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World Events
  • Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot becomes prime minister (and virtual dictator) of Cambodia after Prince Sihanouk steps down (April 2).

  • Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda's Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in raid (July 4).

  • 19-month civil war ends in Lebanon after threatening to escalate to global level (Nov.).
U.S. Events
  • US Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24).

  • Ford signs Federal Election Campaign Act (May 11).

  • US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment (July 3).

  • Nation celebrates Bicentennial (July 4).

  • Mysterious disease strikes American Legion convention in Philadelphia, eventually claiming 29 lives (Aug. 4).

  • Jimmy Carter elected US President (Nov. 2).
Economics
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US GDP (1998 dollars):   $1,819.00 billion
Federal spending:   $371.79 billion
Federal debt:   $629.0 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
$12,686
Consumer Price Index:   56.9
Unemployment:   7.7%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.13

Sports
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Super Bowl
Pittsburgh d. Dallas (21-17)

World Series
Cincinnati d. NY Yankees (4-0)

NBA Championship
Boston d. Phoenix (4-2)

Stanley Cup
Montreal d. Philadelphia (4-0)

Wimbledon
Women: Chris Evert d. E. Cawley (6-3 4-6 8-6)
Men: Bjorn Borg d. I. Nastase (6-4 6-2 9-7)

Kentucky Derby Champion
Bold Forbes

NCAA Basketball Championship
Indiana d. Michigan (86-68)

NCAA Football Champions
Pittsburgh (12-0-0)

Entertainment
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Events

  • The Steadicam is used for the first time in Rocky.

  • Philip Glass completes Einstein on the Beach, the first widely known example of minimalist composition.

  • NBC broadcasts Gone with the Wind and scores record-breaking ratings.

Movies

  • Rocky, Taxi Driver, Network, All the President's Men

Music

  • Philip Glass Einstein on the Beach,

Books

  • Raymond Carver, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?

  • Judith Guest, Ordinary People

  • Alex Haley, Roots

  • Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior

  • Robert Lowell, Selected Poems

  • Gabriel García Márquez, Autumn of the Patriarch

  • Gore Vidal, 1876



Science
  • Air France and British Airways begin the first regularly scheduled commercial supersonic transport (SST) flights. Background: Famous Firsts in Aviation

  • Viking I lands on Mars. Background: US Unstaffed Planetary and Lunar Programs

  • The US Navy tests the Tomahawk cruise missile.

  • Richard Leakey discovers a 1.5 million year old Homo erectus skull in Kenya. Background: human evolution

  • Cosmic string theory first postulated by Thomas Kibble. Background: Astronomy



Deaths
  • Agatha Christie

  • Andre Malraux

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