Events in History in January 1981

  • Jan 1 Greece is 10th country to join European Economic Community
  • Jan 1 International Year for the Disabled begins
  • Jan 1 Palau (Trust Territory of Pacific Is) becomes self-governing
  • Jan 1 Roger Smith becomes CEO of General Motors
  • Jan 2 Mary Terstegge Meagher swims female record 200 m butterfly (2:05.65)
  • Jan 2 Sylvester Clarke knocks out spectator with brick, WI v Pakistan
  • Jan 3 Greg Chappell scores 204 v India at the SCG
  • Jan 3 Mary Terstegge Meagher swims female record 100m butterfly (58.91)
  • Jan 4 "Frankenstein" opens & closes on Broadway
  • Jan 4 British police arrest Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper"
  • Jan 4 "Red Right 88", trailing 14–12 Clevelands Browns attempt an end zone pass play (Red Right 88) and a game-winning field goal in the final minute, but pass intercepted by Raiders safety Mike Davis and Oakland wins
  • Jan 5 "Nightline" with Ted Koppel extended from 20 mins to 30 mins
  • Jan 5 British police arrest Peter Sutcliffe, a truck driver later convicted of "Yorkshire Ripper" murders of 13 women
  • Jan 6 50th hat trick in Islander history-John Tonelli scored 5 goals
  • Jan 8 India all out 63 in one-day international v Australia
  • Jan 8 Reds become last team to sign a free agent (Larry Biitner)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 8 Isabel Allende begins a letter to her dying grandfather that will become her first novel "The House of the Spirits"

  • Jan 9 Francisco Balsamao elected President of Portugal
  • Jan 10 El Salvador guerrilla group FMLN opens "general offensive"
  • Jan 10 John Severin sets 100-mi unicycle speed record, 9 h 21 m
  • Jan 11 Palau adopts constitution
  • Jan 11 British team led by Ranulph Fiennes completes longest & fastest crossing of Antarctica, reaching Scott base after 75 days (2,500 miles)
  • Jan 12 -35°F (-37°C), Chester, Massachusetts (state record)
  • Jan 13 Barbara Sonntag, Colo, crochets record 147 stitches/min for 1/2 hour
  • Jan 13 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to May Swenson & Howard Nemerov
  • Jan 14 US Federal Communications Commission frees stations to air as many commercials an hour as they wish

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 15 Pope John Paul II receives Lech Wałęsa and Solidarity delegation at the Vatican

Polish Politician and Labor Activist Lech Wałęsa
Polish Politician and Labor Activist
Lech Wałęsa
264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • Jan 16 John Lennon releases "Woman" in UK
  • Jan 16 Protestant gunmen shoot & wound Bernadette Devlin McAliskey & husband
  • Jan 17 Philippino president Marcos ends state of siege
  • Jan 18 Iran accepts US offer of $7.9 billion in frozen assets
  • Jan 18 Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield become the first two people to BASE jump from objects in all four categories (buildings, cliffs, bridges, antennae) after parachuting off a Houston skyscraper
  • Jan 19 US & Iran sign agreement to release 52 American hostages
  • Jan 20 Adm Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret), ends term as 12th director of CIA
  • Jan 20 Frank C. Carlucci, ends his term as deputy director of CIA
  • Jan 20 Islander Glenn Resch's 25th & last shut-out opponent-Flames 5-0

BattleIran Hostage Crisis

Jan 20 The US diplomats and citizens held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran are released and begin their journey home after 444 days
More >>

  • Jan 21 Bernhard Goetz is assaulted for 1st time on a New York City subway train
  • Jan 21 Norman Stronge and his son James (both former Ulster Unionist Members of Parliament) are assassinated by the Irish Republican Army at their home Tynan Abbey, which is then burnt down
  • Jan 22 40th Islander shut-out opponent-3-0 vs Red Wings-Billy Smith 15th
  • Jan 23 1st Richard Nixon museum opens in San Clemente California
  • Jan 23 Jochem Bird elected mayor of West Berlin
  • Jan 24 Kim Hughes scores 213 v India at Adelaide
  • Jan 25 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived back in US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 Mao's widow Jiang Qing sentenced to death

Chinese Communist & Wife of Mao Zedong Jiang Qing
Chinese Communist & Wife of Mao Zedong
Jiang Qing
  • Jan 26 Sandeep Patil scores memorable 174 v Australia at Adelaide Oval

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 28 William J. Casey becomes 13th director of CIA (until 1987)

CIA Director William J. Casey
CIA Director
William J. Casey
  • Jan 31 Gaetan Boucher skates world record 1000m (1:13.39)