Freaks & Geeks | home
About Freaks & Geeks | Episode List | Episode Guide | Pictures | Quotes | Audio Clips | Music From the Show | Cast & Crew | Biography | Filmography | Polls & Quizzes | Lindsay | Sam | Daniel | Nick | Kim | Ken | Bill | Neal | Reviews & Articles | Chat Transcripts & Interviews | The Year 1980 | The Year 1981 | Links | Contact Me
Population: 4.529 billion
Nobel Peace Prize
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
US-Iran agreement frees 52 hostages held in Teheran since 1979 (Jan. 20); hostages welcomed back in US (Jan. 25). Background: Iran Hostage Crisis
Pope John Paul II wounded by gunman (May 14).
Israel annexes the disputed Golan Heights territory (Dec. 14).
Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat is assassinated by Islamic extremists during a military parade in Cairo (Oct. 6).
President Hilla Limann is overthrown in Ghana as Jerry J. Rawlings seizes power.
President: Ronald W. Reagan
Vice President: George Bush
Life expectancy: 74.1 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 58.6
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 52.6
US GDP (1998 dollars): $3,115.90 billion
Federal spending: $678.25 billion
Federal debt: $994.8 billion
Median Household Income (current dollars): $19,074
Consumer Price Index: 90.9
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.15 ($0.18 as of 3/22/81; $0.20 as of 11/1/81)
Ronald Reagan takes oath as 40th President (Jan. 20).
President Reagan wounded by gunman, with press secretary and two law-enforcement officers (March 30).
US Supreme Court rules, 4–4, that former President Nixon and three top aides may be required to pay damages for wiretap of home telephone of former national security aide (June 22).
Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O'Connor, 51, of Arizona, as first woman on US Supreme Court (July 7).
Air controllers strike, disrupting flights (Aug. 3); government dismisses strikers (Aug. 11).
Oakland d. Philadelphia (27-10)
LA Dodgers d. NY Yankees (4-2)
Boston d. Houston (4-2)
NY Islanders d. Minnesota (4-1)
Women: Chris Evert Lloyd d. H. Mandlikova (6-2 6-2)
Men: John McEnroe d. B. Borg (4-6 7-6 7-6 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
Indiana d. North Carolina (63-50)
NCAA Football Champions
Fiction: A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
Drama: Crimes of the Heart, Beth Henley
Academy Award, Best Picture: Chariots Of Fire
Nobel Prize for Literature: Elias Canetti (Bulgaria)
Record of the Year: Kim Carnes, "Bette Davis Eyes"
Album of the Year: John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy
Miss America: Susan Powell (OK)
Billboard Top 10 Singles - 1981
1. "BETTE DAVIS EYES" Kim Carnes
2. "ENDLESS LOVE" Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
3. "LADY" Kenny Rogers
4. "(Just Like) STARTING OVER" John Lennon
5. "JESSIE'S GIRL" Rick Springfield
6. "CELEBRATION" Kool and the Gang
7. "KISS ON MY LIST" Daryl Hall and John Oates
8. "I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT" Eddie Rabbitt
9. "9 TO 5" Dolly Parton
10. "KEEP ON LOVING YOU" REO Speedwagon
Billboard Top 10 Albums - 1981
1. High Infidelity - REO Speedwagon
2. Paradise Theatre - Styx
3. Mistaken Identity - Kim Carnes
4. Long Distance Voyager - The Moody Blues
5. Precious Time - Pat Benatar
6. Foreigner - Foreigner
7. Bella Donna - Stevie Nicks
8. Escape - Journey
9. Tatoo You - Rolling Stones
10. For Those About To Rock - AC/DC
Most Popular Television Shows
1. Dallas (CBS)
2. 60 Minutes (CBS)
3. Dukes Of Hazzard (CBS)
4. Private Benjamin (CBS)
5. M*A*S*H (CBS)
6. The Love Boat (ABC)
7. The NBC Tuesday Night Movie (NBC)
8. House Calls (CBS)
9. The Jeffersons (CBS)
10. Little House On the Prairie (NBC)
MTV goes on the air running around the clock music videos, debuting with "Video Killed the Radio Star."
The Supreme Court rules to allow television cameras in the courtroom.
Pacman-mania sweeps the country.
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, Reds, Atlantic City
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
John Updike, Rabbit is Rich
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Roald Hoffmann (US) and Kenichi Fukui (Japan), for applying quantum-mechanics theories to predict the course of chemical reactions
Physics: Nicolaas Bloembergen, Arthur L. Schawlow (both US), and Kai M. Siegbahn (Sweden), for developing technologies with lasers and other devices to probe the secrets of complex forms of matter
Physiology & medicine: Roger W. Sperry, David H. Hubel (both US), and Torsten N. Wiesel (Sweden), for studies vital to understanding the organization and functioning of the brain
AIDS is first identified. Background: Understanding AIDS
IBM introduces its first personal computer, running the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). Background: Computers and Internet
The 236-m.p.h. TGV, Europe's first high-speed passenger train, begins operating out of Lyons, France.
The FDA approves the use of the artificial sweetener aspartame (Nutrasweet). Background: Health & Nutrition