1978 events in history

Jan 1 The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands becomes effective
Jan 1 Air India Flight 855 Boeing 747 crashes into the sea, due to instrument failure and pilot disorientation, off the coast of Bombay, India, killing 213
Jan 6 The Crown of St. Stephen (also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary) is returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held after World War II
Jan 13 U.S. Food & Drug Administration requires all blood donations to be labeled "paid" or "volunteer" donors
Jan 18 The European Court of Human Rights finds the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture
Jan 18 The roof structure of the Hartford Civic Center collapses after a significant snowfall
Jan 19 The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany leaves VW's plant in Emden. Beetle production in Latin America continues until 2003
Jan 24 Soviet satellite Cosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada's Northwest Territories. Only 1% is recovered
Jan 26 The Great Blizzard of 1978, a rare severe blizzard with the lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the US until October 2010, strikes the Ohio – Great Lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h)
Feb 1 Director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees the United States to France after pleading guilty to charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl
Feb 6 The Blizzard of 1978, one of the worst Nor'easters in New England history, hit the region, with sustained winds of 65 mph and snowfall of 4" an hour
Feb 8 Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcast on radio for the first time
Feb 11 Censorship: China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens
Feb 13 Hilton bombing: a bomb explodes in a refuse truck outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia, killing two refuse collectors and a policeman
Feb 16 The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois)
Feb 17 The Troubles: The Provisional IRA detonates an incendiary bomb at the La Mon restaurant, near Belfast, killing 12 and seriously injuring 30
Feb 18 The first Ironman Triathlon competition takes place on the island of Oahu and is won by Gordon Haller
Feb 19 Egyptian forces raid Larnaca International Airport in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking, without authorisation from the Republic of Cyprus authorities. The Cypriot National Guard and Police forces kill 15 Egyptian commandos and destroy the Egyptian C-130 transport plane in open combat
Feb 20 The last Order of Victory is bestowed upon Leonid Brezhnev
Mar 2 Czech Vladimír Remek becomes the first non-Russian or non-American to go into space, when he is launched aboard Soyuz 28
Mar 5 The Landsat 3 is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California
Mar 8 The first radio episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC Radio 4
Mar 11 Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 are killed and more than 70 are wounded when Al Fatah hijack an Israeli bus, prompting Israel's Operation Litani
Mar 14 The Israeli Defense Force invades and occupies southern Lebanon, in Operation Litani
Mar 15 Somalia and Ethiopia signed a truce to end the Ethiopian-Somali War
Mar 16 Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro is kidnapped and later killed by his captors
Mar 16 Supertanker Amoco Cadiz splits in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, resulting in the 5th-largest oil spill in history
Mar 22 Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mar 23 The first UNIFIL troops arrived in Lebanon for peacekeeping mission along the Blue Line
Mar 26 Four days before the scheduled opening of Japan's Narita International Airport, a group of protestors destroys much of the equipment in the control tower with Molotov cocktails
Mar 28 The US Supreme Court hands down 5–3 decision in Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, a controversial case involving involuntary sterilization and judicial immunity
Apr 1 The Philippine College of Commerce, through a presidential decree, becomes the Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Apr 7 Development of the neutron bomb is canceled by President Jimmy Carter
Apr 14 1978 Tbilisi Demonstrations: Thousands of Georgians demonstrate against Soviet attempts to change the constitutional status of the Georgian language
Apr 17 Mir Akbar Khyber is assassinated, provoking a communist coup d'état in Afghanistan
Apr 20 Korean Air Lines Flight 902 is shot down by the Soviet Union
Apr 27 Former United States President Nixon aide John D. Ehrlichman is released from an Arizona prison after serving 18 months for Watergate-related crimes
Apr 28 President of Afghanistan, Mohammed Daoud Khan, is overthrown and assassinated in a coup led by pro-communist rebels
May 1 Japan's Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, becomes the first person to reach the North Pole alone
May 3 The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (which would later become known as "spam") is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States
May 8 The first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler
May 12 In Zaire, rebels occupy the city of Kolwezi, the mining center of the province of Shaba (now known as Katanga). The local government asks the U.S.A., France and Belgium to restore order
Jun 1 The first international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty are filed
Jun 9 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens its priesthood to "all worthy men", ending a 148-year-old policy of excluding black men
Jun 11 Altaf Hussain founds the students' political movement All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organisation (APMSO) in Karachi University
Jun 12 David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" killer in New York City, is sentenced to 365 years in prison for six killings
Jun 13 Israeli Defense Forces withdraw from Lebanon
Jun 15 King Hussein of Jordan marries American Lisa Halaby, who takes the name Queen Noor
Jun 19 Garfield, holder of the Guinness World Record for the world's most widely syndicated comic strip, makes its debut
Jun 22 Charon, a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, is discovered by American astronomer James W. Christy