Top News Stories from 1981
Population: 4.378 billionpopulation by decade
Nobel Peace Prize: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesMore World Statistics...
- US-Iran agreement frees 52 hostages held in Teheran since 1979 (Jan. 20); hostages welcomed back in US (Jan. 25). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis
- Pope John Paul II wounded by gunman (May 14).
- Israel annexes the disputed Golan Heights territory (Dec. 14).
- Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat is assassinated by Islamic extremists during a military parade in Cairo (Oct. 6).
- President Hilla Limann is overthrown in Ghana as Jerry J. Rawlings seizes power.
President: Ronald W. Reagan
Vice President: George Bush
Life expectancy: 74.1 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 58.6
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) 52.6More U.S. Statistics...
- Ronald Reagan takes oath as 40th President (Jan. 20).
- President Reagan wounded by gunman, with press secretary and two law-enforcement officers (March 30).
- US Supreme Court rules, 44, that former President Nixon and three top aides may be required to pay damages for wiretap of home telephone of former national security aide (June 22).
- Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O'Connor, 51, of Arizona, as first woman on US Supreme Court (July 7).
- Air controllers strike, disrupting flights (Aug. 3); government dismisses strikers (Aug. 11).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $3,115.90 billion
Federal spending: $678.25 billion
Federal debt $994.8 billion
Median Household Income(current dollars): "Sailing," Christopher Cross billion
Consumer Price Index: $90.9
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.15 ($0.18 as of 3/22/81; $0.20 as of 11/1/81)
Super BowlOakland d. Philadelphia
World SeriesLA Dodgers d. NY Yankees
NBA ChampionshipBoston d. Houston
Stanley CupNY Islanders d. Minnesota
WimbledonWomen: Chris Evert Lloyd d. H. Mandlikova (6-2 6-2)
Men: John McEnroe d. B. Borg (4-6 7-6 7-6 6-4)
Kentucky Derby ChampionPleasant Colony
NCAA Basketball ChampionshipIndiana d. North Carolina
NCAA Football ChampionsClemson (12-0-0)
Entertainment AwardsPulitzer Prizes
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
Drama: Crimes of the Heart, Beth Henley
Academy Award, Best Picture: Ordinary People, Ronald L. Schwary, producer (Paramount)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Elias Canetti (Bulgaria)
Album of the Year: Christopher Cross, Christopher Cross (Warner Bros.)
Song of the Year: "Sailing," Christopher Cross, songwriter
Miss America: Susan Powell (OK)More Entertainment Awards...
- MTV goes on the air running around the clock music videos, debuting with "Video Killed the Radio Star."
- The Supreme Court rules to allow television cameras in the courtroom.
- Pacman-mania sweeps the country.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, Reds, Atlantic City
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Roald Hoffmann (US) and Kenichi Fukui (Japan), for applying quantum-mechanics theories to predict the course of chemical reactions
Physics: Nicolaas Bloembergen, Arthur L. Schawlow (both US), and Kai M. Siegbahn (Sweden), for developing technologies with lasers and other devices to probe the secrets of complex forms of matter
Physiology or Medicine: Roger W. Sperry, David H. Hubel (both US), and Torsten N. Wiesel (Sweden), for studies vital to understanding the organization and functioning of the brainMore Nobel Prizes in 1998...
- AIDS is first identified. Background: Understanding AIDS
- IBM introduces its first personal computer, running the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). Background: Computers and Internet
- The 236-m.p.h. TGV, Europe's first high-speed passenger train, begins operating out of Lyons, France.
- The FDA approves the use of the artificial sweetener aspartame (Nutrasweet). Background: Health & Nutrition