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



In The News

President Regan is described by doctors as “doing extremely well.”

Reports say John Warnock Hinckley Jr., accused of shooting President Reagan, went a months-long gun-buying spree and took a cross-country trek to Washington. As important, was a letter he wrote to actress Jodi Foster, telling of his unrequited love for her, and saying he killed the President.  The letter also disclosed that he planned to get even with the President because he believed Reagan had once snubbed the 18-year-old actress, who was featured in the movie “Taxi Driver.” She is now a freshman at Yale. Investigative sources report that Foster had received letters over the months from Hinckley.

The FBI should have told the Secret service that John W. Hinckley Jr. was arrested for carrying guns at the Nashville airport last year shortly after President Carter’s arrival, Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan said.

From cooks to Vice President George Bush from secretaries to top-level officials, several hundred members of the White House staff gathered to pose for a photograph that will be sent to President Reagan as a get-well card. It will be sent to Reagan, White House Press secretary James Brady, secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty.

President Reagan suffers a little setback after he developed a fever that could delay his return to the White House a day or two.

Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev arrives in Prague to attend a congress of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and to lend an East Bloc meeting on the crisis in Poland.

Secret Service agents arrest Edward Richardson (22), an armed Pennsylvania man who allegedly wrote a letter promising to kill President Reagan and “bring to completion Hinckley’s reality.”

Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, wounded eight days ago in the attempt on President Reagan’s life, gets discharged from George Washington University Hospital and said, “It’s great to be alive.” McCarthy probably saved Reagan’s life by throwing himself into the line of fire, according to Secret Service agent Jerry Parr.  

Mayor Jane M. Byrne of Chicago says her first night in her apartment at the crime-infested Cabrini-Green housing project was “lovely” and she promised to stay until the complex is cleaned up. Some problems Byrne noticed on the first night included poor garbage pickup, faulty elevators and bugs. Orkin Exterminating Co. Inc. will assess the buildings sometime this week. She said Cabrini-Green is only the first of several housing projects she will temporarily living in.

Exploding bullets hit the President - The FBI concludes after extensive testing that at least five of the six bullets fired in the assassination attempt were “Devastator” explosive rounds designed to fragment after impact.

Several hundred people toured the home of former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, accepting an invitation from the couple to “come see our house.”

In March, wholesale prices exploded at an annual rate of 16.2%, driven upward by removal of federal price controls and crude oil and gasoline.  

Passing – DeWitt Wallace the college dropout who funded the Reader’s Digest, the world’s widest-circulation magazine. He was 91. 


Fascinating Business news – April 1, 1981

The Federal Trade Commission charges that Volkswagen of America Inc. failed to alert its customers to potential engine damage from high oil consumption in more than 1 million Volkswagens and Audis. The commission said the affected cars are vehicles with water-cooled engines produced from 1974 through at least the 1979 model years of VW Rabbits, Dashers, Sciroccos and Audis.


Technology news – April 1, 1981

Video games – one of the few fads sweeping the country these days. A favorite is something called “Space Encounters” and of course, Pac Man.


Entertainment/Celebrity news – April 1, 1981

Actress Jodi Foster said it was only when her roommate shook her by the shoulders and said, “Remember John W Hinckley” that she realized the young wan who was writing letters to her was the person charged with trying to assassinate President Reagan. “I am very scared. I have tried to be as clear and precise about this.” 

Secret Service agents were in the audience, New Haven police officers were stationed outside the theater and two security guards stood near her dressing room as Jodie Faster made her stage debut in the prison drama “Getting Out.” The appearance was her first in public since law enforcement officers disclosed that John W. Hinckley Jr. had written her a series of love letters and may have tried to kill President Reagan in an effort to win her attention.


53rd Academy Awards (Hosted By Johnny Carson)

Best Picture – “Ordinary People.”

Best actor – Robert De Niro “Raging Bull.”

Best actress – Sissy Spacek “Coal Miner’s daughter.”

Beset original song – “Fame.”

Best supporting actor – Timothy Hutton “Ordinary People.”

Best supporting actress – Mary Steenbergen “Melvin and Howard.”


Sports news – April 1, 1981

Pinch-hitting – Vice President George Bush throws out the fist pitch in Cincinnati for the start of baseball season.  

Vince Ferragamo, one the Rams’ #1 quarterback is going to the Alouettes of the Canadian Football league for a reported $400,000 a year. Pat Haden is now the new Rams #1 QB.

Indiana and Coach Bobby Night – score the NCAA Championship!


Music news – April 1,1981

Passing – co-founder of the band,  “Canned Heat” dies in the back of a van parked in front of his Mar Vista (CA) home. He was 38, but was overweight at 370 pounds.

Rick Springfield is on a roll. He has a hit album and single, now, he’ll portray Dr. Noah Drake on the hot soap “General Hospital.”

Music Television – On CBS-TV this week, “Country Comes Home.” A giant cast of country music greats including Bill Anderson, Bobby Bare, Minnie Pearl, Jeanne C. Riley, Statler Brothers, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and many more!


Television news – April 1, 1981

Debuting this week “Private Benjamin” adapted from the movie (see ad).


Friday night television listings/programs/TV guide – April 1, 1981

CBS – The Incredible Hulk, The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas

NBC – Harper Valley, PTA, The Brady Brides, Here Wolfe, NBC Magazine with David Brinkley, Tonight, Tomorrow

ABC – Benson, I’m a Big Girl Now, Movie, Nightline, Fridays (see ad).


Dallas – J.R. speeds efforts to sell Ewing Oil. 

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