- 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).
- 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): $17,710
Consumer Price Index: 82.4
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.15
Pittsburgh d. La Rams (31-19)
Philadelphia Phillies d. Kansas City (4-2)
LA Lakers d. Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)
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
NCAA Basketball Championship
Louisville d. UCLA (59-54)
NCAA Football Champions
- 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