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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of May 23, 1981 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

Police storm Spain’s Central bank in Barcelona to free the last of 200 hostages, killing one of the 11 terrorist’s gunmen who had held them captive for 37 ours.

OPEC decides to freeze crude oil process for the rest of 1981. The current policy allows members to charge as much as $41 a barrel and suggests $36 as the basic price.

Israeli jets blast Palestinian bases in Lebanon, knocking out several surface-to-air missile batteries and leaving 20 dead.

Treasury Secretary Donald Regan says that the Administration will not promote legislation to bail out ailing S&L’s. “The thrifts are losing money, so what?” commented Regan.

Saying the results of U.S. peace efforts have been “almost miraculous” so far, President Reagan asks his special Mideast envoy, Philip Habib to continue his attempts to avoid war between Israel and Syria in the Lebanese missile crisis.

A Gallup Poll says 68% approve of the job President Reagan is doing.

Inflation falls in April to an annual rate of 5.1%.

Earl Butz, former Agriculture Secretary, pleads guilty to a felony charge of federal tax evasion for understating his 1978 taxable income by more than $148,000. 

President Regan declares that financiers who oppose a tax cut are selfishly trying to protect their own interests and “are not a source of good economic advice.” “In Wall street, I think they’re looking through a very narrow glass and see only facet.” They’re sitting there, watching anything they think may change the interest rates and the bond markets.”

Amnesty International marks its 20th anniversary with a sweeping condemnation of “torture, murder, abduction and imprisonment” of political prisoners by scores of United Nations member countries. The London-based human rights organization said “nearly half” of the 154 U.N. member nations are “believed to be holding prisoners of conscience."

Invitations to the July 29 royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer have been sent to more than 2,500 people around the world, including President Reagan, so says Buckingham Palace.

 In Italy, kidnappers holding Antonio Filograna, a wealthy shoe manufacturer, sent a left little finger to his family with a note demanding $3.5 million on top of the $1.5 million they already have received. 

A radar-jamming jet crashes during a night landing on the flight deck of the USS Nimitz, killing 14 and injuring 14. The carrier, accompanied by the destroyer Mooseburgger, were just 60 miles off of Jacksonville and were headed to their homeport of Norfolk.


Sports news – May 23, 1981

Billy Martin is suspended by the American League for harassing home plate ump Terry Cooney in a game at Toronto. 

The California Angels fire manager Jim Fregosi and name veteran manager Gene Mauch to replace him.

Bobby Unser files an appeal with the U.S. Auto Club, seeking to reverse a decision that moved Unser from first to second and made Mario Andretti the winner of the Indy 500 last Sunday. Unser crossed the finish line five seconds ahead of Andretti, but it was ruled he illegally improved his position by passing several cars as he emerged from the its during a yellow caution period. The penalty for such an infraction is a lap.

Former Ohio state University football coach Woody Hayes is reported in satisfactory condition after an operation in which doctors removed a sponge that was mistakenly left inside him during previous surgery.


Entertainment /Celebrity/Movie news – May 23, 1981  

Movie director Boris Sagal dies after he accidentally walked into a moving blade of a helicopter on Mt. Hood. He was shooting background scenes for an NBC television movie, “World War III.” Witnesses say he got out at the right door of the helicopter and walked into the tail rotor. 

$10 million - Comedian Richard Pryor sues the National Enquirer for libel, saying the tabloid falsely reported last September that he continued taking cocaine while hospitalized for severe burns. 

Passing – George Jessel, who was also known as the unofficial “Toastmaster General” of the nation. He was 83.


Music news – May 23, 1981

Beer commercials seem to be the rage in the music world. There’s Dave Mason for Miller Beer; Charlie Daniels for Busch; Eddie Rabbit also does Miller Beer; don’t forget Kool & The Gang for Schlitz Malt Liquor and the Commodores for Schlitz. Journey has just joined Budweiser.   

 Plasmatics singer Wendy O. Williams appeared on the “Tomorrow” show with Tom Snyder and bragged about her arrest in Milwaukee for indecent exposure. The charges have since been dropped.


Radio news – May 23, 1981

Gary Owens, a staple on Los Angeles afternoons over KMPC is leaving the air June 12. The station is going through a change, but Owens will still be behind the scenes at the Gene Autry-owned station. He has been there since 1962.


Television news – May 23, 1981

On Saturday Night Live – Host Ray Charles with Franklyn Ajaye.

Don’t miss “The Best of Sullivan” in syndication. The Ed Sullivan years.


Thursday night television listings/programs/TV guide – May 23, 1981

CBS – The Waltons, Magnum P.I., CBS Reports

NBC – NBC Magazine with David Brinkley, Movie, Tonight, Tomorrow

ABC – Mork & Mindy, Bosom Buddies, Barney Miller, Taxi, 20/20, Nightline

PBS – Soundstage

HBO – Boxing’s Best: Muhammad Ali, Sports Illustrated: The First 25 Years


On The Waltons – Elizabeth is kidnapped by a backwoods man.

On Taxi – Alex, upon not receiving an invitation to his daughter’s wedding, decides to crash it.


Top movies – May 23, 1981

Bustin’ Loose

Death Hunt

Happy Birthday to Me

Take This Job & Shove It

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