Timeline 1981

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1981        Jan 1, The Federal Hourly Minimum Wage was raised from $3.10 to $3.35 an hour.
1981        Jan 1, Roger Smith (b.1925) took office as chairman and CEO of GM.
    (WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)(http://tinyurl.com/2pvqps)
1981        Jan 1, Children born from this day on were considered to be part of "Generation Y," as opposed to "Generation X," born between 1966 and 1979, which followed the baby boomers.
    (WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A1)(Econ, 6/1/13, p.58)
1981        Jan 1, Greece joined the European Union. It joined the Eurozone on Jan 1, 2001, allowing it to be among the first group of countries that issued euro banknotes on Jan 1, 2002.

1981        Jan 2, "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe (b.1946), murderer of 13 women, was arrested on a traffic violation. On Jan 4 he declared he was the ripper and charges were filed on Jan 6. Stuart Kind (d.2003), a leading forensic biologist, helped British police crack the "Yorkshire Ripper" serial murder case. Sutcliffe was convicted on May 22 on 13 counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison. In 2003 Michael Bilton authored “Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper."
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Sutcliffe)(AP, 4/30/03)

1981        Jan 3,  John Lennon’s (Just Like) Starting Over and the album Double Fantasy topped the pop music charts just weeks after the death of the former Beatle.

1981        Jan 4, "The Official Preppy Handbook" topped the NY Times trade paperback best seller list for a 2nd week and remained on the list for 65 weeks.
    (SFC, 7/20/00, p.C2)

1981        Jan 5, Berkeley police arrested 8 demonstrators protesting against draft registration. The protest was one of the largest across the country as a 2nd round of draft registration began.
    (SFC, 12/30/05, p.F2)
1981        Jan 5, Harold C. Urey (b.1893), US chemist (Deuterium, Nobel 1934), died.

1981        Jan 6, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown led some 500 fruit pickers in Santa Clara County to help strip backyard fruit in the campaign against the Mediterranean fruit fly.
    (SFC, 1/6/06, p.F2)

1981        Jan 6, The James M. Nederlander organization announced that it has taken over the SF Orpheum Theater bringing an end to the 43-year-old SF Civic Light Opera.
    (SFC, 1/6/06, p.F2)

1981        Jan 7, An operational and planning assistance team (OPAT) arrived in El Salvador to provide assistance in protecting the harvest from the guerrillas. By the end of the Carter Administration, nineteen US military advisors had been deployed there.

1981            Jan 8, The "Pirates of Penzance" opened at the Uris Theater, NYC, for 772 performances. Linda Ronstadt (b.1946) debuted Mabel.
1981        Jan 8, Terri Winchell (17) was beaten, raped and stabbed to death in San Joaquin County, Ca. Michael Morales (31) was convicted in the murder and was slated for execution in 2006. Morales said he was enlisted by his cousin, Ricky Ortega, who had learned that Winchell was having an affair with Ortega’s male lover. Morales' original execution date of February 21, 2006, was postponed as a result of two court-appointed anesthesiologists withdrawing from the procedure.
    (SFC, 1/28/06, p.B2)(SFC, 2/7/06, p.B3)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Morales)
1981        Jan 8, Resorts around Lake Tahoe offered limited skiing and businesses suffered from a late start in the skiing season. It was the latest start since the 1976-77 drought.
    (SFC, 1/6/06, p.F2)

1981        Jan 9, The SF Civil Service Commission prepared a new city policy requiring criminal record checks of all applicants certified for civil service jobs.
    (SFC, 1/6/06, p.F2)

1981        Jan 11, The Oakland Raiders defeated the San Diego Charges 34-27 in the AFC championship game.

1981        Jan 12, The US District Court in SF sentenced Joseph Bonanno Sr. (75), the reputed NY mafia boss, to serve 5 years in prison. Bonanno was released from prison July 29, 1984.
    (SFC, 1/6/06, p.F2)(www.upi.com/inc/view.php?StoryID=12052002-011843-1177r)
1981        Jan 12, In Iowa Richard Huntbach (85) and wife Goldie (77) were found shot to death in their home in Waterloo. On May 10, 2012, Jack Wendell Pursel (66) turned himself in to police and confessed to the killing saying he had become a Christian. Months after the Waterloo killings, Pursel began serving a 21-year sentence for two sex offenses; however, he was paroled in 1992. He was completely discharged from his sentence in September of 1995. On June 7, 2012 Pursel pleaded guilty to the Waterloo murders and was sentenced to life in prison.
    (http://tinyurl.com/7pbnbaf)(SFC, 6/8/12, p.A8)

1981        Jan 14, The US FCC freed radio stations to air as many commercials an hour as they wished.

1981        Jan 15, The "Hill Street Blues" premiered on NBC-TV. It ran to 1987.
    (SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.39)(www.imdb.com/title/tt0081873/)
1981        Jan 15, Emanuel Celler (92), (Rep-D-NY, 1923-73), died.

1981        Jan 16, Leon Spinks b.1953), former heavyweight boxing champion (1978), was mugged. His assailants even took his gold teeth.
1981        Jan 16, In Northern Ireland, Protestant gunmen shot and wounded Irish nationalist leader Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and her husband.
    (AP, 1/16/01)

1981        Jan 18, Wendy O. Williams (1949-1998), lead singer for the punk band the Plasmatics, was arrested in Milwaukee for on-stage obscenity.

1981        Jan 19, The United States and Iran signed an agreement paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months. Iran signed after accepting a US offer for the return of $7.9 billion in frozen assets.
    (AP, 1/19/98)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-United_States_Claims_Tribunal)

1981        Jan 20, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president of the US. He inherited 10% inflation and 20% interest rates.
    (AP, 1/20/98)(WSJ, 8/15/96, p.A12)
1981        Jan 20, Iran released 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. In 2015 The US Congress authorized the payment of $4.4 million to Americans held hostage by Iran from Nov. 4, 1979, to Jan. 20, 1981, – or $10,000 for each day of captivity – to the surviving members of that ordeal and their families. As of 2021 full payment had not been made.
    (AP, 1/20/98)(USA Today, 8/14/21)

1981        Jan 23, Samuel Osborne Barber II (b.1910), American composer of classical music, died. His work ranged from orchestral, to opera, choral, and piano music. His Adagio for Strings, composed in 1936 and first performed in 1938, became his most famous composition.
1981        Jan 23, Under international pressure, opposition leader Kim Dae Jung’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in Seoul.
    (HN, 1/23/99)

1981        Jan 25, The 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States.
    (AP, 1/25/99)
1981        Jan 25, In China Jiang Qing (1914-1991), Mao's widow, received a suspended death sentence.

1981        Jan 27, President Reagan greeted the 52 former American hostages released by Iran, telling them during a visit to the White House: "Welcome home."
    (AP, 1/27/98)
1981        Jan 27, The Indonesian passenger ship Tamponas II caught fire and sank in Java sea killing 580 people.
    (AP, 2/3/06)

1981        Jan 28, William J. Casey (1913-1987) became the 13th director of CIA replacing Adm. Stansfield Turner.

1981        Jan 29, Pres. Reagan’s executive order 12288 terminated wage and price controls.

1981        Jan 30, An estimated two million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the freed American hostages from Iran.
    (AP, 1/30/02)

1981        Jan 31, Lech Walesa announced an accord in Poland, giving labor Saturdays off.
    (HN, 1/31/99)

1981        Jan, In northern California Kevin Thorp (21) and Laura Craig (20) were kidnapped by three men in Lassen County. Over the next few days they were both shot and killed. Norman Thomas later testified against Joseph Shelton and Benjamin Wai Silva.
    (SFC, 8/13/15, p.D4)

1981        Feb 5, A military jury in North Carolina convicted Marine Pvt. 1st Class Robert Garwood of collaborating with the enemy while a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Garwood was dishonorably discharged.
    (AP, 2/5/06)

1981        Feb 6, Beatles McCartney, Starr & Harrison recorded "All Those Years Ago," a tribute to John Lennon.

1981        Feb 8, Scott Hamilton won the US male Figure Skating championship.

1981        Feb 9, Bill Haley (b.1925), vocalist (Rock Around Clock), died of heart attack. Haley was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

1981        Feb 10, Eight people were killed, 198 injured, when fire broke out at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino.
    (AP, 2/10/97)

1981        Feb 14, Phoolan Devi led a massacre of 22 high-caste men in the village of Behmai. A film was later made about her life titled "The Bandit Queen."
    (WSJ, 8/3/01, p.A6)(AP, 8/14/14)
1981        Feb 14, In Ireland a blaze in a Dublin dance hall killed 48 people.
    (AP, 10/10/15)

1981        Feb 15, A rocket-powered ice sled attained 399 kph on Lake George, NY.
    (440 Int’l., 2/15/99)

1981        Feb 17, Pope John Paul II met with President Marcos in Manila.
    (HN, 2/17/98)

1981        Feb 19, The U.S. State Department called El Salvador a "textbook case" of a Communist plot.
    (HN, 2/19/98)
1981        Feb 19, George Harrison was ordered to pay ABKCO Music $587,000 for "subconscious plagiarism" in "My Sweet Lord" with "He's So Fine." The word plagiarism derives from Latin roots: plagiarius, an abductor; and plagiare, to steal.  An example of plagiarism would be copying this definition and pasting it straight into a report. Plagiarism is a very ancient art. Shakespeare stole most of his historical plots directly from Holinshed. Laurence Sterne and Samuel Taylor Coleridge were both accused of plagiarism. Oscar Wilde was repeatedly accused of plagiarism, hence the celebrated exchange with Whistler: "I wish I'd said that, James." "Don't worry, Oscar, you will."
    (http://digital-law-online.info/cases/221PQ490.htm)(Nature News from Jake Sigg, 9/10/09)

1981        Feb 20, Space shuttle Columbia cleared the final major hurdle to its maiden launch by firing fired its three engines in a 20-second test.
    (AP, 2/20/00)

1981        Feb 21, Charles Rocket (1949-2005) clearly said "fuck" on Saturday Night Live.
1981        Feb 21, A bombing in Munich of Radio Free Europe injured 9 people. Romania’s Pres. Ceausescu ordered Gen. Ion Pacepa to find temporary shelter for Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos the Jackal, in Romania after the bombing. Ceausescu sold arms and explosives to Ramirez and enabled him to produce counterfeit passports and driver's licenses.
    (AP, 9/30/09)(www.hoover.org/publications/digest/3475896.html)

1981        Feb 23, An attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard and some of the military invaded the Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. The attempt, led by Colonel Antonio Tejero, collapsed 18 hours later. King Juan Carlos spoke to the nation on behalf of democracy and the coup collapsed. In 2011 Javier Cercas authored “The Anatomy of a Moment: Thirty-Five minutes in History and Imagination," an examination of the coup attempt.
    (SFC, 11/12/96, p.A12)(AP, 2/23/98)(Econ, 2/4/06, p.48)(Econ, 3/26/11, p.96)

1981        Feb 24, A jury in White Plains, New York, found Jean Harris guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of "Scarsdale Diet" author Dr. Herman Tarnower.
    (AP, 2/24/01)
1981        Feb 24, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain's Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
    (AP, 2/24/98)

1981            Feb 26, Howard Hanson (84), classical composer, teacher and conductor, died in Rochester, New York. His Symphony No. 4 ("Requiem"), written in memory of his father, won the 1944 Pulitzer Prize. He was born in Wahoo, Nebraska on October 28, 1896.
1981        Feb 26, The French Trainset 16 averaged 380 kph as part of Operation TGV 100.
1981        Feb 26, Three British Anglican missionaries, detained in Iran since August 1980, were released.

1981        Feb, John King (1917-2005), at the behest of PM Margaret Thatcher, became chairman of British Airways with a brief to clean the company up for privatization. Over the next 12 years he steered the company to profitability.
    (Econ, 7/16/05, p.54)(http://tinyurl.com/3xl527)
1981        Feb, In Uganda Yoweri Museveni, and his armed supporters declared themselves the National Resistance Army (NRA). Museveni led a five-year bush war against Milton Obote. Museveni had trained in a Libya guerrilla camp.
    (http://countrystudies.us/uganda/12.htm)(SFC, 5/11/96, p.A-8)(AP, 12/16/02)

1981        Mar 1, "Sophisticated Ladies" opened at Lunt-Fontanne in NYC for 767 performances.
1981        Mar 1, Roberto C. Goizueta (d.1997) was named CEO of Coca-Cola. Under his direction Coke’s value increased from $5 billion to $150 billion.
    (SFEC,10/19/97, p.C11)
1981        Mar 1, Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands began a hunger strike at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland; he died 65 days later.
    (AP, 3/1/00)

1981        Mar 2, The United States planned to send 20 more advisors and $25 million in military aid to El Salvador.
    (HN, 3/2/99)
1981        Mar 2, A Pakistan Airways Boeing 720 was hijacked by 3 Pakistani terrorists. The passengers and crew were released March 15 in Syria.

1981        Mar 3, In Los Angeles, Ca., Stanley "Tookie" Williams (1953-2005) was convicted in the 1979 killing of 4 people and sentenced to death. The co-founder of the Crips street gang (1971), who denied the murders, took up writing for children while in prison and created the Internet Project for Street Peace. In 2000 a member of the Swiss parliament nominated him for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. A TV film on Williams, "Redemption," was scheduled to air in 2004. In 2005 he received a “President’s Call to Service Award." Williams was executed Dec 13, 2005.
    (www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/williams1003.htm)(SFC, 2/13/04, p.A25)(SFC, 8/6/05, p.A2)

1981        Mar 3, William S. Burroughs Jr. (b.1947), writer, died. He bore the name of both his father, a Beat writer, and his great grandfather, the original inventor of the Burroughs adding machine. His 2 novels included “Speed" and “Kentucky Ham." In 2006 David Ohle edited and compiled “Cursed From Birth: The short Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs Jr."
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_S._Burroughs,_Jr.)(SSFC, 12/24/06, p.M3)

1981        Mar 4, A jury in Salt Lake City convicted Joseph Paul Franklin, an avowed racist, of violating the civil rights of two black men who were shot to death.
    (AP, 3/4/01)

1981        Mar 5, President Reagan asked Congress to end federal legal aid to the poor.
    (HN, 3/5/98)
1981        Mar 5, US government granted Atlanta $1 million to search for black boy murderer.
    (MC, 3/5/02)

1981        Mar 6, President Reagan announced plans to cut 37,000 federal jobs.
    (HN, 3/6/98)
1981        Mar 6, Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time as principal anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."
    (AP, 3/6/00)
1981        Mar 6, In Lubeck, Germany, Klaus Grabowski, a child molester, was shot and killed by the mother of a girl he had molested and strangled. Grabowski had earlier avoided a life sentence by agreeing to castration.

1981        Mar 7, Anti-government guerrillas in Colombia executed kidnapped American Bible translator Chester Allen Bitterman, whom they accused of being a CIA agent.
    (AP, 3/7/98)
1981        Mar 7, Kirill Petrovich Kondrashin (b.1914), Russian conductor, composer, died.

1981        Mar 9, Dan Rather made his debut as principal anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."
    (AP, 3/9/01)

1981        Mar 13, Pres. Reagan granted Atlanta $1.5 million to search for the murderer of some 20 black children.
1981        Mar 13, In the Poletown case the Michigan Supreme Court allowed Detroit to take 1,000 homes and 600 businesses to make way for a General Motors Corp. plant. The decision was overturned in 2004 when the court ruled that state and local governments may not take property from one private owner and give it to another purely for the purpose of economic development.
    (WSJ, 7/30/04, p.A6)(www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/2920831.html)

1981        Mar 15, Steacy McConnell (19) died following a robbery in Victor, just east of Lodi, Ca. Fernando Belmontes (19) had hit her 15-20 times with an iron dumbbell. In 2006 the US Supreme Court reinstated his death sentence. An appeals court then ruled that Belmontes’ lawyer had represented him incompetently. In 2009 the US supreme Court upheld the death sentence.
    (SFC, 11/14/06, p.B3)(SFC, 11/17/09, p.C6)(www.cjlf.org/releases/06-18.htm)
1981        Mar 15, Rene Clair (b.1898), French director (It Happened Tomorrow), died.

1981        Mar 18, The TV series “Greatest American Hero" began with Robert Culp as an FBI agent. He played in 44 episodes until 1986.
    (SFC, 3/25/10, p.C3)(http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0081871/)
1981        Mar 18, The U.S. disclosed that there were biological weapons tested in Texas in 1966.
    (HN, 3/18/98)

1981        Mar 19, One technician was killed and two others were injured during a routine test on space shuttle Columbia.
    (HN, 3/19/98)

1981        Mar 20, Michael Donald (b.1962), a black teenager in Mobile, Alabama, was abducted, tortured and killed in what prosecutors charged was a Ku Klux Klan plot. Henry Hays (d.1997) murdered Michael Donald in a random abduction. Donald was beaten, cut, strangled and his body was strung up a tree. Hays was convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed Jun 6, 1997. In 1987 A wrongful death suit filed by Donald’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald, gave a $7 million verdict against the United Klans of America, led by Robert Shelton (d.2003 at 73).
    (SFC, 6/6/97, p.A3)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Donald)(SFC, 1/21/02, p.A21)
1981        Mar 20, Former girls’ school headmistress Jean Harris (1923-2012) was sentenced in White Plains, New York, to 15 years to life in prison for slaying "Scarsdale Diet" author Dr. Herman Tarnower. Harris was released in 1993 following a grant of clemency by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo.
    (AP, 3/20/01)(SFC, 12/29/12, p.A9)

1981        Mar 22, Postage rates went from 15 cents an ounce to 18 cents an ounce.
    (HN, 3/22/97)

1981        Mar 23, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls seek abortions. U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law making statutory rape a crime for men but not women.
    (AP, 3/23/97)(HN, 3/23/98)

1981        Mar 25, The US Embassy in San Salvador was damaged when gunmen attacked, firing rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.

1981        Mar 26, A jury in Los Angeles awarded entertainer Carol Burnett $1.6 million from the "National Enquirer" for an article she’d charged was libelous. The award was later reduced, and the two parties settled out of court.
    (AP, 3/26/01)
1981        Mar 26, Police and Albanian demonstrators battled in Kosovo.

1981        Mar 29, "Woman of the Year" opened at Palace Theater in NYC for 770 performances. John Kander composed the music and Fred Ebb (d.2004) wrote the lyrics.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_of_the_Year_(musical))(SFC, 9/13/04, p.B4)
1981        Mar 29, General Roberto Eduardo Viola was sworn in as the President of Argentina.
    (HN, 3/29/98)
1981        Mar 29, The first London 26.2 mile marathon was run with nearly 7,500 participants.

1981        Mar 30, John W. Hinckley Jr. shot and wounded Pres. Ronald Reagan outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. Press Sec. James Brady took a bullet as did Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty.
    (SFC, 7/14/96, Par p.2)(HN, 3/30/02)(AP, 3/30/08)

1981        Mar 31, In the 1st Golden Raspberry Awards the film “Can't Stop the Music" won as worst film of 1980.
1981        Mar 31, In the 53rd Academy Awards "Ordinary People," R. De Niro and Sissy Spacek won, one day after the attempted assassination of Pres. Reagan. The Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
    (www.ropeofsilicon.com/awards/oscarhistory.php?y=1981)(SFC, 3/21/02, p.D1)

1981        Mar, Diesel cars in the US peaked at 6% of the market as gas prices in the hit $1.42 per gallon, the equivalent of $3.08 in 2005.
    (WSJ, 1/14/05, p.W10)
1981        Mar, In the Central African Republic David Dacko (1930-2003) was re-elected president. He was overthrown in a bloodless coup in September.
    (SFC, 5/22/96, p.A9)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Dacko)
1981        Mar, Kosovar Albanian students organized protests seeking that Kosovo become a Republic within Yugoslavia. The protests were harshly contained by the centralist Yugoslav and Serbian governments.

1981        Apr 1, Jack Welch (b.1935) became the 8th Chairman and CEO of General Electric. In 1998 Robert Slater published "Jack Welch and the GE Way." The company grew from revenues of $25 billion to $90 in 1998. Welch retired in 2001.
    (WSJ, 8/17/98, p.A12)(www.valuebasedmanagement.net/leaders_welch.html)

1981        Apr 2, Heavy battle took place between Christian militia and Syrian army in East Lebanon. Casualties and injuries were in the hundreds.

1981        Apr 3, Juan Terry Trippe (b.1899), American commercial aviation pioneer, entrepreneur and the founder of Pan American World Airways, died in NYC.

1981        Apr 4 Henry Cisneros became the first Mexican-American elected mayor of a major U.S. city -- San Antonio, Texas.
    (AP, 4/4/97)

1981        Apr 5, It was reported that Yugoslav authorities appeared to be sending extra militia units to the southern province of Kosovo after nationalist demonstrations in which 35 people were injured and scores arrested.

1981        Apr 8, The short play "Rockaby" by Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish novelist and playwright, premiered in Buffalo, NY.
1981        Apr 8, Gen. Omar N. Bradley died in New York City at age 88.
    (AP, 4/8/98)

1981        Apr 9, The submarine USS George Washington ran into the Japanese freighter Nisso Maru. 2 Japanese crewmen were killed.

1981        Apr 10, The long-awaited maiden launch of the space shuttle "Columbia" was scrubbed because of a computer malfunction.
    (AP, 4/10/01)
1981        Apr 10, Imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands was declared the winner of a by-election to the British Parliament.
    (AP, 4/10/07)

1981        Apr 11, President Reagan returned to the White House from the hospital, 12 days after John W. Hinckley Jr. shot him in an assassination attempt.
    (AP, 4/11/97)(HN, 4/11/98)
1981        Apr 11, A race riot erupted in London area of Brixton. More than 300 people were injured and 28 buildings were set ablaze. Lord Scarman (1911-2004) was later appointed to investigate and report his findings.

1981        Apr 12, The first space shuttle, Columbia, carrying astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on its first test flight. It was designated STS-1 (space transportation system).
    (WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)(AP, 4/12/97)(SSFC, 2/2/03, p.A6)
1981        Apr 12, Hendrik F. Andriessen (b.1892), Dutch organist, composer (Te Deum), died.
1981        Apr 12, Joe Louis (b.1914), [Brown bomber] heavyweight champion boxer (1937-49), died. He was buried at Arlington Cemetery under a waiver by Pres. Reagan.
    (SFC, 10/3/98, p.E4)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Louis)

1981        Apr 13, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke received a Pulitzer Prize for her feature about an 8-year-old heroin addict named "Jimmy." Cooke relinquished the prize two days later, admitting she had fabricated the story.
    (AP, 4/13/00)(www.museumofhoaxes.com/day/04_17_2001.html)

1981        Apr 14, The first test flight of America's first operational space shuttle, the Columbia 1, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
    (AP, 4/14/97)(HN, 4/14/98)

1981        Apr 15, Janet Cooke said her Pulitzer award 8-year-old heroin addict story was a lie. The Washington Post relinquished the Pulitzer Prize over the fabricated story.
1981        Apr 15, Coca-Cola opened its first bottling plant in China since the country’s Communist revolution.
    (Econ, 1/25/14, p.9)

1981        Apr 20, The final performance of TV show "Soap" aired.

1981        Apr 21, Pres. Reagan called for support for the sale of AWACS to Saudi Arabia. The proposed AWACS sale was just the beginning of a secret $50 billion plan to build surrogate military bases in Saudi Arabia.

1981        Apr 22, In the largest US bank robbery, more than $3.3 million was stolen in Tucson Ariz. 4 men were later arrested for the robbery.

1981        Apr 23, Stacy Benjamin (19) and Patty Geddling (23) were murdered in Redwood City, Ca., under drug-related circumstances. In 2003 A federal appeals court upheld the conviction of Donald Beardslee of San Mateo. Beardslee had killed a woman in Missouri in Dec, 1969. Psychiatric evidence later showed that Beardslee suffered from brain damage due to an accident in 1964. Beardslee was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison on Jan. 19, 2005.
    (SFC, 1/21/02, p.A4)(SFC, 12/17/04, p.B4)(SSFC, 1/16/05, p.A1)
1981        Apr 23, An estimated 1 million West German metal workers staged a warning strike as 3-month-old negotiations stalled.

1981        Apr 24, The US ended a 16-month grain embargo against the USSR.
1981        Apr 24, The IBM Personal Computer was introduced. IBM had developed a personal computer with a technical specification other manufacturers could copy. The operating system was licensed from Microsoft and the microprocessor circuitry from Intel.
    (HN, 4/24/98)(WSJ, 11/16/98, p.R10)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)

1981        Apr 29, Truck driver Peter Sutcliffe (b.1946) admitted in a London court to being the "Yorkshire Ripper," the killer of 13 women in northern England during a five-year period. He was convicted on May 22 and sentenced to serve a minimum of 30 years.
    (AP, 4/29/00)(AP, 1/13/04)
1981        Apr 29, In Sydney, Australia, 16 patients died in a nursing home fire in suburban Sylvania Heights.
    (AP, 11/19/11)(http://tinyurl.com/6sq3xp8)

1981        Apr 30, William Eugene Cox and Annika Oestberg Deasy (27) robbed and killed Joseph Torre (58), a restaurant owner, in Stockton, Ca. A few days later they killed Sgt. Richard Helbush and stole his patrol car. They were both caught and sentenced to long jail terms. Cox later hanged himself in jail. In 1999 Sweden called for the transfer of Deasy to Sweden under the 1983 Strasbourg Treaty, which provided for prisoner transfers. In 2009 a Swedish court ruled that Annika Ostberg (55) would be released in 2011.
    (SFC, 11/9/99, p.A13)(AP, 11/16/09)

1981        Apr, The US stock market began a 16 month decline of 23%.
    (SFC,10/17/97, p.B2)
1981        Apr, Osborne Computer Corp., founded by Adam Osborne (1939-2003), launched the 24-pound portable Osborne 1 for $1,795.
    (SFC, 3/28/03, p.A16)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Osborne)
1981        Apr, Tim Paterson, who wrote QDOS in 1980, quit Seattle Computer Products and began working at Microsoft in May. He became best known as the original author of the popular MS-DOS operating system (1981).
1981        Apr, A group of Isaaq emigres living in London formed the Somali National Movement (SNM), which subsequently became the strongest of Somalia's various insurgent movements. According to its spokesmen, the rebels wanted to overthrow Siad Barre's dictatorship.

1981        May 1, Harrison Williams (Sen-D-NJ) was convicted on FBI Abscam charges.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscam)(AP, 5/1/01)
1981        May 1, American Airlines instituted the 1st "frequent flyer" program to keep customers returning.
    (SSFC, 12/14/03, p.D2)(http://tinyurl.com/2uvcut)
1981        May 1, Chile completely privatized Social Security as part of its economic reforms.
    (SFC, 6/16/96, Z1 p.7)(SFC, 6/25/96, p.A18)

1981        May 2, In California Joseph Azevedo (50) was found shot dead at his mobile home in Lancaster, LA County. On Nov 6, 2010, suspect David Winter (55), a long-haul truck driver, was arrested in Ohio.
    (http://tinyurl.com/4ekecdj)(SFC, 1/10/11, p.A4)
1981        May 2, In Savannah, Ga., Jim Williams shot and killed his younger, redneck boyfriend. Clint Eastwood based his 1997 film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" on this event.
    (SFC, 6/5/98, p.C14)

1981        May 5, Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands, an elected member of the Irish Parliament, died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland on his 66th day without food.
    (SFC, 11/15/96, p.B2)(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.6)(AP, 5/5/97)

1981        May 6, Yale architecture student Maya Ying Lin was named winner of a competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
    (AP, 5/6/97)
1981        May 6, The US expelled Libyan diplomats.

1981        May 9, Nelson Algren (72), US writer (Man with the Golden Arm), died.

1981        May 10, Socialist Francois Mitterrand defeated Valery Giscard d’Estaing for Pres. of  France in the second round of presidential elections. When the socialists took power they increased the money supply and the deficit. The franc collapsed and inflation accelerated.
    (SFC, 10/24/96, p.C3)(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A8)(AP, 5/10/01)

1981        May 11, The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats," based on TS Eliot poems,  premiered in London.
1981        May 11, Bob Marley (b.1945), Jamaican reggae artist, died of brain cancer in Miami.
    (AP, 5/11/97)(SFEC, 2/14/99, p.T7)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Marley)

1981        May 13, John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca. The shots hit the pope’s hand and penetrated his abdomen. John Paul forgave Agca 4 days later. In 2006 an Italian report said the Soviet Union was behind the attempted assassination.
    (TMC, 1994, p.1981)(AP, 5/13/97)(SFC, 6/14/00, p.A12)(AP, 3/2/06)

1981        May 17, SF celebrated "Tillie Olsen Day." Her books included "Yonnondio" (1974), and "Silences," a study of blocked creativity. In 2001 she received the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award.
    (SSFC, 4/1/01, BR p.2)
1981        May 17, Jeannette Ridlon Piccard (b.1895), American teacher and 1st US woman free balloon pilot, died.

1981        May 18, Arthur O'Connell (73), actor (Mr. Peepers, Second Hundred Years), died.
1981        May 18, William Saroyan (b.1908), American writer, died in Fresno, Ca. He wrote some 60 books that included: "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" (1934), "The Human Comedy," which became a 1943 film, and the 1939 play "The Time of Your Life." In 2002 John Leggett authored "A Daring Young Man: A Biography of William Saroyan."
    (SFC, 5/23/96, p.A1)(HN, 8/31/00)(SFC, 4/1/02, p.A11)(SSFC, 11/10/02, p.M1)

1981        May 21, Francois Mitterrand began serving as president of France. He was the first socialist president of the Fifth Republic and the first left-wing head of government since 1957.

1981        May 25, Daredevil Daniel Goodwin, wearing a "Spiderman" costume, scaled the outside of Chicago’s Sears Tower in seven and a-half hours.
    (AP, 5/25/01)
1981        May 25, Roy James Brown (b.1925), RB singer, died of a heart attack. His hits included “Good Rockin' Tonight" (1947).
1981        May 25, Rosa Ponselle (b.1897), Metropolitan Opera diva, died in Maryland.
    (BS, 5/12/01, p.8D)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Ponselle)
1981        May 25, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918-2004), United Arab Emirates President, urged in 5 other Arab monarchies (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) to form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The unified economic agreement between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on 11 November 1981 in Riyadh.
    (Econ, 11/20/04, p.90)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Cooperation_Council)

1981        May 26, 14 people were killed when a Marine jet crashed onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off Florida.
    (AP, 5/26/97)
1981        May 26, Russia’s Soyuz T-4, launched on March 12, landed.

1981        May 27, John Hinckley (b.1955), awaiting trial for the attempted assassination of Pres. Reagan, tried to commit suicide by overdosing on Tylenol.
1981        May 27, Roger Wheeler, chairman of Telex Corp. and owner of World Jai Alai, was shot execution style at a Tulsa country club. In 2001 2 reputed Boston mobsters, James Bulger and Stephen Flemmi, were charged. Jai Alai executive John B. Callahan was murdered in Aug 1982 in Miami. In 2001 hitman John Vincent Martorano (60) pleaded guilty to Wheeler’s murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. In 2003 former FBI agent H. Paul Rico (78) was arrested and charged with murder for helping to setup the hit.
    (http://tinyurl.com/38z78q)(SFC, 3/15/01, p.A8)(SFC, 5/4/01, p.D5)(SFC, 10/10/03, p.A3)

1981        May 30, US performed a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1981        May 30, In Bangladesh Major Gen’l. Abdul Manzoor was shot and killed after he led a failed uprising that killed Pres. Ziaur Rahman 1980. Hussein Mohammed Ershad and 4 army officers were later accused of the killing.
    (SFC,11/27/97, p.B5)(http://tinyurl.com/2u8zqz)(AP, 5/30/01)

1981        May, Unit one of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant off the coast of San Luis Obispo, California, began operation.
    (SFC, 5/22/96, p.D-1)
1981        May, The SF Carnaval was moved up to May to take advantage of better weather.
    (SFC, 5/22/03, p.E11)

1981        Jun 1, The China Daily newspaper was launched as China’s first English-language daily.
    (Econ, 3/6/10, p.62)(www.chinadaily.com.cn/cd/introduction.html)

1981        Jun 3, Pope John Paul II left a Rome hospital and returned to the Vatican three weeks after the attempt on his life.
    (AP, 6/3/97)

1981        Jun 5, The US Federal Centers for Disease Control published the first report of a mysterious outbreak of a sometimes fatal pneumonia among gay men. Dr. Michael Gottlieb of UCLA and Dr. Joel Weisman (1943-2009) reported 5 cases of a rare pneumonia among gay men in LA. The disease was initially called gay related immune deficiency (GRID). The syndrome was named Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in 1982. Within 10 years the disease killed 110,000 Americans. People infected with HIV came to be defined as having AIDS when their immune system became so weak that they got one of 26 specific illnesses including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pneumonia, brain infections and some other cancers.
    (SFC, 7/21/00, p.B2)(AP, 6/5/02)(SSFC, 6/4/06, p.A1)(Econ, 6/3/06, p.24)(SFC, 7/24/09, p.D5)
1981        Jun 5, George Harrison's "Somewhere in England" album was released.

1981        Jun 6, In Bihar, India, a train crashed after a bridge collapsed in flash floods during the monsoon and some 400-800 people were killed.
    (SFC, 6/4/98, p.A15)(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A8)(AP, 2/18/04)

1981        Jun 7, Israeli F-16 fighter-bombers in “Operation Opera" destroyed a nuclear power plant in Iraq at Osirak, Iraq, before it went into operation. Israelis charged that the facility could have been used to make nuclear weapons. Ilan Ramon (d.2003) flew the last of the 8 planes that bombed the reactor. In 2004 Rodger W. Claire authored “Raid on the Sun."
    (WSJ, 7/23/96, p.A22)(AP, 6/7/97)(SFC, 2/3/03, p.A7)(WSJ, 6/1/04, p.D8)(Econ, 1/9/10, p.28)

1981        Jun 10, In Frascati, Italy, 6-year-old Alfredo Rampi fell down an artesian well; the story ended tragically as efforts to rescue him proved futile.
    (AP, 6/10/97)

1981        Jun 11, Earthquake in southeast Iran killed at least 1,500 people.
    (SFC, 3/21/98, p.A9)(AP, 6/11/03)

1981        Jun 12, "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" starring Harrison Ford premiered.
1981        Jun 12, US major league baseball players began a 49-day strike over the issue of free-agent compensation. The season did not resume until August 10.
    (AP, 6/12/01)

1981        Jun 13, Tom Snyder interviewed Charles Manson on "Tomorrow."
1981        Jun 13, A scare occurred during a parade in London when a teenager fired six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth II.
    (AP, 6/13/97)

1981        Jun 17, Riots between Muslims & Christians in Cairo left 16 people dead.

1981        Jun 18, US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart announced his retirement; his departure paved the way for Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female associate justice.
    (AP, 6/18/97)

1981        Jun 19, Boeing commercial Chinook 2-rotor helicopter was certified.
1981        Jun 19, European Space Agency's Ariane carried two satellites into orbit.

1981        Jun 20, In Casablanca, Morocco, riots left some 100 dead. In 2005 authorities exhumed the remains of about 100 people killed during riots from a mass grave and reburied them individually in a nearby lot.
    (AP, 12/14/05)

1981        Jun 22, Mark David Chapman (b.1955) pleaded guilty to killing John Lennon on December 8, 1980. He was sentenced 20 years to life in prison.
    (HN, 6/22/98)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_David_Chapman)
1981        Jun 22, In Iran Abolhassan Bani-Sadr was dismissed from the presidency by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Shortly thereafter he fled to Paris, where he had lived in exile during the reign of the Shah.

1981        Jun 23, The body of Catherine Schilling (21), a Georgetown law student, was found raped and murdered in Rock Creek Park. She was shot in the head five times after taking a shortcut home through the park after working late at her job as a paralegal at a DC law firm. In September 1982, a D.C. jury convicted Donald Eugene Gates of killing and raping Schilling. In 2009 Gates (58) was released from prison based on DNA evidence.
    (http://tinyurl.com/y8smuur)(SFC, 12/15/09, p.A9)

1981        Jun 24, In England the Humber Bridge, the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world, opened to traffic over Humber (the estuary formed by the rivers Trent and Ouse).

1981        Jun 25, The US Supreme Court decided that male-only draft registration was constitutional.
    (AP, 6/25/97)

1981        Jun 27, The African States members of the Organization of African Unity, meeting in Liberia, adopted a Charter on Human and People’s Rights. Article 5 specifically prohibited slavery. It became effective as of October 21, 1986.

1981        Jun 28, Terry Fox (22), born in Winnipeg and raised in Port Coquitlam, died of cancer. Fox, who planned to run a marathon a day until he ran across Canada, was forced to stop his journey on Sept. 1, 1980, because the cancer that took his leg had spread to his lungs. He ran 5,373 kilometers over 143 days. His goal was to raise $1 for cancer research for every Canadian, which would have been about $24 million in 1980.
    (AP, 9/19/05)
1981        Jun 28, In Tehran, Iran, a powerful bomb exploded at the headquarters of the IRP while a meeting of party leaders was in progress. 73 persons were killed, including the chief justice and party secretary general Mohammad Beheshti, four cabinet ministers and 27 Majlis deputies. The Mujahedin e-Kalq carried out the bombing. Those killed included Premier Mohammad-Javad Bahonar and Pres. Mohammad-Ali Rajaei.
    (www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-6395.html)(WSJ, 5/8/08, p.A10)

1981        Jun 29, Hu Yaobang, a protege of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, was elected Communist Party chairman, replacing Mao Tse-tung’s handpicked successor, Hua Guofeng. A Party communiqué cited the Cultural Revolution as a disaster, and criticized Mao's role and the policies of his last years.
    (www.asiasource.org/society/china-chron.cfm)(AP, 6/29/01)(http://tinyurl.com/39suq6)

1981        Jun 30, Elections for the tenth Knesset were held in Israel. Despite last minute polls suggesting a victory for Shimon Peres' Alignment, Menachem Begin's Likud won by just one seat. Voter turnout was 77.8%.

1981        Jun, Former Tennessee Gov. Ray Blanton was convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy, and extortion for selling liquor licenses and served twenty-two months in a federal penitentiary.
1981        Jun, Jack Henry Abbott, convicted killer, was paroled from prison. His book "In the Belly of the Beast" was a collection of letters written to Norman Mailer. 6 weeks after Abbott’s release he stabbed Richard Adan (22), an actor-writer to death in NYC. Abbott committed suicide in prison in 2002.
    (SFC, 2/11/02, p.A3)(WSJ, 2/15/02, p.A16)
1981        Jun, Sylvia Edgren (48) of Monterey, Ca., was raped and murdered. In 2001 DNA evidence linked Michael Adams (44) to the murder.
    (SFC, 1/20/01, p.A17)(https://coldhit.doj.ca.gov/dna/news5.htm)
1981        Jun, The First World Gathering of Holocaust survivors took place in Israel. It was organized by Auschwitz survivor, Ernest Michel. Lani Silver (d.2009 at 60), a professor at San Francisco State Univ. returned from the meeting and founded the Bay Area Holocaust Oral History Project.
    (www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/78/a3011978.shtml)(SFC, 1/31/09, p.B5)

1981        Jul 1, Tim Giago, an Oglala Sioux writer from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, launched The Lakota Times, the first independently owned Indian newspaper in the US.
    (SSFC, 12/23/07, p.F1)
1981        Jul 1, The Symphony in F by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (K.19a), discovered in 1980, debuted in Munich.
1981        Jul 1, The "Wonderland Murders" took place at 4763 Wonderland in the Hollywood Hills. Ronald Launius, William Deverell, Barbara Richardson and Joy Miller were murdered. The killings were said to have occurred in retaliation for a drug robbery 2 nights earlier. Federal prosecutors unveiled in indictment in 2000 against Eddie Nash, a former nightclub owner, Gregory DeWitt Diles, his bodyguard, and porn star John Curtis Holmes. Holmes (d.1988) was later released. Holmes died in 1988 of an AIDS-related illness. In 2003 the film "Wonderland" starred Val Kilmer as Holmes.
    (SFEC, 5/21/00, p.B5)(ST, 10/17/03, p.22H)

1981        Jul 2, The Continental Airlines Arena, part of the Meadowlands Sports complex in East Rutherford, NJ, opened with a concert by Bruce Springsteen.
1981        Jul 2, In southern California Jeffrey Vargo (6) was last seen alive bicycling to a fireworks stand in Pomona. On March 27, 2015, Kenneth Rasmuson (53) of Idaho was arrested after DNA evidence linked him to the murder.
    (SFC, 3/30/15, p.A5)
1981        Jul 2, L.E. Gonzalez discovered asteroid #3495, Colchagua, from the astronomical station of Cerro El Roble in Chile.

1981        Jul 7, President Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    (AP, 7/7/97)(HN, 7/7/98)
1981        Jul 7, The 1st solar-powered aircraft, Solar Challenger, crossed the English Channel flying 163 miles from Paris to Canterbury. It was created by Dupont and Paul MacCready.
    (www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/news/FactSheets/FS-054-DFRC.html)(Econ, 9/8/07, p.88)

1981        Jul 10, Isabel Peron, ex-president of Argentina, flew in exile to Spain after being paroled following conviction for corrupt practices.

1981        Jul 13, Simon Gray's "Quartermaine's Terms," premiered in London.

1981        Jul 16, Singer Harry Chapin (38) was killed when his car was struck by a tractor-trailer on New York’s Long Island Expressway.
    (AP, 7/16/01)

1981        Jul 17, In Missouri 114 people were killed when a pair of walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.
    (AP, 7/17/97)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse)

1981        Jul 19, Louis Cheslock (b.1898), composer and author, died in Baltimore.

1981        Jul 22, Turkish extremist Mehmet Ali Agca was sentenced in Rome to life in prison for shooting Pope John Paul the Second. Agca was pardoned by Italy in June, 2000, and sent to Turkey, where he was scheduled to serve time for a killing that took place before the attack on the pope.
    (AP, 7/22/00)

1981        Jul 25, Ian Martin (69), Scottish-born film and TV actor (Uncle Bill-O'Neills), died in NYC.
1981        Jul 25, In El Salvador 45 farmers were allegedly massacred at the hands of the military in San Francisco Angulo. In 2014 the Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors must investigate the massacre.
    (SFC, 2/7/14, p.A2)

1981        Jul 27, Adam Walsh (6) disappeared from a Hollywood mall. Fishermen discovered his severed head 2 weeks later in a canal 120 miles away. In 2008 police named Ottis Toole, who had died in prison in 1996, as the murderer. The 2006 Adam Walsh Act obliged states to make their sex offender registries public.
    (SFC, 12/17/08, p.A7)(Econ, 8/8/09, p.9)
1981         Jul 27, William Wyler (b.1902), German-born American film director (The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben Hur), died.
    (SFC, 7/8/02, p.D2)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wyler)

1981        Jul 28, In Guatemala Rev. Stanley Rother (b.1935) of Oklahoma was shot twice in the head by three masked men at the parish rectory in Santiago Atitlan. In 2016 the Vatican declared him a martyr. On Sep 23, 2017, Rother was beatified at a Mass in Oklahoma City.
    (SFC, 12/3/16, p.A2)(SSFC, 9/24/17 p.A15)

1981        Jul 29, Robert Moses (b.1888), "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, and other suburbs, died. Moses shaped NYC from the 1930s to the 1960s using urban renewal projects to replace many lively neighborhoods that became barren and dangerous housing projects.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Moses)(Econ, 9/23/06, p.33)
1981        Jul 29, Britain's Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
    (TMC, 1994, p.1981)(AP, 7/29/97)

1981        Jul 30, Senegalese troops aborted an attempt to overthrow the government of Gambia by a paramilitary field force. Pres. Jawara was restored to power.

1981        Jul 31, A seven-week-old Major League Baseball strike was resolved. Play resumed on August 9 with the All-Star game.
1981        Jul 31, The leader of Panama, General Omar Torrijos, died in a plane crash. Michael Harari, a former Israeli Mossad agent, reorganized, renamed and trained the Panamanian Defense Forces when Gen. Manuel Noriega succeeded Torrijos.
    (SFC, 1/2/97, p.A20)(AP, 7/31/99)(http://tinyurl.com/nmduqua)

1981        Jul, In Iran members of the Union of Communists tried to seize control of the Caspian town of Amol. At least seventy guerrillas and Pasdaran members were killed before the uprising was put down.
1981        July, Garret Fitzgerald (1926-2011), former Irish foreign minister (1973-1977), began serving his first term as Ireland’s Taoiseach at the head of a minority Fine Gael-Labour government. He served a 2nd term from 1982-1987.
    (Econ, 5/28/11, p.91)
1981        Jul, Kenji Urada (37), Japanese factory worker, was killed by a robot’s hydraulic arm becoming the 1st recorded victim to die at the hands of robot. Details of the accident were revealed for the first time on December 8, 1981, following a government investigation.
    (Econ, 6/10/06, Survey p.18)(www.tslpl.org/art/811211.htm)

1981        Jul-1981 Aug, Some $9 billion in capital leaked out of Mexico due to falling oil prices, the collapse of the peso, and a foreign debt of $80 billion and rising.
    (Econ, 3/6/04, p.77)

1981        Aug 1, The US rock music video channel MTV, founded by Bob Pittman, made its debut. The first music video shown on the rock-video cable channel was, "Video Killed the Radio Star", by the Buggles. In 2007 Saul Austerlitz authored “Money for Nothing: A History of the Music Video From the Beatles to the White Stripes."
    (WSJ, 3/24/97, p.B1)(AP, 8/1/97)(SSFC, 3/18/07, p.M2)(Econ, 11/22/08, p.78)
1981        Aug 1, Paddy Chayefsky (b.1923), dramatist and screenwriter, died of cancer in NYC.

1981        Aug 3, US air traffic controllers (PATCO) went on strike, despite a warning from President Reagan they would be fired. Most of the 13,000 controllers defied Reagan’s order to return to work within 48 hours and were fired.
    (AP, 8/3/02)(SFC, 10/4/02, p.A17)

1981        Aug 4, In Bolivia Pres. Luis Garcia Meza, 1980 military coup leader, was succeeded by Gen. Celso Torrelio (1933-1999). Meza resigned in the face of outcries at home and abroad about corruption, cruelty and economic catastrophe.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Garc%C3%ADa_Meza_Tejada)(SFC, 5/4/18, p.D6)

1981        Aug 5, Pres. Reagan began firing 11,500 air traffic controllers who had gone out on strike 2 days earlier.
    (AP, 8/5/97)(WSJ, 9/3/96, p.A1)

1981        Aug 6, Five people were killed and one seriously injured when a hot air balloon caught fire after touching electrical wires and crashed in a suburb of Chicago.
    (AP, 2/26/13)

1981        Aug 10, Coca-Cola Bottling Co agreed to pump $34 million into black businesses.
1981        Aug 10, Richard Nixon Museum in San Clemente closed (http://tinyurl.com/2n6pvf). On July 11, 2007, the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Ca., officially opened as a federal facility.

1981        Aug 12, President Reagan, citing alleged Libyan involvement in terrorism, ordered U.S. jets to attack targets in Libya.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
1981        Aug 12, IBM introduced the IBM 5150, better known as the PC, along with PC-DOS version 1.0. The beige box with 16 kilobytes of memory was priced at $1,565.
    (http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa033099.htm)(Econ, 7/29/06, p.57)

1981        Aug 13, In a ceremony at his California ranch, President Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions, also known as the Kemp-Roth tax cuts. Abstinence-only sex education programs were introduced under Pres. Reagan. Sponsors Rep. Jack Kemp and Sen. William Roth, had hoped for more significant tax cuts, but settled on this bill after a great debate in Congress. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1981 included a rider known as the Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA), sponsored by Republican Senators Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Jeremiah Denton (Alabama). AFLA set aside a small but significant amount of federal money to be used for the promotion of abstinence, as well as religious instruction in sexual matters within the public schools. In the first four years following implementation of the tax reform act annual revenues were reduced by almost 2% of GDP.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Recovery_Tax_Act_of_1981)(AP, 8/13/01)(Econ, 11/19/16, p.66)

1981        Aug 14, Pope John Paul II left a Rome hospital, three months after being wounded in an attempt on his life.
    (AP, 8/14/01)
1981        Aug 14, Karl Bohm (b.1894), Austrian conductor and early Nazi sympathizer, died.

1981        Aug 17, In Florida James Dvorak was found bludgeoned to death at Indian Harbor Beach in what was described as a robbery gone wrong. In 1981 William Dillon was convicted and sentenced to prison. In 2008 Dillon (49) faced a retrial after DNA evidence called into question his conviction.
    (SFC, 11/19/08, p.A4)(http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_28824.shtml)

1981        Aug 18, Anita Loos (b.1888), American writer, died. Her novels included “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1925). It was made into eponymous films in 1928 and 1953. Loos started writing scenarios for D. W. Griffith while in her teens, and eventually worked on over sixty films.
    (WSJ, 6/24/06, p.P13)(http://imdb.com/name/nm0002616/)

1981        Aug 19, Two U.S. Navy F-14 jet fighters shot down a pair of Soviet-built Libyan SU-22s in a dogfight over the Gulf of Sidra.
    (AP, 8/19/06)

1981        Aug 20, The family drama TV show "The Waltons," which premiered in 1972, was last broadcast on CBS-TV.
1981        Aug 20, In Northern Ireland Pat McGeown (1956-1996) lapsed into a coma during the Maze Prison hunger strike. About 25 men went on strike and a 10th died when McGeown’s family agreed to medical intervention. This was the background for the 1996 film “Some Mother’s Son."
    (http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/hstrike/chronology.htm)(SFC, 10/5/96, p.A21)

1981        Aug 22, In Indianapolis, Indiana, King Edward Bell (33), a laid-off autoworker, killed his estranged wife, mother-in-law and 4 children. Bell was sentenced to six consecutive 40-year prison terms.
    (AP, 6/2/06)(http://tinyurl.com/3dnvkc)

1981        Aug 23, Devan Nair (1923-2005) was elected by Parliament to serve as Singapore’s 3rd president. He stepped down in 1985 following a sex scandal.
    (Econ, 12/24/05, p.122)(www.answers.com/topic/devan-nair)

1981        Aug 24, Mark David Chapman (b.1955) was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of rock star John Lennon.
    (AP, 8/24/97)(www.jfkmontreal.com/john_lennon/app_c_sentencinghearing.htm)

1981        Aug 25, The US spacecraft Voyager 2 came within 63,000 miles of Saturn's cloud cover, sending back pictures and data about the ringed planet and its moons.
    (AP, 8/25/97)(http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/science/planetary.html)

1981        Aug 26, Roger Nash Baldwin (b.1884), one of the founders of the ACLU, died.

1981        Aug 27, Rene Soto clubbed to death Anselmo Covarrubias in LA County. Maria Suarez (21), a battered "sex slave" to Covarrubias and witness to the murder, was convicted of first-degree murder and sent to prison. In 2002 Gov. Davis rejected a recommended parole for Suarez. In 2003 Gov. Davis issued a parole. Suarez was released in 2004.
    (SSFC, 6/9/02, p.A20)(SFC, 6/22/02, p.A1)(SSFC, 4/6/03, p.A12)(SFC, 5/26/04, p.A1)
1981        Aug 27, Divers recovered the Banco di Roma safe from the Andrea Doria.

1981        Aug 28, John W. Hinckley Jr. pleaded innocent to charges of attempting to kill President Reagan. Hinckley was acquitted in 1982 by reason of insanity.
    (AP, 8/28/97)
1981        Aug 28, The US national Centers for Disease Control, noting a high incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma and pneumocystis in homosexual men, announced a medical task force had been formed to find out why. It was later determined the increased number of illnesses was caused by AIDS.
    (AP, 8/28/01)

1981        Aug 29, Lowell Thomas (89), broadcaster and world traveler died in Pawling, N.Y.
    (AP, 8/29/97)

1981        Aug 30, Mohammad Javad Bahonar, prime minister of Iran, was assassinated by a bomb.

1981        Aug 31, Joseph H. Hirschhorn (b.1899), Latvia-born US art collector and founder the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, DC, died at 82.

1981        Aug, Oliver North (b.1943) was assigned to White House duty as Chief Middle East arms-sales adviser to Secretary of Defense Casper W. Weinberger. He was fired on November 25, 1986, for selling arms to Iran, and diverting Iran arms sales proceeds to the contras.
1981        Aug, DuPont Corp. bought Conoco Oil for $7.57 billion.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R46)(http://tinyurl.com/2puezd)
1981         Aug, In Zimbabwe 106 North Koreans arrived to train the new brigade for the National Army. North Korean-trained troops loyal to President Robert Mugabe massacred thousands of civilians as the government tried to crush an uprising led by Joshua Nkomo in the 1980s.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwean_Fifth_Brigade)(AP, 9/29/10)

1981        Sep 1, Albert Speer, a close associate of Adolf Hitler who ran the Nazi war machine, died at a London hospital at age 76.
    (AP, 9/1/01)
1981        Sep 1, In the Central African Republic army chief Andre Kolingba (d.2010 at 73) took over power in another coup that deposed independence leader David Dacko. Kolingba agreed to re-instate a multi-party system in 1991, but continued to rule until 1993.
    (SFC, 5/22/96, p.A9)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Kolingba)(AFP, 2/8/10)
1981        Sep 1, In Uruguay Gregorio Alvarez (b.1926), commander-in-chief of the army (1978-1979), became the country’s de facto president and continued until Feb 12, 1985.

1981        Sep 2, In Florida Officer Nathaniel Broom (23) stopped a Volkswagen Beetle on a Miami street corner with three men inside suspected of taking part in a robbery. The men ran and Broom, only nine months on the job, gave chase. Robert Patton (24) shot and killed Broom in a rundown section of Miami called Overtown.
    (Miami Herald, 5/9/21)

1981        Sep 3, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law making Martin Luther King’s birthday a state holiday. The legislation was the result of 4 years of efforts by students at Oakland Tech High School. 
    (SFC, 7/16/08, p.E1)(http://tinyurl.com/5lc58v)

1981        Sep 4, David Brinkley (1920-2003) ended an illustrious 38-year career with NBC News this day. ABC had offered him an opportunity too good to refuse.
1981        Sep 4, In Florida Linda Patterson Slaten (31) was found strangled to death in her Lakeland apartment. In 2019 genetic genealogy led police to arrest Joseph Mills (58), her son's former football coach for the crime.
    (ABC News, 12/19/19)

1981        Sep 5, Aime Maeght (b.1906), French painter and art dealer, died. In 1964 he and his wife founded the Marguerite and Aime Maeght Foundation in honor of a son lost to leukemia in the 1950s.
    (http://tinyurl.com/kqt5ow2)(Econ, 7/26/14, p.71)

1981        Sep 6, "They're Playing Our Song" closed at Imperial NYC after 1082 performances.

1981        Sep 8, Civil rights activist Roy Wilkins (80), former head of the NAACP, died in NYC.
    (AP, 9/8/01)

1981        Sep 10, Pablo Picasso’s painting Guernica was returned to Spain and installed in Madrid’s Prado Museum. Picasso had stated in his will that the painting was not to return to Spain until the Fascists lost power and democracy was restored.
    (HN, 9/10/00)

1981        Sep 12, George Leong, poet, organized the first Annual Asian American Jazz Festival.
    (SFC, 5/12/96, p.C-1)
1981        Sep 12, The TV show "People's Court" (1981-1993) premiered with retired Judge Joseph Wopner premiered. Rusty Burrell was the bailiff (d.2002).
    (www.tv.com/the-peoples-court/show/12330/summary.html)(SFC, 4/20/02, p.A23)

1981        Sep 13, In the 33rd Emmy Awards winners included Taxi, Hill St Blue, Judd Hirsh & Isabel Sanford.
1981        Sep 13, William Loeb (b.1905), publisher of Manchester Union Leader, NH, died at 75.

1981        Sep 15, The US Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to approve the Supreme Court nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor.
    (AP, 9/15/01)

1981        Sep 16, Pres. Reagan announced his intention to appoint Edgar Callahan (d.2009 at 80) as chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, making him the highest-ranking credit union regulator in the country. Callahan, former director the Department of Financial Institutions in Illinois, stepped down in 1987 after guiding the industry into deregulation.
    (SFC, 4/3/09, p.B5)(www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=44264)

1981        Sep 18, A museum honoring former President Ford was dedicated in Grand Rapids, Mich.
    (AP, 9/18/01)
1981        Sep 18, The French National Assembly voted to abolish the death penalty. This in effect outlawed execution by the guillotine.
    (SFEC, 2/9/97, Z1 p.6)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_France)

1981        Sep 19, Simon & Garfunkel reunite for a NYC Central Park concert.

1981        Sep 21, The US Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
    (AP, 9/21/01)
1981        Sep 21, Belize under leader George Price (1919-2011) gained independence from Britain and joined the UN under protests from Guatemala. As head of the centrist People's United Party, Price served two terms as prime minister, 1981-84 and 1989-1993.
    (www.belizenet.com/bzeguat/chap10.html)(AP, 9/19/11)
1981        Sep 23, The Reagan administration announced plans for what became known as Radio Marti.
    (AP, 9/23/97)
1981        Sep 23, Home Depot went public in an IPO offering of $3 million of stock. The company was founded by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, formerly of the Handy Dandy hardware chain. The 1st know case of backdating stock options took place this year with Home Depot. In 1999 they authored "Built From Scratch" ghost-written by Bob Andelman. In 1999 Chris Roush published "Inside Home Depot."
    (WSJ, 5/4/99, p.A20)(WSJ, 12/27/06, p.A6)(http://ir.homedepot.com/lookup.cfm)
1981        Sep 23, Chief Dan George (b.1899), actor, died at 82 in British Columbia, Canada. His films included “Harry & Tonto" (1974) and “Little Big Man" (1970). He was born Geswanouth Slahoot on a First Nations Reserve in North Vancouver. His English name was Dan Slaholt. His last name was changed to George when he entered a residential school at the age of 5.

1981        Sep 24, Four Armenian gunmen seized the Turkish consulate in Paris, holding 60 hostages for 15 hours before surrendering.
    (AP 9/24/01)

1981        Sep 25, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    (AP, 9/25/97)(HN, 9/25/98)

1981        Sep 26, The twin-engine Boeing 767 made its maiden flight in Everett, Wash.
    (AP, 9/26/97)

1981        Sep 28, US Pres. Ronald Reagan designated, October 24, 1981, as United Nations Day. In 2002, September 21 was declared the annual date for "commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples."
    (AFP, 9/20/09)(www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1981/92881d.htm)

1981        Sep, The CIA was informed that a major Contra rebel group planned to sell drugs in the US to pay its bills. At the same time the Reagan administration was approving a covert CIA program to finance anti-Sandinista exile organization attempts to overthrow the Nicaraguan government.
    (SFC, 11/4/98, p.A14)
1981        Sep, Salomon Brothers merged with Phibro Corp. and dumped 62 partners including Michael Bloomberg. He received $10 million and went on to start a financial information empire. South Africa’s AngloAmerican mining conglomerate, owned 27.3% of Phibro's stock through Anglo's subsidiary, the Minerals and Resources Corporation (Minorco).
    (SFC, 10/16/04, p.C1)(http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issues/1981/09/anglo.html)
1981        Sep, The body of Patricia Parker was discovered in Dade County, Georgia, near the Tennessee border, but she was listed as a “Jane Doe" for 39 years. In 2020 her remains were identified through DNA samples provided by her son after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released a sketch and a clay rendering of the woman last March, calling for assistance in her identification. She is believed to have fallen victim to Samuel Little, one of the nation’s most prolific serial killers. In 2020 Little was serving consecutive life sentences for murder after confessing to killing 93 women.
    (TheGrio, 10/12/20)
1981        Sep, In Iran a Supreme Judicial Council circular to the revolutionary courts permitted death sentences for "active members" of guerrilla groups. Fifty executions a day became routine; there were days when more than 100 persons were executed.

1981        Oct 1, Malcolm De Chazal (b.1902), Mauritian writer and painter, died. His “Sens-Plastique" consisted of several thousand aphorisms and pensées. “The sun is pure communism everywhere except in cities, where it's private property."

1981        Oct 2, In Iran Hojjatoleslam Ali Khamenehi was elected president.

1981        Oct 3, IRA prisoners at Maze Prison in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended a seven-month hunger strike in which 10 men died. Imprisoned Irish Republic Army leader Bobby Sands initiated the protest on March 1, the fifth anniversary of the British policy of "Criminalization" of Irish political prisoners. Many of these prisoners did not have trials.
    (AP, 10/3/97)(http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/hstrike/chronology.htm)

1981        Oct 5, President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution granting honorary American citizenship to Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving about 100,000 Hungarians, most of them Jews, from the Nazis during WW II. He became the second honorary American. Winston Churchill was the first.
    (AP, 10/5/01)

1981        Oct 6, Egyptian Pres. Anwar Sadat was killed by Islambouli, an Islamic fundamentalist (Takfir wal Hijra) and Egyptian army lieutenant, at the parade ground of Nasser City during a ceremony commemorating the Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Although authorities were warned of a death plot hours earlier, the information did not get to the president in time. Abboud and Tarek el-Zomor were convicted in 1984 of plotting the assassination and of belonging to the outlawed Islamic Jihad group, but not of actually killing Sadat. The two were sentenced to 20 years in prison. The five prime suspects, including the shooter, were captured and executed. The events are described in a book by Fouad Allam: "The Brotherhood and I." In 2000 Mohammad Khan produced the film "Days of Sadat," starring Ahmed Zaki.
    (SFC, 4/26/96, p.A-12)(HNQ, 7/12/98)(SFC, 6/5/00, p.A8)(WSJ, 3/29/04, p.A16)(AP, 3/11/11)

1981        Oct 7, Egypt's parliament named Vice President Hosni Mubarak to succeed the assassinated Anwar Sadat. He tolerated the Muslim Brotherhood.
    (WSJ, 12/8/95, p.A-8)(AP, 10/7/97)

1981        Oct 8, At the White House, President Reagan greeted former presidents Carter, Ford and Nixon, who were preparing to travel to Egypt for the funeral of Anwar Sadat.
    (AP, 10/8/97)
1981        Oct 8, An explosive device at the Univ. of Utah was defused. It was later attributed to the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski.
    (SFEC,11/9/97, Z1 p.4)

1981        Oct 10, Funeral services were held in Cairo for Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat, who had been assassinated by Muslim extremists.
    (AP, 10/10/02)

1981        Oct 13, Voters in Egypt elected Vice President Hosni Mubarak the new president in a referendum with a 98.5% vote, one week after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.
    (AP, 10/13/97)(AP, 7/9/04)

1981        Oct 14, Hosni Mubarak, the new president of Egypt, was sworn in to succeed the assassinated Anwar Sadat. Mubarak pledged loyalty to Sadat's policies.
    (AP, 10/14/06)

1981        Oct 16, Harvey Fierstein's "Torch Song Trilogy," premiered off-Broadway in NYC.
1981        Oct 16, William Holden (b.1918), actor (Network), died at 63.
1981        Oct 16, Israeli war hero Moshe Dayan died in Tel Aviv at age 66.
    (AP, 10/16/01)

1981        Oct 17 - 1981, Oct 18, In San Francisco over 145,000 attended two concerts by the Rolling Stones at Candlestick Park.
    (SSFC, 12/22/13, p.A14)

1981        Oct 18, Greeks elected socialist Andreas Papandreou (1919-1996) as prime minister. He served a first term until 1989 and a second term from 1993-1996.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Papandreou)(Econ, 7/4/15, p.46)
1981        Oct 18, In Poland General Jaruzelski (b.1923) was elected party leader. He led the country to 1989.
    (www.historyguide.org/europe/jaruzelski.html)(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C3)

1981        Oct 19, Ohio's capital punishment law took effect. By 2021 336 people were sentenced to death and 56 executions were carried out but the system reached a standstill now as the state was unable to acquire lethal injection drugs.
    (https://drc.ohio.gov/capital-punishment)(Tribune Publ., 4/3/21)

1981        Oct 20, In New York Brinks security guard Peter Paige was killed in a $1.6 million holdup of an armored truck at a suburban mall in Rockland County. In 1988 Mutula Shakur was sentenced to 60 years in prison for his role in the killing and masterminding a series of deadly armed robberies as part of the “Family" political group. Driver and Weather Underground radical David Gilbert was later sentenced to 75 years to life for his role in the robbery. In 2021 Gilbert was granted parole. 
    (SFC, 4/4/16, p.A5)(Fox News, 10/27/21)
1981        Oct 20, Three members of the radical Weather Underground were arrested following a bungled armored truck robbery in Nanuet, N.Y., where a guard was killed. 2 police officers were killed when the getaway truck was halted in Nyack. Susan Rosenberg assisted in surveillance, driving a getaway car and passing orders. Kathy Boudin was sentenced 20 years to life for assisting in the getaway. In 2003 Boudin was paroled and Susan Braudy authored "Family Circle," an account of the Boudin family. Rosenberg was arrested in Nov 1984 while unloading a cache of weapons in New Jersey and received a 58-year sentence for her role in the robbery. Pres. Clinton commuted Rosenberg’s sentence in 2001.
    (AP, 10/20/01)(SFC, 8/21/03, p.A6)(WSJ, 11/26/03, p.D10)(WSJ, 12/2/04, p.W15)

1981        Oct 22, The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) was decertified by the US federal government for its strike the previous August.
    (AP, 10/22/06)

1981        Oct 23, The US national debt hit $1 trillion.

1981          Oct 25, Ariel Durant (83), US author, died. She was co-author and collaborator on several of her husband’s (Will Durant: 1885-1981) works. They received the Pulitzer Prize for the eleven volume series: “The Story of Civilization" (1935-1975). Born Chaya, which means "life" (Ida in English) Kaufman on May 10, 1898 in Proskurov (now Khmelnitski) Russia to Jewish parents, she immigrated with her mother, three sisters and older brother to the US, landing in New York in November of 1901. She married Will in 1913 when she was 15 and he was 28, and preceded him in death by a matter of days.

1981        Oct 27, In an incident that became known as “Whiskey-on-the-rocks" Soviet Whiskey-class submarine S-363, ran aground near Karlskrona, a Swedish naval base. Sweden designated it U137.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_submarine_S-363(Econ, 10/25/14, p.54)

1981        Oct 28, The US Senate voted for the sale of AWACS to Saudi Arabia. Fred Dutton (1923-2005), Washington counsel and lobbyist for Saudi Arabia, helped get US congressional approval for a 2nd major arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
    (http://tinyurl.com/98qre)(SFC, 6/28/05, p.B5)

1981        Oct 31, In Georgia (US) a Jane Doe murder victim remained nameless since her body was discovered in a cornfield in Dixie on Halloween. George Newsome was arrested shortly after the murder and police found the rope that had been used to strangle the girl in a motor home he owned. Newsome died in 1988, but never revealed the identity of his victim. In 2020 she was identified through DNA testing as Shirlene Cheryl Hammack.
    (ABC News, 1/10/20)

1981        Oct, A South San Francisco measure to prevent the development of San Bruno Mountain failed decisively. The Citizen's Action League opposed the development of San Bruno Mountain and placed an initiative that would deny municipal services to developer W.W. Dean Co. unless the southern slope and the Juncus Ravine were donated to the county park. After the vote the developer donated the Juncus Ravine, filed for bankruptcy and withdrew from the project.
    (Ind, 4/27/99, p.1,12A)
1981        Oct, Tarek el-Zomor and his cousin, a lieutenant in the Egyptian army, were arrested for plotting Sadat's assassination and belonging to the outlawed Islamic Jihad group, but they did not shoot the president. In 1984 they were sentenced to 20 years prison, the maximum term under Egyptian law. Zomor was released from prison in 2005.
    (AP, 7/13/05)
1981        Oct, The Somali National Movement (SNM) rebels elected Ahmad Mahammad Culaid and Ahmad Ismaaiil Abdi as chairman and secretary general, respectively, of the movement.
1981        Oct, The Somali Salvation Front (SSF) merged with the radical-left Somali Workers Party (SWP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Somalia (DFLS) to form the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).
1981        Oct, In Sri Lanka the Tamil Tiger insurgency began in earnest as Velupillai Prabhakaran (1954-2009) shot 2 soldiers running errands in Jaffna.
    (AP, 5/18/09)(Econ, 5/30/09, p.44)(Econ, 6/6/09, p.42)

1981        Nov 1, Antigua and Barbuda gained independence from Britain.

1981        Nov 3, In Milpitas, Ca., Anthony Jacques Broussard, a high school student (16), strangled and killed Marcy Conrad, his girl friend (14), dumped her body on a river bank and gave tours to his friends, who never reported the crime. The 1986 film "River's Edge" was later made based on the murder. On December 3, 1982 Broussard was sentenced in a San Jose, California court to 25 years to life for the strangulation death of Conrad. He was to be eligible for parole after 16 years and 8 months (July 1999).
    (SFC, 5/10/03, p.A1)(http://tinyurl.com/32kdam)
1981        Nov 3, H.C. Westermann (b.1922), sculptor, died. His work, which included "Memorial to the Idea of Man if He Was an Idea" (1958), was laced with dark humor.
    (WSJ, 4/18/02, p.D7)(http://tinyurl.com/3dxl4t)

1981        Nov 5, Dr. George Nichopoulas of Tennessee was acquitted of over prescribing addictive drugs for Elvis Presley.
1981        Nov 5, In Iraq Mazen Salman Kahachi and his high school senior class were arrested after one member wrote an anti-government message on a blackboard. 7 were later reported executed and the other 56 were left unaccounted.
    (SFC, 4/24/03, A12)

1981        Nov 7, Will Durant (b.1885), historian, died at age 96. He managed to complete 21 of a projected 23 chapters in his last book "Heroes of History" before his death. The book was published in 2001.
    (WSJ, 11/7/01, p.A20)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Durant)

1981        Nov 9, In Mauritania the 1980 decree by Pres. Haidalla outlawing slavery was translated into law, however the legislation failed to criminalize it.
    (Econ, 5/5/07, p.62)(http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engAFR380032002!Open)

1981        Nov 10, Abel Gance (b.1889), French movie director, died in Paris. In 1919 he achieved international recognition for his 3 hour epic “J’Accuse," a powerful anti-war film which included location filming of battles shot towards the end of World War I. His films also included “Napoleon" (1927).
1981        Nov 10, In South Africa Durban human rights attorney Griffiths Mxenge was found slain. Mxenge was stabbed 46 times by a police death squad that included Dirk Coetzee. In July 1985 his wife Victoria Mxenge was attacked by four men in the driveway of her home in Umlazi, Durban. She was stabbed and shot shortly after disembarking from a family friend’s vehicle.
    (SFC, 7/18/96, p.E3)(http://campus.ru.ac.za/index.php?action=category&category=932)

1981        Nov 11, Stuntman Dan Goodwin scaled the outside of the 100-story John Hancock Center in Chicago in nearly six hours.
    (AP, 11/11/97)

1981        Nov 12, The Double Eagle V landed in California 84 hours and 31 minutes following its Nov 10 launch in Japan. It was the 1st balloon to cross the Pacific ocean. Rocky Aoki (1938-2008), founder of the Benihana steakhouse (1964), was part of the crew.
    (http://www.benihana.com/ballooning_history.asp)(SFC, 7/12/08, p.B5)

1981        Nov 14, In Egypt the weight of Lake Nasser unexpectedly  triggered earthquakes, such as the 5.2 magnitude quake on Nov 14, 1981.
    (NG, May 1985, p.603)(http://tinyurl.com/349x3j)

1981        Nov 16, Actor William Holden (63) was found dead in his apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. He likely died Nov 12 following a fall in his home.
    (AP, 11/16/97)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Holden)

1981        Nov 18, In Los Angeles Kazuyoshi Miura and his wife (28), visitors from Japan, were shot in a downtown parking lot. His wife went into a coma and later died in Japan. In 1985 Miura was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his wife for insurance money and in 1994 he was convicted of murder. In 1998 a Japanese high court overturned the sentence. In 2008 Miura was arrested in Saipan. He was extradited to the US and committed suicide by hanging on Oct 10, 4 days prior to arraignment on murder conspiracy charges. He was 61.
    (SSFC, 2/24/08, p.B3)(SFC, 10/15/08, p.B4)
1981        Nov 18, Achilles G. Rizzoli (b.1896), SF architectural visionary, died. He created a 2,600 page illustrated philosophical tract. The first book on his art by Jo Farb Hernandez, John Beardsley and Roger Cardinal was published in 1997: "A.G. Rizzoli: Architect of Magnificent Visions." His apparent architectural drawings were "symbolizations" of people he knew.
    (www.popsubculture.com/pop/bio_project/a_g_rizzoli.html)(SFEC, 3/22/98, DB p.9)(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.D5)(SFC, 9/7/13, p.C1)

1981        Nov 19, US Steel agreed to pay $6.3 million for Marathon Oil.
    (HN, 11/19/98)

1981        Nov 25, In the Seychelle Islands a group of mercenaries poising as a touring rugby team staged an ill-fated attempted takeover of the country.

1981        Nov 27, Lotte Lenya (b.1898), Vienna-born singer, actress, wife of Kurt Weill (Three Penny Opera, From Russia With Love), died of cancer in NY.

1981        Nov 28, "Open All Night" (TV Comedy) debut on ABC.
1981        Nov 28, Bear Bryant of the Univ. of Alabama won his 315th game to out distance Alonzo Stagg & become college football's winningest coach.

1981        Nov 29, Actress Natalie Wood (b.1938) drowned off Santa Catalina, Calif. In 2001 Suzanne Finstad authored "Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood." In 2004 Gavin Lambert authored "Natalie Wood: A Life." In 2013 officials released a 10-page addendum to her autopsy. It cited unexplained bruises and scratches on her face and arms. In 2018 new witnesses emerged prompting investigators to deem her case a “suspicious death."
    (AP, 11/29/97)(SSFC, 7/22/01, DB p.62)(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.M2)(SFC, 1/15/13, p.A4)(SFC, 2/2/18, p.A7)

1981        Nov 30, The United States and the Soviet Union opened negotiations in Geneva aimed at reducing nuclear weapons in Europe.

1981        Nov, In California Henry Vila (62) and his wife Edith (59) were stabbed to death in their Albany hill home during a robbery. DNA evidence in 2002 identified Charles Jackson, a recently deceased Folsom inmate, as her killer.
    (SFC, 3/19/02, p.A10)(SFC, 9/30/05, p.B5)
1981        Nov, John Davies (15) disappeared from his home in Belmont, Ca. In 1986 Jon Dunkle, while in prison for robbery, admitted killing Davies and drew a map that led police to his remains. In 2005 the California Supreme Court upheld a death sentence for Dunkle (44).
    (SFC, 8/5/05, p.B4)
1981        Nov, In France Pres. Francois Mitterrand was diagnosed with prostate cancer but the information was kept secret until disclosed by his physician, Dr. Claude Gubler, in his 1996 book "The Great Secret." A court banned release of the book.
    (SFC, 10/24/96, p.C3)
1981        Nov 29, Honduras held presidential elections. A total of 1,214,735 Hondurans, 80.7 percent of those registered, voted, giving the PLH a sweeping victory.

1981        Nov, San Francisco Mayor Diane Feinstein established Fleet Week as an annual celebration for Columbus Day weekend.
    (SFC, 10/6/99, p.A19)
1981        Nov, Col. Ryszard Kuklinski fled Poland to the US. He had served as a US CIA spy and reported on activities from 1972-1981. He passed some 35,000 pages of classified Warsaw pack documents. In 2004 Benjamin Weiser authored "A Secret Life," an account of Kuklinski's life as a spy.
    (SFC, 4/28/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 2/3/04, p.A8)

1981        Dec 1, 180 people were killed when a chartered Yugoslav DC-9 jetliner slammed into a mountain while approaching Ajaccio Airport in Corsica.
    (AP, 12/1/01)

1981        Dec 2, In SF the 300,000 sq-foot Moscone Convention Center opened.
    (SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W43)
1981        Dec 2, Hershy Kay (b.1919), composer, died.

1981        Dec 4, "Falcon Crest" premiered on CBS-TV and ran to 1990.
1981        Dec 4, President Reagan broadened the power of the CIA by allowing spying in the U.S. This was Executive Order on Intelligence  No 12,333. The order also barred assassinations.
    (HN, 12/4/98)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.57)(www.tscm.com/EO12333.html)

1981        Dec 6, Harry Harlow (b.1905), psychologist, died. He spent his entire professional career teaching at the University of Wisconsin from 1930-1974. His focus of research was on the learning abilities in primates and he observed the phenomenon of 'learning to learn.' His work with infant monkeys and their surrogate mothers (terrycloth dummies) demonstrated the importance of bonding between primate mothers and infants for emotional health and growth. In 2003 Deborah Blum authored "Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection."
    (CW, 6/03, p.51)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow)

1981        Dec 7, The Reagan Administration predicted a record deficit in 1982 of $109 billion.
    (HN, 12/7/98)

1981        Dec 9, In Philadelphia Mumia Abu Jamal shot and killed Officer Daniel Faulkner shortly after the officer stopped William Cook, Jamal’s brother (see July 3, 1981).
    (SFC, 3/28/08, p.A4)

1981        Dec 11, Concerned about the safety of Americans in Libya, the Reagan administration asked them to leave. It also invalidated the use of US passports for travel to Libya.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
1981        Dec 11, In El Salvador hundreds of people were killed over 3 days in the village of El Mozote by an elite US-trained army battalion led by Commander Domingo Monterrosa. In 1991 the office of Maria Julia Hernandez (1939-2007) published the first investigation into El Mozote. In 1992, under a UN sponsored Truth Commission, the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team found 143 skeletons, 131 of which belonged to children under 12. The bullet cartridges showed manufacture in Lake City, Mo. In Dec, 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that El Salvador should reopen its investigation into the army’s killing of some 1000 civilians.
    (SFC, 5/12/96, Z1p.4)(Econ, 4/14/07, p.97)(SFC, 12/12/12, p.A2)(Econ, 6/8/19, p.33)
1981        Dec 11, The U.N. Security Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be the fifth secretary-general of the world body. He served to 1992.
    (SFC, 12/14/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/11/97)

1981        Dec 12, "Waiting For A Girl Like You" by Foreigner hit #1 on the pop singles chart and stayed there for 3 weeks.
1981        Dec 12-1982 Dec 31, In Poland Gen’l. Jaruzelski imposed martial law, effective at midnight, restricting civil rights and suspending operation of the independent trade union Solidarity in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. Polish labor leader Lech Walesa was arrested. Martial law formally ended in 1983. Women kept the organization going as most male leaders were arrested. In 2005 Shana Penn authored “Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland.
    (Econ, 7/30/05, p.76)(www.videofact.com/english/martial_law.htm)

1981        Dec 14, Israel annexed the Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1967. The parliament approved the annexation of the Golan Heights with legislation in one day.
    (SFC,12/11/97, p.C2)(AP, 12/14/97)

1981        Dec 15, In Garden Grove, Ca., market owner Packawan Wattanaporn was found strangled to death and Quach Nguyen was stabbed to death. Jaturun Siripongs was later convicted for the crime and faced the death penalty in 1998. He admitted to the robbery but not the killings.
    (SFC, 11/14/98, p.A1,9)
1981        Dec 15, In Lebanon the Iraqi wife of Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, was killed in the suicide bombing of the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war. The explosion leveled the embassy and killed 61 people.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_embassy_bombing_in_Beirut)(AP, 5/18/20)

1981        Dec 16, In Poland riot police opened fire on protesting miners in Katowice. Nine were killed 25 wounded. A 4 year trial acquitted 22 riot police in 1997. In 2008 a court upheld the conviction of 14 policemen involved in the killings.
    (SFC,11/22/97, p.C2)(Econ, 6/28/08, p.58)

1981        Dec 17, Red Brigade terrorists kidnapped Brigadier General James Dozier, the highest-ranking US NATO officer in southern Europe, from his home in Verona, Italy. Dozier was rescued 42 days later.
    (HN, 12/17/98)(AP, 12/17/04)

1981        Dec 20, Harry Krieger and Tom Eyen's musical "Dreamgirls" opened at Imperial Theater in NYC for 1522 performances.

1981        Dec 22, Zdzislaw Rurarz (1930-2007), Polish ambassador to Japan, defected to the US to protest the imposition of martial law. Romuald Spasowski, the ambassador to the United States, also defected.
    (AP, 1/28/07)

1981        Dec 27, Hoagy Carmichael (b.1899), US actor, songwriter (Stardust), died in California at age 82. His songs included "Stardust" and over 600 other melodies.
    (WSJ, 9/9/99, p.A24)(SFC, 11/25/99, p.C22)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoagy_Carmichael)

1981        Dec 28, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, Va. Dr. Mason Andrews (1919-2006) performed the delivery by cesarean section.
    (AP, 12/28/97)(SFC, 10/16/06, p.B6)

1981        Dec 29, President Reagan curtailed Soviet trade in reprisal for its harsh policy in Poland.
    (HN, 12/29/00)

1981        Dec 31, CNN launched Headline News.
1981        Dec 31, The Blue and Gold Fleet discontinued its ferry service between Berkeley and SF due to low usage. The service had operated for 5 months averaging 169 passengers a day.
    (SFC, 12/30/05, p.F2)
1981        Dec 31, In Ghana Lt. Jerry Rawlings, a young fighter pilot toppled Pres. Hilla Limann.
    (SFEC, 1/25/98, p.A22)

1981        Dec, In California Betty Jo Grunzweig (37) was raped and stabbed to death in her home in Oakland’s Trestle Glen District. DNA evidence in 2002 identified Charles Jackson, a recently deceased Folsom inmate, as her killer.
    (SFC, 3/19/02, p.A10)(SFC, 9/30/05, p.B5)
1981        Dec, In California Gail Leslie Slocum (34) was stabbed to death in her home in Oakland’s Rockridge District. DNA evidence in 2002 identified Charles Jackson, a recently deceased Folsom inmate, as her killer.
    (SFC, 3/19/02, p.A10)
1981        Dec, In Nicaragua Contra commander Enrique Bermudez (d.1991), a CIA agent, ordered Meneses and Blandon to begin trafficking in support of the Contras. Oscar Danilo Blandon had been recruited by Norwin Meneses to sell cocaine in California in order to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras.
    (SFC, 11/27/96, p.A2) (SFEC, 6/28/98, BR p.3)

1981        Hoang Dang, Vietnamese artist, painted "A Corner of the Fish Market."
    (SFC, 5/19/96, DB, p.15)

1981        Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), Netherlands born artist, painted his work Pirate (Untitled II). In 1995 he created his work "Untitled XLII," a time when his mental facilities began to waiver.
    (www.moma.org/exhibitions/1997/dekooning/selected/pirate.html)(SFC, 11/12/02, p.D1)

1981        A 38-foor tall flashlight  (74,000 lbs.) by Claes Oldenburg was transported across the country from Connecticut and placed on the campus of the Univ. of Nevada in Las Vegas.
    (Smith., Aug. 1995, p.79.)

1981        Charles Fuller, playwright, wrote "A Soldier's Play."
    (SFEC, 5/30/99, DB p.37)

1981        James Bamford authored "The Puzzle Palace," a look at the US National Security Agency (NSA). In 2001 he updated the work in "Body of Secrets."
    (WSJ, 5/9/01, p.A24)

1981        "The Indian in the Cupboard" by Lynne Reid Banks was published. It was illustrated by Brock Cole.
    (SFEC, 2/27/00, BR p.12)

1981        Jonas Barish (d.1998 at 76) wrote "The Antitheatrical Prejudice," a survey of the history of hostility to theater from the time of Plato to the present.
    (SFC, 4/4/98, p.A24)

1981        Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson self-published "The One Minute Manager." The book became a best seller and they signed with a publisher in 1982. In 2001 it was reported that much of the book was plagiarized from a 1976 article by Arthur Elliott Carlisle titled "MacGregor" and published in the journal Organizational Dynamics.
    (WSJ, 6/22/01, p.W17)

1981        Daniel Halevi Bloom, American-Jewish author, invented the characters Bubbie and Zadie, Yiddish for grandma and grandpa, as an alternative to Santa Claus. In 1985 he wrote “Bubbie and Zadie Come to My House" and invited Jewish children to respond with letters.
    (SFC, 12/22/06, p.A1)

1981        Lynne Cheney, wife of Dick Cheney, authored a racy historical romance titled "Sisters." Plans to reissue the novel in 2004 were cancelled.
    (SFC, 4/3/04, p.A2)

1981        Prof. Arthur C. Danto wrote "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace," his first book on art.
    (SFEC, 2/23/97, BR p.9)

1981        Eddie Fisher, singer, published his 1st memoir: "Eddie: My Life and Loves." In 1999 he authored a more detailed account: "Been There: Done That," with unrelated writer David Fisher.
    (WSJ, 10/8/99, p.AW14)

1981        Philip L. Fradkin (1935-2012) authored “A River No More," about the taming of the Colorado River.
    (SFC, 7/11/12, p.C5)

1981        Dr. John W. Gofman (1919-2007), physician and nuclear chemist, authored his 908-page volume “Radiation & Human Health."
    (SFC, 8/28/07, p.B5)

1981        Nadine Gordimer, 1991 Nobel Prize winner, authored "July’s People." It was set in a futuristic South Africa roiling from racial revolution. In 2001 it was struck from the approved reading list for the 12th grade by the Education Department of Gauteng.
    (WSJ, 4/20/01, p.A14)

1981        "The Mismeasure of Man" by Stephen Jay Gould was first released. A new edition came out in 1996. The work was an attack on biological determinism.
    (SFEC, 9/8/96, BR p.11)

1981        Alasdair Gray, Scottish novelist, published his novel "Lanark."
    (SFC, 5/19/96, BR, p.7)

1981        Emily Hahn (1905-1997) wrote: "The Islands: America’s Imperial Adventures in the Philippines."
    (SFC, 2/19/96, p.A20)

1981        Hannibal Lecter first appeared in the book "Red Dragon" by Thomas Harris, and then in 1988 in "Silence of the Lambs," made into a 1991 Oscar-winning movie with Anthony Hopkins as Lecter. In 2007 a Lithuanian travel agency offered a tour of Vilnius as part of a theme package for the fictional character’s native country.
    (Reuters, 2/15/07)

1981        Tracy Kidder published "The Soul of a New Machine."
    (WSJ, 3/4/99, p.A12)

1981        Kiyoshi Kuromiya (d.2000) and Buckminster Fuller co-wrote "Critical Path," their vision of a bountiful future created by technology.
    (SFC, 5/30/00, p.A26)

1981        Barbara Leaming wrote her critical biography of director Roman Polanski: "The Filmmaker as Voyeur."
    (SFC, 5/22/98, p.C3)

1981         Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru wrote a fictional account of the 1893-1897 events at Canudos, Brazil, in the epic work: "The War of the End of the World."
    (SFC, 10/7/97, p.A14)

1981        Lynn Margulis wrote "Symbiosis in Cell Evolution." She proposed that three types of prokaryotes fused biologically to create the first living cells with nucleic structures.
    (Wired, 2/98, p.174)

1981        Rosario Mazzeo (d.1997 at 86), clarinetist, wrote "The Clarinet: Excellence and Artistry."
    (SFC, 7/31/97, p.A16)

1981        Alasdair MacIntyre authored "After Virtue."
    (WSJ, 2/09/99, p.A20)

1981        Wright Morris  (d.1998 at 88) won an American Book Award for his novel "Plains Song."
    (SFC, 5/1/98, p.D7)

1981        V.S. Naipaul wrote "Among the Believers." It featured stories on the effects of Islam in Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and Malaysia. In 1998 he published "Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples."
    (WSJ, 7/14/98, p.A16)(SFEC, 8/23/98, BR p.9)

1981        Jane Nelson, a family councilor and child-care guru, self-published “Positive Discipline."
    (Econ, 1/11/14, p.27)

1981        V.A. Pritchett (1900-1997) edited the "Oxford Book of Short Stories."
    (SFC, 3/22/97, p.A21)

1981        Arthur J. Quinn (d.1997 at 54) wrote "The Broken Shore," a history of Marin County, Ca., wound with great themes of western civilization.
    (SFC, 5/17/97, p.A20)

1981        Vito Russo (1946-1990), gay activist, authored “The Celluloid Closet" in which he decoded Hollywood films for queer content. A film version, released in 1996, was made by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.
    (SFC, 10/15/04, p.F1)(SSFC, 7/10/11, p.G5)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vito_Russo)

1981        Amartyra Sen, Indian economist, published "Poverty and Famine." He won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1998.
    (SFC, 10/15/98, p.A2)

1981        Prof. Edward Shils (d.1995) published "Tradition," in which he explored what difference tradition makes in human life.
    (WSJ, 7/21/97, p.A22)

1981        Marjorie Shostak wrote Nisa: "The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman." The book featured her photos and was based on field work from 1968-1971 in the Kalahari Desert.
    (SFEC, 10/9/96, C2)

1981        Martin Cruz Smith introduced Russian police investigator Arkady Renko in his best-selling novel “Gorky Park."
    (WSJ, 11/19/04, p.W16)

1981        Geoffrey de Ste. Croix (1910-2000), British Marxist historian, authored "The Class Struggle in the Ancient World, From the Archaic Age to the Arab Conquests."
    (SFC, 2/15/00, p.A21)

1981        Preble Stolz (1931-1996) wrote "Judging Judges, The Investigation of Rose Bird and the California Supreme Court." The book investigated the 1979 charges that the court delayed release of decisions for political reasons.
    (SFC, 6/13/96, p.A25)

1981        Jacobo Timerman (d.1999 at 76), Argentine journalist, published "Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number" from Israel.
    (SFC, 11/12/99, p.D6)

1981        John Kennedy Toole was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book "A Confederacy of Dunces." Toole had committed suicide in 1969. His mother got Walker Percy to read the novel and Percy got the Louisiana State Univ. Press to publish it.
    (WSJ, 9/30/99, p.A1)

1981        Anne Tolstoi Wallach (1929-2018) authored "Women's Work," her debut novel that brought an advance of $850,000 from the New American Library publishing house.
    (SSFC, 7/1/18, p.C10)

1981        Thomas Whiteside (d.1997 at 79) wrote his 11th book: "The Blockbuster Complex," a study of changes in the publishing industry. He wrote for the New Yorker magazine and made a career of tackling complex topics.
    (SFC, 10/13/97, p.A23)

1981        The volunteer Northern California Book Reviewers (BABRA) group began a Northern California Book Awards program. Fred Cody, owner of Cody’s bookstore in Berkeley, was one of the co-founders.
    (SFC, 4/15/06, p.E3)

1981        The musical "Woman of the Year" with Lauren Bacall opened on Broadway.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, Par p.7)

1981        The Australian film "Gallipoli" was directed by Peter Weir (b.1944).
    (SFEC,12/21/97, DB p.51)
1981        The film "Mad Max II" with Mel Gibson was filmed near Broken Hill in New South Wales, Australia.
    (Hem., 2/97, p.91)
1981        The film “Lion in the Desert" by Syrian-American producer Moustapha Akkad (d.2005) told the story of Omar Mukhtar, hero of the Libyan resistance to Italian colonization during the Mussolini era.
    (SFC, 11/24/05, p.E2)

1981        Robert Redford founded a Film Festival in Sundance, Utah. In 1985 the festival moved to Park City, Utah. In 1991 it was named the Sundance Film Festival.
1981        The Jewish Film Festival began in SF.
    (SFEC, 7/13/97, DB p.36)

1981        Robert Hughes pioneered art history with the public TV presentation "The Shock of the New." It was a popular survey of modernism and was accompanied by a best-selling book.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, DB p.40)

1981        The TV sitcom "Gimme a Break!" began and run to 1987. Singer Nell Carter (d.2003 at 54) played the housekeeper.
    (SFC, 1/24/03, p.A2)

1981        The TV sitcom "Love Sidney" with Tony Randall premiered. The character’s homosexuality was implied but never stated openly.
    (SFEC, 3/30/97, DB. p.35)

1981        CBS Reports did a 5 hour special on the Defense of the United States.
    (Wired, Dec., '95, p.122)

1981        CNN Headline News was begun on the Cable News Network (CNN). CNN Headline new began in 1982.
    (SFC, 12/27/96, p.A24)(BS, 5/3/98, p.6B)

1981        "Entertainment Tonight" began on TV. It was among the first programs to be distribute by satellite.
    (SFEC, 5/24/98, DB p.39)

1981        The Smurfs TV cartoon show for kids began. Pierre Culliford (Peyo), Belgian cartoonist, created the gnome-like Smurfs for publisher Charles Dupuis (d.2002 at 84) in 1958. Hanna-Barbera turned it into a US cartoon program.
    (NW, 11/11/02, p.)(SFC, 12/3/02, p.A24)

1981        The opera "Anna Karenina" by Iain Hamilton (d.2000 at 78) was premiered by the English National Opera.
    (SFC, 7/29/00, p.A21)
1981        Terence McEwen succeeded Kurt Herbert Adler as the director of the SF Opera.
    (SFEC, 8/10/97, p.B9)(SFEC, 8/17/97, DB p.47)

1981        The SF Ballet under Michael Smuin performed "The Tempest" live from the Opera House and won an Emmy.
    (SFEC, 8/17/97, DB p.47)

1981        Bill Strauss (1947-2007), Elaina Newport and Jim Aidala founded Capitol Steps, a singing, satirical troupe in Washington DC. By 2007 the group had recorded 29 albums including “Sixteen Scandals" (1997).
    (SFC, 12/26/07, p.B4)

1981        The Layabouts of Detroit, Mich., is not so much band as a community of musicians who hold similar beliefs about the state of the World. They express this by composing and performing music of their own making, meaningful lyrics set to a beat that set your feet a-dancin'. Rock, reggae, ska - lyrics that'll make you want to pull down the pyramid of authority while you gyrate to a beat that is in harmony with the Universe.

1981        Duran Duran released its self-titled debut, which featured the hits "Planet Earth" and "Girls on Film." Members included Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Simon Le Bon and Andy Taylor.
    (SFC, 9/18/03, p.E2)

1981        The Electric Light Orchestra had a major hit with their song “Hold On Tight To Your Dreams.

1981        Ella Fitzgerald recorded “Ella Abraca Jobim."
    (SFC, 6/16/96, p.A10)

1981        Witold Lutoslawski composed his intense "Grave, A Metamorphosis for Piano and Cello."
    (SFC, 1/30/97, p.B3)

1981        Olly Wilson, Berkeley composer, created his 15-minute "Lumina."
    (SFC, 2/3/97, p.D3)

1981        The rock group Metallica was formed by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield in the suburbs of LA.
    (SFEC,11/16/97, DB p.42)

1981        The Oak Ridge Boys had a hit with their song "Elvira."
    (SFC, 6/11/98, p.C3)

1981        The song "9 to 5" by Dolly Parton won the Grammy best country song.
    (SFEC, 2/21/99, DB p.38)

1981        Ricky Scaggs made a move from bluegrass to commercial country music.
    (WSJ, 12/30/97, p.A8)

1981        The Irish Rock Band U2 first performed in SF at the Old Waldorf.
    (SFEC, 6/8/97, DB p.3)

1981        In New Orleans the first part of One, Two and Three Lakeway was completed. Two was completed in 1984 and the 34-floor Three in 1987 by architects NY & Assoc.
    (WSJ, 1/3/97, p.B10)

1981        Andre-Michel Schub won the quadrennial Van Cliburn piano competition in Texas.
    (SFEC,11/2/97, DB p.35)

1981        The war strategy board game Axis and Allies, designed by Larry Harris, was published by Nova Games Designs.
    (www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/98/axis-allies)(WSJ, 7/2/10, p.W9)

1981        The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences was founded as part of the Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of seminaries in Berkeley, Ca.
    (SFC, 3/11/99, p.A2)
1981        The Oregon commune leader, Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh (d.1990), was booted from the US for immigration fraud. He moved his free-love Tantra commune back to Pune, India. In 1985 he changed his name to Osho. His Tantric ruminations were later published by St. Martin’s Press: "The Book of Secrets." From the Pune school Marie Elizabeth Naslednikov (Margot Anand) published "The Art of Sexual Ecstasy."
    (WSJ, 12/7/98, p.A1,6)(SFC, 12/13/02, p.K6)(SSFC, 8/29/04, p.E3)

1981        Sally Lilienthal (b.1919) founded the Ploughshares Fund. It was dedicated to stopping the development of nuclear weapons.
    (SFEC, 9/29/96, Z1 p.3)

1981        The American Library Assoc. started banned book week to highlight the importance of the First Amendment.
    (Ind, 10/5/99, p.1A)

1981        The $11 million Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum opened in Grand Rapids, Mich.
    (SFEC, 5/11/97, p.T8)

1981        Prof. Charles M. Hardin (1908-1997) cofounded the Committee on the Constitutional System in Washington, DC. Its purpose was to explore solutions to governmental gridlock brought about by the separation of powers.
    (SFC, 7/4/97, p.E2)

1981        Larry Kramer helped found the Gay Men’s Health Crises in NYC. He later split with the group and founded ACT UP (1987) to press for a more forceful response to AIDS. His work included the novel "Faggots" (1978) and the play The Normal Heart."
    (SFC, 7/10/97, p.A10)

1981        The MacArthur Foundation of Chicago began a fellowship program with annual grants to allow winners to pursue creative goals.
    (SSFC, 10/5/03, p.A25)

1981        An official memorial to Rev. Martin Luther King opened in Atlanta, Ga.
    (WSJ, 1/14/06, p.A1)

1981        Joseph Rivers (d.1989) founded the Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) in Washington DC to improve the quality of life of young people who had been in foster care.
    (SFEC,12/14/97, Par p.14)

1981        The Pulitzer Prize for drama went to Marsha Norman for her play "‘night Mother."
    (SFEC, 4/13/97, DB p.54)

1981        James Tobin (d.2002), key Kennedy advisor, won the Nobel Prize in economics for his portfolio theory.
    (WSJ, 3/13/02, p.A1)(http://www.almaz.com/nobel/economics/1981a.html)
1981        Arthur Schawlow (d.1999 at 77) of Stanford won the Nobel Prize in Physics. He with his brother-in-law and Charles Townes of UC Berkeley shared credit for inventing the laser. They developed the laser in the 1950s and made a working model in 1960 while working for Bell Laboratories.
    (SFC, 10/10/96, p.A1)(SFC, 4/29/99, p.D6)
1981        Elias Canetti (1905-1994), Bulgarian-born British novelist and essayist, won the Nobel Prize in Literature. His ancestors were Sephardic Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492.
    (AP, 10/8/09)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elias_Canetti)

1981        Walter Cronkite (b.Nov 4, 1916) won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He anchored the evening news on CBS from 1961-1981.
    (SFEC, 11/10/96, zone 1 p.3)

1981        Antoine W. van Agtmael of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank coined the term “emerging market." He coined the term to attract investors in a “Third World Equity Fund." The emerging, or developing, market economy (EME) is defined as an economy with low-to-middle per capita income. Emerging markets constitute approximately 80% of the global population, representing about 20% of the world's economies.
    (www.investopedia.com/articles/03/073003.asp)(Econ, 9/20/08, SR p.10)
1981        The World Bank began collecting figures on global poverty.
    (Econ, 3/3/12, p.81)

1981        Pres. Ronald Reagan negotiated a 5-year, $3.2 billion economic package and military aid package for Pakistan following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
    (SSFC, 3/27/17, p.E2)

1981        General Richard Secord became Chief Middle East arms-sales adviser to US Secretary of Defense Casper W. Weinberger.

1981        The northwest Chinook Indians filed a petition for recognition with the Interior Dept.
    (SFC, 12/31/00, p.A11)

1981        The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) instituted the 80/20 rule for opium/poppy imports. 80% of the US need for opium was set to be imported from India and Turkey. Turkish farmers provided poppy heads while Indian farmers produced gum opium.
    (WSJ, 4/3/00, p.A1,6)

1981        Barry Seal (1939-1986), gunrunner, drug trafficker, and covert CIA operative, began his operations at the Intermountain Regional Airport in Mena, Arkansas. Seal was murdered by Colombian assassins in Feb, 1986, after he had testified in federal court in Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami for the US government against leaders of the Medellin drug cartel. According to a 1986 letter from the Louisiana attorney general to then US attorney general Edwin Meese, Seal had "smuggled between $3 billion and $5 billion of drugs into the US." Among the aircraft flown in and out of Mena was Seal's C-123K cargo plane, christened Fat Lady. Records show that Fat Lady, serial number 54-0679, was sold by Seal months before his death. In Oct, 1986, Fat Lady was shot down over Nicaragua with a load of arms destined for the Contras.

1981        The SEC sued the Swiss bank Svizzera Italiana to freeze the assets in trades it suspected were based on material, nonpublic information, i.e. insider trading. It eventually got the names.
    (WSJ, 9/19/96, p.C18)

1981        Michael Anthony Williams (16) was convicted of raping his female math tutor. He spent 24 years in Angola state penitentiary. In 2005 DNA evidence exonerated him.
    (SFC, 5/9/05, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/30/07, p.A1)

1981        US over-the-counter derivatives were born with the 1st currency “swap."
    (WSJ, 11/19/04, p.A8)

1981        The US banned the drug Captagon (generic name: fenethylline). It had been prescribed as a treatment for attention deficit disorder until its addictive and other pernicious characteristics became clear.
    (Econ 7/22/17, p.38)

1981        Claude Dallas (30) killed Conley Elms and Bill Pogue, officers for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, who were investigating reports of bobcat poaching in remote southeast Idaho. Dallas served 22 years for the execution-style slayings and was released in 2005.
    (AP, 2/6/05)

1981        Maryland won a civil judgement against former governor and VP Spiro Agnew for $147,000. The amount was equal to kickbacks Agnew had received as governor.
    (SFC, 9/18/96, p.A7)

1981        The federal government declared Picher, Oklahoma, a hazardous waste site due to lead contamination and proceeded to buy out about 900 homeowners and businesses. In 2011 every commercial building was destroyed and only a handful of residents remained.
    (Reuters, 1/29/11)

1981        The US Supreme Court required equal education for non-English speaking students. This began bilingual education programs across the country.
    (SFC, 7/19/97, p.A17)

1981        The US FDA approved the use of aspartame, an artificial sweetener.
    (WSJ, 6/7/99, p.B1)

1981        An amendment to the Endangered Species Act allowed property owners to destroy some habitat provided that they come up with an acceptable plan to preserve equivalent habitat elsewhere.
    (WSJ, 4/14/99, p.CA1)

1981        The US Susan B. Anthony coin dollar was not widely accepted and production stopped.
    (WSJ, 7/12/96, p.B5B)

1981        The Federal Reserve approved the BCCI acquisition of a US bank under the assurances of Clark Clifford. Clark was later indicted for $6 million in profits made with an unsecured BCCI loan.
    (SFEC, 10/11/98, p.A2)

1981        Economists Thomas Sargent (b.1943) and Neil Wallace pointed out that central banks and governments are locked in a battle for dominance.
    (Econ, 8/6/16, p.61)

1981        In San Francisco the 5-story Levi’s Plaza was built at 1155 Battery St. Architects included HOK and Richard Friedman. It was developed by Gerson Bakar (1928-2017).
    (SSFC, 12/6/09, p.C3)(SSFC, 6/18/17, p.C10)
1981        The 1902 Dutch Windmill in San Francisco’s Goldengate Park was restored.
    (SFC, 7/29/97, p.A7)
1981        Richard Ward (1950-2017) and David Graves founded the Saintsbury winery in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, Ca., where they pioneered the Napa Valley Pinot Noir.
    (SFC, 5/31/17, p.D3)
1981        The Hurt Report, an on-scene investigation of 900 motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles (1976-1977) was published. Prof. Harry Hurt (1927-2009) served as the principal investigator.
    (SFC, 12/3/09, p.C4)
1981        In San Jose, Ca., water supply wells were found to be contaminated due to leaks from Fairchild and IBM storage tanks used for toxic solvents.
    (SFC, 1/30/04, p.E6)
1981        In California 4 people were asphyxiated by carbon dioxide in the old mines in the Antioch hills.
    (SFC, 3/4/99, p.A21)

1981        The SF Redevelopment Agency began to reconfigure 115 acres along the Bay shoreline of South Market and created a residential community of nearly 3,000 housing units.
    (SFC, 8/18/96, p.E6)
1981        In San Francisco Roberto Hernandez founded the San Francisco Lowrider Council to unite rival clubs and organize against police brutality.
    (SFC, 9/23/21, p.C1)
1981        The SF Friends of the Urban Forest was founded.
    (SFC, 9/9/98, Z1 p.3)
1981        In San Francisco pediatric oncologist Dr. Arthur Ablin (1926-2017) co-founded Family House, a boarding home for families of children receiving cancer treatment at UCSF.
    (SSFC, 9/10/17 p.C3)
1981        San Francisco held its 1st Comedy Day. Comedian Jose Simon (d.2008 at 63) co-founded Comedy Day in SF with Mike Pritchard. They brought the idea to the SF Chronicle in 1980, which agreed to act as sponsor.
    (SFC, 4/23/08, p.B9)(www.comedyday.com/about.php)
1981        Valencia Rose, a gay cabaret, opened in San Francisco’s Castro district.
    (SFEC, 11/29/98, DB p.35)
1981        Calvin Grigsby opened a SF investment banking business that went on to distinguish itself with innovative municipal finance and became the nation’s largest minority-owned firm. The firm was indicted in 1998 on federal bribery charges.
    (SFC, 1/9/98, p.A5)
1981        SF passed a 53-page hotel conversion law to preserve affordable housing.
    (SFC,10/22/97, p.A17)
1981        In SF Bill Kimpton (d.2001 at 65), former Wall Street investment banker, opened the Clarion Bedford Hotel and Post and Leavenworth and ushered in a new era of boutique hotels.
    (SFC, 4/3/01, p.E1)(SFC, 11/23/05, p.C7)
1981        Fausto Vitello (1947-2006), co-founder of Independent Trucks (1978), Eric Swenson (1947-2011) and Kevin Thatcher founded Thrasher Magazine in SF dedicated to the growing skateboard community.
    (SFC, 4/24/06, p.B6)(SFC, 6/24/11, p.C5)
1981        In San Francisco Quentin Easter (d.2010 at 53) and Stanley Williams co-founded the Lorraine Hansberry Theater.
    (SFC, 4/30/10, p.C4)
1981        In SF the California Academy of Sciences invited Wojciech Pulowski from Poland to be curator of Hymmenoptera at the Academy.
    (PacDis, Winter/’96, p.43)
1981        Giorgio Beverly Hills, owned by Fred Hayman (1925-2016), introduced the signature fragrance Giorgio. Hayman’s life was later recounted in “Fred Hayman, The Extraordinary Difference: The Story of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Glamour and the Showman Who Sold It All" (2011) by Rose Apodaca.
    (SSFC, 4/17/16, p.C9)

1981        The Cuban-American national Foundation was founded in Florida by Jorge Mas Canosa (d.1997), as the voice of Cuban exiles dedicated to weakening the Castro regime through politics.
    (SFEC, 7/12/98, p.A21)

1981        State Supreme Court cases in Massachusetts and New Jersey ruled that husbands can be prosecuted for raping their wives.
    (NW, 6/30/03, p.44)

1981        In the Poletown case the Michigan Supreme Court allowed Detroit to take 1,000 homes and 600 businesses to make way for a General Motors Corp. plant. The decision was overturned in 2004 when the court ruled that state and local governments may not take property from one private owner and give it to another purely for the purpose of economic development.
    (WSJ, 7/30/04, p.A6)

1981        New Jersey enacted its Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act to prevent companies that do business in the state from using contracts, notices or signs to limit consumer rights protected by law.
    (Econ, 7/2/16, p.58)

1981        American Airlines instituted the 1st "frequent flyer" program to keep customers returning.
    (SSFC, 12/14/03, p.D2)

1981        Marvin Davis (1925-2004), oil mogul, bought 20th Century Fox with financier Mark Rich. In 1985 Davis sold the movie studio and its film library to Rupert Murdoch for $575 million, but retained the real estate holdings.
    (SSFC, 9/26/04, p.B7)

1981        Brett Gurewitz, guitarist, founded Epitaph Records. Epitaph's breakthrough came with the phenomenal success of such California-bred, neo-punk bands as the Offspring and Rancid in the mid-'90s. In 1999 Epitaph's sister label Anti- signed Tom Waits (b.1949).
    (Reuters, 1/19/07)

1981        The Philip Morris Corp. ran studies that predicted a decline in the number of teenage smokers. This caused their officials to worry over the future of their cigarette sales.
    (SFC, 11/20/96, p.A3)

1981        Primark Corp. was formed as a holding company to diversify Michigan Consolidated Gas. Co. It acquired a trucking co., a mortgage banking co., an aircraft leasing co. and other operations. Exec. VP Joseph E. Kasputys joined the company in 1987 and spun off most of the operations and went into high powered computer-system integration. In 1992 the company acquired Datastream Int’l. of London, and in 1995 it acquired Disclosure Inc. Both companies provided public company information.
    (WSJ, 8/12/96, p.B6)

1981        Sears acquired Dean Witter Reynolds security organization and the Caldwell, Banker & Company real estate firm.
    (WSJ, 11/18/04, p.B1)

1981        George Mitchell (b.1919), a Texas oilman, began to develop an affordable way to extract natural gas locked up in shale rock and other geological formations. By the early 1990s his Mitchell Energy & Development company successfully perfected the fracking process.

1981        US auto production reached its lowest level in years at 6.2 million passenger cars.
    (WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)

1981        Industry experts in 1996 picked the 1981 Cadillac Cimarron as the number 3 worst American-made car.
    (WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)

1981        Industry experts in 1996 picked the 1981 Ford Thunderbird/Mercury Cougar as the number 5 worst American-made car.
    (WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)

1981        Jerome Lemelson (d. 1997 at 74) licensed patents in data and word processing technology to IBM.
    (SFC, 10/4/97, p.A20)

1981        Applied Biosystems was founded to commercialize technology from the laboratory of Leroy Hood, a Caltech professor and pioneer in the automation of genomics. Fluorescent dies attached to the 4 chemical units of the genetic code allowed sequences to be read by machine.
    (SFEC, 7/23/00, p.C7)

1981        William Rutter, Edward Penhoet and Pablo Valenzuela founded Chiron Corp., a biotech operation in Emeryville, Ca. In 2005 the company merged with the Swiss firm Novartis.
    (SFC, 11/1/05, p.D1)

1981        Alan P. Bell (d.2002) led a Kinsey study that suggested that homosexuals are born with that predisposition and not influenced by traumatic experiences during childhood development.
    (SFC, 5/28/02, p.A18)

1981        Hilary Putnam of Harvard Univ. sought to prove that "I am a brain in a vat" is a type of self-defeating utterance, which can never be true.
    (Econ, 11/15/03, p.80)

1981        Dr. Dennis Maki and nurse Rita McCormick of the Univ. of Wisconsin published the first comprehensive study of how needle sticks transmit disease.
    (SFC, 4/13/98, p.A6)

1981        As many as 12,000 health care workers were getting hepatitis B annually from needle stick injuries with 200-300 dying from the infection.
    (SFC, 4/13/98, p.A7)

1981        Employees informed Shell, Exxon and Texaco that the gasoline additive, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), was leaking from their gas stations and had contaminated ground water in 3 towns in New Jersey and Maryland.
    (SSFC, 8/19/01, p.A13)
1981        Gerd Binnig, Heinrich Rohrer and Christoph Gerber of IBM developed the scanning-tunneling microscope. It laid the groundwork for nanotechnology.
    (Econ, 9/18/04, TQ p.17)

1981        In Wyoming a rancher found a solitary enclave of the black-footed ferret. The prairie-dg-eating member of the weasel family had been thought to be extinct. Plans in 2013 called for boosting the ferret count to 3,000 across its 12-state historic range.
    (SFC, 12/24/13, p.A4)

1981        Scientists of the British Antarctic Survey first noticed a depletion of the ozone in the earth’s atmosphere over the South Pole.
    (NOHY, 3/90, p.142)

1981        The Acme-Dunn special-effects optical printer, designed by Linwood Dunn (d.1998 at 94), became the standard in the film industry. Mr. Dunn received an Oscar for his work.
    (SFC, 5/25/98, p.E3)

1981        Australia’s Great Barrier Reef was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.   
    (Econ, 5/31/14, p.77)

1981        Friedrich Karl Flick (1927-2006), Austrian billionaire industrialist, became embroiled in a major postwar political party financing scandal (the Flick Affair) when it surfaced that some of his managers had given millions of German marks to German political parties. Flick sold his company to Deutsche Bank in 1985.
    (AP, 10/6/06)
1981        Karlheinz Boehm (1928-2014), Austrian actor and human rights activist, founded the Menschen fuer Menschen ("People for People") aid group dedicated to helping people in Ethiopia.
    (AP, 5/30/14)

1981        Bhutan’s King Jigme Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced 20 district committees elected by households in an effort to decentralize authority. In 1991 this was extended to 201 committees.
    (Econ, 12/18/04, p.57)

1981        Silvio Santos, born as Senor Abravanel, founded Sistema Brasileiro de Televisao and built it into a large network.
    (WSJ, 8/31/01, p.A5)

1981        Salman Rushdie won the Booker Prize for his novel "Midnight’s Children." The BBC began a movie for TV version in 1997.
    (SFC,10/31/97, p.C7)(Econ, 7/12/08, p.92)
1981        Roy Jenkins (1920-2003) helped found Britain’s Social Democratic Party. Rebels had left Michael Foote’s Labour Party to form the Social Democrats, a party that later disappeared.
    (WSJ, 2/21/97, p.A12)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Jenkins)(Econ, 7/16/16, p.46)
1981        The London Docklands Development corp. was established in England to regenerate 2,150 hectares of the city’s rundown docks. It ceased operations in 1998.
    (Econ, 4/2/05, p.62)
1981        In Britain there was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. The last major outbreak was in 1967 when 442,000 animals were slaughtered.
    (SFC, 2/21/01, p.A12)(http://tinyurl.com/3apbyk)

1981        Bulgarian philosopher Zhelyu Zhelev (1935-2015) published a book called "Fascism" that likened communism to fascism but it was almost immediately withdrawn from the shelves. The book was republished after the fall of the regime.
    (AFP, 2/1/15)
1981        The Bulgarian communist regime built the Buzludzha Monument on a 1,441-meter-high peak to commemorate events in 1891 when the socialists led by Dimitar Blagoev assembled secretly in the area to form an organized socialist movement.

1981        The Summit of 7 leading industrialist nations, G-7, met in Ottawa, Canada.
    (SFC, 6/20/97, p.A16)

1981        Chile under Gen’l. Augusto Pinochet began a voucher scheme to enable poor students to move from bad public schools to good private ones.
    (Econ, 8/1/15, p.20)
1981        Chile barred private universities from making profits. Many got around this restriction by setting themselves up as property companies that lease their premises to the universities.
    (Econ, 10/29/11, p.45)
1981        In Chile Paul Schaefer (b.1921) of the Dignity Colony was accused of child molestation but the case file disappeared at the courthouse in Parral. The judge lived in a house owned by the colony.
    (SFC, 6/27/97, p.A14)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Sch%C3%A4fer)

1981        In China Mao Yushi (b.1929) wrote a widely circulated mathematical defense of market pricing. In 2012he was awarded the Cato Institute's Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty for his work in classical liberalism and free-market economics.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_Yushi)(Econ, 1/9/16, p.36)
1981        China emerged as a major arms supplier to the Siad Barre regime in Somalia.
1981        The Bank of China became the 1st Chinese bank to establish a branch in NYC.
    (Econ, 11/17/07, p.90)(www.bocusa.com/bocny/)
1981        China’s Central Committee published a “Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party." It argued that the Cultural Revolution initiated and led by Chairman Mao was a grave blunder.
    (Econ, 5/14/16, p.38)

1981        In Colombia Triton Oil executives singled out Cusiana as the most interesting geological opportunity.
    (WSJ, 1/3/96, p.A-5)
1981        Colombia decriminalized gay sex.
    (Econ., 8/8/20, p.47)

1981        Sir Albert Henry, the first prime minister of the Cook Islands, died. He had been stripped of his knighthood by Queen Elizabeth when it was learned that he had used government funds to pay for charter flights home for expatriate voters friendly to his party.
    (SFEC, 1/5/97, p.T7)

1981        Corsica’s National university, founded in 1765, re-opened in Corte.

1981        Costa Rica under Pres. Rodrigo Carazo Odio broke off relations Cuba. Ties were restored in 2009.
    (AP, 12/9/09)

1981        Young locals in Medjugorje, Croatia, believed that the Virgin Mary was making regular monthly appearances.
    (WSJ, 3/1/02, p.W11)

1981        In Cuba Sebastian Arcos Bergnes (d.1997 at 65), a dentist, helped found the Committee for Human Rights in Cuba. He was arrested in 1981 and imprisoned for 7 years in the Combinado del Este prison and again in 1992 on charges of disseminating "enemy propaganda." In 1995 he left for the US for medical treatment.
    (SFC,12/27/97, p.E2)
1981        Farmer’s markets emerged in Cuba but were closed by Castro in 1986.
    (SFC, 1/5/99, p.A10)

1981        Construction began on the Cairo Metro.
    (SFC, 1/25/99, p.A6)

1981        In East Timor Jose Alexandre Gusmao was made the official Falintil leader.
    (SFC, 9/8/99, p.A14)

1981        El Salvador’s FMLN was recognized by France and Mexico recognized in as a legitimate political force, while the US was criticized for aiding the military government, whose army backed right-wing death squads.
    (SSFC, 3/15/09, p.A7)
1981        A former US diplomat said that a dozen suspected leftist Salvadorans were thrown from a plane to their deaths in this year.
    (V. Sun, 11/3/95, p.A-12)

1981        The French film “Diva" was produced.
    (SFC, 2/20/98, p.C13)
1981        French Pres. Mitterrand (1916-1996) nationalized the country’s banks. Similar rounds of nationalization had taken place in 1936 and 1945-46.
    (Econ, 10/18/08, p.15)(Econ, 10/25/08, p.18)
1981        French Pres. Mitterrand introduced a tax on great wealth (impot sur les grandes fortunes). It was abolished in 1986 under PM Jacques Chirac and reintroduced in 1988 under the name impot de solidarite sur la fortune (ISF) and applied to total assets greater than $850,000.
    (Econ, 7/16/05, p.45)
1981        The wartime role of Maurice Papon was revealed by a satirical weekly. A committee composed of top French resistance figures said Papon gave occasional service to the underground, but concluded he should have resigned when the roundup of Jews began in July 1942.
    (AP, 9/18/02)
1981        The club Les Henokiens was formed in France as a fraternity of companies whose members were at least 200 years old.
    (Econ, 12/18/04, p.104)
1981        In France the Trains Grand Vitesse (TGVs) were initiated with speeds of 168 mph on the Paris-Lyon line.
    (SFEC, 4/25/99, p.T8)

1981        The German film "Lola" was directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982).
1981        The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems was founded in Freiburg, Germany, and a number of similar facilities followed. By 2007 Fraunhofer employed some 500 people and was Europe's largest solar energy research institute.
    (AP, 7/20/07)

1981        In Cuarto Pueblo, Guatemala, 15 cooperative leaders were killed by government troops.
    (SFC, 12/9/96, p.A18)
1981        In Guatemala some 100,000 Maya villagers were killed this year in a government crackdown on a left-wing insurgency.
    (SFC, 5/19/96, T-11)
1981        In Guatemala eight El Jute residents disappeared. Witnesses later tied Col. Marco Antonio Sanchez and three paramilitaries to the disappearances [see Dec 4 2009].
    (AP, 12/5/09)

1981        In India N.R. Narayana Murthy co-founded Infosys Technologies with 6 other software writers including Nandan Nilekani and S. Gopalakrishnan with some 10,000 rupees (about $1000) pooled from household money. In 1999 it became the first Indian company to list its shares in the US. Chairman Murthy retired in 2006 with Infosys employing 58,000 people. His 5.9% stake was valued at $1.2 billion.
    (WSJ, 8/21/06, p.B7)(Econ, 10/7/06, Survey p.9)(SSFC, 6/29/08, p.C1)(Econ, 12/20/08, p.111)
1981        Subhash Chandra traveled to Zurich to land a $10 million deal to build a factory for toothpaste tubes. He went on to become a leading Indian producer of laminated packaging and then expanded to a private TV network followed by mobile communications.
    (WSJ, 5/18/00, p.A1)

1981        The central Baha’i cemetery in Tehran was confiscated, and more than 15,000 graves were demolished. Later a parcel of land in this cemetery was assigned to the Baha’is in a portion of the cemetery colloquially known as “place of the damned".
    (Global Newswire, 4/23/21)
1981        The Iranian regime executed some 2,946 people this year.
    (Econ, 3/2/13, p.78)
1981        In Iran Ayatollah Khomeini declared the celebration of “Al-Quds Day," the Arabic name for Jerusalem Day, to be held on the last day of Ramadan as an annual denunciation of Israeli control of the holy city.
    (WSJ,2/13/97, p.A18)(www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15343184/)

1981        The Iraqi Hezbollah was founded by pro-Iranian radicals and its fighters waged a low-level war against the government of Saddam Hussein along with the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).
    (SFC, 12/29/03, p.F1)

1981        Israel promised Canada that the Mossad spy agency would not use Canadian passports.
    (WSJ, 10/3/97, p.A1)
1981        In Israel Ariel Sharon (b.1928) was appointed defense minister in the Begin government.
    (SFC, 10/10/98, p.A8)

1981        In Northern Ireland Paddy Doherty, a Londonderry civil rights activist, founded the Inner City Trust, to restore the downtown area.
    (SFC, 12/1/97, p.A14)

1981        In Northern Ireland taxi driver Kevin Artt was arrested for the 1978 murder of a Belfast prison official but later claimed that he was beaten and psychologically coerced into falsely confessing.
    (SFC, 12/11/96, p.A15)

1981        Ettore Sottsass (b.1917), Milanese designer, started the Memphis design movement. The 1996 book "Ettore Sottsass: Ceramics" covers his work.
    (SFEM, 9/22/96, p.36)(http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettore_Sottsass)
1981        Italian officials discovered Propaganda Due (P2), a rogue Masonic lodge with a mission to infiltrate the organs of the state. Membership included politicians, soldiers, spooks and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi. This prompted the outlawing of secret societies.
    (Econ, 7/24/10, p.52)
1981        Cesare Battisti escaped from an Italian prison while awaiting trial on four counts of murder committed when he was a member of the Armed Proletarians for Communism. In 2007 he was arrested in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008 Brazil's top prosecutor recommended his extradition.
    (AP, 4/4/08)

1981        Japan bailed out the US economy by loading up on 30-year government bonds.
    (WSJ, 6/25/96, p.A12)
1981        Japan promised to restrict car exports to America. The restrictions boosted car prices by almost 40% in 1984.
    (Econ, 4/8/17, p.65)
1981        Japan signed the UN Refugee Convention of 1951.
    (Econ., 3/14/15, p.42)
1981        In Japan Masayoshi Son (b.1957), US educated entrepreneur, set up Softbank as a software distributor.
    (Econ, 11/27/10, p.71)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masayoshi_Son)

1981        Asiya Andrabi founded Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Faith) in Indian administered Kashmir. The group supported terrorism and was banned by the Indian government from 1990-2004. In 2007 it was running 75 part-time madrassas in Kashmir.
    (Econ, 4/14/07, p.46)

1981        Libya froze state wages.
    (Econ, 3/11/06, p.42)

1981        In Malaysia Mahathir Mohamed was named prime minister. He led the United Malays National Organization party.
    (SFC,11/24/97, p.A11)

1981        Mauritania became last country in the world to abolish slavery.
    (AFP, 12/31/13)

1981        Rufino Tamayo established the Museum of Contemporary International Art in Mexico City.
    (Smith., 4/95, p.32)
1981        Pronatura, a Mexican non-governmental conservation organization, was founded. One of its projects was to monitor bird migration through southern Mexico.
    (NH, 10/96, p.50)

1981        In Northern Ireland Joe Doherty and 7 IRA comrades shot their way out of Belfast’s Crumlin Road Jail during their trial for killing a British army commando in 1980. Doherty escaped to New York where he was arrested in 1983. He was paroled in 1998.
    (SFC, 11/7/98, p.A14)

1981        Oman established an elected State Consultative Council with an advisory role to the ruler. The elected Consultation / Shura Council (Majlis A'Shura) was established in 1991 and evolved from the State Consultative Council.

1981        In Pakistan Nawaz Sharif (31) was appointed by General Zia ul-Haq as the finance minister of Punjab state.
    (WSJ, 9/5/07, p.A4)
1981        Since this year the government of Pakistan has not taken a national census.
    (WSJ, 12/14/95, p.A-1)

1981        The Islamic Jihad was founded with the aim of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and all of what is now Israel.
    (AP, 11/12/19)   

1981        In the Philippines Hashim Salamat founded the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) when he and followers split from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

1981        Republic of Congo Pres. Denis Sassou Nguesso signed a friendship treaty with the USSR, while maintaining the Congo’s strong economic ties with France.

1981        Soviet authorities arrested Russian historian Arseny Roginsky. He was jailed for publishing a samizdat almanac entitled “Pamyat" (Memory). Roginsky was released in 1985 and founded Memorial to commemorate victims of state repression. In 2017 the government declared Memorial a “foreign agent."
    (Econ, 11/5/16, p.43)
1981        Russian Archeologist Yuri Mochanov of the Yakutish Academy of Sciences announced the discovery of human habitation in northern Siberia that dated back to at least 30,000 years. More precise techniques later measured the stone artifacts at the site to 250k-300k BC.
    (SFC, 2/28/97, p.A15)

1981        Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia proposed an 8-point peace plan to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was adopted by the Arab League after some controversy.
    (Econ, 8/6/05, p.71)

1981        Leopold Sedar Senghor ended his term as president. Abdou Diouf became president.
    (SFC, 1/5/00, p.C3)(SFC, 3/21/00, p.A12)
1981        Merck set up the first human trial of ivermectin for river blindness in Senegal. The drug had been developed for parasitic infections in animals. The trial showed the drug was safe in humans and highly effective at killing the disease vector in its larval state. In 1987 Merck began giving away the drug in an effort to eliminate the disease.
    (Econ, 4/22/17, p.52)

1981        Joshua B. Jeyaretnam (1926-2008), a Workers Party lawmaker, became Singapore's first opposition politician to be elected to Parliament. He was driven to bankruptcy in 2001 by defamation lawsuits brought by PM Lee Kuan Yew, his son his son Lee Hsien Loong, and Goh Chok Tong, who served as prime minister after the elder Lee stepped down in 1990 until the son took over in 2004.
    (AP, 10/1/08)(Econ, 10/11/08, p.118)
1981        Singapore implemented a managed float for its currency. It pegged its dollar to a basket of currencies that mirrored its trading patterns. The Monetary Authority of Singapore does not announce the contents of the basket. It just tweaks the mix as needed.
    (WSJ, 5/23/05, p.C16)
1981        The Government of Singapore Investment corp. was founded to run the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves. By 2008 it had well over $100 billion in assets.
    (WSJ, 1/16/08, p.A10)

1981        Northern Somalia rebelled against dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. A national civil war followed. During the civil was an estimated 40,000 people were killed and about 400,000 refugees fled to Ethiopia.
    (SFC, 4/10/96, A-5)

1981        Pieter-Dirk Uys (b.1945), South African writer, brought his newspaper character Evita to life in the theater. He had begun using the character to write critical commentary on apartheid in the late 70s.
    (SFEC, 5/2/99, p.A27)

1981        Adulterated cooking oil killed 500 [435] people and more than 20,000 [30,000] remained disabled in 1996. In the original 1989 trial 13 merchants were convicted and sentenced to prison. They were also ordered to compensate the victims but declared bankruptcy. Miguel Hernandez Bolanos, director of the Central Customs Laboratory, was found guilty in 1996 of negligence for having written a favorable report for the industrial oil sold as cooking oil. In 1997 Federico Povedano Alonso, a former official in charge of agricultural imports, was also found guilty. Both men received 6-year suspended sentences. In 2021 survivors of the poisoning threatening to commit suicide if their demands for aid and attention were unmet.
    (SFC, 5/25/96, p.A11)(SFC, 10/3/97, p.B3)(Reuters, 10/19/21)

1981        Trinidad and Tobago opened a stock exchange.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)

1981        In Tunisia radical preacher Rached Ghannouchi and other intellectuals, inspired by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, founded the Islamic Tendency Movement, which denounced violence and endorsed pluralism and democracy. He was accused of fomenting unrest and sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 1987 he was sentenced to life behind bars with hard labor under the regime of Habib Bourguiba.
    (AFP, 10/25/11)

1981        Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918-2004), United Arab Emirates President, urged in 5 other Arab monarchies to form the Gulf Co-operation Council.
    (Econ, 11/20/04, p.90)

1981        Irene Saez of Venezuela won the Miss Universe title. In 1998 she ran for the presidency of Venezuela.
    (SFC, 5/15/98, p.D3)

1981        In Vietnam the Buddhist Sangha was founded as an approved denomination reporting to the Fatherland Front party organization.
    (Econ, 9/26/15, p.39)

1981        Vera and Orton Chirwa were abducted from Zambia by Malawi security officials, charged with treason and imprisoned separately and incommunicado for 11 years. Orton Chirwa died in prison in 1992.
    (SFEC, 1/19/97, Par p.5)(www.tomblock.com/detail.php?id=179)

1981        Zairian citizenship was withdrawn from the Banyamulenge Tutsis of eastern Zaire.
    (WSJ, 11/8/96, p.A10)

1981        In Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe ordered judges to investigate clashes between his security forces and the guerrillas of Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union. The report was suppressed.
    (SFC, 2/22/00, p.A10)

1981-1982    The US experienced a recession as Pres. Reagan made tax cuts and built up defense.
    (Econ, 11/20/10, p.30)
1981-1982    In Nicaragua disagreements escalated between the English-speaking Indian peoples of the Caribbean coast who sought greater autonomy and Sandinista government forces. Armed clashes led to the forced relocation of thousands of Miskitos. Sandinista responses grew heavier as some Indians joined the US-backed "Contra" rebellion against the leftist government. At least 64 Miskito Indians were killed by Nicaraguan troops during this period.
    (AP, 7/27/10)

1981-1983    Richard Pipes, Harvard Prof. of Russian History, served Pres. Reagan as chief adviser on Soviet and East European affairs. In 2004 Pipes authored Vixi: Memoirs of a Non-Belonger."
    (SSFC, 1/11/04, p.M6)

1981-1983    In central Guatemala 4,411 people were killed in the area of Rabinal during the civil war.
    (SFC, 1/18/99, p.A10)(Econ, 11/8/03, p.35)

1981-1983    Up to 25,000 suspected opponents to clerical rule were executed in Iran during this period according to estimates by Amnesty Int'l.
    (SFC, 2/11/04, p.A10)

1981-1984    Osvaldo Hurtado, Jaime Roldos' vice president, served as president of Ecuador.
    (AP, 4/21/05)
1981-1984    In France PM Pierre Mauroy (d.2013 at 84) served under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand. His reforms included cutting the legal work week, lowering the retirement age and raising the number of paid holidays.
    (AP, 6/7/13)

1981-1986    J. Richardson Dilworth (d.1997 at 81) served as the chairman of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., a center for theoretical research and advanced study.
    (SFC, 1/1/98, p.A25)

1981-1988    Ronald Reagan (b.1911) served as the 40th president of the US. In 2001 Steven V. Hayward authored "The Age of Reagan."
    (WUD, 1994, p.1196)(WSJ, 9/20/01, p.A14)
1981-1988    Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the US CIA carried out massive covert operations against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
    (WSJ, 12/31/08, p.A6)

1981-1989    The "Tilted Arc," a 120-foot curved wall sculpture of steel by Richard Serra, stood at the plaza of the 2 federal buildings in lower Manhattan. It had been commissioned by the General Services Administration and was taken down after being deemed inappropriate by the GSA.
    (SFC, 9/1/97, p.E4)
1981-1989    A. Alan Hill (1938-1996), appointed by Ronald Reagan as an environmental aide, served for this period as chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality and helped craft an acid rain pact between the US and Canada.
    (SFC, 11/1/96, p.A28)
1981-1989    In the Philippines leaders of the Communist Party and the New People's Army later acknowledged that a number of rebel commanders killed 600-900 suspected spies and government informers in the southern Mindanao region during the 1980s. In 2006 soldiers found mass graves in an area called "Garden," a hilly jungle near the town of Inopacan in Southern Leyte province.
    (AP, 8/31/06)
1981-1991    James R. Harvey (1935-1996) served as CEO of the Transamerica Corp. He sold off much of the company’s diversified portfolio and refocused on its core business in insurance and financial services. He also moved the company into a philanthropic role that concentrated on hunger and homelessness in the SF Bay Area.
    (SFC, 6/7/96, p.A22)
1981-1991    Lord Robert Runcie was the Archbishop of Canterbury. In an interview on 5/15/96 he acknowledged that he had knowingly ordained practicing homosexuals as priests in the Church of England.
    (SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-16)

1981-1994    Archbishop Trevor Huddleston (d.1998 at 84) served as the president of the Anti-Apartheid Movement of Britain. He was made Bishop of Masasi, Tanzania, in 1960 and spent 8 years there. In the 1950s he published "Naught for Your Comfort," a work based on his experiences in the townships of South Africa.
    (SFC, 4/21/98, p.A26)

1981-1995    Patrick Aherne, northern California painter, created his work "Treod River," an 8-by-12-foot diptych, an accretion of small gestures and stuttering revisions.
    (SFC, 2/19/98, p.E1)
1981-1996    Millennials are generally defined as those born during this period.
    (Econ., 9/12/20, p.22)

1981-1997    Robert Rauschenberg created his "The 1/4 Mile or Two Furlong Piece," a tedious chronicle of his artistic history.
    (SFC, 10/13/97, p.E3)

1981-1998    Harold Williams served as the president of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the world’s largest and most highly endowed private foundation for the visual arts. He was to be succeeded by Barry Munitz, chancellor of the 23-campus California State Univ. System.
    (SFC, 7/19/97, p.C1)

1981-2015    The population of Texas surged to almost 27 million in 2015 as compared to less than 15 million in 1981.
    (Econ, 5/30/15, p.28)

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