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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of May 8, 1981 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


May 8, 1981

President Reagan, cheered by his latest budget victory, but acknowledging his tax plan, faces rougher going is hanging tough in his battle to win approval of the three-year, 30% rate cut.

 Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand is elected president of France for a seven-year term. Defeating Valery Giscard d’Estaing and ending a 23-year era of right-leaning French government.

 Pope John Paul II is hit by three bullets fired at close range before 18,000 people in St. Peter’s Square by a man said to be an escaped killer from a Turkish prison. The Pope underwent emergency surgery and is said to be in satisfactory condition. The most serious wound appears to be in his stomach. The suspect is Mehmet Ali Agca.

In Salem, Ore – A man who “didn’t say nothing” walked into a crowded rock ‘n’ roll bar on ladies night and opened fire with an automatic pistol, killing four and wounding at least 20 others before he was wrestled to the ground by customers – one wielding a pool cue.

Muhammad Ali donates $400,000 towards the capture of Atlanta’s child killers. The old reward was $100,000.

 Name dropping by Michael Reagan, the President’s son in trying to get business at U.S. military bases is not improper, so says a White House spokesman. Reagan (35) now works for Dana Ingalls Profile, a company that does business with the military. The younger Reagan said that his name has to come up, and when someone on the phone asks him whom he is, he tells them. He says his job “is to talk to buyers and request permission to give quotes on business. Al we want to do is get on the approved supplier’s list like hundreds and hundreds of other companies.” He’s vice president of marketing and sales for the company. 

The Federal Communications Commission unexpectedly withdraws its permission for the American Telephone & Telegraph Co to raise most domestic long-distance phone rates by 16% effective this week.

John Hinckley, accused of shooting President Reagan was reportedly obsessed with the death of John Lennon and in his mind “binded together” the slain Beatles star and actress Jodie Foster, so says federal law enforcement officials. Hinckley is the son of a wealthy Denver-area couple. “I still think about Jodie al the time. That’s all I think about really, that and John Lennon’s death, They were sort of binded together before Dec. 8; they (have) been binded together since last summer, really. John and Jodie, and now one of ‘em’s dead.”


Sports news - May 8, 1981

The Women’s Tennis Assn says its Board of Directors unanimously rejected Billie Jean-king’s offer to resign as president of the organization. King, founder of the association, is the subject of a lawsuit file by her former secretary, Marilyn Barnett, who claims to have been her lesbian lover during the early 1970’s and who is suing King for “palimony.” 

A giant tree limb breaks off an 80-foot oak and falls into a crowd of spectators at the Byron Nelson Golf Classic, killing a spectator and injuring about 20 others.

My goodness – Fernandomania is on! Everybody’s eye seems to be on the Dodger pitcher. Look for front-page photos in Time, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and other magazines. His games are usually sold out. TV ratings are higher than average. Fernando Valenzuela.  

More LA – The Los Angeles Rams sign free agent Jeff Kemp, son of U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp. He’s a Dartmouth quarterback.

Entertainment /Celebrity/Movie news - Elizabeth Taylor makes her belated Broadway stage debut in “The Little Foxes.”

Police investigating the death of 17-year-old William Barrett, the 27th young black slain in Atlanta in less than two years, discovered “trace evidence” that links his case to other recent deaths.

Carol Burnett’s $1.5-million jury award for libel against the National Enquirer is cut in half by a judge.

“Heaven’s Gate” – the biggest movie bomb to date, has now cost some jobs as Steven Back, the United Artists executive who supervised the $43-million film, is given the boot.


Music news – May 8, 1981

Recently - Jim Willey of the Déjà Vu Sound Center in Pineville, Louisiana is arrested for selling a 16-year-old boy a cassette of “Blowfly’s party,” a rap/dance record. Police say the mildly suggestive record falls under a state statute banning sales of harmful material” to a minor. He could spend a year in jail.


Television news – May 8, 1981

Another pay-TV channel debuts – “Spotlight.” It’ll replace Showtime on Times-Mirror-owned cable TV systems and hopes to branch out.

Dan Rather says he knew he had pressure to maintain the CBs “Evening News, but “I had no idea it was going to be what it is." 

The Cable News Network, claiming its right to cover the news is being abridged, files suit against the major networks and president Reagan over procedures used in setting up television pools for White House news.

CBS Cable will launch its 12-hour-a-day cultural programming beginning October 12. CBS will be the second of the major networks to program for the burgeoning cable TV industry, which now serves about 20 million homes, with 46 million projected for 1990. ABC’s Alpha Repertory Television began service on April 12 and RCA, parent company of NBC, plans to develop programming for cable TV but has not set a debut date. CBS Cable will serve about 1.5 million subscribers initially.  

On ABC-TV’s “Fridays” – this week George Hamilton with Special Musical Guest:” Gary U.S. Bonds.


Monday night television listings/programs/TV guide – May 8, 1981

CBS – Lynda Carter’s Celebration, MASH, House Calls, Lou Grant

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

ABC – That’s Incredible, Movie, Nightline

PBS – Great Performances


Lynda Carter special – Her third variety special, this time with Ray Charles, Jerry Reed and Chris Evert Lloyd.

NBC Movie – The Starmaker. 

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