On This Day

Historical Events in February 1979

Historic Event

Feb 1 Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile

  • Feb 1 Patricia Hearst is released from prison for bank robbery
  • Feb 1 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 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 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 End of last 3+day D/N game for 15 yrs (WSC, SCG)
  • Feb 4 29th NBA All-Star Game, Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Mi: West beats East, 134-129; MVP: David Thompson, Denver Nuggets, SG
  • 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 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 8 Denis Sassou-Nguesso becomes the President of the Republic of the Congo for the first time
  • 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 Nigeria amends constitution
  • Feb 9 UK Football club Nottingham Forest makes £1m transfer deal
  • Feb 9 New York City premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based film "Hardcore"
  • 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 11 43 million watch "Elvis!" on ABC
  • Feb 11 Iran's premier Bakhtiar resigns, Ayatollah Khomeini seizes power
  • Feb 12 Kosmos 1076, 1st Soviet oceanographic satellite, launched
  • Feb 12 Bakhtiar resigns as prime minister of Iran after losing support of the military
  • Feb 13 Washington State's Hood Canal Bridge breaks up in windstorm
  • Feb 13 Formation of Guardian Angels crime fighters in New York City
  • 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 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 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk
  • Feb 16 Los Angeles premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based film "Hardcore"
  • Feb 17 China invades Vietnam, marking the start of the Sino-Vietnamese War

World Record

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

  • Feb 18 -52°F (-47°C), Old Forge, New York (state record)
  • 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 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 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 Japan launches Hakucho X-ray satellite & Corsa-B (550/580 km)
  • Feb 21 2 Iowa girls HS basketball teams play 4 scoreless quarters game was won 4-2 in 4th overtime period

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 Last total eclipse of Sun in 20th century for continental US
  • Feb 26 CBS' premiere of NYC sitcom "Flatbush", which received many derision phone calls about it from Brooklynites to CBS
  • Feb 28 Ernest Thompson's "On Golden Pond" premieres in NYC