Argo Redux: A 1979 Review

 

Back in 1979, there were no home computers; no cell phones; no microwaves; fewer barber shops; but plenty of disco. (And yes, in case you wonder, this is, indeed, a picture of the younger Pecan Park Eagle. during his doctoral student days. Back in the day, chess and darts kept us busy with no electronic enhancement along the way. Thank you old friends Serge and Ginette Masse, for sending it and the others to me. I’m trying to recall what happened to that chess set.

Back in 1979, there were no home computers; no cell phones; no microwaves; fewer barber shops; but plenty of disco. (And yes, in case you wonder, this is, indeed, a picture of the younger Pecan Park Eagle. during his doctoral student days. Back in the day, chess and darts kept us busy with no electronic enhancement along the way. Thank you old friends Serge and Ginette Masse, for sending it and the others to me. I’m trying to recall what happened to that chess set.

Here’s a brief look at how some things went down that year of the “Argo” movie:

January

6th – The Village People’s Y.M.C.A becomes their only UK No.1 single. At its peak it sold over 150,000 copies a day.

12th – 6th American Music Award: Barry Manilow and Linda Ronstadt are the big winners.

21st – The price of gold increases to a record $875 per troy ounce.

21st – Superbowl XIII: The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys, 35-31 in a Miami-based  Superbowl. The MVP award goes to Pittsburgh QB Terry Bradshaw.

23rd – Willie Mays is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

27th – 36th Golden Globes: Midnight Express is named best picture;  Jon Voight and Jane Fonda are named best actor and actress for their roles in Coming Home.

29th – The 9th Annual NFL Pro Bowl: the NFC beats the AFC, 13-7.

29th – President Carter commuted Patricia Hearst’s 7 year prison sentence to 2 years

February

1st – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 yrs in exile.

1st – Patricia Hearst is released from a San Francisco prison for bank robbery.

3rd – The Minnesota Twins trade Rod Carew to the California Angels for 4 players.

7th – Pink Floyd premiered their live version of “The Wall” in Los Angeles.

10th – “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” by Rod Stewart peaks as it climbs to #1 on the chart.

14th – In Kabul, Muslims kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police.

15th – 21st Grammy Awards: Just the Way You Are, Taste of Honey wins.

22nd – Billy Martin is named manager of the Oakland A’s.

March

7th – Warren Giles and Hack Wilson are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

9th – Bowie Kuhn orders baseball to give equal access to female reporters.

23rd – Larry Holmes TKOs Osvaldo Ocasio in 7 for the heavyweight boxing title.

26th – The 41st NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Michigan State defeats Indiana State,  75-64, in the year that pitted Magic Johnson against Larry Byrd competing at the apex of college basketball. The Spartans victory brought an end to the 33-game win streak of Byrd’s ISU Sycamores.

26th – The Camp David peace treaty between Israel and Egypt begins.

April

1st – Iran proclaims itself an Islamic Republic following the fall of the Shah.

7th – Houston Astro pitcher Ken Forsch no-hits the Atlanta Braves, 6-0.

9th – 51st Academy Awards – The “Deer Hunter” takes the best picture award as Jon Voight and  Jane Fonda get the nods as best male and female actors in leading roles for “Coming Home”.

10th – Houston Astros pitcher J.R. Richard throws a major league record 6 wild pitches in the Astrodome.

15th – The 43rd Golf Masters Championship in Augusta, Georgia: Fuzzy Zoeller wins, shooting a 280.

May

5th – 105th Kentucky Derby: Ron Franklin on Spectacular Bid wins in 2:02.4.

10th – John J. McMullen of New Jersey becomes CEO of the Houston Astros NL baseball club.

13th – The Shah of Iran and his family are sentenced to death in Teheran.

16th – The National League  approves the Astros sale from Ford Motor Company to John J. McMullen for $19M.

June

18th – Billy Martin becomes Yankee manager for the second timed time, replacing Bob Lemon.

July

16th – Premier/President al-Bakr of Iraq is succeeded by Saddam Hussein.

17th – The 50th All Star Baseball Game: The NL wins 7-6 at the Kingdome in  Seattle.

August

2nd – New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson dies at the Akron/Canton Regional Airport in Ohio when he crash lands his Cessna Citation I/SP Jet and is overwhelmed by the ensuing fire. Two passengers, instructor Dave Hall and friend Jerry Anderson are seriously burned, but escape certain death in the plane after finding themselves unable to free the cockpit-trapped and unconscious Munson. Munson’s last words to his companions before the crash were these, “Are you guys all right?”

5th – Willie Mays, Warren Giles, and Hack Wilson are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

8th – Iraqi president Saddam Hussein executes 22 political opponents.

12th – Iran press censors start massive book burnings.

13th – Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals becomes the 14th player in history to get 3,000 hits in his career.

September

12th – Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox becomes the 15th to get 3,000 hits in his career.

15th – Bob Watson of the Boston Red Sox is the 1st to hit for cycle in both the AL and NL (Astros).

30th – The Houston Astros finish in 2nd place in The NL West under manager Bill Virdon.  Their 89-73, .549 record is their best in franchise history for most wins in a single season, even though they only equaled their best wining percentage of .549, a milestone they previously achieved in 1972 with an 84-69 mark.

October

17th – The Pittsburgh Pirates take the World Series in seven games over the Baltimore Orioles.

18th – Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini orders mass executions to stop.

23rd – Billy Martin is involved in a barroom altercation with Joseph Cooper, a Minnesota marshmallow salesman. Cooper requires 15 stitches.

29th – Billy Martin is fired as Yankee manager for the second time.

November

4th – 500 Iranian “students” seize the US embassy in Tehran, taking 90 hostages that they will hold for 444 days.

5th – Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini declares the US to be “The Great Satan”

6th – Ayatolla Khomeini takes full control of Iran.

8th – ABC broadcasts “Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage” with Frank Reynolds as the original host. It will always be remembered as the forerunner to “Nightline” and the big career bump for newsman Ted Koppel.

12th – President Carter announces the immediate halt to all imports of Iranian oil.

15th – ABC-TV announces that it will broadcast nightly specials on the Iran hostage situation.

17th – Khomeini frees most of the black and female US hostages.

18th – Ayatollah Khomeini charges the US ambassador/embassy with espionage.

19th – The Houston Astros sign Nolan Ryan to a record 4 year, $4.5 million contract.

30th – Ted Koppel becomes anchor of the nightly news on Iranian Hostages for ABC.

December

3rd – 45th Annual Heisman Trophy Award: Charles White, Southern Cal (RB).

15th – The deposed Shah of Iran leaves the US in ill health for Panama.

16th – QB Roger Staubach plays his last regular season game for the Dallas Cowboys

27th – Soviet troops invade Afghanistan; President Hafizullah Amin is overthrown.

If you care for more items from 1979, check out this site:

http://www.historyorb.com/events/date/1979/january

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6 Responses to “Argo Redux: A 1979 Review”

  1. Wayne Williams Says:

    Thanks for the memories. I was finishing up at the National War College in June and moving to Lowry AFB in Denver (now closed). The Air Force wouldn’t let me grow my hair that long. The Pirates beat the Orioles in the World Series in October. Remember when the W.S. was played in daylight?

  2. Greg Lucas Says:

    THAT is a look I can’t believe on you! I must admit I would have never gone that route..guess I was always too square and nothing has changed. Thats why my thinking hasn’t changed with age. I always thought like a 60+ year old!

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Sorry for the shock, Greg. It’s just how things were for some of us back in that era. I had similar thoughts at dinner a week ago with Rollie Fingers. Fingers still has his signature mustache and folks like me still have our short beards, but none of us wear hair the way we wore it back in the Age of Aquarius. And yes. – I’d be far more shocked to see that you had started your career looking liking a fugitive from the Haight-Asbury. As a young academic and shrink-to-be in 1970, it was one of the optional garbs of the territory. I was hoping to reincarnate the House of David in one of our Houston summer softball leagues, but never got around to it.

  3. Mark W. Says:

    A huge event for me that summer – and it’s not included on this site – was when Thurman Munson was killed crashing his plane while practicing landings on August 2nd.

  4. Anthony Cavender Says:

    Bill: I was away for the weekend, and I was spared the shock of seeing the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. All I can say is, “WOW”!

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