- US-Iran agreement frees 52 hostages held in Teheran since 1979 (Jan. 20); hostages welcomed back in US (Jan. 25). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis
- Pope John Paul II wounded by gunman (May 14).
- Israel annexes the disputed Golan Heights territory (Dec. 14).
- Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat is assassinated by Islamic extremists during a military parade in Cairo (Oct. 6).
- President Hilla Limann is overthrown in Ghana as Jerry J. Rawlings seizes power.
- Ronald Reagan takes oath as 40th President (Jan. 20).
- President Reagan wounded by gunman, with press secretary and two law-enforcement officers (March 30).
- US Supreme Court rules, 4–4, that former President Nixon and three top aides may be required to pay damages for wiretap of home telephone of former national security aide (June 22).
- Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O’Connor, 51, of Arizona, as first woman on US Supreme Court (July 7).
- Air controllers strike, disrupting flights (Aug. 3); government dismisses strikers (Aug. 11).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $3,115.90 billion
Federal spending: $678.25 billion
Federal debt: $994.8 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $19,074
Consumer Price Index: 90.9
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.15 ($0.18 as of 3/22/81; $0.20 as of 11/1/81)
Oakland d. Philadelphia (27-10)
LA Dodgers d. NY Yankees (4-2)
Boston d. Houston (4-2)
NY Islanders d. Minnesota (4-1)
Women: Chris Evert Lloyd d. H. Mandlikova (6-2 6-2)
Men: John McEnroe d. B. Borg (4-6 7-6 7-6 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
Indiana d. North Carolina (63-50)
NCAA Football Champions
- MTV goes on the air running around the clock music videos, debuting with “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
- The Supreme Court rules to allow television cameras in the courtroom.
- Pacman-mania sweeps the country.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, Reds, Atlantic City
- Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
- John Updike, Rabbit is Rich
- AIDS is first identified. Background: Understanding AIDS
- IBM introduces its first personal computer, running the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). Background: Computers and Internet
- The 236-m.p.h. TGV, Europe’s first high-speed passenger train, begins operating out of Lyons, France.
- The FDA approves the use of the artificial sweetener aspartame (Nutrasweet). Background: Health & Nutrition
- Joe Louis
- Anwar Sadat
- Bobby Sands
- Bill Haley