1981: Attempted Assassination, Space Shuttle, Charles and Diana
By Patrick Mondout
The American hostages in Iran were finally released on the same day
former movie star Ronald
Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th president of the United States. Reagan
was soon the survivor of an attempted assassin's bullet while Egypt's Anwar
Sadat was the victim of one. The year also saw the first
ever Space Shuttle mission and the marriage of Diana Spencer to Prince
January 20: Iran releases the 52 American hostages minutes after
Reagan is inaugurated, ending their 444 day ordeal.
January 23: Mao's widow, Jiang Qing, receives a life sentence for
her role in the Cultural Revolution.
January 25: The Oakland Raiders defeat the Philadelphia Eagles
27-10 in Super Bowl XV.
January 31: The 52 hostages from Iran finally make it back to U.S.
February 10: The Las Vegas Hilton hotel/casino catches fire killing
eight and injuring 198.
March 6: Walter Cronkite makes his final CBS Evening News broadcast
after 19 years as anchorman.
March 30: John Hinckley Jr. attempts
to assassinate President Ronald Reagan outside a Washington, D.C.,
April 12: Liftoff of STS-1, the first
Space Shuttle mission.
May 6: Maya Ying Lin's design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is
selected from over 1,400 entries.
May 10: Socialist Francois Mitterand is elected president of
May 11: Reggae superstar Bob Marley dies of cancer at age 36 in
May 12: IRA
terrorist Bobby Sands dies after a 66 day hunger strike in prison.
June 12: Major League Baseball players begin seven-week strike over
issues relating to free agency.
June 21: Wayne Williams is implicated in the murders of 28
African-American children over two years in the Atlanta area.
July 17: A pair of skywalks collapse into the lobby of the Hyatt
Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri killing 114.
July 29: Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles Windsor of Great
Britain in a ceremony seen by over a billion worldwide.
August 1: MTV permanently alters the musical landscape when it
officially launches with it's first video (The Buggles Video Killed the
August 5: President Reagan fires nearly 12,000 striking air-traffic
controllers that had ignored his earlier order to return to work.
August 12: The IBM PC is announced. Variants of this computer
become the best selling computer family of all time by a very large margin
selling over a billion by late 2002 (or roughly one for every six humans).
August 31: The Red
Army exploded a bomb at the U.S. Air Force Base at Ramstein, West
September 25: Sandra Day O'Connor of Arizona becomes
the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.
October 6: President
Anwar Sadat of Egypt is assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists in the
Egyptian military during a troop review.
October 14: Vice President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is
sworn-in as Anwar Sadat's successor.
November 25: Typhoon Irma slams the Philippines leaving 176 dead.
November 29: Movie star Natalie Wood drowns near Santa Catalina
Island in California.
December 4: Three American nuns and one lay missionary were found
murdered outside San Salvador, El Salvador. They were believed to have
been assassinated by a right-wing death squad.
December 28: Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube
baby, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.