Decades: 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s - 1970s - 1980s 1990s 2000s
Years: 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 - 1979 - 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
January 1 - Sino-American relations: United States and the People's Republic of China establish diplomatic relations
January 4 - State of Ohio agrees to pay $675,000 to families of dead and injured in Kent State University shootings.
January 7 - Vietnam and Vietnam-backed Cambodian insurgents announce the fall of Phnom Penh, Cambodian capital, and the collapse of the Pol Pot regime.
January 16 - The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocate to Egypt after a year of turmoil.
February 1 - Convicted bank robber Patty Hearst is released from prison after her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter.
February 1 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is welcomed back into Tehran, Iran after nearly 15 years of exile.
February 11 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seizes power in Iran.
February 14 - In Kabul, Muslim extremists kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police.
February 17 - The People's Republic of China invades northern Vietnam.
February 22 - Independence of Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom.
March 14 - In China, a Trident aircraft crashes into a factory near Beijing killing at least 200.
March 25 - The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, was delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.
March 28 - Nuclear power plant accident at Three Mile Island, Pa., releases radiation
April 1 - Iran's government becomes Islamic Republic by a %98 vote, overthrowing the Shah officially.
April 6 - President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan is executed.
May 4 - Conservatives win the British election; Margaret Thatcher becomes the new prime minister.
May 10 - The Federated States of Micronesia becomes self-governing.
May 25 - American Airlines flight 191: In Chicago, Illinois, a DC-10 crashes during takeoff at O'Hare International Airport killing 271 on board on two people on the ground.
June 4 - Joe Clark becomes Canada's sixteenth, and youngest, prime minister.
June 18 - Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II agreement in Vienna.
July 16 - Iraqi President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and Saddam Hussein replaces him.
July 17 - Nicaraguan president General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami; Sandinistas form a new government on July 19.
July 19 - The Marxist Sandinistas take control of Nicaragua.
August 27 - Lord Mountbatten killed by the I.R.A.
September 1 - The American Pioneer 11 becomes the first spacecraft to visit Saturn when it passes the planet at a distance of 21,000 km.
September 7 - The Chrysler Corporation asks the United States government for $1 billion dollars to avoid bankruptcy.
September 7 - ESPN starts broadcasting.
October 14 - The first gay rights march in the United States takes place in Washington, DC, involving many tens of thousands of people.
November 1 - Iran hostage crisis: Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini urged his people to demonstrate on November 4 and to expand attacks on United States and Israeli interest (on November 4 militants seized the US embassy in Tehran and took 63 Americans hostage).
November 3 - In Greensboro, North Carolina, five members of the Communist Workers Party are shot to death and seven are wounded by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis during a "Death to the Klan" rally.
November 4 - Iran hostage crisis begins: Iranian radicals, mostly students, invade the United States embassy in Tehran and take 90 hostages (63 of whom are American). They demanded that the United States send the former shah back to Iran to stand trial.
November 5 - The radio news program Morning Edition premieres on National Public Radio.
November 12 - Iran hostage crisis: In response to the hostage situation in Tehran, US President Jimmy Carter orders a halt to all oil imports into the United States from Iran.
November 14 - Iran hostage crisis: US President Jimmy Carter issues Executive Order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States and US banks in response to the hostage crisis.
November 16 - Bucharest Metro Line 1 is opened, in Bucharest, Romania (from Timpuri Noi to Semanatoarea stations, 8.63 km)
November 17 - Iran hostage crisis: Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini orders the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.
November 21 - The United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan is attacked by a mob and set afire, killing four. (see: Foreign relations of Pakistan)
November 23 - In Dublin, Ireland, Irish Republican Army member Thomas McMahon is sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten.
November 28 - In Antarctica, a DC-10 carrying Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashes into Mount Erebus on a sightseeing trip, killing all 257 people on board.
December 5 - Jack Lynch resigns as Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland. His replacement is Charles Haughey.
December 24 - Soviet Union invades Afghanistan
December 27 - The Soviet Union seizes control of Afghanistan and Babrak Karmal replaces overthrown and executed President Hafizullah Amin.
The Susan B. Anthony one dollar coin is introduced in the US
VisiCalc becomes the first spreadsheet program.
Year in topic
1979 in film
Kramer vs. Kramer
March 5 - Production begins on the Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back.
November - Production begins on Raiders of the Lost Ark.
1979 in literature
1979 in music
1979 in sports
1979 in television
February 11 - 43 million viewers watch "Elvis!" on ABC.
Over 300 million households worldwide now own television sets.
1979 in mediaart
The first Ars Electronica Festival takes place in Linz/Austria
January 16 - Aaliyah, singer (†2001)
January 24 - Tatyana Ali, actress
February 9 - Mena Suvari, actress
February 11 - Brandy Norwood, singer.
February 21 - Jennifer Love Hewitt, actress, singer
March 30 - Norah Jones, musician
April 4 - Heath Ledger, actor
April 10 - Rachel Corrie, American activist, member of the International Solidarity Movement. (†2003)
January 3 - Conrad Hilton, hotelier
January 5 - Charles Mingus, American jazz musician
January 26 - Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of New York, Vice President of the United States
February 2 - Sid Vicious of Sex Pistols
February 7 - Josef Mengele, Nazi war criminal
February 12 - Jean Renoir, Film Director
February 23 - W.A.C. Bennett, British Columbia politician
February 28 - "The famous Mr. Ed", the talking horse, dies.
March 28 - Emmett Kelly, clown
April 4 - Ali Bhutto, President and Prime Minister of Pakistan
April 10 - Nino Rota, composer
May 29 - Mary Pickford, actress, studio founder
July 3 - Louis Durey, composer, member of Les Six
July 16 - Alfred Deller, singer, early modern countertenor
July 29 - Bill Todman, game show producer
August 27 - Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 79, British World War II hero, and three others are killed by a blast on a fishing boat off the Irish coast; two I.R.A members are accused on August 30.
September 8 - Jean Seberg, actress
October 6 - Elizabeth Bishop, poet
October 10 - Christopher Evans, British psychologist and computer scientist
December 7 - Prince Chahryar Shafik, nephew of the Shah of Iran, murdered in Paris, France.
December 23 - Peggy Guggenheim, art collector
December 27 - Hafizullah Amin, president of Afghanistan
Physics - Sheldon Lee Glashow, Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg
Chemistry - Herbert C Brown, Georg Wittig
Medicine - Allan M Cormack, Godfrey N Hounsfield
Literature - Odysseus Elytis
Peace - Mother Teresa
Economics - Theodore Schultz, Arthur Lewis