Quick Facts from 1978:
- World Changing Event: Louise Brown, the first “test-tube baby,” was born healthy in Oldham General Hospital, UK.
- The Top Song was Night Fever by The Bee Gees
- The Movies to Watch include Grease, Every Which Way But Loose, Superman and Heaven Can Wait
- The Most Famous Person in America was probably Muhammad Ali
- Notable books include: Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett and The World According to Garp by John Irving
- 1200 Watt hair dryer: $9.99
Price of a postage stamp in 1978: 15 cents
- US Life Expectancy: Males: 69.6 years, Females: 77.3 years
- The Funny Late Night Host: Johnny Carson
- The Big Pay Day: Marlon Brando was paid a record $3.7 million and 11.75% of the gross profits for 13 days’ work on Superman.
Top Ten Baby Names of 1978:
Jennifer, Melissa, Jessica, Amy, Heather, Michael, Jason, Chris, Topher, David, James
The Sex Symbols, Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Loni Anderson, Barbara Bach, Adrienne Barbeau, Kim Basinger, Valerie Bertinelli, Dyan Cannon, Lynda Carter, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Harry, Kate Jackson,. Marilu Henner, Lauren Hutton, Maria João, Cheryl Ladd, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Bernadette Peters, Victoria Principal, Diana Ross, Jane Seymour, Brooke Shields, Jacquelyn Smith, Suzanne Somers, Donna Summer, Cheryl Tiegs, Lindsay Wagner, Mary Woronov
Leading Men, Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks:
Christopher Reeve, John Travolta, Warren Beatty
“My advice to you is to start drinking heavily”
– John Belushi in ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’
“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son”
– John Vernon in’National Lampoon’s Animal House’
“Za Plane! Za Plane Boss!”
-Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize)
Robin Williams as Mork (from Ork)
– John Belushi as John “Bluto” Blutarsky, in ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’
“We’re from France”
-The Coneheads, on Saturday Night Live
“Here’s to good friends.”
– Lowenbrau beer
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Susan Perkins (Columbus, OH)
Judi Anderson (Hawaii)
The FBI set up “Abdul Enterprises, Ltd.” and posed as Middle Eastern businessmen. They videotaped talks with government officials, where they offered money in return for political favors to a fictional middle eastern businessman. 11 U.S. government officials were out of a job after this bribery and conspiracy scandal.
There has been some debate about 3M’s Post-it notes. The product was used in a marketing campaign in 1978 as ‘Post N Peel’ , and sold nationally in 1980 as ‘Post-it Notes.’ New products are in ‘test mode’ all the time. We say 1980.
12 year-old Brooke Shields stars in Pretty Baby, a film about a whorehouse.
The Twinkie Defense appeared. Dan White killed Harvey Milk and George Moscone. The jury agreed that he had diminished mental capacity from eating too many twinkies.
Don’t drink the Kool-Aid! Jim Jones gets 909 followers to commit suicide (including many children) by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid in his Jonestown commune.
The Unabomber sent his first bomb to Professor Buckley Crist at Northwestern University. Result: slight injury to officer Terry Markman.
A computer “testing malfunction” caused the United State’s Defense System to go from an “at ease” DEFCON 1 to a “fire up the missiles” DEFCON 5.
Rock Star Death:
Keith Moon (accidental overdose of prescription medication)
Pop Culture News:
Ben and Jerry opened their first ice cream parlor in Burlington, Vermont.
Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler made it to the top of Mount Everest, the first to do so without supplementary oxygen.
The first Test Tube Baby, Louis Brown was born.
Home Depot was founded in Atlanta, Georgia.
Aveda shampoo was invented by Horst Rechelbacher.
Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1978: $162,000
Actor Marlon Brando was paid $3.7 million and a percentage of the profits for twelve shooting days playing Jor-El, Superman’s father, in the superhero flick Superman. For ten minutes of screen time, Brando earned $14 million.
Simon, Toga Parties, watching Grease, and singing along.
1st appearances & 1978’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Hungry Hungry Hippos, Simon
Best Film Oscar Winner:
Annie Hall (presented in 1978)
Broadway Show – Dancin’ (Dance Musical) Opened on March 27, 1978 and Closed: June 27, 1982
Broadway Show – Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Review) Opened on May 9, 1978 and Closed: February 21, 1982
Broadway Show – The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Musical) Opened on June 19, 1978 and Closed: March 27, 1982
East End Show – Evita (Musical) Opened on June 21, 1978 and Closed: February 18, 1986
Popular and Notable Books From 1978:
A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories by Will Eisner
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon
Chesapeake by James A. Michener
Evergreen by Belva Plain
Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
Fools Die by Mario Puzo
The Holcroft Covenant by Robert Ludlum
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach
Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr
Sea, Sea, Sea by Iris Murdoch
Scruples by Judith Krantz
Second Generation by Howard Fast
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Stand by Stephen King
War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
The World According to Garp by John Irving
1978 Most Popular TV shows:
1. Laverne & Shirley (ABC)
2. Happy Days (ABC)
3. Mork & Mindy (ABC)
4. Three’s Company (ABC)
5. Angie (ABC)
6. 60 Minutes (CBS)
7. M*A*S*H (CBS)
8. The Ropers (ABC)
9. All In The Family (CBS)
10. Taxi (ABC)
1979 Billboard Number One Songs:
December 24, 1977 – January 13, 1978:
How Deep Is Your Love – Bee Gees
January 14 – February 3:
Baby Come Back – Player
February 4 – March 3:
Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
March 4 – March 17:
(Love Is) Thicker Than Water – Andy Gibb
March 18 – May 12:
Night Fever – Bee Gees
May 13 – May 19:
If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman
May 20 – June 2:
With A Little Luck – Wings
June 3 – June 9:
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late – Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams
June 10 – June 16:
You’re The One That I Want – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
June 17 – August 4:
Shadow Dancing – Andy Gibb
September 9 – October 27:
Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste of Honey
October 28 – November 3:
Hot Child In The City – Nick Gilder
November 4 – November 10:
You Needed Me – Anne Murray
November 11 – December 1:
MacArthur Park – Donna Summer
December 2 – December 8:
You Don’t Bring Me Flowers – Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
December 9 – January 5, 1979:
Le Freak – Chic
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
Superbowl XII Champions: Dallas Cowboys
NBA Champions: Washington Bullets
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadians
U.S. Open Golf Andy North
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Jimmy Connors/Christine Marie Evert
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Bjorn Borg/Martina Navratilova
NCAA Football Champions: Alabama & USC
NCAA Basketball Champions: Kentucky
Kentucky Derby: Affirmed (Triple Crown Winner: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes)
World Cup (Soccer): Argentina