(Events are chosen arbitrarily)

January 20: Iran releases the 52 U.S. captives first seized at the U.S. embassy in Teheran.
March 30: Reagan shot by John W. Hinckley, Jr., outside of a Washington D.C. hotel ("Jodie, I love you!")
April 12-14: The space shuttle Columbia was launched on its maiden flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
August 10: Reagan authorizes production of the neutron bomb.
August 25: Voyager 2 (launched 1977) came within 63,000 miles of Saturn.
November 04: Columbia completes its second mission, which was the second flight ever of a reusable spacecraft.
The L.A. Dodgers were the champs
Academy Awards: Best Picture - Chariots of Fire; Best Supporting Actor - John Gielgud for Arthur; Best Sound -Raiders of the Last Ark
John Kennedy Toole wins the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for A Confederacy of Dunces
Rick Springfield wins a Grammy for the Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male
John Lennon and Yoko Ono win an Album of the Year Grammy for Double Fantasy.
Terry Welles was the Playmate of the Year
Admiral Bobby Ray Inman was Deputy Director of the CIA.

...and lots of other stuff.

In other news:

Brief Timeline of 1981:

January 20
   Ronald Regan is inaugurated as president. Minutes later, Iran releases 52 American prisoners, and Iranian assets are ufrozen.
January 27
   580 die when the Indonesian ship the Tamponas II catches fire, and then sinks.
   The US suspends aid to Nicaragua.
March 30
   John W. Hinckley Jr. shoots and wounds Ronald Regan, James Brady, Timothy Mcarthy and Thomas Delahnty in Washington D.C. in an attempt to get attention from Jody Foster, with whom he is obsessed.
   A Northern China flood claims the lives of 550.
April 12-14
   The Columbia Space Shuttle makes the first space flight with a reusable spacecraft, manned by John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen.
April 25
   During repairs on the Tsuruga, Japan Nuclear Power Plant, some 100 workers are exposed to radiation.
May 13
   Turkish prison escapee shoots Pope John Paul II and two bystanders in St. Peter's Square, Rome.
June 6
   Over 500 people die in a railroad accident in Bihar, India
August 3-5
   Federal air traffic controllers begin a strike illegally. When they ignore a back-to-work order, they are dismissed by President Regan.
August 30
   An explosion in Teheran claims the lives of Iranian President Mohammed Ali Raji and Premier Mohammed Jad Bahonar.
September 21
   Sandra Day O'Connor appointed US Supreme Court Associate Justice in a unanimous Congress vote. She is the first woman Justice.
September 25
   Sandra Day O'Connor takes her oath to be a Supreme Court Justice.
October 6
   At a military parade in Cairo, Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat is fatally shot by commandos.
November 25
   Typhoon Irma kills 176 in the Phillipines and Luzon Isl.
   President Reagan approves Contra Aid.

Sports Winners:

World Series (Baseball) - 4 Los Angeles Dodgers; 2 New York Yankees
NBA Championship (Basketball) - 4 Boston Celtics; 2 Houston Rockets
Superbowl (Football) - 27 Oakland Raiders; 10 Philadelphia Eagles


Nobel Prize
  1. Physics: Nicolaas Bloembergen and Arthur Leonard Schawlow "for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy." Kai M. Siegbahn "for his contribution to the development of high-resolution electron spectroscopy."
  2. Chemistry: Kenichi Fukui and Roald Hoffmann "for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions."
  3. Medicine: Roger W. Sperry "for his discoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres." David H. Hubel and Torsten N. Wiesel "for their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system."
  4. Literature: Elias Canetti "for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power."
  5. Peace: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
  6. Economics: James Tobin "for his analysis of financial markets and their relations to expenditure decisions, employment, production and prices."

Pulitzer Prize

  • Public Service: Charlotte Observer (North Carolina)
  • Local General Spot News Reporting: Staff of Longview Daily News (Washington)
  • Local Investigative Specialized Reporting: Clark Hallas and Robert B. Lowe of Arizona Daily Star
  • National Reporting: John M. Crewdson of New York Times
  • International Reporting: Shirley Christian of Miami Herald
  • Feature Writing: Teresa Carpenter of Village Voice, New York City
  • Commentary: Dave Anderson of New York Times
  • Criticism: Jonathan Yardley of Washington Star
  • Editorial Cartooning: Mike Peters of Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
  • Spot News Photography: Larry C. Price of Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)
  • Feature Photography: Taro M. Yamasaki of Detroit Free Press
  • Fiction: A Confederacy of Dunces by the late John Kennedy Toole (a posthumous publication) (Louisiana State U. Press)
  • Drama: Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley
  • History: American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876 by Lawrence A. Cremin (Harper & Row)
  • Biography OR Autobiography: Peter the Great: His Life and World by Robert K. Massie (Knopf)
  • Poetry: The Morning of the Poem by James Schuyler (Farrar, Straus)
  • General Non-Fiction: Fin-De Siecle Vienna: Politics And Culture by Carl E. Schorske (Knopf)
    Hugo Awards
  • Novel: The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
  • Novella: Lost Dorsai by Gordon R. Dickson
  • Novelette: The Cloak and the Staff by Gordon R. Dickson
  • Short Story: Grotto of the Dancing Deer by Clifford D. Simak
  • Non-Fiction Book: Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  • Dramatic Presentation: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Professional Editor: Edward L. Ferman
  • Professional Artist: Michael Whelan
  • Fanzine: Locus (Charles N. Brown, ed.)
  • Fan Writer: Susan Wood
  • Fan Artist: Victoria Poyser
  • Campbell Award: Somtow Sucharitkul
    Grammy Awards

  • Record Of The Year:Kim Carnes, Bette Davis Eyes
  • Song Of The Year: Kim Carnes, Bette Davis Eyes
  • Album Of The Year: John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy
  • Best New Artist: Sheena Easton
  • Video Of The Year: Michael Nesmith, Michael Nesmith In Elephant Parts
  • Best Album Notes: Dan Morgenstern; Erroll Garner, Erroll Garner: Master Of The Keyboard
  • Best Album Package: Peter Corriston; Rolling Stones, Tattoo You
  • Best Comedy Recording: Richard Pryor, Rev. Du Rite
  • Best Instrumental Composition: Mike Post, The Theme From Hill Street Blues
  • Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: John T. Williams, Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  • Best Engineered Recording: Roger Nichols, Elliot Scheiner, Bill Schnee & Jerry Garszva, Gaucho
  • Best Historical Album: George Spitzer & Michael Brooks, Hoagy Carmichael: From Stardust To Ole Buttermilk Sky
  • Producer Of The Year: Quincy Jones
  • Best Pop Instrumental Performance: Larry Carlton & Mike Post, The Theme From Hill Street Blues
  • Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female: Lena Horne, Lena Horne: The Lady And Her Music, Live On Broadway
  • Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male: Al Jarreau, Breakin' Away
  • Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Manhattan Transfer, Boy From New York City
  • Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female: Pat Benatar, Fire And Ice
  • Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Police, Don't Stand So Close To Me
  • Best Rock Instrumental Performance: Police, Behind My Camel
  • Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male: Rick Springfield , Jessie's Girl
    Rhythym & Blues
  • Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female: Aretha Franklin, Hold On I'm Comin'
  • Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male: James Ingram, One Hundred Ways
  • Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Quincy Jones, The Dude
  • Best Rhythm & Blues Song: William Salter, Bill Withers & Ralph MacDonald, Just The Two Of Us
  • Best R&B Instrumental Performance: David Sanborn, All I Need Is You
    Gospel & Soul
  • Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary: Andrae Crouch, Don't Give Up
  • Best Soul Gospel Performance, Traditional, Al Green, The Lord Will Make A Way
  • Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary: Imperials, Priority
  • Best Gospel Performance, Traditional: Masters V, The Masters V
  • Best Inspirational Performance: B.J. Thomas, Amazing Grace
  • Best Country Instrumental Performance: Chet Atkins, Country--After All These Years
  • Best Country Vocal Performance, Male: Ronnie Milsap, (There's) No Gettin' Over Me
  • Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Oak Ridge Boys, Elvira
  • Best Country Vocal Performance, Female: Dolly Parton, 9 To 5
  • Best Country Song: Dolly Parton, 9 To 5
  • Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group: Gary Burton & Chick Corea, Chick Corea And Gary Burton In Concert, Zurich, October 28, 1979
  • Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist: John Coltrane, Bye Bye Blackbird
  • Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female: Ella Fitzgerald, Digital III At Montreaux
  • Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male: Al Jarreau, Blue Rondo A La Turk
  • Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group: Manhattan Transfer, Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)
  • Best Jazz Instrumehtal Performance, Big Band: Gerry Mulligan, Walk On The Water
  • Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal/Instrumental: Grover Washington Jr, Winelight
    Tony Awards:
  • Best Play: Amadeus
  • Best Musical: 42nd Street
  • Best Peproduction of a Play or Musical: The Pirates of Penzance
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play: Ian McKellen, Amadeus
  • Best Performance by a Actress in a Play: Jane Lapotaire, Piaf
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: Brian Backer, The Floating Light Bulb
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Swoosie Kurtz, Fifth of July
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical: Kevin Kline, The Pirates of Penzance
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Lauren Bacall, Woman of the Year
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical: Hinton Battle, Sophisticated Ladies
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Marilyn Cooper, Woman of the Year
  • Best Direction of a Play: Peter Hall, Amadeus
  • Best Direction of a Musical: Wilford Leach, The Pirates of Penzance
  • Best Book of a Musical: Woman of the Year, Peter Stone
  • Best Original Score written for the Theatre: Woman of the Year, John Kander, music; Fred Ebb, lyrics
  • Best Scenic Design: John Bury, Amadeus
  • Best Costume Design: Willa Kim, Sophisticated Ladies
  • Best Choreography: Gower Champion, 42nd Street
  • Best Lighting Design: John Bury, Amadeus
  • Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Lena Horne

    Arcade Games of Note

  • Donkey Kong
  • Galaga
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Qix
  • Scramble
  • Stargate
  • Turbo
    1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989

    All About the 1980s - http://library.thinkquest.org/17823/data/?tqskip1=1&tqtime=0819
    IMDB - http://www.imdb.com
    1980s Flashback Sports - http://www.1980sflashback.com/1980/Sports.asp
    Infoplease - http://www.infoplease.com/
    Google - http://www.google.com
    Tony Awards - http://www.tonys.org/
    Pop Culture Madness - http://www.popculturemadness.com/
    Pulitzer Prize Board - http://www.pulitzer.org
    Hugo Award Winners - http://dpsinfo.com/awardweb/hugos/80s.html

    Noders: Thanks to quoi? for all his help with this.
    Thanks to toalight and Sasha Gabba Hey! for pointing out the US-centric nature of this w/u and giving me suggestions as to how to better orient it internationally (which will be done soon).
    Thanks to TBBK for the arcade titles.

    I am not infalliable. I may have made mistakes in this writeup, I may have left out something that someone would like to see in here. I would much appreciate it if anyone who sees evidence of any such mistakes would please /msg me so that I may rectify them. Many thanks.
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