1978 News and Interesting History Tidbits


New Trans Atlantic Record Set
Three American balloonists make the first crossing of the Atlantic by hot air balloon in Double Eagle II. The three balloonists Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman and Max Anderson completed the journey.





Xerox Fined
Xerox was forced to pay a $25.6 million fine for blocking Smith Corona and other companies from entering the photocopier market by the Federal Trade Commission for not allowing other companies to compete in the market.





1978 Average Worker Earnings
Some figures released by the Social Security administration in 1978 give some interesting figures for current and projected incomes and taxes
Current Average Worker earns $10,500 per year
1990 Average Worker Projected to earn $22,700 per year ( Actual was $28,960 )
2000 Average Worker Projected to earn $40,000 per year ( Actual was $40,344 )
2010 Average Worker Projected to earn $70,000 per year
2025 Average Worker Projected to earn $162,000 per year
2050 Average Worker Projected to earn $656,000 per year








Production Stopped Of The Neutron Bomb
President Carter delays Neutron Bomb production. The Neutron Bomb is designed to kill people while minimizing damage to property unlike a conventional nuclear missile which destroys everything in it's path, this is achieved by producing a small blast but massive amounts of lethal radiation.









Cleveland City Bankruptcy
Cleveland was the first American city to face bankruptcy since the Depression in the 1930’s. Half of the city’s 10,000 employees were to be laid off and cuts were to be made among the firemen and police.








Panama Canal to be given to Panamanian Control
The US Senate has backed a treaty to transfer the Panama Canal to the control of Panama.
The building of the Panama Canal was started by the French in 1880 but in 1904 the US took over the construction of the canal which was completed 10 years later.







Politics and Advertising
The British Conservative party has recruited a major advertising agency ( Saatchi & Saatchi ) in it's bid to win the next general election.

It should be remembered that this was the first time a British Political party had hired a high powered advertising agency to get it's message across and it changed the form and costs of political advertising making political advertising as original and slick as any brand advertising, it also set the benchmark for all future political advertising .








Aldo Moro Kidnapped in Rome
The former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro is kidnapped in Rome.
His escort of five police bodyguards were killed when he was snatched at gunpoint from a car near a cafe in the morning rush-hour. The Red Brigade has claimed responsibility and has said it kidnapped the Christian Democratic leader.







Cold War
President Carter announced that a multi million dollar sale of the latest computer technology systems to the TASS News Agency will not be allowed to proceed, new export restrictions are also in place for other technology that might be used to gain knowledge of the latest computer systems including US Oil Producing Technology. This shows a continuing depreciation in East West Relations .






Dominica Gains Independence
Dominica an Island in the Caribbean Gains Independence from Britain in 1978








Rebels Take Over Afghanistan
Military rebels in Afghanistan murdered both the president and his brother during the coup and have taken over all news TV and radio stations in the capital Kabul and have sealed off the countries airports and roads.








Israel Attacks Southern Lebanon
Israel continues it's attacks on southern Lebanon forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in vans, lorries and old buses to head for the safety of Beirut . The Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon are in retaliation for the bus hijacking in Tel Aviv in which 35 people were killed and 100 others were injured 5 days earlier.








Flying Wallendas
Karl Wallenda, founder of the Flying Wallendas, died after falling 10 stories off a tight-rope during a promotional appearance for the Pan American Circus while crossing between the two towers of the ten-story Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.








Argentina Wins 1978 World Cup
Argentina Wins the 1978 World Cup beating the Netherlands 3–1 in the final in Argentina








Taiwan Severs US Diplomatic Relations
U.S. officials had to beat a hasty retreat after President Ching-kuo expressed rage at President Jimmy Carter’s acknowledgement of Peking and the severing of diplomatic ties with Taiwan.








Naomi James breaks the solo round-the-world sailing record
Naomi James breaks the solo round-the-world sailing record by two days with her 53 ft yacht Express Crusader when she crossed the finish line in Dartmouth taking 272 days to complete the record.






Britain Introduces Motability Scheme
A new scheme in Britain ( Motability scheme ) to provide cars for disabled people is launched in Earl's Court, London. The scheme allows disabled people to use part of their mobility allowance to lease new, modified cars for the disabled.










Susan B Anthony Dollar
The first Susan B. Anthony ( a key figure in the woman suffrage movement )dollar is minted but is not accepted by the public due to it's very similar appearance to the quarter








Spain Referendum
Spaniards cast a vote for democracy and are expected to endorse a new constitution in the referendum ending 40 years of dictatorial rule.








Bottled Water
The introduction of bottled water was a big story as very few thought there was much chance of people buying in large quantities.
The Soft Drink Industry does not believe sales of bottled water by Perrier and others will ever make an impact on sales of more traditional soda sales in America.








Gold $200 per ounce
The Price of gold has reached an all time high on the Bullion Market of $200.00 per ounce , investors usually invest in gold during monetary instability and the steady decline in the value of the dollar has sent many US investors into the gold market. ( current price over $900.00 per ounce )








David Berkowitz ( Son of Sam )
David Berkowitz ( Son of Sam ) admitted guilty to 6 son of Sam killings in court , he has also claimed responsibility for 2000 fires in a 4 year period under the alias of "The Phantom of the Bronx", it was revealed a diary found detailed 1,411 of the fires during this time period.








First Test Tube Baby
Lesley Brown gave birth to the world's first test tube baby delivered by Cesarean section in Oldham, England. Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards developed the process to conceive a child in a laboratory and then plant in a uterus to develop normally.








Cult Members Suicide
The Cult leader Jim Jones instructed 400 members of his church, "People's Temple", to drink a soft drink brewed in a tub with cyanide and sedatives at a mass meeting at the Jonestown camp, the bodies were later discovered at a camp in the Jungle . The cult leader was being investigated by American Authorities for conditions at the camp and Jones was also being investigated for tax fraud . Prior to the mass suicide Jones had a number of his followers shoot reporters and the head of the investigation team Congressman Ryan.








Serial Killer Ted Bundy
The Serial Killer Ted Bundy is defeated in an abduction attempt when Carol DaRonch narrowly escapes being abducted. Utah authorities were trying to figure out what had happened to several young women who disappeared earlier. Seattle area officials were looking for a young man named Ted who was the suspected culprit in many murder cases. On August 16, 1975, an officer noticed a suspicious Volkswagen driving around his patrol area. After pulling the vehicle over, he found handcuffs in the back of the automobile and arrested the driver--Ted Bundy. In March 1976, he was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, which put him behind bars while investigators tried to connect him to the many unsolved murders in Washington, Colorado, and Utah but December 30, 1977, Bundy managed to escape from jail. A few months later, he was added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, and on February 15, 1978, he was finally captured. He eventually confessed to the murders of 28 women, and was executed in Florida on January 24, 1989.








Drinking Age raises to 21
Michigan becomes one of the first states to raise its drinking age to 21 over concerns about high school students drinking and driving.
Prior to this most states had an 18 age limit drinking policy but as the number of accidents increased due to teen drinking more states increased the drinking age to 21 as a means of saving young lives








Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior
The Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior spends two weeks trailing the Norwegian boat Kvitungen preventing the start of the Grey Seal cull in the Shetland Isles. And public opinion forces the Scottish Secretary Brian Millan to reduce the cull from 4,600 Grey Seal to 2,000 and local fisherman will perform the cull not the Norwegian boat.








Home Ownership 1978
A new report released shows the widely ranging costs of owning your own home in different parts of the country in 1978.


The figures are based on Mortgage payments, Insurance payments, Utility payments and local taxes . These figures also take the cost of the average home in that area.



Atlanta $420


Baltimore $409


Chicago $429


Columbus $365


Denver $406


Detroit $389


Hartford $401


Houston $339


Los Angeles $567


Miami $443


Milwaukee $411


Morristown $343


New York $497


Philadelphia $393


Pittsburg $364


Portland Maine $347


Portland Oregon $376


Richmond $374


Rochester $399


St Louis $333


San Fransisco $614


Washington $578


The Average Cost of a home in 1978 was $54,800







The Unabomber
The Unabomber kills his first victim, Hugh Scrutton who is killed in his computer store in Sacramento, California, by a mail package that explodes in his hands. The Unabomber had detonated his first bomb in May 1978 on the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois His Main Targets were Universities which is how he got the name of Unibomber







1978 Environment
400 of the worlds top climatologists are meeting in Geneva to discuss climate change and if changes in Climate is influenced by pollution.








Aerosol Sprays
Sweden is the first country in the world to recognise the effect of aerosol sprays on the Ozone Layer and bans the sale








Amoco Cadiz
The Amoco Cadiz wrecks off the coast of Portsall, France losing 68 million gallons of oil that caused environmental damage to 240 miles of France’s Brittany coastline











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