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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of January 1, 1980 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

New Year’s Eve - A fire burns through the Opemiska Club - a crowded social club in Quebec, killing at least 42 in one of Canada’s worst fires.

Thousands of Afghans try to storm the Soviet embassy in Tehran to protest the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan, but Iranian guards stop them.

 More Tehran – Iranian authorities thwart a plot against the life of U.N. Secretary general Kurt Waldheim. Walheim was in Tehran for talks aimed at leading to the release of American hostages.

The three major U.S. TV networks broadcast footage of four American hostages in Iran reading statements criticizing the deposed Shah of Iran. The State department denounced the statements as a “cynical propaganda ploy” orchestrated by the Iranian militants holding the hostages. The statements depicted Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi as a “puppet” and “an accused criminal” and said the shah should be extradited to Iran.

President Carter says that Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev lied about the Kremlin’s motives in sending troops into Afghanistan and that his overall opinion of the Soviet Union has changed dramatically.

Afghanistan - Soviet invasion trips and Muslim rebels fight a fierce battle about 100 northwest o Kabul. Meantime, President Carter recalls Thomas Watson Jr., the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union for consultations to respond to the soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

It’s reported that Soviet tanks are moving closer to the Iranian border with southwestern Afghanistan in an attempt to block all routes of access for Iran-based Muslim guerrillas and escape for refugees. 

President Carter asks for a delay in senate consideration of the SALT II treaty, saying debate would be “inappropriate at this time.” And must await a reassessment of Soviet intentions after the move into Afghanistan.

Iran – The militants holding the U.S. embassy demand that L. Bruce  Laingen, America’s top diplomat in Iran, be handed over to them. They threatened to put a hostage – an Air Force officer and alleged Vietnam “war criminal” on trial before Vietnamese representatives.

Federal reserve chairman Paul  A. Volcker says he has no intention of backing away from tight monetary and credit policies, despite signs that the nation’s economy is slowing.  

A federal judge in Pittsburgh, saying “Hispanic’ is not a racial category, temporarily bars the city from promoting a police officer of Mexican descent under an anti-discrimination plan. He made it clear that only blacks and women are included in his order forcing the city to award preferential promotions to minorities on the police force.

President Carter curtails U.S. grain shipments and bans the sale of American high technology to the Soviet Union in retaliation for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Ethnic and religious rioting in Iran leaves 29 dead.

President Carter signs into law legislation giving $1.5 billion in loan guarantees to Chrysler Corp, calling the step “extremely important” for the entire nation.

The Supreme Court leaves intact a decision allowing public schools to fire teachers who refuse to teach the Pledge of Allegiance and patriotic songs.

Dodge Main in Hamtramck, Michigan, one of the auto industry’s most storied assembly plants, builds its final vehicle – 13,943,221 – a victim of the financial squeeze that has crippled Chrysler Corp. The final car was a two-door dodge Aspen.


Fascinating Business news – January 1, 1980

Hot tubs more popular than ever - Citing 10 deaths during the last year, the government warns hot tub users not to drink heavily when they dip and keep the water temperature below 104 degrees. Hot tub sales have boomed in the last few years. Sales may reach 135,000 this year compared to only 40,000 in 1977 and 90,000 in 1979.

Gold us up - $100 higher than days earlier at a record $649.73 an ounce.

With the New Year, comes a new minimum wage – now at $3.10 – up from $2.90.


Technology news – January 1, 1980

Sears is looking into a direct satellite-to-home subscription television service with Comsat General Corp.  Estimated cost for such equipment to the consumer would cost about $20 a month, plus an initial cost outlay of equipment. 


Sports news – January 1, 1980

Bowl games

Cotton – Houston – 17  Nebraska – 14

Orange – Oklahoma – 24  Florida St. – 7

Rose – USC – 17 – Ohio State - 16


Entertainment/Celebrity news  - January 1, 1980

Joy Adamson (69), whose book “Born Free” about an orphaned lioness is dead – mauled by a lion in Kenya. Friends say she was taking her customary evening stroll in the bush outside her camp and came across a lion chasing a buffalo; the lion turned and killed her.

After 25 years - Bert Parks is fired from his job as hosting the Miss America pageant each year. “You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m absolutely shocked. I know nothing about this at all.”


Music news – January 1, 1980

Record labels are disseminating their disco artist and development due to a slump in the business. Disco’s popularity peaked in the spring and summer of 1978 and into 1979. The genre has seen a downward trend in big hits, especially the top-10. That’s not stopping some – Mark Kreinder of Ocean Records just signed Ann-Margret for some disco records. 

Music Television - On NBC-TV this week: “Sinatra – The First 40 Years.” Remembering 40 years of movies, specials and songs. Highlighted by Sinatra in concert! Look for Paul Anka, Lucille Ball, Tony Bennett, Milton Berle, Charlie Callas, Sammy Davis Jr. Glenn Ford, Cary Grant, Henry James, Gene Kelly, Rich Little, Dean Martin and more! NBC – Proud As A Peacock!


Sports news – January 1, 1980

The Pittsburgh Steelers make it to the Super Bowl for the fourth time, defeating the Houston Oilers in the playoffs. Houston quarterback Dan Pastorina out passed Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw in net yards – 203 to 197, but the final score was 27-13.


Television news – January 1, 1980

NBC will be pairing Japanese sensations “Pink Lady” with comedian Jeff Altman for a variety show. “Pink Lady” – two females, although not known in the States, have sold some $100 million in records sales in their homeland.

James Garner says he’s not well enough to return to “The Rockford Files.” This is the last season of the show.

Steve Martin and separately, Marie Osmond sign long-term contracts with NBC to star in specials and also for Martin, develop comedy projects.


Wednesday night television listings/programs/TV guide – January 1, 1980

CBS – Young Maverick, Movie

NBC – Real People, Diff’rent Strokes, Joe’s World, Best of Saturday Night Live, Tonight Show, Tomorrow

ABC – Eight is enough, Charlie’s Angels, Vegas


Best of Saturday Night Live – Jill Clayburgh with musical guest Leon Redbone.


Top movies – January 1, 1980

Electric Horseman

Going in Style

The Jerk

Kramer Vs. Kramer

Star Trek

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure


Roller Boogie

Scavenger Hunt

Apocalypse Now

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