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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of January 1, 1981 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

President-elect Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy issue New Year’s greetings to the country in an interview taped for NBC and broadcast during the Tournament of Roses parade.  “I know that there are great problems. I know that man people are disturbed worldwide, but certainly here in our country, as to whether we can solve the gravest problems confronting us. Let’s start this first day of the fifth year of the third century of our country – all of us together – realizing that we can solve the problems confronting us as we’ve solved them for 200 years. We just have to do it together.”

Richard M. Nixon’s lawyer threatens court action to keep Senate Democrats from receiving the former President’s tapes and other documents relating to Alexander M. Haig Jr.

Ronald Reagan selects James Brady, the spokesman for his transition headquarters since the election, as his White House press secretary. 

Bowing to congressional pressure, the Postal Service says it will delay until June, plans to begin implementing a controversial nine-digit ZIP code so that people can learn how to use it. The longer ZIP, which has come under fire from Congress and industry groups, is expected to save the Postal Service about $6t00 million a year by 1987 and hold down postal rates. 

The Carter Administration replies to a series of questions relayed from Iran and there’s hope the hostages may soon be released.

The new Reagan Administration says it will recommend against any presidential declaration of an economic emergency or request for extraordinary powers. Unemployment, inflation and interest rates will remain high through 1981.

Prince Charles sends a special message to editors in Fleet Street – Britain’s newspaper row, “Have a nasty New Year.” It seems the royal family, on New Year’s vacation in Sandrigham, cannot go anywhere without being hounded by the press. And, the press is on the lookout for Lady Diana Spencer, who is rumored to be on the verge of marrying Price Charles.

More England – Leeds – Peter William Sutcliffe – a 35-year-old truck driver is charged in court with the murder of one of the 13 allegedly slain over the last five years by the so-called Yorkshire Ripper.

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon has played matchmaker for more than 1,600 people, many of whom never met each other before. The Unification Church says that over the past two days, Moon performed a mass engagement ceremony for 843 couples in New York City. Church members came fro as far away as Australia for the match-up. 


Fascinating Business news – January 1, 1981

General Motors raises the price of their average automobile by $149 or 1.5% this week.

GM J-cars to be built in Japan - The world car entry from General Motors will be built in Japan – the first time in 40 years that a U.s. car has been produced in what is now the world’s leading auto country.

The Census Bureau officially puts the nation’s 1980 population at 226,504,825.

After a bad year for airline deaths in 1979, 1980 was totally the opposite – with no deaths from airline accidents – the first year on record for U.S. airlines.


Sports news – January 1, 1981

Get married – Olympic athlete-turned-actor Bruce Jenner and actress Linda Thompson are married in a sunset ceremony in Honolulu. It was the second marriage for Jenner and the first for Thompson. She’s a regular on TV’s “Hee Haw.”

Sidelined with a knee injury, Earvin (Magic) Johnson should resuming playing for the Lakers in February.

Bowl games –

Cotton – Alabama - 30  Baylor – 2


Music news – January 1, 1981

They’ve been recording a long time – but finally – REO Speedwagon has got a hit album – “Hi Infidelity.” They’ve been recording for Epic since 1971 and yes, are still with that label. They’ve sold records, but this one could be the big break. Member Kevin Cronin says – “it’s the new songs. They’re different from what we’ve done before. We used to write songs that were mild, about things that people between 15 and 25 were thinking about. But his album is more about persona experiences. This time we bared our souls.”


Television news – January 1, 1981

Don’t miss “Tush Starring Bill” on Ted Turner’s superstation WTBS. It’s a local variety show – produced out of WTBS in Atlanta. He’s described as another Fred Allen. Bill Tush began with TBS predecessor WTCG as a booth announcer. Before that he was a disc jockey in Atlanta. The weekly show began December 28. (Tush later could be seen on CNN).


Monday night television listings/programs/TV guide – January 1, 1981

CBS – Flo, Ladies Man, MASH, House Calls, Lou Grant

NBC – Little House on the Prairie, Movie, Tonight, Tomorrow

ABC – That’s Incredible, Movie, Nightline

PBS – Great Performances, On Working


ABC Movie – “SST… Disaster Flight (1977) – Lorne Greene

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