1979 History/Videos

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1979 For the first time in history a woman Margaret Thatcher is elected Prime minister in the UK. As technology becomes smaller Sony released the Walkman a worldwide success costing $200 which at that time was a significant amount of money. Also the first Snowboard is invented in the USA. The bombing by the IRA in England continues with Lord Mountbatten and three others assassinated. Following the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Iran becomes an Islamic Republic and 63 Americans are taken hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran

Cost of Living 1979

How Much things cost in 1979
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 11.2%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 838
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 15.25%
Average Cost of new house $58,100.00
Average Income per year $17,500.00
Average Monthly Rent $280.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 86 cents
Sony Walkman $200.00
Jox Trainers $14.99


What Events Happened in 1979

  • USSR Invades Afghanistan
  • Margaret Thatcher elected Prime minister in UK
  • Severe Atlantic Storm hits Fastnet International Yacht Race and a number of boats and crew are lost
  • Following the Burgess, Mclean, Philby and Sir Anthony Blunt Spy Scandal he is stripped of his knighthood
  • SALT II arms limitation Talks signed by US and USSR
  • Eleven fans are killed and dozens are injured at a WHO Concert at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident after fire at reactor in Pennsylvania US
  • Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Tehran, Iran after nearly 15 years of exile and takes over the Iranian law enforcement, courts and government administration and Khomeini seizes power in Iran
  • 63 Americans are taken hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran
  • Iran's government becomes Islamic Republic when the Shah of Persia is forced to leave
  • The Dictator Idi Amin is deposed in Uganda
  • A mob attack destroys the US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan
  • The Sahara Desert experiences snow for 30 minutes.
  • 13 Tornadoes ripped through Texas and Oklahoma
  • The first black-led government of Rhodesia in 90 years takes power and the countries name is changed to Zimbabwe,
  • Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country
  • President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and Vice President Saddam Hussein replaces him in Iraq
  • The first British nudist beach is established in Brighton
  • Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin sign the first peace treaty between an Arab nation and the Jewish state
  • Lord Mountbatten and three others assassinated by the I.R.A.. He was a British admiral, statesman and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
  • 23 people die in Nice, France, when the coastal town is hit by a tsunami
  • The Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrow the regime in the central American republic of Nicaragua
  • 3000 Iranian radicals, mostly students, invade the United States embassy in Tehran and take 90 hostages
  • China institutes the one child per family rule to help control it's exploding population
  • The worlds first anthrax epidemic begins in Ekaterinburg, Russia following a biological weapons plant accident
  • "American Airlines Flight 191" crashed and exploded in a field near O'Hare International Airport in Chicago
  • The price of oil reaches a new record of $24 per barrel
  • The British Conservative MP Airey Neave is killed by a car bomb
  • Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is executed

Popular Culture 1979

Popular Films

  • Superman The Movie
  • Every Which Way But Loose
  • Rocky II
  • Alien
  • The Amityville Horror
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Moonraker
  • The Muppet Movie
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Kramer vs. Kramer

Popular Musicians

  • Bee Gees with " Love you Inside Out "
  • Rod Stewart
  • Gloria Gaynor with " I will Survive "
  • Blondie with " heart of Glass "
  • Michael Jackson
  • The Eagles
  • Commodores
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Police
  • Village People
  • Boomtown Rats

Popular TV Programs

  • All My Children
  • Masterpiece Theatre
  • Old Grey Whistle Test
  • M*A*S*H
  • The Price Is Right
  • The Waltons
  • The Young and the Restless
  • Happy Days
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Charlie's Angels
  • Family Feud
  • Quincy, M.E.
  • The Muppet Show
  • The Love Boat
  • Three's Company
  • Dallas
  • Diff'rent Strokes
  • Mork amd Mindy
  • Taxi

Technology 1979

  • VisiCalc becomes the first spreadsheet program.
  • Sony introduces the Sony Walkman costing $200.00
  • Voyager I photo reveals Jupiter's rings
  • The European Space Agency launches Ariane 1

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )

  • Snowboard USA by Daniel E Chadwick
  • First Commercial Cellular Network NTT
  • The Sony Walkman Introduced Sony


Research for this year is provided by The People History.
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