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



In The News

The FBI is questioning 8 congressmen over payoffs to help win favors for an Arab Sheik – a fictitious Arab Sheik. It’s one of the most sweeping investigations of official corruption ever initiated by the government. The “Sheik” was offering large cash payments in return for promises of official help in setting up business investments and in helping him obtain political asylum. The congressmen are –

Sen. Harrison Williams (D-NJ) and Reps John Murphy (D-MY, Richard Kelly (R-Fl), John Murtha (D-PA, Frank Thompson (D-NJ), Michael O. Myers (D-PA) Ray Lederer (D-PA and John Jenrette (D-SC). (This would be called Abscam.)

Substitute? - President Carter says he is “determined in principle” that those athletes who do not go to the Olympics in Moscow this summer “will have an opportunity to participate this year in international games of the highest quality.”

37 convicts are dead after rioting at the New Mexico state penitentiary. Toll could rise as the facility is searched. Inmates later say that a seven-man execution squad rampaged through the prison during the takeover using blowtorches, metal rods and axes to torture and kill fellow prisoners. The State Department, concerned about the fate of the 50 hostages, adopts a policy of secrecy regarding the six Americans who escaped from Tehran last weekend with the aid of the Canadian Embassy. They had been hidden by the Canadians since the seizure of the U.S Embassy on November 4.   

Iranian President Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr denounces the militant students holding the U.S. Embassy hostages as “dictators who have created a government within a government.”

65 Cubans step onto U.S. soil after a daring nighttime escape from their homeland in a leaking, slow-moving barge which they hijacked at gunpoint.

Speaker Thomas (Tip) O’Neil says he has urged President Carter not to recommend draft registration of women and that there is no chance the House would approve it. O’Neil said there is a “strong feeling” in the House that draft registration of men should be re-instituted, but not of women.

The Soviet Union’s national airline will help transport athletes from poor Latin countries to the Olympic Games in Moscow, in an apparent attempt to counter the U.S.-sponsored boycotts of the games.

A large rise in worker layoffs pushes the nation’s unemployment rate to an 18-month high of 6.2%.


Fascinating Business news – February 1, 1980

Chrysler Corp. lost $1,097 billion last year, the largest company operating loss in the nation’s history. The firm is struggling to avoid bankruptcy with the help of a union contract that granted it millions in concessions, and federal loan guarantees.


Sports news – February 1, 1980

Muhammad Ali in Kenya – The champ smoothed over his misunderstanding with President Carter about U.S. foreign policy, tried to get in a fist fight with a lion but couldn’t find one, then added luster to his African mission my meeting with the president of Kenya. 

Muhammad Ali cut short an exhibition tour of India after President Carter asked him to visit African countries “as soon as possible” to help gather support for a boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow this summer.

Stung by criticism of his mission to urge a Moscow Olympics boycott, Muhammad Ali accuses President Carter of “Sending me around the world to take the ripping” from black Africans opposed to U.S. dealings with South Africa. But later…

The East wins the NBA All-Star game in overtime – 144-136. George Gervin, who scored a game-high 34 points, is voted MVP.

Makes history – New York Rangers star Phil Esposito (38) scores his 700th career goal. Hockey great Gordie Howe (40), who is about to rap-up his career, now has 797.

Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, says he opposes President Carter’s proposal to stay away from the Moscow Games. “To me, it’s not right in the eyes of god or the soul of man,” said Owens.


Music news  - February 1, 1980

K.C. (of the Sunshine Band) says there are possible reasons for disco’s current slump. “I think they got carried away with all those eight-minute songs. After a while you couldn’t tell one from the other. You get in your car and all you hear is one record for eight minutes. I like to hear two or three. Things got out of control with all those extended versions.” K.C. may be changing too. He’s had two major hit ballads – “Don’t Go” and “Yes I’m Ready” with Teri Desario.

Phil Spector is back and producing the rock band – The Ramones. Look for the Spector-produced album “End of the Century” on Sire Records. 


Television news – February 1, 1980

NBC says it will add a talk-variety show, this time in the morning! Comedian David Letterman, who has guest hosted the “Tonight” show is being considered as the host. The show will feature a band, studio audience, guest stars and informal news updates.   


Top movies – February 1, 1980

American Gigolo


Going In Style

Guyana Cult of the Damned

In Search Of Historical Jesus

Black Hole

Silent Scream

Roller Boogie

Electric Horseman

The Fog

Star Trek

Just Tell Me What You Want

Scavenger Hunt

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