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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of August 1, 1979 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

The House approves legislation that would give President Carter power to ration gasoline during a severe emergency – one in which gas supplies fell 20% below normal levels.

A wind-whipped seven alarm fire in Houston burns wood-shingled-roofed apartments on the west side – damaging 700 + apartments.

In his farewell appearance before Congress as the first energy secretary, James Schlesinger said America will teeter “on the ragged edge” of fuel shortages for years to come.

Miami - Theodore R. Bundy – who tearfully insisted that he is innocent of murdering two sorority sisters is sentenced by a judge to die in the electric chair. The judge told Bundy to “take care of yourself… I don’t have any animosity towards you.”

President Carter believes the Republicans will nominate Ronald Reagan for President next year, but thinks Sen. Howard Baker Jr. of Tennessee would be a more worthy candidate. 

Congress is skeptical on President Carter’s energy plan and they appear determined to dilute and re-write the sweeping proposals – designed to slash America’s dependence on foreign oil by 50% over the next decade.

President Carter rides a train to Baltimore, inspects a solar-heated home and an abandoned school being converted to apartments and told a street-corner crowd, “We are making good progress giving our people a better life and making you independent of foreign oil.”


Fascinating Facts – August 1, 1979

Yikes – Seymour Goetz – an engineer with CBS and an assistant director of operations for network transmissions – plunges to his death down an air shaft from the 29th floor of the network’s black rock headquarters in Manhattan.

Steve Wallenda, the man who claims to be the last of the “Flying Wallendas” highwire act, failed to walk a cable atop the 2,800-foot-long Tacoma Narrows Bridge and is promptly arrested. Wallenda said that he walked the three-quarter inch handrail on the main cable for about half a mile, performed a handstand, then climbed down before officers arrived.

Four gunmen in business suits and carrying leather bags walk into a Rockefeller Center bank and stole at least $530,000 in what the FBI called the largest cash bank robbery in New York City history.

The nation’s unemployment ate rose slightly in July to 5.7%.


Technology news – August 1, 1979

Direct from the satellite - Comsat – formally known as Communications satellite Corp says that it is only a few months away from seeking a government regulators’ approval for a satellite-to-home subscription TV service. “We’re shooting at 1983 as a starting date” said a spokesperson. Comsat would offer first-run movies, sports events, educational and cultural programs, news and public affairs shows. The monthly rate will be fully competitive with subscription TV services.


Sports news – August 1, 1979

Pete Rose’s hitting streak- the second longest in major league history – ends at 44 games when Atlanta pitchers Larry McWilliams and Gene Garber held him hitless in four at bats.

Yankee catcher Thurman Munson is killed practicing takeoffs and landings in his private jet near his Akron Ohio home. He was about to land his twin-engine Cessna Citation at Akron-Canton Regional Airport when the plane suddenly dipped, crashing 1,000 feet short of the runway and then burned.

Thurman Munson is eulogized by Yankee teammates as a great competitor, a man who loved the New York Yankees and above all, a man who loved his family. The funeral was performed in Canton, Ohio – Munson’s hometown. Reading eulogies – teammates Lou Piniella and Bobby Murcer. The funeral was attended by most of baseball’s leadership, including Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Also seen, former Yankee Bobby Bonds and Sparky Lyle.

Thurman Munson’s contract with the New York Yankees will pay his widow, Diane, $1 million over the next three years. Munson was signed to play through 1991, receiving $400,000 a year.

Bobby Unser wins the first Indianapolis-type auto race held on the Watkins Glen course, beating teammate Rick Mears by 19.1 seconds.

The Baltimore orioles are sold to Washington D.C. lawyer Ed Williams for $12 million.


Music news – August 1, 1979

The Bee Gees will produce Barbra Streisand’s next album this fall. They’ll also contribute a few songs to the project.

Donny Osmond and his wife Debra are the parents of a 7-pound, 7-ounce boy, Donald Clark Osmond.

Gary Moore quits as guitarist for “Thin Lizzy.”

“Public Image” – Johnny Rotten’s new band has a single out in England – “Disco Death.”


Television news – August 1, 1979

Erik Estrada who stars in the popular ChiPs series on NBC is injured critically when he was thrown from a motorcycle during a chase scene being filmed in the Pacoima section of Los Angeles. The 30-year-old actor suffered severe injuries to the chest and possibly to the heart.

On Saturday Night Live – a repeat with guest host Rick Nelson. 


Top movies – August 1, 1979

The Amityville Horror

Escape from Alcatraz

The Muppet Movie

The Concorde – Airport ‘79

North Dallas Forty

More American Graffiti



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