02 – Erica Roe Streaks at Twickenham.
03 – South Korea lifts its night-time curfew after 36 years.
05 – Public donations to the Penlee lifeboat disaster fund amount to £2,000,000. All to be shared by the families of the lost men.
06 – At least 21 people die in the USA after mudslides in a storm bury homes at Ben Lomond near San Francisco.
06 – Truck driver William G Bonin is convicted in Los Angeles of being the “freeway killer” who murdered 14 young men and boys.
07 – Snow causes chaos in the worst winter in the UK for 20 years.
12 – The British Prime Minister’s son, Mark Thatcher, is reported missing in the Sahara desert while taking part in the Paris-Dakar rally motor race.
13 – 78 people die when an Air Florida Boeing 737 crashes during a blizzard into the 14th Street Bridge and the icy Potomac River in Washington DC, in sight of the White House.
15 – The British prime minister’s son, Mark Thatcher, is found safe and well after being missing in the Sahara for six days during the Paris-Dakar rally.
20 – Rock & roller Ozzy Osbourne is hospitalised after biting the head off a bat thrown at him during a concert.
20 – A girl dies in Madrid after consuming contaminated cooking oil. Similar oil has previously caused the deaths of 250 people in Spain.
26 – In his State of the Union address, President Reagan proposes turning over such federally funded social programs as welfare and food stamps to the individual states. He cites this as an example of “New Federalism”.
26 – UK unemployment rises above three million for the first time since the 1930s. Total unemployed is 3,070,621.
27 – A gas explosion at Cardowan Colliery, near Glasgow, injures 41 miners.
28 – Italian police rescue US Brigadier General James Dozier without firing a single shot after storming a flat in Padua where he has been held by Red Brigade guerrillas for 42 days.
30 – Bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins dies at the age of 69.
31 – 13 young Germans on a skiing trip are killed in an avalanche near Salzburg, Austria.
31 – Israel agrees to a UN peacekeeping force in Sinai.
02 – Chamberlains (pictured below) face trial in Australia over murder of their baby in the desert.
04 – Sensational Scottish rocker Alex Harvey dies.
05 – The British airline Laker Airways collapses with debts of £270 million. All 17 Laker aircraft are ordered to return to the UK by tonight and the British Airports Authority has impounded a DC10 at Gatwick to cover the company’s landing and parking costs.
06 – Reagan‘s proposed budget for the upcoming year asks for huge cuts in domestic spending but asks for an 18% increase in military spending.
07 – A fire in a 10-storey hotel in Tokyo results in the deaths of 32 people.
12 – Greek tanker Victory breaks in half en route from Florida to Liverpool with the loss of 18 lives.
15 – The world’s largest oil rig capsizes in a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, with the loss of 84 lives.
17 – Thelonius Monk dies.
17 – In Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo is dismissed from government after caches of arms are found on farms owned by him.
18 – Lee Strasberg, director, actor, drama teacher and founder of the Actors Studio, dies of a heart attack. He is 81.
19 – The Belfast car firm DeLorean goes into receivership.
23 – Greenland, a Danish territory with home rule, votes to leave the Common Market.
25 – The Australian government announces that it is to buy the British aircraft carrier HMS Invincible.
01 – Venera 13 lands on Venus and collects Venusian soil data.
03 – Queen Elizabeth II opens the £153m Barbican Centre for Arts and Conferences in the City of London. The centre, which has been 15 years in the making, is the largest arts centre in western Europe and covers five-and-a-half acres of Cripplegate, which was destroyed by German bombers in World War II.
08 – XPT (Express Passenger Train) begins service in NSW, Australia.
10 – The US imposes economic sanction on Libya, in response to the country’s involvement with terrorist organisations like the PLO.
11 – British government announces its intention to buy the US Trident 2 system to replace Polaris.
14 – Avalanches kill at least 16 people in the French Alps.
19 – Ozzy Osbourne‘s guitarist and right-hand man Randy Rhoads dies when his plane crashes after buzzing Osbourne’s tour bus.
22 – 60 Argentinean scrap merchants land at Leith Harbour, South Georgia on the disputed Falkland Islands (which Britain claimed in 1833) and hoist their national flag. The group is asked to leave immediately and seek British permission to work on the island.
22 – NASA launches the space shuttle Columbia from Cape Canaveral on its third flight, with Major Jack R Lousma and Lieutenant Colonel Charles G Fullerton aboard. It returns safely on 30 March.
23 – A group of army officers overthrow the government in Guatemala.
24 – General HM Ershad seizes power in a military coup in Bangladesh.
25 – President Ortega suspends the Nicaraguan constitution.
29 – A bomb explodes on a train travelling from Paris to Toulouse, resulting in the deaths of five people and injuries to 10 others.
02 – In a massive sea and air operation, Argentinean forces invade and capture the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.
05 – The most powerful British fighting force assembled since World War II sets sail to secure the recovery of the Falkland Islands.
17 – The capital of Zimbabwe is renamed Harare (formerly Salisbury).
17 – A new Canadian constitution is proclaimed, severing links with Britain.
24 – British Marines recapture South Georgia in Falklands in a two-hour attack. There are no British casualties.
25 – A fire at an antique fair in Todi, near Rome, kills 34 people.
25 – Israel returns the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt after 15 years of occupation.
30 – President Reagan pledges US support for Britain against Argentina as diplomatic moves fail.
01 – British Task Force land in Falklands and British planes carry out air raids on two airstrips near Port Stanley which are currently occupied by Argentinian forces.
02 – A British nuclear submarine torpedoes and severely damages Argentina’s only cruiser, the General Belgrano. Of the crew of 1,042, there are 800 survivors.
02 – Adam and The Ants disband when Stuart Goddard (Adam) opts for a solo career.
04 – Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield is hit by an Exocet missile fired from an Argentine fighter bomber and sinks. 20 men are killed and a further 24 injured. It is the first British warship to be lost in 37 years.
09 – Budgie play live at the Birmingham Odeon.
13 – Soviet cosmonauts Anatoli Berezovoi and Valentin Lebedev begin a duration record of 211 days aboard the Salyut 7 space station.
15 – The debut album by ‘supergroup’ Asia tops the US charts.
19 – Actress Sophia Loren flies back to her native Italy to begin a month-long sentence for tax evasion. The crime, which the 47-year-old actress attributed to “a little error” by her accountant, dates back to around 1970 and undeclared earnings of £2,500.
21 – The British frigate HMS Ardent is hit by Argentine rockets and sinks with the loss of 22 lives.
24 – British frigate HMS Antelope sinks after being hit by a bomb during an Argentine air raid. Eight lives are lost.
25 – The destroyer HMS Coventry and the Cunard container ship Atlantic Conveyor are destroyed by Exocet missiles. 32 lives are lost.
27 – Playing a date in France, The Cure‘s Robert Smith and Simon Gallup get into a punch-up. Gallup soon becomes an ex-member of the band.
28 – At least 200 die and 70,000 are left homeless after devastation by floods in Nicaragua and Honduras.
28 – Argentinean Diego Maradona becomes the world’s most expensive footballer when Spanish club Barcelona buy him for £5 million.
28 – Pope John Paul II begins a six-day visit to Britain. It is the first visit by a pope to the country.
29 – British troops claim victory in the first land battle of the Falklands War, just over one week after Marines and Paratroopers stormed ashore at San Carlos. Seventeen paratroopers die in the attack on Goose Green, including their commanding officer, but the victory comes as a welcome respite after sustained Argentine air attacks.
29 – Austrian actress Romy Schneider is found dead from a heart attack in Paris, brought about by an excess of alcohol and pills. She never fully recovered from the death of her son, David, in July last year.
30 – Spain joins NATO.
31 – The Rolling Stones play an unannounced gig at London’s 100 Club as a warm-up for their forthcoming European tour.
03 – The Israeli ambassador to Britain, Shlomo Argov, 52, is shot when leaving a diplomatic function at the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair. Argov survives the attack but is permanently paralysed. Two Jordanians and an Iraqi linked to Palestinian extremist Abu Nidal are convicted of attempted murder in March 1983.
06 – As retaliation for the shooting of the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Israel invades Lebanon in “Operation Peace for Galilee”. Fighting lasts for 11 months and Israeli forces don’t begin to withdraw from the country until June 1985.
07 – Elvis Presley‘s ‘Graceland’ mansion opens its doors to the public.
08 – 48 British servicemen are killed in an Argentine air attack on two supply ships in the Falklands. Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram are anchored off Fitzroy in Port Pleasant, near Bluff Cove, when they are bombed in a surprise raid by five Argentine Skyhawks.
09 – 55 people are killed and 35 injured when a bus falls from a bridge into a river near Salisbury (Harare) in Zimbabwe.
12 – New York Anti-Nuke peace rally attracts 800,000 – the largest peacetime demonstration ever.
13 – King Khalid of Saudi Arabia dies, aged 69. He is succeeded by his brother, Prince Fahd.
14 – Argentine forces surrender to the British commander, Major General Jeremy Moore, at Port Stanley, ending the Falklands War. The war has cost the lives of 655 Argentine and 255 British servicemen.
16 – James Honeyman-Scott, guitarist with The Pretenders, dies of a drug overdose.
17 – President Leopoldo Galtieri of Argentina is ousted after the Falklands defeat. He is replaced by General Alfredo Saint Jean. Galtieri serves three years in prison for military incompetence.
19 – The body of top Italian banker Roberto Calvi is found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London. Known as “God’s banker” for his links with the Vatican, 62-year-old Calvi was the chairman of Banco Ambrosiano in Milan and a central figure in a complex web of international fraud and intrigue.
21 – John W. Hinckley, Jr, is found not guilty (because of insanity) in the shooting of President Reagan. Hinckley, who was obsessed with actress Jodie Foster, believed that he could impress her by killing the president.
21 – The Princess of Wales gives birth to a sturdy blonde baby boy at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. The baby, who is now second in line to the throne, is born at 9.03 pm and weighs in at seven pounds and 1.5 ounces. Asked by the crowd outside the hospital for the baby’s name, Prince Charles replies “You’ll have to ask my wife, we’re having a bit of an argument about that”.
23 – Vic Morrow and two children die when a helicopter crashes into them during the filming of the Twilight Zone movie.
25 – Alexander Haig resigns as Secretary of State following disagreements with Reagan and his cabinet.
25 – The USSR launches Soyuz T-6 with two Soviet and one French cosmonaut aboard. It docks with Salyut 7, joining the cosmonauts Beregovoi and Lebedev.
27 – NASA launches the space shuttle Columbia on its fourth flight. It returns on 4 July.
29 – As Israeli troops encircle Beirut, prime minister Begin offers to allow the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to leave with their weapons.
30 – Despite the extension granted by Congress in 1978, the Equal Rights Amendment fails to achieve ratification by its final deadline.
01 – 2,075 couples wed in mass ceremony by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon at Madison Square Garden, New York.
04 – Ozzy Osbourne weds manager Sharon Arden.
09 – Intruder Michael Fagan scales the walls around Buckingham Palace and gets into the Queen’s bedroom. The Queen is able to raise the alarm when he asks for a cigarette. She calmly called for a footman who held the intruder until police arrived.
11 – Italy wins soccer World Cup for third time, beating West Germany 3 – 1. Their last World Cup win was in 1938.
14 – Iran launches first offensive into Iraq.
16 – Rev. Sun Myung Moon is sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax fraud and obstructing justice.
20 – As a detachment of the Blues and Royals trot along South Carriage Road in Hyde Park, London, on their way to the colourful guard-changing at Horse Guards Parade, an IRA bomb hidden inside a parked car explodes. Windows shatter for blocks, flames burst high into the air and nails wrapped around the explosive shoot out like bullets. Two guardsmen are killed and 17 spectators injured. Seven Army horses are either killed by the blast or have to be destroyed.
20 – Less than two hours after the bomb in Hyde Park, on a bandstand in Regents Park, the band of the Royal Green Jackets is giving a concert. As it plays a medley from the musical Oliver! a bomb hidden beneath the stage explodes and the entire bandstand erupts, killing six soldiers and injuring a further 24. One bandsman is hurled nearly 50 yards, his dismembered body impaled on the park railings. Thirteen Green Jackets are critically injured. The IRA admits responsibility for the killings.
21 – Thousands of relatives and friends crowd the dockside at Portsmouth to welcome home the flagship of the British task force to the Falklands, HMS Hermes and her 1,700 crew, Royal Marines and survivors of the HMS Sheffield.
21 – The Batcave club opens in London’s Dean Street. Specimen play the venue’s opening gig.
31 – 53 people are killed in a multiple crash on a motorway near Beaune, France.
06 – Israeli aircraft bomb west Beirut and 100 people are reported dead.
08 – Dalai Lama arrives in Australia.
09 – Six people die in Paris when terrorists open fire in a Jewish restaurant.
12 – Actor Henry Fonda dies after several months of illness.
13 – In Poland, clashes between police and demonstrators as thousands of workers march through Gdansk.
19 – The USSR launches Soyuz T-7 with Svetlana Savitskaya (the second woman in space) and two other cosmonauts aboard. It docks with Salyut 7.
20 – The US sends 800 Marines to Beirut, Lebanon, to oversee the withdrawal of the PLO from the city.
21 – PLO begin to withdraw from Beirut following a US plan.
21 – The world’s longest-reigning monarch, King Sobhuza II of Swaziland, dies aged 83. He ascended the throne in 1921.
28 – War breaks out in Beirut between the Muslim Druse militia and the Lebanese army.
29 – Actress Ingrid Bergman dies.
30 – PLO leader Yasser Arafat is forced out of Lebanon following the Israeli invasion. His forced departure from Lebanon is a grave blow to Palestinian hopes of re-gaining their homeland, part of which is now occupied by Israel.
02 – The roof of Keith Richards‘ Surrey home, Redlands, is destroyed by fire despite the efforts of 65 firemen.
07 – Floods in the Shansi province of China result in 764 people dead, 5,000 injured and 200,000 homeless.
10 – The European rocket Ariane crashes shortly after takeoff on its first operational mission.
12 – 39 West German tourists are killed when a train crashes into their bus at a level crossing in Switzerland.
13 – Princess Grace of Monaco (formerly actress Grace Kelly) suffers a stroke and loses control of her car. The vehicle veers off the road and plunges 120 feet into a ravine close to where she had filmed a car chase in To Catch A Thief more than a quarter of a century earlier. Princess Grace (52) dies of head injuries received.
15 – Israeli troops push into West Beirut.
15 – The first issue of USA Today hits the newsstands.
16 – Monsoon floods cause the deaths of hundreds of people in India, and render millions homeless.
18 – Over 800 Palestinians die when Christian Phalangist militiamen enter the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in West Beirut. The massacre is apparently revenge for the assassination four days ago of the Christian President-elect, Bashir Gemayel.
19 – The Social Democrats win in the Swedish general election.
21 – US Professional football players strike in mid-season. The strike is the first of its kind in the history of the NFL and will last 57 days. The players association demands a share in television revenues.
29 – Tylenol recalls 264,000 bottles of its painkiller capsules after cyanide placed in the capsules caused seven deaths in Chicago. The killer is never caught but new “safety-sealed” packaging is introduced.
30 – XII Commonwealth Games open in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The games are officially opened by The Duke of Edinburgh and closed on 9 October by The Queen.
01 – Helmut Kohl is elected West German Chancellor.
05 – The Queen opens the Australian National Gallery in Canberra.
08 – US unemployment surges to its highest level since the Great Depression.
11 – The hull of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship wrecked in the Solent in 1545, is raised to the surface and towed into Portsmouth.
14 – Liberace’s former chauffeur Scott Thorson files a $380 million palimony suit against the flamboyant entertainer. Most of his claims are eventually dismissed and he receives a settlement of $95,000.
16 – 94 miners are killed by methane gas in a mine in northern Japan.
16 – Australian National Country Party becomes the National Party.
19 – In a Los Angeles hotel room, independent carmaker John DeLorean is arrested by FBI agents for possession of cocaine worth $14,000,000, which he had hoped to sell to raise money for his struggling company. He will be acquitted in 1984.
20 – Over 110 people die after a crush at a football match at Lenin Stadium in Moscow, USSR.
21 – Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Provisional IRA, wins its first seats in the elections to the new Ulster Assembly. Gerry Adams, vice president of Sinn Fein, takes the Belfast West seat. It is the first time his party has stood for election since the Troubles began.
27 – Three RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) officers are killed by a bomb, planted by IRA terrorists, which explodes beneath their armoured police car as they investigate a robbery in Lurgan near Belfast.
28 – Socialist Felipe Gonzalez wins Spanish general elections.
29 – Mrs Lindy Chamberlain is sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her daughter, Azaria. Her husband is found guilty as an accessory after the fact. The Crown alleges that Mrs Chamberlain cut nine-week-old Azaria’s throat while sitting in the front seat of the family’s car at Ayers Rock (later Uluru) on 17 August 1980. The verdict shocks the lawyers for the Chamberlains who had been confident of the couple being acquitted.
31 – 13 miners die in South Africa when their cage crashes to the bottom of a gold mine in Johannesburg.
31 – The Thames Flood Barrier is raised for the first time, to test its mechanism.
02 – Channel 4 takes to the air in Britain.
05 – Legendary French comedic actor Jacques Tati dies in Paris.
10 – President Leonid Brezhnev (75), Soviet leader for the past 18 years, dies of a heart attack. The Kremlin obituary hails him as a “true continuer of Lenin’s great cause and an ardent champion of peace and Communism” whose name will live forever.
11 – NASA launches the space shuttle Columbia from Cape Canaveral. Aboard are a four-man crew and two commercial satellites for launching.
12 – The Polish government frees the leader of the outlawed Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa, after 11 months of internment.
22 – President Reagan decides to employ 100 MX intercontinental ballistic missiles in Wyoming.
29 – 90 people die after a car bomb explodes in a Damascus suburb in Syria.
30 – A letter bomb addressed to the Prime Minister explodes inside 10 Downing Street. Margaret Thatcher is in the building when the device explodes but is not hurt in the blast. An animal activist group called the Animal Rights Militia claims responsibility.
02 – Dr Barney B. Clark (61) is the recipient of first artificial heart implant, at University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City.
02 – 09 – Storms and floods in the American Midwest kill 22 and cause $600 million in damage.
05 – National Israeli airline El Al is placed in the hands of the receiver.
08 – Country singer Marty Robbins dies of a heart attack, aged 57.
10 – Two Soviet cosmonauts, Anatoli Beregovoi and Valentin Lebedev, return to Earth after a record 211 days in the space station Salyut 7.
11 – The Jam play their final concert, in Brighton.
12 – Over 20,000 women circle the US airbase at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, England to protest against the deployment of US Cruise missiles.
15 – Spain’s new socialist government opens the border with Gibraltar to pedestrian traffic for “humanitarian reasons”. The gates isolating the people of Gibraltar – known as ‘the Rock’ – from Spain have been locked closed for 13 years.
17 – Random Breath Testing is introduced in NSW, Australia, to curb drink-driving.
20 – Concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein dies.
30 – Martial law is suspended in Poland.
Also This Year . . .
- Rap music becomes popular in the USA and UK
- First Compact Discs and CD players commercially available
- ‘Gurner’s Lane’ wins Melbourne Cup
- First case of AIDS in Australia is diagnosed in Sydney
Quotes of the Year
“Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign flies alongside the Union Jack in South Georgia. God Save the Queen.”
British Marines commander. South Georgia, Falkland Islands. 25 April