01 – In Northern Quebec (Canada), a fire kills 45 people at the Opemiska Club after a young man sets fire to party decorations as a prank.
02 – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports that 38 of the 68 functioning nuclear power plants in the US have failed to meet the January 1 deadlines for changes in equipment and procedures. These improvements were mandated in response to the accident at Three Mile Island.
02 – Early Rock & Roll artist Larry Williams dies in Los Angeles from a single gunshot through his right temple. Police say Williams took his own life, but friends think he was murdered (b. 10 May 1935).
03 – Author of Born Free and naturalist Joy Adamson is murdered at a game park near Nairobi, Kenya.
03 – Director Alfred Hitchcock receives a knighthood.
07 – Indira Gandhi is re-elected in India by a landslide vote.
08 – Soviet troops reportedly in control of most of Afghanistan. President Carter describes the situation as the greatest threat to peace since World War II.
09 – 63 people are beheaded in Saudi Arabia for attacking the Grand Mosque in Mecca last November.
14 – Two hijackers hold hostages aboard an Alitalia airliner in Palermo.
15 – The UN General Assembly, NATO and the European Community call for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. The USSR remains unmoved.
16 – Paul McCartney begins ten days in a Japanese prison after half a pound of marijuana is found in his suitcase at Tokyo airport. After the ten days behind bars, he is deported back to Britain.
17 – IRA claims responsibility for the bombing of a commuter train near Belfast.
18 – The price of gold rockets to $100 US an ounce.
19 – On trial for printing $1 million in counterfeit $100 US bills, Sunny Brunson swears he intended to wallpaper his bathroom walls with the funny money, not spend it.
20 – The Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 in Super Bowl XIV. Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw is named MVP.
20 – Many people die after a grandstand collapses at a bullring in Sincelejo, Colombia.
20 – Yugoslav President Tito has left leg amputated.
22 – Dissident Russian nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov is stripped of honours and exiled from Moscow after criticising the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
23 – Yuri Stefanov of the Soviet Gitlis Academic Ballet defects during a performance in Italy.
25 – Several men claiming to be Black Muslims hijack Delta Flight 1116 from Atlanta to New York City and reroute the plane to Cuba, where they are arrested.
26 – Frank Sinatra performs in Rio de Janeiro to a crowd of 175,000.
27 – Rhodesia opposition leader Robert Mugabe makes a triumphant return to his home country after five years in exile.
29 – After hiding for three months, six Americans escape Tehran, Iran. The US Embassy had been seized leaving the Americans trapped in Iran. In collaboration with the Canadian Embassy, the Americans were able to leave posing as Canadian diplomats.
29 – Comedian Jimmy Durante dies at age 86 in Los Angeles.
30 – Professor Longhair, King of New Orleans piano, dies (b. December 19 1918).
31 – Terrorists seize the Spanish embassy in Guatemala City. 41 are killed when police storm the compound and fire sweeps through the building.
01 – After a drug overdose, Ann Beverly (mother of Sid Vicious) is hospitalised.
01 – Wishbone Ash appear live at Croydon Fairfield Halls.
02 – A Senator from New Jersey, a representative from Pennsylvania, and the governor-elect of Louisiana are among the politicians accused of accepting bribes in two FBI undercover operations known as Abscam and Brilab.
02 – Iggy Pop plays Aylesbury Friars.
04 – Studio 54 owners Rubell and Schrager enjoy a big farewell bash before surrendering to authorities to begin 3½ year prison sentences for tax evasion.
05 – An avalanche buries the Italian alpine village of Cervinia.
06 – Bolshoi Ballet teacher Sulamith Messerer and son Mikhail defect while on tour in Japan.
07 – Already convicted of two murders, Ted Bundy is convicted today of the murder of Kimberly Diane Leach.
07 – Police wind up a £1 million publicity campaign to catch the Yorkshire Ripper after little useful information has been collected.
08 – Two small planes collide in midair over LAX.
08 – David Bowie and his wife Angie are granted a divorce under Swiss law after 10 years of marriage. Angie’s settlement is $750,000 over ten years.
08 – The Ramones appear at Colchester SU Dance Hall.
10 – Police raid the Queen’s Hotel in Southsea (UK) where The Clash are staying. They take away various ‘substances’ for analysis. Joe Strummer is found in bed reading The Bible.
12 – US Serial killer Ted Bundy is given a third death sentence by an Orlando judge.
12 – In Italy, the Red Brigade murder Judge Vittorio Bachelet after he gives a lecture on terrorism.
12 – Actress Christina Ricci is born.
13 – Thin Lizzy leader Phil Lynott marries Caroline Crowther, daughter of entertainer Leslie Crowther.
13 – The Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, NY, formally open.
13 – Kristy Powell, American Olympic gymnast, is born.
13 – The Clash at Southampton Top Rank.
14 – With atypical St Valentine’s Day romance, Lou Reed marries Sylvia Morales at a ceremony in his Greenwich Village apartment in New York. It is Reed’s second marriage.
14 – The Tourists perform at the Ipswich Gaumont.
17 – Buddy Baker wins the Daytona 500.
17 – Composer Jerry Fielding dies.
18 – PM Pierre Trudeau retains power in Canada.
18 – Alison Rachel Fitch, New Zealand Olympic swimmer, is born.
18 – The Pretenders at Tiffanys, Edinburgh.
19 – AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott, dies in London. He had spent the night on a drinking spree watching Protex at a Camden Town Music Machine gig and had fallen asleep in a car in Dulwich, South London. Cause of death is given as “acute alcoholic poisoning”. Scott is flown back to Australia and cremated.
19 – Squeeze play the Shrewsbury Music Hall.
20 – Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of President Teddy Roosevelt, dies at age 96.
21 – 13 killed in crash at Sydney Airport, Australia.
21 – Dexy’s Midnight Runners perform at Demelza’s in Penzance.
22 – Martial law is declared in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, following protests against the Soviet invasion.
23 – Canadian Olympic gymnast Yvonne Tousek is born.
23 – Jacob “killer” Miller, vocalist with reggae band Inner Circle, dies in a car accident.
24 – Greek tanker explodes and sinks in the Aeolian Sea, spilling 37 million gallons of oil.
27 – A Boeing 707 crashes and explodes at Manila airport.
27 – Chelsea Clinton, daughter of future US president Bill Clinton, is born.
04 – Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe is elected prime minister after a landslide victory in the Rhodesian elections, ending white rule. Mugabe returned to the country only six weeks before the election, after spending 10 years in exile.
10 – “Scarsdale Diet” doctor, Herman Tarnower is murdered.
10 – Yitzhak Samir is officially appointed Foreign Minister of Israel.
10 – The National Enquirer reveals that actor Steve McQueen has cancer. He will pass away on 7 November.
10 – A British soldier with the Rhine Army in Osnabruck, West Germany, is wounded by gunmen who fire at him as he jogs in his barracks. It is the third attack on British soldiers in Germany in four weeks. The Provisional IRA claims responsibility.
14 – All 87 people on board a Polish airliner – including a United States boxing team – are killed when the aircraft crashes as it approaches Warsaw airport after a flight from New York.
15 – A soldier from the King’s Own Royal Borderers is shot dead in Crossmaglen. South Armagh, by IRA gunmen who ambush a four-man army foot patrol.
16 – Alan Minter, of Britain, wins the World middleweight boxing title in Las Vegas when he defeats the holder, Vito Antuofermo of the United States, on points.
17 – A government motion calling for a British boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games is supported by 315 votes to 147 on a free vote in the House of Commons.
18 – Nine women die and three others are injured in a fire which destroys a hostel for homeless and destitute women in Kilburn, North London.
20 – The boat from which Radio Caroline – Britain’s first Pirate Radio station – transmitted its illegal broadcasts during the 1960s, sinks 3 miles off the Essex coast after gales sweep her onto a sandbank in the Thames estuary.
20 – Martial law in Southern Rhodesia is officially lifted by the Governor Lord Soames. He also approves an ordinance conferring a free pardon for all politically motivated offences.
20 – The body of a territorial army member of the Special Air Service Regiment is discovered on the Brecon Beacons where he had been on exercises with 40 other soldiers. He was reported missing on March 19 in blizzard conditions.
24 – Archbishop Oscar Romero, a vocal defender of human rights in strife-torn El Salvador, is assassinated by four men in a San Salvador hospital chapel where he is conducting a funeral mass. Over 30 people are killed by bombs and sniper fire during his funeral six days later.
24 – The Italian Consulate in Belgravia, London is destroyed by fire, following an explosion.
24 – £4 million worth of silver bullion is stolen by a gang as it is being transported from London to Tilbury docks on the A13 at Barking in Essex.
25 – Jean Harris, the headmistress of a US private school, is indicted for the murder of Scarsdale Diet Dr Herman Tarnower.
25 – Robert Runcie is enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury.
27 – An oil platform used as a floating hotel for North Sea rig workers capsizes with half the 200 men aboard feared dead. Most are trapped inside as one of five supporting legs buckles and the Alexander L. Kielland collapses into the sea.
27 – British Royal family receives increases in income
28 – Two explosive devices are planted at Conservative Party headquarters in Wales. One firebomb explodes at Shotton, North Wales, but no one is hurt and the other is discovered in a Cardiff suburb and defused.
29 – Ben Nevis, a 40-to-one outsider ridden by amateur American jockey Charlie Fenwick, wins the Grand National at Aintree by 20 lengths. Only four of the 30 runners complete the course.
29 – The London Underground is shut down for 24 hours as railway employees protest at growing violence.
30 – Shooting breaks out at the funeral mass for Archbishop Romero in San Salvador. 39 people are killed
30 – Ronald Marney, Britain’s ninth heart transplant patient, dies two months after receiving a new heart at Harefield Hospital, Middlesex.
30 – Vietnam’s President Ton Due Thang dies aged 91.
31 – Olympic gold medallist Jesse Owens dies, age 66
02 – Black youths riot after a raid on a club in the St Paul’s district of Bristol, England. 21 policemen and nine others are injured.
02 – Pink Floyd‘s Another Brick In The Wall is banned by the South African government after black children protesting against inferior education, adopt the song as an anthem.
04 – The USSR ratifies a treaty with Afghanistan authorising the presence of occupying Soviet troops.
05 – The world’s rarest stamp, the 1c black on magenta British Guiana of 1856, is sold in New York for $850,000 (approximately £500,000).
05 – Oxford beats Cambridge by a canvas in the university boat race.
07 – President Carter breaks off diplomatic relations with Iran and bans trade between the two countries.
07 – A flood of Cuban refugees leave their homeland, with Fidel Castro‘s blessing. Over the next two months, over 100,000 enter the US, most of them through Florida. The US initially welcomes them, then – fearing Castro is using the exodus as a means to empty out his prisons – takes steps to screen the refugees.
09 – A member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary is shot dead in West Belfast by Provisional IRA gunmen and another officer is seriously injured.
09 – Belgium’s Prime Minister, Wilfried Martens, resigns from office following a revolt by members of the Flemish Christian Democrat Party over moves to give the country’s different language communities increasing self-government
10 – Soviet cosmonauts dock Soyuz 35 with Salyut 6 space station.
10 – The border between Spain and Gibraltar is opened again, having been closed since 1969.
11 – A police reservist is shot dead in Belfast by the IRA.
18 – Following the troubled years after its declaration of independence, Zimbabwe becomes truly independent.
21 – Rosie Ruiz breaks marathon record for women in Boston Marathon.
24 – Desert fiasco ends the failed US hostage rescue bid in Iran as a helicopter collides with a C-130 troop transport. Eight crack American anti-terrorist troops die in the accident, and five are injured.
26 – US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigns in opposition to the military rescue attempt of the hostages. Senator Edmund Muskie takes his place.
29 – Rosie Ruiz is stripped of her Boston Marathon title after investigation shows she did not run the entire race. Jacqueline Gereau is named the new winner.
27 – The siege in the Dominican embassy ends when 16 guerrillas are flown to Havana with 11 diplomats, who are then released.
29 – A “Washington for Jesus” rally brings 200,000 evangelical Christians to the nation’s capital.
29 – Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense, dies aged 88 at his home in Bel Air.
30 – Princess Beatrix is crowned Queen of the Netherlands.
30 – Terrorists seize the Iranian embassy in London and hold 26 people hostage, demanding the release of political prisoners in Iran.
03 – Richard Carter attempts robbery across the street from a Detroit police station and is promptly arrested.
03 – ‘Genuine Risk’ wins the 106th Kentucky Derby.
04 – Yugoslav President Marshal Tito dies at the age of 87.
05 – The SAS (Special Air Service) makes a spectacular assault on the terrorist-occupied Iranian embassy in Knightsbridge killing four of the five gunmen who took over the building six days ago and rescuing the surviving 19 hostages (pictured below).
08 – The World Health Organisation formally declares that smallpox has been eradicated.
09 – A cargo ship rams the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over the Tampa River in Florida. 33 lives are lost.
10 – A Bahamas gunboat detains a Cuban fishing boat and is then attacked by Cuban fighter planes which sink the gunboat, killing 4 people.
11 – Two men arrested after climbing Statue of Liberty in protest on behalf of convicted murderer and Black Panther Geronimo Pratt.
13 – A military coup in Uganda ousts President Godfrey Binaisa.
16 – L.A. Lakers win NBA Championship over Philadelphia 76ers, 4 games to 2.
17 – EPA says some residents of Love Canal, NY may have suffered chromosome damage (and higher risk of birth defects and cancer) due to toxic waste dumping there.
17 – Drummer Peter Criss leaves KISS (of which he was a founder member). He is replaced by Eric Carr.
17/19 – Race riots in the Liberty City area of Miami, Florida leave fourteen dead, 300 injured, and cause $100 million in damage. The riots erupt after an all-white jury acquits four former Miami policemen in the fatal beating of a black man.
18 – Mt St Helens, a Washington State volcano dormant since 1857, erupts with an explosion 2500 times greater than the Hiroshima bomb. The blast blows the top of the mountain completely off and sets off a series of fires, mudslides and floods in the 120-square-mile-area surrounding the volcano. Fifteen people are killed, and at least 40 are listed as missing.
18 – Ian Curtis, the vocalist with Joy Division, hangs himself in his Macclesfield (Manchester, UK) home.
20 – Irate residents of Love Canal, NY briefly take two federal officials hostage.
21 – President Carter declares Love Canal a disaster area and EPA proceeds with evacuation of residents.
21 – New government headed by Park Choong Hoon named in South Korea, as violence continues.
21 – Joe Strummer is arrested in Hamburg after a fracas at a Clash concert during which he hit a fan on the head with his Telecaster.
22 – TV talk show host Phil Donahue marries former That Girl star Marlo Thomas.
23 – Mt. St. Helens erupts again, in an explosion which is compared to a hydrogen bomb blast.
23 – Four men break into prison at Lorton, VA and kill inmate Douglas Boney.
24 – New York Islanders defeat Philadelphia Flyers to win pro hockey’s Stanley Cup, 4 games to 2.
25 – Johnny Rutherford wins the Indianapolis 500 for the third time.
06 – For the second time in a week US military forces are put on nuclear alert when a computer malfunction reports Soviet missiles are heading for America.
07 – US writer Henry Miller dies.
10 – Comedian Richard Pryor almost dies in a freebasing accident after a mixture of cocaine and ether explodes in his face.
10 – The West Indies beats England by two wickets at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, to win the first Cornhill Test match.
12 – Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira dies in hospital in Tokyo following a heart attack, aged 70.
12 – Sir Billy Butlin, the founder of the Butlin holiday camps, dies at his home in Jersey aged 80.
12 – Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan says that if elected he would submit himself to periodic medical examinations and resign if serious evidence of senility or mental deterioration were detected.
13 – Mt. St. Helens in Washington state erupts for third time.
14 – South Africa beats the British Lions by 26 points to 19 in the second rugby union Test match in Bloemfontein to take a two-nil lead in the four-match series.
15 – Jack Nicklaus of the United States wins the US Open golf championship at the Baltusrol course in New Jersey. It is his fourth US Open win.
17 – American owned Cruise Missiles are to be based at a US Air Force airfield at Greenham Common, near Newbury in Berkshire and later at a disused military base at Molesworth, Cambridgeshire. This follows NATO’s decision to counter Soviet SS-20 rockets now being moved into Eastern Europe.
17 – Tennis star Venus Williams is born.
19 – Iraqi security forces shoot dead three gunmen who attack the British embassy in Baghdad. The unknown attackers, armed with automatic weapons and grenades, burst into the embassy grounds and set off explosions near the main entrances but fail to enter the building.
21 – Bert Kaempfert dies.
23 – Sanjay Gandhi (son and heir of Indira Gandhi) dies when his single-engine plane crashes near his home in New Delhi, India.
27 – All 81 people on board an Italian DC9, on a flight from Bologna to the Sicilian capital of Palermo, die when the aircraft crashes into the sea some 60 miles north of the island of Ustica.
27 – President Carter signs a law requiring draft registration by men nineteen to twenty years of age, although no draft is actually contemplated.
28 – South Africa beats the British Lions by 12 points to ten in the third rugby union test match in Port Elizabeth. This gives South Africa the series.
28 – Fred Astaire weds jockey Robyn Smith.
29 – 16-year-old schoolboy Richard Brittain undergoes a successful heart transplant operation at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.
01 – British athletes, Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, set new world records at the Bislett Games in Oslo. Coe breaks the 1,000 metre record and Ovett the mile record.
04 – Evonne Goolagong Cawley defeats Chris Evert Lloyd to win Wimbledon women’s singles title.
05 – Bjorn Borg of Sweden becomes the first tennis player to win five successive men’s singles titles at Wimbledon.
05 – John and Tracy Austin become first brother-sister team to win Wimbledon mixed doubles title.
09 – A London Underground train runs into the back of another at Holbom station. The driver of one of the trains is detained in hospital; no other serious injuries are caused.
09 – 81- year-old Dutch millionaire Pieter Nicolaas Menten is sentenced by a Rotterdam court to ten years in prison and a fine of 100,000 guilders for his involvement in mass executions of Polish Jews during the Second World War.
11 – One American hostage in Teheran – held since November 1979 – is freed on medical grounds. Richard Queen, 28, is flown to Switzerland and then to a US army hospital in West Germany.
12 – The British Lions win the fourth and final rugby union Test match in Pretoria when they beat South Africa by 17 points to 13. The Lions lose the series by three matches to one but win all their provincial matches.
14 – President Carter‘s brother Billy becomes a registered foreign agent of the Libyan government after receiving a $220,000 “loan” from the Libyans. Two weeks later the president admits having given Billy classified information dealing with Libya.
17 – Zenko Suzuki is new Japanese prime minister.
18 – India launches an artificial test satellite weighing 78lbs from Sriharikota Island, 62 miles from Madras.
19 – XXII Olympic games open in Moscow. The games are boycotted by the USA and 64 other nations in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
21 – Heatwave blankets much of the USA from New York City to the Southwest.
22 – Delta Airlines jet hijacked to Cuba, then proceeds to Puerto Rico.
24 – Peter Sellers dies in London, a fortnight after his latest film Being There is hailed as one of his finest comedy performances.
25 – Violinist Helen Mintiks, a member of the Berlin Symphony, is murdered while leaving New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House.
26 – Deadly fire breaks out in Chicago’s Union Station.
27 – The former Shah of Iran dies in a Cairo military hospital, aged 60.
29 – USS Midway and a Panamanian freighter collide near the Philippines.
30 – Israeli Knesset formally declares all of Jerusalem the nation’s capital.
30 – Vanuatu (New Hebrides) gains independence from Britain and France.
01 – Passenger train derails en route from Dublin to Cork, Ireland. 17 people are killed.
02 – A terrorist bomb blast kills 85 people at Bologna Station, Italy.
04 – Queen Mother is 80 years old.
04 – Hurricane Allen hits Haiti and Puerto Rico.
04 – Senate subcommittee hearings on Billy Carter’s ties with Libya begin.
07 – Hurricane Allen, second strongest hurricane since record-keeping began, heads across Gulf of Mexico for Texas coast.
09 – Hurricane Allen hits Texas coast north of Brownsville, tornados and flooding reported.
10 – Air Florida airliner hijacked to Cuba.
11 – Carter and Mondale are nominated for re-election by the Democratic National Convention.
11 – Reggie Jackson hits his 400th home run.
12 – Ted Kennedy withdraws from presidential race.
12 – The fifth and final Test match between England and the West Indies at Headingley ends in a draw. The West Indies win the series by one match, the other four being drawn.
13 – Air Florida jet hijacked to Cuba by refugees, second hijacking in four days.
14 – National Airlines jet hijacked to Cuba, third such hijacking this week.
14 – Polish workers seize the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, fighting for the right to have free trade unions and in protest over the dismissal of militant crane driver Anna Walentinowicz.
14 – Playboy centrefold Dorothy Stratten is murdered by estranged husband Paul Snider, who then kills himself.
16 – Cuban refugees hijack Delta, Eastern and Republic passenger jets.
16 – USAF F-4 plane crashes near Cairo.
16 – 37 people are killed in a fire which sweeps through two clubs, frequented mainly by South Americans, near the Charing Cross Road in London. 23 people are injured in the fire, which was started deliberately.
17 – Baby Azaria Chamberlain disappears at Ayers Rock in Australia. Parents claim a dingo took their baby.
19 – A Saudi Arabian Lockheed TriStar aircraft bursts into flames as it crash-lands at Riyadh, with the loss of 301 lives.
19 – Riot breaks out in Amsterdam when police evict urban squatters.
19 – Northern Territory police kill two Dingoes and two wild dogs in their search for a 10-week old baby who disappeared from a campsite near Ayers Rock on Sunday night. Azaria Chamberlain’s parents have little hope of seeing their daughter again, but police continue their search in an attempt to clear up the mystery.
20 – Father of Anne Frank, last surviving member of family, dies in Switzerland.
20 – Italy’s Reinhold Messner makes first solo ascent of Mt. Everest.
21 – A Russian Echo 1 nuclear submarine catches fire near Okinawa, Japan. Nine crew members die but the submarine refuses help from a Japanese rescue team.
26 – Actor Macaulay Culkin is born.
27 – General Chun Doo Kwan is named president of South Korea.
27 – Another jet is hijacked to Cuba, the seventh in three weeks.
27 – Unemployment in the UK goes above two million for the first time since 1935.
27 – Steve Ovett sets a new world record time of 3 minutes 31.4 seconds for the 1,500 metres in Bonn, West Germany, beating the previous record he shared with Sebastian Coe by 0.7 seconds.
29 – Britain’s 16th heart transplant patient, David Williams, dies at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.
30 – Gdansk strike leader Lech Walesa signs an agreement with the Polish government allowing the formation of independent trade unions and the right to strike.
31 – Operation Crusader 80, NATO’s biggest series of military exercises since World War II, begins. The operation, designed to test Britain’s capacity to reinforce the Rhine Army, involves 30,000 troops and costs an estimated £8.5 million.
01 – Britain’s youngest heart transplant patient, 16-year-old Richard Brittain, dies at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire following a chest infection.
02 – The Centenary Test match between England and Australia at Lord’s ends in a draw. Geoffrey Boycott makes an unbeaten century in England’s second innings to ensure the draw.
05 – The world’s longest road tunnel opens in Switzerland, running over ten miles (16km) under the St Gotthard range.
05 – Australia defeats France and earns right to face USA in America’s Cup yacht race.
06 – Chris Evert Lloyd defeats Hana Mandlikova to win US Tennis Open.
07 – John McEnroe defeats Bjorn Borg to win US Open in five sets.
08 – An Eastern Airlines flight bound for Florida from New York is hijacked to Cuba.
11 – The famous Marlborough diamond is stolen from the Graff jewellery shop in Knightsbridge, London, in a bold £1m robbery by two robbers, armed with a revolver and a hand grenade. The robbers – American mob gangsters Joseph Scalise and Arthur Rachel – are arrested 11 hours later as they step off a British Airways plane in Chicago.
11 – Drug raid in San Francisco involves seizure of Franklin Roosevelt’s yacht Potomac.
12 – Passengers and stewardess of Eastern Airlines flight foil another hijacking attempt.
12 – Following a bloodless military coup in Turkey, General Kenan Evren takes power.
17 – Delta Airlines jet hijacked to Cuba.
17 – General Anastasio Somoza, the former dictator of Nicaragua, is killed in Asuncion, Paraguay, by six gunmen. His driver and an adviser are also killed in the attack on his car.
21 – The pilot and six passengers of a Second World War American A26 medium bomber are killed when it crashes during a demonstration flight at Biggin Hill in Kent during an air show celebrating the RAF’s role in The Battle of Britain.
22 – Polish workers, who last month won the right to organise free trade unions, launch their central organisation and call it Solidarnosc (“Solidarity”) with Lech Walesa as its leader.
22 – Three weeks of border clashes between Iran and Iraq appear to have finally erupted into an all-out war as Iraqi aircraft attack Iranian military bases and oil refineries.
24 – Iraq invades Iran to gain control of the disputed Shatt-al-Arab waterway which forms Iraq’s only access to the Persian Gulf.
25 – Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham, dies.
25 – USA wins America’s Cup yacht race, defeating Australia.
26 – Neo-Nazi Terrorist bombing at Munich’s Oktoberfest beer festival kills 12 people and injures 200 others.
26 – First Cuban cosmonaut returns to Earth after visit to Salyut 6 space station.
28 – Alan Jones from Australia wins the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal, Canada, and with it the 1980 world motor racing championship.
30 – Martina Hingis, tennis star, is born.
02 – Actor Steve McQueen is diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer.
02 – Larry Holmes defeats Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas boxing match. It is the first time Ali has been knocked out in a fight.
02 – 17 crewmen on board a Swedish cargo vessel – along with three women and two children – are rescued west of the Orkneys by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth after a fire breaks out on the ship which is carrying volatile chemicals.
03 – Four people are killed and 20 injured when a bomb explodes outside a synagogue in Paris. Responsibility is claimed by the Faisceaux Nationalistes Européens.
03 – An American oil rig explodes in the Persian Gulf, killing 19 people.
05 – Peter Brock becomes the first driver to win the Hardie Ferodo 1000 motor race at Bathurst (Australia) five times. Brock, 36, takes the Holden Dealer Team’s Commodore to victory in six hours, 47 minutes and 52 seconds around the tough and hilly Mount Panorama circuit.
08 – British Leyland introduces its new car, the Austin Mini Metro.
08 – Two convicted Turkish terrorists – one from a left-wing organisation and the other from a right-wing group – are hanged in Ankara, the first such execution for eight years.
10 – Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher makes a defiant speech to Conservatives at the party conference in Brighton. Responding to recent expectations of an about-turn on counter-inflationary policies, Mrs Thatcher declares “I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning!” to widespread cheers.
10 – The city of El Asnam in Algeria is devastated by a severe earthquake with the loss of more than 2,000 lives.
12 – Two bombs explode in the West End of London – one outside the Turkish Tourist Office and the other outside the offices of Swissair at the Swiss Centre. An Armenian group claims responsibility for the first explosion and a Swiss group for the second. No one is injured.
17 – Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to make a state visit to the Vatican. Pope John Paul II welcomes Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh, for what is described as a “warm and relaxed” encounter.
18 – Malcolm Fraser scrapes in with Liberal victory in Australia.
23 – An explosion at a primary school in Ortuella, Spain, kills 48 children and three adults.
24 – SBS Television starts in Sydney & Melbourne.
26 – The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), which all but faded away during the early 1960s, comes back with renewed vigour with a massively-supported rally in Trafalgar Square, London.
26 – Paul Kantner of Jefferson Starship suffers a stroke during recording sessions for Modern Times. He recovers completely after some time in the hospital.
07 – Amtrak and Conrail trains collide near Dobbs Ferry station, New York.
07 – Actor Steve McQueen dies of cancer in Mexico at age 50.
10 – Michael Foot is named new head of British Labour Party.
12 – Voyager 1 space probe passes within 77,000 miles of Saturn and sends back the first vivid photographs of the planet and its spectacular rings.
15 – Two members of Harlem Globetrotters arrested in Sao Paulo, Brazil on drug charges.
16 – In Thailand, 38 people are killed and more than 350 injured in an explosion in the main army munitions factory.
17 – President Sadat of Egypt opens the first tunnel to be built under the Suez Canal. It runs from just north of Suez to the Sinai desert.
18 – Yorkshire Ripper claims 13th victim, 20-year-old Jacqueline Hill, a third-year university student, in Leeds (England).
19 – “Who shot JR?”. The topic has been discussed by newspapers and even replayed on TV news around the world, such is the addiction to the US TV series Dallas. The suspense is over. The soap opera’s baddie was shot by Kristen.
19 – England beats Switzerland 2-1 in a World Cup soccer qualifying match.
19 – The Brooke Shields “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins” jeans ad is banned by CBS.
20 – In China, the trial begins of the “Gang of Four“.
21 – 84 die and 500 people are injured in a huge fire at the 26-storey MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas (pictured at right).
22 – Actress Mae West dies in Los Angeles, aged 87.
23 – Severe earthquakes hit southern Italy killing more than 3,000. More than 300,000 people are made homeless.
27 – Three men are sentenced to death in Dublin’s Special Criminal Court for the murder of a policeman in County Roscommon after a bank robbery.
27 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz T3, carrying three cosmonauts. It is to link up with the orbiting Salyut 6 space station.
01 – Female IRA prisoners in Northern Ireland begin hunger strike.
02 – Two IRA bombs explode in Hammersmith, west London. One damages the headquarters of the 31st Signals Regiment of the Territorial Army in Hammersmith Road, the other demolishes a car in a street nearby.
02 – Police and urban squatters clash in Amsterdam.
03 – Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists movement in 1932, dies aged 84.
04 – Three US nuns and a lay worker are found shot dead in El Salvador.
04 – Portugal’s Prime Minister Dr Francisco Sa Carneiro is killed in a light aircraft crash at Lisbon. Six others die also, including Defence Minister Senhor Adelino Amaro da Costa.
04 – Polish airliner hijacked on way to West Berlin.
06 – Boston’s transit system is shut down due to a lack of funds.
06 – UN workers perish in a plane crash in Tanzania.
08 – John Lennon, who as one of The Beatles helped shape the music and the philosophies of a generation, is shot dead outside the Dakota Building, his home in New York. Lennon, aged 40, had driven back from a recording session and was walking with his wife Yoko Ono into the building when he was approached by Mark David Chapman, aged 25. Chapman, to whom Lennon had given his autograph earlier in the day, shot the musician five times at point-blank range using a .38 revolver purchased at a gun shop in Honolulu.
11 – NATO warns USSR not to intervene in Poland’s affairs.
14 – Elston Howard, American pro baseball catcher, dies.
14 – The three-man British Transglobe Expedition team reaches the South Pole well ahead of schedule. Their 1,100-mile journey took 47 days.
15 – Dave Winfield becomes the highest-paid player in US baseball history after signing with New York Yankees.
16 – Suez Canal, widened and deepened, is reopened to supertanker traffic.
16 – A sad day for chicken lovers everywhere as Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, leaves for the great chicken shack in the sky. He was aged 90.
17 – Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher rejects an appeal to save 43 IRA members on a 52-day-long hunger strike.
17 – Turkish Consul-General is shot dead in Sydney, Australia.
18 – Seven IRA members in Belfast’s Maze Prison end hunger strike after one is taken to hospital and given last rites.
18 – Former Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin dies aged 76.
23 – Mark David Chapman is indicted for 2nd-degree murder in the death of John Lennon.
24 – Dr Christian Barnard leads a medical team transplanting the heart of a white woman into a black man in Cape Town, South Africa.
24 – Unemployment in the UK reaches a new postwar record of 2,133,000.
25 – Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, head of Nazi Germany’s navy during WWII, dies aged 89.
26 – American figure skater Serena Phillips is born.
27 – President Carter breaks his collarbone in a skiing accident and is treated at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
28 – President-Elect Ronald Reagan is named Time magazine’s Man of the Year.
28 – Southern and Westward lose their television franchises to new companies, TVS (South and South East Communications) and TSW (Television South West) from 1982.
29 – Four Soviets are shot for collaborating with Nazis at Dachau concentration camp during World War II.
29 – 80 injured in New York City commuter train accident.
31 – Police General Enrico Calvaligi assassinated in Rome.
31 – A bomb explosion at the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, kills 15 people.
Also this year . . .
- XXII Olympic Games in Moscow, USSR.
- XIII Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, USA.
- Unemployment in Britain rises to a postwar record of 2,162,847.
- Alan Parker’s movie Fame provides the format which will spawn a soppy TV series and later provide the blueprint for Pop Idol, Fame Academy, The X Factor et al.
- The first Australian ‘State of Origin’ rugby league series is played.
Quote of the year
“You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning!”
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher