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1978

Related subjects Years

Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1940s  1950s  1960s  - 1970s -   1980s   1990s   2000s
Years: 1975 1976 1977 - 1978 - 1979 1980 1981

Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar).

Events of 1978

January

January
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
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2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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23 24 25 26 27 28 29 
30 31
  • January 1 - The Copyright Act of 1976 takes effect, making sweeping changes to United States copyright law.
  • January 1 - Air India Flight 855, a Boeing 747 passenger jet, crashes into the ocean near Bombay, killing 213.
  • January 4 - A referendum in Chile supports the policies of Augusto Pinochet.
  • January 6 - The Hungarian Holy Crown (also known as Stephen of Hungary Crown) is returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held since World War II.
  • January 7 - Emilio Palma is born in Antarctica, making his birth the southernmost in history.
  • January 10 - Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, a critic of the Nicaraguan government, is assassinated. Riots erupt against Somoza's government.
  • January 14 - January 15 - The body of former U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda, following his death from cancer.
  • January 19 - Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster is appointed FBI Director.
  • January 22 - Ethiopia declares the ambassador of West Germany Persona non grata.
  • January 24 - Soviet satellite Cosmos 954 burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering debris over Canada's Northwest Territories.
  • January 30 - Blizzards in the USA kill 90.

February

February
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
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13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 
27 28          
  • February 1 - A bomb explodes outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia, killing two garbagemen, a policeman and several others.
  • February 6 - Akyab, Arakan, The King Dragon operation in Arakan begins in the village of Sakkipara.
  • February 8 - United States Senate proceedings are broadcast on radio for the first time.

March

March
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
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6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 
27 28 29 30 31    
  • March 2 - Soyuz 28 ( Aleksei Gubarev, Vladimir Remek) is launched on a rendezvous with Salyut 6, with the first cosmonaut from a Soviet satellite (Remek).
  • March 3 - Ethiopia admits that its troops are fighting with the aid of Cuban soldiers against Somalian troops in Ogaden.
  • March 3 - Rhodesia attacks Zambia.
  • March 3 - The New York Post publishes an article about David Rorvik's book The Cloning of Man, about a supposed cloning of a human being.
  • March 10 - Soyuz 28 lands.
  • March 14 - Israeli forces invade Lebanon in Operation Litani.
  • March 16 - Former Italian Premier Aldo Moro is kidnapped by the Red Brigades; 5 bodyguards are killed.
  • March 17 - The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz runs aground on the coast of Brittany.
  • March 18 - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, is sentenced to death by hanging for ordering the assassination of a political opponent.
  • March 22 - Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • March 24 - The tanker Amoco Cadiz splits in two off Brittany, spilling 50,000 metric tons of crude oil.


April

April
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
  • April 1 - Philippine College of Commerce, through a presidential decree, was converted to Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
  • April 3 - The 50th Academy Awards are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California with Annie Hall winning Best Picture
  • April 8 - Regular radio broadcasts of British Parliament proceedings start.
  • April 10 - Volkswagen becomes the first non-American automobile manufacturer to open a plant in the United States, commencing production of the Rabbit, the North American version of the Volkswagen Golf, in New Stanton, Pennsylvania with a unionized ( UAW) workforce. (The plant will close in 1992.)
  • April 14 - 1978 Tbilisi Demonstrations: thousands of Georgians demonstrate against the attempt by the Soviet authorities to change the constitutional status of the Georgian language.
  • April 16 - In Cologne, 15,000 former members of the resistance movement demonstrate against Nazism.
  • April 18 - The U.S. Senate votes 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.
  • April 22 - Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta win the Eurovision Song Contest 1978 for Israel with their song "A-Ba-Ni-Bi".
  • April 22 - The One Love Peace Concert is held at National Heroes Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. Bob Marley unites 2 opposing political leaders at this concert, bringing peace to the civil war ridden streets of the city.
  • April 27 - Afghanistan President Daoud Khan is killed during a military coup; Nur Mohammed Taraki succeeds him.
  • April 30 - The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan is proclaimed, under pro-communist leader Nur Mohammed Taraki.

May

May
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 
29 30 31        
  • May 4 - Communist activist Henri Curiel is murdered in Paris.
  • May 5 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds gets his 3,000th major league hit.
  • May 8 - Norway opens a natural gas field in the Polar Sea.
  • May 12 - In Zaire, rebels occupy the city of Kolwezi, the mining centre of the province of Shaba. The Zairean government asks the U.S., France and Belgium to restore order.
  • May 15 - Students of the University of Teheran riot in Tabriz; the army stops the riot.
  • May 17 - Charles Chaplin's coffin is found 10 miles from the cemetery it was stolen from, near Lake Geneva.
  • May 18 - Soviet dissident Yuri Orlov is sentenced to 7 years hard labor for distributing counterrevolutionary material.
  • May 18- May 19 - Belgian and French paratroopers fly to Zaire to aid the fight against the rebels.
  • May 20 - Mavis Hutchinson, 53, becomes the first woman to run across the U.S.; her trek took 69 days.
  • May 26 - In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Resorts International, the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opens.
  • May 28 - Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins his third race, and the first for car owner Jim Hall.


June

June
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 
26 27 28 29 30    
  • June 1 - The 1978 FIFA World Cup starts in Argentina.
  • June 6 - California voters approve Proposition 13, which slashes property taxes nearly 60%.
  • June 15 - King Hussein of Jordan marries 26-year-old Lisa Halaby.
  • June 19 - Cricketer Ian Botham becomes the first man in the history of the game to score a century and take eight wickets in one innings of a Test match.
  • June 20 - A magnitude 6.5 earthquake hits Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, killing 45 people, injuring hundreds and damaging some of the city's Byzantine landmarks.
  • June 21 - A shootout between Provisional IRA members and the British Army leaves 1 civilian and 3 IRA men dead.
  • June 22 - Charon, a satellite of Pluto, is discovered.
  • June 23 - Josip Broz Tito is named Yugoslav president for life.
  • June 24 - Yemen Arab Republic President Ahmad al-Ghashmi is killed.
  • June 25 - Argentina defeats the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time to win the 1978 FIFA World Cup.
  • June 28 - U.S. scientific satellite Seasat is launched.
  • June 28 - University of California Regents v. Bakke: The Supreme Court of the United States bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms the constitutionality of programs which give advantages to minorities.
  • June 30 - Ethiopia begins a massive offensive in Eritrea.

July

July
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 
24 25 26 27 28 29 30 
31  
  • July 7 - The Solomon Islands become independent from the United Kingdom.
  • July 11 - More than 200 tourists die in an explosion of a tanker-truck at a campsite in Costa Daurada, Spain.
  • July 25 - Louise Brown becomes the first human born from in vitro fertilization, in the United Kingdom.
  • July 25 - Cerro Maravilla Incident: Two Puerto Rican pro-independence activists are killed in a police ambush.

August

August
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 
28 29 30 31      
  • August 3 - The Commonwealth Games open in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • August 6 - Pope Paul VI dies at age 80.
  • August 7 - United States President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal.
  • August 12 - Sino-Japanese relations: The Treaty of Peace and Friendship is signed between Japan and the People's Republic of China.
  • August 17 - Double Eagle II ( Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, Larry Newman), becomes the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.
  • August 19 - The Cinema Rex catches fire in Tehran (477 dead).
  • August 20 - Gunmen open fire on an Israeli El Al airline bus in London.
  • August 20 - In Abadan, Iran, nearly 400 are killed when Muslim extremist arsonists set fire to a crowded theatre.
  • August 25 - The Shroud of Turin goes on public display for the first time in 45 years.
  • August 25 - U.S. Army Sergeant Walter Robinson "walks" across the English Channel in 11 hours 30 minutes, using homemade water shoes.
  • August 26 - Pope John Paul I (Albino Cardinal Luciani) succeeds Pope Paul VI as the 263rd pope.


September

September
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 
25 26 27 28 29 30  
Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter, and Menachem Begin meet on the Aspen Lodge patio on September 6, 1978.
Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter, and Menachem Begin meet on the Aspen Lodge patio on September 6, 1978.
  • September 5 - Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat begin the peace process at Camp David, Maryland.
  • September 7 - In London, England, a poison filled pellet, supposedly injected using an umbrella, poisons Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, probably on orders of Bulgarian intelligence; he dies 4 days later.
  • September 8 - Iranian Army troops open fire on rioters in Teheran - 122 dead, 4,000 wounded.
  • September 16 - General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq officially assumes the post of President of Pakistan.
  • September 17 - The Camp David Accords are signed between Israel and Egypt.
  • September 20 - General Rahimuddin Khan assumes the post of Martial Law Governor of Balochistan.
  • September 25 - PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides with a small private airplane and crashes in San Diego, California; 144 are killed.
  • September 25 - Giuseppe Verdi's opera Otello makes its first appearance on Live from the Met, in a complete production of the opera starring Jon Vickers. This is the first complete television broadcast of the opera in the U.S. since the historic 1948 one.
  • September 28 - Pope John Paul I dies after only 33 days of papacy.

October

October
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 
30 31
  • October 1 - Vietnam attacks Cambodia.
  • October 1 - Tuvalu become independent from the United Kingdom.
  • October 2 - The New York Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 at Fenway Park to clinch the AL East after being 14 games out of first place only two months earlier. The Yankees would eventually go on to defeat the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers and win the World Series.
  • October 7 - Wranslide in New South Wales: the Wran government is re-elected with an increased majority.
  • October 8 - Australia's Ken Warby sets the current world water speed record of 317.60 mph at Blowering Dam, Australia.
  • October 10 - A massive short circuit in Seasat's electrical system ends the satellite's scientific mission.
  • October 10 - U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs a bill that authorizes the minting of the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
  • October 14 - Daniel arap Moi becomes president of Kenya.
  • October 16 - Pope John Paul II ( Cardinal Karol Wojtyła) succeeds Pope John Paul I as the 264th pope. He is the first Polish pope in history.
  • October 17 - The New York Yankees clinch their 22nd World Series championship, defeating the Dodgers 7-2 in Los Angeles and winning the Series 4 games to 2.
  • October 27 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin win the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord.

November

November
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 
27 28 29 30      
  • November 3 - Dominica gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
  • November 5 - Rioters sack the British Embassy in Tehran.
  • November 7 - Indira Gandhi is re-elected to the Indian parliament.
  • November 27 - In San Francisco, California, Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White.
  • November 30 - Publication of The Times is suspended due to labor problems until November 13, 1979.

December

December
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
  • December 3 - The Southern Crescent passenger train derails at Shipman, Virginia, killing six, injuring 60.
  • December 4 - Dianne Feinstein succeeds the murdered George Moscone as San Francisco, California's first woman mayor (she serves until January 8, 1988).
  • December 6 - The Spanish Constitution officially restores the country's democratic government.
  • December 11 - Lufthansa heist: Six men rob a Lufthansa cargo facility in New York City's Kennedy airport.
  • December 11 - Two million demonstrate against the Shah in Iran.
  • December 13 - The first Susan B. Anthony dollar enters circulation.
  • December 15 - Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first major American city to go into default since the Great Depression, under Mayor Dennis Kucinich.
  • December 16 - Train 87 from Nanjing to Xining collision into train 368 from Xi'an to Xuzhou near Yangzhuang railway station in China, killing 106, injuring 218.
  • December 19 - Former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi is arrested and jailed for a week for breach of privilege and contempt of parliament.
  • December 22 - The pivotal Third Plenum of the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is held in Beijing, with Deng Xiaoping reversing Mao-era policies to pursue a program for Chinese economic reform.
  • December 25 - Vietnam launches a major offensive against the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia.
  • December 27 - The Spanish Constitution is approved in a referendum, officially ending 40 years of military dictatorship.

Ongoing

Deaths

January - March

  • January 5 - Wyatt Emory Cooper, screenwriter and author (b. 1927)
  • January 13 - Hubert Humphrey, U.S Vice President and Senator (b. 1911)
  • January 13 - Joe McCarthy, baseball manager (b. 1887)
  • January 14 - Harold Abrahams, English athlete (b. 1899)
  • January 14 - Kurt Gödel, Austrian-born mathematician (b. 1706)
  • January 18 - Walter H. Thompson, English Scotland Yard detective, bodyguard of Winston Churchill (b. 1890)
  • January 22 - Herbert Sutcliffe, English cricketer (b. 1894)
  • January 23 - Terry Kath, American musician ( Chicago) (b. 1946)
  • January 23 - Jack Oakie, American actor (b. 1703)
  • February 11 - James B Conant, American chemist and headmaster of Harvard University (b. 1893)
  • February 11 - Harry Martinson, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1704)
  • February 27 - Vadim Salmanov, Russian composer (b. 1912)
  • March 18 - Leigh Brackett, American author (b. 1915)
  • March 19 - Gaston Julia, French mathematician (b. 1893)
  • March 21 - Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, fifth President of Ireland (b. 1911)
  • March 31 - Charles Best, American-born medical scientist (b. 1899)

April - June

  • April 14 - F.R. Leavis, British Literary Critic (b. 1895)
  • April 21 - Sandy Denny, English singer (b. 1947)
  • April 25 - Leo Najo, baseball player (b. 1899)
  • May 1 - Aram Khachaturian, Armenian composer (b. 1703)
  • May 9 - Aldo Moro, former Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1916)
  • May 14 - Robert Menzies, twelfth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1894)
  • May 20 - Bjarne Brustad, Norwegian violinist, composer and teacher (b. 1895)
  • May 22 - Joe Colombo, American gangster (b. 1914)
  • June 7 - Ronald George Wreyford Norrish, British chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1897)
  • June 24 - Robert Charroux, French writer (b. 1709)
  • June 25 - Barry Brown, American actor and writer (b. 1951)

July - September

  • July 8 - Osman Lins, Brazilian novelist (b. 1924)
  • July 10 - Joe Davis, English snooker and billiards player (b. 1701)
  • July 30 - Umberto Nobile, Italian aviator (b. 1885)
  • August 2 - Carlos Chávez, Mexican composer (b. 1899)
  • August 6 - Pope Paul VI (heart attack) (b. 1897)
  • August 7 - Eddie Calvert (heart failure), musician (b. 1922)
  • August 11 - Hugh MacDiarmid, Scottish poet (b. 1892)
  • August 14 - Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator (b. 1707)
  • August 21 - Charles Eames, American architect and designer (b. 1707)
  • August 22 - Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyan statesman
  • August 26 - Charles Boyer, French actor (b. 1899)
  • August 28 - Robert Shaw, English actor (b. 1927)
  • September 7 - Keith Moon, English drummer ( The Who) (drug overdose) (b. 1946)
  • September 9 - Jack Warner, Canadian film studio founder (b. 1892)
  • September 10 - Ronnie Peterson, Swedish race car driver (racing accident) (b. 1944)
  • September 11 - Georgi Markov, Bulgarian dissident (assassinated) (b. 1929)
  • September 15 - Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft engineer (b. 1898)
  • September 23 - Lyman Bostock, baseball player (murdered) (b. 1950)
  • September 25 - Bret Morrison, actor, voice of The Shadow (b. 1912)
  • September 26 - Manne Siegbahn, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1886)
  • September 28 - Pope John Paul I (b. 1912)

October - December

  • October 6 - Johnny O'Keefe, Australian singer (b. 1935)
  • October 9 - Jacques Brel, Belgian singer (b. 1929)
  • October 10 - Ralph Metcalfe, American athlete (b. 1910)
  • October 12 - Nancy Spungen, American groupie and girlfriend of Sid Vicious (b. 1958)
  • October 20 - Gunnar Nilsson, Swedish race car driver (cancer) (b. 1948)
  • October 23 - Maybelle Carter, American singer (b. 1709)
  • November 6 - Harry Bertoia, Italian artist and designer (b. 1915)
  • November 8 - Norman Rockwell, American artist and illustrator (b. 1894)
  • November 15 - Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (b. 1701)
  • December 8 - Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel (b. 1898)
  • December 10 - Ed Wood, American filmmaker (b. 1924)
  • December 11 - Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1701)
  • December 27 - Houari Boumédiènne, President of Algeria (b. 1932),

Unknown dates

  • Walter C. Alvarez, American physician (b. 1884)
  • Pankaj Mullick, Bengali composer and singer (b. 1704)
  • Mark A. Shaw, American temperance movement leader and Prohibition Party candidate for vice-president in 1964 (b. ?)


Fields Medalists

  • Pierre Deligne, Charles Fefferman, Grigory Margulis, Daniel Quillen

Nobel prizes

  • Physics - Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, Arno Allan Penzias, Robert Woodrow Wilson
  • Chemistry - Peter D. Mitchell
  • Medicine - Werner Arber, Daniel Nathans, Hamilton O. Smith
  • Literature - Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • Peace - Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat and Menachem Begin
  • Economics - Herbert Simon

Templeton Prize

  • Professor Thomas F. Torrance