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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of December 15, 1980 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

President-elect Ronald Reagan nominates Gen Alexander M Haig Jr. to be Secretary of State.

Algeria relays Tehran’s “final” terms for freeing the 52 American hostages to the United States and Iran says it must get back its $8 billion in frozen assets and gold bullion before the captives are released.

Seven imprisoned Irish guerillas who began a hunger strike “to the death” 53 days earlier for political prisoner status call it off without winning that demand.

About 3,000 jam the streets of Lynn, Mass to catch money being dropped by helicopter as a gift to its citizens, but most of the money went out into the ocean. The money was given out by Walter Dyer, owner of a local, family-run leather company. When thrown from the helicopter, the money went up in the air and the winds mostly carried it out to sea.

President-elect Ronald Reagan announces his first appointment of a woman to a to-level position and names former federal trade Commissioner Elizabeth Dole as assistant to the President for public liaison. 

Up, Up and Up -  At the tale-end of the Carter Administration - the prime rate advances to a record 21.5%! It’s a record!

President-elect Reagan says he will not impose any “extralegal or unusual legal measures of he decides to declare a national economic emergency after his inauguration in January. He is considering a federal hiring freeze and curbs on spending and borrowing. Top Reagan aides already have discussed a series of emergency measures to deal with the financial crisis after the change of administration Jan. 20.

After nearly a year of big deficits, the United States posts its first surplus in international trade of goods and services in the third quarter.

Census Bureau says - America’s fastest-growing city is San Jose, CA, which gained 36.1% in population over the past decade.  The largest percentage drop in population among the top 4 cities wasn’t St. Louis, where the population fell 27.9% over the same period. Houston swapped places with Detroit, moving up to fifth place.

First Lady Rosalynn Carter says that Nancy Reagan called her to deny reports that she wished the Carter family would move out of the White House before the inauguration so the family quarters could be redecorated. “She just said she did not make those statements,” said the First Lady, about Mrs. Reagan. 

 Passing – former Soviet Premier Alexei K. Kosygin (76) – prime architect of détente and a foreign policy troubleshooter for 16 years.  He died less than two months after resigning from the job he took away from Nikita Khrushchev in 1964.


Fascinating Business news – December 15, 1980

 Lee A. Iacocca says Chrysler Corp. Has “no future” if the federal government fails to approve its latest cost-cutting proposals.  “This is a touch, solid plan, it’s a workable plan and it’s going to do the job for us.’ Said Iacocca.

Passing – Harland Sanders (90) – the white-haired, white-suited Kentucky colonel who parlayed sales ability and a secret recipe into a fried chicken empire.

Near Palm Springs – California’s first wind turbine producing electrical energy for a utility is dedicated in the San Gorgonio Pass. The windmill is designed to produce 3,000 kilowatts of electrical power in 40mph wind. Winds of about 12mph are necessary for the blades to turn. It will soon be joined in the windy pass by another wind-turbine generator, one shape like a giant inverted eggbeater. Will more be on the way? 

Saudi Arabia announces it is raising its crude prices about $2 a barrel – to $32, retroactive to Nov. 1


Sports news – December 15, 1980

Slugger/outfielder Dave Winfield becomes the richest free agent in baseball history signing a multi-year contract with the New York Yankees, at estimates of $1.5 million a year for 10 years.


Technology news – December 15, 1980

Satellite Television Corp asks the FCC for permission to build satellites for the first phase of a system that is expected to be the first to serve TV customers directly to homes from space.  


Media news – December 15, 1980

Gannett Co which owns the largest chain of daily newspapers, announces plans to publish prototype editions next year of a national, general interest daily paper to be called “USA Today.” If the reactions of advertisers and readers to the test publications are positive, Gannett probably will begin daily publication and distribution throughout the country in 1982, Chairman Allen Neuharth told publishers of the company’s 81 dailies at a luncheon meeting.

American Telephone & telegraph becomes the first corporation ever to report profits of more than $6 billion in a 12-month period..



Radio news – December 15, 1980

 In Philly - Country WRCP-FM (104.5) goes adult contemporary as WSNI.

“Live From Gilley’s,” Westwood One’s new hour-long weekly radio series of live concerts to bop stars in country music, has hit 200 stations.

Less music for WABC – Jay Clark operations manager devoted 3 ½ hours to coverage of the New York marathon Oct 26 that included having talent reporting from the event, including overnight DJ Howard Hoffman.

Dr. Demento celebrates his 10th anniversary in radio.


Television news – December 15, 1980

NBC sinks to last place and three series premieres fared poorly in the ratings. Marie Osmond’s new variety show ranked 54th out of 66 shows. “The Steve Allen Comedy Show” did worse – 56. “Number 96” – NBC’s highly touted comedy soap opera fared poorly as well.

Public Broadcasting’s WNET/New York will enter the home video market next year.


More John Lennon New Updates – December 15, 1980

Sunday – More than 100,000 pack hillsides and valleys in Central Park during John Lennon commemorative services. A smaller crowd gathered outside the Dakota, the apartment house where Lennon lived and was shot. 

Yoko Ono asks fans “to pray for John’s soul” for 10 minutes on Sunday. She thanked the millions of fans and friends who paid tribute to Lennon in a worldwide outpouring of tears and silent prayer. She said she saw her husband “smiling in the sky.”

The station’s to listen to in New York were WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM for John Lennon. WNEW-FM prepared the selections for the Sunday Central Park gathering and they included classical selections and Beatle songs. WNEW-FM went commercial-free for 12 hours after the murder was reported to the media.   

Lennon Tribute recordings – Within a week of John Lennon’s death, four tributes of the slain Beatle have been recorded. The first one, on Shelby Singleton’s Sun Label, was written, recorded and shipped within 48 hours of the murder. Three of the four songs came from Nashville. The fourth, “We won’t say Goodbye, John,” was recorded in Los Angeles. Here they are:

“John” – Baxter, Baxter & Baxter

“John Would Agree” – Contains Beatles-flavored tracks – by Bob Farnsworth.

“Elegy For the Walrus” – Sid Bradley.

“We Won’t say Goodbye – Iren Koster 


 More music news – December 15, 1980

The Peppermint Lounge in New York is reopened. The site had been occupied for the past two years by the G.G. Barnum Room, which moves next door.

Investigators from the New York state Attorney general’s office Madison square Garden, promoter Ron Delsener and Bruce Springsteen’s management company are looking into allegations that thousands of tickets to Springsteen’s four sol-out dates at the Garden have been diverted to ticket scalpers.


Top videocassette movie sales – December 15, 1980

Star Trek

Close Encounters

Blues Brothers


Coal Miner’s Daughter

American Gigolo

The Muppet Movie

The Godfather


Billboard’s Top Pop Music Artists For 1980

Male –

Kenny Rogers

Michael Jackson

Billy Joel

Waylon Jennings

Smokey Robinson

Christopher Cross

Herb Alpert

Kenny Loggins

Dan Fogelberg

Barry Manila

Elton John

Boz Scaggs

Wilie Nelson

Jermaine Jackson

Isaac Hayes

Gary Numan

Rupert Holms

Chuck Mangione

Pete Townshend

Bob Dylan

Eric Clapton

Stevie Wonder

Paul McCartney


Steve Forbert

Teddy Pendergrass

Robbie Dupree

Frank Sinatra

Neil Diamond

Joe Jackson

Jimmy Buffett


Billboard’s Top Female Pop Music Artists For 1980 

Donna Summer

Pat Benatar

Dionne Warwick

Anne Murray

Linda Ronstadt

Diana Ross

Stephanie Mills

Barbra Steisand

Angels Bofill

Bette Midler

Joan Armatrading

Carole King

Emmylou Harris

Kim Carnes

Patrice Rushen

Natialie Cole

Melissa Manchester

Bonnie Raitt

France Joli

Teena Marie

Phyllis Hyman

Olivia Newton-John

Bonnie Pointer

Nicolette Larson

Brenda Russell

Carly Simon

Grace Slick


Billboard’s Top New Pop Music Artists For 1980 

Christopher Cross


Lipps Inc.

Air Supply

Ray, Goodman & Brown


The Dirt Band

Robbie Dupree

Bob James & Earl Klugh

The S.O.S. band


Ray parker Jr. & Raydio

Bruce Cockburn

Rocky Burnette

Luciano Pavarotti

Rossington Collins Band



Larry Graham

Benny Mardones

38 Special



Top Country Hit Music Singles – December 15, 1980

One In A Million – Johnny Lee

That’s All that Matters To Me – Mickey Gilley

Lover’s Live Longer – Bellamy Brothers

I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink – Merle Haggard

The Best of Strangers – Barbara Mandrell

A Bridge That Just Won’t Burn – Conway Twitty

I Love A Rainy Night – Eddie Rabbit

Why Lady Way – Alabama

Texas In My Rear View Mirror – Mac Davis


Top Disco Hit Music – December 15, 1980

It’s A War/Ahjia – Kano

Celebration – Kool & The Gang

All My Love – L.A.X.

Lovely One/Can You Feel It/Walk Right Now – The Jacksons

Uptown/Dirty Mind/Head – Prince

Look Up/ Never Gonna Give You Up _ Patrice Rushen

You ought To Be Dancin’ – People’s Choice

Action Satisfaction- Melody Stewart


Top Pop Music Hit Singles In Britain – December 15, 1980

Super Trouper – Abba

The Tide Is High – Blondie

Embarrassment – Madness

Banana Republic – Boomtown Rats

Never Knew Like This Before – Stephanie Mills

Do You Feel My My Love – Eddie Grant

The earth dies Screaming – UB40

I Could Be So Good For You – Dennis Waterman

Fashion – David Bowie

Celebration – Kool & The Gang

To Cut A Long Story Story Short – Spandau Ballet


Top Pop Music Hit Singles In Canada – December 15, 1980

Lady – Kenny Rogers

(Just Like) Starting Over – John Lennon

Hungary Heart – Bruce Springsteen

More than I Can Say – Leo Sayer

Dreaming – Cliff Richard

I Got You – Split Enz

Don’t Stand So Close – Police

Love On The Rocks – Neil Diamond

Woman In Love – Barbra Streisand


Top Music Albums – December 15, 1980

Hotter Than July – Stevie Wonder

Greatest Hits – Kenny Rogers

Guilty – Barbra Streisand

Back in Black – AC/DC

Eagles Live – Eagles

Crimes of Passion – Pat Benatar

The River – Bruce Springsteen

The Game – Queen

Gaucho – Steely Dan

Double Fantasy – John/Yoko Ono

Live/Greatest Hits – Heart

The Jazz Singer – Neil Diamond

Zenyatta Mondatta – Police

Triumph – The Jacksons

Faces – Earth, Wind & Fire

Autoamerican- Blondie

Remain in Light – Talking Heads

Making Movies – Dire Straits

Anne Murray’s Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits – The Doors

One Step Closer – Doobie Brothers

Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross

The Turn of a Friendly Card – Alan Parsons Project

Seconds of Pleasure – Rockpile

Hits – Boz Scaggs

Celebrate – Kool & The Gang

Barry – Barry Manila

Hawks and Doves – Neil Young

Foolish Behaviour – Rod Stewart


Top movies – December 15, 1980


Any Which Way You Can

Flash Gordon

Smokey & The Bandit

Stir Crazy

The Hunter

Final Countdown

The Mirror Crack’d

9 to 5

Empire Strikes Back

Raging Bull

Seems Like Old Times

The formula

Inside Moves

A Change of Seasons

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