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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of December 8, 1978 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

A judge sets bail at $1 million for former Supervisor Dan White, accused in the City Hall murders of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in San Francisco. White pleaded not guilty to the November 27 murders.

Author Alex Haley admits that materials from another book about slavery “found their way” into his best seller Roots and makes an out-of-court settlement. Haley’s book has sold more than 2 million copies and was made into a highly rated mini-series.  Harold Courlander, a white author, charged that Haley, who is black, had copied parts of Roots from his book “The Africans.”

Five heavily armed men overpower a guard and nine workers at a cargo area in Kennedy Airport and make off with $5 million in cash and jewels. The money was en route to Chase Manhattan Bank from a bank in Frankfurt, West Germany. “They were prepared; they had enough handcuffs for all 10 employees. It went off like clockwork. It was well planned, well organized and well executed,” said a spokesperson.

Two days of street battles between troops and ant-shah protesters kill at least 40 persons and wound more than 600 in Isfahan, Iran’s second largest city.

Passing - Golda Meir (80), the onetime Milwaukee schoolteacher who led Israel through five turbulent years and the area’s most devastating war.

Actor John Carridine (72) is rescued by fireman at his second-floor apartment in Oxnard, California. Carradine escaped with his six-year-old grandson, Tommy.

Fugitive James Shelton telephones his lawyer to surrender after making a TV appearance on the Dating Game and two appearances on The Gong Show.

Authorities spotted Shelton, of Rock Island, IL as a contestant on the Dating Game last month, but the show had been taped and by then he was gone. He had been serving a one-year term at the correction center in Davenport for larceny. 

Three women in Garden City, Kansas charges that the US Postal Service is selling indecent material - Christmas stamps depicting a naked baby Jesus. The three want their money back. The stamp is taken from a sculpture by the 15th century artist Andrea della Robbia titled “Madonna and Child With Cherubim” and is on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. 

In Exeter, New Hampshire, Dr Benjamin Spock, baby doctor and political activist is among 10 persons convicted of criminal trespass for demonstrating at the Seabrok nuclear plant site. Spock, his wife Mary and eight others immediately appealed the conviction.

In Los Angeles - a would-be burglar is found dead in a home, which was being fumigated. The suspect was found dead in one of the home’s closets after fumigation employees returned to remove a plastic tarp that had been stretched over the house. Finding the front door had been pried open, they found the victim, whose pockets contained a camera, radio and jewelry belonging to the owners.


Christmas Gifts – Ronco – December 8, 1978

As seen on TV - For Christmas - Ronco’s Roller Measure  (just roll and measure any distance- $8.99 ... Ronco’s Smokeless Ashtray - special vacum system traps smoke! - $9.99 ... Ronco Record Vacuum - Sweeps away dust on your LP’s or 45’s! - $10.88

A consumer group gives it’s Christmas toy “booby prize” of the year to “Baby Wet-N-Care,” a doll that breaks out in a diaper rash after the child mixes orange-colored tablets with water and feeds the doll the solution. There is another solution to get rid of the rash. The rating was made by the Consumer Affairs Committee of Americans for Democratic Action in the Washington DC area.


Best-selling books – December 8, 1978

 War and Remembrance” - Herman Wouk, “Fools Die” - Mario Puzo, “Mommie Dearest” - Christina Crawford, “Jackie Oh” - Kitty Kelley


Technology news – December 8, 1978

Magnavox says it has begun test-marketing a “video disc” system using laser beams to show full-length movies on home TV sets. Prerecorded discs play on an optical videodisc player that attaches to a home television set. The videodiscs are groove less and resemble a record. The test is being conducted in the Atlanta area.


Television news – December 8, 1978

Michael Learned is leaving the Waltons after seven years. The character’s absence will be explained by having Olivia confined to a sanitarium with tuberculosis.


Top TV Shows – December 8, 1978

60 Minutes, Taxi, Circus of the Stars, A Salute to Jimmy Stewart, MASH, “Little House on the Prairie, One Day At A Time, The Pink Panther’s Christmas, Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer, All In The Family, Alice, Benji’s Very Own Christmas Story, The Waltons, Love Boat, A Country Christmas, Fantasy Island. Michael Learned is leaving the Waltons after seven years. The character’s absence will be explained by having Olivia confined to a sanitarium with tuberculosis.


Friday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – December 8, 1978

(CBS) Christmas Eve On Sesame Street, The Danny Thomas Christmas Special, Flying High ...(NBC) Different Strokes, Who’s Watching The Kids, The Rockford Files, Eddie Capra Mysteries ... (ABC) Donny & Marie, ABC Friday Night Movie


Danny Thomas - guests Phil Donahue, Bob Hope, KC and the Sunshine Band, Jimmy and Kristy McNichol, Suzanne Somers, Marlo Thomas and Jimmy Walker.

ABC Movie - “The Gift Of Love” - Marie Osmond makes her dramatic acting debut. Also stars Timothy Bottoms.

Rockford Files - Jim investigates the murder of a prominent Hollywood doctor, becoming the target of a scandalous newspaper and assassins.  


Music news – December 8, 1978

Elton John, who gave up concerts about a year ago to concentrate on recording, says he is going back to tour beginning in February.


 Top pop hit music singles(top-40) USA – December 8, 1978

“Le Freak” - Chic, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” - Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, “My Life” - Bill Joel, “Sharing The Night Together” - Dr Hook, “MacArthur Park” - Donna Summer, “Too Much Heaven” - The Bee Gees, “I Just Want To Stop” - Gino Vannelli, “I Love The Nighlife” - Alicia Brideges, “YMCA” - The Village People, “Hold The Line” - Toto, “Time Passages” - Al Stewart.


 Top Music Albums – December 8, 1978

“Barbra Streisand’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2” “52nd Street” - Billy Joel, “Shadow Dancing” - Andy Gibb, “Time Passages” - Al Stewart, “Live and More” - Donna Summer, “Living In The USA” - Linda Ronstadt, “Pleasure and Pain” - Dr Hook, “Hot Streets” - Chicago. 


Top movies – December 8, 1978

The Brink’s Job - Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Goorwitz, Warren Oates.

The Deer Hunter –  Robert DeNiro, John Cazak, John Savage, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walkin

The Boys From Brazil - Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier

Heaven Can Wait - Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, James Mason

Up In Smoke - Cheech and Chong

Same Time Next Year - Ellen Burstyn, Alan Alda 

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