Decades: 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s - 1970s - 1980s 1990s 2000s
Years: 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 - 1978 - 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983
January 1 - the Copyright Act of 1976 takes effect, making sweeping changes to United States copyright law.
January 1 - Air India's Boeing 747 explodes near Bombay - 213 dead.
January 4 - Referendum in Chile supports policies of Augusto Pinochet.
January 10 - Assassination of Pedero Jaoquin Chamorro who had critizised Nicaraguan government. Riots erupt against Somoza's government.
January 18 - The European Court of Human Rights finds the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.
January 19 - Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster appointed as Director of the FBI
January 22 - Ethiopia announces ambassador of West Germany as Persona non grata
January 23 - Sweden becomes the first nation to ban aerosol sprays that are thought to damage earth's protective ozone layer.
January 24 - Soviet nuclear military satellite falls into atmosphere over Canada
January 30 - Blizzards in USA kill 90
February 1 - Director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl
February 8 - Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcasted on radio for the first time.
February 11 - 16 Unification Church couples wed in New York NY.
February 11 - Mobilization in Somalia due to apparent Ethiopian attack
February 11 - The People's Republic of China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, Shakespeare, & Dickens.
February 15 - Rhodesia's prime minister Ian Smith and three black leaders agree on the transfer to black majority rule.
February 15 - Ted Bundy is captured in Florida
February 16 - The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).
March 3 - Ethiopia admits that its troops are fighting with the aid Cuban soldiers against Somalian troops in Ogaden.
March 3 - Charles Chaplin's remains are stolen from Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland but are recovered 11 weeks later near Lake Geneva.
March 3 - Rhodesia attacks Zambia.
March 11 - Palestinian terrorists on the Tel Aviv Haifa highway kill 34 Israelis
March 15 - United States Senate approves the Panama Canal neutrality treaty; votes to turn the canal over to Panama by the year 2000 on April 18.
March 16 - Israeli forces invade Lebanon.
March 16 - Former Italian premier Aldo Moro is kidnapped by left wing terrorists, who kill five bodyguards; he is found dead on May 9.
March 22 - Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
April 8 - Regular broadcasts of proceedings in British Parliament start
April 16 - In Cologne, 15.000 former members of resistance movement demonstrate against national socialism
April 27 - President of Afghanistan, Daud Khan is killed during a military coup - Mohammed Takain succeeds him.
May 8 - Norway opens a natural gas field in Polar Sea.
May 18 - Soviet dissident Juri Orlov is sentenced for seven years hard labor for distributing counterrevolutionary material
May 18-May 19 - Belgian and French paratroopers fly to Zaire to aid the fight against the rebels.
May 20 - Mavis Hutchinson, 53, becames the first woman to run across USA - trek took 69 days
May 25 - A bomb explodes in the security section of Northwestern University - security guard is wounded. The first bomb of the Unabomber case.
May 26 - DC-10 crashes in O'Hare International Airport
May 26 - In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Resorts International, the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opens.
June 6 - Californians in referendum approve Proposition 13 for a nearly 60% slash in property tax revenues.
June 12 - David Berkowitz, "Son of Sam," is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
June 17 - Police of Switzerland find Charlie Chaplin's body in its coffin, 10 miles from the cemetery.
June 19 - Comic Strip Garfield debuts in newspapers.
June 23 - Josip Broz Tito is named for Yugoslavian president for life.
June 24 - President of Yemen Arab Republic Hussein al-Ghashmi is killed
June 26 - Bomb of Breton nationalists causes destruction in Versailles.
June 28 - The Supreme Court of the United States, in the Bakke case, bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms constitutionality of programs giving advantage to minorities.
June 30 - Ethiopia begin a massive offensive in Eritrea.
July 7 - The Solomon Islands become independent from the United Kingdom.
July 25 - First human birth, girl Louise Brown, from in vitro fertilization (the test tube baby)
August 6 - Pope Paul VI dies at age of 80. The new Pope, John Paul I, age 65, dies unexpectedly after 34 days in office on September 28. He is succeeded by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland as John Paul II on October 16.
August 7 - United States President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal.
August 17 - Double Eagle II becomes first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Preque Isle, Maine.
August 20 - Gunmen open fire on an Israeli El Al airline bus in London
August 20 - In Abadan, Iran, nearly 400 are killed when Muslim extremist arsonists set fire to crowded theater.
August 25 - Shroud of Turin on public display for the first time in 45 years.
September 17 - Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt
September 25 - PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides with a small private airplane and crashes in San Diego, California resulting in the death of 144.
October 1 - Vietnam attacks Cambodia
October 10 - US President Jimmy Carter signs a bill into law that authorizes the minting of the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
October 14 - Daniel arap Moi becomes president of Kenya.
November 3 - Dominica gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
November 7 - Indira Gandhi re-elected to Indian parliament.
November 18 - Jonestown mass suicide: In Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones leads his People's Temple in a mass murder-suicide; 913 die, including 276 children.
November 20 - Military coup in Spain fails.
November 27 - In San Francisco, California, city mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.
December 4 - Following the murder of Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein becomes San Francisco, California's first woman mayor (she served until January 8, 1988).
December 11 - Lufthansa Heist on NY airport
December 11- Massive anti-Shah demonstration in Iran - 2 million demonstrators.
December 27 - Spanish Constitution approved in referendum officially ending 40 years of military dictatorship.
President of Mexicann town of Coacalaco, José Ramon del Cuet, is forced to eat 12 pounds of bananas and then resign.
Hillside Strangler in Los Angeles.
Usu-volcano erupts in Japan
The Eagles' 5-star record, Hotel California was nominated for a Grammy award
Fleetwood Mac's 5-star record, Rumours was nominated for a Grammy award
David Rorvik claims he has participated in a creation of a human clone in his book In His Image
Year in topic
1978 in film
March - Leigh Brackett completes the first draft for the Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back
September - George Lucas purchases Bulltail Ranch, on Lucas Valley Road, for the development of Skywalker Ranch.
The Deer Hunter
Animal House starring John Belushi
US Supreme Court lists words that should not be used in movies.
1978 in literature
The World According to Garp by John Irving
1978 in music
January 14 - Sex Pistols' final concert in Winterland, San Francisco
1978 in sports
1978 in television
November 17 - The Star Wars Holiday Special airs on CBS. The special gives fans their first glimpse of Boba Fett, a character from the upcoming sequel.
Taxi premieres on ABC.
February 7 - Ashton Kutcher, actor
May 1 - Matt Lovato, bass musician of Mest
May 9 - Marwan Alshehhi, citizen of the United Arab Emirates, hijacker and alleged terrorist.
June 1 - Danielle Harris, voice actress in The Wild Thornberrys
June 19 - Dirk Nowitzki, German NBA star
July 21 - Kenny Barber Jr, college student from Loyola Marymount University in 1996 to 2000
August 23 - Kobe Bryant, NBA star
November 9 - Sisqo, rap singer and actor
December 1 - Brad Delson, lead guitar musician of Linkin Park
? - Kris Roe, guitar musician and vocals of The Ataris
January 13 - Hubert H. Humphrey, U.S Vice President and Senator
January 13 - Joe McCarthy, baseball manager
January 14 - Kurt Gödel, US mathematician
January 23 - Jack Oakie, actor
January 23 - Terry Kath, musician ("Chicago (band)")
February 4 - Bergen Evans, television host
February 11 - James B Conant, headmaster of Harvard University.
March 18 - Leigh Brackett, science fiction author
March 21 - Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, fifth President of Ireland
March 31 - Charles Best, medical scientist
May 1 - Aram Khachaturian, composer
May 9 - Aldo Moro, former Prime Minister of Italy
May 22 - Joe Colombo, gangster - he had been in coma since the assassination attempt
July 30 - Umberto Nobile, Italian aviator
August 6 - Pope Paul VI; heart attack
August 21 - Charles Eames, American architect and designer
August 22 - Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyan statesman
August 26 - Charles Boyer, actor
September 7 - Keith Moon, drummer of The Who; drug overdose.
September 9 - Jack Warner, Hollywood studio founder
September 11 - Georgi Markov, Bulgarian dissident; assassinated with a poisoned umbrella. Dies 4 days later.
September 15 - Willy Messerchmitt, German aircraft engineer
September 28 - Pope John Paul I
October 22 - Anastas Mikojan, Soviet politician
November 15 - Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist
December 10 - Ed Wood, Jr, director
December 27 - Houari Boumedienne, president of Algeria.
Physics - Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, Arno Allan Penzias, Robert Woodrow Wilson
Chemistry - Peter D Mitchell
Medicine - Werner Arber, Daniel Nathans, Hamilton O Smith
Literature -Isaac Bashevis Singer
Peace - Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat and Menachem Begin
Economics - Herbert Simon