Inflation continues in the U.S. as prices rise 12.4%.....British unemployment rises above 2 million for the first time since 1935, and reaches 2.5 million by year's end.....West Germany's currency deficit reaches $14.2 billion, nearly triple that of last year.....Poland's debts to Western lenders rises to $23 billion while its industrial production falls 1.3% due to labor unrest.....U.S. personal bankruptcies number 367,000, up from 209,500 last year.....Due largely to oil imports, Japan has a record trade deficit of $14.4 billion for the year.....Time-Life launches a new monthly science magazine entitled Discover in October.....Coca Cola Co, the world's largest user of sugar, switches to high fructose corn syrup when world sugar prices soar to 24c per lb, up 60% from 1979.
1/4 -- President Jimmy Carter limits American grain sales to the USSR to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a week before. Ten days later, the UN General Assembly approves a resolution calling for the removal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
1/6 -- India's former prime minister, Indira Gandhi, regains power in an election victory orchestrated by her son Sanjay, who has been convicted on a criminal charge for illegally profiting from a state project to produce cheap automobiles.
2/2 -- A 36-hour riot begins at the New Mexico State Penitentiary outside Santa Fe. The riot will end with 33 inmates dead and 100 seriously wounded, most at the hands of fellow inmates.
2/11 -- Ferdinand Marcos admits that his party used fraud and terrorism to steal the election held the previous month in the Philippines.
3/7 -- RTP (Portuguese Television) began regular broadcast in color , after some technical experiences, however most of the population still did not have color devices.
3/23 -- The deposed Shah of Iran leaves Panama for Cairo, accepting an invitation for medical treatment and sactuary by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
3/24 -- Archbishop Oscar Romero, a vocal defender of human rights in strife-torn El Salvador is assassinated while saying mass in a San Salvador church. Thirty people are killed by bombs and sniper fire during his funeral six days later.
3/27 -- Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington erupts for the first time since 1857. Another eruption will occur on May 18, killing 34 persons.
3/28 -- The Shah of Iran's enlarged spleen and part of his liver are removed by surgeons in Cairo.
3/31 -- Dies in Tucson, Arizona, United States, Jesse Owens, immortalized by beating six world records in athletics in 1935 in just 45 minutes, the year after, in 1936 becomes quadruple Olympic champion in the Olympic Games in Berlin.
4/2 -- Major U.S. banks increase their prime lending rate to a record high 20%.
4/12 -- Liberian President William R. Tolbert, Jr. is ousted by a military coup and executed, with 27 high officials.
4/15 -- Dies in Paris, France, Jean-Paul Sartre, writer, philosopher and one of the leading exponents of existentialism.
4/17 -- After years of civil war, the former British colony of Rhodesia gains independence as Zimbabwe, with a government headed by Marxist Robert Mugabe, who promises fair treatment for the country's 230,000 white residents.
4/21 -- Beginning on this date, 125,262 Cubans leave their country, with most heading for the United States. This mass migration will end September 26, when Fidel Castro shuts down the port of Mariel; an estimated 375,000 would-be-emigrants are stranded.
4/25 -- An American military mission to rescue the 52 hostages held at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran fails, and eight crewmen are killed when a helicopter collides with a C-130 cargo plane at a location known as "Desert One," 300 miles southeast of Teheran.
4/25 -- A "people's redemptive council" suspends the Liberian constitution and names General (formerly Master-Sergeant) Samuel K. Doe, 28, president.
4/29 -- Sir Alfred Hitchcock was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1980 New Year's Honours. Although he had adopted American citizenship in 1956, he was entitled to use the title "Sir" because he had remained a British subject. Hitchcock died just four months later, before he could be formally invested.
4/30 -- Queen Juliana of the Netherlands abdicates on her 71st birthday and is succeeded by her daughter, Beatrix, 42, after reigning for 32 years. Beatrix is married to a former officer in the German SS. There are demonstrations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
5/4 -- Yugoslavia's President Josip Broz Tito dies, age 87. His passing raises fears that Yugoslavia will splinter into the old states of Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Herzogovina.
5/18 -- Mount St. Helens in Washington State erupts, killing scores of people and blocking the Columbia River with 51 million cubic yards of dirt and rock.
5/18 -- Ian Curtis was the singer, lyricist, occasional guitarist, and one of the songwriters in the English post-punk band Joy Division. Suffering from epilepsy, a failing marriage, and bouts of depression, Curtis committed suicide in May 1980, on the eve of Joy Division's first North American tour.
6/1 -- Cable News Network (CNN) goes in the air.
6/3 -- Nearly 5,000 Cuban refugees reach the U.S., bringing the total since April 21 to over 100,000, including thousands of criminals.
6/12 -- Japan's Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira dies.
6/22 -- Zenko Suzuki, 66, becomes prime minister of Japan.
6/23 -- Sanjay Gandhi, son of India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, dies, along with a flight instructor, in a plane crash.
6/27 -- The Canadian House of Commons officially adopts "Oh, Canada" as the national anthem.
6/30 -- The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Hyde Amendment, ruling that state and federal governments have no obligation to pay for abortions.
7/26 -- The deposed Shah of Iran dies of cancer, age 60, ending the Pahlevi dynasty that had ruled Iran since 1921.
7/30 -- Vanuatu, formerly the New Hebrides, gains independence after 93 years of joint British and French colonial rule.
8/14 -- Shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland, quit working in protest of rising meat prices. The strike soon includes 350,000 workers who demand the right to form self-governing unions independent of the ruling Communist Party. They are led by 37-year-old electrician Lech Walesa.
8/26 -- Tex Avery, cartoonist, the creator of Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, died In Los Angeles.
8/31 -- Hurrican David hits the Dominican Republic, killing more than 600 people, leaving 150,000 homeless, and causing $1 billion in damage.
9/1 -- Poland's Solidarity, with 10 million members, becomes the first independent labor union in the Soviet bloc. Polish Communist Party leader Edward Gierek is ousted, replaced by Stanislaw Kania. The Soviet Union masses 55 divisions within striking distance of Poland.
9/17 -- Anastasio Somoza, president of Nicaragua for 23 years before being forced to flee that country in 1979, is assassinated in Asuncion, Paraguay, by gunmen who fire a bazooka and machineguns into Somoza's Mercedes.
9/18 -- Cuba arrests the two former refugees who had hijacked a Delta Airlines jet in South Carolina and returns them to the United States.
9/22 -- Iranian and Iraqi air and naval forces clash as a conflict over disputed territory escalates into a war that will last most of the decade.
9/23 -- Iraqi troops cross the border and lay siege to the important Iranian oil refinery at Abadan.
9/25 -- The Goschenen-Airolo Tunnel in Switzerland - at 10 miles the longest road tunnel in the world - is opened. The project took 11 years, cost $420 million and 19 lives.
10/24 -- Solidarity, the new independent federation of Polish trade unions is given legal status by a Warsaw court.
11/4 -- Republican Ronald Reagan wins the American presidency, defeating Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter. The Republicans also take control of the U.S. Senate for the first time since 1956.
11/12 -- The Voyager I passes close to Saturn during her 3-year, 1.3 billion mile journey, making new discoveries regarding the planet's moons and rings.
11/21 -- A fire in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas claims the lives of 84 people. Helicopters lift more than one thousand guests to safety from the rooftop. The hotel had no smoke alarms.
11/23 -- An earthquake in southern Italy claims thousands of lives.
12/8 -- Mark David Chapman shoots and kills John Lennon outside New York City's Dakota apartment building.
12/04 -- The prime minister of Portugal, Sá Carneiro, died in a plane crash, shortly after takeoff from Lisbon airport. Besides Sá Carneiro, also died in this accident Adelino Amaro da Costa, Minister of Defense at the time.
12/19 -- Major U.S. banks raise their prime lending rate to 21.5%, a new record. The U.S. economy continues to suffer from rising inflation and high unemployment.