Top News Stories from 1979

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.378 billion
population by decade
Nobel Peace Prize: Mother Teresa of Calcutta (India)
More World Statistics...

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

Vice President: Walter F. Mondale
Population: 225,055,487
Life expectancy: 73.9 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 55.7
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) 50.2
More U.S. Statistics...


US GDP (1998 dollars): $2,557.50 billion
Federal spending: $504.03 billion
Federal debt $829.5 billion
Median Household Income(current dollars): $16,461 billion
Consumer Price Index: $72.6
Unemployment: 5.8%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.15


Super Bowl
Pittsburgh d. Dallas
World Series
Pittsburgh d. Baltimore (4-3)
NBA Championship
Seattle d. Washington Bullets
Stanley Cup
Montreal d. NY Rangers
Women: Martina Navratilova d. C. Evert Lloyd (6-4 6-4)
Men: Bjorn Borg d. R. Tanner (6-7 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
Spectacular Bid
NCAA Basketball Championship
Michigan St. d. Indiana St. (75-64)
NCAA Football Champions
Alabama (12-0-0)


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes
Fiction: The Stories of John Cheever, John Cheever
Music: Aftertones of Infinity, Joseph Schwantner
Drama: Buried Child, Sam Shepard

Oscars awarded in 1979

Academy Award, Best Picture: The Deer Hunter, Barry Spikings, Michael Deeley, Michael Cimino and John Peverall, producers (Universal)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Odysseus Elytis (Greece)

1979 Emmy Awards

1979 Tony Awards

Album of the Year: Saturday Night Fever, Bee Gees, David Shire, Yvonne Elliman, Tevares, Kool and the Gang, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, MFSB, Trammps, Walter Murphy and Ralph MacDonald (RSO)
Song of the Year: "Just the Way You Are," Billy Joel
Song of the Year: "Just the Way You Are," Billy Joel, songwriter
Miss America: Kylene Baker (VA)
More Entertainment Awards...


  • The Sugar Hill Gang releases the first commercial rap hit, "Rapper's Delight," bringing rap off the New York streets and into the popular music scene.


  • Apocalypse Now, All That Jazz, Kramer vs. Kramer, Breaking Away


  • The Sugar Hill Gang, "Rapper's Delight"



Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Herbert C. Brown (US) and Georg Wittig (West Germany), for developing a group of substances that facilitate very difficult chemical reactions
Physics: Steven Weinberg, Sheldon L. Glashow (both US), and Abdus Salam (Pakistan), for developing theory that electromagnetism and the ""weak"" force, which causes radioactive decay in some atomic nuclei, are facets of the same phenomenon
Physiology or Medicine: Allan McLeod Cormack (US) and Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield (UK), for developing computed axial tomography (CAT scan) X-ray technique
More Nobel Prizes in 1998...
  • An overheated reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility in Pennsylvania threatens to melt down. It does not, but 144,000 residents of nearby Middletown are evacuated. Background: nuclear energy
  • The first human-powered aircraft flies across the English Channel: Bryan Allen pilots the Gossamer Albatross from Folkestone, England, to Cap Gris-Nez, France (June 12). Background: Famous Firsts in Aviation
  • The accidental release of anthrax spores at a Soviet bioweapons facility in Sverdlovsk kills several hundred.


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