Return to home
1977 Jan 1,
The California Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act
became effective. The concept originated around 1974. The largest
supporter of POBRA was the ACLU. Governor Jerry Brown signed the
bill into law.
(www.porac.org/POBR_ptrfr.htm)(SFC, 2/9/06, p.A1)
1977 Jan 3, Apple Computers
incorporated under Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak. In March
Apple produced the Apple II, the first pre-assembled, mass-produced
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
1977 Jan 6, William Gropper
(b.1897), painter and political cartoonist, died. He worked for the
radical publications "The Masses" and "Art Front."
1977 Jan 9, The Oakland Raiders
beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl 32-14 at the Pasadena
Rose Bowl. Quarterback Ken Stabler (1945-2015) led the SF Bay Area
team to victory.
(SFC, 12/21/01, WB p.G16)(SFC, 12/28/01, WB
p.G7)(SFC, 7/10/15, p.A1)
1977 Jan 10, The crater walls
of Congo’s Nyiragongo volcano fractured, and a lava lake drained in
less than an hour. The lava flowed down the flanks of the volcano at
speeds of up to 60 miles per hour on the upper slopes, overwhelming
villages and killing at least 70 people.
1977 Jan 11, France set off an
international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a Palestinian suspected
of involvement in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972
Munich Olympics. In 1999 Mohammed Oudeh, aka Abu Daoud, published an
autobiography in France in which he admitted to playing a mastermind
role in the 1972 Munich hostage episode.
(AP, 1/11/98)(SFC, 6/14/99, p.A14)
1977 Jan 12, Anti-French
demonstrations took place in Israel after Paris released Abu Daoud,
responsible for the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes.
1977 Jan 12, Henri-Georges
Clouzot (b.1907), French film director and producer, died. His films
included “Les Diaboliques” (1955) and “La Verite” (1960).
1977 Jan 17, The TV sitcom
“Busting Loose” began with Adam Arkin and ran for 24 episodes.
1977 Jan 17, Gary Gilmore
(b.1940), convicted for two murders he committed in Utah, was shot
by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first US execution in
a decade. In 1979 Norman Mailer authored his Pulitzer Prize winning
book: “The Executioner’s Song,” the story of Gary Gilmore.
1/17/98)(Econ, 11/17/07, p.103)
1977 Jan 17, In Argentina Abel
Madariaga last saw his wife, a surgeon who treated the poor in a
Buenos Aires suburb, being pushed into a Ford Falcon by army
officers dressed as civilians as she walked to a train. He and
Silvia Quintela (28) were members of the Montoneros, a leftist group
targeted for elimination by government death squads. Quintela gave
birth to a son the couple had planned to name Francisco in July
1977, while imprisoned in the Campo de Mayo, one of the notorious
clandestine torture centers in suburban Buenos Aires. A military
intelligence officer, Victor Alejandro Gallo, brought the baby, his
umbilical cord still attached, home to his wife, Ines Susana
Colombo. Silvia disappeared shortly thereafter. In 2010 Abel was
reunited with his son and Gallo was arrested on suspicion of illegal
1977 Jan 19, In one of his last
acts of office, President Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a
Japanese-American who had been suspected of being wartime radio
propagandist "Tokyo Rose" [see Sep 25, 1948].
(AP, 1/19/00)(AH, 10/02, p.28)
1977 Jan 20, President Jimmy
Carter was sworn in and then surprised everyone as he walked from
the U.S. Capitol to the White House.
1977 Jan 20, George Bush left
office as director of the CIA.
(SFEC, 1/16/00, Par p.2)
1977 Jan 21, US President
Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders as long as they
had not been involved in violent acts. Carter also urged 65 degrees
as the maximum heat in homes to ease the energy crisis.
(AP, 1/21/98)(HN, 1/21/99)(HNQ, 11/13/99)
1977 Jan 23, The TV mini-series
"Roots," based on the Alex Haley novel, began a record breaking
eight night broadcast on ABC.
(AP, 1/23/98)(HN, 1/23/99)
1977 Jan 23, Ireland set its
fishing zone at 200 miles.
1977 Jan 27, The Vatican
reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's ban on female priests.
1977 Jan 28, A heavy blizzard
began in Eastern Canada and the US. It claimed as many as 100 lives.
This was the only blizzard declared a natural and national disaster
by the American and Canadian governments. In 1978 Erno Rossi
authored “White Death: Blizzard of ’77.”
1977 Jan 29, Freddie Prinze
(b.1954), American comedian and TV actor, shot himself and died. His
work included the TV show “Chico & the Man” (1974-1977).
1977 Feb 4, In Illinois 11
people were killed when two cars of a Chicago Transit Authority
train fell off elevated tracks after a collision with another train.
1977 Feb 5, Julius Nyerere and
Aboud Jumbe set up the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party following the
merger of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and the
Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), which were the sole operating parties in
mainland Tanzania and the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar
1977 Feb 6, Queen Elizabeth
(b.1926) marked her Silver Jubilee. It culminated in June with the
official "Jubilee Days," held to coincide with the Queen's 1953
1977 Feb 11, A 20.2-kg lobster
was caught off Nova Scotia. This was the heaviest known crustacean
1977 Feb 15, W. Sebok
discovered asteroid #2491.
1977 Feb 16, Janani Luwum, the
Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men were killed in what
Ugandan authorities said was an automobile accident.
1977 Feb 18, The space shuttle
Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747, went on its maiden "flight"
above the Mojave Desert.
1977 Feb 18, In Nigeria
soldiers from the army of Gen'l. Obasanjo raided Kalakuta, the
communal home of singer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Fela's mother (77) was
thrown from a 2nd-story window and later died from her injuries. The
compound was burned and a fire brigade was prevented from reaching
the site. Fela wrote the song "Coffin for Head of State" to describe
how he and his followers carried her coffin to present it to Gen'l.
(WSJ, 2/24/99, p.A1,10)
1977 Feb 21, In NYC 74
Unification Church couples were wed.
1977 Feb 24, Pres. Carter
announced the US was cutting off all military aid to Ethiopia
because of its human rights violations. The unstated reason was the
US desire to cooperate with Saudi Arabia to lure Somalia from the
Soviet camp, an effort which was ultimately successful.
1977 Feb 28, Eddie "Rochester"
Anderson (b.1905), African-American comedian, died.
1977 Mar 1, The US 200-mile
fishery conservation zone went into effect. The US extended its
territorial waters out to 200 miles to stop fishing by boats of
(www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=6865)(NH, 5/96, p.61)
1977 Mar 2, Bette Davis
(1908-1989) became the 1st woman to receive Life Achievement Award.
1977 Mar 2, Future Tonight Show
host Jay Leno debuted with host Johnny Carson.
1977 Mar 2, The U.S. House of
Representatives adopted a strict code of ethics.
1977 Mar 2, Libya amended its
constitution and changed its name from The Libyan Arab Republic to
The Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahirya.
1977 Mar 4, A 7.4 earthquake in
Romania killed about 1,570 people and was felt across southern and
3/4/98)(SFC, 4/28/99, p.A15)
1977 Mar 5, President Carter
took questions from 42 telephone callers in 26 states on a network
radio call-in program moderated by Walter Cronkite.
1977 Mar 7, Israeli PM Yitzhak
Rabin met with Pres. Carter in Washington.
1977 Mar 7, Ali Bhutto's
Pakistan People's Party won elections.
1977 Mar 8, The U.S. Army
announced that they had conducted 239 open-air tests of germ
1977 Mar 9, Pres. Carter
proposed an end to travel restrictions to Cuba, Vietnam, N. Korea
and Cambodia effective as of March 18.
1977 Mar 9, Admiral Stansfield
Turner took office as head of the CIA under Pres. Carter.
1977 Mar 9, About a dozen armed
Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington D.C., killing
one person and taking more than 130 hostages. The siege ended two
1977 Mar 9, Activist Elisabeth
Kaesemann (30), a German sociologist, was abducted in Argentina. Her
bullet-riddled body was later found dumped on the outskirts of
1977 Mar 10, The rings of
Uranus were discovered.
1977 Mar 10, E. Power Biggs
(b.1906), English organist and composer (CBS), died in, Cambridge,
1977 Mar 11, More than 130
hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims were freed
after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined the
1977 Mar 12, The Commission on
Judicial Appointments confirmed Rose Elizabeth Bird (40) as
California’s 25th chief justice and the 1st woman to sit on the
state’s Supreme Court. She was sworn in on March 26.
(SFC, 3/8/02, p.G8)
1977 Mar 12, Egypt's Anwar
Sadat pledged to regain Arab territory from Israel.
1977 Mar 13, Jan Patocka
(b.1907), Czech philosophy professor and one of the three founding
spokesmen of “Charter 77,” died following a grueling 11-hour
1977 Mar 14, Fannie Lou Hamer
(b.1917), Mississippi civil rights champion, died. She had helped
register black voters when doing so put her own life in danger. She
was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became
the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
(SFC, 10/6/12, p.A5)(
1977 Mar 15, The U.S. House of
Representatives began a 90-day test to determine the feasibility of
showing its sessions on television.
1977 Mar 16, US president
Carter pleaded for a Palestinian homeland.
1977 Mar 16, In Lebanon Kamal
Jumblatt (60) was killed. He was the leader of Lebanon’s Druze
community, a member of the Lebanese Parliament and a
Socialist-nationalist supporter of Palestinians. Jumblatt was
assassinated by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, which he had
legalized as interior minister some years earlier.
1977 Mar 17, Marin County
pharmacist Fred Mayer started the first Condom Day at UC Berkeley.
(SFC, 3/18/98, p.A16)
1977 Mar 18, In SF Paul Gaer
transformed Al’s Transbay Tavern on Fourth St. into the Hotel Utah
Saloon. The structure dated back to 1908 and in 2007 marked its 30th
(SFC, 3/15/07, 96H p.4)
1977 Mar 18, Marien Ngouabi,
the military president of the Republic of the Congo
(Congo-Brazzaville), was assassinated.
1977 Mar 18, The Vietnamese
"discovered" and returned to the US the remains of Bruce C. Ducat.
For eleven years, Ducat, alive or dead, was a prisoner of war.
1977 Mar 20, Voters in Paris
chose former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac to be the French
capital's first mayor in more than a century.
1977 Mar 20, Premier Indira
Gandhi lost her election in India.
1977 Mar 22, President Carter
proposed the abolition of the Electoral College.
1977 Mar 22, Indira Gandhi
revoked emergency rule and resigned as PM of India.
1977 Mar 24, Morarji Desai,
head of the Janata Party, became prime minister of India.
1977 Mar 25, In Argentina
political writer Rodolfo Walsh was murdered one day after writing
the “Open Letter to the Military Junta” on the first anniversary of
the military coup. He had reported on tortures, mass killings, and
thousands of disappearances. In 2011 Alfredo Astiz (59), a former
navy spy known as "the Angel of Death," was convicted in the
kidnapping and disappearing of Rodolfo Walsh.
1977 Mar 25, Philippines’
President Marcos, on March 25, 1977, signed Presidential
Proclamation No. 1628 forming an autonomous region in Southern
1977 Mar 26, Elvis Costello
released his 1st record "Less Than Zero."
1977 Mar 27, A KLM Boeing 747,
attempting to take off, crashed into a Pan Am 747 on the Canary
Island of Tenerife. 583 people were killed with 54 survivors.
(SSFC, 10/17/04, p.B7)(AP, 3/27/07)
1977 Mar 28, In the 49th
Academy Awards "Rocky," Peter Finch and Faye Dunaway won.
1977 Apr 1, The U.S. Senate
followed the example of the House by adopting a stringent code of
ethics requiring full financial disclosure and limits on outside
1977 Apr 1, Richard Booth
proclaimed Hay-on-Wye, Wales, an independent kingdom with himself as
king and his horse as prime minister. The Oxford graduate had opened
a 2nd hand bookstore in the town in 1961.
(SSFC, 5/25/03, p.C8)(Econ, 12/24/05, p.84)
1977 Apr 4, Egyptian Pres Anwar
Sadat held his 1st meeting with President Jimmy Carter.
1977 Apr 5, A group of Chilean
military men in London announced the formation of a "Front of
Democratic Forces of Chile in Exile." Another similar group was
formed in Brussels and shortly later in East Berlin.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1977 Apr 6, Jaime Estevez spoke
from a Moscow broadcast that the purposes of 3 newly formed
Soviet-backed entities was to lead the fight for the overthrow of
the fascist junta in Chile.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1977 Apr 6, The Seattle
Kingdome opened and the Mariners lost to the Angels 7-0. The Seattle
Mariners baseball team were created following the 1970 departure of
the 1-year-old Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee.
(SFC, 2/18/02, p.B6)(WSJ, 4/7/99, p.B1)
1977 Apr 7, Pres. Carter
stopped the reprocessing of used nuclear fuel rods in order to
discourage the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
(SSFC, 4/8/07, p.A18)
1977 Apr 7, The RAF gunned down
Siegfried Bubeck, a West German federal prosecutor, his driver,
Wolfgang Goebel, and the guard Georg Wurster. In 2009 police, using
new DNA evidence, arrested Verena Becker (57), a former German
leftist terrorist on suspicion of involvement in the slayings.
Becker had been arrested a month after the ambush, following a
shootout with police. Prosecutors at the time did not have enough
evidence to try her on charges of involvement in the Buback slaying,
but convicted her of armed robbery and attempted murder stemming
from the shootout. She was sentenced to life in prison. In 1989 she
was pardoned of those charges by German Pres. Richard von
Weizsaecker and released from prison. In 2010 Becker was charged
with 3 counts of murder for her alleged role in the fatal 1977
(WSJ, 1/11/00, p.A8)(AP, 8/28/09)(AP, 4/21/10)
1977 Apr 8, Israel premier
Rabin resigned as prime minister due to a bank account scandal after
it was revealed that his wife, Leah, had illegally maintained a
foreign currency account containing about $3,000 in the United
1977 Apr 11, Jacques Prevert
(b.1900), French poet (La puil et le beau), died.
1977 Apr 14, Computer
enthusiasts gathered for the 1st West Coast Computer Faire at the SF
Civic Auditorium. An estimated 20-30 thousand American homes had
(SFC, 4/12/02, p.G6)
1977 Apr 15, In Argentina some
20 armed men broke into the home of journalist Jacobo Timerman. He
was seized and held for over a year with beatings, electrical shocks
and solitary confinement.
(SFC, 11/12/99, p.D6)
1977 Apr 19, Alex Haley
received a special Pulitzer Prize for his book "Roots."
1977 Apr 20, The film "Annie
Hall" premiered. Diane Keaton starred in the Woody Allen film Annie
Hall. It was rated #31 by the Amer. Film Inst. in 1998.
1977 Apr 20, The US Supreme
Court, in Wooley v. Maynard, said car owners could refuse to display
state mottoes on license plates. The Court ruled that "Live Free or
Die" may be covered on NH license plates.
1977 Apr 21, The musical play
"Annie" opened on Broadway, the 1st of 2,377 performances. Laurie
Beechman (d.1998) made her debut in the show based on the “Little
Orphan Annie” comic strip. Beechman later played Grizabella for 5
years in “Cats.”
(SFC, 3/10/98, p.A17)(AP, 4/21/08)
1977 Apr 22, Simon Peres became
premier of Israel under Pres. Ephraim Katzir. Peres served until
June 21. He served again as premier from 1984-1986, and
1977 Apr 23, Dr. Allen Bussey
completed 20,302 yo-yo loops in Waco, Texas.
1977 Apr 26, NY's famed disco
Studio 54 opened. It closed in March, 1986.
1977 Apr 27, Bloody riots took
place in Soweto, South Africa.
1977 Apr 28, US regulations
implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act were signed.
Americans with physical disabilities had begun staging protests at
federal buildings in San Francisco, LA and Washington DC. The SF
protest grew to 150 people and lasted 25 days.
(SFC, 5/1/97, p.A20)(http://tinyurl.com/3xje8f)
1977 Apr 28, Andreas Baader and
members of Baader-Meinhof gang, also known as the "Red Army
Faction," were jailed for life after a trial lasting nearly 2 years
in Stuttgart, Germany.
1977 Apr 28, In Italy the Red
Brigades assassinated Fulvio Croce, the president of the Turin Bar
1977 Apr 29, Donald Evans
(b.1945), American artist, died in a fire in the Netherlands. His
work included the creation of postage stamp series for imaginary
1977 Apr 30, In Argentina 14
women whose children had disappeared went to the Plaza de Mayo to
demonstrate their cause. Police said they could not stay there so
they began to walk around the pyramid in the center of the plaza. In
2006 they completed their 1,500th and last demonstration [see Dec
(SSFC, 2/26/06, p.E3)
1977 Apr, Pres. Carter named
Montana Senator Mike Mansfield (1903-2001) ambassador to Japan.
Mansfield had planned to retire but held the post for 10 years.
(SFC, 10/6/01, p.E1)
1977 May 4, A large tornado
swept through Pleasant Hill, Mo., hitting the city’s high school and
grade school. Only minor injuries occurred due to superb tornado
warnings and drills.
(SFC, 5/4/09, p.D8)
1977 May 5, Ludwig Erhard
(b.1897)), German minister of Economic Affairs (CDU), died.
1977 May 7, Seattle Slew
(d.2002) won the Kentucky Derby, the first of his Triple Crown
1977 May 8, The trial of Pieter
Menten (b.1899), a former Dutch SS officer and art collector, began
in Amsterdam. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years, but the
sentence was reduced to 10 years in 1980.
1977 May 9, Pink Floyd opened a
2-night stand at the Oakland Coliseum.
1977 May 9, James Jones
(b.1921), US writer (From Here to Eternity), died. His work included
the pre-WW II novel "From Here to Eternity." His daughter later
wrote the novel "A Soldier’s Daughter never Cries," which was made
into a film with Kris Kristofferson as James Jones.
1977 May 10, Patti Hearst was
sentenced to 5 years’ probation for her role in the Symbionese
Liberation Army (SLA) crime spree May 16-17, 1974. She still faced a
7-year sentence for armed robbery.
(SFC, 5/10/02, p.G7)
1977 May 10, Actress Joan
Crawford (69) died in New York of liver cancer.
(AP, 5/10/97)(SFC,12/17/97, p.D6)
1977 May 12, Pink Floyd
performed the first quadrophonic concert in London.
(SC, Internet, 10/12/97)
1977 May 14, Capt. Robert
Nairac (29), an underground British soldier, was abducted from a
border pub by an IRA gang, taken across the border into a Republic
of Ireland forest, and shot through the head. In 2008 the Police
Service of Northern Ireland press office confirmed the arrest of
Kevin Crilly (57), an IRA veteran, on suspicion of involvement in
Nairac's killing. On April 1, 2011, Crilly was acquitted of all
charges against him.
(AP, 5/20/08)(AP, 4/1/11)
1977 May 16 Five people were
killed when a New York Airways helicopter, idling atop the Pan Am
Building in midtown Manhattan, toppled over, sending a huge rotor
1977 May 16, In Mali former
Pres. Modibo Keita (1915-1977) died in prison. His reputation was
rehabilitated in 1992 following the overthrow of Moussa Traore and
subsequent the election of president Alpha Oumar Konare. A monument
for Modibo Keita, was dedicated in Bamako on June 6, 1999.
1977 May 17, The state Assembly
voted 54-23 to restore the death penalty. Gov. Jerry Brown pledged
to veto the bill. It had passed the Senate 29-10.
(SFC, 5/17/02, p.G8)(SFC, 7/11/97, p.A16)
1977 May 17, Menachem Begin's
Likud-party won election in Israel.
1977 May 19, David Frost,
British talk-show host, extracted an on-air apology from former
Pres. Richard Nixon regarding his role in Watergate.
1977 May 23, Pres. Jimmy Carter
presented an environmental message to Congress: "I am directing to
make a one-year study of the probable changes in the world’s
population, natural resources and environment through the end of the
century. This study will serve as the foundation of our longer-term
planning. The Global 2000 Report sold 1.5 million copies and
pronounced a world that would be more crowded, more polluted, less
stable ecologically and more vulnerable to disruption than the world
(SFC, 12/31/00, WB p.1)
1977 May 23, The US Supreme
Court refused to hear appeals of former Nixon White House aides H.R.
Haldeman, John Ehrlichman & John Mitchell in connection with
their Watergate convictions.
1977 May 23, Moluccan
extremists held 105 schoolchildren and 50 others hostage on a
hijacked train in Netherlands. The children were released May 27.
The siege ended June 11.
1977 May 24, In a surprise
move, the Kremlin ousted Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny from the
Communist Party's ruling Politburo.
1977 May 25, "Brady Bunch Hour"
last aired on ABC-TV.
1977 May 25, US performed a
nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1977 May 25, Dutch social
democratic party won parliamentary election.
1977 May 26, George H. Willig
scaled the outside of the South Tower of New York City's World Trade
Center. He was arrested at the top of the 110-story building.
1977 The film "Smokey and the
Bandit" opened in movie theaters May 27 and was the #2 hit of the
year behind "Star Wars." It starred Burt Reynolds and Jackie
(SFEC, 7/13/97, Par p.10)(SFC, 10/10/02,
1977 May 27, New York City
fined "human fly" George H. Willig $1.10 -- one penny for each of
the 110 stories of the World Trade Center he scaled the day before.
1977 May 28, 165 people were
killed when fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in
1977 May 29, Danny Gerard, TV
and film actor, was born in Mount Vernon, NY.
1977 May 29, Janet Guthrie
(b.1938) became the 1st woman to drive in the Indianapolis 500. Her
autobiography, "Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle," was
published in 2005.
1977 May 29, The NBC 24 hour
News & Information Service ended on radio.
1977 May 29, USSR performed a
nuclear test at Eastern Kazakhstan, Semipalitinsk, USSR.
1977 May 29, Goddard Lieberson
(b.1911), composer and president of Columbia Records (1956-1971),
1977 May 30, Paul Desmond
(b.1924), jazz alto saxophonist, died in NYC.
1977 May 31, The trans-Alaska
oil pipeline was completed after three years of work.
1977 May, Larry Ellison and
Robert Miner founded Oracle Corp. in Belmont, Ca., after they
persuaded the CIA to let them pick up a lapsed contract for a
special database program.
(SFC, 5/20/02, p.A13)
1977 May, Gary Nardino
(1935-1998) became the president of Paramount Television and
inherited the hits "Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley."
(SFC, 2/3/98, p.A15)
1977 May, In Singapore Lee Kuan
Yew (b.1923) won a barely contested bi-election as his People’s
Action Party won every seat in the legislature. Lee then moved
against journalists and human rights activists who had irritated him
during the campaign.
1977 Jun 1, The Soviet Union
formally charged Jewish human rights activist Anatoly Shcharansky
with treason. In 1978 he was convicted and imprisoned. In 1986 he
was released to the West.
1977 Jun 2, New Jersey Gov.
Brendan T. Byrne signed a law allowing casino gambling in Atlantic
1977 Jun 2, Forrest Lewis
(b.1899), American TV and film actor, died.
1977 Jun 3, Roberto Rossellini
(b.1906), Italian director, died.
1977 Jun 5, The first Apple II
personal computers went on sale.
1977 Jun 5, In the Seychelles
France Albert Rene (b.1935) seized power in a coup. He continued as
president to 2004. This day became marked as Liberation Day.
p.B1)(SSFC, 6/1/14, p.P3)
1977 Jun 6, The Washington Post
reported that the US had developed a neutron bomb.
1977 Jun 6, The US Supreme
Court tossed out automatic death penalty laws.
1977 Jun 7, Anita Bryant led a
successful crusade against Miami gay rights law.
1977 Jun 8, Some 5,000 marched
through downtown to protests an anti-gay rights vote in Miami.
Voters in Dade County had repealed a gay-rights ordnance.
(SFC, 6/8/02, p.G8)
1977 Jun 8, The final run of
the Paris to Istanbul Orient Express, begun in 1883, took place.
1977 Jun 8, Protocols I and II
were added to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. They prohibited
environmental damage during int’l. and internal armed conflict.
Protocol I prohibited "widespread, long-term and severe damage to
the environment." Guerrilla warfare was affirmed as a legitimate
means of conflict by the Geneva Conventions in 1977, when prisoner
of war status was extended to guerrilla fighters.
1977 Jun 10, James Earl Ray,
the convicted assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King
Jr., escaped from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee with six
others; he was recaptured Jun 13.
1977 Jun 11, ELO’s "Telephone
Line" reached #7 in the US, giving the band its first gold single.
1977 Jun 11, Seattle Slew
(d.2002 at 28) won the Belmont Stakes, capturing the Triple Crown.
(AP, 6/11/97)(WSJ, 5/8/02, p.A1)
1977 Jun 11, A 20-day hostage
drama in the Netherlands ended as Dutch marines stormed a train and
a school held by South Moluccan extremists. Six gunmen and two
hostages on the train were killed.
1977 Jun 12, "Pippin" closed at
Imperial Theater in NYC after 1944 performances.
1977 Jun 13, James Earl Ray,
the convicted assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King
Junior, was recaptured following his escape three days earlier from
a Tennessee prison.
1977 Jun 15, The first general
election in Spain since 1936 resulted in victory for the UCD (Union
of Democratic Centre).
1977 Jun 16, Werner von Braun
(65), German-born Nazi and American rocket scientist (V1/V2), died
of smoking. In 2005 Bob Ward authored “Dr. Space,” a biography of
1977 Jun 16, Soviet Communist
Party General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev was named president of the
USSR, becoming the first person to hold both posts simultaneously.
(AP, 6/16/98)(HN, 6/16/98)
1977 Jun 19, Pope Paul VI
proclaimed a 19th-century Philadelphia bishop, John Neumann, the
first male US saint.
1977 Jun 20, The 1st oil of the
Alaska pipeline began to flow south 799 miles from Prudhoe Bay to
the port of Valdez. It reached Valdez on Jul 28.
1977 Jun 21, HR Haldeman,
former White House chief of staff, entered prison.
1977 Jun 21, Menachem Begin
became Israel's sixth prime minister at the head of a Likud
coalition. He became Likud’s first prime minister and continued to
(AP, 6/21/97)(WSJ, 4/29/98, p.A22)(Econ, 7/28/12,
1977 Jun 22, Walt Disney’s film
“The Rescuers” was released.
1977 Jun 22, John N. Mitchell
became the first former U.S. Attorney General to go to prison as he
began serving a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up. He
was released 19 months later. Maurice Stans (d.1998 at 90), Nixon’s
commerce secretary and fund-raiser, was indicted with Mr. Mitchell
for perjury and conspiracy involving a $200,000 contribution by
Robert Vesco, but were acquitted by a jury.
(AP, 6/22/97)(SFC, 4/15/98, p.C3)
1977 Jun 23, The Brazil
congress legalized divorce with a constitutional amendment, despite
opposition from Roman Catholic Church. The amendment would be signed
into law by President Ernesto Geisel.
1977 Jun 24, The IRS revealed
that Pres. Jimmy Carter paid no taxes in 1976.
1977 Jun 26, In Columbia,
Tenn., 42 people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring
through the Maury County Jail.
1977 Jun 27, The US Supreme
Court struck, in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, down state laws and
bar association rules that had prohibited lawyers from advertising
their fees for routine services.
1977 Jun 27, Illinois
reinstated the capital punishment.
1977 Jun 27, The Republic of
Djibouti gained independence from France with Hassan Gouled as the
(SFC, 12/28/02, p.A6)(AP, 6/27/07)(Econ, 3/22/08,
1977 Jun 27, H.E. Lee Kuan Yew,
the PM of Singapore, formally opened the Fourth Meeting of the ASEAN
Economic Ministers which was held in Singapore on 27-29 June 1977.
1977 Jun 28, The US Supreme
Court allowed Federal control of Nixon tapes and papers.
1977 Jun 30, President Jimmy
Carter announced his opposition to the B-1 bomber.
1977 Jun 30, SEATO (Southeast
Asia Treaty Organization), the regional defense organization created
to protect members from communist expansionism, formally ended. The
organization had been created by the Southeast Asia Collective
Defense Treaty on Sep. 8, 1954, in response to events in Korea and
Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos). It members were Australia,
France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, the United
Kingdom, and the United States. Pakistan withdrew in 1968 and France
withdrew financial support. SEATO had one final exercise on Feb. 20,
1976, formally ending a little over a year later.
1977 Jun, In Florida the
Elderhostel site at Eckerd College was founded. It was an education
program for vacationing seniors.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, p.T12)
1977 Jul 2, Vladimir Nabokov,
Russian-born author, died in Switzerland. In 1996 a 3-volume
collection of his prose work was issued by the Library of America.
In 1999 Kurt Johnson and Steven Coates authored "Nabokov's Blues:
The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius."
(WSJ, 4/22/99, A20)(SFEC, 10/17/99, BR
1977 Jul 3, Raymond Damadian
produced the 1st image of a human chest using magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI). In 1970 he found that cancer cells could be
distinguished from healthy tissues using nuclear magnetic resonance
(Econ, 12/6/03, TQp.15)
1977 Jul 5, Pakistan's army
under Gen Mohammad Zia ul-Haq seized power. The civilian government
was ousted by the military and martial law was imposed.
(SFC, 1/30/97, p.B3)(SFEC, 8/3/97,
1977 Jul 7, Sir Michael Tippett
(1905-1998), British composer, premiered his 4th opera "The Ice
Break," which featured a race riot and a psychedelic sequence.
1977 Jul 11, The Medal of
Freedom was awarded posthumously to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
in a White House ceremony.
1977 Jul 11, The CRAY 1-A was
delivered to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
This was Cray Research's first official customer, paying US$8.86
million ($7.9 million plus $1 million for the disks).
1977 Jul 11, In Argentina
Bishop Carlos Horacio Ponce de Leon (b.1914) died in a car accident
while driving with Victor Oscar Martinez to deliver evidence of
junta crimes to the Vatican’s representative. The evidence
1977 Jul 12, President Carter
defended Supreme Court decisions limiting government payments for
poor women's abortions, saying, "There are many things in life that
are not fair."
1977 Jul 13, A 25-hour power
blackout hit the New York City area and looters rampaged in the city
after lightning struck upstate power lines. Some 9 million people
(TMC, 1994, p.1977)(AP, 7/13/97)(SFC, 8/15/03,
1977 Jul 14, US House
Resolution 658 established a permanent Select Committee on
1977 Jul 20, A flash flood hit
Johnstown, Pa., killing more than 80 people and causing $350 million
worth of damage.
1977 Jul 20, The UN Security
Council voted to admit Vietnam to the world body.
1977 Jul 22, In Iowa John
Schweer, a retired white police officer, was murdered. In 1978 Terry
Harrington and Curtis McGhee, both black men, were wrongfully
convicted and served 25 years in prison before they were freed in
2003. Both men filed suits in 2005 against prosecutors and police
officers of Council Bluffs. In 2012 a jury failed to reach a verdict
and a judge declared a mistrial.
p.A6)(SFC, 12/15/12, p.A7)
1977 Jul 22, In China Deng
Xiaoping was named vice-premier.
(SFC, 2/20/96, p.A4)
1977 Jul 22, The Chinese
painter, Pan Yu-liang (b.1895), died in Paris. The 1997 biographical
film "The Painter" (La Peintre) was based on her biography by Shi
1977 Jul 23, A jury in
Washington, D.C., convicted 12 Hanafi Muslims of charges stemming
from the hostage siege at three buildings the previous March.
1977 Jul 23, In Sri Lanka
Junius Richard Jayewardene (1906-1996) was elected prime minister.
Immediately thereafter, he drew up a national constitution which
created an Executive Presidency with drastic and unchecked powers,
and, on its adoption into law, became, in 1978, the first Sri Lankan
1977 Jul 27, Lee Miller
(b.1907), American photographer, died of cancer in Sussex, England.
As a young woman in Paris she moved in with Man Ray, American-born
surrealist painter and photographer. In 2005 Carolyn Burke authored
“Lee Miller: A Life.”
(Econ, 12/3/05, p.81)(http://tinyurl.com/9zcyr)
1977 Jul 28, Roy Wilkins turned
over leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP) to Benjamin L. Hooks (d.2010 at 85). Hoods
continued as executive director to 1992. He was awarded the
Presidential Medal of Honor in 2007.
(AP, 7/28/00)(SFC, 4/16/10, p.C8)
1977 Jun 28, The 1st Prudhoe
Bay oil of the Alaska pipeline reached the port of Valdez as
construction of the Trans-Alaskan pipeline was completed.
1977 Aug 1, Francis Gary Powers
(b.1929), US U-2 pilot, died in fiery helicopter crash. In 2012 he
was awarded a Silver Star for his 2-year imprisonment by the Soviets
following the downing of his U-2 spy plane in 1960.
1977 Aug 1, In Uruguay teacher
Julio Castro disappeared. His remains were identified in 2011 using
1977 Aug 3, Radio Shack issued
a press release introducing the TRS-80 computer. 25 existed and
within weeks thousands were ordered.
1977 Aug 3, Archbishop Makarios
(b.1913), president of Cyprus, died.
1977 Aug 4, President Carter
signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.
1977 Aug 4, In San Francisco
some 50 elderly tenants of the International Hotel in Chinatown were
forcefully evicted by police as thousands of protestors filled the
streets. The structure was demolished in 1979 and a hole occupied
the site. In 2004 city officials declared a 2-block corridor on
Kearny as “Manilatown” as construction rose on 14-story Int’l. Hotel
Senior Residences. In 2007 Estella Habal authored “San Francisco’s
International Hotel: Mobilizing the Filipino American Community in
the Anti-Eviction Movement.”
(SFC, 12/13/96, p.A30)(SFC, 8/1/97,
p.A25)(eyewitness)(SFC, 6/8/01, WBa p.6)(SFC, 7/24/02, p.A17)(SFC,
7/28/04, p.B1)(SSFC, 8/19/07, p.M1)
1977 Aug 7, "Shenandoah" closed
at Alvin Theater in NYC after 1,050 performances.
1977 Aug 10, US and Panama
negotiations for a Panama Canal Zone treaty, begun on February 15,
were completed [see Sep 7].
1977 Aug 10, Postal employee
David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, NY, accused of being the
"Son of Sam" gunman responsible for six slayings and seven
woundings. Berkowitz was sentenced to six consecutive
1977 Aug 11, The California
legislature restored the death penalty.
1977 Aug 12, The space shuttle
Enterprise passed its first solo flight test by taking off atop a
Boeing 747, separating and then touching down in California's Mojave
1977 Aug 12, NASA launched the
High Energy Astronomy Observatory 1 into Earth orbit. It continued
operating until January 9, 1979.
1977 Aug 15, Police in Cape
Girardeau, Missouri, found Mary Parsh (58) and her daughter, Brenda
(27), lying nude side by side on a bed at home, their hands tied
behind their backs. Each had been shot in the head. In 2007 Timothy
Krajcir (63), a graduate from Southern Illinois with a degree in law
enforcement, confessed to their rape and murder and at least 4 more.
He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 1982 killing of a
Southern Illinois University Carbondale student, Deborah Sheppard.
and, in addition, was charged with five counts of murder and three
counts of rape against women in the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, area
from 1977 to 1982. In 2008, Krajcir pleaded guilty and was sentenced
to another 40 years in prison for the 1978 killing of Marion
resident Virginia Lee Witte.
1977 Aug 16, Elvis Presley
(b.1935), The "King" of rock-n-roll, died in the upstairs bedroom
suite at Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tenn. of a drug overdose at
42. Elvis died of heart failure after years of substance abuse. In
1994 Peter Guralnick published "Last Train to Memphis," the first of
a 2-part biography on Elvis. In 1998 Guralnick published "Careless
Love." More than 150 books were in print on Elvis in 1997. In 1998
Ernest Jorgensen published "Elvis Presley: A Life in Music. The
Complete Recording sessions."
(SFEC, 2/9/97, Par p.7)(SFEC, 8/3/97, DB
p.33)(AP, 8/16/97)(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.D7)(WSJ, 1/7/98, p.W1)
1977 Aug 18, In South Africa
Steve Biko and Peter Jones were picked up by police at Grahamstown.
They were arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No
83 of 1967. Biko suffered a major head injury while in police
custody, was chained to a window grille for a day and died on Sep
1977 Aug 19, Comedian Groucho
Marx died in Los Angeles at age 86. In 1996 Steven Stolier authored
"Raised Eyebrows." In 2000 Stefan Kanfer authored "Groucho: The Life
and Times of Julius Henry Marx." Simon Louvish authored "Monkey
Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers."
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.A26)(AP, 8/19/97)(WSJ, 5/12/00,
p.W8)(SFEC, 6/25/00, Par p.16)
1977 Aug 20, The song "Best of
My Love", by the Emotions, topped the US pop charts.
1977 Aug 20, The United States
launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper
phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages,
samples of music and sounds of nature. It was scheduled to pass
Jupiter and Saturn.
(V.D.-H.K.p.388)(MofE, 1978, p.41)(AP,
8/20/97)(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)
1977 Aug 23, The Gossamer
Condor 2 flew the first figure-of-eight, a distance of 2,172 meters
winning the first Kremer prize at Minter Field in Shafter,
California. It was built by Dr Paul B. MacCready and piloted by
amateur cyclist and hang-glider pilot Bryan Allen.
1977 Aug 23, Marxist
philosopher Rudolf Bahro was imprisoned in German DR.
1977 Aug 27, "Chicago" closed
at 46th St Theater in NYC after 947 performances.
1977 Aug 28, Ralph Samuelson
(b.1904), the acknowledged father of water skiing, died on Pine
(ON, 8/12, p.12)(
1977 Aug 30, Terrorists bombed
a PG&E substation in Sausalito, Ca. Power was cut off for 6,000
customers and storm drains were flooded with some 3,200 gallons of
(SFC, 8/30/02, p.E2)
1977 Aug 31, Ian Smith,
espousing racial segregation, won the Rhodesian general election
with 80% of overwhelmingly white electorate's vote.
1977 Aug, The Central Committee
of the Chilean Communist Party constituted itself as "The General
Staff of Revolution."
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A19)
1977 Aug, Japan’s PM Fukuda
visited 5 ASEAN nations and in Manila promised SE Asia that Japan
forever renounced aggression against its neighbors. This became
known as the Fukuda doctrine.
1977 Sep 1, Ethel Waters
(b.1896), African-American blues and jazz vocalist, died.
1977 Sep 3, The "Mary Tyler
Moore Show" was last broadcast on NBC-TV.
1977 Sep 3, In Cyprus Spyros
Kyprianou (1932-2002) was elected president with no opposition in
order to serve the remaining term of Archbishop Makarios.
1977 Sep 3, Japan's Sadaharu Oh
hit his 756th HR to surpass Hank Aaron's total.
1977 Sep 5, The United States
launched the Voyager 1 spacecraft two weeks after launching its
twin, Voyager 2.
1977 Sep 5, West German
industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer was kidnapped in Cologne by
members of the Baader-Meinhof gang. Schleyer was later killed by his
captors. Schleyer was the president of the German Employers
(AP, 9/5/97)(WSJ, 1/11/00, p.A1)
1977 Sep 7, Pres. Carter and
Gen'l. Torrijos signed the Panama Canal treaties (the
Torrijos-Carter Treaties) in Washington, DC. The 2 treaties
abrogated the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty of 1903 and called for the US
to eventually turn over control of the waterway to Panama. The US
Southern Command was scheduled to withdraw to new Miami headquarters
by the end of 1999. The US agreed to clean up its bases before
turning them over. The deal was negotiated by Sol Linowitz (d.2005).
(AP, 9/7/97)(WSJ, 3/21/05,
1977 Sep 7, Convicted Watergate
conspirator G. Gordon Liddy was released from prison after more than
1977 Sep 8, Zero Mostel
(b.1915), Brooklyn-born stage and film comedian, died of a heart
1977 Sep 9, Mary Ann Quigley
(17) was killed near War Memorial Park in Santa Clara, Ca. In 2006
Richard Armand Archibeque (47) was arrested for her rape and murder
based on DNA evidence. They had been classmates at Santa Clara High
(SFC, 12/30/06, p.B2)
1977 Sep 10, Convicted murderer
Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant, became the last person to
date to be executed by the guillotine in France.
(SFEC, 2/9/97, Z1 p.6)(AP, 9/10/97)
1977 Sep 11, Lou Ellen Burleigh
(21) of Walnut Creek, Ca., went missing. Roger Kibbe was later
identified as a suspect confessed to her rape and murder. In 2009
Kibbe, who had become known as the I-5 strangler, was convicted of
her murder and that of 5 others. In 2011 remains of Burleigh were
found in a dry riverbed near Lake Berryessa.
(SFC, 6/28/11, p.C6)
1977 Sep 11, In South Africa
Steve Biko was found by a guard to be semiconscious and foaming at
the mouth. A doctor ordered him transported to a prison hospital in
(WSJ, 2/6/97, p.A9)
1977 Sep 12, Robert Lowell
(b.1917), US poet (Near the Ocean), died of a heart attack in NYC.
In 2003 Frank Bidart and David Gewanter edited "Robert Lowell:
Collected Poems." In 2005 Saskia Hamilton edited “The Letters of
p.M6)(Econ, 7/25/05, p.73)
1977 Sep 12, In South Africa
Steven Biko died while under police custody. He headed the Black
Consciousness Movement and was the country’s best known political
dissident. He was detained and held in Port Elizabeth and later
driven naked in a truck 700 miles to Pretoria where he died in a
prison cell. In 1997 the five police officers involved in his
detention filed for amnesty. They were retired Col. Harold Snyman,
retired Lt. Col. Gideon Nieuwoudt, Ruben Marx, Johan Beneke, and
then Capt. Daantjie Siebert. In 1999 former Detective Sgt. Gideon
Nieuwoudt was denied amnesty because he denied any crime. This
killing was the breaking point and led to international protests and
a UN imposed arms embargo.
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.A7)(WSJ, 2/6/97, p.A9)(AP,
9/12/97)(SFEC, 1/10/99, p.A23)(MC, 9/12/01)
1977 Sep 13, General Motors
introduced 1st US diesel auto, the Oldsmobile 88.
1977 Sep 13, Kilauea volcano
began erupting in Hawaii.
1977 Sep 13, Leopold Stokowski
(b.1882)), conductor, died in Hampshire, England. He was the founder
of the New York City Symphony and The American Symphony Orchestra.
He conducted the music for and appeared in Disney’s Fantasia.
(WSJ, 8/6/97, p.A12)(AP,
1977 Sep 16, Maria Callas, "our
century’s greatest singer," the American-born prima donna famed for
her lyric soprano and fiery temperament, died in Paris at age 53. In
1998 EMI packaged her entire catalog on 70 compact disks.
(SFC, 8/8/97, p.D1)(AP, 9/16/97)(WSJ, 1/29/98,
1977 Sep 18, Cosmos, a Soviet
nuclear-powered satellite, was launched. It fell onto Northern
Canada on Jan. 24, 1978.
(SSFC, 3/18/01, p.A1)
1977 Sep 20, The first wave of
Southeast Asian "boat people" arrived in San Francisco under a new
U.S. resettlement program.
1977 Sep 21, After weeks of
controversy over past business and banking practices, President
Carter's embattled budget director, Bert Lance, resigned.
1977 Sep 24, ABC launched the
TV series “The Love Boat.” The series continued to 1986 with Gavin
MacLeod as the commander of the Pacific Princess.
1977 Sep 26, Sir Freddie Laker
began his cut-rate "Skytrain" service from London to NY. Laker
airways collapsed into bankruptcy in 1982.
1977 Sep 26, Israel announced a
cease-fire on Lebanese border.
1977 Sep 27, Japan Airlines
Flight 715, a DC-8, crashed into a hill in bad weather while
attempting to land at the Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport. 34 people,
including 8 of the 10 crew members and 26 of the 69 passengers, were
killed when the aircraft broke on impact.
1977 Sep 28, The Japanese Red
Army hijacked a Japan Airlines plane over India. The Douglas DC-8,
en route from Paris to Haneda Airport in Tokyo with 156 people on
board, stopped in Mumbai, India. After taking off from Mumbai, five
armed JRA members hijacked the aircraft and ordered it flown to
Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Japanese government freed 6 imprisoned
members of the group and paid $6 million in ransom. On October 2 the
hijackers released 118 passengers and crewmembers. The remaining
hostages were freed later.
1977 Sep, In Philadelphia Helen
"Holly" Maddux, a Bryn Mawr College graduate from Tyler, Texas, was
murdered and stuffed into a steamer trunk for 18 months until her
body was discovered. Ira Einhorn, "hippie guru" was arrested for the
murder in 1979 but released on bail. He fled to hide in France. Fred
Maddux, Holly's father, committed suicide in 1988. Einhorn was
convicted in absentia in 1993. In June,1997, he was arrested in
France. A French court ruled against extradition and released
Einhorn. Einhorn was arrested in 1998 under a new extradition
warrant. The events were broadcast as a TV crime story in 1999
titled "The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer." In 1999 The French Supreme
Court ruled that Einhorn should be returned to the US. In 1999 a
civil suit ordered Einhorn to pay $907 million to the Maddux family.
Einhorn was extradited to the US in 2001. he was convicted of murder
Oct 17, 2002.
(SFC, 6/17/97, p.A2)(SFC,12/5/97, p.A17)(SFC,
9/22/98, p.A3)(WSJ, 5/3/99, p.A20)(WSJ, 5/12/99, p.A23)(SFC,
5/28/99, p.D3)(SFC, 7/29/99, p.A8)(SFC, 7/20/01, p.A14)(SFC,
1977 Oct 3, In India Indira
Gandhi (1917-1984) was arrested for political corruption. She was
released the next day.
1977 Oct 5, Seamus Costello
(b.1939), founder of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), was
shot to death by an Irish Republican Army member in Dublin.
1977 Oct 8, In Missouri Joseph
Paul Franklin (1950-2013), a white supremacist who targeted blacks
and Jews, killed Gerald Gordon in a sniper shooting at the Richmond
Heights Brith Shalom synagogue.
1977 Oct 12, The US government
passed the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) which required banks to
serve their entire community. The intent was to ensure that adequate
loans were made to low and moderate income neighborhoods and that
those areas had access to bank branches and other banking services.
1977 Oct 12, The US Supreme
Court ruled that communities have a right to prevent commuters from
parking in residential neighborhoods.
(SFC, 10/11/02, p.E7)
1977 Oct 12, US Supreme Court
heard arguments in the "reverse discrimination" case of Allan Bakke
(35), a white student denied admission to U of California Med
1977 Oct 13, A Lufthansa Boeing
737, bound for Frankfurt, was hijacked by Palestinians shortly after
take-off. The plane is diverted to Rome's Fiumicino Airport. Almost
all of the passengers are German vacationers. "This is Captain
Martyr Mohammed speaking," announces one of the hijackers to the
Rome air-traffic controllers. "The group I represent demands the
release of our comrades in German prisons [see Oct 18].
1977 Oct 14, Bing Crosby
(b.1903), singer and actor, died on a golf course outside Madrid at
age 74. In 2001 Gary Giddins authored "Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of
Dreams: The Early Years: 1903-1940."
(SFC, 11/2/96, p.E4)(AP, 10/14/97)(SSFC, 1/21/01,
1977 Oct 18, The New York
Yankees won Game 6 and the World Series as Reggie Jackson hit 3
homeruns for the 8-4 win.
1977 Oct 18, In West Germany 3
Baader-Meinhof gang members killed themselves in prison. Gudrun
Ensslin (b.1940), a founding leader of the Red Army Faction (RAF),
died in prison. Ensslin's life story was later fictionalized in the
film “Marianne and Juliane” (1981). This date was later used as a
title by artist Gerhard Richter in a 1988 suite of 15 pictures. He
created the series of paintings titled "October 18, 1977" regarded
by many as a "eulogy or requiem" for the Baader-Meinhof group. In
1985 Stefan Aust authored “The Baader-Meinhof Complex.” In 2009 Aust
published an updated version titled Baader-Meinhof: the Inside Story
of the R.A.F.”
(WSJ, 10/11/01, p.A19)(WSJ, 3/1/02, p.A11)(WSJ,
4/3/09, p.A15)(Econ, 5/30/09,
1977 Oct 18, West German
commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner that was on the
ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing
three of the four hijackers, Palestinians of the Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestine. In 1996 Suhaila al-Sayeh was sentenced
to 12 years in prison by a German court.
(SFC, 11/20/96, p.A17)(AP, 10/17/07)
1977 Oct 19, The body of West
German industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer, who had been kidnapped
by left-wing extremists, was found in the trunk of a car in
1977 Oct 19, The supersonic
Concorde made its first landing in New York City.
1977 Oct 20, David Mamet's
play, "Life in the Theater," opened in NYC. It was first produced in
Chicago at the Goodman Theater's Stage Two, opening February 3,
1977 Oct 20, Three members of
the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed in the crash of a
chartered plane near McComb, Miss.
1977 Oct 20, A bloodless
military coup was staged in Thailand. Kriangsak Chomanan was
appointed prime minister, Thailand's 15th since it became a
constitutional monarchy in 1932.
(AP, 12/23/03)(WSJ, 9/20/06, p.A12)
1977 Oct 22, In West Virginia
the New River Gorge Bridge was opened to traffic.
1977 Oct 26, The experimental
space shuttle Enterprise glided to a bumpy but successful landing at
Edwards Air Force Base in California.
1977 Oct 26, James Castle
(b.1899), Idaho-born self-taught deaf artist, died in Boise.
1977 Oct 27, James M. Cain
(b.1892), member of the "hard-boiled" school of crime fiction of the
1930s and 1940s, died in Maryland. Three of his novels, “The Postman
Always Rings Twice” (1934), “Double Indemnity” (1936), and Mildred
Pierce” (1941), were made into classics of the American screen.
1977 Oct, Pakistan’s Gen. Zia
ul-Haq (1924-1988) announced the postponement of the electoral plan
and decided to start an accountability process of the politicians.
1977 Nov 4, Former CIA director
Richard Helms was sentenced for withholding information on CIA
operations in Chile.
(SFC, 9/17/97, p.A3)
1977 Nov 5, Guy Lombardo
(b.1902), Canada-born orchestra leader, died in Houston, Texas.
1977 Nov 6, San Francisco
marijuana smokers held "A Day on the Grass" smoke-in at the Civic
Center as the 59th Veterans Day Parade took place.
(SFC, 11/1/02, p.E7)
1977 Nov 6, In Georgia, USA, 39
people were killed when an earthen dam burst, sending a wall of
water through Toccoa Falls Bible College.
1977 Nov 8, In San Francisco
154 candidates ran for 11 district seats for the Board of
Supervisors. Voters elected all 6 incumbent Board of Supervisors:
Robert Gonzales, Gordon Lau, Dianne Feinstein, John Molinari,
Quentin Kopp and Ronald Pelosi; newcomers on the city’s first
district-elected board included Harvey Milk, Carol Ruth Silver, Dan
White, Lee Dolson and Ella Hill Hutch. Dan White, former police
officer, was forced to resign from his job as a firefighter the next
(SFC,11/6/97, p.A25)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W23)(SFC,
11/7/02, p.E2)(SSFC, 2/28/10, p.E2)
1977 Nov 12, New Orleans
elected its first black mayor, Ernest "Dutch" Morial, the winner of
1977 Nov 13, The comic strip
"Li'l Abner" appeared in newspapers for the last time as creator Al
Capp (1909-1979) retired. He had started the strip 1934.
1977 Nov 14, Swami Srila
Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna Hindu sect, died. He
passed succession to 11 separate disciples.
1977 Nov 15, Pres. Jimmy Carter
welcomed the Shah of Iran to Washington, DC.
1977 Nov 15, Megumi Yokota (13)
disappeared after school in Niigata, Japan. It was later suspected
that she, and possibly 9 others, had been kidnapped by North Korea.
In 2002 N. Korea admitted the kidnapping. In 2014 Yokota's parents
spent several days with their 26-year old granddaughter, Kim Eun
Gyong, in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator.
(SFEC, 10/15/00, p.A25)(SFC, 9/18/02,
1977 Nov 16, Oksana Baiul,
Ukraine figure skater (Olympic-gold-1994), was born.
1977 Nov 17, The "Elephant
Man," by Bernard Pomerance (b.1940), premiered in London.
1977 Nov 19, The Libyan flag
was adopted, after Libya left the Federation of Arabs Republic,
which consisted of Libya, Egypt and Syria.
1977 Nov 19, Egyptian Pres.
Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel. Peace
talks began in the Middle East with Sadat going to Israel.
(TMC, 1994, p.1977)(AP, 11/19/97)
1977 Nov 19, A cyclone and
tidal wave hit Andhra Pradesh, India. Entire villages were submerged
by tidal waves with an estimated 10-20 thousand people killed.
11/1/99, p.A11)(AP, 11/21/02)
1977 Nov 20, Egyptian President
Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to address Israel's
1977 Nov 21, The 1st commercial
flight of the Anglo-French Concorde jet was from London to Bahrain.
1977 Nov 22, Regular passenger
service between New York and Europe on the supersonic Concorde began
on a trial basis.
1977 Nov 24, Greeks announced
the discovery of the tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the
1977 Nov 28, "Elvis", the stage
musical, starring P.J. Proby, Shakin' Stevens, and Timothy Whitnall
playing The King at three different stages of his life, opened in
1977 Nov 28, "The Honeymooners
Christmas," directed by Jackie Gleason, aired on TV.
1977 Nov 28, Trevor Bardette
(b. 1902), American film and TV actor, died. His over 172 movies and
seventy-two TV appearances included Old Man Clanton in Wyatt Earp.
1977 Nov 30, Terence Rattigan
(b.1911), English playwright, died. In 1997 Geoffrey Wansell wrote
1977 Nov, The Simon Wiesenthal
Center was founded with headquarters in Los Angeles as an
international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to
preserving the memory of the Holocaust.
1977 Nov, In Argentina Hilda
Palacios, Humberto Brandalisi, Carlos Laja and Ruben Cardozo were
kidnapped. Prosecutors later said they were taken to the clandestine
prison and torture center known as La Perla on the outskirts of
Cordoba and killed the following month. Their bodies were then
dumped in the street to make it look like they died in a shootout
with officials. In 2008 former army chief Luciano Benjamin Menendez
(81) was convicted of kidnapping, torturing and killing the
left-wing militants. He was sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 5/27/08)(AP, 7/24/08)
1977 Dec 4, Neil Simon's
"Chapter Two," premiered in NYC.
1977 Dec 4, Jean-Bedel Bokassa
(1921-1996), ruler of the Central African Empire, crowned himself
emperor in a ceremony duplicating the coronation of Napoleon. It was
believed to have cost more than $100 ($25) million. Bokassa was
deposed in 1979.
(AP, 12/4/97)(WSJ, 1/11/99,
1977 Dec 6, SF FBI agents
arrested James "Jimmy the Weasel" Fratianno (64), a reportedly
leading West Coast Mafia figure.
(SFC, 12/6/02, p.E16)
1977 Dec 7, Peter Carl Goldmark
(b.1906), Hungarian-born engineer, died in the US. He developed the
first commercial color television and the long-playing phonograph
record. Goldmark's LP records were introduced by Goddard Lieberson
(1911-977), who later became president of Columbia Records
(1956-1971 and 1973-1975).
1977 Dec 8, In Argentina Leonie
Duquet, a French nun, was abducted in a commando-style operation by
state security agents. Alice Domon, another French nun, was abducted
later this month, but her remains were never recovered. They were
killed after befriending mothers of detained dissidents, who were
among the first victims of a crackdown on dissent against the
1976-83 dictatorship. In 2011 an Argentine court charged three
former police officers with killing five women, including Duquet and
Domon, during the country's 1976-1983 "dirty war" by throwing them
out of an airplane while still alive. In 2011 Alfredo Astiz (59), a
former navy spy known as "the Angel of Death," was convicted in the
disappearances of French nuns Alice Domon and Leonie Duquet.
(AP, 12/9/07)(AFP, 6/3/11)(AP, 10/26/11)
1977 Dec 9, In LA Laker forward
Kermit Washington punched Houston Rocket forward Rudy Tomjanovich
during a basketball game. In 2002 John Feinstein authored "The
Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed Basketball
(SSFC, 12/8/02, p.M3)
1977 Dec 9, Clarice Lispector
(b.1920), Ukraine-born Brazilian-Jewish writer, died in Brazil. From
1952-1959 she lived in the US. Her books included “The Passion
According to G.H” (1964). In 2009 Benjamin Moser authored “Why This
World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector.”
1977 Dec 10, In Argentina
Azucena Villaflor, along with mothers Esther Ballestrino de Careaga
and Maria Eugenia Ponce de Bianco, were kidnapped by state security
agents. In 2005 Investigators recovered the remains of Villaflor and
2 colleagues at a rural cemetery. Villaflor had founded the Mothers
of the Plaza de Mayo, the legendary protest group against
Argentina's Dirty War. In 2011 Alfredo Astiz (59), a former
navy spy known as "the Angel of Death," was convicted in the
disappearance of Azucena Villaflor.
1977 Dec 10, On UN Human Rights
Day, the Soviet Union placed 20 prominent dissidents under house
arrest, cutting off telephones and threatening to break up a planned
silent demonstration in Moscow’s Pushkin Square.
1977 Dec 12, Dr. Grethe Rask
(b.1930) from Denmark died of Pneumocystis carinii. She had done
research in Africa. Her symptoms had been manifesting in Dec 1976
and she was hospitalized in Africa. In November 1977 after a brief
recovery, she decided it was time to go home to die. A colleague saw
the wasting, and did an autopsy, where P. carinii was found. She is
believed to be one of the first documented cases of probable AIDS
1977 Dec 14, The film "Saturday
Night Fever," starring John Travolta, premiered in NYC.
1977 Dec 14, The South African
government eased job restrictions on blacks.
1977 Dec 15, Charles Finley
sold his Oakland A’s baseball team to Marvin Davis for a reported
$12.5 million. A lease with the Oakland Coliseum was still a
(SFC, 12/13/02, p.E8)
1977 Dec 16, The movie
"Saturday Night Fever," starring John Travolta as a Brooklyn disco
dancer, opened in wide release.
1977 Dec 18, Cyril Ritchard
(b.1897), Australia-born actor, died. He was awarded a Tony in 1955
for Supporting Actor in the musical “Peter Pan.”
1977 Dec 19, Pres. Jimmy Carter
signed into law the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The act
made it a crime for a US citizen to pay bribes to win contracts
abroad. The Lockheed Corp. had bribed Japanese officials for
business contracts and caused a furor that brought down the Tokyo
government and inspired the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the US.
1977 Dec 20, Bodies of women
began to wash up on a beach in southern Argentina. They were among
the leaders of the "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" representing
relatives of thousands of disappeared. The US soon learned that the
ruling junta was responsible. The Carter administration went on to
authorize $120 million in military sales and approved over 30
training slots for Argentine officers at US military installations.
1977 Dec 22, Steve Cauthen
(b.1960), Kentucky-born jockey, won his 355th race at age 16 setting
a new earnings record.
1977 Dec 22, Thomas Helms (26)
climbed to the edge of the observation deck on the eighty-sixth
floor of the Empire State Building, and jumped intending to kill
himself on the streets 1000s of feet below. He only fell twenty feet
before landing on a narrow ledge on the 85th floor. Helms suffered
no major injuries but was knocked unconscious for
half-an-hour--adequate time for an emergency crew to bring him
1977 Dec 22, Three dozen people
were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental
Grain Co. plant in Westwego, La., exploded.
1977 Dec 25, Israeli PM
Menachem Begin met Egyptian Pres. Sadat (1918-1981) in Egypt.
1977 Dec 25, Comedian Sir
Charles Chaplin died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland at age 88. In
2006 Richard Schickel edited “The Essential Chaplin.”
(AP, 4/16/00)(WSJ, 6/23/06, p.W6)
1977 Dec 30, Ted Bundy
(1946-1989), serial killer, escaped from jail in Colorado. His
absence was not noticed until the next day. He was re-captured in
Florida on February 15, 1978, after 3 more murders.
1977 Dec 26, In Brazil law
#6,515 established the Divorce Act.
1977 Dec 31, "Bubbling Brown
Sugar" closed at ANTA Theater NYC after 766 performances.
1977 Dec 31, Cambodia broke
relations with Vietnam.
1977 Dec, In California Richard
Phillips of Orange County murdered contractor Bruce Bartulis in
Madera County. Phillips had enlisted Bartulis and another contractor
in a plot to smuggle cocaine and provide stolen insulation and was
convicted of murder in 1980. In 2013 the US Supreme Court refused to
reinstate a death sentence against Phillips (63).
(SFC, 4/30/13, p.C2)
1977 Dec, In Chicago a gang of
burglars decided to break into the home of Tony Accardo (d.1992),
one of the most powerful men in organized crime history, and rob his
basement vault. 6 men Accardo blamed for the heist were swiftly
hunted down and murdered.
1977 Dec, In South Africa
journalist Donald Woods received a package containing children’s
t-shirts laced with acid. His young daughter was badly burned and he
blamed South African authorities.
(Econ, 11/6/10, p.74)
1977 Artist Walter De Maria
(1935-2013) created “The Lightning Field,” a land-art piece in New
Mexico consisting of 400 polished stainless steel poles arranged in
a rectangular array 1 km long and 1 mile wide. It was later
considered a key creation in the Earthworks movement.
(SFC, 7/29/13, p.C3)
1977 Christopher Alexander and
co-authors laid out practical guidelines to urban design in their
book “A Pattern Language.”
(SFCM, 8/1/04, p.25)
1977 Harvard Prof. Walter J.
Bate (1918-1999) authored a biography of Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).
In 1978 he won a Pulitzer Prize for the book.
1977 Wendell Berry (b.1934)
authored "The Unsettling of America," a treatise against the
industrialization of agriculture.
(SSFC, 6/23/02, p.M6)(SSFC, 3/21/10, p.F5)
1977 Philip Caputo, a former US
Marine, wrote "A Rumor of War," one of the best nonfiction books on
(SFEC, 7/6/97, BR p.3)
1977 Alfred Chandler, the doyen
of business historians, authored “The Visible Hand: The Managerial
Revolution in American Business.” Here he argues that Adam Smith's
famous invisible hand of the market has been supplanted by the
"visible hand" of middle management.
(http://tinyurl.com/orew47e)(Econ., 4/18/15, SR
1977 John Cheever (1912-1982),
American writer, authored his novel “Falconer,” which soon became a
(WSJ, 3/7/09, p.W8)
1977 "Sadako and the Thousand
Paper Cranes" by Eleanor Coerr was published. It was illustrated by
(SFEC, 2/27/00, BR p.12)
1977 Patricia Crone (1945-2015)
and Michael Cook authored “Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic
World.” She argued that Islam started as an Arab-Jewish tribal
rebellion against Byzantine and Persian empires.
(Econ, 8/1/15, p.78)
1977 John Gregory Dunne
(1932-2003) authored his novel "True Confessions." It was about the
Black Dahlia case, a 1947 murder in Los Angeles.
(SFC, 1/1/04, p.A23)(SFC, 1/2/04, p.D3)
1977 Gloria Emerson
(1929-2004), Vietnam war correspondent, authored “Winners &
Losers: Battles, Retreats, Gains, Losses, and Ruins From a Long
War,” based on interviews with people involved in the Vietnam War.
(SFC, 8/6/04, p.B7)
1977 Timothy Findley (d.2002),
Canadian writer, authored his novel "The Wars," which contrasted
social struggles in Toronto with trench horrors in WW I.
(SFC, 6/22/02, p.A18)
1977 David Hackett Fischer
authored “Growing Old in America.”
(WSJ, 9/14/04, p.B1)
1977 Honey Bruce Friedman
(1927-2005), former wife of Lenny Bruce, authored “The Life and
Loves of Lenny’s Shady Lady.”
(SFC, 9/19/05, p.B3)
1977 Stephen Jay Gould wrote
his first technical book: "Ontogeny and Phylogeny."
(NH, 2/97, p.69)
1977 German writer Gunter Grass
(1927-2015) authored his novel “The Flounder.”
(Econ., 4/18/15, p.86)
1977 Fred Hirsch authored “The
Social Limits to Growth.”
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.35)
1977 Howard Lamar edited "The
Reader’s Encyclopedia of the American West." In 1998 his updated
“New Encyclopedia of the American West” was published.
(SFEC, 11/8/98, BR p.11)
1977 Lawrence Levine
(1933-2006), professor of history at UC Berkeley, authored “Black
Culture and Black Consciousness: African American Folk Thought from
Slavery to Freedom.”
(SFC, 10/28/06, p.B6)
1977 Hal Lindsey wrote "The
Late, Great Planet Earth."
(SFC, 1/6/97, p.A4)
1977 Dr. Stephen J. Mathes
(d.2007), reconstructive surgeon, authored “Clinical Atlas of Muscle
and Musculocutaneous Flaps. In 2007 he produced an 8-volume text on
(SFC, 12/20/07, p.B5)
1977 Albert Morse (1939-2006),
SF intellectual property lawyer and representative of cartoonist R.
Crumb, published “The Tattooists.”
(SSFC, 1/29/06, p.B7)
1977 Iris Murdoch (1919-1999),
Irish born writer and philosopher, authored "The Fire and the Sun:
Why Plato Banished the Artists." In 1994 Murdoch was diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s Disease. In 1998 her husband, John Bayley, published
"Elegy for Iris."
(WSJ, 2/17/98, p.A20)
1977 US Navy Rear Adm. Richard
O’Kane (1911-1994) authored “Clear the Bridge: The War Patrols of
the U.S.S. Tang.”
1977 Roger and Nancy Olmstead
and Allen Pastron authored “San Francisco Waterfront.”
(SFC, 1/25/14, p.C2)
1977 Arvid Pardo of Malta
published "The New International Order and the Law of the Sea with
Elisabeth Mann Borgese.
(SFC, 7/19/99, p.A22)
1977 V.S. Naipaul, Trinidad
born writer, authored “India: A Wounded Civilization,” recounting
his travels there in 1975.
(WSJ, 4/4/09, p.W8)
1977 Arthur J. Quinn (d.1997 at
54) wrote "Hell With the Fire Out," a re-creation of the Modoc War
fought in Siskiyou County, Ca., in 1872-1873.
(SFC, 5/17/97, p.A20)
1977 Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
authored "Dragons of Eden." In 1978 he won a Pulitzer Prize for the
(SFC, 12/21/96, p.A1)
1977 Daniel Schorr (53), CBS
journalist, authored "Clearing the Air," a memoir that included a
secret report on covert US government operations in other nations.
In 2001 an updated edition was published titled: "Staying Tuned."
(SSFC, 8/5/01, DB p.63)
1977 George Shultz and Kenneth
Dam, economic officials in the Nixon administration, authored
“Economic Policy Beyond the Headlines.”
(Econ, 3/27/10, p.86)(http://tinyurl.com/yzvuumj)
1977 Prof. Gordon Willey
(1913-2002) authored "The Origins of Maya Civilization."
(SFC, 5/2/02, p.A27)
1977 John Guare wrote his play:
"Landscape of the Body." "It saw life as prey to grotesque violence,
of incident and of language."
(WSJ, 5/16/96, p.A-11)
1977 The musical "I Love My
Wife," a tale of wife-swapping, opened on Broadway. Cy Coleman
composed the music.
(SFC, 11/20/04, p.B6)
1977 Len Frank (1936-1996) and
co-partner John Retsek began to co-host "The Road Show," the first
call-in car radio program that grew from a local 60 minute program
to a 2-hour show syndicated nationally.
(SFC, 7/5/96, p.B2)
1977 The first SF Lesbian &
Gay International Film Fest was held.
(SFC, 5/29/96, p.E1)
1977 The ABC series “Eight Is
Enough” began and continued to 1981. It featured Dick Van Patten as
widowed father Tom Bradford and Betty Buckley as his new wife Abby.
(SFC, 6/24/15, p.D7)
1977 The TV series "Shogun" was
(SFEM, 6/29/97, p.4)
1977 Jimmy Buffett (b.1946)
(SSFC, 4/28/02, Par p.22)
1977 Kenny Rogers made a hit
with his song "Lucille."
(SSFC, 5/20/01, Par p.22)
1977 The British punk group
Clash released its 1st single "White Riot."
(SFC, 12/24/02, p.A2)
1977 The British group Sex
Pistols ushered in an era of punk rock. The band was originally
composed of Johnny Rotten, Glen Matlock, Steve Jones and Paul Cook.
Sid Vicious replaced Matlock by the time of the Winterland concert
(SFC, 6/9/96, DB p.34)
1977 The rock band Kiss went on
their Love Gun tour and were named by a Gallup poll as the most
popular band in the US. Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss
and bass guitar thunder god Gene Simmons were the other founding
members. They became an int’l phenomenon.
(SFC, 7/5/96, DB, p.40)(SFC, 8/29/96, p.B1)
1977 The rock band INXS was
formed in Perth, Australia. Lead singer Michael Hutchence committed
suicide in 1997 at a Sydney hotel.
1977 The Village People
recorded the song "YMCA."
(SFC, 8/10/96, p.E4)
1977 Marcia Tucker (1940-2006)
established the New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC on 5th Ave. at
(SFC, 10/20/06, p.B8)
1977 The Alfred P. Murrah
Building was put up in Federal Plaza in Oklahoma City. It was bombed
on April 19, 1995 and 169 people were killed including 19 children
and 600 injured.
(WSJ, 1/4/96, p.A-8)
1977 Calvin Klein (b.1942)
elevated blue jeans to a fashion sensation by stitching his name on
the back pockets.
1977 Chinese cooking, tennis,
aerobics, CB radio and Evangelicals rose in popularity.
(TMC, 1994, p.1977)
1977 The first Spoleto Festival
USA was held in Charleston, South Carolina. It was founded by Gian
Carlos Menotti, who directed it till 1993.
(WSJ, 6/13/96, p.A12)
1977 Bertram Carnow (1922-1996)
founded the Great Lakes Center for Occupational and Environmental
Safety and Health.
(SFC, 11/12/96, p.B2)
1977 Pablo Heising (1945-2006)
helped found the Haight Street Fair in San Francisco in an effort to
recall the 1967 Summer of Love. He then ran the fair for 29 years
and came to be called the mayor of Haight Street.
(SFC, 1/16/07, p.B5)
1977 The Jane Goodall Institute
for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation was founded in San
(SFEC, 12/15/96, zone 1 p.3)
1977 Jan Mitchell established
the Jan Mitchell Prize for the History of Art. It funded a $15,000
annual prize for an outstanding book in English or translation that
contributes to the "study and understanding of the visual arts."
(WSJ, 2/24/98, p.A20)
1977 Charles Sporck, CEO of
Nat’l. Semiconductor, helped found the Semiconductor Industry Assoc.
(WSJ, 11/7/96, p.B1)
1977 The TransAfrica lobby
group was founded to press the US political establishment on matters
concerning Africa and the Caribbean. Randall Robinson in 1998
published "Defending the Spirit" a memoir of his efforts in the
(WSJ, 2/9/98, p.A16)
1977 Julian Levi (1909-1996),
professor of law, was awarded the Rockefeller Public Service award
for his work stabilizing racially changing neighborhoods.
(SFC, 10/18/96, A23)
1977 James Michener
(1907-1997), American writer, was awarded the Presidential medal of
(SFEC, 10/27/96, Par
1977 Patsy Paugh was crowned
Miss West Virginia. In 2006 Patsy Ramsey (b.1956), former Miss West
Virginia (1977) and mother of JonBenet Ramsey (1990-1996), died in
Roswell, Ga., following a long battle with ovarian cancer.
1977 Amnesty International
(b.1961), a human rights organization founded by Peter Benenson
(1921-2005), won a Nobel Prize.
(HN, 5/28/98)(Econ, 3/5/05, p.85)
1977 Sir Neville Mott
(1906-1996) shared the Nobel Prize with Philip Anderson and John van
Vleck for research on the behavior of electricity in non-crystalline
or so-called "disordered" materials.
(SFC, 8/11/96, p.D5)
1977 Ilya Prigogine (d.2003 at
86), Russian-born Belgian chemist, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
(SFC, 5/31/03, p.A20)
1977 Rosalyn Yalow (b.1921),
American medical physicist, together with Roger Guillemin and Andrew
V. Schally, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
1977 Vicente Aleixandre
(1898-1984), Spanish poet, won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1977 The International Monetary
Fund (IMF) drafted rules regarding currency exchange rates following
the collapse of the int’l. gold standard and the fixed-exchange-rate
(WSJ, 6/19/07, p.A4)
1977 Pres. Jimmy Carter
announced plans for a neutron bomb that would cancel out Soviet
military superiority in tanks.
(WSJ, 1/9/95, A-10)
1977 The first LLC (limited
liability company) statute was enacted by Wyoming. It was a legal
entity hybrid between a corporation and a partnership that provided
limited liability to all owners while passing income and losses to
(Hem, 6/96, p.38)
1977 The US Mail service began
Express Mail in response to private competition.
(SFC, 6/7/97, p.A6)
1977 The US Federal Office of
Management and Budget revised the race groups for the national
1977 In the US the traditional
eagle-side quarter was again issued following the 2-year
Bicentennial colonial drummer issue.
(SFC, 7/12/96, p.A11)
1977 The US Congress passed the
surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act to help solve problems
with abandoned mines.
(WSJ, 6/4/03, p.A1)
1977 The US Community
Reinvestment Act (CRA) was meant to bring financial services to the
poor by requiring banks to meet their credit needs in the areas they
(Econ, 5/6/06, p.76)
1977 The US Congress gave the
Federal Reserve a dual mandate of stable prices and full employment.
(Econ, 12/21/13, p.113)
1977 The US government set up a
Nazi crimes unit. A single, centralized unit was created in the
Justice Department with the mandate to investigate and prosecute
individuals accused of concealing their Nazi past in order to obtain
a visa allowing them to enter the United States. The investigative
unit was first a part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
and was later incorporated into the Criminal Division of the Justice
(http://tinyurl.com/2de24b)(SSFC, 4/4/10, Par.
1977 The US federal government
ordered General Electric to dismantle its nuclear reactor in
Pleasanton, Ca. Nuclear fuel research continued.
(SFC, 12/25/03, p.A8)
1977 Christopher Boyce was
convicted of espionage. He had gained access to CIA communications
during his job at TRW and sold classified documents to the Russian
Embassy in Mexico City. His story was told in the 1985 film "The
Falcon and the Snowman." Boyce was paroled in 2003.
(SFC, 3/15/03, p.A2)
1977 Roman Polanski, film
director, was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old model at
the home of Jack Nicholson. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual
intercourse with a minor and left the country on bail to film
"Hurricane" in Tahiti, and then fled to Paris.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.E3)
1977 The US Army restored the
Medal of Honor to Dr. Mary Walker. She had been awarded the medal in
1865 for her work as a field doctor in the civil war. In 1917 a
congressional select committee had revoked it.
(SFC, 7/17/96, p.E10)
1977 The US introduced lethal
injections as a more humane alternative to other forms of capital
(Econ, 4/28/07, p.70)
1977 A controversial theory on
the JFK assassination was published in the Baltimore Sun. Howard
Donohue, a ballistics expert, claimed that an accidental shot by
agent George W. Hickey hit JFK in the back of the head when Hickey
stumbled trying to return fire on the initial attacker. The story
was then put into the book "Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK"
(1992) by Bonar Menninger.
(SFC, 8/31/96, p.A9)
1977 The US Sec. of
Transportation, William T. Coleman, under Pres. Carter mandated the
installation of airbags in new cars.
(WSJ, 6/14/96, p.A15)
1977 The Center for
Investigative Reporting (CIR) was founded in Berkeley, Ca. In 2008
it expanded and reinvented itself as a multimedia news producer.
(Econ, 7/9/11, SR p.14)
1977 California banned the
pesticide DBCP after men working at a San Joaquin County chemical
plant were found to be sterile. In 1979 the US EPA prohibited the
use of DBCP nationwide, but export remained legal.
(SFC, 9/25/08, p.B3)
1977 Rose Ann Vuich became
California’s 1st female state senator.
(SSFC, 10/10/04, p.E1)
1977 San Francisco Postmaster
Lim Poon Lee (d.2002) established a post office at 867 Stockton St.,
in Chinatown. In 2009 US Congress voted to name the office in honor
(SFC, 11/5/09, p.C2)
1977 The Teamsters Union under
Frank Fitzsimmons gave up their efforts to sign up California farm
field workers and accepted the UFW Union as the union for field
(SFEM, 4/13/97, p.6)
1977 In Eureka Eric Hollenbeck
acquired the old 1904 condemned power plant and started a logging
and sawmill business with $300. He began gathering old logging and
woodworking tools and developed what came to be the Blue Ox Museum.
He later took on at-risk students and planned a campus for 100
students by fall, 2001.
(SFEC, 7/30/00, p.C10)
1977 Gene Benedetti (1919-2006)
purchased the Petaluma Cooperative Creamery in northern California
and turned it into Clover Stornetta Farms Inc. He and Lee Levinger
hatched the idea for Clo the Cow, an advertising mascot.
(SFC, 1/14/06, p.B5)
1977 Bill Niman (32) and
Orville Schell purchased 200 acres in Bolinas, Ca., to run cattle,
starting their Niman-Schell ranch. They operated under the
assumption that meat could be raised naturally, humanely and
sustainably. The partners split in 1997 and the business became
known as the Niman Ranch. In 2007 Hilco became the chief investor
and in 2009 Niman withdrew from the operations, which never turned a
(SSFC, 2/22/09, p.A1)
1977 SF toughened its fire
code. State deadlines gave the city’s high-rises until July 1980 to
(SFC, 11/18/05, p.F2)
1977 In San Francisco the
residential treatment for young women atop Mount St. Joseph, run by
the Catholic Sisters of Charity, closed. Land at the former
orphanage had been used for years to board horses. The land was then
sold to a developer.
(SFC, 7/24/13, p.D6)
1977 The open-air Larkspur
Ferry Terminal, designed by Jacques de Brer (1936-2006), opened near
San Quentin State Prison. He later designed the 280 Metro Center in
(SFC, 9/14/06, p.B5)(http://tinyurl.com/mr868)
1977 Fred Cody (d.1983) and
wife Patricia Cody (d.2010) sold their Berkeley-based Cody’s
bookstore business to Andy Ross.
(SFC, 10/6/10, p.C5)
1977 The famous 400-year-old
Jeffrey pine on Sentinel Dome in Yosemite, Ca., died due to a severe
drought. In 2003 the tree collapsed.
(SFC, 8/19/03, p.A1)
1977 In California the Marble
Cone fire burned 177,866 acres of trees and brush.
(SFC, 9/20/99, p.A22)
1977 US Rev. Leon H. Sullivan
(d.2001 at 78) drafted guidelines (the Sullivan Principles) to help
persuade American companies to treat their workers in South Africa
the same way as in the US.
(SFC, 4/26/01, p.A6)
1977 Emma Crapser (92) was
killed in her Poughkeepsie, NY, apartment. In 1983 Dewey Bozella
(b.1959) was convicted of her grisly murder on the testimony of two
convicted criminals and served 26 years in prison before being
finally in 2009 after the nonprofit Innocence Project intervened and
turned over evidence that had been suppressed during his trial.
1977 AT&T installed the 1st
fiber optic cable.
(WSJ, 10/26/00, p.A12)
1977 BankAmericard, Chargex,
Barclaycard, Carte Bleue, and all other licensees united under the
new name, "Visa", which retained the distinctive blue, white and
gold flag. NBI became Visa U.S.A., and IBANCO became Visa
1977 The S.S. Kresge Co. under
CEO Robert Dewar (d.2000 at 77) was renamed Kmart after its flagship
discount store operation.
(SFC, 9/11/00, p.A22)
1977 The Ford F-Series pickup
truck became the best-selling vehicle in the US.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1977 Industry experts in 1996
picked the 1977 Lincoln Versailles as the number 8 worst
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1977 Jeep, a division of
American Motors, launched a 4-door Cherokee, a forerunner of the SUV
(WSJ, 12/22/08, p.B2)
1977 The US stopped importation
of the German Volkswagen Beetle because it did not meet safety and
1977 Microsoft was formed as a
(WSJ, 4/4/00, p.A16)
1977 PepsiCo acquired the Pizza
Hut restaurant chain.
(WSJ, 1/24/97, p.B1)
1977 RCA sold a videocassette
recorder (VCR) for $1,000.
(WSJ, 11/4/99, p.B6)
1977 Rolling Stone Magazine
left San Francisco and moved to Manhattan.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, BR p.12)
1977 Yves St. Laurent launched
the perfume Opium.
(Econ, 3/6/04, Survey p.11)
1977 Abraham Lempel and Jacob
Ziv published a theory for the compression of information. The
theory was extended by Ziv and Aaron Wyner (d.1997 at 58) in 1989.
They used algorithms to find common sections in data, and used
symbols to represent repetitive data.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A19)
1977 CP/M version 2.2 added
expanded disk formatting tables which could allow access to up to 8
(eight) megabytes per drive in up to 8 (eight) total drives. It was
version 2.2 that became the megahit that dominated microcomputing
almost from its outset.
1977 Xerox PARC in Palo Alto
held a "Futures Day" and demonstrated their Alto personal computer
(WSJ, 3/16/99, p.A24)
1977 Xerox launched its laser
(WSJ, 3/16/99, p.A24)
1977 The first infection from
Cyclospora cayetanensis was reported in the US. It was first named a
"cyanobacterium-like body," but in 1993 it was determined to be a
protozoan parasite and was renamed.
(USAT, 6/28/96, p.5D)
1977 Ebola was reported to have
been transmitted by an accidental needle stick.
(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A6)
1977 Leon Lederman (now
director of Fermilab) came upon a fifth quark.
(NG, May 1985, J. Boslough, p. 650)
1977 Ann Moore patented the
Snugli baby carrier based on slings she saw used by African women.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1977 Robert Ballard and John B.
Corliss dived 9,000 feet into the Galapagos Rift Zone and found
previously unknown creatures thriving on bacteria from that depended
on sulfur from volcanic vents.
(SFC, 7/31/98, p.A3,13)
1977 Gunther von Hagens
(b.1945), German anatomist, invented the process of plastination in
which natural body fluids are replaced by plastic.
(WSJ, 8/5/04, p.D8)
1977 Dr. Frederick Sangar and
his lab mapped the entire 5,000 letter genome of a virus called
phiX174. Sangar had developed one of the first methods of DNA
sequencing. This work led to his 2nd Nobel Prize in 1980.
(Econ, 11/23/13, p.78)
1977 Dr. Elizabeth Williams of
Fort Collins, Colorado, classified the endemic chronic wasting
disease of local deer as a spongiform disease. It was found to be
infectious 2 years later and then spread across to 8 states and
Canada. Research later suggested that it could infect people.
(WSJ, 5/24/02, p.A1)
1977 Carl R. Woese,
microbiologist, argued that the Archaea branch of life was distinct
from the Prokarya and Eukarya.
(SFC, 8/23/96, p.A21)
1977 The viral disease smallpox
was declared eradicated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The
last case of smallpox, spread by variola virus, was reported in
Somalia. Int’l. immunization ceased by 1978 in most countries. In
1997 the related Monkey virus broke out in Zaire.
(SFC, 4/1/97, p.A12)(WSJ, 10/19/01, p.A9)
1977 The manufacture of
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) became prohibited in the US,
because of evidence they build up in the environment and can cause
harmful health effects.
1977 The Endangered Species Act
(1973) listed the California sea otter as threatened. Their numbers
increased slowly until 1995 and then dropped again.
(PacDis, Fall/’96, p.23)(SFEC, 5/2/99, p.C1)
1977 Researchers aboard the
deep-sea submersible, Alvin, found an array of unknown and
unexpected creatures living beside active volcanic vents in the
seafloor in the absence of sunlight and air. Some of the microbes
belonged to the group known as Archaea.
(PacDis, Summer ’97, p.4)
1977 In Afghanistan a loya
jirga (grand assembly) convened to establish a democratic state.
(SSFC, 12/16/01, p.A3)
1977 In Argentina Carlos Perez
Companac, head of Perez Companac SA, died. His adopted son Goyo
manages to steer the company forward.
(WSJ, 12/12/95, p.A-15)
1977 In the Bahamas the
People-to-People program was established about this time to help
visitors experience a more personal side of the island and its
(SFEC, 1/18/98, p.T8,9)
1977 The Brazilian film "Dona
Flor and Her Two Husbands" starred Sonia Braga. It was based on a
novel by Jorge Amado.
(SFEC, 8/8/99, p.T8)
1977 In Brazil Edir Macedo
(b.1945) founded The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. In 1990
he bought Rede Record for $45 million. In 2004 Rede Record broadcast
network began expanding into the TV market taking on the dominant TV
Globo. In 2005 the church founded the PRB political party. By 2007
the Pentecostal congregation had 2 million members and had expanded
to over 100 countries.
(SFEC, 9/6/98, p.A19)(Econ, 12/23/06, p.50)(WSJ,
1/5/07, p.A1)(Econ, 1/5/08, p.31)
1977 The BBC began showing "All
Creatures Great and Small."
(WSJ, 1/13/00, p.A19)
1977 Sir John Traverner,
composer, converted to the Greek Orthodox faith. This marked a
turning toward simplicity and serenity in his music.
(WSJ, 3/28/02, p.A18)
1977 Tam Dalyell, British MP
for the Scottish constituency of Linlithgow, posed the so-called
West Lothian question during the debate on Scottish and Welsh
1977 Britain designated MDMA,
the main ingredient in ecstasy, a Class A drug.
(Econ, 8/5/06, p.50)
1977 Bulgaria’s foreign
minister Petar Mladenov became a member of the policy-making
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.D5)
1977 Hun Sen, a Khmer Rouge
battalion commander in Cambodia, defected to Vietnam. He became
prime minister of Cambodia in 1979.
(Econ, 11/2/13, p.43)
1977 The Canada Human Rights
Act was passed and required that men and women be paid the same
amount for doing the same work.
(SFC, 7/30/98, p.A12)
1977 Canada declared an
exclusive economic zone over fisheries within 200 miles of its
1977 In Canada English was
banned in Quebec.
(SFEC,12/28/97, Z1 p.2)
1977 Innovations made on the
NASDAQ stock exchange were incorporated into Canada's CATS, Computer
Assisted Trading System. After Canada electronic trading moved to
the Paris Bourse and other exchanges such as Brussels and Madrid.
(Hem, 8/95, p.78)
1977 Ernst Zundel (b.1939),
German neo-Nazi, founded a small press publishing house in Canada
called Samisdat Publishers, which issued such pamphlets as “The
Hitler We Loved and Why” and “Did Six Million Really Die?,” both
prominent documents of the Holocaust denial movement. He wrote under
the name of Christof Friedrich. In 2005 he was deported to Germany,
where he was charged for inciting racial hatred. In 2007 he was
sentenced to 5 years in prison.
1977 Emile Rogier Heier (d.1997
at 55), Belgian-born foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, was
released from a Colombian prison. He returned to the US and began
his book "Down in Colombia" (2003). He later wrote "Lester Leaps
In," a biography of the jazz saxophonist Lester Young.
(SFC, 9/18/97, p.C2)
1977 Chile’s DINA secret police
reporting to Gen. Pinochet was replaced by the National Information
Center (Centro Nacional de Información--CNI).
1977 China at this time had
some 300-odd museums, most of them little more than displays of
Communist Party propaganda. By year 2000 the number had grown to
(Econ, 6/16/07, p.49)
1977 Tassos Papadopoulos
(1934-2008), former leader of the Greek Cypriot guerrilla group
EOKA, submitted a proposal for a federated Cyprus tying together two
distinct zones. The proposal became the basis for all subsequent
1977 In Czechoslovakia the 1976
trial of the Plastic People of the Universe band prompted Vaclav
Havel and Czech dissidents to draft "Charter 77, a human rights
(WSJ, 7/22/98, p.A12)(SFEC, 3/7/99, DB p.35)
1977 Food riots took place in
Egypt and Kamal Addin Hussein, an independent member of the Egyptian
People's Assembly, accused Pres. Sadat of punishing the people.
Hussein was voted out of the Assembly for his statements.
(SFC, 6/22/99, p.A24)
1977 In Egypt agricultural
engineer Shukri Mustafa became the leader of Takfir wal Hijra. The
group began in the 1960s as a splinter group of Muslim Brotherhood,
but did not gain international prominence until 1977. The group’s
ideology was developed in Egypt, where theorists openly advocated
using immigration as a Trojan horse to expand jihad (holy war).
1977 In El Salvador guerrilla
activities by the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front
(FMLN) intensified amid reports of increased human rights violations
by government troops and right wing death squads.
(SSFC, 3/15/09, p.A7)
1977 In France the Georges
Pompidou Center, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, opened
(SFEC, 4/20/98, p.A12)(WSJ, 2/3/00, p.A24)
1977 The Georges Pompidou
Center, designed by British architect Richard Rogers and Italian
architect Renzo Piano, opened in Paris.
(SFEC, 4/20/98, p.A12)(WSJ, 2/3/00, p.A24)
1977 France’s 1st nuclear
plant, built by Areva, began operations near Colmar. It was rated at
(www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1369259,00.html)(Econ, 9/8/07, TQ
1977 France banned frog fishing
to protect the local green and red varieties. Poaching remained a
(WSJ, 4/2/02, p.A1)
1977 Philippe de Villiers
(b.1949), French student and later politician, created the Puy du
Fou historical theme park in the Vendee region.
(Econ, 10/27/12, p.86)
1977 In East Germany Rudolf
Bahro (d.1997 at 62), Marxist reformer, smuggled his book out to the
West and was arrested and sentenced to 8 years in prison. He wrote:
"The Alternative: A Criticism of the Real Socialism." He was
released in 1979 and allowed to resettle in West Germany in 1980.
1977 Guatemala’s Pres. Kjell
Eugenio Laugerud announced he would not accept US military aid after
the Carter administration criticized Guatemala's human rights
situation because of forced disappearances, torture and arbitrary
executions. It was largely a symbolic gesture, however, since the
aid already was appropriated for that year.
1977 India had a non-Congress
government but it fell before the end of its 5-year term. Democracy
was restored following a 2-year emergency and Congress was swept
(WSJ, 4/26/96, p.A-10)(Econ, 6/23/07, p.93)
1977 The Communist Party of
India came to power in the state of West Bengal.
(Econ, 8/30/08, p.63)
1977 Coca-Cola left India when
the new government ordered it to dilute its stake in an Indian unit
and turn over its secret formula. An alternative cola was formulated
by bottler Ramesh Chauhan of the Parle Group under the name Thums
(WSJ, 4/29/98, p.B1)
1977 In Iran the Museum of
Contemporary Art opened in Tehran.
(Econ, 1/1/11, p.74)
1977 The Iroquois Indians of
North America, or Haudenosaunee as they call themselves, began
issuing their own passports.
(Econ, 7/24/10, p.34)
1977 In Irian Jaya Indonesian
forces put down an uprising. Human rights groups estimated that some
tens of thousands of highlanders were killed while the government
said fewer than 900 deaths resulted.
(SFC, 2/6/01, p.A10)
1977 In northeast Ireland
mining of a large deposit of zinc ore began at Navan. Mining
employed about 1% of the Irish labor force.
1977 In Israel Ariel Sharon was
elected to parliament and was appointed minister of agriculture in
the Begin government.
(SFC, 10/10/98, p.A8)
1977 More Israeli civilians
were allowed to move into the army installations in Gaza, and new
settlements were established.
1977 In Italy the Red Brigades
abducted a leading businessman. He was freed with a ransom after 81
days. This year the Red Brigades also killed a lawyer, several
prison officials and a journalist.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1977 In Japan the 4.7 km Sasago
Tunnel opened 80 km (50 miles) outside Tokyo.
1977 Ahmad Chalabi (b.1944),
Iraqi-born and US educated banker, founded Petra Bank in Jordan. The
bank collapsed in 1990 following a scandal that involved an Iraqi
account in exile. Chalabi fled Jordan, was convicted in absentia of
bank fraud. He denied any wrongdoing.
(WSJ, 11/7/05, p.A4)
1977 Kamoya Kimenu, asst. to
Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey, and later to their son Richard Leakey,
was appointed curator of prehistoric sites for the National Museums
of Kenya. In Oct. 1985, the Nat’l. Geog. awarded him with the John
Oliver La Gorce Medal for accomplishment in geographic exploration.
(NG, Nov. 1985, edit.)
1977 Kenya banned all hunting.
Over the next 20 years a half to a third of the wildlife still
(WSJ, 7/23/96, p.A22)
1977 Wangari Maathai
established the Green Belt Movement in Kenya under the auspices of
the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake (National Council of Women of Kenya). The
movement organizes poor rural women in Kenya to plant trees,
combating deforestation, restoring their main source of fuel for
cooking, and stopping soil erosion.
1977 Kenya Airways began
(SFC, 1/31/00, p.A5)
1977 Sinaloa, Mexico, became
about this time the birthplace of Mexican drug smuggling.
(SFEC, 3/2/97, p.A14)
1977 Sister Antonia Brenner
(50), an American nun born as Mary Clark in Los Angeles, moved into
Mexico’s La Mesa State Penitentiary, just across the border from San
Diego, to provide aid to prisoners.
1977 The Economist coined the
term “Dutch disease” to describe how the exploitation of natural
resources can cause a decline in other forms of economic activity,
particularly manufacturing. This briefly happened in the Netherlands
when natural gas was discovered (1959).
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.36)
1977 The Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation was established. In 2007 Pres. Umaru Yar’Adua
planned to replace it with 5 new companies.
(Econ, 9/29/07, p.51)
1977 North Korea passed a land
law whereby all land was made property of the state and
co-operatives, with no rights for sale or purchase. By 2007 even the
government was involved in apartment transactions to satisfy demand
for up-market housing.
(Econ, 11/24/07, p.48)
1977 Pakistan’s Gen. Zia-ul-Haq
said: "The survival of this country lies in democracy and democracy
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.A22)
1977 In Panama Gabriel Lewis
Galindo (1928-1996) was appointed ambassador to the US with the hope
of negotiating the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama.
(SFC, 1/2/97, p.A20)
1977 Polish poet Stanislaw
Baranczak co-founded the Workers' Defense Committee (KOR), following
a brutal communist crackdown on protesting workers. For his activity
he was fired from his job at the Adam Mickiewicz University in his
native Poznan and his writings were barred from print in Poland. In
1981 he got a three-year contract as lecturer at Harvard but stayed
1977 In Romania Gen. Nicolae
Plesita helped stifle striking coal miners in the Jiu Valley whose
unrest posed a threat to Pres. Ceausescu.
1977 Yuri Nikulin (1921-1997)
starred in the Russian film "Twenty Days Without War."
(SFC, 8/22/97, p.A24)
1977 Russian Georgii Sviridov
composed his 12 part cycle "Russia Cast Adrift."
(SFEM, 6/9/96, p.9)
1977 The Soviet constitution
adopted article 72, which granted each republic the right to secede
from the USSR.
1977 The Soviet Politburo
approved adjustments to the 1943 national anthem, where Sergei
Mikhalkov replaced references to Stalin with phrases glorifying
Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, who "led us on to Communism's
1977 Soviet dissident Anatoly
B. Sharansky was arrested [see Jul 14, 1978].
(SFC, 5/4/02, p.A21)
1977 Somalia and Ethiopia
engaged in battle. The Soviet Union provided tanks to both sides.
Somalia tried and failed to push into the Ogaden area of Ethiopia.
The Somalis managed to reach the walled city of Harer, a center for
Islam in Ethiopia. An Ethiopian counter-offensive backed by Cuban
troops wrecked Somalia’s army and led to the 1991 of the Somali
(Econ, 8/12/06, p.19)(Econ, 10/14/06, p.49)(Econ,
1977 South Africa prepared to
detonate a nuclear device in the Kalahari desert, but the plans were
detected by a spy satellite and cancelled under int'l. pressure led
by Pres. Jimmy Carter. The events were later described by Seymour M.
Hersh in "The Samson Option."
(SFC, 10/13/99, p.A3)
1977 Spain began experiencing a
(Econ, 9/18/10, p.94)
1977 Sri Lanka suspended the
(Economist, 10/6/12, p.48)
1977 Henry Kyemba, a former
Uganda minister in Idi Amin’s government, authored in exile “A State
of Blood,” a description of his years as a minister under Amin.
(SSFC, 2/18/07, p.A22)
1977 The United Nations imposed
an arms embargo against South Africa to pressure it to end
(WSJ, 12/19/03, p.A8)
1977 Rebel forces from Angola
swept into Zaire and captured much of the copper-rich Shaba
province. Zaire regained control after 3 months with American and
other foreign support.
(SFC, 11/11/96, p.A11)(SFC, 5/17/97, p.A14)
1977-1978 Pol Pot of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge,
fearing traitors, purged his own Khmer Rouge, especially in the
eastern zone. Many of his former cadre flee to Vietnam.
(WSJ, 4/17/95, p.A-12)
1977-1978 The Ethiopian Red Terror, or Qey Shibir,
was a violent political campaign in Ethiopia undertaken during the
leadership of the Derg, a socialist military junta. Hirut
Abebe-Jiri, imprisoned and tortured during a purge known as the “Red
Terror,” later set up an organization to archive, translate and
index the Derg files. As many as 100,000 people were killed
during the campaign as Mengistu sought to transform the country into
a Soviet-style workers' state. (Econ, 9/29/07,
1977-1979 Laverne and Shirley was the top ranking
network show on television for two seasons with rankings of 31.6 and
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1977-1979 Genentech developed genetic engineering
techniques to create micro-organisms that can produce insulin and
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.A10)
1977-1980 Jimmy Carter served as the 39th
president of the US with Walter Mondale as Vice-President.
1977-1981 Adm. Stansfield Turner served as the
director of the CIA under President Jimmy Carter.
(SFC, 1/18/00, p.A12)(WSJ, 9/19/01, p.A21)
1977-1992 Rev. Rudolph Kos sexually abused a
number of altar boys from 1977-1992, when he was suspended. In 1988
he became a pastor. In 1997 on Jul 24, a Dallas jury awarded $120
million in damages against the local Roman Catholic diocese on the
grounds that the Church had ignored evidence of his abuses. He was
sentenced to life in prison in 1998. In 1998 the Diocese agreed to
pay $23.4 million to the nine former altar boys.
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.A1)(SFC, 4/2/98, p.A6)
1977-1993 In Missouri a serial killer committed at
least 12 murders during this period. In 2004 Kansas City police used
DNA technology to charge Lorenzo Gilyard with 12 murders.
(WSJ, 4/20/04, p.A1)
Go to 1978