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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of January 23, 1981 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts




In The News

President Reagan signs a resolution designating Thursday of this week a day of thanksgiving in honor of the 52 American hostages. Meantime, Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Rajai defended in Parliament the agreement he made with the U.S to end the hostage crisis and insisted that President Reagan honor the terms of the settlement. Rajai has faced stiff criticism at home over the financial settlement. President Reagan has indicated that the U.S. intends to abide by the carter Administration agreement that freed the hostages.

At West Point – America’s 52 hostages thank their countrymen for a terrific welcome after 444 days of captivity. Actually, 41 of the 52 attended. The State Department reports that about a dozen of the hostages were experiencing severe mental problems because of their captivity.

More than 265,000 turn out for the Washington DC homecoming of the 52 American hostages. President Reagan vowed swift action against any future terrorism, warning that there are “limits to our patience,” “Welcome from all America and thank you for making us proud to be Americans. Your freedom and your individual dignity are much cherished.” “Let terrorists be aware that when the rules of international behavior are violated, our policy will be one of swift and effective retribution,” said the President.

President Reagan announces he is abolishing the Council on wage and Price Stability and prohibiting federal agencies from implementing new regulations for 60 days.

Harsh news conference - President Reagan accuses the Soviet Union of reserving the right “to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat” in a persistent campaign to promote global revolution and a worldwide communist state.

The Soviet Union accuses President Reagan of making “deliberate distortions” about Soviet foreign policy goals. It said the new President made “unseemly” remarks at his first formal news conference. 

White House spokesman James Brady says President Reagan has assigned Vice President George Bush to “stay in touch and monitor the situation” in Atlanta, where 17 black children have disappeared in 18 months.

The Polish government and the free trade union Solidarity reach a compromise agreement on a five-day workweek and union access to the news media, but failed to settle their dispute over a farmers union.

Despite a recession - Consumer prices leaped 12.4% in 1980 for the first two-year spell of double-digit inflation.

Former Iran hostages ride through a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan. More than a million people lined the route. After the parade, Mayor Edward Koch stood at City Hall with the hostages at his side. “Throughout the years, many famous people have taken the same ticker-tape route before cheering crowds. But this day is special. Today, all of you belong to New York City. And New York City belongs to you.”

The Supreme Court rules that states are free to allow television and still-photography coverage of criminal trails – even when defendants object.

President Reagan orders his department heads to invoke a wide variety of cost-cutting measures, including a ban on redecorating of federal offices.

Muriel Humphrey (68) – widow of former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, announces she plans to marry businessman Max Brown, a former high school classmate.


Fascinating Business news – January 23, 1981

A Pan American World Airways airliner completes a 21-hour flight from New York to Peking, resuming scheduled U.S. air service to China after a 31-year break. U.S. airline service to China stopped with the communist victory in 1949.

Penthouse magazine releases an interview in which Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell blasts former President Jimmy Carter for giving his famous “lust” interview to Playboy, “a salacious, vulgar magazine.” In the interview, Falwell said he never objected to then-presidential candidate Carter admitting in the 1976 Playboy interview he had lusted after women in his heart.” Falwell, the self-styled “noisy Baptist” has built his Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg (VA) into a 17,000-member organization.  Falwell denies he knew the interview would be published in Penthouse – sandwiched between photo layouts of naked women, sex ads, bawdy jokes and cartoons.

Australian magnate Rupert Murdoch buys the Times of London


Radio news – January 23, 1981

Wacky personality Steve Dahl and his sidekick Gary Meier are heard mornings not only in his home base of Chicago, but Detroit, Milwaukee and soon – KROQ Los Angeles.


Sports news – January 23, 1981

New Orleans - The Oakland Raiders with QB Jim Plunkett defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV.


Entertainment/Celebrity news – January 23, 1981

Playing in Las Vegas –

Sammy Davis Jr. – Caesars

Anne Murrray, Larry Gatlin – Riviera

Shecky Greene, Suzanne Somers - Sands


Television news – January 23, 1981

ABC becomes the first major network to file applications for a series of low-power television stations, one of them in Los Angeles. The applications also seek low power stations in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Detroit. 

Super Bowl XV – On NBC as Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen call the action.


Wednesday night television listings/programs/TV guide – January 23, 1981

CBS – Enos, Movie

NBC – Real People, Diff’rent Strokes, Facts of Life, Quincy, Tonight, Tomorrow

ABC – Eight is enough, Taxi, Soap, Vegas, Nightline

PBS – Live from the Met, Silver Wings and Santiago Blue

Real People – World’s smallest man; baseball played on mules


On the  Tonight Show – David Letterman guest hosts with Dick Enberg, Pete Barbutti and Aretha Franklin.


Top movies – January 23, 1981


Stir Crazy


Blood Beach

Nine to Five

Ordinary People

Altered States

The Jazz Singer

Raging Bull

Seems Like Old Times

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