December 1978 in History

Events in History

  • Dec 1 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Event of Interest

Dec 1 US President Jimmy Carter more than doubles national park system size

  • Dec 2 Protesters chant "Allah is great" at an Anti-Shah protest in Tehran, Iran
  • Dec 4 Dianne Feinstein is named as San Francisco's 1st female and Jewish mayor

Event of Interest

Dec 4 Dutch war criminal Pieter Menten freed

  • Dec 4 Pioneer Venus 1 goes into orbit around Venus
  • Dec 5 Pioneer Venus 1 begins orbiting Venus
  • Dec 5 Sam Shepard's "Buried Child" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 6 Spain adopts constitution
  • Dec 9 Pioneer Venus 2 drops 5 probes into atmosphere of Venus
  • Dec 11 6 masked men bound 10 employees at Lufthansa cargo area at NYC Kennedy Airport and made off with $5.8M in cash & jewelry; all of the participants and some associates were later killed on order of the alleged organized crime mastermind, loot never recovered
  • Dec 14 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • Dec 14 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 15 Saint Maarten Patriotic Movement (SPM) forms under W. James
  • Dec 16 Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first post-Depression era city to default on its loans, owing $14,000,000 to local banks.

Event of Interest

Dec 16 Ronald Reagan denounces President Jimmy Carter's recognition of People's Republic of China

  • Dec 17 OPEC raises oil prices by 18% and agrees on a 14.5% petroleum price increase for 1979, to be implemented quarterly
  • Dec 17 Referendum approves new constitution of Rwanda
  • Dec 17 The Workers' Party of Jamaica is founded by Trevor Munroe
  • Dec 18 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Dec 18 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Dec 19 France performs nuclear test

Event of Interest

Dec 20 H. R. Haldeman, Nixon's White House Chief of Staff released from jail

Murder of Interest

Dec 21 Police in Des Plaines, Illinois, arrest John Wayne Gacy for murder

  • Dec 22 Thailand adopts constitution
  • Dec 26 India's former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi is released from jail
  • Dec 27 Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship as King Juan Carlos ratifies Spain's 1st democratic constitution

Event of Interest

Dec 29 Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi asks Shapour Bahktiar to form a civilian government

  • Dec 29 Spain constitution goes into effect
  • Dec 30 Ohio State dismisses Woody Hayes as its football coach
  • Dec 31 CIA director, Admiral Stansfield Turner retires from the Navy
  • Dec 31 Iran shah names Chapour Bakhtiar premier
  • Dec 31 Taiwan's final day of diplomatic relations with US

Birthdays in History

  • Dec 5 Neil Druckmann, Israeli-American writer & co-president Naughty Dog, born in Israel
  • Dec 7 Chad Dukes, American radio personality, born in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Dec 10 Donna Williams, co-founder of Neopets
  • Dec 13 B.J. Penn, American mixed martial artist, born in Kailua, Hawaii
  • Dec 16 Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japanese director (Drive my Car), born in Kanagawa, Japan

Weddings in History

Michael Crichton

Dec 31 Best-selling author Michael Crichton (36) weds lawyer Kathleen St. Johns

Deaths in History

  • Dec 4 Samuel Abraham Gouldsmit, Dutch-American physicist (formulated concept of electron spin), dies at 76
  • Dec 7 Alexander Wetmore, American ornithologist (b. 1886)

Golda MeirGolda Meir (1898-1978)

Dec 8 Israeli teacher, stateswoman and 4th Prime Minister of Israel (1969-74) known as the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics, dies in of lymphatic cancer at 80

  • Dec 10 Miura Isshu, Zen teacher, Hakuin Rinzai line, dies at 75
  • Dec 11 Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist and (1955 Nobel Prize for Chemistry - for work on sulphur compounds), dies at 77
  • Dec 13 Frits Slomp, Dutch pastor and resistance fighter (aided people in hiding during WWII), dies at 80
  • Dec 14 Salvador de Madariaga y Rojo, Spanish writer (Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards) and diplomat, dies at 92
  • Dec 21 Roger Caillois, French writer and scholar (Les Jeux et les Hommes, championed South American writers), dies at 65
  • Dec 24 Franz Johannes Weinrich [Heinrich Lerse], German writer (Himmlisches), dies at 81
  • Dec 27 Houari Boumédiènne, President of Algeria (1965-78), dies at 51
  • Dec 28 Harry Winston, US jeweler for the "rich & famous", dies at 82