1975 1976 1977 - 1978 - 1979 1980 1981
| Decades: |
1940s 1950s 1960s - 1970s - 1980s 1990s 2000s
| Centuries: |
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
- January 1 - the Copyright Act of 1976 takes effect, making sweeping changes to United States copyright law.
- January 1 - Air India's Boeing 747 explodes near Bombay - 213 dead.
- January 4 - Referendum in Chile supports policies of Augusto Pinochet.
- January 7 - Emilio Palma is born in Antarctica, making his birth the southernmost in history.
- January 10 - Assassination of Pedero Jaoquin Chamorro who had critizised Nicaraguan government. Riots erupt against Somoza's government.
- January 18 - The European Court of Human Rights finds the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.
- January 19 - Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster appointed as Director of the FBI
- January 22 - Ethiopia announces ambassador of West Germany as Persona non grata
- January 23 - Sweden becomes the first nation to ban aerosol sprays that are thought to damage earth's protective ozone layer.
- January 24 - Soviet nuclear military satellite falls into atmosphere over Canada
- January 30 - Blizzards in USA kill 90
- February 1 - Director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl
- February 8 - Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcasted on radio for the first time.
- February 11 - 16 Unification Church couples wed in New York NY.
- February 11 - Mobilization in Somalia due to apparent Ethiopian attack
- February 11 - The People's Republic of China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, Shakespeare and Dickens.
- February 15 - Rhodesia's prime minister Ian Smith and three black leaders agree on the transfer to black majority rule.
- February 15 - Ted Bundy is captured in Florida
- February 16 - The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).
- February 21 – Electrical workers in Mexico City find an Aztec monolith in the middle of the city
- March 1 - Charlie Chaplin's coffin is stolen from a Swiss cemetery.
- March 1 - Timbuktu Broadway production opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre
- March 3 - Ethiopia admits that its troops are fighting with the aid Cuban soldiers against Somalian troops in Ogaden.
- March 3 - Charles Chaplin's remains are stolen from Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland but are recovered 11 weeks later near Lake Geneva
- March 3 - Rhodesia attacks Zambia.
- March 11 - Palestinian terrorists on the Tel Aviv Haifa highway kill 34 Israelis
- March 15 - United States Senate approves the Panama Canal neutrality treaty; votes to turn the canal over to Panama by the year 2000 on April 18.
- March 16 - Israeli forces invade Lebanon.
- March 16 - Former Italian premier Aldo Moro is kidnapped by Red Brigades, who kill five bodyguards; he is found dead on May 9.
- March 17 - The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz runs aground on the coast of Brittany
- March 18 - Prime Minister of Pakistan, Sulfikar Ali Bhutto is sentenced to death by hanging for ordering the assassination of a political opponent
- April 18 - The US Senate votes 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31 1999
- April 20 - Korean Airlines flight 007 shot down by Soviets in Soviet airspace
- March 22 - Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- March 24 - The tanker Amoco Cadiz splits in two off Brittany spilling 50.000 tons of crude oil
- April 1 - Dick Smith of Dick Smith Foods tows a fake iceberg to Sydney harbor
- April 8 - Regular broadcasts of proceedings in British Parliament start
- April 16 - In Cologne, 15.000 former members of resistance movement demonstrate against national socialism
- April 27 - President of Afghanistan, Daud Khan is killed during a military coup - Mohammed Takain succeeds him.
- May 5 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds has his 3000th major league hit
- May 8 - Norway opens a natural gas field in Polar Sea.
- May 15 - Students of the University of Teheran riot in Tabriz - army stops the riot
- May 17 – Charles Chaplin's coffin is found ten miles from the cemetery it was stolen from
- May 18 - Soviet dissident Yuri Orlov is sentenced for seven years hard labor for distributing counterrevolutionary material
- May 18-May 19 - Belgian and French paratroopers fly to Zaire to aid the fight against the rebels.
- May 20 - Mavis Hutchinson, 53, becames the first woman to run across USA - trek took 69 days
- May 25 - A bomb explodes in the security section of Northwestern University - security guard is wounded. The first bomb of the Unabomber case.
- May 26 - DC-10 crashes in O'Hare International Airport
- May 26 - In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Resorts International, the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opens.
- June 6 - Californians in referendum approve Proposition 13 for a nearly 60% slash in property tax revenues.
- June 9 - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens the Mormon priesthood to "all worthy males," ending a general policy of excluding blacks from priesthood and temples since 1849 (see Blacks and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
- June 12 - David Berkowitz, "Son of Sam," is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
- June 15 - King Hussein of Jordan marries 26-year-old Lisa Halaby.
- June 17 - Police of Switzerland find Charlie Chaplin's body in its coffin, 10 miles from the cemetery.
- June 19 - Comic Strip Garfield debuts in newspapers.
- June 22 - Discovery of Charon, satellite of Pluto, announced
- June 23 - Josip Broz Tito is named for Yugoslavian president for life.
- June 24 - President of Yemen Arab Republic Hussein al-Ghashmi is killed
- June 26 - Bomb of Breton nationalists causes destruction in Versailles.
- June 28 - The Supreme Court of the United States, in the Bakke case, bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms constitutionality of programs giving advantage to minorities.
- June 30 - Ethiopia begin a massive offensive in Eritrea.
- July 7 - The Solomon Islands become independent from the United Kingdom
- July 25 - First human birth, girl Louise Brown, from in vitro fertilization (the test tube baby)
- August 6 - Pope Paul VI dies at age of 80. The new Pope, John Paul I, age 65, dies unexpectedly after 34 days in office on September 28. He is succeeded by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland as John Paul II on October 16.
- August 7 - United States President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal
- August 12 - Sino-Japanese relations: The Treaty of Peace and Friendship is signed between Japan and the People's Republic of China.
- August 15 - Foundation of Mirapuri - The City of Peace and Future Man
- August 17 - Double Eagle II becomes first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Preque Isle, Maine
- August 19 - Fire in Rex Cinema in Tehran - 477 dead
- August 20 - Gunmen open fire on an Israeli El Al airline bus in London
- August 20 - In Abadan, Iran, nearly 400 are killed when Muslim extremist arsonists set fire to crowded theater
- August 25 - Shroud of Turin on public display for the first time in 45 years
- September 1 - Dublin Institute of Technology is established.
- September 7 - Keith Moon, drummer for The Who dies of an overdose.
- September 8 - Riots in Tehran - Iranian army troops open fire - 122 dead, 4000 wounded
- September 11 - The tip of an umbrella poisons Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, probably on orders of Bulgarian intelligence. He dies four days later
- September 17 - Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt
- September 19 - police launch a massive murder hunt when newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater is shot dead after disturbing a burglary.
- September 25 - PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides with a small private airplane and crashes in San Diego, California resulting in the death of 144.
- October 1 - Vietnam attacks Cambodia
- October 10 - US President Jimmy Carter signs a bill into law that authorizes the minting of the Susan B. Anthony dollar
- October 14 - Daniel arap Moi becomes president of Kenya.
- October 16 - Karol Wojtyla becomes Pope John Paul II
- November 3 - Dominica gains its independence from the United Kingdom
- November 5 - Riots and demonstrations in Tehran - British embassy sacked
- November 7 - Indira Gandhi re-elected to Indian parliament.
- November 18 - Jonestown mass suicide: In Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones leads his People's Temple in a mass murder-suicide; 913 die, including 276 children.
- November 19 - the first US Take Back the Night march occurs in San Francisco
- November 20 - Military coup in Spain fails.
- November 27 - In San Francisco, California, city mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.
- November 30 - Publication of The Times suspended - industrial relations problems until November 13 1979
- December 4 - Following the murder of Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein becomes San Francisco, California's first woman mayor (she served until Friday, January 8, 1988).
- December 11 - Lufthansa Heist - Six men rob a Lufthansa cargo facility in NY Kennedy airport
- December 11- Massive anti-Shah demonstration in Iran - 2 million demonstrators.
- December 13 - First Susan B. Anthony dollar enters circulation
- December 25 - Vietnam launches a major offensive against Khmer Rouge of Cambodia
- Wednesday, December 27, 1978 - Spanish Constitution approved in referendum officially ending 40 years of military dictatorship.
- President of Mexican town of Coacalaco, [[Jos� Ramon del Cuet]], is forced to eat 12 pounds of bananas and then resign.
- Hillside Strangler in Los Angeles.
- Usu-volcano erupts in Japan
- The Eagles' 5-star record, Hotel California was nominated for a Grammy award
- Fleetwood Mac's 5-star record, Rumours was nominated for a Grammy award
- Artificial insulin
- David Rorvik claims he has participated in a creation of a human clone in his book In His Image
- Abortion legalized in Italy for first time
Year in topic
- 1978 in film
- March - Leigh Brackett completes the first draft for the Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back
- September - George Lucas purchases Bulltail Ranch, on Lucas Valley Road, for the development of Skywalker Ranch.
- The Deer Hunter, starring Robert Deniro
- National Lampoon's Animal House starring John Belushi
- Halloween, starring Jamie Lee Curtis (debut)
- US Supreme Court lists words that should not be used in movies.
- 1978 in literature
- 1978 in music
- 1978 in sports
- 1978 in television
- January 1 - Alex Leigh, British model
- January 28 - Gianluigi Buffon, Italian football star
- February 7 - Ashton Kutcher, actor
- February 14 - Richard Hamilton, basketball player
- February 20 - Jakki Degg, British model
- March - Tony Chang
- March 21 - Kevin Federline, American dancer
- March 23 - Nicholle Tom, actress
- April 9 - Jorge Andrade, football player
- May 1 - Matt Lovato, bass musician of Mest
- May 9 - Marwan al-Shehhi, citizen of the United Arab Emirates, hijacker and alleged terrorist
- May 12 - Jason Biggs, actor (American Pie)
- May 13 - Mike Bibby, basketball player
- May 13 - Barry Zito, baseball pitcher
- May 22 - Jordan (model)
- June 1 - Danielle Harris, voice actress in The Wild Thornberrys
- June 19 - Dirk Nowitzki, German NBA star
- June 22 - Dan Wheldon, IRL race car driver
- July 9 - Linda Park, actress (Star Trek: Enterprise)
- August 23 - Kobe Bryant, NBA star
- August 24 - Rafael Furcal, Major League Baseball All-Star
- September 12 - Ruben Studdard, singer
- September 22 - Harry Kewell, Australian football player
- September 29 - Kurt Nilsen, Pop idol
- October 13 - Jermaine O'Neal, NBA basketball player
- October 14 - Usher Raymond, R&B musician
- October 20 - Virender Sehwag, Indian cricketer
- November 9 - Sisqo, rap singer and actor
- November 25 - Shina Ringo, Japanese singer and musician
- November 30 - Clay Aiken, singer
- December 1 - Brad Delson, lead guitar musician of Linkin Park
- December 2 - Nelly Furtado, singer, songwriter
- December 8 - Vernon Wells, baseball player
- December 9 - Jesse Metcalfe, soap actor
- December 23 - [[V�ctor Mart�nez]], Venezuelan baseball player
- ? - Kris Roe, guitar musician and vocals of The Ataris
- January 13 - Hubert H. Humphrey, U.S Vice President and Senator
- January 13 - Joe McCarthy, baseball manager
- January 14 - [[Kurt G�del]], US mathematician
- January 14 - Harold Abrahams, British athlete
- January 23 - Jack Oakie, actor
- January 23 - Terry Kath, musician ("Chicago (band)")
- February 4 - Bergen Evans, television host
- February 11 - James B Conant, headmaster of Harvard University.
- February 27 - Vadim Salmanov, composer
- March 18 - Leigh Brackett, science fiction author
- March 19 - Gaston Julia, mathematician (Julia Sets)
- March 21 - [[Cearbhall � D�laigh]], fifth President of Ireland
- March 31 - Charles Best, medical scientist
- May 1 - Aram Khachaturian, composer
- May 9 - Aldo Moro, former Prime Minister of Italy
- May 14 - Robert Menzies, twelfth Prime Minister of Australia
- May 22 - Joe Colombo, gangster - he had been in coma since the assassination attempt
- July 30 - Umberto Nobile, Italian aviator
- August 2 - [[Carlos Ch�vez]], composer
- August 6 - Pope Paul VI; heart attack
- August 21 - Charles Eames, American architect and designer
- August 22 - Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyan statesman
- August 26 - Charles Boyer, actor
- September 7 - Keith Moon, drummer of The Who; drug overdose.
- September 9 - Jack Warner, Hollywood studio founder
- September 11 - Georgi Markov, Bulgarian dissident; assassinated with a poisoned umbrella. Dies 4 days later.
- September 15 - Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft engineer
- September 19 - Carl Bridgewater, 13 year old newspaper boy shot dead in burglary.
- September 28 - Pope John Paul I
- October 10 - Ralph Metcalfe, American athlete
- October 22 - Anastas Mikojan, Soviet politician
- November 6 - Harry Bertoia, Italian artist and designer (b. 1915)
- November 15 - Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist
- December 8 - Golda Meir, former Prime Minister of Israel
- December 10 - Ed Wood, American filmmaker (b. 1924)
- December 27 - [[Houari Boum�di�nne]], president of Algeria.
- ? - Walter C. Alvarez
- Physics - Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, Arno Allan Penzias, Robert Woodrow Wilson
- Chemistry - Peter D Mitchell
- Medicine - Werner Arber, Daniel Nathans, Hamilton O Smith
- Literature -Isaac Bashevis Singer
- Peace - Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat and Menachem Begin
- Economics - Herbert Simonaf:1978
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