World Events

  • Six US embassy aides escape from Iran with Canadian help (Jan. 29). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis
  • US breaks diplomatic ties with Iran (April 7).
  • Eight US servicemen are killed and five are injured as helicopter and cargo plane collide in abortive desert raid to rescue American hostages in Teheran (April 25). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis
  • Anastasio Somoza Debayle, ousted Nicaraguan ruler, and two aides are assassinated in Paraguayan capital of Asunción (Sept. 17).
  • Iraqi troops hold 90 square miles of Iran after invasion; 8-year Iran-Iraq War begins (Sept. 19).
  • Three US nuns and a lay worker are found shot in El Salvador (Dec. 4).
U.S. Events
  • FBI Under Cover Operation “Abscam” (for Arab scam) implicates public officials (Feb. 2).
  • US Supreme Court upholds limits on federal aid for abortions (June 30).
  • Ronald Reagan elected president in Republican sweep (Nov. 4).

US GDP (1998 dollars):   $2,784.20 billion
Federal spending:   $590.95 billion
Federal debt:   $909.1 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
Consumer Price Index:   82.4
Unemployment:   7.1%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.15


Super Bowl
Pittsburgh d. La Rams (31-19)

World Series
Philadelphia Phillies d. Kansas City (4-2)

NBA Championship
LA Lakers d. Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)

Stanley Cup
NY Islanders d. Philadelphia (4-2)

Women: Evonne Cawley d. C. Evert Lloyd (6-1 7-6)
Men: Bjorn Borg d. J. McEnroe (1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 8-6)

Kentucky Derby Champion
Genuine Risk

NCAA Basketball Championship
Louisville d. UCLA (59-54)

NCAA Football Champions
Georgia (12-0-0)



  • John Lennon of the Beatles shot dead in New York City.
  • Ted Turner launches CNN, the first all-news network.
  • Mark Morris establishes the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York and is widely received as the most promising modern-dance choreographer of his generation.


  • Raging Bull, Ordinary People, Coal Miner’s Daughter, The Elephant Man, Tess


  • William Golding, Rites of Passage
  • John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
  • Janice Brown, a 98-lb. former teacher, makes the first long-distance solar-powered flight in the Solar Challenger. Background: Famous Firsts in Aviation
  • Voyager I reaches Saturn, returning data on its 14 moons as well as its more than 1,000 rings (November). Background: US Unstaffed Planetary and Lunar Programs
  • In Diamond v. Shakrabarty, the US Supreme Court rules that genetically engineered organisms may be patented.
  • Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute develops a new, less painful rabies vaccine.

  • William Douglas
  • Erich Fromm
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • John Lennon
  • Jesse Owens
  • Jean Piaget
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Mae West


The movie “The Shining” came out
(Jack Nicholson)