1978 – The Good Old Days?

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September 23, 1978, Blondie’s Parallel Lines is released, going to UK number 1 in February 1979, and becoming that year’s best selling album.

And, in other news … 1978 was an up and down year (recognise any similarities with 2022?)

  • January 18 – The European Court of Human Rights finds the British government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.
  • January 31 – 18-year-old prostitute Helen Rytka is murdered in Huddersfield; she is believed to be the eighth victim of the Yorkshire Ripper.
  • February 15 – Rhodesia, one of only two remaining white-ruled African nations (the other being South Africa), announces that it will accept multiracial democracy within 2 years.
  • February 27 – The first global positioning satellite (GPS), the Rockwell International Navstar 1, is launched.
  • March 30 – Conservative Party recruit advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi to revamp their image.
  • April 20 – A Soviet air defense plane shoots down Korean Air Lines Flight 902; the plane makes an emergency landing on a frozen lake.
  • May 8 – Norway opens a natural gas field, in the Polar Sea.
  • June 5 – 5th Annual World Environment Day, founded by the UN.
  • June 13–16 – Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena pay a state visit to the United Kingdom. He is made a Knight of the Order of the Bath, and she an honorary professor of the Polytechnic of Central London.
  • June 25 – The rainbow flag of the LGBT movement flies for the first time (in its original form) at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade.
  • July 25 – Louise Brown, the world’s first test tube baby, is born in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
  • September 7 – In London, a poison-filled pellet, supposedly injected using an umbrella, fatally poisons Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov; he dies four days later.
  • 7 September – Prime Minister James Callaghan announces that he will not call a general election for this autumn, and faces accusations from Tory leader Margaret Thatcher and Liberal leader David Steel of ‘running scared’. Callaghan also announces the end of the Lib-Lab pact.
  • September 16 – A major earthquake affects the city of Tabas, Iran and at least 15,000 people are killed.
  • September 26 – 23 Ford car plants are closed across Britain due to strikes.
  • October 1 – Vietnam attacks Cambodia, and fully invades in December. This stopped the Khmer Rouge Genocide.
  • October 27 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin win the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward a Middle East accord.
  • November 4 – British bakeries impose bread rationing after a baker’s strike led to panic buying of bread.
  • November 5 – Rioters sack the British Embassy in Tehran.
  • November 23 – Pollyanna’s nightclub in Birmingham is forced to lift its ban on Black and Chinese revellers, after the Commission for Racial Equality concludes that the nightclub’s entry policy was racist.
  • November 30 – An industrial dispute closes down The Times newspaper (until 12 November 1979).
  • December 14 – The Labour minority government survives a vote of confidence.
  • December 21-22 – The BBC is hit by a series of strikes. BBC One and BBC Two are taken off air.

Plus ça change ? The Good Old Days?

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