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1978 History, Trivia and Fun Facts
1978 History Snapshot
World Series Champions
|New York Yankees|
Superbowl XII Champions
National Basketball Association Champions
NHL Stanley Cup Champions
US Open Golf
US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)
|Jimmy Connors/Christine Marie Evert|
|Bjorn Borg/Martina Navratilova|
FIFA World Cup Soccer
|Alabama & USC|
NCAA Football Champions
NCAA Basketball Champions
|Orange Bowl: January 2, 1978 - Arkansas over
Rose Bowl: January 2, 1978 - Washington over Michigan
Sugar Bowl : January 2, 1978 - Alabama over Ohio State
Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog
Time Magazine's Man of the Year
|Susan Perkins (Columbus, OH)|
|Judi Anderson (Hawaii)|
Fashion Icons and Movie Stars
|Kim Alexis, Loni Anderson, Barbara Bach, Adrienne Barbeau, Kim Basinger, Candice Bergen, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Carol Burnett, Valerie Bertinelli, Dyan Cannon, Gia Carangi, Lynda Carter, Angie Dickinson, Janice Dickinson, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Karen Graham, Shelley Hack, Debbie Harry, Kate Jackson,. Marilu Henner, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Maria João, Cheryl Ladd, Audrey Landers, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Bernadette Peters, Suzanne Pleshette, Victoria Principal, Diana Ross, Jane Seymour, Brooke Shields, Jacquelyn Smith, Suzanne Somers, Donna Summer, Cheryl Tiegs, Lindsay Wagner, Mary Woronov|
|"My advice to you is to start drinking heavily"
- John Belushi in National Lampoon's Animal House
"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son"
- John Vernon in National Lampoon's Animal House
"Za Plane! Za Plane Boss!"
-Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize)
Robin Williams as Mork (from Ork)
"Toga! Toga! Toga"
- John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky, in National Lampoon's Animal House
"We're From France"
-The Coneheads, on Saturday Night Live
"Here’s to good friends."
- Lowenbrau beer
When songwriter Allee Willis heard Earth, Wind & Fire's lyrics for her song September, she was initially put off by meaningless 'ba-dee-ya's in the chorus. She later said she learned her greatest lesson from it, which was to "never let the lyric get in the way of the groove".
Pilot Fredrick Valentich and his plane disappeared during a UFO encounter. His last communication was "Melbourne that strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again... (two seconds open microphone)... it is hovering and it's not an aircraft..."
Terry Kath from the band Chigaco's last words were "Don't worry about it ... look, the clip is not even in it" - just before putting a pistol to his temple and pulling the trigger.
"The opera ain't over until the fat lady sings".
- NBA coach Dick Motta NBA coach Dick Motta
1978 Pop Culture History
Prior to 1978, the National Weather Service only used female names
for hurricanes because they were viewed by the all male staff
as most appropriate for the unpredictable and dangerous storms.
A study titled "Where
Are They Now?" in 1978 followed up on 515 people who were
prevented from attempting suicide using the Golden Gate Bridge from
1937 to 1971. About 90% were either alive or had died of natural
causes, concluding "suicidal behavior is crisis-oriented"
rather than inexorable.
RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News
|The FBI set up "Abdul Enterprises, Ltd."
and posed as Middle Eastern businessmen. They videotaped talks with
government officials, where they offered money in return for political
favors to a fictional middle eastern businessman. 11 US government
officials were out of a job after this bribery and conspiracy scandal.
There has been some debate about 3M's Post-it notes. The product was used in a marketing campaign in 1978 as 'Post N Peel' , and sold nationally in 1980 as 'Post-it Notes.' New products are in 'test mode' all the time. We say 1980.
Sir Dingle Foot, British MP, died in 1978 after choking on a bone in a chicken sandwich. Also, someone was actually named Dingle Foot.
12 year-old Brooke Shields starred in R-rated Pretty Baby.
In 1978 California passed Prop 13 which declared property tax levels permanently at 1975 values, and could only increase each year at a max of 2% inflation. Property values could only be reassessed upon ownership change, in essence, allowing owners to always pay at 1975 valuations, even today.
A US Navy ship, the USS Stein (FF-1065) was attacked by an unknown species of giant squid. Nearly all of the cuts found on the sonar dome contained remnants of sharp, curved claws found on suction cups of squid tentacles. The claws were much larger than those of any squid that had been discovered at that time.
Martha Moxley, a 15-year-old girl, was beaten to death, with the primary suspects in the murder being Kennedy cousins Thomas and Michael Skakel. Although Michael Skakel was overheard in 1978 stating, "I'm going to get away with murder. I'm a Kennedy", it was not until 2002 that he was convicted.
The Twinkie Defense appeared. Dan White killed Harvey Milk and George Moscone. The jury agreed that he had diminished mental capacity from eating too many twinkies.
The Canadian Museum of Nature fabricated a heist story to cover up the fact that they'd misplaced their Goodwill Moon Rock. The story was only given to one person- Jaymie Matthews, who'd delivered it 4 years earlier. He later found it in 2000 in a giant warehouse for museum exhibits.
Charlie Chaplin's body was stolen and held for ransom. His widow refused to pay ransom demands of £400,000 because "Charlie would have thought it ridiculous." The body was found 11 weeks later.
A Bulgarian Dissident Writer named Georgi Markov was waiting at a bus stop in London when he felt what he thought was a bug bite. Three days later he died, having been shot in the leg with a sophisticated umbrella-gun loaded with a bullet containing ricin poison.
Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols alluded to the sordid conduct by Jimmy Savile in a 1978 BBC Radio 1 interview.
Don't drink the Kool-Aid! Jim Jones got 909 of his cult followers to commit suicide (including many children) by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid in his Jonestown commune.
Janet Parker, a British photographer, was the last person to die of smallpox. She died in 1978, many months after the disease was eradicated in the wild. She contracted the deadly disease when a researcher at the laboratory where Parker worked accidentally released some virus into the building.
Soviet Geologists found the LyKovs, a family of six, surviving in the middle of Siberia who hadn't seen another human since 1936.
Kurt Gödel, a mathematician, logician, and philosopher often compared to Aristotle, who was so afraid of being poisoned the he would only eat food his wife cooked. When his wife had to be hospitalized for 6 months, he refused to eat and died of starvation in 1978.
The Unabomber sent his first bomb to Professor Buckley Crist at Northwestern University. Result: slight injury to officer Terry Markman.
Rock Star Death: Keith Moon (accidental overdose of perscription medication)
A computer "testing malfunction" caused the United State's Defense System to go from an "at ease" DEFCON 1 to a "fire up the missiles" DEFCON 5.
The expression "Drinking the Kool-Aid" is a reference to a 1978 mass suicide in which over 900 members of the Peoples Temple, a religious cult led by Jim Jones, drank a cyanide-laced beverage together. The drink in question was actually Flavor Aid, not Kool-Aid.
Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts
APF-M1000 Game Console, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Simon, Coleco released the Telstar Gemini, the Telstar Colortron, and the Telstar Marksman
Country Living began publication
Watching Grease, and singing along.
Reading Chesapeake by James A. Michener
1978/79 Biggest Television Shows
|(according to Nielsen
1. Laverne & Shirley (ABC)
2. Three's Company (ABC)
3. Mork & Mindy (ABC)
4. Happy Days (ABC)
5. Angie (ABC)
6. 60 Minutes (CBS)
7. M*A*S*H (CBS)
8. The Ropers (ABC)
9. All In The Family (CBS)
10. Taxi (ABC)
Popular Music Artists
|The Biggest Pop Artists of 1978 include
Abba, Andy Gibb, Anne Murray, Ashford & Simpson, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, The Bee Gees, Billy Joel, Chic, The Commodores, Con Funk Shun, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Debby Boone, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, The Eagles, Earth, Wind & Fire, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), The Emotions, Evelyn 'Champagne' King, Fleetwood Mac, Foreignor, George Benson, George Duke, Geey Rafferty, Heatwave, Jefferson Starship, John Travolta, Johnny Mathis, KC & the Sunshine Band, Kiss, Leo Sayer, Linda Ronstadt, LTD (Love, Togetherness and Devotion), Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr, Olivia Newton-John, Parliament/ Funkadelic, Paul Davis, Paul McCartney & Wings, Player, Quincy Jones, Roberta Flack, Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, Rose Royce, Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn, Shaun Cassidy, Smokey Robinson, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergast
(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)
Number One Hits of 1978
|December 24, 1977 - January 13, 1978: Bee Gees - How
Deep Is Your Love
January 14, 1978 - February 3, 1978: Player - Baby Come Back
February 4, 1978 - March 3, 1978: Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive
March 4, 1978 - March 17, 1978: Andy Gibb - (Love Is) Thicker Than Water
March 18, 1978 - May 12, 1978: Bee Gees - Night Fever
May 13, 1978 - May 19, 1978: Yvonne Elliman - If I Can't Have You
May 20, 1978 - June 2, 1978: Wings - With a Little Luck
June 3, 1978 - June 9, 1978: Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams - Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
June 10, 1978 - June 16, 1978: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John - You're the One That I Want
June 17, 1978 - August 4, 1978: Andy Gibb - Shadow Dancing
August 5, 1978 - August 11, 1978: The Rolling Stones - Miss You
August 12, 1978 - August 25, 1978: Commodores - Three Times a Lady
August 26, 1978 - September 8, 1978: Frankie Valli - Grease
September 9, 1978 - September 29, 1978: A Taste of Honey - Boogie Oogie Oogie
September 30, 1978 - October 27, 1978: Exile - Kiss You All Over
October 28, 1978 - November 3, 1978: Nick Gilder - Hot Child in the City
November 4, 1978 - November 10, 1978: Anne Murray - You Needed Me
November 11, 1978 - December 1, 1978: Donna Summer - MacArthur Park
December 2, 1978 - December 8, 1978: Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond - You Don't Bring Me Flowers
December 9, 1978 - January 5, 1979: Chic - Le Freak
|An Unmarried Woman, Animal House, The Buddy Holly Story, Coming Home, Dawn of the Dead, Days of Heaven, The Deer Hunter, Grease, Halloween, Heaven Can Wait, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Jaws 2, La Cage aux Folles, The Last Waltz, Midnight Express, Superman: The Movie, Up in Smoke, Watership Down|
More Pop Culture History Resources
|Popular Music in 1978
# 1 Hits of 1978
|Pop Culture News|
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pop, as in 'popular' :(adjective) Pertaining to the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class.
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