances
  • Feb 23 Frank Peterson Jr named 1st black general in Marine Corps
  • Feb 23 George Harrison releases "George Harrison" album, featuring the single "Blow Away"
  • Feb 24 Highest price ever paid for a pig, $42,500, Stamford, Texas
  • Feb 24 War between North & South Yemen begins
  • Feb 25 Soyuz 32 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station is launched
  • Feb 26 CBS' premiere of NYC sitcom "Flatbush", which received many derision phone calls about it from Brooklynites to CBS
  • Feb 26 Last total eclipse of Sun in 20th century for continental US
  • Feb 28 Ernest Thompson's "On Golden Pond" premieres in NYC
  • Mar 1 "Sweeney Todd" opens at Uris Theater NYC for 557 performances
  • Mar 1 ESPN and NCAA come to an agreement giving the network worldwide multi-media rights to NCAA championships for various sports
  • Mar 3 20th SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Tennessee beats Kentucky, 75-69
  • Mar 3 26th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: North Carolina beats Duke, 71-63
  • Mar 4 "Grand Tour" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 61 performances
  • Mar 4 "The Ordeal of Patty Hearst", television movie directed by Paul Wendkos, premieres on CBS
  • Mar 4 200th episode of "All in the Family"
  • Mar 4 Pope John Paul II publishes his first encyclical "Redemptor Hominis"
  • Mar 4 US Voyager I photo reveals Jupiter's rings
  • Mar 5 Iran resumes petroleum exports
  • Mar 5 Voyager I's closest approach to Jupiter (172,000 miles)
  • Mar 7 Baseball exhibition season opens with semi-pro & amateur umpires
  • Mar 7 Warren Giles and Hack Wilson selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Mar 8 1st extraterrestrial volcano discovered on Jupiter's satellite Io
  • Mar 8 China withdraws invasion troops from Vietnam
  • Mar 8 Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) transported 38 miles overland from Palmdale
  • Mar 9 "The Passage", directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Anthony Quinn, is released in the United States
  • Mar 9 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

Sports History

Mar 9 MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn orders baseball to give equal access to female reporters

  • Mar 11 Randy Hold receives 67 min in penalties in a 60 min NHL hockey game
  • Mar 13 European Monetary System is established, ECU created
  • Mar 13 Gairy dictatorship in Grenada overthrown by New Jewel Movement

NHL Record

Mar 13 Isle's Mike Bossy's 5th career hat trick

  • Mar 14 Hawker Siddeley Trident plane crashes into a factory near Beijing, China, killing at least 200
  • Mar 15 Apparat releases Newdos + 2.1 for Radio Shack's TRS-80

NHL Record

Mar 15 Isle's Bryan Trottier's 5th career hat trick

  • Mar 15 Sarfraz takes 9-86 at MCG as Australia lose 7-5 to lose the Test

Music History

Mar 16 CBS-TV airs "Wings Over the World" with Paul McCartney

  • Mar 17 Ice Dance Championship at Vienna won by N Linichuk & G Karponosov USSR
  • Mar 17 Ice Pairs Championship at Vienna won by Tai Babilonia & R Gardner USA
  • Mar 17 Men's Figure Skating Champ in Vienna won by Vladimir Kovalev (USSR)
  • Mar 17 The Penmanshiel Tunnel in Berwickshire, Scotland, collapses during engineering works, killing two workers
  • Mar 17 Wales beats England, 27-3 at the National Stadium, Cardiff for its 2nd consecutive Five Nations Rugby Championship and record 21st outright title; record 4th straight Triple Crown
  • Mar 17 Worlds Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Vienna won by Linda Fratianne
  • Mar 18 "On the 20th Century" closes at St James Theater NYC after 460 performances
  • Mar 18 Battles between Kurds & Iranians break in Sananday, Iran
  • Mar 19 US House of Representatives begins live TV broadcasts via C-SPAN
  • Mar 21 Egyptian Parliament unanimously approve peace treaty with Israel
  • Mar 22 Israeli parliament approves peace treaty with Egypt
  • Mar 22 NHL votes to accept 4 WHA teams (Oilers, Jets, Nordiques & Whalers)
  • Mar 22 Provisional Irish Republican Army assassinates Richard Sykes, the British ambassador to the Netherlands, in Den Haag
  • Mar 22 The Provisional Irish Republican Army explode 24 bombs in various locations across Northern Ireland

Boxing Title Fight

Mar 23 Larry Holmes TKOs Osvaldo Ocasio in 7 for heavyweight boxing title

  • Mar 23 Wings release "Goodnight Tonight"
  • Mar 24 "Ballroom" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 116 performances

Sports History

Mar 24 10 rebounds & 10 assists, as the Spartans cruise to a 101-67 by Penn Mich State's Earvin "Magic" Johnson registers triple-double 29 pts

Sports History

Mar 24 1st appearance as Australian cricket captain for Kim Hughes

  • Mar 24 Columbia flown on carrier aircraft lands at Kennedy Space Center
  • Mar 25 AIAW Women's Basketball Tournament, Old Dominion beat Louisiana Tech 75-65 in Greensboro

Sports History

Mar 25 Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova retains her WTA Tour Championship with a 6–3, 3–6, 6–2 win over American teenager Tracey Austin in NYC

  • Mar 25 Major riot at Bourda prevents day's play in WSC Supertest

PGA Players Championship

Mar 25 PGA Tournament Players Championship, Sawgrass CC: Lanny Wadkins wins in windy conditions, 5 strokes ahead of runner-up Tom Watson

  • Mar 25 Space Shuttle Columbia arrives at Kennedy Space Centre to prepare for its first launch, which would eventually happen in 1981
  • Mar 26 41st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Michigan State beats Indiana State, 75-64; marks start of rivalry between future Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Larry Bird; highest-rated game in history of televised college basketball

Treaty of Interest

Mar 26 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sign the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C.

  • Mar 26 Michigan State Spartans snaps Indiana State's 33-game winning streak
  • Mar 26 MLB San Diego Padres & San Francisco Giants announce plans to play exhibition series in Tokyo but Giant players reject it
  • Mar 26 OPEC makes full 14.5% oil price increase for 1979 effective on April 1
  • Mar 27 US Supreme Court rules 8-1 that cops can't randomly stop cars
  • Mar 28 A partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear plant in the US results in the release of radioactive gas and iodine into the atmosphere but no deaths
  • Mar 28 British government of Prime Minister Jim Callaghan (Labour Party) falls
  • Mar 28 Frank Lazarus & Dick Vosburgh's stage musical comedy "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in Ukraine" premieres at the Mayfair Theatre, London, England
  • Mar 29 Andrew Hilditch given out handled the ball v Pakistan at WACA
  • Mar 29 Caryl Churchill's "Cloud Nine" premieres in London
  • Mar 29 Delhi beats Karnataka by 399 runs to win Cricket's Ranji Trophy
  • Mar 29 Last day of Test cricket for Pakistani cricketer Mushtaq Mohammad

Palace of Westminster

Mar 30 Airey Neave, a British politician, is killed by a car bomb as he exits the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claims responsibility.

  • Mar 31 133rd Grand National: Maurice Barnes victorious aboard Rubstic; first Scottish-trained horse to win the event