1979 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

1979 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1979:

  • World Changing Event: Khomeini’s Iranian Revolution over Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
  • The Other World Changing Event: The introduction of the Sony Walkman
  • The Top Song was My Sharona by The Knack
  • The Movies to Watch include Alien, Rocky 2, The Muppet Movie, Apocalypse Now and Star Trek: The Motion Picture and The Life of Brian
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Pope John Paul II
  • Notable books include: Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 70.0 years, Females: 77.8 years
  • Minimum Wage in 1979: $2.90 per hour
    Composition book, 100 pages: 69 cents
  • The Funny Late Night Host: Johnny Carson
  • Girl Power: Fully independent in 1979, Saint Lucia is the only country in the world named after a woman

Top Ten Baby Names of 1979:
Jennifer, Melissa, Amanda, Jessica, Amy, Michael, Chris, Topher, Jason, David, James

The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Loni Anderson, Susan Anton, Barbara Bach, Catherine Bach, Kim Basinger, Valerie Bertinelli, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Lynda Carter, Bo Derek, Farrah Fawcett, Erin Gray, Shelly Hack, Debbie Harry, Marilu Henner, Lauren Hutton, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Bernadette Peters, Victoria Principal, Diana Ross, Jane Seymour, Brooke Shields, Jacquelyn Smith, Suzanne Somers, Donna Summer, Cheryl Tiegs, Charlene Tilton, Mary Woronov

Hollywood Hunks, Sex Symbols and Leading Men:
Michael Jackson, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Marlon Brando

“The Quotes:”
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning”
– Robert Duvall in ‘Apocalypse Now’

“Have a coke and smile”
-Coca-Cola

“Quality is job one”
– Ford

“Nothing comes between me and my Calvins”
– Brooke Shields, for Calvin Klein

“Reach out and touch someone”
– AT&T

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Ayatollah Khomeini

Miss America:
Kylene Barker (Roanoke, VA)

Miss USA:
Mary Therese Friel (New York)

The Scandals:
Ford’s Pinto automobile design allowed its fuel tank to be easily damaged in the event of a rear-end collision which sometimes resulted in deadly fires and explosions. It was first noticed by Ford in 1971 tests.

On March 28, Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania, had a near melt-down. No one was reported killed or injured, but the accident changed many regulations for American nuclear reactors.

52 Americans are taken hostage in Tehran, Iran for 444 days. Four days later, ABC’s Nighline premiered, centering on the crisis.

NASA’s Skylab fell to Earth, landing mostly in the Indian Ocean.

Rock and Roll Death: Sid Vicious (heroin overdose)

11 people were crushed to death outside of Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum prior to a concert by The Who.

Pop Culture News:
Black and Decker released the now-famous cordless mini-vacuum, The Dustbuster.

1979 -The film The China Syndrome, a movie about a nuclear meltdown caused by a faulty sensor reading and a stuck-open pressure release valve, was released only 12 days before the 3 Mile Island Meltdown on March 28, 1979, caused by a faulty sensor reading and a stuck open pressure release valve.

ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) began broadcasting o September 7.

Victoria’s Secret stores opened in 1979. It went national in 1982 after being aquired by Limited Brands.

Rhodesia became Zimbabwe

April 1st – Nickelodeon TV cable network began.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1979: $185,000

The Habit:
Jogging while listening to tapes on your Sony Walkman and wearing a LaCoste preppy shirt with the famous alligator on the left side and designer jeans.

1st appearances & 1979’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Walkman cassette/radio

Best Film Oscar Winner:
The Deer Hunter (presented in 1979)

Broadway Show – They’re Playing Our Song (Musical) Opened on February 11, 1979 and Closed: September 6, 1981

Broadway Show – Evita (Musical) Opened on September 25, 1979 and Closed: June 26, 1983

Broadway Show – Sugar Babies (Review) Opened on October 8, 1979 and Closed: August 28, 1982

Popular and Notable Books From 1979:
1985 by John Hackett
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Chesapeake by James Michener
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Establishment by Howard Fast
The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
Good as Gold by Joseph Heller
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut
Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
Kindred by Octavia Butler
The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart
The Matarese Circle by Robert Ludlum
Memories of Another Day by Harold Robbins
Oh Say Can You Say? by Dr. Seuss
Overload by Arthur Hailey
Smiley’s People by John le Carré
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
Triple by Ken Follott
War and Remembrance by Herman Woulk
The White Album by Joan Didion

1979 Most Popular TV shows:
1. 60 Minutes (CBS)
2. Three’s Company (ABC)
3. That’s Incredible! (ABC)
4. Alice (CBS)
5. M*A*S*H (CBS)
6. Dallas (CBS)
7. Flo (CBS)
8. The Jeffersons (CBS)
9. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS)
10. One Day at a Time (CBS)

1979 Billboard Number One Songs:
January 6 – January 19:
Too Much Heaven – Bee Gees

January 20 – February 9:
Le Freak – Chic

February 10 – March 9:
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart

March 10 – March 23:
I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

March 24 – April 6:
Tragedy – Bee Gees

April 7 – April 13:
I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

April 14 – April 20:
What A Fool Believes – The Doobie Brothers

April 21 – April 27:
Knock on Wood – Amii Stewart

April 28 – May 4:
Heart of Glass – Blondie

May 5 – June 30:
Reunited – Peaches & Herb

June 2 – June 8:
Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

June 9 – June 15:
Love You Inside Out – Bee Gees

June 16 – July 29:
Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

June 30 – July 13:
Ring My Bell – Anita Ward

July 14 – August 17:
Bad Girls – Donna Summer

August 18 – August 24:
Good Times – Chic

August 25 – October 5:
My Sharona – The Knack

October 6 – October 12:
Sad Eyes – Robert John

October 13 – October 19:
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson

October 20 – November 2:
Rise – Herb Alpert

November 3 – November 9:
Pop Muzik – M

November 10 – November 16:
Heartache Tonight – The Eagles

November 17 – November 23:
Still – The Commodores

November 24 – December 7:
No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) – Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer

December 8 – December 21:
Babe – Styx

December 22, 1979 – January 4, 1980:
Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes

Sports:
World Series Champions: Pittsburgh Pirates
Superbowl XIII Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers
NBA Champions: Seattle SuperSonics
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
U.S. Open Golf Hale Irwin
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) John McEnroe/Tracy Austin
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Bjorn Borg/Martina Navratilova
NCAA Football Champions: Alabama
NCAA Basketball Champions: Michigan State
Kentucky Derby: Spectacular Bid

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