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



In The News

The Reagan Administration withdraws as “unworkable and incredibly costly” proposals by the Carter Administration that would have required non-English-speaking children to be taught in their native language.

President Reagan tells visiting South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan that the U.S. will maintain the strength of its forces in South Korea, giving the area the same commitment and weight it accords to its European alliances.

Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger says that the United States would “very probably” want to deploy neutron warheads in Europe, a move that would reverse a controversial 1978 decision by the Carter administration.

The official communist newspaper “Pravda” tells its readers that President Reagan “suffers from a “childhood disease” marked by the need for power and denial of reality. The newspaper accused Reagan of presuming that “what is good for the United States is good for all.”

President Reagan’s cabinet is completed after Raymond Donovan was sworn-in as secretary of labor and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick took the oath as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Up to 4,000 airline pilots – a number equal to about 10% of the nation’s fliers, face possible felony charges or civil penalties for their role in an alleged massive tax fraud conspiracy. According to the IRS, the alleged conspiracy was guided by a Honolulu businessman and was designed to create fictitious income-tax deductions through a complex series of “sham paper transactions.”

The Department of Education discards bilingual education rules proposed by the Carter Administration. The rules would have forced public schools to teach non-English speaking students in English and their native language. The proposed rules were heavily criticized by educational groups and school boards.

Taking the stand for the sixth day at her trial, Jean Harris describes her rival for the love of “Scarsdale Diet” author Dr Herman Tarnower as an “adulteress,” a “whore,” and a “slut” in a letter to him. Harris is charged with shooting and killing Dr Tarnower in a jealous rage over an affair with 38-year-old Lynee Tryforos. Harris says he was committing suicide and she tried to stop him when the gun went off.

Jean Harris murder trial continued – the jury hears the so-called “Scarsdale letter” in which Harris attacked her rival for diet doctor Harman Tranower’s affections as “a thieving slut” and a “vicious, adulterous psychotic.”

President Reagan turns 70 this week - but a surprise party has been leaked-out from the White House, spoiling the festivities.

Now in Attica Prison, officials say The Son Of Sam (David Berkowitz), has fallen in love with a transsexual inmate. The inmate, Louis Quirros is serving 6 to 10 years for stabbing a fellow transsexual. Calling himself “Dianne,” Quirros is taking hormones to make his breasts grow and has had silicone implanted in his chest. Berkowitz is said to be depressed after officials moved “Diane” to the other side of the cellblock after noticing the budding romance.

The diary of Anne Frank, the tale of the Jewish girl’s ordeal in hiding from the Nazis during WWII, will be published in full next year for the first time. The book will contain the so-called first and second versions of Anne’s diary and the version edited by her father, Otto, who died last August at 91. He was the sole survivor of eight Jews hiding in an Amsterdam house who were betrayed August 4, 1944. Anne Frank died in Belsen concentration camp in March, 1945, several months before her 16th birthday.

In Vergas, Minnesota, two bank robbers try to make their would-be escape in their stolen pick-up, but find out it’s missing. The stolen pick-up was spotted by its owner in front of the bank and he drove away in it. The robbers tried to flee on foot, by were caught. 

Passing - Donald Douglas (88) - founded Douglas Aircraft in the backroom of a Santa Monica CA barbershop in 1920.

Passing – Margaret McNamara (65) – wife of former World Bank President Robert McNamara and founder of the nationwide Reading Is Fundamental program.

Passing  - Ella Grasso - ex-governor of Connecticut and the first woman to be elected chief executive of a state without following her husband. The two-term governor resigned her office effective new-years day because of her illness (61 of cancer). 


Best-selling books – February 1, 1981

 Bestsellers include - “Rage Of Angels” - Sidney Sheldon, “The Covenant” - James A . Michener, “Side Effects” - Woody Allen, “Never-Say-Diet Book” - Richard Simmons.


Sports news – February 1, 1981

The NBA East beats the West 123-120. Nate (Tiny) Archibald of the Boston Celtics gets the game’s MVP.


Prices at the Drugstore – February 1, 1981:

At the drugstore - Oil Of Olay - 6oz jar - $4.69 ... Q-Tips - Box of 170 - .79 ... Tylenol Tablets - (100) - $2.19 

Papermate unveils the “Eraser Mate 2.” – a disposable ballpoint pen. When the Ereaser Mate was introduced two years ago, many industry observers believed that consumers would tire of the novelty of erasable ink. Bankers recommended not using the pen for signing checks. At $1.98 and despite the negative comments, the company says the original was a real success. “Eraser Mate 2” sells for just 98 cents.


Entertainment/Celebrity/Movie news – February 1, 1981

Playing in Las Vegas –

Aladdin – Wayne Newton

Caesars Palace – Frank Sinatra. Cher begins February 5

Frontier- Mel Tillis, Dottie West

Hilton – Bill Cosby, Natalie Cole

Sahara – Rich Little

Sands – Neil Sedaka, Doc Servinsen


Get married – Tina Sinatra (32) (Frank’s daughter) and Beverly Hills businessman Richard Cohen (44) – at the home of the bride’s mother, Nancy.


Some Golden Globe awards –

“Coal Miner’s Daughter” gets best picture (comedy or musical).

Best actor (comedy or musical) – Ray Sharkey – “The Idol Maker.”

Best actress (comedy or musical) – Sissy Specek – “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”


Radio news – February 1, 1981

Red Barber, Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees joins National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” as a sports commentator.

The FCC has turned down a request that it split up its AM stereo proceeding and rule separately on whether it is wise to choose a standard system or allow the marketplace to determine which of five competing systems is best. The split was sought by Kahn Communications, one of the companies offering AM stereo. Last April, the FCC allowed AM stereo and designated the Magnavox system as the industry standard, but has now taken that decision under reconsideration.   

WKTU-FM says its playing disco and other music. Program director Michael Ellis says, “Now we’ll play any record that’s popular. We’re not trying to push any kind of music. That’s what old top 40 stations lost sight of.”

WNBC is finally getting its due.  Cume is up to 2.833 million persons listening to radio 66 during the week. Rival WABC has fallen to about 2.5 million. Advertising billing is way up for WNBC – some 75% from the previous year. WABC program director Jay Clark says the station will stay the course with music, but that WABC is adding New York Yankee baseball this spring. 


Entertainment/Video news – February 1, 1981

From Walt Disney home video – Mickey Mouse Disco – features Mickey, Donald Duck and Goofy in classic dance scenes from the early cartoon features. The musical soundtrack is updated with selected hits from the now famous platinum-selling Mickey Mouse disco album.


Television news – February 1, 1981

CBS announces that Walter Cronkite will leave the “CBS Evening News” on March 6 to be replaced by Dan Rather.

Charles Kuralt, CBS Morning news anchor is arrested for drunk driving on highway 101 in San Mateo County. He was booked and released on his own recognizance. 

NBC cancels “Sanford” and will replace it with “The Brady Brides.” The new series grew out of a reunion movie featuring the original cast of “The Brady Bunch.” Other members of the original series will appear in the first three episodes, but beyond that, only Ann B. Davis will continue.

Paramount gives a green light for a new kind of show – “Entertainment Tonight.” The show, fed by satellite, is an up-to-the-minute Hollywood news program and will be hosted by Tom Hallick, Mario Machado and Marjorie Wallace. Other regular contributors include Rex Reed, Robin Leach, Wanda McDaniel and Rick Du Brow.

Now that he’s President, how will Ronald Reagan conduct his first crucial months in office? Find out on “ABC World News Tonight” this week.

Cable TV update – ESPN says it has passed the 8 million mark in subscriber penetration. A company spokesman said the network no longer signs on cable systems unless they agree to carry all of its 24 hour programming and that only 1-2% now carry on that limited basis an important factor in getting national advertising.


Sunday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – February 1, 1981

CBS – 60 Minutes, Archie Bunker’s Place, One Day At A Time, Alice, The Jeffersons, Trapper John, M.D.

NBC – World of Disney, Chips, Movie

ABC – Those Amazing Animals, ABC Sunday Night Movie

PBS – Shock of the New, Masterpiece Theater, New Fiction Television


On World of Disney – “This Is Your Life, Donald Duck” – features the Disney cartoon characters.

On Chips – Ponch and John go after a gang of arsonists who specialize in blowing-up mobile homes.

On Alice – Mel goes fishing with singer/actor Jerry Reed, but Alice gets in the way and almost destroys their relationship.

On The Jeffersons – Louise goes back to her old home in Harlem and learns it has been torn down.

On New Fiction Television – New York’s Harlem is examined from its founding in the early 1600’s to the present. First of four (one hour) episodes on consecutive nights. 


Monday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – February 1,1981

CBS – The White Shadow MASH, House Calls, Special -“Lily: Sold Out”

NBC – Little House on the Prairie, Movie, The Tonight Show

ABC – That’s Incredible, Dynasty, Foul Play

PBS – Great Performances, Non-Fiction Television


On That’s Incredible – A world champion parachute jumper attempts to land on a speeding jeep; a ghost hunter investigates a haunted house.

Lily: Sold Out – Stars comedienne Lilly Tomlin and her cast of characters in Las Vegas. Guest Paul Anka, Jane Fonda, Liberace, Audrey Meadows, Harvey Lembeck, Melanie Mayron, Dolly Parton and Joan Rivers.                                                   

On The Tonight Show – Guest host Joan Rivers welcomes Larry Hagman and Ricky Schroder. 


Tuesday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – February 1, 1981

 CBS - (debut) - That’s My Line, Movie ... NBC - Sheriff Lobo, BJ and the Bear, Flamingo Road ... Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Three’s Company, Too Close For Comfort, Hart to Hart.


That’s My Line is emceed by Bob Barker.



Music news - February 1, 1981

Helen Reddy (I am woman hear me roar) sues her manager-husband Jeff Wald for divorce. Reddy asks for joint custody of their only child Jordan (8).

Yoko Ono releases something called “Walking On Thin Ice” – an urgent, yet gently philosophical expression of loss. Yoko writes on the back of the record jacket: “Getting this together after what happened was hard, but I knew John would not rest his mind if I hadn’t. I hope you like it, John. I did my best.”

 “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree,” a song which became the symbolic anthem for the nation during the Iranian hostage crisis, is being re-released in a “revised edition” to make lyrical reference to the hostages return. The single to be released by MCA records, will be performed by Johnny Carver, who ironically, did the first version back in the 1970’s, which was overshadowed by Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Attorney Lee Eastman, Paul McCartney’s father-in-law, nixes a request by Wisconsin Governor Lee Dreyfus to turn over the rights to the song “On Wisconsin” which Paul McCartney owns. Eastman says the song is part of a group of important songs of similar nature which are published as an entity and it would be a great disservice to separate “Oh Wisconsin,” from such songs as “Across the Field,” “The Buckeye Battle Cry” and “Dear Old Nebraska.”

It’s learned that singer Peter Yarrow of “Peter, Paul & Mary” was granted a full and unconditional pardon by President Carter before he left office. Yarrow served in jail briefly after being arrested for “taking indecent liberties” with a 14-year-old girl in August of 1969. 

Passing – Bill Hailey (William John Clifton Haley Jr.) (55) – Rock ‘n’ Roll pioneer – famous for “Rock Around The Clock.”

Passing - Hugo Montenegro (55) of emphysema. Best known for his movie, TV and top-40 hits including  “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, “For A Few Dollars More.”

Passing - Drummer William (Cozy) Cole (72) of cancer. Cole’s 1958 hit “Topsey Part II” is the only drumming record ever to sell over a million copies . 


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – February 1, 1981

Celebration - Kool & The Gang

The Tide Is High – Blonde

I love A Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbit

Keep On Loving You - REO Speedwagon

Woman - John Lennon

9 to 5 - Dolly Parton

Hey Nineteen - Steely Dan

Starting Over - John Lennon

Hello Again - Neil Diamond

Passion - Rod Stewart

A Little In Love - Cliff Richard

Rapture – Blonde

The Best Of Times – Styx

Love On The Rocks – Neil Diamond

Every Woman In the World – Air Supply

Giving it Up For Your Love – Delbert McClinton

Same Old Lang Syne – Dan Folgeberg

Miss Sun – Boz Scaggs

Together – Tierra

I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It – Stevie Wonder

Guilty – Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb


Top Pop Music Albums – February 1, 1981

Double Fantasy - John Lennon

Zenyatta Mondatta - The Police

Autoamerican – Blonde

Hi Infidelity - REO Speedwagon

Crimes Of Passion - Pat Benatar

Guilty - Barbra Streisand

The Jazz Singer - Neil Diamond

Gaucho - Steely Dan.

Paradise – Styx

Back in Black – AC/DC

The River – Bruce Springsteen

Celebration – Kool & The Gang

Eagles Live – Eagles

The Turn of a Friendly Card – Alan Parsons

9 to 5 – Dolly Parton

Fantastic Voyage – Lakeside

Lot In Love – Air Supply

Live – Fleetwood Mac

Barry Manilow – Barry Manilow

Foolish Behaviour – Rod Stewart


Top Disco hits – February 1, 1981

You’re Too Late – Fantasy

Look Up/Never Gonna Give You Up – Patrice Rushen

Voices Inside My Head/When the World is Running Down – Police


Top Soul Music Tracks – February 1, 1981

Fantastic Voyage – Lakeside

Burn Rubber – Gap Band

Don’t Stop the Music – Yarbrough & Peoples

United Together – Aretha Franklin

Heartbreak Hotel – The Jacksons

Boogie Body Land – Bar-Kays

Too Tight – Con Fun Shon

I Just Love The Man - The Jane Girls

I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It – Stevie Wonder


Top Jazz albums – February 1, 1981

Carnaval – Spyro Gyra

Winelight – Grover Washington Jr.

Late Night Guitar – Earl Klugh

Night Passage – Weather Report

Inherit The Wind – Wilton Felder

Give Me The Night – George Benson

Mr. Hands – Herbie Hancock

Civilized Evil – Jean-Luc Ponty


Top pop hit singles in Britain – February 1, 1981

Imagine – John Lennon

Woman – John Lennon

In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins

Antmusic – Adam & The Ants

Rapture – Blonde

Vienna – Ultravox

Don’t Stop The Music – Yarbrough & Peoples

I Am The Beat - Look

Young Parisians – Adam & The Ants

I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It – Stevie Wonder

Do Nothing – Specials

Fade To Grey - Visage


Top Country hit music singles – February 1, 1981

Who’s Cheatin’ Who - Charley McClain

Are You Happy Baby? - Dottie West

Southern Rains - Mel Tillis

Guitar Man - Elvis Presley

Do You Love As Good As You Look - The Bellamy Brothers

Beautiful You – Oak Ridge Boys

Your Memory – Steve Wariner

I Keep Coming Back/True Life Country Music – Razzy Bailey

1959 – John Anders

Silent Treatment – Earl Thomas Conley


Top movies – February 1, 1981 

Fort Apache - The Bronx - Paul Newman, Edward Asner

Any Which Way You Can - Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke

Stir Crazy - Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor

Raging Bull - Robert DeNiro

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen

The Incredible Shrinking Woman - Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin.


Altered States

Seems Like Old Times

The Jazz Singer

Blood Beach

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