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



In The News

Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal admits that the Carter Administration had “screwed up” in predicting that inflation would be held to 7.4% this year. He raised the forecast to at least 8.5%.

The United States and the Soviet Union announce they have completed negotiations on a new strategic arms limitation treaty after nearly seven years.

The House rejects President Carter’s standby gasoline rationing plan – a stunning defeat for the Administration’s national energy program.

Gas shortages as long lines over motorists camped out in places such as Los Angeles. Meanwhile, declaring himself “shocked” and “embarrassed for our nation’s government,” President Carter attacked the House for killing his plan for standby authority to ration gasoline. 

First Lady Rosalynn Carter has a 30-minute audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. They discussed human rights, refugee problems and the Middle East.

Passing – Cyrus S. Easton – millionaire industrialist. He was 95.

New York City - A woman is attacked by a pack of rats near a debris and garbage-strewn lot near City Hall and officials were forced to close off the area to battle the rodents. The woman jumped into a car and sped away “in a state of hysteria” after a passerby, alerted by her screams, helped to knock the rats off her.


Fascinating Business news – May 8, 1979

Henry Ford II says he will resign Oct. 31 as head of Ford Motor Co. and declared there are “no crown prince’s” to succeed him within the family that founded the auto firm 75 years ago. He said he would turn control of the firm over to Philip Caldwell, who became president last fall after Lee Iacocca was fired.


Medical/Health news update – May 8, 1979

A 22-year-old man suffering from a history of mental disorders performs surgery deep in his own abdomen for eight hours in a college dorm room with a precision that astonished skilled surgeons.  The man spent months preparing for the operation to “denervate his adrenal glands” by studying surgical texts and acquiring the necessary instruments and medication. He even disinfected his dormitory room, draped sterilized sheets over his body, and swallowed barbiturates for anesthesia and performed the operation wearing sterile gloves and a surgical mask.


Sports news - May 8, 1979

Bill Walton becomes the highest-paid player in NBA history when it’s announced he had signed a seven-year contract reportedly worth $1 million per season with the San Diego Clippers. 


Music news – May 8, 1979

Homicide detectives search for a motive in the slaying of vocalist Eddie Jefferson, regarded as one of the great innovators of modern jazz. Jefferson was gunned down as he left Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, a popular Detroit nightclub where he had just completed an opening engagement. Jefferson was leaving the club with his road manager and lady friend, when a car pulled up and the driver fired four blasts from a shotgun.  

Court papers - Mick Jagger, involved in a bitter divorce dispute - declares that the last time he had sex with his estranged wife, Bianca, was in October 1977 but that “in every true sense of a marriage, we separated in 1973.”


Entertainment /Celebrity news – May 8, 1979

Sarah Jessica Parker – the 14-year-old actress who is the latest to star in the Broadway musical “Annie,” says she got her frankness from her mom. “Neither of us holds anything back. We say what we think. And I got from her my love of little children, except when they’re crying.” She says her first memory is when she was two and lost in the snow. “I was under a snow tunnel that my brothers and sisters had built and my mother found me.”


Playing in Las Vegas –

Paul Williams – Aladdin

Frank Sinatra – Caesars Palace

Robert Goulet – Desert Inn

Mel Tillis, Tammy Wynette – Frontier

Tony Orlando, Doug Henning – Hilton

Rich Little – MGM Grand

Shirley MacLaine, Fred Travelena – Riviera

Don Rickles – Sahara

Shecky Greene, Mills Brothers – Sands


Television news – May 8, 1979

Fran Tarkenton, holder of most major passing records as the quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, has quit pro football to become a television commentator for ABC-TV. Tarkenton said he was leaving professional football “happy, with great memories.” He’ll work on “Monday Night football,” where he will be working with Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell. In addition, Tarkenton will work for WXIA-TV in Atlanta to do two weekly sports features.

NBC-TV new comedy series – “Hizzonner.” Meet his honor, the mayor, the most lovable guy in town! Stars David Huddleston, Diana Muldaur, Kathy Cronkite and Mickey Deems. Ms. Cronkite is the daughter of news anchor Walter Cronkite.


Monday night television listings/programs/TV guide – May 8, 1979

CBS – Movie (Snoopy Comes Home), MASH, Lou Grant

NBC – Bob Hope at the Palladium: A Life of Laughter, Made for TV Movie, Tonight, Tomorrow

ABC – Salvage 1, Television Annual 78/79

PBS – Bill Moyer’s Journal, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie


Bob Hope special – Bob is joined by Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Leif Garrett, Susan George and Leslie Uggams.

Television annual – Looks at memorable moments from the past TV season. Look for Bill Bixby, George Stanford Brown, Stockard Channing, Quinn Cummings, Erik Estrada, Donna Pescow, Jaclyn Smith, peter Strauss, Cicely Tyson and Robert Urich.

On the Tonight Show  - David Brenner guest hosts. 


Top TV shows– May 8, 1979

ABC was on top with a three-part “Ike” – a drama of the war years of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Also two episodes of “Mork and Mindy,” one was a special. The episode drew a 27.6 rating and a 48 share. The “Mork & Mindy” special drew a 17.1 rating and 45 share.


Thursday night television listings/programs/TV guide – May 8, 1979

CBS – Time Express, Hawaii Five-O, Barnaby Jones

NBC – Whodunnit, Highcliffe Manor, The Chevy Chase National Humor Test, Presenting Susan Anton, Tonight, Tomorrow

ABC – Mork and Mindy, Angie, Barney Miller, Carter Country, Family


On Mork and Mindy – Mork brings home a caterpillar he names Bob. 

Chevy Chase National Humor Test – Second special for the comedian.


Top movies – May 8, 1979

Love at First Bite


Silent Partner

The Wiz

Buck Rogers



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