Top News Stories from 1980

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.378 billion
population by decade
Nobel Peace Prize: Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Argentina)
More World Statistics...
  • Six US embassy aides escape from Iran with Canadian help (Jan. 29). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis
  • US breaks diplomatic ties with Iran (April 7).
  • Eight US servicemen are killed and five are injured as helicopter and cargo plane collide in abortive desert raid to rescue American hostages in Teheran (April 25). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis
  • Iraqi troops hold 90 square miles of Iran after invasion; 8-year Iran-Iraq War begins (Sept. 19).
  • Three US nuns and a lay worker are found shot in El Salvador (Dec. 4).
  • Anastasio Somoza Debayle, ousted Nicaraguan ruler, and two aides are assassinated in Paraguayan capital of Asunción (Sept. 17).

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

Vice President: Walter F. Mondale
Population: 227,224,681
Life expectancy: 73.7 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 59.5
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) 53.5
More U.S. Statistics...


US GDP (1998 dollars): $2,784.20 billion
Federal spending: $590.95 billion
Federal debt $909.1 billion
Consumer Price Index: $82.4
Unemployment: 7.1%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.15


Super Bowl
Pittsburgh d. La Rams
World Series
Philadelphia Phillies d. Kansas City
NBA Championship
LA Lakers d. Philadelphia 76ers
Stanley Cup
NY Islanders d. Philadelphia
Women: Evonne Cawley d. C. Evert Lloyd (6-1 7-6)
Men: Bjorn Borg d. J. McEnroe (1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 8-6)
Kentucky Derby Champion
Genuine Risk
NCAA Basketball Championship
Louisville d. UCLA
NCAA Football Champions
Georgia (12-0-0) 1980 Summer Olympics


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes

The Executioner's Song, Norman Mailer

Music: In Memory of a Summer Day, David Del Tredici
Drama: Talley's Folly, Lanford Wilson
Academy Award, Best Picture: Kramer vs. Kramer, Stanley R. Jaffe, producer (Columbia)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Czeslaw Milosz (US)
Record of the Year: "What a Fool Believes," Doobie Brothers
Album of the Year: 52nd Street, Billy Joel (Columbia)
Song of the Year: "What a Fool Believes," Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, songwriters
Miss America: Cheryl Prewitt (MS)
More Entertainment Awards...


  • John Lennon of the Beatles shot dead in New York City.
  • Ted Turner launches CNN, the first all-news network.
  • Mark Morris establishes the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York and is widely received as the most promising modern-dance choreographer of his generation.


  • Raging Bull, Ordinary People, Coal Miner's Daughter, The Elephant Man, Tess


  • William Golding, Rites of Passage
  • John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces


Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Paul Berg, Walter Gilbert (both US), and Frederick Sanger (UK), for developing methods to map the structure and function of DNA, the substance that controls the activity of the cell
Physics: James W. Cronin and Val L. Fitch (both US), for work concerning the asymmetry of subatomic particles
Physiology or Medicine: Baruj Benacerraf, George D. Snell (both US), and Jean Dausset (France), for discoveries that explain how the structure of cells relates to organ transplants and diseases
More Nobel Prizes in 1998...


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