20 Facts: The Year 1978

It’s hard to believe that 32 years have passed since the year 1978. I was one year old back then, so I do not have much recollection of this period in my mind. But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t explore the notable events of this year. This post sums up 20 Facts from the year 1978. History is one of my interests. How do we know where we are going if we don’t know where we are coming from? History has a tendency to repeat itself. Hopefully the human race can learn from past mistakes. I must admit that 1978 is not that long ago if you look at the big historical picture, though. It was an interesting year and worthy of being featured on Running Wolf’s Rant. For those of you who were alive back then: Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane. For those of you who weren’t alive back then: Hope you find this post interesting and insightful. The photo on this is post dates back to February 1978. This cover of Time Magazine featured the boxer Muhammad Ali on the cover.

Here are some notable events from 1978:

  1. John Smit (current South African rugby captain), Ashton Kusher (Actor), Estella Warren (Model turned Actress), Jason Biggs (Actor), Josh Hartnett (Actor), Nelly Furtado (Canadian singer-songwriter), Frank Lampard (English Football star), Andy Samberg (Comedian and Actor), Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Actress), Nikki Cox (Actress), Katie Holmes (Actress), Katherine Heigl (Actress), Rachel McAdams (Actress), Michelle Rodriguez (Actress), Shannyn Sossamon (Actress), Zoe Saldana (Actress) and Usher (Musician) were born in 1978. Louise Brown, the worlds first test tube baby, was born in Oldham, Manchester in the United Kingdom in the same year.
  2. The Woody Allen film Annie Hall won 4 Oscars. For Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
  3. Prime minister Ian Smith of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and 3 black leaders agreed to transfer to black majority rule in the African country.
  4. The serial killer, Ted Bundy (who killed an estimated 35 people between 1973/4 and 1978) was captured in February 1978 in Pensacola, Florida in the United States.
  5. American Porn publisher Larry Flynt (the founder of Hustler Magazine) was shot and paralyzed in Lawrenceville, Georgia in the United States in 1978
  6. Kaiser Matanzima (a nephew of Nelson Mandela) broke all Transkei’s diplomatic ties with South Africa and announced that all SADF members seconded to the Transkei Army would be leaving Transkei by 31 March 1978
  7. In January 1978 former ANC member, Steve Mtshali (who turned state witness in various trials) is shot and wounded in South Africa. An unexploded bomb capable of destroying a 22 storey building was found in a Johannesburg office block and defused in February 1978. In March 1978 a bomb exploded in Port Elizabeth, South Africa outside the Bantu Affairs building (killing 1 person and injuring 3). A bomb also exploded at the Soweto Community Council in Johannesburg in December 1978. Marais Viljoen was appointed as the acting State President of South Africa, before handing over power to John Vorster in 1978. PW Botha took over the job of Prime Minister of South Africa from John Vorster in the same year. George Bizos (a distinguished human rights advocate who fought against apartheid in South Africa) became a senior member of the Johannesburg bar in the same year as well. The Attorney-General of the Eastern Cape (in South Africa) stated that he would not prosecute any police involved in the arrest and detention of Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko (who had died in 1977 in police custody). The South African Atomic Energy Corporation built the country’s first nuclear weapon device in this year.
  8. The 1978 FIFA World Cup was held in Argentina. The hosts were victorious, beating The Netherlands 3 -1 in the final.
  9. David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam,” was sentenced to 365 years in prison in 1978.
  10. Dominica, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1978.
  11. The comic strip, Garfield made its debut in 1978.
  12. Pope Paul VI died in Rome in 1978 and was succeeded by Pope John Paul I. However Pope John Paul I died after only 33 days in the papacy. He’s succeeded by Pope John Paul II (the first Polish pope in history).
  13. At Blowering Dam in Australia, Ken Warby set the current world water speed record of 317.60 mph (511 km/h) in 1978.
  14. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord.
  15. In Africa, Daniel Arap Moi became the president of Kenya.
  16. Movies that were released in 1978 include The Deer Hunter (starring Robert de Niro), Midnight Express (starring Randy Quaid), Grease (starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John), Superman (starring Christoper Reeve), Halloween, Animal House (starring John Belushi and Kevin Bacon) and Up in Smoke.
  17. In 1978 Wales completed the Grand Slam and won the 84th Five Nations Championship (in Rugby Union) and the Blue Bulls (Northern Transvaal) won the Currie Cup in South Africa (in Rugby Union). Ronnie Peterson of Sweden won the 1978 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami. English cricketer Ian Botham became the first man in the history of the cricket to score a century and take 8 wickets in 1 inning of a Test match.
  18. Musical groups that were formed in 1978 include Bauhaus, Dead Kennedys, Dexys Midnight Runners, Duran Duran, Pulp, Simple Minds, Survivor and UB40.
  19. The Space Invaders video game was developed by Taito in Japan in 1978.
  20. After nearly 30 years production of the Volkswagen Beetle is halted in Germany. Over 20 million cars VW Beetles were produced over the years.

There you have it, 20 facts about the year 1978. Watch this space for regular updates in the Facts category of Running Wolf’s Rant. The Movies, Music and Technology category is also regularly updated. The Babes and Photography categories are updated daily.

Related Links:

Historical Events for Year 1978 – Historical Orb
The Year 1978 – People History
1978 – Info Please
1978 Events – Global Oneness

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone
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