Return to home
1978 Jan 1,
The US Federal Minimum Wage, set at $2.65 an hour in November 1977,
1978 Jan 1, US copyright law of
2007 held that the rights to songs written before this date expire
75 years after they were published. US songs written after 1978
would hold their copyright for 50 years after the death of the
1978 Jan 1, An Air India jet
exploded in midair and killed 213 people near Bombay.
1978 Jan 2, In Sri Lanka Junius
Richard Jayewardene (1906-1996) became the first president with true
executive powers. He served as president until 1989.
1978 Jan 3, In India the
Congress Party split and Indira Gandhi became head of the larger
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Jan 3, Vietnamese troops
were reported to be occupying 400 square miles in Cambodia. North
Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops were using Laos and Cambodia as staging
areas for attacks against allied forces.
1978 Jan 4, Said Hammami, the
PLO representative in London, was assassinated. It was initially
believed to be the work of Abu Nidal but was later reported to have
been organized by Yasser Arafat.
1978 Jan 4, Chile’s Gen.
Pinochet held a National Consultation, "in defense of the dignity of
Chile," which took place one week after it was first announced, on
1978 Jan 6, John D. MacArthur
(b.1897), US insurance billionaire and philanthropist, died.
1978 Jan 6, The Wild-2 comet
was discovered by Swiss astronomer Paul Wild.
1978 Jan 7, Michael Josselson
(b.1908), Estonia-born director of the Congress for Cultural
Freedom, died. The organization was a CIA front to gain the support
of the non-Communist left for the US. In 2000 Frances Stonor
Saunders authored "The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of
Arts and Letters."
(SFEC, 7/16/00, BR p.4)
1978 Jan 8, The Israeli
government voted to "strengthen" settlements in occupied Sinai.
1978 Jan 10, Diane Feinstein
was elected president of the 11-member SF Board of Supervisors.
Harvey Milk and Dan White took their seats on the board for the
(SFC, 11/26/98, p.A19)(SFC, 1/10/03, p.E6)
1978 Jan 10, In Nicaragua Pedro
Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal (b.1924), journalist and editor of La
Prensa, was shot dead. His murder sparked the Sandinista-led
uprising that later toppled Somoza. His wife, Violeta Barrios de
Chamorro, later became head of the country and in 1996 published her
autobiography: "Dreams of the Heart." The murder also inspired Susan
Meiselas, photographer, to go to Nicaragua from NY. She spent ten
years photographing events in the area, later published as
"Nicaragua." The Sandinista Party was founded by Carlos Fonseca.
9/11/96, p.A20)(SFC, 10/23/96, p.A8)
1978 Jan 10, The Soviet Union
launched two cosmonauts aboard a Soyuz capsule for a rendezvous with
the Salyut VI space laboratory.
1978 Jan 11, Two Soviet
cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule linked up with the Salyut 6
orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26 capsule was already
1978 Jan 13, Former Vice
President Hubert H. Humphrey died in Waverly, Minn., at age 66.
1978 Jan 14, Blossom Rock
(b.1895), actress, died. She played Grandmamma on the TV Addams
Family. She was born as Edith Marie Blossom MacDonald, the sister of
the late actress and singer Jeanette MacDonald.
1978 Jan 14, In Japan the 7.0
Izu-Oshima earthquake damaged nine railway and four road tunnels in
a limited area. 25 people were killed.
(SFC, 9/6.96, p.A11)(http://tinyurl.com/2uz9wg)
1978 Jan 15, Lisa Levy and
Margaret Bowman, two students at Florida State University in
Tallahassee, were murdered in their sorority house. Theodore Bundy
was later convicted of the crime, and executed.
1978 Jan 16, NASA named 35
candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who
became America's first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who
became America's first black astronaut in space. Six women, out of
some 3,000 original applicants, graduated from NASA's rigorous
training program to become the 1st female astronauts in the space
1978 Jan 18, Center for Disease
Control isolated the cause of Legionnaire's disease.
1978 Jan 19, Pres. Carter in
his State of the Union Address urged an attack on inflation and an
effort to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the
1978 Jan 20, Columbia Pictures
paid $9.5 million for movie rights to "Annie."
1978 Jan 21, The Bee Gees'
"Saturday Night Fever" album, released in November, 1977, went #1
for 24 weeks following the release of the Saturday Night Fever film
in Dec 1977.
1978 Jan 24, Cosmos 954, a
4-month-old nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged through Earth's
atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over
parts of northern Canada.
(SSFC, 3/18/01, p.A1)(AP, 1/24/08)
1978 Jan 25, Muriel Humphrey
was appointed to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of
her husband, Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota.
1978 Jan 26, In China
Einstein’s theory of relativity was officially reinstated.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Jan 27, The State Supreme
Court ruled that Nazis can display the Swastika in a march in
1978 Jan 28, Fire swept through
the historic downtown Coates House hotel in Kansas City, Mo.,
killing 20 people.
1978 Jan, South Korean actress
Choi Eun Hee (b.1928), while visiting Hong Kong, was kidnapped to
North Korea. Two weeks later her husband, Shin Sang Ok, prominent
South Korean producer and director, was searching for her in Hong
Kong when he was knocked out with chloroform and shipped to North
Korea. In 1986 Sang-Ok (d.2006) and his wife, while on a promotional
trip, fled to a US embassy in Vienna.
(http://tinyurl.com/bnoq)(Econ, 4/29/06, p.90)
1978 Feb 1, Harriet Tubman
became the 1st black woman honored on a US postage stamp.
1978 Feb 3, Egyptian President
Anwar al-Sadat arrived in Washington DC to discuss the Middle East
peace process with US President Jimmy Carter.
1978 Feb 6, Muriel Humphrey
took the oath of office as a US senator from Minnesota, filling the
seat of her late husband, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
1978 Feb 7, Ethiopia mounted a
counter attack against Somalia.
1978 Feb 8, The deliberations
of the Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time as members
opened debate on the Panama Canal treaties.
1978 Feb 8, The BBC TV show
Grange Hill, a children’s drama created by Phil Redmond, made its
1978 Feb 9, Kimberly Leach (12)
was killed by Ted Bundy in Lake City, Fla.
1978 Feb 9, Canada announced it
was expelling 13 Soviet diplomats who it said had tried to recruit a
Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer.
1978 Feb 9, In Tanzania cholera
broke out and killed 300 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Feb 14, G. W. Boone and
M.J. Cochran of Texas Instruments received a patent for their
Variable Function Programmed Calculator.
1978 Feb 15, Leon Spinks beat
Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight crown.
1978 Feb 15, Ted Bundy
(1946-1989), American escaped serial killed, was recaptured in
Pensacola, Fla. Bundy eventually confessed to 29 murders.
1978 Feb 16, The 1st Computer
Bulletin Board System was Ward & Randy's CBBS in Chicago.
1978 Feb 16, China and Japan
signed a $20 billion trade pact, which was the most important move
since the 1972 resumption of diplomatic ties.
1978 Feb 20, The cover of Time
magazine was titled “The Computer Society” and featured a graphic of
human bodies with heads of electronic gizmos.
1978 Feb 21, In Florida Karol
Hurst (21) was abducted while leaving a grocery store in Leesburg.
She was driven to a wooded area, beaten, raped, and shot. Her
pregnant body was then dragged further into the woods. That same
evening Freddie Lee Hall and an accomplice shot and killed Deputy
Lonnie Coburn. Both fled the scene but were soon arrested. Hall was
convicted and sentenced to death on June 27. Hall’s IQ was later
said to be around 75.
1978 Feb 22, The US Dept. of
Defense launched the 1st of a constellation of satellites that later
made the backbone of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Ivan A.
Getting (1912-2003), a military scientist, conceived the idea and
Bradford Parkinson of Stanford helped implement the system.
1978 Feb 26, Ira Levin's
"Deathtrap" premiered at the Music Box Theater in NYC.
1978 Feb 28, Louise Woodward,
the nanny who allegedly killed Matthew Eappen (1997) in Cambridge,
Mass., was born in Elton, England.
1978 Feb 28, Robert Rowe
(d.1997) of Brooklyn killed his wife and 3 children with a baseball
bat. He was tried and later released from a mental institution and
became a father again. In 2001 Julie Salamon authored "Facing the
Wind," a narrative of the Rowe case.
(WSJ, 3/30/01, p.W8)
1978 Feb 28, Consuelo Kanaga
(b.1894), San Francisco photographer, died.
(SFEM, 6/30/96, p.20)(http://tinyurl.com/393wgc)
1978 Feb 28, Spyros Kyprianou
was elected president of Cyprus with no opposition.
(SFC, 3/13/02, p.A26)(http://tinyurl.com/dedcx)
1978 Feb, A top secret Pentagon
document titled "History of the Custody and Deployment of Nuclear
Weapons" was completed. The report was made public in 1999 and
contained the locations of nuclear weapons minus their nuclear
1978 Feb, After China’s
Cultural Revolution ended, some books were gradually unbanned. A few
novels by Balzac were sold openly in Beijing's Xinhua Book Stores.
1978 Mar 1, "Timbuktu!" opened
at Mark Hellinger Theater in NYC for 243 performances.
1978 Mar 2, Sam Shepard’s play
"Curse of the Starving Class" premiered at the New York Shakespeare
(SFEC, 5/30/99, DB
1978 Mar 2, Soyuz 28 carried 2
cosmonauts to Salyut 6. Czech pilot Vladimir Remek became the first
non-Russian, non-American in space.
1978 Mar 3, The remains of
comedian Charles Chaplin were stolen by extortionists from his grave
in Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland. The body was recovered near Lake
Geneva 11 weeks later.
1978 Mar 3, In Rhodesia Ian
Smith signed an agreement with moderate black leaders, who had
pledged to eschew war and to bring black majority rule into effect
by Dec 31. Bishop Abel Muzorewa signed the agreement with Smith,
founding nationalist Ndabaningi Sithole and Chief Jeremiah Chirau to
form a transitional government which tinkered with the constitution
and paved the way for elections. Smith agreed to step down following
elections in 1979.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(SFC, 11/23/07, p.B13)(AFP,
1978 Mar 4, Chicago Daily News,
founded in 1875, published its last issue.
1978 Mar 6, Pres. Carter
invoked the Taft-Hartley Act for an 80-day cooling off period in a
coal strike. Miners had struck 3 months earlier after coal companies
demanded wage and benefit cuts and refused to be forced back to
work. They ended the strike after 110 days when most company demands
1978 Mar 6, The US Supreme
Court in its Oliphant decision ruled that tribes could not try
non-Indian defendants in tribal courts. It centered on the arrest of
Mark Oliphant, a non-Indian, by tribal police. He argued that the
tribal court does not have criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians.
1978 Mar 6, Larry Flynt
(b.1942), founder of "Hustler Magazine," was shot and wounded
outside a Georgia courtroom. He was left partially paralyzed. His
story was the subject of the 1996 film "The People vs. Larry Flynt."
(SFEC, 12/15/96, DB
1978 Mar 8, In Nicaragua
General Raynoldo Perez Vega, the National Guard Chief, was
1978 Mar 9, In Italy the trial
of the Red Brigade terrorists opened.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Mar 9, National Guard
Chief General Raynoldo Perez Vega was assassinated in Nicaragua.
1978 Mar 10, Richard Hovey (26)
abducted Tina Salazar (8) in Hayward, Ca., as she walked home from
school. He left her by a roadside with fatal wounds later the same
day. She died 8 days later. In 2006 an appeals court overturned his
death sentence saying lawyers failed to inform a psychiatrist of his
history of mental illness.
(SFC, 8/12/06, p.B2)(http://tinyurl.com/384rtk)
1978 Mar 11, Palestinian Arab
terrorists led by Dalal Mughrabi killed 35 people in an attack along
the Tel Aviv coastal highway. The terrorists were identified as
belonging to Fatah; 9 were killed and two captured.
1978 Mar 14, An Israeli force
of 22,000 invaded south Lebanon, hitting the PLO bases.
1978 Mar 16, The Amoco-Cadiz
oil tanker spilled a record 1.6 million barrels of crude oil off the
coast of France.
1978 Mar 16, Red Brigade
terrorists kidnapped Aldo Moro, Italian politician and 5 time PM,
and killed 5 of his bodyguards. Moro, who was planning to form a
government combining his Christian Democrats and the Communist
Party, was later murdered by the RB. Alessio Casimiri a member of
the Red Brigades was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for his
role in the abduction. Casimiri escaped to Nicaragua and opened a
restaurant. It was later reported that police decided not to rescue
(WSJ, 4/25/96, p.A-1)(AP, 3/16/97)(SFC, 3/13/98,
p.A12)(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1978 Mar 17, In Zaire 13
opponents of Pres. Mobutu were executed.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Mar 18, In Pakistan the
Punjab High Court condemned former pres. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to
death on charges of a political murder.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Mar 19, Israeli army took
control of almost all of Lebanon south of Litani River.
1978 Mar 19, The UN Security
Council adopted Resolution 425 demanding that Israel withdraw from
(SFC, 5/24/00, p.A15)
1978 Mar 22, Karl Wallenda, the
73-year-old patriarch of "The Flying Wallendas" high-wire act, fell
to his death while attempting to walk a cable strung between two
hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1978 Mar 23, The US performed
nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1978 Mar 23, UNIFIL forces
arrived in Lebanon setting up headquarters in Naqoura. In response
to Israel’s invasion, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 425
and Resolution 426 calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from
Lebanon. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created to
enforce this mandate, and restore peace and sovereignty to Lebanon.
1978 Mar 27, Bob Fosse's
"Dancin'" opened at Broadhurst Theater in NYC for 1,774
1978 Mar 28, Laura Beyerly (16)
was last seen in the Los Altos, Ca., school parking lot. Her remains
were found a year later in the Santa Cruz County hills on property
belonging to the uncle of Scott B. Schultz. In 2006 police in
Colorado arrested Scott B. Schultz, a boy friend with whom she had
broken up. In 2007 Schultz faced just one year in jail in a plea
(SFC, 8/24/06, p.B1)(SFC, 9/2/06, p.B3)(SFC,
1978 Mar, Wadia Haddad, a
Palestinian wanted for airplane hijackings, died in Iraq showing
only symptoms of leukemia but no signs of poisoning. In 2006 Aaron
Klein authored "Striking Back," which for the first time gave
details of the killing. Klein said Mossad agents had fed Haddad
poisoned Belgian chocolate over six months.
1978 Apr 2, TV show "Dallas"
premiered on CBS as a 5 week mini-series. It was produced by Leonard
Katzman (1927-1996) and ran through May, 1991.
1978 Apr 3, In the 50th Academy
Awards "Annie Hall" won as film. Richard Dreyfuss won as best actor
(The Goodbye Girl) and Diane Keaton won as best actress (Annie
1978 Apr 6, Nicolas Nabokov
(b.1903), Russian-born American composer, died. His work included
the opera “Rasputin's End” with a libretto by Stephen Spender
1978 Apr 7, A Gutenberg bible
sold for a record $2.2 million in NYC. It was bought by Martin
Breslauer for the state museum of Baden Wurttemberg.
1978 Apr 9, David Leslie
Murtishaw (24) murdered three film students, James Lee Henderson
(24), Martha Bernice Soto (22) and Ingrid M. Etayo (22), in the
Mohave Desert. Murtishaw was convicted and sentenced to death in
1979. He died in 2011 while on death row at San Quentin.
(SFC, 11/24/11, p.C3)(http://tinyurl.com/7kb9mrx)
1978 Apr 9, In Somalia a coup
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Apr 10, Arkady Shevchenko,
a high-ranking Soviet citizen employed by the United Nations, sought
political asylum in the United States.
1978 Apr 15, In Bologna, Italy,
a rail crash killed 50 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Apr 16, Lucius D. Clay
(b.1897), US General and governor of the US zone in West Germany
during the airlift, died.
1978 Apr 16, A tornado struck
in Orissa, India, and killed 173 people.
1978 Apr 17, Carl Sagan
(1934-1996) received the non-fiction Pulitzer Prize for "Dragons of
1978 Apr 18, The U.S. Senate
voted 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on
Dec. 31, 1999.
(AP, 4/18/98)(HN, 4/18/98)
1978 Apr 19, In Chile a law was
enacted that gave amnesty to the military.
1978 Apr 20, A South Korean Air
Lines Boeing 707 crash-landed in northwestern Russia. Flight 902 was
fired on by a Soviet interceptor after entering Soviet airspace. 107
passengers and crew survived after the plane made an emergency
landing on a frozen lake and 2 passengers were killed.
1978 Apr 22, Cynthia Waxman
(11) was raped and killed whiled playing in a field in Moraga, Ca.
In 2005 DNA evidence revealed that she had been killed by Charles
Jackson, a convict who died at age 64 in Folsom Prison in 2002.
Jackson was linked to at least 6 other victims.
(SFC, 9/30/05, p.B5)
1978 Apr 22, Will Geer (75), TV
and film actor, died. He is best remembered for portraying the wise
and crusty Grandpa Zeb Walton on the long-running The Waltons
1978 Apr 25, William Clinton
(31), attorney general of Arkansas and candidate for governor,
sexually assaulted Juanita Broaddrick at the Camelot Inn in Little
Rock. Broaddrick made the story public on national TV in 1999.
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.A1,10)(SFC, 2/25/99, p.A2)
1978 Apr 25, The US Supreme
Court ruled pension plans can't require women to pay more.
1978 Apr 26, A version of Mark
Twain’s "The Prince and the Pauper" appeared on TV with former
Beatle, Ringo Star.
1978 Apr 27, Convicted
Watergate defendant John D. Ehrlichman was released from an Arizona
prison after serving 18 months.
1978 Apr 27, In West Virginia
51 construction workers plunged to their deaths when a scaffold
inside a cooling tower at the nuclear Pleasants Power Station on
Willow Island fell 168 feet to the ground.
1978 Apr 27, The Afghanistan
revolution began. There was a leftist coup. Afghanistan armed forces
seized power. Pres. Mohammed Daud Khan was killed and Nur Mohammad
Tarakai was installed as president. Babrak Karmal became his deputy
Prime Minister. It was the first country in South Asia to fall while
under communist rule. Assadulah Sarawary became the secret police
chief under the Tarakai regime. In 2006 he faced war crime charges.
In 2008 Afghan authorities announced they had found mass graves
containing the remains of ex-president Mohammad Daud Khan and 17
family members and associates. In 2009 Daud Khan was reburied along
with family members on a hillside overlooking the mountains that
(HN, 4/27/98)(WSJ, 9/20/01, p.A12)(Econ, 1/21/06,
p.42)(AP, 8/17/08)(AP, 12/4/08)(AP, 3/17/09)
1978 Apr, Jimmy Anselmo opened
his club Jimmy's in New Orleans and featured the uptown Jazz sound.
(Hem., Dec. '95, p.145)
1978 Apr, Messrs. Bernard
Marcus and Arthur Blank were fired from Daylin Company, the parent
of Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers. Marcus and Blank joined with
Ron Brill, and Pat Farrah to Home Depot. The company went public in
1978 Apr, In Northern Ireland
Brendan Megraw (23) was abducted from his home in Belfast and killed
by IRA paramilitaries. He became one of the victims known as "the
Disappeared" who vanished without trace during three decades-long
conflict. His body was found in a bog in Oct 2014.
1978 May 1, Ernest Morial was
inaugurated as the first black mayor of New Orleans.
1978 May 1, Aram Khachaturian
(b.1903), Georgia-born Armenian composer, died in Moscow.
1978 May 2, David “Moses” Berg,
Oakland native and founding seer of the Children of God (1968), put
forth a prophecy about his new wife and son: “Davidito and Maria are
going to be end-time witnesses. They are going to have such power
they can call down fire from Heaven and devour their enemies.” In
2005 Davidito killed Angela M. Smith, a woman involved in his
upbringing, and then committed suicide.
(SFC, 1/20/05, p.A1)
1978 May 3, "Sun Day" fell on a
Thursday as thousands of people extolling the virtues of solar
energy held events across the country.
1978 May 4, The Hispanic ethnic
group was created when the US Office of Management and Budget
published the following regulation in the Federal Register:
"Directive 15: Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and
Administrative Reporting" that defined a Hispanic to be "a person of
Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other
Spanish culture … In 1981 a US federal law stated that Spaniards are
part of the Hispanic group.
1978 May 4, The South African
Air Force (SAAF) engaged in air to ground combat at the Battle of
Cassinga in Angola.
1978 May 6, On this day at
12:34, the numbers 12345678 represented the time and day: 12:34
5/6/78. The next such sequence will occur in 2078.
(SFC, 7/14/96, A1 p.2)
1978 May 9, "Ain't Misbehavin'"
opened at Longacre Theater NYC for 1604 performances.
1978 May 9, The bullet-riddled
body of former Italian PM Aldo Moro, who'd been abducted by the Red
Brigades, was found in an abandoned automobile in the center of
Rome. In 2000 French police arrested Alvaro Loiacono in northern
Corsica for his alleged role in the murder.
(AP, 5/9/97)(SFC, 6/3/00, p.A12)
1978 May 10 Britain's Princess
Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon announced they were divorcing after
18 years of marriage.
1978 May 11, Carol Schmal (23)
and Lawrence Lionberg (29) were murdered in Chicago. Four men were
arrested for rape and murder and 2 of the men were sentenced to
death. In 1999 Kenny Adams, Willie Rainge, Verneal Jimerson and
Dennis Williams were released after a journalism class proved their
innocence. The men then filed a suit and settled with Cook County
for $36 million.
(SFC, 3/6/99, p.A3)
1978 May 12, The US Commerce
Department said hurricanes would no longer be named exclusively
1978 May 13, The last season of
"Columbo," begun in 1971, ended on NBC TV.
1978 May 13, Henry Rono
(b.1952) of Kenya, running for Washington State Univ., set an NCAA
record for 3,000 meter steeplechase (8:05.4).
1978 May 13, Joie Chitwood
(1912-1988), Texas-born race car driver, set a world record when he
drove a Chevette 5.6 miles on just 2 wheels.
1978 May 14, Gerard Barrett of
Australia won the 68th annual San Francisco Bay to Breakers race in
a record 35 min., 17 sec. There were 9,738 official entrants with
some 4,000 unofficial runners. 13 members of the UC Davis track team
tied themselves together and became the first centipede to run in
(SFC, 5/9/03, p.E5)(SFC, 5/15/09, p.B4)
1978 May 15, The US Supreme
Court’s Santa Clara Pueblo vs. Martinez decision held that tribal
enrollment issues are an Indian-only matter immune from outside
1978 May 16, Patricia Hearst
(24) entered the Federal correctional Institute at Pleasanton, Ca.,
to resume her 7-year sentence for a SF bank robbery with the SLA.
(SFC, 5/16/03, p.E8)
1978 May 17, Women were
included in the White House honor guard for the first time as
President Carter welcomed Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda.
1978 May 18, Russian dissident
Yuri Orlov was sentenced to 7 years in a strict-regime labor camp.
The Russian physicist was arrested Feb 10, 1977.
1978 May 19, In Zaire a hundred
Europeans (200 people) were massacred in the mining district of
Kolwezi (formerly Katanga) by the Congolese National Liberation
Front. French and Belgium paratroops were dropped in to restore
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(TL, 1988, p.119)
1978 May 20, US
counterintelligence authorities reported that the Soviet consulate
in San Francisco's Pacific heights has become a major base for
(SFC, 5/16/03, p.E8)
1978 May 20, The Tokyo
International Airport at Narita opened on a 2,632 acre site on Chiba
Peninsula. The opening was 8 years after it was built due to
opposition by local farmers and univ. students.
1978 May 21, The Unification
Church of Sun Myung Moon wed 118 couples in England.
1978 May 22, Italy legalized
abortion. Voters upheld the law in a 1981 referendum.
1978 May 25, A package bomb
injured Terry Marker, a Northwestern Univ. security guard. It was
later attributed to the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski.
(SFEC,11/9/97, Z1 p.4)
1978 May 29, The US Postal
Service issued the first alphabet stamp, the A stamp, when the
first-class rate went from 13 to 15 cents, after being 13¢ for 3
years. The series ended with the H stamp in 1999 with rates up to 33
1978 May 29, The USSR performed
a nuclear test at Semipalatinsk in Eastern Kazakhstan.
1978 May 31, Hanna Hoch
(b.1889), German photomontage artist of the Berlin Dada movement,
died. Her work included "Cut With the Kitchen Knife Dada Through the
Last Weimar Beer-Belly Epoch of Germany," (1919-1920).
(SFC, 3/25/97, p.E3)(SSFC, 1/27/02,
1978 May, The Bahrain Telephone
Company began operating a commercial cellular telephone system. It
probably marks the first time in the world that individuals started
using what we think of as traditional, mobile cellular radio.
1978 May, The Revolutionary
Party (PRD), under the leadership of Jose Pena Gomez, won the
Dominican Rep. presidential elections.
1978 Jun 1, The TV Crime Drama
"Baretta," starring Robert Blake, aired for the last time on ABC. It
was first telecast on Jan 17, 1975.
1978 Jun 1, The East Wing of
the national Gallery of Art designed by I.M. Pei (b.1917) was
dedicated to the people of the US.
1978 Jun 6, California voters
overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13, the Jarvis-Gann amendment, a
primary ballot initiative calling for major cuts in property taxes.
It cut property taxes by 57%. It limited the taxing abilities of
local governments and many city services were reduced as a result.
Key fiscal responsibilities were shifted from counties to the state.
Proposition 13 capped the increase in a home's taxable value at 2
percent a year until it is sold. It also limits a homeowners
property tax to 1 percent of market value.
(AP, 6/6/97)(SFEC, 2/22/98, Z1 p.3)(SFC,
12/27/99, p.A10)(AP, 7/3/05)
1978 Jun 8, A jury in Clark
County, Nev., ruled the so-called "Mormon will," purportedly written
by the late billionaire Howard Hughes, was a forgery.
1978 Jun 8, Leaders of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints struck down a
148-year-old policy of excluding black men from the Mormon
priesthood. Prophet Spencer Kimball opened the Mormon priesthood to
1978 Jun 9, The Rolling Stones'
"Some Girls" album was released. Shortly after, some of the girls on
the LP's cover--Lucille Ball, Raquel Welch, Liz Taylor--threatened
to sue. After several months, Atlantic caved in and changed the
1978 Jun 10, Affirmed
(1975-2001), ridden by Steve Cauthen, became a Triple Crown winner
after winning the NY Belmont Stakes by a nose over Alyadar.
(AP, 6/10/98)(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A20)(NW, 12/31/01,
1978 Jun 10, Algur Hurtle
Meadows (b.1899), Texas oilman, died in a car crash. He left behind
a large collection of Hispanic art at the Virginia Meadows Museum at
Southern Methodist Univ.
1978 Jun 11, Joseph Freeman Jr.
became the 1st black priest in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
1978 Jun 11, Texas Instruments
announced the first single-chip speech synthesizer.
1978 Jun 13, The film "Grease,"
starring John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John, premiered in NYC.
1978 Jun 13, Israelis withdrew
the last of their invading forces from Lebanon.
1978 Jun 15, Lisa Halaby
(b.1951), American-Arab of New York, married Jordan’s King Hussein
and became Queen Noor.
1978 Jun 16, President Carter
and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos exchanged instruments of
ratification for the Panama Canal treaties.
1978 Jun 18, The Whitewater
business venture was incorporated. Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and
his wife Hillary set up their 50-50 Whitewater venture with Mr.
& Mrs. McDougal. The Clintons lost money in the real estate deal
that later turned into the Whitewater scandal.
8/19/96, p.A12)(SFC, 6/4/96, p.A19)
1978 Jun 19, America's favorite
lasagna-loving cat, Garfield, created by Jim Davis, first appeared
in newspapers as a comic strip.
1978 Jun 19, "Best Little
Whorehouse..." opened at 46th St NYC for 1584 performances.
1978 Jun 21, The musical play
"Evita" by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice had its first stage
performance in London’s West End. It featured Elaine Page as Evita.
(SFC, 9/1/96, DB p.42)(Hem., 1/97, p.106)(AP,
1978 Jun 21, Dr. LeMaistre and
Art Dilly flew to New York City with checks totaling $2.4 million to
purchase a complete edition of the two-volume, 1456 Gutenberg Bible.
The Carl H. and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation of NYC had sold the
Gutenberg Bible to the Ransom Center of Texas.
1978 Jun 22, Neo-Nazis called
off plans to march in the Jewish community of Skokie, Ill.
1978 Jun 22, James Christy,
while working at the United States Naval Observatory, discovered
that Pluto had a moon, which he named Charon.
(SFEC, 5/30/99, Par
1978 Jun 23, Joseph Freeman
Jr., the 1st black priest in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints, went in the Salt Lake Temple with his wife and 5 sons for
1978 Jun 24, There was a coup
in North Yemen. Pres. Ahmad Hussein al-Ghashmi was murdered and
replaced by Lt.-Col. Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh was elected president
of North Yemen and began his 2-decade hold on the office. His power
was strong in the cities but in the countryside Sheik Abdulla
al-Ahmar held power.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(WSJ, 3/28/97, p.A1)(WSJ,
1978 Jun 25, Argentina, host to
the World Cup, beat Netherlands in the soccer World Cup championship
in Buenos Aires. It was later alleged that the ruling military junta
bribed an opposing team to ensure Argentina’s progress and eventual
1978 Jun 26, There was a coup
in Southern Yemen (formerly Aden). Pres. Salem Rubaye Ali was
ousted, tried and shot. He was succeeded by Ali Nasir Muhammad.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Jun 27, Sam Shepard’s play
"Buried Child" had its world premier in San Francisco.
1978 Jun 27, US Seasat 1, the
1st oceanographic satellite, was launched into polar orbit.
1978 Jun 27, Soyuz 30 carried 2
cosmonauts (1 Polish) to the Salyut 6 space station.
1978 Jun 28, The US Supreme
Court ordered the medical school at the University of California at
Davis to admit Allan Bakke, a white man who argued he had been a
victim of reverse racial discrimination. The US court’s Bakke
decision allowed universities to consider race in their decisions
only if other factors were equal. This was raised as an issue of
reverse discrimination. Justice Lewis Powell broke a 4-4 tie with
the formulation that Davis’ program was unconstitutional, but that
colleges and universities could still use race as one of several
factors to create a diverse student body.
(WSJ, 7/18/96, p.A10)(AP, 6/28/97)(SFC, 6/27/98,
1978 Jun 29, Bob Crane
(b.1928), the man who played Colonel Robert Hogan in the TV show
"Hogan’s Heroes," was found bludgeoned to death in Scottsdale, Az.
John Henry Carpenter (d.1998 at 70), a prime suspect, was tried and
acquitted in 1990.
1978 Jun, The FBI confronted
anthropologist Gilberto Lopez y Rivas of Mexico as a spy for the
Soviet Union. Agents were tipped by US Army Sgt. Joseph Cassidy, who
spent some 20 years as a double agent. In 2000 David Wise authored
(SFC, 4/8/00, p.C1)
1978 Jun, Intel introduced the
8086 16-bit HMOS chip.
(SFC, 7/16/03, p.B1)
1978 Jun, The Afghan guerrilla
(Mujahideen) movement was born.
1978 Jul 2, The New York Times
produced its last issue using Linotype machinery. In 1980 David Loeb
Weiss (d.2005) produced his documentary “Farewell Etaoin Shrdlu,”
which documented that last production night.
(SFC, 8/17/05, p.B7)
1978 Jul 2, The Arab League
imposed a boycott on South Yemen.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Jul 3, The US Supreme
Court, in Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation,
upheld an FCC ban on George Carlin's "seven dirty words" and other
indecencies on radio, and TV "when there is a reasonable risk that
children may be in the audience." The ban was upheld on the grounds
that broadcasters had a “uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of
(WSJ, 3/24/04, p.A4)(Econ, 7/23/05,
1978 Jul 3, The Amazon Pact was
established. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru,
Suriname, and Venezuela signed the Amazon Pact, a Brazilian
initiative designed to coordinate the joint development of the
1978 Jul 3, China cut off
economic and technical aid to Vietnam.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
Jul 4, Memphis fire fighters halted 3-day strike
under a court order. At least 350 fires were reported during the
strike. The city police director charged that the strikers set
almost all of the fires, which broke out mostly in abandoned
1978 Jul 4, L.I. Chernykh
(b.1935), Russian astronomer, discovered asteroids #3332, #6110
1978 Jul 5, In Ghana Gen’l.
Acheampong resigned as head of state. He was succeeded by Lt.-Col.
Fred W.K. Akuffo.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Jul 5, A Soviet Soyuz
spacecraft touched down safely in Soviet Kazakhstan with its
two-member crew, including the first Polish space traveler -- Major
1978 Jul 7, China cut off all
aid to Albania after a dispute and left it completely isolated.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(CO, GAAE/Albania)(www,
1978 Jul 7, The Solomon Islands
gained independence from Britain.
1978 Jul 9, Nearly 100,000
demonstrators marched on Wash DC for ERA.
1978 Jul 9, American Nazi Party
held a rally at Marquette Park, Chicago.
1978 Jul 10, ABC-TV premiered
“World News Tonight” with anchors Frank Reynolds, Peter Jennings and
1978 Jul 10, John D.
Rockefeller III (b.1906), US billionaire and philanthropist, died.
1978 Jul 10, In Mauritania Col.
Mustapha Ould Salek overthrew Pres. Moktar Ould Daddah.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Jul 11, Christa Tybus of
London set a 24 hrs hula-hoop record.
1978 Jul 11, In Spain 216
people were killed at a camping site when a tanker truck overfilled
with propylene gas exploded on a coastal highway south of Tarragona.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(AP, 7/11/97)
1978 Jul 13, Lee Iacocca was
fired as president of Ford Motor Co. by chairman Henry Ford II.
Iacocca later joined Chrysler as its president.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl.)(AP, 7/13/97)
1978 Jul 13, Walter Poenisch
completed a "swim for peace" from Cuba to the US in 34 hours and 15
min. He used flippers and made the swim unassisted.
(SFC, 5/13/97, p.A3)(http://www.swim4peace.com/)
1978 Jul 14, Soviet dissident
Natan Sharansky was convicted of treasonous espionage and
anti-Soviet agitation, and sentenced to 13 years at hard labor. He
was released in 1986.
1978 Jul 15, President Carter,
in West Germany for an economic summit, presided over a "town
meeting" during which he fielded questions from about 1,000
1978 Jul 15, Bob Dylan
performed before some 200,000 fans at Blackbushe Airport, England,
in the largest open-air concert audience at the time (for a single
1978 Jul 17, In San Marino a
Communist-Socialist coalition became Western Europe’s only communist
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Jul 18, Cyrus Vance
(1917-2002), US Sec. of State, met with the Egyptian and Israeli
Foreign Ministers at Leeds Castle, England.
1978 Jul 21, In Bolivia Gen’l.
Juan Pereda Asbun overthrew Pres. Banzer in a coup.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Jul 23, Franklin Bradshow
was killed in SLC, Utah. His daughter, Frances B. Schreuder
(d.2004), had persuaded her son to kill her wealthy father due to
"his stinginess." Schreuder was convicted in 1983.
(SFC, 4/3/04, p.B6)
1978 Jul 24, The Beatles’
animated film "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" premiered in
1978 Jul 24, Chile’s Air Force
Gen'l. Gustavo Leigh Guzman was demoted. He was the first junta
member to urge the restoration of civilian rule.
1978 Jul 25, Louise Joy Brown,
the first test-tube baby, was born in Oldham, England; she'd been
conceived through in-vitro fertilization. In 2004 Robin Marantz
Henig authored "Pandora's Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies
sparked the Reproductive Revolution.
(TL, 1988, p.119)(AP, 7/25/97)(SSFC, 2/22/04,
1978 Jul 25, The Viking 2
Orbiter to Mars was powered down after 706 orbits.
1978 Jul 28, Price of gold
topped the $200 per oz level for 1st time. Spot gold closed at
1978 Jul 28, Perth Observatory
discovered asteroid #3188 and #3422.
1978 Jul 30, To celebrate the
80th birthday of sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986), an exhibition of
his work was held in London’s Hyde Park.
1978 Jul 30, Tropical Storm
Amelia formed in the western Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville, Texas.
The storm moved over land, but continued to intensify to a 50 mph
tropical storm. The storm dissipated over Texas on August 1.
Flooding rains due to torrential rains exceeding 40 inches led to
the deaths of 30 people in Texas.
1978 Jul, Advanced Mobile Phone
Service started operating in North America. AMPS was operational in
the Chicago, Illinois, area.
1978 Jul -1978 Sep, Floods in
northern India killed 1,291 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Aug 1, Pete Rose of the
Cincinnati Reds, who had tied the National League record of hitting
in 44 consecutive games, saw his streak end in a game against the
1978 Aug 6, There was a
bloodless coup in Honduras.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Aug 6, Pope Paul VI
(1963-78), born as Giovanni Montini, died at Castel Gandolfo at age
1978 Aug 8, The United States
launched Pioneer Venus II, which carried scientific probes to study
the atmosphere of Venus.
(HFA, '96, p.36)(AP, 8/8/99)
1978 Aug 8, James Ramp (52),
Philadelphia police officer, was killed during a standoff with MOVE.
9 members of MOVE, a Black group that espoused equality with animals
and preached against technology, were convicted. Members of the
group adopted the surname Africa.
1978 Aug 9, A California
statewide Teamsters warehouse workers strike began.
(SFC, 8/15/03, p.E9)
1978 Aug 9, James G. Cozzens
(b.1903), US writer (Guard of Honor, Pulitzer), died. His novels
included “The Last Adam” (1933), “The Just and the Unjust” (1942),
“Guard of Honor” (1948; Pulitzer Prize), “By Love Possessed” (1957),
and “Morning, Noon, and Night” (1968).
1978 Aug 11, “Le Freak” by Chic
was released. In October it topped the US hot 100 chart.
1978 Aug 11, The American
Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) put an end to the persecution
of Native American religions.
1978 Aug 11, Chiefs of state
and foreign dignitaries arrived in Vatican City for the funeral of
Pope Paul VI.
1978 Aug 12, China and Japan
normalized relations. Japan signed a Peace and Friendship Treaty
with China in Beijing.
1978 Aug 12, Pope Paul VI, who
had died six days earlier at age 80, was buried in St. Peter's
1978 Aug 13, In a Palestinian
area of Beirut, Lebanon, a bomb killed 100 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Aug 16, James Earl Ray,
convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., told a Capitol
Hill hearing he did not commit the crime, saying he'd been set up by
a mysterious man called "Raoul."
1978 Aug 16, Antonio Guzman
(1911-1982) assumed office as president of the Dominican Rep.
Mindful of the fate of Juan Bosch sixteen years before, Guzman
determined to move slowly in the area of social and economic reforms
and to deal as directly as possible with the threat of political
pressure from the armed forces.
1978 Aug 16, The World Bank
under Robert McNamara issued its first World Development Report
(WDR). the 68-page document provided a comprehensive assessment of
global development issues.
(Econ, 1/24/09, p.65)(http://tinyurl.com/d3xzs6)
1978 Aug 17, The helium-filled
balloon, Double Eagle II, crossed the Atlantic in 6 days. The first
successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Americans Maxie
Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed outside Paris.
(AP, 8/17/97)(HN, 8/17/98)
1978 Aug 17, Afghanistan
announced that defense minister Gen. Abdul Qadir, one of the Apr 27
coup leaders, has been arrested after the discovery of an alleged
plot to overthrow the government. Qadir also belonged to the Parcham
1978 Aug 18, Bechtel Corp.
hired Richard Helms, former director of the CIA, as a consultant.
Former government officials George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger were
also recently hired.
(SFC, 8/15/03, p.E9)
1978 Aug 19, The Cinema Rex in
Abadan, Iran, was set ablaze, killing over 400 individuals. The
ruling government of Iran reported that Islamic militants set the
fire, while the anti-Shah protesters blamed the intelligence service
of the nation, SAVAK for setting the fire. Later it was disclosed
that Islamic militants set the Cinema Rex fire.
1978 Aug 20, In New Jersey 5
teenage boys disappeared. In 2010 Lee Evans (56) and Philander
Hampton (53) were arrested and charged with their murder.
Prosecutors said the boys were herded into an abandoned building and
burned to death in a dispute over some missing marijuana. On Aug 20,
2010, Evans was freed from jail after relatives put up $950,000 in
bail. His cousin remained in jail. On Oct 3, 2011, Hampton (54) was
sentenced to 10 years in prison. Under sentencing guidelines he was
only required to serve 20% of the sentence. In 2011 a jury found Lee
Evans not guilty of 10-murder related counts in the deaths of the
(SFC, 3/24/10, p.A7)(SSFC, 8/22/10, p.A10)(SFC,
10/4/11, p.A5)(SFC, 11/24/11, p.A11)
1978 Aug 20, In London gunmen
opened fire on an Israeli El Al Airline bus. 2 people died and 9
1978 Aug 21, Charles Eames
(1907-1978), an American polymath artist, died. Together with his
wife he designed numerous objects, furniture and made more than 75
1978 Aug 22, In Kenya Pres.
Jomo Kenyatta (1963-1978), a leading figure in Kenya's struggle for
independence, died at age 83. He was succeeded by Vice President
Daniel Arap Moi of the Kalengin tribe, head of the Kenya African
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(SFC, 6/18/97,
p.A8)(SFC,11/27/97, p.B6)(AP, 8/22/98)
1978 Aug 22, In Managua,
Nicaragua, a group of the Third Way faction, led by Eden Pastora
Gomez (also known as Commander Zero--Comandante Cero), took over the
National Palace and held almost 2,000 government officials and
members of Congress hostage for two days. Sandinista guerrillas
seized hostages at the Nicaraguan Congress building and after a
2-day siege obtained a hefty ransom, exile to Panama and the
liberation of some 70 jailed comrades.
1978 Aug 26, Charles Boyer
(b.1897), French-born film actor (Gaslight, Rogues), committed
suicide in Phoenix, Az., 2 days after his wife's death from cancer.
Boyer and actress Pat Robertson lost their only child in 1965, when
their son shot himself playing Russian roulette.
(http://www.imdb.com)(SSFC, 1/21/07, Par p.2)
1978 Aug 26, Cardinal Albino
Luciani of Venice was elected the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic
Church following the death of Paul VI. The new pontiff took the name
John Paul I. He served only 33 days before dying of a heart attack
on September 28.
(AP, 8/26/97)(RTH, 8/26/99)
1978 Aug 26, Sigmund Jahn
became the first German in space when he blasted off aboard Russia’s
1978 Aug 28, Bruce Catton
(b.1899), US historian, died in Frankfort, Michigan. He won a 1954
Pulitzer Prize for history for his book “A Stillness at Appomattox,”
his study of the final campaign of the war in Virginia.
1978 Aug 28, Robert Shaw
(b.1927), English-born film and stage actor, died of heart attack in
Ireland. He received a "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar nomination for
his portrayal of Henry VIII in “A Man for All Seasons” (1966).
1978 Aug 31, Emily and William
Harris, founding members of the SLA, pleaded guilty to 4 charges
related to the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst. On Oct 4 they were
sentenced to prison terms.
1978 Aug 31, Imam Moussa
al-Sadr, the spiritual leader of Lebanon's Shiite Muslim community,
disappeared along with 2 companions during a visit to Libya. In 2008
a Lebanese prosecutor charged Moammar Khadafy and 6 other Libyan
officials in the disappearance.
1978 Sep 2, Gen. Charles Blair
(b.1909), pilot and the 3rd husband of actress Maureen O’Hara, died
in a Grumman Goose seaplane crash in the Caribbean. 3 passengers
were also killed and seven were severely injured.
1978 Sep 3, Pope John Paul I,
Cardinal Albino Luchiani of Venice, was installed as the 264th
pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
(AP, 9/3/97)(SFC, 12/10/99, p.AA11)
1978 Sep 3, An Air Rhodesia
Vickers 782D Viscount passenger airliner crash-landed after being
hit by a MANPAD, fired by forces from the Zimbabwe People's
Revolutionary Army, killing 34 of the 56 passengers.
1978 Sep 5-1978 Sep 17, US
Pres. Carter, Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt met
at Camp David, Md. In 2014 Lawrence Wright authored “Thirteen Days
in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David.”
(SFC, 6/2/97, p.D5)(Econ, 9/20/14, p.79)
1978 Sep 6, Genentech of South
San Francisco, Ca., announced the successful laboratory production
of human insulin using recombinant DNA technology.
1978 Sep 6, In California a
fire destroyed the 4,000-foot-long Island Mountain tunnel of the
Northwestern Pacific Railroad.
(www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,929824)(SFEC, 9/7/97, Z1
1978 Sep 6, James Wickwire of
Seattle and Louis Reichardt of San Francisco became the first
Americans to reach the summit of Pakistan's K-2, the world's
1978 Sep 6, Bulgarian defector
Georgi Markov, living in London, was stabbed in the leg by a man
carrying an umbrella; Markov died four days later, an apparent
victim of the Bulgarian secret police using a ricin-coated pellet.
The assassin was later identified as Francesco Gullino (Guillino,
Giullino), code name Piccadilly, an Italian-born Dane, operating
under instructions from Vasil Kotsev, Bulgaria’s top spymaster.
(AP, 9/7/08)(Econ, 9/6/08, p.61)
1978 Sep 7, Keith Moon
(b.1946), English drummer for "The Who" rock group, died of drug OD
1978 Sep 7, Sri Lanka’s new
constitution went into effect. The new Constitution provided for a
unicameral Parliament with legislative power and an Executive
1978 Sep 8, The Shah's troops
opened fire on protesters in Tehran, killing several hundred
1978 Sep 9, Jack L. Warner
(b.1892), US movie producer, died. He was born as Itzhak Eichelbaum
in London, Ontario, Canada of a Polish-Jewish family, and became the
president and driving force behind the highly successful development
of Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
1978 Sep 11, Kippi Vaught and
Rhonda Scheffler (17) were kidnapped from a shopping mall in
Sacramento. Their bodies were found 2 days later east of town.
Gerald Gallego (b.1946) and accomplice Charlene Williams (24) began
a rape and murder spree that left 9 women and one young man dead.
Williams served 17 years in prison. Gallego was sentenced to death
but was still alive with appeals.
1978 Sep 11, Georgi Markov, a
Bulgarian defector, died at a British hospital four days after being
stabbed by a man wielding a poisoned umbrella tip. British
investigative reporter Peter Earle (d.1997 at 71) revealed that
Markov was jabbed by an East German agent with a poison tipped
umbrella on Waterloo Bridge. The original report stated that Markov
died of a heart attack. In 1993 Danish authorities charged a Dane of
Italian origin, Francesco Guillino, with killing Markov. Guillino,
who reportedly had worked for the Bulgarian secret services since
1972, denied any wrongdoing and eventually was freed. In 2005
journalist Hristo Hristov authored “Kill Vagabond,” in which he
presented new evidence confirming that the hit was planned and
carried out by Bulgaria's communist-era secret service.
(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.B8)(AP, 9/11/98)(AP,
6/16/05)(SFC, 6/17/05, p.W5)
1978 Sep 12, The TV sitcom
"Taxi" premiered on ABC television.
1978 Sep 12, The first annual
"Day of Martyrs" was held in South Africa to remember those who gave
their lives in the struggle against apartheid.
1978 Sep 13, The US Navy's F-18
Hornet makes its public debut during rollout ceremonies in St.
1978 Sep 14, The Soviet Union
suspended further flights of the supersonic TU 144.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Sep 15, In Thailand PM
Kriangsak Chomanan submitted an amnesty bill for the "Bangkok 18"
left-wing students and labor activists jailed in connection with the
1976 crackdown. He also initiated an amnesty program for former
members of the Communist Party, a reconciliation policy that
eventually helped quash its insurgency.
1978 Sep 15, Willy
Messerschmitt (b.1898), German aircraft builder, died in Munich.
1978 Sep 16, The Grateful Dead
performed at the Great Pyramid of Giza. Hanza El Din (1930-2006),
Nubian oud virtuoso, first played with the Grateful Dead.
1978 Sep 16, In northeast Iran
a magnitude 7.7 earthquake killed some 25,000 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(AP, 6/22/02)
1978 Sep 17, In the 30th Emmy
Awards winners included All in the Family, Ed Asner & Sada
1978 Sep 17, US Pres. Carter,
Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt signed agreements
at Camp David, Md. Israel promised to withdraw gradually from Sinai
and to establish some form of autonomous Palestinian territory on
the West Bank. Sadat’s astrologer, Hasan al-Tuhami, was the only
person Sadat trusted. In the Camp David Accord "Israel was the
winner and Egypt the Loser." Thus wrote Boutros Boutros-Ghali in his
1997 book: "Egypt’s Road to Jerusalem: A Diplomat’s Story of the
Struggle for Peace in the Middle East."
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(TL, 1988, p.119)(SFC, 6/2/97,
p.D5)(SFC, 4/24/98, p.A17)
1978 Sep 17, The International
Banking Act of 1978 was enacted. It permitted a foreign bank to
select its home state from among the US states in which it operated
branches and agencies on the grandfather date. If a foreign bank's
office that was established or applied for prior to June 27, 1978,
is a branch as defined in the International Banking Act, then it is
grandfathered as a branch.
1978 Sep 17, Rolf Gunther, East
German priest, died from self immolation.
1978 Sep 20, "Eubie!" opened at
Ambassador Theater NYC for 439 performances.
1978 Sep 20, John Vorster,
prime minister of white-ruled South Africa since 1966, announced his
1978 Sep 25, In Calif. 144
people were killed when a Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) Boeing
727 and a Cessna private plane collided over San Diego.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(AP, 9/25/97)
1978 Sep 25, Jacobo Timerman
was released by Argentina’s ruling junta under international
pressure. His citizenship was stripped, his newspaper confiscated
and he was put on a plane for Israel.
(SFC, 11/12/99, p.D6)
1978 Sep 26, NY District Court
Judge Constance Baker Motley ruled that women sportswriters cannot
be banned from NYC sports locker rooms.
1978 Sep 26, British unions,
fed up with wage restraints, launched their “winter of discontent,”
to the humiliation of James Callaghan’s government.
3/27/05, p.A21)(Econ, 9/15/07, p.69)
1978 Sep 28, Rosemary Cobbs
(26), a graduate student at USC in Los Angeles, was beaten and shot
to death by Stevie Lamar Fields (22). Williams had been out of
prison for just 2 weeks when he went on a 3-week crime spree. In
2007 a federal appeals court reinstated his death sentence.
(SFC, 9/11/07, p.D2)(http://tinyurl.com/2osxw8)
1978 Sep 28, The Israeli
Knesset endorsed the Camp David accord.
1978 Sep 28, P.W. Botha
(1916-2006) began serving as Prime Minister of the apartheid regime
of South Africa. In 1984 he became president and continued until
1978 Sep 28, Pope John Paul I
[Albino Luciano] died after 33 days as pope. He was found dead the
next day in his Vatican apartment.
1978 Sep 29, Mary Vincent (15),
was raped, maimed and left for dead in a canyon near Modesto, Ca.
She lived and identified Lawrence Singleton as her assailant. He was
convicted but released after serving 8 years of a 14 year sentence.
In 1997 he was arrested for the murder of woman, Roxanne Hayes, a
prostitute, in Tampa, Florida. A trial in Dec 1997 ended in a
mistrial and another was set for 1998. He was sentenced to death in
1998, but died of cancer in 2001 in a Florida prison hospital.
(SFC, 2/20/96, p.A1,11)(SFC,12/11/97, p.A3)(SFC,
2/9/98, p.A22)(SFC, 1/1/02, p.A13)
1978 Sep 29, In West Bengal,
floods killed 150 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Sep 30, Huey Newton
(1942-1989) was convicted in Oakland, Ca., on weapons charges and
launched into a 40 minute harangue calling SF Superior Court Judge
Joseph Koresh (1909-1996) "a renegade Jew."
1978 Sep 30, Edgar Bergen
(b.1903), American actor and ventriloquist (Charlie McCarthy), died
in Las Vegas. He was born as Edgar John Bergren in Chicago,
Illinois, to a Swedish family and grew up in Decatur, Michigan.
1978 Oct 1, The Pacific island
of Tuvalu gained independence from Britain.
1978 Oct 2, Syrian troops
pounded Christian districts of Beirut with heavy artillery and
rocket fire early today, and right-wing officials said Lebanese
militias were fighting back with every weapon they had.
1978 Oct 2, The first Yugo 45
was handmade. The Zastava Koral, also known simply as the Yugo, was
a subcompact vehicle built in Yugoslavia by Zastava corporation. The
Yugo entered the United States by means of Malcolm Bricklin, who
wanted to introduce a simple, low cost car to that market. In total
141,511 cars were sold in the US from 1985 to 1991, with the most
American units sold in a year peaking at 48,500 in 1987.
1978 Oct 3, Ayatollah Khomeini
(1902-1989) left Iraq for Kuwait after the Shah sought his
deportation. He was refused entry in Kuwait and moved to Paris.
1978 Oct 4, Diane Feinstein,
President of the SF Board of Supervisors, presided over the opening
the Pier 39 complex in a one-piece bathing suit. Warren L. Simmons
(d.2006 at 79) developed the project and sold it in 1981. In 1986
Simmons co-found Chevy’s restaurants.
(SFC, 10/3/03, p.E3)(SFC, 6/23/06, p.B9)
1978 Oct 4, Funeral services
were held at the Vatican for Pope John Paul I.
1978 Oct 5, Isaac Bashevis
Singer (1902-1991), Polish-born American author, was named winner of
the Nobel Prize for literature.
1978 Oct 9, Larry Singleton
(1927-2001), rapist, was arrested in Sparks, Nev. He was later
convicted of raping and mutilating Mary Vincent (15) of Las Vegas.
1978 Oct 9, Jacques Brel
(b.1929), Belgian-born French cabaret singer, died. He was buried at
Atuona on the Marquesas Island of Hiva Oa. An American musical revue
of his songs, “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,”
debuted in 1968 and has played around the world since.
1978 Oct 10, President Carter
signed a bill authorizing the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin.
1978 Oct 10, San Francisco City
Hall and the Civic Center area was declared a national landmark.
1978 Oct 12, Representatives of
Israel and Egypt opened talks in Washington.
1978 Oct 12, Nancy Spungen
(b.1958), girlfriend of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, was found
dead on the bathroom floor of their NYC hotel room. She had bled to
death from a single stab wound to the abdomen.
1978 Oct 12, In Uganda Idi Amin
escaped an 11th assassination attempt.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Oct 16, The College of
Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Wojtyla (58),
Archbishop of Cracow, to become Pope. He took the name John Paul II.
The first non-Italian since Adrian VI of Utrecht died in 1523.
(AP, 10/16/97)(HN, 10/16/98)
1978 Oct 16, An attempted coup
against President Ali Abdullah Saleh of North Yemen was crushed.
1978 Oct 17, President Carter
signed a bill restoring U.S. citizenship to Confederate President
1978 Oct 18, Jaume Ramon
Mercader del Rio Hernandez (b.1914), aka Jacques Mornard, Spanish
Communist and murderer of Leon Trotsky, died in Cuba. Declassified
archives showed that he was a Soviet agent. In 1940 Mercader fatally
wounded Trotsky with an ice axe in his study at his home in
Coyoacan, then a village on the southern fringes of Mexico City.
1978 Oct 19, The US League of
Savings and Loan Associations reported that the San Francisco Bay
Area had the highest housing costs in the nation.
(SFC, 10/17/03, p.E9)
1978 Oct 19, Gig Young
(b.1913), film and TV star, killed his bride of 3 weeks and then
committed suicide in NYC. Young had recently married his fifth wife,
a German art gallery employee named Kim Schmidt (31). He had met
Schmidt on the set of his final film, Game of Death, where she was
working as a script supervisor. Young was born as Byron Elsworth
Barr in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
1978 Oct 19, The Afghan flag
was changed. The national flag, also used as state and war flag, was
a 1:2 red flag with a yellow Soviet-like emblem in the canton. Red
symbolized the fight against imperialism, feudality and all other
kinds of oppression.
1978 Oct 22, Laugh-in's Judy
Carne was arrested at Gatwick Airport for drug possession.
1978 Oct 22, Negotiators for
Egypt and Israel announced in Washington they had reached tentative
agreement on the main points of a peace treaty.
1978 Oct 23, CBS raised long
playing vinyl album prices to $8.98.
1978 Oct 23, Sid Vicious
attempted suicide while at Riker's Detention Center in NYC.
1978 Oct 23, Maybelle Carter
(b.1909), Virginia-born country singer, died in Nashville, Tenn. She
was a member of the original Carter Family, which was formed in 1927
by her brother-in-law, A. P. Carter, who was married to her cousin,
Sara, also a part of the trio.
1978 Oct 23, China and Japan
exchanged treaty ratification documents in Tokyo, formally ending
four decades of hostility.
1978 Oct 24, Pres. Carter
signed the Airline Deregulation Act. The main purpose of the act was
to remove government control from commercial aviation and expose the
passenger airline industry to market forces. Alfred Kahn (1917-2010)
was the head of America’s Civil Aeronautics Board and the driving
force behind the deregulation of air travel.
1978 Oct 24, The weather
satellite Nimbus-7 was launched with a Total Ozone Mapping
Spectrometer (TOMS) as one of its instruments.
1978 Oct 24, Mount Usu, 475
miles north of Tokyo, erupted. Mud flows killed 2 people and 196
homes were destroyed.
1978 Oct 25, The Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 became public law. It
prescribed procedures for requesting judicial authorization for
electronic surveillance and physical search of persons engaged in
espionage or international terrorism against the US on behalf of a
foreign power. The FISA court was created to approve or deny
government requests to listen to foreigners’ calls on the ground of
1978 Oct 26, Pres. Carter
signed the Ethics in Government Act. It provided for the appointment
of independent counsels. The Supreme Court upheld the law in 1987.
3/7/99, Z1 p.6)
1978 Oct 26, In Somalia the 17
leaders of the April coup were executed.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Oct 27, Egyptian President
Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were named
winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward achieving
a Middle East accord.
1978 Oct 27, Typhoon Rita
struck in the Philippines and killed 150 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Oct 29, The US Women’s
Army Corp (WAC) was deactivated.
1978 Oct 30, Uganda troops
attacked Tanzania. Uganda under Idi Amin went on to annex a
700-square-mile section of Tanzania. Pres. Nyerere sent Tanzanian
soldiers and Ugandan exile volunteers to push back Amin's forces.
1978 Oct 31, The US Pregnancy
Discrimination Act was passed making it illegal to fire women for
being pregnant or having a child. It amended Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of
(Econ, 11/19/11, SR p.9)
1978 Oct, Kathy Keeton Guccione
(1939-1997), associate founder of Penthouse Magazine, launched Omni
1978 Nov 1, The Carter
administration announced a multipart support package for the US
dollar. The Treasury planned to use gold sales, foreign borrowing
and a draw on reserves with the IMF to defend the dollar. The
Federal Reserve raised the discount rate a full point.
(WSJ, 1/18/05, p.A1)
1978 Nov 1, The US Dept. of
Justice filed its first statement of contentions and proof, settling
out detailed charges against AT&T, which eventually led to its
1978 Nov 1, In Dallas, Texas,
Jonathan Bruce Reed attacked Wanda Jean Wadle and her roommate,
Kimberly Pursley. He'd apparently entered their apartment by posing
as a maintenance man. In 1979 Reed was convicted and condemned to
death for the rape-slaying of Wanda Jean Wadle at her apartment. In
2009 an appeals court ruled that Reed could be freed because
prosecutors improperly excluded blacks from his jury in the belief
that blacks empathize with defendants.
1978 Nov 1, Uganda, following
its invasion into Tanzania, formally annexed a section across the
Kagera River boundary.
1978 Nov 3, Dominica gained
independence from Britain.
(PCh, 1992, p.1065)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1978 Nov 4, US National
Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski called the Shah of Iran to tell
him that the US would "back him to the hilt."
1978 Nov 4, In Iran
Sharif-Emami (d.1998 at 87 in NYC), prime minister, handed in his
resignation after 2 months in office. Shah Pahlavi then appointed
Gholam Riza Azhari and tried a military approach as the nation
erupted in revolt.
(SFC, 6/24/98, p.C2)(
1978 Nov 5, In Austria 50.5% of
the voters said no to turning on the Zwentendorf nuclear power plant
and the Austrian nuclear power program came to a halt. The plant at
Zwentendorf, begun in 1970, was completed at a cost of 8 billion
Austrian schillings and was intended to be the first of six Austrian
1978 Nov 5, Floods in Tamil
Nadu and Kerala, India, killed 125 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Nov 6, Pres. Carter signed
the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which put the papers of future
presidents in the public domain. It envisioned the release of most
sensitive records 12 years after a president left office. It governs
the official records of Presidents and Vice Presidents created or
received after January 20, 1981 and mandates the preservation of all
presidential records. In 2001 Pres. Bush signed an executive order
allowing either the White House or former presidents to veto the
release of presidential papers.
1978 Nov 6, The US Bankruptcy
Reform Act revised bankruptcy regulations to allow companies to
reorganize under Chapter 11 of the law, rather than liquidate under
Chapter 7. It replaced the Bankruptcy Act of 1898, sometimes called
the Nelson act, and became effective as of Oct 1, 1979.
1978 Nov 6, Muhammad Reza
Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, appointed a military government. In a
nationwide television address, he admitted to the past mistakes and
told the nation he had heard the sound of their revolution.
1978 Nov 7, By this date the
CDC had confirmed 496 sporadic cases associated with outbreaks of
Legionnaire's disease in the US.
1978 Nov 7, California voters
approved Proposition 7, a Briggs initiative, which greatly expanded
the kinds of cases in which the death penalty could be imposed. By
2003 the prison population was 159,390 with and annual budget of
$5.3 billion. Proposition 6, a Briggs initiative calling to prevent
gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools, was defeated.
1978 Nov 7, Janet Flanner
(b.1892), American writer and journalist, died.
1978 Nov 7, Gene Tunney
(b.1897), former heavyweight boxing champ (1926-28), died. In 2006
Jack Cavanaugh authored “Tunney: Boxing’s Brainiest Champ and His
Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey.”
1978 Nov 8, Jerry Brown was
re-elected as governor of California. Republican Mike Curb was
elected Lt. Gov. State voters rejected restrictions on gay and
lesbian teachers in the 1st statewide plebiscite on such an issue.
(SFC, 11/7/03, p.E3)
1978 Nov 8, Norman Rockwell
(b.1894), American artist, died. He had created nearly 4,000
illustrations that included 321 covers for the Saturday Evening
Post. In 2013 Deborah Solomon authored “American Mirror: The Life
and Art of Norman Rockwell.”
T10,11)(SSFC, 11/17/13, p.F5)
1978 Nov 9, The US Congress
enacted a Gas Policy Act as part of broader legislation known as the
National Energy Act (NEA).
1978 Nov 11, Veteran's Day,
originally know as Armistice Day, became a national US holiday in
1938. It was changed back by Congress in this year to this day
rather than the 4th Monday of October, which had been set in 1968.
(SFC, 11/12/99, p.A21)
1978 Nov 15, Margaret Mead
(b.1901), American cultural anthropologist, died in NY. Her books
included “Coming of Age in Samoa.” In 1983 Derek Freeman authored
"Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an
Anthropological Myth," in which he challenged all of Mead’s major
(SFEC, 8/18/96, BR
1978 Nov 18, In Jonestown,
Guyana, California Rep. Leo J. Ryan and four other people,
investigating the Jim Jones cult, were killed by members of the
Peoples Temple. Greg Robinson, a SF Examiner photographer, Don
Harris, NBC correspondent, Bob Brown, NBC cameraman, and Patricia
Parks, a temple defector, were shot dead. Congressional aide Jackie
Speier survived 5 bullets. The killings were followed by a night of
mass murder and suicide. 918 people died at Jonestown, including 260
children. In 1982 John Jacobs and Tim Reiterman authored "Raven: The
Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People." In 2011
survivors unveiled a memorial at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, Ca.,
with the names of all the dead.
(SFEM, 11/17/96, p.22)(AP, 11/18/97)(SFEC,
11/8/98, p.A18)(SFC, 5/25/00, p.C2)(SSFC, 11/16/03,
p.D1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones)(SFC, 5/30/11, p.C1)
1978 Nov 23, In Sri Lanka a
cyclone killed 1,500 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Nov 25, An Icelandic DC-8
jet crashed and killed 183 Muslim pilgrims in Sri Lanka.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Nov 26, Muslim religious
leaders and politicians seeking to topple Shah of Iran called a
general strike that virtually paralyzed the country.
1978 Nov 26, Albert Miles,
governor of the maze prison, was murdered when gunmen forced their
way into his home and shot him while restraining his wife. Two men
were later convicted of his murder and given life sentences.
1978 Nov 27, San Francisco
Mayor George Moscone and Supv. Harvey Milk, a gay-rights activist,
were gunned down inside City Hall by former supervisor Dan White.
White used 4 bullets on Moscone and turned himself in at the city’s
Northern Police station and made a 24-minute taped confession.
Moscone became the 3rd US mayor to die in a political killing. Diane
Feinstein automatically became acting mayor of SF. She was then
elected by the board members to serve out Moscone’s term.
(SFC, 9/13/96, p.E2)(SFC, 7/29/97, p.A8)(AP,
11/27/97)(SFC, 11/26/98, p.A19)(SFC, 11/28/03, p.E2)(SFC, 5/14/04,
1978 Nov 28, Armida Wiltsey
(40) of Lafayette, Ca., was found raped and strangled near the
Lafayette Reservoir. In 2003 DNA evidence linked Darryl Kemp, a
Texas inmate, to the murder. Kemp had been recently paroled from
prison, where he served time for killing a nurse in 1957. His death
sentence in that case was commuted when the death penalty was
declared unconstitutional in 1972. In late 2008 a jury said
that Kemp should be executed.
(SFC, 10/4/03, p.A15)(SFC, 1/1/09, p.B3)
1978 Nov 30, In Chile the
remains of 15 disappeared were discovered in Lonquen. The Vicaria
publicly announced the discovery of an illegal burial ground in an
abandoned limestone mine in Lonquén which had been used to conceal
the bodies of 15 people who had disappeared since the onset of the
military regime in 1973.
1978 Nov, Peter Seeburg quit
the Univ. of California and went to work for Genentech, where a
crash program was in process to create a growth hormone drug.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.B2)
1978 Dec 1, Pres. Jimmy Carter
proclaimed 15 new national monuments, eleven under NPS jurisdiction
and two each for the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife
1978 Dec 2, Streisand and
Diamond's "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," went #1.
1978 Dec 2, Anti-Shah
protesters poured through Tehran chanting "Allah is great."
1978 Dec 2, Pakistan’s General
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq delivered a nationwide address on the occasion
of the first day of the Hijra calendar. He did this in order to
usher in an Islamic system.
1978 Dec 3, William Grant Still
(b.1895), the first important black symphonic composer, died.
1978 Dec 4, San Francisco got
its first female mayor. The Board of Supervisors voted 6-2 for
Dianne Feinstein to replace the assassinated George Moscone. The
Board voted unanimously to rename Yerba Buena Convention Center
after Moscone and to name a new gay community center after Harvey
(AP, 12/4/98)(SFC, 12/5/03, p.E10)
1978 Dec 5, The American space
probe Pioneer Venus I, orbiting Venus, began beaming back its first
information and picture of the planet to scientists in Mountain
1978 Dec 5, Afghan Pres. Nur
Mohammad Tarakai, head of People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
(PDPA), signed a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union.
1978 Dec 8, Golda Meir (80), PM
of Israel from 1969 to 1974, died of cancer in Jerusalem.
1978 Dec 8, Harry Winston
(b.1896), jeweler to the stars, died. He purchased the Hope diamond
in 1949 and later donated it to the Smithsonian Institute.
1978 Dec 10, Edward D. Wood
(b.1924), film director, died in North Hollywood, Ca. His films
included "Plan 9 From Outer Space" (1959). He became infamous for
his bad movies. In 1994 the film "Ed Wood" by Tim Burton was made in
(AP, 12/10/98)(SFC, 12/25/98,
1978 Dec 11, Six masked men
bound 10 employees at Lufthansa cargo area at NY Kennedy Airport
& made off with $5.8 M in cash & jewelry. Nicholas Pileggi
wrote "Wise Guys," which described his participation in the heist.
The robbery inspired the movie "Goodfellas." On Jan 23, 2014,
Vincent Asaro (78) was arrested at his home in NYC and charged with
helping direct the heist as well as a 1969 murder.
p.A3)(SFC, 1/24/14, p.A22)
1978 Dec 11, Massive
demonstrations took place in Tehran against the Shah. In Isfahan,
Iran, 40 people were killed and 60 wounded during riots against the
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(HN, 12/11/98)
1978 Dec 13, The Philadelphia
Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into
circulation the following July. This was the 1st US coin to honor a
1978 Dec 14, In Northern
Ireland John Murdie McTier, Belfast Prison officer, was driving home
with two colleagues when a number of shots were fired from a passing
car by the IRA. Both his passengers survived the attack but Mr.
McTier died three days later from his wounds. He was survived by his
wife and three small children.
1978 Dec 15, President Carter
announced he would grant diplomatic recognition to the People’s
Republic of China, i.e. Communist China, on New Year's Day and sever
official relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan).
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)(AP, 12/15/98)
1978 Dec 15, Cleveland became
the first major US city since the Great Depression to default on its
1978 Dec 15, Aides of Tennessee
Gov. Ray Blanton (1930-1996) were charged with accepting money in
exchange for approving paroles. Two were convicted and sent to
prison. The scandal inspired a book, ''Marie: A True Story'' (1983)
by Peter Maas.
1978 Dec 18, The US Supreme
Court ruled in Marquette vs. First Omaha Service Corp. that
national banks can charge customers throughout the country any
interest rate allowed by the institution’s home state. This led
financial institutions to move credit offices to states with no or
very high interest caps.
1978 Dec 18, Harold Lasswell
(b.1902), American sociologist, died. He declared that the
communication theorist must always answer the question "Who says
what to whom with what effect?"
1978 Dec 20, Former White House
chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was released from prison after serving
18 months for his role in the Watergate cover-up.
1978 Dec 21, Police in Des
Plaines, Ill., arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the
remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of
murdering. 27 bodies were found under his house, 2 in the back yard
and 4 were fished out of the nearby Des Plaines River. He was
executed in 1994.
(SFEC, 11/22/98, p.A2)(AP, 12/21/98)
1978 Dec 22, The Communist
Party in China issued a communiqué following 2 meetings on the
economy. Teng Hsiao-p’ing (Deng Xiaoping) led the Chinese people in
a Great Leap Forward with a program of economic reform in a market
oriented economy. Deng introduced the "household responsibility
system" in a drought-parched region which allowed farmers to keep
some of the benefits of their labors. Deng Xiaoping announced a new
"open door" policy.
A-1)(SFC, 2/20/96, p.A4)(WSJ, 5/3/99, p.A22)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.31)
1978 Dec 22, Rudolf Slavik,
Czechoslovakia-born creator of the Leviathan cocktail (1934), died.
(SSFC, 12/13/09, p.K3)
1978 Dec 25, Guards at the SF
De Young Museum discovered that 4 Renaissance paintings had been
stolen. In 1999 3 of the works, including Rembrandt's "Portrait of a
Rabbi," were recovered in NYC. "Harbor Scene" by William van de
Velde was still missing.
(SFC, 11/11/99, p.A1,13)(SFC, 2/10/00,
p.A27)(SFC, 12/19/03, p.E2)
1978 Dec 25, Vietnam invaded
Cambodia and drove the Khmer Rouge into sanctuaries along the Thai
border, finally ending the mass genocide depicted in the 1984 film
"The Killing Fields." It was the first full-scale war between the
two countries since 1917. 400 people were killed in initial clashes.
(NG, 5/85, p.574-5)(WSJ, 2/27/96, p.A-1)(SFC,
6/14/97, p.A15)(SFC, 4/30/98, p.A11)
1978 Dec 26, In San Jose, Ca.,
Nolan K. Bushnell, inventor of the Pong video game, opened the
20,000-sq.-foot Pizza Time Theater, the world's largest pizza
(SFC, 12/26/03, p.E2)
1978 Dec 20, India's former PM,
Indira Gandhi, was arrested by police after India's Lower House of
Parliament voted to expel her and have her jailed for breach of
privilege and contempt of the Lower House. She was released after 6
1978 Dec 27, Algerian President
Houari Boumediene, one of the Third World's most prominent and
outspoken leaders, died after 40 days in a coma.
1978 Dec 27, King Juan Carlos
ratified Spain's 1st democratic constitution. A parliamentary
monarchy was established with power in the hands of the legislative
branch. Many powers centralized under Franco were devolved to the 17
autonomous regions. Manuel Fraga (1922-2012) helped write the
country's post-Franco, democratic Constitution.
1978 Dec 27, In South Yemen the
Supreme Council elected a new president. He reversed moves toward
reconciliation with North Yemen and acquiesced to a continued Soviet
(PC, 1992, p.1065)
1978 Dec 30, Ohio State
University fired Woody Hayes as its football coach, one day after
Hayes punched Clemson University player Charlie Bauman during the
Gator Bowl after Bauman intercepted an Ohio pass.
1978 Dec 31, John McFall
(1918-2006), an 11-term California Democrat, resigned from the US
House of Representatives. In October the House had reprimanded him
and 2 other California Democratic colleagues, Edward Roybal and
Charles Wilson, for the questionable handling of money donated by
South Korean businessman Tongsun Park.
(SFC, 3/15/06, p.B7)
1978 Dec 31, Peter Seeburg, one
of 3 Univ. of California scientists who had identified the DNA for
human growth hormone earlier in the year, returned to UCSF in a
"midnight raid" and remove genetic material. Seeburg had left the
university in late 1978 to join Genentech giving up rights to his
materials, for which UCSF had filed a patent. In 1990 UCSF filed a
patent infringement suit against Genentech.
1978 Dec 31, Taiwanese
diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy
flagpole in Washington, marking the end of diplomatic relations with
the United States.
1978 Dec 31, Nicolau Lobato
(b.1946), East Timor guerrilla commander, was killed. Jose Alexandre
Gusmao was made the de facto Falintil leader.
1978 Dec, Nestor Cerpa, union
leader, led 50 workers in the occupation of the Cromotex textile
factory in Lima over low wages and layoffs. They held the plant for
more than 6 weeks before the police stormed it. Six workers and a
police officer were killed.
(SFC, 12/25/96, p.A10,12)(SFC, 5/3/97, p.A8)
1978 The "Seated Woman" by
American artist John De Andrea (b.1941) was nude, made of polyvinyl
and utterly realistic.
1978 Hannah Wilke (1940-1993),
NYC-born American artist, began creating her performance art piece
"So Help Me Hannah." It featured her nude before a camera in a
variety of dance-like poses.
1978 Gene Autrey wrote his
autobiography "Back in the Saddle Again."
(SFEC, 10/13/96, DB p.49)
1978 Daniel Bell (1919-2011)
authored “The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism.”
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.80)
1978 Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997),
Latvia-born Jewish political philosopher and historian, published
"Russian Thinkers." He was the first person of Jewish descent to be
elected to a prize fellowship at the elite All Souls College,
1978 Sisseal Bok authored
"Lying." She argued that people rationalize their lies by pretending
that they are meant for the good of others when in fact they benefit
only the liar personally. In 2001 Jeremy Campbell authored "The
Liar’s Tale" and Evelin Sullivan authored "The Concise Book of
(WSJ, 8/9/01, p.A10)
1978 Elias Canetti (1905-1994),
Bulgaria-born Jewish author, wrote "Voices of Marrakesh: A Record of
a Visit." In 1981 he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1978 Shirley Conran (b.1932),
British journalist, authored her best seller “Superwoman.”
1978 Christina Crawford wrote
"Mommie Dearest," the story of her life with her foster mother,
actress Joan Crawford. It was made into a 1981 film.
1978 Will Eisner (1917-2005)
published “A Contract With God,” the 1st serious book-length comic
to describe itself as a graphic novel.
(Econ, 10/30/04, p.86)(WSJ, 1/10/06, p.D10)
1978 Arthur Evans (1942-2011)
authored “witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture.” It traced
homophobic attitudes to the Middle Ages.
(SFC, 10/1/11, p.C4)
1978 Film actress Joan Fontaine
(1917-2013) authored her autobiography “No Bed of Roses.
(SFC, 12/16/13, p.A7)
1978 "The Human Factor" by
Graham Green was published. It was a story of espionage loyalty and
(TL, 1988, p.119)
1978 Ernest Hilgard (d.2001 at
97), Stanford psychologist, authored "Psychology in America: A
Historical Survey." Hilgard was also a pioneer in the scientific
study of hypnosis.
(SFC, 10/31/01, p.C4)
1978 John Irving (b.1942)
authored his novel "The World According to Garp."
(SSFC, 7/8/01, DB p.66)
1978 John Janovy published his
book on the Nebraska grasslands: "Keith County Journal."
(Civil., Jul-Aug., '95, p.78)
1978 Charles P. Kindleberger
(d.2003), economist, authored "Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A
History of Financial Crises.
(WSJ, 7/25/02, p.A1)(NW, 7/28/03, p.45)
1978 Walter Korn (d.1997 at
89), chess authority, wrote "America’s Chess Heritage."
(SFC, 7/29/97, p.A18)
1978 Larry Kramer authored his
debut novel "Faggots." In 1987 Kramer launched the AIDS activist
group ACT UP.
(NW, 6/11/01, p.45)
1978 Barry Hannah wrote his
(WSJ, 10/25/96, p.A15)
1978 Peter Matthiessen wrote
"The Snow Leopard." It was about the precarious status of the
leopard and won a National Book Award.
1978 John Maynard (1920-2004),
English biologist, authored "The Evolution of Sex."
(SSFC, 4/25/04, p.B7)
1978 James Michener wrote his
1978 Iris Murdoch (1919-1999),
Irish-born writer and Philosopher published "The Sea, The Sea." It
won the Booker Prize.
1978 Robert Oakeshott
(1933-2011), British social reformer, authored “The Case for
1978 William Pierce (d.2002)
wrote the "Turner Diaries," a novel that describes a race war
touched off when the narrator blows up the FBI headquarters in
Washington with a fertilizer and fuel bomb transported in a truck.
(SFC, 5/3/96, A-10)
1978 David Rorvick published
"In His Image: The Cloning of Man," an alleged tale of a successful
cloning. It was ruled a hoax in 1981.
(NH, 9/98, p.11)(SFC, 12/31/02, p.A2)
1978 Prof. Edward Said of
Columbia published "Orientalism." In it he adopted Michel Foucault's
view of oppressive power in Western conceptual systems as a covert
instrument of domination. In 2006 Robert Irwin authored “Dangerous
Knowledge,” a history of Orientalism and a refutation of Said’s
(WSJ, 9/30/99, p.A26)(WSJ, 11/4/06, p.P10)
1978 Ulysses Grant Sharp Jr.
(d.2001 at 95), US Admiral, authored "Strategy for Defeat: Vietnam
in Retrospect." He criticized American strategy and believed the war
could have been won.
(SFC, 12/15/01, p.A25)
1978 Quentin Skinner of
Cambridge Univ. authored "The Foundations of Modern Political
(Econ, 1/17/04, p.72)
1978 Gore Vidal published his
satirical fantasy "Kalki."
(WSJ, 2/27/98, p.A12)
1978 William Waldegrave
(b.1946), English politician, authored “The Binding of Leviathan:
Conservatism and the Future.”
(Econ, 3/19/11, SR p.18)
1978 Edward O. Wilson published
his Pulitzer Prize winning book: "On Human Nature."
(WSJ, 3/30/98, p.A16)
1978 Anne Wooliams (d.1999 at
72), British ballet director, published "Ballet Studio." A German
edition was published in 1973.
(SFC, 7/24/99, p.A21)
1978 Bernie Zilbergeld
(d.2002), psychologist, authored "Male Sexuality." In 1999 it was
updated and published as "The New Male Sexuality."
(SFC, 6/20/02, p.A20)
1978 Hugh Leonard (b.1926),
Irish dramatist and journalist, won the Tony Award for best play for
his comedy play: "Da" (1977).
1978 Walter Kerr (1913-1996),
drama critic, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism.
(SFC, 10/10/96, p.C6)
1978 The show "One Mo’ Time"
was staged based on the book by Vernel Bagneris. It was tribute to
1920s black vaudeville set around backstage banter at a New Orleans
(SFC, 12/3/96, p.E1)
1978 The American film “Go Tell
the Spartans,” a low budget work about the Vietnam War, was directed
by Ted Post (1918-2013).
(WSJ, 7/10/98, p.B1)(SSFC, 8/25/13, p.C12)
1978 The film “Midnight
Express” was about an American drug runner abused by Turkish
jailers. It was based on the real-life story of Billy Hayes (23), an
American who spent five long, agonizing years in a Turkish prison
for attempting to smuggle two kilos of hashish on his way home to
the USA in 1970.
1978 David Grossman created his
documentary “The Yellow Wind.” It engaged with the lives of
Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank under Israeli
(Econ, 9/18/10, p.103)
1978 Vivian Fine (1913-2000),
American composer, wrote her opera "The Women in the Garden."
1978 The opera "Le Grande
Macabre" by Gyorgi Ligeti (1923-2006) premiered in Stockholm.
1978 The TV series "Fantasy
Island" began as an Aaron Spelling production. The show was created
by Gene Levitt (d.1999 at 79) and continued until 1984.
(SFC, 1/6/98, p.D3)(SFC, 11/27/99, p.C4)
1978 The TV show "The Paper
Chase" was based on the novel and 1973 movie. It starred James
Stephens as a first-year law student. Showtime cable picked up the
series for 36 new episodes.
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E1)
1978 The British sci-fi TV
series "Dr. Who," which began in 1963, reached the US. It featured a
space traveling Doctor who was hundreds of years old from the planet
Gellifrey. He used a London police call box as the external form of
his space vessel. The interior was spacious with comfortable
(SFC, 5/14/96, E-1)
1978 "Diff'rent Strokes"
premiered on TV and ran to 1984. It co-starred Conrad Bain (d.2013
at 89), Dana Plato (d.1999 at 34), Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman
(SFC, 5/10/99, p.A19)(SFC, 1/17/13, p.D6)
1978 Larry King began a
late-night talk show on Mutual Network.
(SFC, 12/30/99, p.E3)
1978 Plastic Bertrand, Belgian
musician, made a hit with "Ca Plane Pour Moi."
1978 Jello Biafra (b.1958),
born as Eric Reed Boucher in Boulder, Colo., moved to San Francisco,
took on a new name and co-founded the Dead Kennedys, a punk band
that soon played at the Mabuhay Gardens.
(SFC, 6/14/08, p.E3)
1978 Devo, a new wave band from
Akron, Ohio, recorded "Are We Not Men?" The group played on the
theme of de-evolution and was led by Mark Mothersbaugh.
(SFEC, 9/27/98, DB p.41)
1978 Molly Hatchet, a Southern
rock band, went platinum with their self-titled album. Lead singer
Danny Joe Brown died in 2005 at age 53.
(SFC, 3/15/05, p.B5)
1978 Hans Werner Henze
(b.1926), German composer living in Italy, wrote his ballet
(SFEC, 1/17/99, DB
1978 Waylon Jennings and Willie
Nelson made a hit with their duet: "Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies
Grow Up to Be Cowboys."
(SFC, 2/14/02, p.A2)
1978 Billy Joel (b.1949),
American singer, recorded his song “My Life.” It became the theme
song for the TV sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” (1980-1982).
1978 Billy Joel (b.1949),
American singer, recorded his song “My Life.” It became the theme
song for the TV sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” (1980-1982).
1978 Nicolette Larson (d.1997
at 45) recorded "Lotta Love" by Neil Simon. She was named best
female singer by Rolling Stone magazine.
1978 Los Lobos released their
first album: "Just Another Band from East L.A."
(SFEM, 5/11/97, p.20)
1978 Zubin Mehta (b.1936),
India-born conductor, began serving served as music director of the
New York Philharmonic and continued to 1991.
1978 The Plasmatics punk band
made their debut in New York City clubs. Wendy O. Williams (d.1998
at 48), the lead singer, was charged a number of times for simulated
sex acts on stage.
(SFC, 4/8/98, p.B2)
1978 The Rockets, a Texas blues
band, was founded by guitarist Anson Funderburgh. The group was
joined by Sam Myers in 1986.
(SFEC,11/2/97, DB p.17)
1978 Kenny Rogers recorded his
album "The Gambler," which featured The Gambler song written by Don
Schlitz (who had recorded it previously). It was one of five
consecutive songs by Rogers to hit #1 on the Billboard country music
1978 Charles Sawtelle (d.1999
at 52) helped found the Hot Rize bluegrass group, named after an
ingredient in the Martha White Self-Rising Flour. The Hot Rize
product had been promoted for years by bluegrass legends Lester
Flatt and Earl Scruggs.
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.C3)
1978 The Sex Pistols performed
at Winterland in San Francisco and broke up shortly after.
(SFC, 6/9/96, DB p.34)
1978 The Cuban jazz band
Irakere performed at the Newport Jazz Festival.
(SFC, 6/16/96, BR
1978 Conductor Yuir Temirkanov
introduced Georgian composer Giya Kancheli’s single movement
Symphony No. 4, "In Memoria di Michelangelo," to the US.
1978 In Virginia the Washington
and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, a ribbon of open space
created from a railroad’s abandoned right-of-way, was opened.
(NG, 5.1988, intro)
1978 Hill Auditorium at the
Univ. of Michigan, constructed in 1913, was added to the National
Register of Historical Places. The 4,200 seat auditorium was a gift
from regent Arthur Hill.
(LSA., Fall 1995, p.15)
1978 In Detroit, Mich., the
North Cass Community Union, which organizes the Dally in the Alley
every year, formed to save the beautiful buildings in the Wayne
State Univ. area from demolition. “The Dally’s a great mix of old
and new,” says Alan Franklin of the Layabouts, a band that has
played the festival since the early years. The union bought a plot
of land near Second and Hancock and planned on rebuilding the Horace
Dodge Garage, a Michigan historic landmark built in 1904 where
Dodge, Henry Ford’s chief engineer, worked on his first motor
1978 Joseph Phelps in
California made a new red wine blend called Meritage from a blend of
traditional Bordeaux grapes.
(SFC, 10/2/96, zz1
1978 John Mackey began his
Whole Foods Market in a garage in Austin, Texas, under the name
SaferWay. In 1980 he merged with a natural grocery store and opened
as Whole Foods Market. The natural foods grocery went public in
1978 In Massachusetts Aveline
(d.2001 at 78) and Michio Kushi founded the Kushi Institute to teach
macrobiotics. Aveline later authored her autobiography "Aveline: The
Life and Dream of the Woman Behind Macrobiotics Today."
(SFC, 7/14/01, p.C2)
1978 Helen Caldicott founded
Physicians for Social Responsibility.
(SFEC, 12/8/96, Z1 p.3)
1978 Faye Wattleton became
president of the Planned Parenthood Federation and continued to
1992. She wrote her autobiography "Life on the Line" in 1996.
(SFEC, 11/17/96, BR p.1)
1978 Ewart G. Abner Jr. (d.1997
at 74) founded the Black Music Association. He earlier released the
first Beetle record in the US on his Vee-Jay label and at one time
headed Motown Records.
(SFC, 1/7/98, p.A17)
1978 The National Scrabble
Association was formed to organize and promote national competition
in the game.
(SFC, 10/12/97, Z1 p.4)
1978 Lawrence Halprin,
landscape architect, presented the winning design for a President
Roosevelt memorial. The specs for the design included that the
memorial last 5,000 years. Dedication of the memorial was in 1997.
His initial 1974 proposal was accepted following the 1955 joint
resolution of Congress to establish the memorial. In 1998 he
published "The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial," a project
history and photo-bio.
(SFC, 4/30/97, p.A1,13)(SFC, 1/30/98, p.E10)
1978 Pres. Jimmy Carter signed
the Cranston Act, which loosened restriction on home brewing and
changed the federal excise taxes so that home brewers were given
lighter levies than big brewers when they sold their product.
(Economist, 9/8/12, p.65)
1978 The UN Security Council
passed a resolution that demanded an unconditional Israeli
withdrawal from south Lebanon after a brief Israeli invasion.
(SFC, 4/18/96, p.a-14)
1978 The last US visa for a
retired foreigner to settle in the US was issued.
(WSJ, 10/5/98, p.A1)
1978 US Marines discovered
Soviet agents burrowing a tunnel under the US Embassy.
1978 The US military buried an
estimated 250 drums of Agent Orange herbicide and other chemicals at
the Camp Carroll base in South Korea. In 2011 the US military
acknowledged the burial.
1978 US net foreign assets this
year equaled 9% of GDP. By 2005 this dropped to net liabilities of
(WSJ, 1/18/05, p.A13)
1978 The US Consumer product
Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the use of lead-based paint. Federal
regulations banning lead paint took effect. Sherwin-Williams
published that white lead paint was poisonous as far back as 1904.
1978 The US EPA banned the use
of asbestos for most decorative purposes. Builders were allowed to
use stock on hand. It had already been banned in 1973 for
fireproofing and insulation purposes. Use in homes continued to
1978 The US government Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 was extended to include 401k
accounts, named after a section of the IRS code. The addition
pertained to employer owned investments and were exempt from several
rules including diversification. Employees were allowed to save
pre-tax dollars and control their investments.
6/5/96, p.A1,8)(SFC, 8/21/96, p.A1)
1978 Stepwise amendments of the
US federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act had begun. The 1978
amendments, which with a few exceptions became effective in January
1979, broadened coverage considerably. They eliminated the upper age
limit for coverage of federal employees and raised it from 65 to 70
for all other employees. Mandatory retirement was abolished in the
US in 1986.
1978 Vandals blew up a section
of the Alaska pipeline, opened in 1977, spilling 700,000 gallons of
oil. No one was arrested.
(SFC, 3/11/06, p.A4)
1978 Hawaii adopted a master
plan for land use in the state.
(Econ, 9/22/07, p.46)
1978 In Ohio Oscar
Juarez, convicted of killing a Toledo man in 1975, escaped from
prison by cutting through cell bars. On Nov 6, 2015, Juarez (66) was
taken into custody in St. Paul, Minnesota.
(SFC, 11/7/15, p.A5)
1978 William Steiger,
congressman from Wisconsin, led a drive to reduce the capital gains
tax rate from nearly 50% to 28%. In 1999 this was credited by Brian
S. Wesbury in "The New Era of Wealth" as one of the factors that
contributed to the economic boom of the 1990s.
(WSJ, 12/22/99, p.A16)
1978 Lamar Alexander was
elected governor of Tennessee.
(WSJ, 2/15/96, p.A-16)
1978 Colorado allowed the death
penalty 2 years after the US Supreme Court ended a 40 year
moratorium on capital punishment.
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A7)
1978 The Chicago Food
Depository opened with its main mission to feed the hungry. In 1998
it began to offer chef training classes to help people get jobs.
(WSJ, 11/28/06, p.A1)
1978 The 1,000-acre Kentucky
Horse Park opened in Lexington, Kentucky.
1978 New Jersey legalized
gambling and ended the Nevada monopoly on casino gaming.
(SFEC, 5/10/98, DB p.64)
1978 Oregon re-instated the
death penalty for the 3rd time.
(SFC, 9/6.96, p.A11)
1978 Howard Jarvis led a tax
revolt in California and Prop. XIII established a $7 billion tax
(TMC, 1994, p.1978)(WSJ, 7/16/96, p.A8)
1978 Richard Crews, a
Harvard-trained California physician, founded the Columbia Pacific
University in Novato. The school was ordered to close in 1997 but
continued to operate under appeal.
(SFC, 12/25/99, p.A21)
1978 In southern California
Colossus, the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, opened at
magic Mountain, Santa Clarita. In closed in 2014 for conversion to a
modernized wood and steel coaster.
(SFC, 9/9/14, p.A5)
1978 Safari West began as a
private wildlife sanctuary for breeding, education and research. In
1989 Peter Nancy Lang bought the 400-acre Sonoma, Ca., property and
later introduced tours and small-group excursions.
(SFEC, 9/3/00, p.T4)
1978 John Metzer started
Metzer’s Farms in the Gabilan foothills of Salinas, Ca. He initially
sold balut eggs, partially incubated duck eggs with fully formed
(SFC, 10/25/01, p.A17)
1978 Esther Wong (1917-2005)
began featuring punk rock music at her restaurant in LA’s Chinatown
and Santa Monica. Madame Wong’s in LA closed in 1985, but her Madame
Wong’s West in Santa Monica continued operating until 1991.
(SFC, 8/17/05, p.B7)
1978 Richard Fogel (d.2009 at
86) co-founded Bay City News, a regional wire service for the SF Bay
(SFC, 9/15/09, p.C4)
1978 California-based Mervyns
department store chain merged with Dayton Hudson Corp. (later Target
(WSJ, 9/4/08, p.B6)
1978 Gold was discovered in
Lake County, Ca., and Homestake Mining established its open pit
McLaughlin Mine. Ore ran out in 2002.
(SFC, 1/30/03, p.A13)
1978 Hundreds of fish near Iron
Mountain, Ca., died from mine pollutants.
1978 California’s Shasta Ski
Bowl was closed after an avalanche destroyed the main ski lift.
(SFC, 2/20/98, p.A21)
1978 In California elk were
reintroduced to Tomales Point with a herd of 10.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, p.C1)
1978 Amy Sue Seitz (2) was
kidnapped, raped, mutilated with pliers and murdered by Theodore
Frank in Ventura County, Ca. His diaries noted molestations over 20
years. Frank was sentenced to death twice but died in prison of a
heart attack in 2001.
(SFC, 9/7/01, p.A26)
1978 Louis A. Botto (1952-1997)
founded the SF men’s chorus Chanticleer. The first performance was
at the altar-stage at Mission Dolores.
(SFC, 2/26/97, p.A16)(SFC, 5/19/97, p.D1)
1978 The 1st SF Carnaval
started as a tiny event on lower Fillmore called Calypso Carnaval.
(SFC, 5/22/03, p.E11)
1978 Sewer construction along
the southern Embarcadero unearthed an old sailing ship. In 1980 it
was identified as the Lydia, a whaling boat built in 1840 in
(SFC, 8/5/05, p.F2)
1978 The Eagle Café, operated
by Dan Andreotti (1921-2005), was moved to Pier 39. The bathroom
tiles were redone by Algis Ratnikas.
(SFC, 5/27/05, p.B7)(EW)
1978 Roland G. Schembari
(d.2000 at 56), journalist, helped found the SF Bay Times. It was
the 1st paper in the city to be jointly published by both gay men
and lesbians. It folded after 3 issues. Schembari and Bill Hartman
began the Coming Up publication in 1979, which was renamed SF Bay
Times in 1988.
(SFC, 2/24/00, p.A23)
1978 The National Park Service
inherited the SF Maritime Park from the state of California.
(SFC, 9/9/05, p.B3)
1978 An accountant (41) sued a
waitress (31) at Vesuvio Cafe for failing to show up for a theater
date. Judge Richard P. Figone (d.1998 at 63) ruled against him
finding that "the promise to engage in a social relationship for one
evening in exchange for affection and/or an evening at the theater
is unenforceable under the law of contracts and torts.
(SFC, 8/15/98, p.A24)
1978 The "Metergate" scandal in
SF charged 18 people with theft. Seven cases were dropped and the
rest pleaded guilty or were convicted.
1978 San Francisco stopped the
sale of cab permits. Permits were recycled upon the death of a
holder and given out free to the next man on a list that by 1996 had
a waiting period of about 14 years.
(SFC, 10/28/96, p.A13)
1978 The SF Women’s Centers
bought the Dovre Hall building on 18th St. between Valencia and
Guererro, home of the Irish pub, the Dovre Club.
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.A11)
1978 The Little Puffer train at
the SF Zoo was retired for a new gorilla exhibit.
1978 ABC News opened a SF
Bureau. It was closed to cut costs in 1998.
(SFC, 4/9/98, p.E1)
1978 Perry Mann held a nudist
ball at his Tenderloin apartment in San Francisco as a fund-raiser
for Louis Abolafia, who since 1968 had run as the candidate for the
Cosmic Love Party. In 1979 it moved to California Hall as the Exotic
(SFEM, 10/18/98, p.4)(SFC, 10/20/03, p.D5)(SFC,
1978 In San Francisco the Boas
family opened their Honda dealership at the corner of Market and
South Van Ness. In 2014 they sold the site to Crescent Heights, a
Miami development firm, which planned a two tower complex for the
(SFC, 5/7/14, p.E1)
1978 Henry Doelger (b.1898), SF
and Daly City home builder, died on his boat in the Mediterranean.
His 1st SF house is believed to be at 1419 39th Ave.
(SFC, 10/15/02, p.A20)
1978 Vincent Rovetti (d.1997 at
62), soccer and 49er player, set a Guinness Book of World Records
mark for place kicking a football 1,035 times through the uprights
at Candlestick in 2 hours and 30 min.
(SFC, 6/14/97, p.C2)
1978 Stokely Carmichael
(1941-1998), American civil rights and black power advocate, changed
his name to Kwame Ture in honor of Kwame Nkrumah and Ahmed Sekou
Toure, 2 African socialist leaders in Guinea.
(SFC, 11/16/98, p.A7)
1978 Howard Stern (b.1954)
landed his first morning show job in Hartford, Connecticut at
WCCC-FM and WCCC-AM, whose progressive rock format promoted Howard's
development as a "free form" personality.
1978 Voters in Portland, Wa.,
approved a fluoridation plan. They had rejection similar plans twice
before. The new plan was overturned in 1980 before fluoride was
added. In 2013 voters again rejected fluoridation.
(SFC, 5/23/13, p.A18)
1978 The Hearst Corp. launched
Country Living magazine.
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1978 Volkswagen began building
the Rabbit in New Stanton, Pa.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl.)
1978 The US steel industry
peeked in 1978 at over 137 million tons. Steel production slipped to
less than 90 million tons in 1991. As the steel industry buckled in
the 1980s Pueblo, Colorado, began to diversify its economy.
(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.B10)(http://tinyurl.com/2ntm9k)
1978 An investigation by the
board of directors of Occidental Petroleum revealed that Armand
Hammer had bribed government officials in 14 countries in Asia,
Africa and Latin America.
(SFC, 1/17/97, p.D7)
1978 PepsiCo acquired the Taco
Bell restaurant chain. Founder McKay sold his 10% interest to
PepsiCo for an estimated $13 million.
(WSJ, 1/24/97, p.B1)(SSFC, 7/14/02, p.A17)
1978 Toyoichi Tanaka (d.2000 at
54) blended fluid and polymer at MIT to create a gel that came to be
part of a class of smart gels sensitive to changes in temperature,
light, solvents or other stimuli.
(SFC, 6/1/00, p.C20)
1978 Radial keratotomy,
popularized by the Russian ophthalmologist S.N. Fyodorov, was
introduced to the US.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R21)
1978 Dr. Fritz Klein
(1933-2006), Austrian-born American researcher in bisexuality,
published his Klein Grid, an expansion of the Kinsey Scale that
measures human sexuality.
(SFC, 6/1/06, p.B7)
1978 AT&T scientists
conducted FCC-authorized cell-phone field trials in Chicago and
1978 A paper by Leonard
Adleman, Ron Rivest, and Adi Shamir was published titled A Method
for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystems. It is
widely known today by the group's initials RSA.
(Wired, 8/95, p.117)
1978 Hewlett-Packard began
development of the inkjet printer, which eventually became a
(SFC, 7/26/04, p.F4)
1978 Intel Corp. introduced the
8086 microprocessor. It was a 16-bit microprocessor with 29,000
(TAR, 1996, p.22)
1978 Kurt Godel (1906 -1978),
Austrian mathematician, showed that within any logical system, no
matter how rigidly structured, there are always questions that
cannot be answered with certainty, contradictions that may be
discovered, and errors that may lurk.
1978 Robert Miner of Oracle
Corp. developed the world’s 1st relational database program using
IBM’s Structured Query Language.
(SFC, 5/20/02, p.A13)
1978 Michael Stonebraker at UC
Berkeley with a team of students developed the relational database.
He based his work on a 1970 proposal by IBM researcher Edgar "Ted "
Codd, who called for a database that could organize data in tables
that were logically connected and easy to access.
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.C3)
1978 The "Space Invaders"
computer game became the first video game mega-hit and spurred sales
of the Atari 2600.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.E1)
1978 Edwin Dickinson (b.1891),
American painter, died in Wellfleet, Mass. His work included "The
Cello Player" (1924-1926).
(SFC, 12/4/00, p.B1)
1978 Margarett Sargent
(1892-1978), painter and socialite, died. Her granddaughter, Ms.
Moore, wrote her biography: "The White Blackbird: The Life of the
Painter Margarett Sargent." She had studied under Mount Rushmore’s
sculptor, Gutzon Borglum. From 1916 to 1936 her work was included in
as many as 30 shows.
(WSJ, 3/25/96, p.A-15)(WSJ, 4/9/96, p.A-1)
1978 Norman Hammond co-authored
“The Archeology of Afghanistan.”
(WSJ, 3/5/00, p.A22)
1978 In Afghanistan Kabul Mayor
Ghulam Sakhi Noorzad began enacting a master plan for the city
developed by top European engineers. He went into exile with the
Soviet invasion, returned in 2001 and resumed work on the master
(WSJ, 3/3/05, p.A1)
1978 In Afghanistan fighting
began between the government and a shifting array of rebel groups.
Hafizullah Amin led socialist activists to overtake Kabul. They
received aid from Moscow but not total backing. Mass arrests,
tortures, and arrests took place.
(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A10)(SFC, 9/28/96,
1978 Argentina won the soccer
World Cup championship.
(SFC, 2/4/97, p.A12)
1978 Australia granted
self-government to its Northwest Territory, an area that covers
almost a fifth of the country.
(Economist, 9/29/12, p.46)
1978 In Brazil the Jardim
Gramacho landfill sprang up on unstable, ecologically sensitive
marshland overlooking the bay of Rio de Janeiro and, for nearly 20
years, functioned with little or no oversight. In 1996 Rio
authorities stepped in, ending child labor at the site, registering
the catadores and restricting the kinds of trash the dump took in to
just household waste from Rio and four outlying cities. The landfill
closed in 2012 and was transformed into a vast facility to harness
the greenhouse gases.
(AP, 6/1/12)(SFC, 6/2/12, p.A2)
1978 Belgian PM Leo Tindemans
resigned after political turmoil over the "Egmont pact" covering
relations between Belgium's French-speaking and Dutch-speaking
1978 The Barnett Formula,
devised by Joel Barnett, was introduced as mechanism used by The
Treasury in the UK to adjust the amounts of public expenditure
allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales automatically to
reflect changes in spending levels allocated to public services in
England, England and Wales or Great Britain, as appropriate.
1978 Canada implemented
security certificates to detain and expel, without disclosing
evidence, non-citizens suspected of terrorism. On October 22, 2007,
the Conservative government introduced a bill to amend the security
certificate process by introducing a "special advocate", lawyers who
would be able to view the evidence against the accused.
1978 An estimated 15,000
Chinese advisors were present in Cambodia during Pol Pot's rule.
(SFC, 5/10/99, p.A10)
1978 Control of the Cocos
Islands was ceded to Australia by a descendent of the Clunies-Ross
family, which settled the Indian Ocean coral atolls in 1827.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.84)
1978 The Beijing Film Academy
reopened for the first time since it was closed during the Cultural
Revolution. 4 years later 152 students graduated and were labeled as
the “fifth generation” of film makers to emerge since the birth of
(Econ, 6/18/05, p.81)
1978 The Karakoram Highway from
Kashgar, China, to the edge of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, was completed.
(NH, 5/96, p.9)
1978 Deng Xiaoping emerged as
China’s paramount leader. In early 1979 he shut down the Democracy
Wall protest and imprisoned its leaders. His political formula was
"one country, two systems." Yang Shangkun also regained power after
12 years in prison.
(WSJ, 2/20/97, p.A20)(SFC, 9/16/98, p.C4)
1978 In China Fang Yi (d.1997
at 81), a guerrilla leader of the Revolution under Mao, became a
vice premier. He accompanied Deng on a tour of the US in 1979.
1978 In China the Time of the
Democracy Wall movement began. For 4 winter months citizens in
Beijing plastered a 200-meter wall with posters calling for freedom
and democracy. Dissident Ren Wanding was jailed from 1979 to 1983
for having advocated multiparty democracy. In 1996 Wanding was
released after seven years in prison for his role in the 1989
Tiananmen Square demonstrations.
C2)(http://tinyurl.com/2w88be)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.30)
1978 The Chinese Academy of
Sciences set up the River Dolphin Research Group in Wuhan. The
baiji, a white river dolphin, was declared a "rare and precious
aquatic animal" the following year.
(SFC, 3/23/98, p.a8)
1978 In China the 2000-year-old
massive "bianzhong" bells were unearthed.
(WSJ, 6/25/97, p.A20)
1978 In China the tomb of Zeng
Hou Yi (c400 BCE) was discovered. Artifacts were later exhibited in
the Hubei Provincial Museum.
(SSFC, 4/14/02, p.C9)
1978 China’s share of the
global GDP was about 1.8%. In 2008 this grew to 6%.
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.30)
1978 China began its The Green
Wall tree planting project. By 2014 some 66 billion trees were
planted as part of the Three North Shelterbelt project to hold back
the expansion of the Gobi Desert.
(Econ, 8/23/14, p.58)
1978 In Colombia Hector Jose
Buitrago (32) founded a criminal band called the Buitraguenos. It
later became the Self-Defense Forces of Casanare, or ACC, one of
many right-wing factions that united under the paramilitary umbrella
group known as the AUC.
1978 In Costa Rica Rodrigo
Carazo Odio (1927-2009) began serving as president and continued to
1978 Cocos Island, some 330
miles west of Costa Rica, was made a Costa Rican national park along
with 12 miles of seas surrounding it. In 1997 UNESCO named it a
World Heritage Site.
(SSFC, 12/1/13, p.H4)
1978 UNESCO named Ecuador’s 19
Galapagos Islands a World Heritage Site.
(SSFC, 12/22/02, p.M6)(Econ, 8/28/10, p.49)
1978 UNESCO named Ethiopia’s
Simien Mountains National Park a World Heritage Site.
(SSFC, 5/24/15, p.L2)
1978 French Pres. Valery
Giscard d’Estaing (b.1926) created the centrist UDF party. He served
as president from 1974 to 1981.
1978 Maurice Papon (1910-2007),
French civil servant, began serving as the Budget Minister under PM
Raymond Barre. He continued as Budget Minister until 1981, when
evidence of his role in the Holocaust emerged.
1978 Gerhard Wessel
(1913-2002), head of the West German BND intelligence agency since
1968, retired. He was succeeded by Klaus Kinkel.
(SFC, 8/3/02, p.A18)
1978 In Greece grave robbers at
Aidonia dug into ancient tombs believed to be a 3,500-year-old
palatial cemetery of the Mycenaeneans. The looters plundered 18
graves but left one undisturbed. Objects from the single pit
provided archeologists evidence to match the objects of an attempted
(SFC, 8/13/96, p.B2)
1978 In Guatemala Fernando
Romeo Lucas Garcia began serving as president and continued to 1982.
(SFC, 6/14/01, p.15)
1978 In India Subrata Roy
created Sahara India Pariwar, a financial conglomerate that came to
include hotels, a Formula One team, and Macedonian dairy projects.
In 2014 Tamal Bandyopadhyay authored “Sahara: The Untold Story.”
(Econ, 6/28/14, p.65)
1978 In Indonesia the Istiqlal
mosque was constructed in Jakarta, the largest in the Southern
Hemisphere. It was able to host 120,000 people.
(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.T7)
1978 In Indonesia the
government dismantled student councils and boosted study loads to
curtail political activity.
(SFC, 3/20/98, p.A12)
1978 In Indonesia B.J. Habibie
was appointed technology minister by Pres. Suharto.
(SFC, 5/21/98, p.A14)
1978 Hedayat Eslaminia and his
family fled Iran. He was a minister of the Shah and reportedly fled
with a fortune. In Jul, 1984, he was kidnapped and slain by his son
Reza in California.
(SFC, 5/1/98, p.D7)
1978 Yitzhak Navon (1921-2015)
became Israel's fifth president and continued to 1983.
1978 Israelis tranformed a
campsite named Ariel into the first Jewish city in the occupied West
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.60)
1978 Italian artist Luigi
Serafini, after 30 months of work, completed his Codex
Seraphinianus, an illustrated encyclopedia dealing with a parallel
world and written in an unintelligible alphabet.
1978 In Italy the murders of 4
women were related to Maurizio Minghella (23). In 1982 he was
convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the killings. In 1995
he was given partial liberty and prosecutors say he then killed 4
prostitutes. In 2002 his trial continued in Turin. In early 2003 he
escaped and was soon captured and sentenced to life in prison.
1978 In Italy Mediaset was
founded by Silvio Berlusconi as TeleMilano. It grew to the largest
commercial broadcaster in the country.
1978 In Japan priests of the
Yasukuni shrine surreptitiously enshrined 14 political and military
leaders who had been found guilty by the Tokyo War Crimes Trial of
planning or prosecuting the military aggression of the 1930s and
(Econ, 8/15/15, p.33)
1978 Ghassan Tueni (1926-2012,
Lebanon’s UN ambassador (1977-1982), pushed for the adoption of UN
Security Council Resolution 425, which called for the withdrawal of
Israeli troops from Lebanon.
1978 Macquarie Island, located
half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica, became a Tasmanian
1978 Ibrahim Nasir
Rannabandeyri Kilegefan (1926-2008) relinquished the position of the
President of the Maldives Republic. He was accused of ruling the
country as a dictator and fled amid public resentment and unproven
allegations of corruption in handling public funds. For the first
time in recorded Maldive history, the head of state of the Maldives
ceased to be either a King-sultan (Queen-sultana) or a descendant of
1978 The Marshallese voted for
independence from other districts of the Trust Territory of the
1978 A Mexico City utility
worker found a stone slab that lay 15 feet below street level. He
had discovered the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The ruins appeared
to be those of the capital's great pyramid, the Templo Mayor.
1978 Nigeria’s military ruler
Olusegun Obasanjo opened the Ita Oko Island prison outside Lagos,
which he later described as a work farm. Later military ruler
Muhammadu Buhari turned the prison into a massive holding cell for
1978 In the Philippines Tony
Tan Caktiong formed Jollibee after realizing that customers in his
Manila ice cream parlor liked his soy and sugar seasoned burgers
better than his sundaes.
1978 Poland’s Wieliczka Salt
Mine, founded in the 12th century, was placed on the original list
of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Commercial mining operations ended
in 1996, but the mine continued to operate as a tourist attraction
due to the underground cathedral left behind by generations of
1978 Romania’s Gen. Ion Pacepa,
a top ranking Securitate officer, defected to the United States.
Pres. Ceausescu hired Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos the
Jackal, to assassinate Pacepa but he failed.
1978 In Russia Alexander I.
Ginzburg (1936-2002), poet, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for
his dissident activities. He served 8 months and then was then
exchanged with 4 others for 2 Soviet spies in the US.
(SSFC, 7/21/02, p.A27)
Sayano-Shushinskaya hydroelectric plant in southern Siberia, the
largest in the country, went into operation.
1978 Sri Lanka adopted a system
of proportional representation. Most seats in Parliament were for
elected MPs, but about 13% were shared on the basis of the number of
votes polled by political parties.
(Econ, 4/17/10, p.47)
1978 Chevron discovered oil in
Sudan and sank wells north of Bentiu.
(SFC, 6/13/01, p.D3)(WSJ, 10/22/03,
1978 In Turkey Abdullah Ocalan
and some fellow Turkish university students founded the Kurdistan
Worker’s Party, PKK. It was based on a Marxist, separatist platform
that targeted Kurdish landlords as well as Turkish agents.
(SFC, 11/14/98, p.A11)(SFC, 1/6/99, p.A7)(Econ,
1978 The UN Security Council
passed a resolution that demanded an unconditional Israeli
withdrawal from south Lebanon after a brief Israeli invasion.
(SFC, 4/18/96, p.a-14)
1978 Gen. Van Tien Dung
published "Our Great Spring Victory." He described how the loss of
political will in Washington helped shape Hanoi's decisions.
(WSJ, 10/21/99, p.A20)
1978 The Vietnamese government
loosened its policy on bourgeois dance after officials visiting Cuba
witnessed dancers doing the Cha Cha.
(WSJ, 4/29/99, p.A24)
1978 Many Chinese "boat people"
who had left Vietnam or been forcibly expelled died after drifting
for weeks at sea.
(TL, 1988, p.119)
1978 In Zaire another coup
attempt was begun in the Shaba province. American and other foreign
support helped Mobutu maintain control.
(SFC, 5/17/97, p.A14)
1978 In Zaire (later Congo)
there was a separatist uprising in the southern Katanga province and
at least 140 foreigners were massacred at the Kolwezi copper mine.
Hundreds of Katangans also died.
(WSJ, 9/3/98, p.A1)
1978-1979 Time of the Democracy Wall movement. Ren
Wanding was jailed from 1979 to 1983 for having advocated multiparty
democracy. For 4 months citizens in Beijing had plastered a
200-meter wall with posters calling for freedom and democracy.
(SFC, 6/10/96, C2)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.30)
1978-1979 Three of the largest holding companies
in Colombia bought stock from each other in order to protect
themselves from hostile takeovers. The newly formed Antioquean
Syndicate was composed of: Suramericana de Seguros, Nacional de
Chocolates, and Cementos Argos.
(WSJ, 1/16/97, p.A12)
1978-1979 Some 300,000 refugees fled Vietnam to
China as the two countries engaged in a bloody border war.
(Econ, 10/10/15, p.45)
1978-1983 Hundreds of residents from central
Guatemala fled to the region north of Chajul and declared themselves
neutral to the war. They organized themselves into the Communities
of People in Resistance (CPR) and secretly cultivated their lands.
They did not come out of hiding until 1998.
1978-1984 The Czech "Asanace" (Sanitation) program
focused on some 50 dissidents, signatories of the Charter 77 human
rights manifesto. It resorted to threats and harsh interrogations to
intimidate them and force them to leave the country. In 2001 Czech
Interior Minister Jaromir Obzina (d.2003) was charged with
abuse of power for his role in the operation.
1978-1994 In 2006 research on fish trawls from
this period revealed that 5 deep sea species had plummeted by
87%-98% and that average size of fish had declined in one case
by as much as 57%.
(Econ, 1/7/06, p.72)
1978-1996 Over 200,000 sq. miles, 12.5%, of the
Amazon rain forest was destroyed.
(SFC, 1/27/98, p.A10)
1978-1996 The Caspian Sea rose 8 feet due to what
experts believed was an upward thrust of the Earth’s crust beneath
the inland sea. Flooding had resulted over an area of 1.5 mil acres
that includes 200 oil wells in the western region.
(SFC, 4/13/96, p.A-15)
1978-2002 The Indonesian military systematically
forced dozens of East Timorese women to become sex slaves for
officers during its 24-year occupation of the half-island.
1978-2008 India over this period exchanged 949
Pakistani fishermen in exchange for 2,304 Indian fishermen, which
each side had apprehended for wandering into their respective waters
in the disputed Sir Creek area. In early 2009 trade unions said
India still held 357 Pakistani fishermen and that Pakistan held 48
(WSJ, 1/13/08, p.A10)
Go to 1979