Historical Events in January 1979

  • 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.