On This Day

Historical Events in 1981 (Part 2)

Events 201 - 400 of 764

  • Mar 28 France performs nuclear test
  • Mar 28 Gabi Schonbrunn skates ladies world record 3 km (4:21.70)
  • Mar 28 Viv Richards scores century in the 1st Test at his home Antigua
  • Mar 28 Yevgeni Kulikov skates world record 500m (36.91 secs)

Sports History

Mar 28 Martina Navratilova beats 16 year old American tennis prodigy Andrea Jaeger 6-3, 7-6 in the final of the WTA Tour Championships at Madison Square Garden, NYC

  • Mar 29 Peter Stone's musical "Woman of the Year" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 770 performances
  • Mar 29 Tiina Lehtola ski jumps female record 110m
  • Mar 29 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Historic Event

Mar 29 Jorge Rafael Videla resigns as President and dictator of Argentina, handing the reins to Roberto Viola

  • Mar 29 AIAW Women's Basketball Championship, Louisiana Tech beat Tennessee 79-59 in Eugene

Sports History

Mar 30 43rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana beats North Carolina, 63-50; Hoosiers' future Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas is named Tournament Most Outstanding Player

Ronald Reagan is Shot

Mar 30 US President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, three others are also wounded

  • Mar 30 "Chariots of Fire" directed by Hugh Hudson and starring Ben Cross and Ian Charleson premieres at a Royal Command Film Performance (Best Picture 1982)
  • Mar 31 1st Golden Raspberry Awards: "Can't Stop the Music" wins

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 Henry Cisneros becomes 1st Mexican-American mayor (San Antonio)
  • 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 5 Philadelphia Flyers amass a record 2,621 penalty minutes
  • Apr 6 Yugoslav government sends troops to Kosovo
  • Apr 6 Belgian government of Mark Eyskens forms
  • Apr 7 Willem Klein mentally extracts 13th root of a 100-digit # in 29 sec

Album Release

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

  • 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

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 Wash Post Janet Cooke wins Pulitzer Prize (later admits story a hoax)
  • 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 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 20 "Fire and Smoke" single released by Earl Thomas Conley (Billboard Song of the Year 1981)
  • 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 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 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

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 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 25 More than 100 workers are exposed to radiation during repairs of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, Japan
  • Apr 26 "Copperfield" closes at ANTA Theater, NYC, after 13 performances

Music History

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

  • Apr 27 1st female soccer official is hired by NASL
  • Apr 27 Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse
  • Apr 28 Galician current Statute of Autonomy
  • Apr 28 "We’re Fighting Back" premieres on CBS in the US, based on the formation of the Guardian Angels

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

Sports History

May 1 Tennis player Billie Jean King acknowledges a lesbian relationship with Marilyn Barnett - becoming first prominent sportswoman to come out

  • May 1 Harrison Williams (Sen-D-NJ) convicted on FBI Abscam charges
  • May 1 Radio Shack releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3
  • May 2 107th Kentucky Derby: Jorge Velásquez on Pleasant Colony wins in 2:02
  • May 2 Radio Shack re-releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3 with 2 fixes
  • May 3 "Can-Can" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • May 3 "Moony, Shapiro Songbook" opens & closes at Morosco Theater NYC
  • May 4 Rockline premieres on KLOS FM in Los Angeles
  • May 4 Silvana Cruciata runs 15k female world record (49:44.0)
  • May 4 Yankee Ron Davis strikes out 8 consecutive Angels, ran record of 13 strikeouts of last 14 faced, also saved Gene Nelsons 1st win, 4-2
  • May 5 16th and final MLB pre-season Mayor's Trophy Game prior to inter-league play; NY Mets beat NY Yankees, 4-1 to hold 8-7-1 edge
  • May 5 After 66 days on hunger strike, 26 year old Provisional IRA member and British MP Bobby Sands dies in the Maze Prision. Nine more hunger strikers die in the next 3 months.
  • May 6 "Inacent Black" opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 14 performances
  • May 6 US expels Libyan diplomats
  • May 8 Ron Davis pitches 10th consecutive strike out, 1 short of record
  • May 9 Kazimiroff Blvd in Bronx named for a Bronx historian

The Motherland Monument

May 9 The Motherland Monument at 62 m (203 ft) high is opened in Kyiv, Ukraine in ceremony attended by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev

Historic Event

May 10 François Mitterrand defeats Valery Giscard d'Estang for Presidency of France

  • May 10 Montreal Expo Charlie Lee no-hits SF Giants, 4-0

Music Premiere

May 11 Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats" (based on poetry by T. S. Eliot) directed by Trevor Nunn first premieres in the West End, London

  • May 12 "Lena Horne: Lady, Music" opens at Nederlander, NYC: runs for 333 performances
  • May 12 NY Islanders tie their own record with two shorthanded playoff goals in a period vs Minnesota North Stars
  • May 13 Dinamo Tbilisi wins 21st European Cup Winner's Cup against Carl Zeiss Jena of East Germany 2-1 in Düsseldorf

Assassination Attempt

May 13 Pope John Paul II is shot and critically wounded by Turkish gunman Mehemet Ali Agca in St Peter's Square, Vatican City

  • May 14 35th NBA Championship: Bost Celtics beat Houston Rockets, 4 games to 2
  • May 14 NASA launches space vehicle S-192

Sports History

May 15 "Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" airs

Music Single

May 15 George Harrison releases single "All Those Years Ago" in UK: the song was a tribute to John Lennon, and featured Ringo Starr on drums, and Paul and Linda McCartney on backing vocals

  • May 15 Len Barker of Cleveland pitches perfect game vs Toronto
  • May 15 SCTV Network 90, sequel to Second City Television, debuts on NBC
  • May 15 Soyuz 40 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Romanian) to Salyut 6

#1 in the Charts

May 16 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks

  • May 16 106th Preakness: Jorge Velásquez aboard Pleasant Colony wins in 1:54.6
  • May 16 Houston shortstop Craig Reynolds hits 3 triples as Astros beat Chicago Cubs, 6-1
  • May 17 "Inacent Black" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 14 performances
  • May 17 Islanders score 5 power play goals against Flyers in a playoff
  • May 19 Pirate Jim Bibby gives up a leadoff single to Brave Terry Harper, then retires next 27 batters
  • May 19 5 British Army soldiers are killed when their armoured vehicle is ripped apart by a Provisional Irish Republican Army roadside bomb near Bessbrook, County Armagh
  • May 21 François Mitterrand becomes president of France
  • May 21 Kim Seelbrede, (Ohio), crowned 30th Miss USA
  • May 21 Stanley Cup Final, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY: NY Islanders win back-to-back titles; beat Minnesota North Stars, 5-1 for 4 games to 1 series win

Music History

May 21 Reggae musician Bob Marley receives a Jamaican state funeral

  • May 22 Soyuz 40 returns to Earth
  • May 23 Peter Sutcliffe is convicted for the "Yorkshsire Ripper" murders of 13 women at the Old Bailey in London and sentenced to life sentences for each
  • May 23 Barcelona fascists take 200 people hostage
  • May 23 NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 501

Sports History

May 23 Puerto Rican boxer Wilfred Benítez (22) becomes the youngest 3-division world champion in history by knocking out WBC World Super Welterweight champion Maurice Hope in 12 rounds in Las Vegas

  • May 24 Indianapolis 500: Bobby Unser crosses finish line ahead of Mario Andretti; Unser disqualified for pit lane infraction, later reinstated for his 3rd race victory
  • May 24 Hostage situation ends at Central Bank in Barcelona, Spain

Baseball Record

May 25 Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski (41) is 4th to play 3,000 MLB baseball games (Cobb, Musial & Aaron)

  • May 25 Daniel Goodwin scales outside of Chicago's Sears Tower in 7 hours
  • May 25 Rangers' Bill Stein sets AL record with 7 consecutive pinch hits
  • May 26 Marine jet crashes on flight deck of USS Nimitz, killing 14
  • May 26 The Italian Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani and his coalition cabinet resign following a scandal over membership of the pseudo-masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due)
  • May 27 John Hinckley attempts suicide by overdosing on Tylenol
  • May 27 Lenny Randle tries to blow a slow roller foul but umpire says no
  • May 27 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 27 34th Cannes Film Festival: "Man of Iron" directed by Andrzej Wajda wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 27 25th European Cup: Liverpool beats Real Madrid 1-0 at Paris
  • May 29 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 30 "Nightline" extends from 4 nights to 5 nights a week (Friday)
  • May 30 Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman is shot by group of rebel officers
  • May 30 LA Dodgers are quickest to get 1,000,000 attendance in a season in only 22 games

Film & TV History

Jun 2 Barbara Walters famously asks Katharine Hepburn “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”

  • Jun 3 Pope John Paul II released from hospital after assassination attempt
  • Jun 4 54th National Spelling Bee: Paige Pipkin wins spelling sarcophagus

Sports History

Jun 5 Astro's Nolan Ryan passes Early Wynn as all-time walk leader (1,777)

  • Jun 5 AIDS Epidemic officially begins when US Centers for Disease Control reports on pneumonia affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles
  • Jun 5 George Harrison releases "Somewhere in England", his ninth studio album, includes John Lennon tribute "All Those Years Ago" (Featuring Paul and Ringo)
  • Jun 5 World's first today in history program with editable data "TODAY", invented by Michael Butler runs for the first time on a mainframe computer
  • Jun 6 113th Belmont: George Martens aboard Summing wins in 2:29
  • Jun 6 Maya Yang Lin wins competition to design the Vietnam War Memorial
  • Jun 6 A passenger train travelling between Mansi and Saharsa, India, jumps the tracks at a bridge crossing the Bagmati river, killing 268 officially with another 300 or more missing

French Open Women's Tennis

Jun 6 French Open Women's Tennis: Czech teenager Hana Mandlíková beats Sylvia Hanika of Germany 6-2, 6-4 for her only French singles crown

  • Jun 7 35th Tony Awards: "Amadeus" & "42nd Street" win
  • Jun 7 Israeli F-15/F-16 destroys alleged Iraqi plutonium production facility

French Open Men's Tennis

Jun 7 French Open Men's Tennis: Björn Borg of Sweden wins 11th and final career Grand Slam title; Open era record 6th French title; beats Ivan Lendl 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

  • Jun 8 15th Music City News Country Awards: Mandrell Sisters win
  • Jun 8 Seattle Mariners draft Mike Moore #1
  • Jun 10 IRA's Joseph Doherty escapes from Crumlin Road Jail

Sports History

Jun 10 Sebastian Coe of England sets 800m record (1:41.73) in Florence

  • Jun 10 Seven Brothers Square in Bronx named honoring 7 Santini Bro Moving Co
  • Jun 11 Cannibal Issei Sagawa kills Dutch student
  • Jun 11 Mariners beat Orioles 8-2 at Kingdome, then players go on strike
  • Jun 11 Richter Scale 6.9 magnitude Golbaf earthquake in Iran, kills at least 2,000

Film Premiere

Jun 12 "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (the first Indiana Jones film) directed by Stephen Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford premieres

  • Jun 12 Baseball players begin a 50 day strike, their 3rd strike
  • Jun 12 Larry Holmes TKOs Leon Spinks in 3 for WBC heavyweight boxing title
  • Jun 12 Only candidate Hassan Gouled Aptidon wins Djibouti Presidential election
  • Jun 13 39 Unification church couples wed in Germany

Historic Event

Jun 13 Teenager fires 6 blank rounds at Queen Elizabeth II

Historic Event

Jun 13 Tom Snyder interviews Charles Manson on "Tomorrow"

LPGA Championship

Jun 14 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, Jack Nicklaus GC: Donna Caponi Young sinks 15 foot birdie putt on 18th to beat Jerilyn Britz and Pat Meyers by 1 stroke

  • Jun 14 No Nukes concert at Hollywood Bowl
  • Jun 17 Battle between Muslims & Christians in Cairo, 14 killed
  • Jun 18 Kimberley Ann Smith, of NC, 17, crowned America's Junior Miss
  • Jun 18 US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart retires
  • Jun 18 Test cricket debut of Terry Alderman, v England at Trent Bridge
  • Jun 18 Vaccine to prevent hoof & mouth disease announced
  • Jun 18 The AIDS epidemic is formally recognized by medical professionals in San Francisco, California
  • Jun 19 Boeing commercial Chinook 2-rotor helicopter is certified
  • Jun 19 European Space Agency's Ariane carries 2 satellites into orbit
  • Jun 19 Heaviest known orange (2.5 kg) exhibited, Nelspruit, South Africa
  • Jun 19 India's APPLE satellite, 1st to be stabilized on 3 axes, launched
  • Jun 19 Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England opens: Hawkwind and Ginger Baker headline; other performers include New Order, Taj Mahal, Aswad, Gordon Giltrap, Judie Tzuke, Gong, Matumbi, Robert Hunter, Supercharge, and Talisman
  • Jun 20 Guitarist Gerry Cott quits Boomtown Rats
  • Jun 20 Mudjahedin uprises against Iran regime
  • Jun 20 Pope John Paul II hospitalized for 55 days for infection
  • Jun 21 12-bottle case of 1979 Napamedoc Cabernet wine auctioned for $24,000
  • Jun 21 US Open Men's Golf, Merion GC: David Graham wins his second major title and becomes the first Australian to win the US Open, 3 strokes ahead of runners-up George Burns and Bill Rogers
  • Jun 21 Bread riots in Casablanca, Morocco, kill 66 people (government figure vs opposition estimate of 637)
  • Jun 21 Socialists and communists win French parliamentary election
  • Jun 22 2 Habash terrorists attack a travel agency in Greece killing 2
  • Jun 22 Iranian president Bani Sadr deposed

Sports History

Jun 22 John McEnroe's famous 'You cannot be serious' rant in 1st round win over Tom Gullikson at Wimbledon

Music History

Jun 22 Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to killing former Beatle John Lennon

  • Jun 23 "This Was Burlesque" opens at Princess Theater NYC for 28 performances
  • Jun 23 Longest game in Professional Baseball: Pawtucket Red Sox finally beat Rochester Red Wings 3-2 in 33 innings (game began 18th April)
  • Jun 23 Amanda Maccaro becomes 1st American to win Russian Ballet Competition
  • Jun 23 French government of Mauroy forms, with 4 communists
  • Jun 23 NYC Mayor Koch turns down a $7,500 offer to perform comedy