Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of August 20, 1981 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News
The Defense Department says two Navy F-14’s shot down two Libyan fighters over the Mediterranean Sea. Launched from the aircraft carrier “Nimitz” the planes came under unprovoked attack 60 nautical miles off the Liberian coast and responded by launching heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles that sent the Soviet-built Libyan planes plummeting into the sea. Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi claimed that its planes shot down one of the American fighters and that Navy helicopters had been seen in the area of the wreckage. The claim was denied by the Defense Department and that no U.S. plane was lost.
Right of passage - Although most nations claim a territorial jurisdiction over waters within 12 miles of their coastlines (U.S. is three miles), Libya says the Gulf of Sidra, where the plane attack took place, belongs in their territory - but the U.S. says the 12-mile limit was accepted by Libya in principal when the Law of the Sea conference began a decade ago. The U.S. maintains a right of passage in the Gulf.
King E. Bell (30) who is described as a “religious fanatic” is arrested for the murders of his four children, their mother and grandmother. The youngsters, ages 1 to 6, were found in a basement bedroom, lined-up in bed and slain execution-style. The two woman were found gunned-down in another house. Police say the shootings apparently were precipitated by a domestic quarrel. A boyfriend of the mother was wounded.
OPEC fails to reach agreement on a unified oil price and Saudi Arabia announces that it will freeze its price at the present $32 a barrel, currently the lowest on the world market, until the end of 1982.
As the Voyager 2 spacecraft leaves the planet Saturn, something goes wrong with the platform supporting its cameras and three other key instruments. The camera can no longer swing around in a full circle. Engineers at JPL are hard at work trying to determine the cause of the problem.
Doctors perform their 4th surgery on White House Press Secretary James Brady since he was shot in the March 30 assassination attempt against President Reagan. More bullet fragments and some damaged bone were removed.
Bestselling books – August 20, 1981
Glitter Dome - Joseph Wambaugh
The Third Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders
Noble House - James Clavell
Goodbye Janette - Harold Robbins
Night Probe - Clive Cussler
Cujo - Stephen King
The White Hotel - D.M. Thomas
The Cardinal Sins - Andrew M. Greeley
The Last Days of America - Paul Erdman
The Beverly Hills Diet - Judy Mazel
How To Make Love To A Man - Alexandra Penny
Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life
The Lord God Made Them All - James Herriot
The Cinderella Complex - Colette Dowling
The Hite Report on Male Sexuality - Shere Hite
Living Alone and Liking It - Lynn Shahan
Entertainment/Video/Movie news – August 20, 1981
Passing - Jessie Matthews (74) - once rated among the biggest stars of musical motion pictures in Britain and beyond. Although she never made a film outside Britain, by 1936 she ranked ahead of Shirley Temple, Bing Crosby and Joan Crawford at the world’s box offices.
John Hale (37) a veteran Hollywood stuntman dies in an 80-foot fall from a cliff in Bronson Canyon - Hollywood. The rural area is famous for its many films and television shows and the crew for “The Sword and The Sorcerer” filmed him falling from a cliff, when he missed a huge air bag by two feet. Hale had recently doubled for Tom Sellick on “Magnum P.I.” and worked in such films as “Airplane,” and the television shows “Kojak,” and “McCloud.”
A visit to a video store finds this ... purchase these movies outright in either Beta or VHS formats ...$30.95 for the Beta version or $46.50 for the VHS version:
Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid
Raise the Titanic
The African Queen
Get “Raging Bull” starring Robert De Niro - $61.95-Beta or VHS!
Television news – August 20, 1981
Cable-TV Update –
Ted Turner’s Turner Broadcasting System agrees to buy two TV channels on the Galaxy 1 communications satellite now being built by Hughes Aircraft Co. The channels or transponders on the satellite are being offered by Hughes to selected customers for $15 million to $20 million each.
Later in the week, it’s learned that Turner may be using those transponders to launch a new channel - a second national cable news channel by January 1st. The announcement came just eight days after Westinghouse and ABC said they would start two cable news channels by early next year. Says Turner “They’re in for the fight of their lives.” The new channel will be called CNN-2 and is budgeted at approximately $1 million to $1.25 million a month. It will function as a headline service offering quickly updated news briefs on a 30-minute “newsclock” rotation. The “newsclock” format was perfected by 1010-WINS Radio in New York City in the 60’s. The channel will include five-minute local news segments that will be programmed by local cable TV systems.
Friday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – August 20, 1981
CBS Special-Good Evening Captain, Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas
NBC - Harper Valley, PTA, Comedy Theater, Movie
ABC - Baseball, Benson
PBS - MacNeil-Lehrer Report, Washington Week In Review, Wall Street Week
On Good Evening Captain - A salute with comedy and music to Captain Kangaroo starring Bob Keeshan.
On Dallas - Donna and Ray marry and the cold war between Ellie and Jock escalates.
Music news – August 20, 1981
Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for fatally shooting Beatle John Lennon on the evening of December 8, 1980. Before sentencing, his defense lawyer introduced expert psychiatric testimony that his client was a paranoid schizophrenic who believed the devil made him kill Lennon. Chapman, clutching a copy of “Catcher In The Rye,” stood impassive as the sentence was read.
Ringo Starr signs with Neil Bogart’s “Boardwalk Entertainment Co.” His first album “Stop and Smell the Roses” will be released in October. In it, he’ll perform songs written and produced by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ron Wood, Harry Nilsson and Stephen Stills. Bogart says that Boardwalk is developing a major advertising and marketing campaign to promote the record, which was begun last year before the December death of John Lennon. Lennon was to contribute to the album and was scheduled to join Ringo in the studio in January.
Singer B.J. Thomas gets inducted into the Grand Ol’ Opry...
The Carpenters come out of their commercial hit-making slump over the last few years with “Touch Me When We’re Dancing.” With their new hit, they have a 6th television special planned for the fall and they’ll tour next year. The Carpenters latest album is “Made in America.”
Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band perform in a downpour at the outdoor Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver. At intermission - “The Boss” asked the crowd if they wanted to pack it in for the night and have the band repeat the whole concert the next night indoors. The fans voted overwhelmingly to keep going. There was concern of electrical injury to the band, but they kept playing.
Gets Married - lyric writer Alan Jay Lerner (62) marries Liz Robertson (26). It’s his eighth marriage. They met two years ago when she played the lead role in the London revival of “My Fair Lady.”
Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – August 20, 1981
Endless Love - Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
Queen of Hearts - Juice Newton
Slow Hand - The Pointer Sisters
Theme From “The Greatest American Hero” - Joey Scarbury
The Stroke - Billy Squier
Jessie’s Girl - Rick Springfield
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around - Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
I Don’t Need You - Kenny Rogers
Urgent - Foreigner
There’s No Gettin’ Over Me - Ronnie Milsap
Boy From New York City - The Manhattan Transfer
Lady (You Bring Me Up) - Commodores
It’s Now Or Never - John Schneider
Time - The Alan Parsons Project
Touch Me When We’re Dancing - The Carpenters
Fire and Ice - Pat Benatar
Jessie’s Girl - Rick Springfield
Hearts - Marty Balin
In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins
Feels So Right - Alabama
You’re My Girl - Frankie & The Knockouts
Double Dutch Bus - Frankie Smith
Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through - Jim Steinman
Top Music Albums – August 20, 1981
4 - Foreigner
Escape - Journey
Long Distance Voyager - Moody Blues
Don’t Say No - Billy Squier
Bella Donna - Stevie Nicks
Precious Time - Pat Benatar
Street Songs - Rick James
The One That You Love - Air Supply
Share Your Love - Kenny Rogers
Working Class Dog - Rick Springfield
The Turn Of A Friendly Card - The Alan Parsons Project
A Woman Needs Love - Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio
The One That You Love - Air Supply
Love All The Hurt Away - Aretha Franklin
Hot! Live and Otherwise - Dionne Warwick
Mistaken Identity - Kim Carnes
Dedication - Gary U.S. Bonds
Sheena Easton - Sheena Easton
Balin - Marty Balin
Soundtrack - For Your Eyes Only
Wild West - Dottie West
Killers - Iron Maiden
As Far As Siam - red Rider
Juice - Juice Newton
The Complete Backward Principle - The Tubes
Top movies – August 20, 1981
Superman II - Alexander Salkind, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, Valerie Perrine, Susannah York, Terence Stamp
The Empire Strikes Back - Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels
Chu Chu And The Philly Flash - Alan Arkin, Carol Burnett, Jack Warden, Ruth Buzzi
Raiders Of The Lost Ark - Harrison Ford
Arthur - Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli
An Eye For An Eye - Chuck Norris, Christopher Lee, Richard Roundtree, Mako, Matt Clark
First Monday In October - Walter Matthau, Jill Clayburgh, Barnard Hughs, Jan Sterling, James Stephens
An American Werewolf In London - David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine
Honky Tonk Freeway - Beau Bridges, Hum Cronyn, Beverly d’Angelo, William Devane, George Dzundza, Teri Garr, Joe Grifasi, Howard Hessman, Paul Jabara, Geraldine Page, Jessica Tandy
Deadly Blessing - Ernest Borgnine
Under The Rainbow - Chevy Chase