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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of January 8, 1979 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts




In The News

The United States is sending 12 of its F-15 fighters- one of the its most advanced warplanes and 300 or more airmen to Saudi Arabia to show military presence in the Middle East because of political turmoil in Iran.

Fall of Phnom Penh - Radio Hanoi says that rebel forces had “liberated” Cambodia after a lightning offensive and set up a People’s Revolutionary Committee to govern the country under a pro-Vietnamese insurgent leader.

President Carter’s new austerity budget teaks away $600-million in Social Security benefits, including cancellation of the $255 death payment to widows or other survivors of workers.

The conviction of suspended Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel for racketeering and mail fraud has been overturned because of technical errors by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ordered a new trial for Mandel and his five codefendants.

Iran – Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in another bid to calm the turmoil in his country, decrees that the Iranian royal family turn over all its personal property to a crown-sponsored foundation. He also ordered the release of 206 prisoners convicted by military tribunals.

 Iran – New premier Shahpour Bakhtiar presents his new cabinet to the Iranian Parliament and spells out a more pro-Arab foreign policy and promised to disband the secret police. 

Iran - Demonstrators demanding the ouster of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi storm through the streets of Shiraz and several other cities in renewed agitation despite the new civilian government’s efforts to calm the country. 

President Carter fires Bella Abzug as co-chairman of his National Advisory Committee on Woman.

Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev says the new Cambodian regime has the full support of the Soviet Union, calling the fallen pro-Peking government of Pol Pot, “hateful.”

Soaring gasoline and home heating oil costs pace another steep wholesale price increase in December pushing the gain for all of last year to the highest level since recession days of 1974. Wholesale prices were up 9.1% for 1978 – a four-year high.

Members of the Kennedy family attended a ceremony in the attorney general’s office marking the Postal Service’s issuance of a 15-cent stamp honoring the memory of Robert F. Kennedy.

Health – (New report)  Research has provided overwhelming evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer in both men and women and is a major factor in heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema and other ills, the surgeon general says this week.

The Supreme Court strikes down a Pennsylvania abortion law that made it a crime for doctors not to try to save the life of a fetus that “may be viable.’

An Oregon hunter contracted bubonic plague – the black death that ravaged Europe in the 14th century – after cutting his thumb on a rabbit bone. The man has recovered.

 Billy Carter guides a controversial Libyan delegation through his small town of Plains. He said that a growing chorus of criticism from Republican national Chairman Bill Brock and others would not cause him to back away from his role as Georgia tour guide for some of the top officials of the government of Col. Moammar Khadafy. 

Reacting to criticism of Billy Carter’s association with a high-level delegation from Libya, the White House says the President does not agree with his brother’s remarks about Jews and Arabs. “There’s a hell of a lot more Arabians than there is Jews,” Billy was quoted as saying in urging better U.S. relations with the regime of the North African nation.

The nation’s unemployment rate increased to 5.9% in December – the first rise in five months.


Sports news – January 8, 1979

The Dallas Cowboys trounce the LA Rams – 28-0 for the NFC championship.


Entertainment news – January 8, 1979

John Wayne is checked into UCLA medical center for gal bladder surgery. 


Music news – January 8, 1979

RSO Records president Al Coury believed that his “Grease” soundtrack would surpass sales of “Saturday Night Fever” but he’s dead wrong. SNF so far has sales of 16 million – vs. 11 ½ million album sales for “Grease.”


Television news – January 8, 1979

Changes on the “Today” show – a new music theme, a new set, extension of Gene Shalit’s “Critic’s Corner” to five days a week and the addition of Georgia state Sen. Julian Bond as a political commentator. 

New show in syndication – “Dance Fever” with Denny Terrio. Based on the disco craze of the day. Produced by Merv Griffin.

ABC Sunday Night Movie – Made-for-TV Movie – “The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders”

A Disco killer is on the loose on NBC-TV’s, “Amateur Night At The Dixie Bar & Grill.” Stars Jamie Farr, Victor French and Candy Clark. NBC-TV.

Jackie Gleason Hosts The 9th Annual “Entertainer Of The Year Awards” This Week On CBS-TV. Starring Ann-Margret, Debby Boone, Carol Burnett, Doug Henning, Norman Lear, Rich Little, Steve Martin, Chita Rivera, Shields & Yarnell, Willie Tyler & Lester and more.


Saturday night television listings/programs/TV guide – January 8, 1979

CBS – The White Shadow, GE Theater

NBC – ChiPs, Movie, SNL, Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert

ABC – Welcome Back Cotter, Carter Country, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island


On ChIPs – Jon and Ponch investigate a multiple car accident.

GE Theater – “Champions: A Love Story”   


Top movies – January 8, 1979

Oliver’s Story

National Lampoon’s Animal House

King of the Gypsies

The Bermuda Triangle

Every Which Way But Loose

Heaven Can Wait

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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