World Events

  • 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.
U.S. Events
  • 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):  
Consumer Price Index:   90.9
Unemployment:   7.6%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.15 ($0.18 as of 3/22/81; $0.20 as of 11/1/81)


Super Bowl
Oakland d. Philadelphia (27-10)

World Series
LA Dodgers d. NY Yankees (4-2)

NBA Championship
Boston d. Houston (4-2)

Stanley Cup
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
Pleasant Colony

NCAA Basketball Championship
Indiana d. North Carolina (63-50)

NCAA Football Champions
Clemson (12-0-0)



  • 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


The movie “The Raiders of the Lost Ark” came out
(Harrison Ford & Karen Allen)