On This Day

Historical Events in October 1979

  • Oct 1 Nigeria adopts constitution, Alhaji Shagari becomes president
  • Oct 1 Pope John Paul II begins his first papal visit to the USA in Boston
  • Oct 1 RKO radio network begins operation
  • Oct 1 US returns Canal Zone (but not the canal) to Panama after 75 years
  • Oct 1 Shehu Shagari becomes first and only President of Nigeria's Second Republic

Papal Visit

Oct 2 Pope John Paul II visits New York City, and at the U.N. denounces all concentration camps and torture

  • Oct 4 Hugh Leonards "Life" premieres in Dublin
  • Oct 4 USSR performs nuclear test
  • Oct 4 Typhoon Tip forms near Pohnpei in Micronesia, would go on to be the most intense and largest tropical cyclone then ever recorded
  • Oct 6 Harry Drake set long distance footbow shot record of 2,006 yds 1'9"
  • Oct 6 Pope John Paul II is 1st Pope to visit The White House, meeting with President Jimmy Carter in Washington, D.C.
  • Oct 6 MLB American League Championship: Baltimore Orioles beat California Angels, 3 games to 1
  • Oct 7 "1940s Radio Hour" opens at St James Theater NYC for 105 performances
  • Oct 7 Musical review "Eubie!", based on the songs of composer Eubie Blake, closes at Ambassador Theater, NYC, after 439 performances
  • Oct 7 Cleveland Browns' Dino Hall sets club records with 9 kickoff returns
  • Oct 7 USSR performs underground nuclear test

Sports History

Oct 7 Frank Mahovlich formally retires from the NHL after a failed comeback attempt with the Detroit Red Wings

  • Oct 7 Ferrari driver Jody Scheckter retires with tyre trouble in US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen; becomes first South African to claim Formula 1 World Drivers Championship; wins by 4 points from race winner Gilles Villeneuve
  • Oct 8 Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields and Al Dubin's musical "Sugar Babies" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater, NYC; runs for 1208 performances
  • Oct 9 Howard Stern begins broadcasting on WCCC in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Oct 10 Rock band Fleetwood Mac gets a star in Hollywood
  • Oct 10 Nordiques' Real Cloutier sets NHL record of a hat trick in 1st game
  • Oct 10 Panama assumes sovereignty over Canal Area (ie Canal Zone)
  • Oct 10 Recorded trace of snow in Central Park NYC
  • Oct 11 "Most Happy Fella" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 53 performances
  • Oct 11 German DR frees dissidents Rudolf Bahro & Nico Hubner
  • Oct 11 Allan McLeod Cormack & Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield win Nobel Prize for medicine for developing CAT scan
  • Oct 12 Typhoon Tip becomes the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded with peak sustained winds of 305km/h (190mph) and a wind diameter of 2,220km (1,380mi)
  • Oct 12 The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in Guam, in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip

NBA Record

Oct 12 Boston Celtics guard Chris Ford scores first 3-point basket in NBA history in 1st quarter of 114-106 win v Houston at Boston Garden; game also marks debut of Boston rookie Larry Bird

Sports History

Oct 12 Future Basketball Hall of Fame forward Magic Johnson makes his debut for Los Angeles Lakers at the San Diego Clippers; Lakers win, 103-102

  • Oct 14 100,000 demonstrate in Bonn against nuclear energy
  • Oct 14 Flyers start 35 game unbeaten streak beating Toronto 4-3

Sports History

Oct 14 NHL's greatest scorer Wayne Gretzky scores his 1st NHL goal

  • Oct 14 1st Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. by over 100,000 people

Television Premiere

Oct 14 NBC premiere of U.S. TV adaptation of Helen Keller's life story "The Miracle Worker"

  • Oct 14 NHL NY Rangers retire Rod Gilbert's uniform number 7, the first number to be retired by the team
  • Oct 15 1st Monday night game from NYC, Jets beat Vikings 14-7 (Shea Stad)
  • Oct 15 Chinese premier Hwa Kwofeng visits Paris
  • Oct 15 Military coup in El Salvador: President Carlos Romero flees

Sports History

Oct 15 NY Knicks retire 2nd number, # 10, Walt Frazier

Film & TV History

Oct 16 Comedy sketch show "Not the Nine O'Clock News" debuts starring Rowan Atkinson, Chris Langham, Pamela Stephenson and Mel Smith on BBC 2

  • Oct 16 First global telenovela Mexican "Los ricos tambiĆ©n lloran" (The Rich Also Cry) premieres, second foreign series to be screened in the Soviet Union
  • Oct 16 Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to Theodore Schultz and William Arthur Lewis for economic development research, particularly for developing countries [1]
  • Oct 17 "Beatlemania" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 920 performances
  • Oct 17 D Bautista of Mexico completes 20,000 m walk in record 1:20:06.8

Nobel Prize

Oct 17 Mother Teresa of Calcutta awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Sports History

Oct 17 Baseball World Series: Pittsburgh Pirates beat Baltimore Orioles, 4-1 at Memorial Stadium for 4 games to 3 series win; MVP: Pirates 1B Willie Stargell

Historic Event

Oct 17 US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating Department of Education

  • Oct 18 "Beatlemania" opens in London

Historic Event

Oct 18 Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini orders mass executions to stop

  • Oct 18 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • Oct 18 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Music History

Oct 20 Bob Dylan appears on "Saturday Night Live"

Historic Event

Oct 20 John F. Kennedy Library dedicated in Boston

  • Oct 20 John Tate beats Gerrie Coetze in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

New York City Marathon

Oct 21 New York City Marathon: Bill Rodgers wins 4th straight men's title in 2:11:42; defending champion Grete Waitz of Norway takes out women's event in 2:27:33

Historic Event

Oct 21 Israeli minister of Foreign affairs Moshe Dayan resigns

  • Oct 21 Ozzie Newsome begins NFL streak of 150 consecutive game receptions
  • Oct 22 "One Mo' Time" with Vernel Bagners premieres in NYC

Historic Event

Oct 22 Deposed Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi arrives in NYC for medical treatment

  • Oct 22 Walt Disney World's 100-millionth guest

Sports History

Oct 24 Billy Martin punches a marshmallow salesman, puts job in jeopardy

Music History

Oct 24 Guinness Book of Records presents Paul McCartney with a rhodium disc as all-time best selling singer-songwriter

  • Oct 25 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Oct 26 Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea is assassinated by KCIA head Kim Jae-kyu. Choi Kyu-ha becomes the acting President; Kim is executed the following May.
  • Oct 27 Islanders score 2 goals within 6 seconds 3 goals within 44 seconds
  • Oct 27 St Vincent & Grenadines becomes independent of UK (National Day)
  • Oct 27 Voluntary Euthanasia Society publishes how-to-do-it suicide guide
  • Oct 28 Dick Howser (best Yank manager win-lost pct .636) returns to New York, replacing Billy Martin
  • Oct 28 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Oct 29 Billy Martin fired as Yankee manager (2nd time)
  • Oct 30 NASA launches space vehicle S-203
  • Oct 30 Richard Arrington, Jr. is elected the first African American mayor in Birmingham, Alabama

Film Release

Oct 30 Tamla/Motown releases Stevie Wonder's documentary film soundtrack "Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants"

  • Oct 31 Mike Flanagan, wins AL Cy Young Award
  • Oct 31 US DC-10 crashes at Mexico-City, 74 killed