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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of December 23, 1979 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

President Carter, spending a subdued Christmas at Camp David, is keeping up to date on developments in Iran and putting final touches on a federal budget. 

In a Christmas message, President Carter told the families of American hostages held in Tehran that their “courage and nobility of spirit” had been an inspiration to those seeking the release of their loved ones.

The Ayatollah Khomeini says that the U.S.-Iranian crisis is likely to turn into military war and that Iran should be prepared for the possibility of an economic blockade.

Radio Kabul reports a coup in Afghanistan with power seized by Babrek Karmel – former deputy prime minister reported strongly pro-Soviet.

President Aristides Royo of Panama says that his government is prepared to consider the extradition of the deposed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to Iran if the American hostages held are freed.

Iran – The United States shifts strategy and drops its call for immediate economic sanctions by the U.N. Security Council against Iran on the prospect that Secretary General Kurt Waldheim will negotiate personally in Tehran for the release of the 50 American hostages held there.

Soviet invasion - Heavy fighting, described as brief, breaks out in Kabul, Afghanistan between Russian troops and supporters of former President Hafizullah Amin as Soviet troops and equipment continue to pour into Afghanistan.  Another report says that Soviet tanks and mechanized infantry are pouring into Afghanistan on two main fronts in a large-scale aggression. The Carter Administration says they should lay their hands off Pakistan.

President Carter sends a letter to Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev, warning that U.S.-Soviet relations will be seriously impaired if Soviet troops are not withdrawn from Afghanistan.

The U.N. Security Council adopts an American-initiated resolution to impose sanctions against Iran if the U.S. hostages in Tehran are not released by January 7.

The Soviet Union’s population increased 9% to 262.4 million during the 1970’s and that its citizens became more urbanized and better educated.

The Postal Service will issue a W.C. Fields commemorative stamp on January 29 – the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Archeologists say they accidentally unearthed remains of an Indian massacre and other artifacts that could be among the most significant finds of American Colonial history. Remains of the massacre in which 58 settlers were believed killed in 1622 were found just 10 miles northeast of the site of Jamestown. So far, nobody has ever found anything of the original settlement of Jamestown.


Music news – December 23, 1979

Passing – Famed music composer Richard Rogers. He was 77.

Here’s a list of decent rock magazines – as in rock music. Each covers the subject of rock and some pop –

Rolling Stone

Hit Parader

Trouser Press

New Musical Express

The number of platinum albums is down to 38 this year from the 1978 high of 87. Gold record sales dipped from 187 in 1978 to 100 this year. Under new rules, the RIAA doesn’t award a gold or platinum album until four months after the record’s release (the rules changed this year because of suspected hype by some record companies).

Toni Tennille is sporting a completely different look these days. Glamorous is the word and her body has tightened up. Gone, are her “cute” days which she now hates. “My hair was girlish and blah. All the little girls were coping that style, people saw me as this happy, grinning Kewpie doll. That was the pits. They would say, ‘Oh, isn’t she cute.’ Well cute is for when you’re 20, not when you’re in your 30’s like me. I just didn’t want to be cute anymore.”

Just after appearing on “Saturday Night Live” not too long ago, Ricky Lee Jones fired her manager Nick Mathe. He claims that Jones defaulted on her contractual obligations and is suing her. 

A star at Ten, A Superstar At Twenty-one. Meet Michael Jackson! On ABC’s “20/20” this week


Music news - December 23, 1979

On the “Midnight Special” this Friday on NBC-TV –

The Commodores host with ABBA, Frankie Valli, Captain & Tennille, Destination, the Katnap Dancers.

The most popular albums of the 1970’s according to Joel Whitburn – By year starting with 1970… 

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkle

1971 - Jesus Christ Superstar – Soundtrack

1972 - Harvest – Neil Young

1973 - The World Is A Ghetto – War

1974 - Goodbye Yellowbrick Road –Elton John

1975 - Elton John’s Greatest Hits

1976 - Frampton Comes Alive – Peter Frampton

1977 - Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

1978 - Saturday Night Fever – Bee Gees

1979 - 52nd Street – Billy Joel.


Entertainment/Celebrity news – December 23, 1979

Passing – Movie mogul Darryl F. Zanuck. He was 77.

Passing – Actress Joan Blondell of leukemia. She was 73.

Kennedy Center Honors on CBS-TV this week. Aaron Copland, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Fonda, Martha Graham, Tennessee Williams.


Christmas Eve television – (Monday) – listings/programs/TV guide – December 26, 1979

CBS – WKRP, The Last Resort, MASH, House Calls, Lou Grant

NBC – Little House on the Prairie (2 hours), A Christmas Special With Love, Mac Davis, (late night) Samoan Christmas, Christmas Rome ‘79

ABC – TV Movie, Family

PBS – Joan Baez holiday concert


Mac Davis special – Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Robert Urich join Davis for his fifth holiday program.

Music On TV - New Year’s Eve television – December 31, 1979

CBS’ Happy New Year, America – Paul Anka anchors from Las Vegas, Al Hirt form New Orleans, Natalie Cole at a disco party and Les Brown and his Band from New York.

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on ABC-TV – Erin Moran and John Schneider cohost with Dick Clark. Look for Blondie, Barry Manilow, Chic, the Village People, the Oak Ridge Boys. 


Top movies – December 23, 1979

The Jerk



The Deer Hunter

Apocalypse Now

Starting Over

Fiddler on the Roof

The Muppet movie

Star Trek The Motion Picture

Roller Boogie

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