World Events

  • Deng Xiaoping, purged Chinese leader, restored to power as Gang of Four is expelled from Communist Party (July 22).
  • South African activist Steve Biko dies in police custody (Sept. 12).
  • Nuclear-proliferation pact, curbing spread of nuclear weapons, is signed by 15 countries, including US and USSR (Sept. 21). Background: nuclear disarmament
U.S. Events
  • First woman Episcopal priest ordained (Jan. 1).
  • Scientists identify previously unknown bacterium as cause of mysterious “legionnaire’s disease” (Jan. 18).
  • Carter pardons Vietnam war draft evaders (Jan. 21).
  • Supreme Court rules that states are not required to spend Medicaid funds on elective abortions (June 20).

US GDP (1998 dollars):   $2,026.90 billion
Federal spending:   $409.22 billion
Federal debt:   $706.4 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
Consumer Price Index:   60.6
Unemployment:   7.1%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.13

Super Bowl

Oakland d. Minnesota (32-14)

World Series

NY Yankees d. LA Dodgers (4-2)

NBA Championship

Portland d. Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)

Stanley Cup

Montreal d. Boston (4-0)


Women: Virginia Wade d. B. Stove (4-6 6-3 6-1)
Men: Bjorn Borg d. J. Connors (3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4)

Kentucky Derby Champion

Seattle Slew

NCAA Basketball Championship

Marquette d. North Carolina (67-59)

NCAA Football Champions

Notre Dame (11-1-0)



  • The TV miniseries Roots draws an audience of 130 million.
  • Star Wars hits theaters–for the first time–and will go on to be the second highest-grossing film of all time.
  • Saturday Night Fever sparks the disco inferno and the popularity of movie soundtracks.
  • Elvis Presley dies at Graceland, his Memphis, Tenn. home. He was 42.


  • Saturday Night Fever, Star Wars, Annie Hall, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Julia


  • Various artists, Saturday Night Fever soundtrac


  • John Cheever, Falconer
  • Joan Didion, The Book of Common Prayer
  • Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny
  • Kenneth Koch, The Duplications
  • W.S. Merwin, The Compass Flower
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • The neutron bomb is developed. Background: nuclear weapons
  • The space shuttle Enterprise makes its first test glide, from the back of a 747. Background: US Staffed Space Flights
  • Paul MacCready (US) develops the Gossamer Condor, the first successful human-powered aircraft. Background: Famous Firsts in Aviation
  • Lasers are first used to initiate a fusion reaction. Background: nuclear energy
  • Charles Chaplin
  • Bing Crosby
  • Groucho Marx
  • Vladimir Nabokov
  • Elvis Presley


The movie “Star Wars” Came out
(Carrie Fisher & Mark Hamill)