1979 For the first time in history in 1979 a woman Margaret Thatcher is elected Prime minister in the UK. As technology becomes smaller Sony released the Walkman a worldwide success costing $200 which at that time was a significant amount of money. Also the first Snowboard is invented in the USA. The bombing by the IRA in England continues with Lord Mountbatten and three others assassinated. Following the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Iran becomes an Islamic Republic and 63 Americans are taken hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran on 4th November

Cost of Living 1979

How Much things cost in 1979
Yearly Inflation Rate USA11.2%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 838
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 15.25%
Average Cost of new house $58,100.00
Average Income per year $17,500.00
Average Monthly Rent $280.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 86 cents
Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 13,650
Gallon of Petrol 0.79
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 17.00%
Interest Rates Year End Bank of England 12.50%
More Examples
Sony Walkman $200.00
Chess Challenger Computer Chess Game $199.49
Pachinko Pinball Machine $199.49
Jox Trainers $14.99
Girls Denim Overalls $24.00
Atari Video Computer System $199.00
JVC VHS Video Recorder System $54.99
Mens Blazer, Vest and Slacks $39.99
King Size Bean Bag Chair $19.99
Toyota Corola $3,698.00
Mercury Couger XR7 $6,430.00

What Events Happened in 1979

  • USSR Invades Afghanistan
  • Margaret Thatcher elected on May 3rd as the Prime minister in UK
  • Severe Atlantic Storm hits Fastnet International Yacht Race and a number of boats and crew are lost
  • Following the Burgess, Mclean, Philby and Sir Anthony Blunt Spy Scandal he is stripped of his knighthood
  • Salt II arms limitation Talks signed by US and USSR
  • Due to crisis in Iran Oil Prices Increase around the world and the public begin panic buying making things worse.
  • During the "Death to the Klan March" organised by communist supporters in Greensboro, North Carolina white supremists open fire killing five marchers
  • Eleven fans are killed and dozens are injured at a WHO Concert at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Three Mile island Nuclear Accident after fire at reactor in Pennsylvania US
  • Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Tehran, Iran after nearly 15 years of exile and takes over the Iranian law enforcement, courts and government administration and Khomeini seizes power in Iran
  • 63 Americans are taken hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran
  • Iran's government becomes Islamic Republic when the Shah of Persia is forced to leave
Saudi Arabia
  • 400 Armed Sunni Islamic Muslims, seize the Grand Mosque in Mecca taking pilgrims present for the annual hajj hostage. The crisis ends after two weeks and more than 250 dead.
  • The Dictator Idi Amin is deposed in Uganda
  • A mob attack destroys the US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan
  • The Sahara Desert experiences snow for 30 minutes.
  • 13 Tornadoes ripped through Texas and Oklahoma
Rhodesia / Zimbabwe
  • The first black-led government of Rhodesia in 90 years takes power on June 1st and the countries name is changed to Zimbabwe,
  • Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country
  • President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and Vice President Saddam Hussein replaces him in Iraq

  • The first British nudist beach is established in Brighton
  • The Times news paper is not published for nearly a year due to an industrial dispute
  • Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin sign the first peace treaty between an Arab nation and the Jewish state
  • A Canadian Pacific freight train carrying dangerous chemicals is derailed causing an explosion and releasing toxic fumes causing mass evacuation in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Lord Mountbatten and three others assassinated by the I.R.A. on August 27th . He was a British admiral, statesman and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Northern Ireland
  • Eighteen British soldiers are murdered at Warrenpoint, South Down
  • 23 people die in Nice, France, when the coastal town is hit by a tsunami
  • The Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrow the regime in the central American republic of Nicaragua
  • 3000 Iranian radicals, mostly students, invade the United States embassy in Tehran and take 90 hostages
  • China institutes the one child per family rule to help control it's exploding population
  • The worlds first anthrax epidemic begins in Ekaterinburg, Russia following a biological weapons plant accident
  • "American Airlines Flight 191" crashed and exploded in a field near O'Hare International Airport in Chicago
  • The price of oil reaches a new record of $24 per barrel
  • The British Conservative MP Airey Neave is killed by a car bomb
  • Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is executed


  • VisiCalc becomes the first spreadsheet program.
  • Sony introduces the Sony Walkman costing $200.00
  • Voyager I photo reveals Jupiter's rings
  • The European Space Agency launches Ariane 1

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )

Snowboard USA by Daniel E Chadwick
First Commercial Cellular Network NTT
The Sony Walkman Introduced Sony

1979 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

Part of our Collection of Clothing From The1970's Clothing Fashions and Styles
Fashion Clothing From 1979

1979 Childrens Toys

Part of our toy collection From The Kids Toys From The 1970's

Kids Toys From 79

Popular Culture 1979

  • YMCA sues the Village People for libel because of their song of the same name
  • Sid Vicious, a former member of the Sex Pistols dies due to a heroin overdose during the trial for murdering his girlfriend
  • Pink Floyd release the multi award winning concept album "The Wall" with the top selling single "Another Brick in the Wall"
  • The General Knowledge Quiz Game Trivial Pursuit is Launched
  • The First modern Bungee Jumping performed by a group from the Oxford University Dangerous Sports club jumped from the Clifton Suspension Bridge joining England and Wales

Popular Films

  • Superman The Movie
  • Every Which Way But Loose
  • Rocky II
  • Alien
  • The Amityville Horror
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Moonraker
  • The Muppet Movie
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Kramer vs. Kramer

Popular Musicians and songs

  • Bee Gees with " Love you Inside Out "
  • Rod Stewart
  • Gloria Gaynor with " I will Survive "
  • Blondie with " heart of Glass "
  • Donna Summer "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls"
  • Michael Jackson
  • The Eagles
  • Commodores
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Police
  • Village People
  • Boomtown Rats

Popular TV Programmes

  • All My Children
  • Masterpiece Theatre
  • Old Grey Whistle Test
  • Are You Being Served? (UK)
  • Emmerdale Farm (UK)
  • M*A*S*H
  • The Price Is Right
  • The Waltons
  • Last of the Summer Wine (UK)
  • The Young and the Restless
  • Happy Days
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Charlie's Angels
  • Family Feud
  • Quincy, M.E.
  • The Muppet Show (UK)
  • The Love Boat
  • Three's Company
  • Dallas
  • Diff'rent Strokes
  • Mork and Mindy
  • Taxi

Born This Year 1979

Kate Hudson April 9th
Heath Ledger April 4th
Jennifer Love Hewitt February 21st

1979 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders 1979

Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser Brazil President Ernesto Geisel Till 15 March
Brazil President João Figueiredo From 15 March

Canada Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau till June 4,
Canada Prime Minister Joe Clark from June 4,

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Post Abolished

France President Valéry Giscard d'Estain

Germany Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
India Prime Minister Morarji Desai Till 28 July
India Prime Minister Charan Singh From 28 July

Italy Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti Till 4 August
Italy Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga From 4 August

Japan Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira Mexico President José López Portillo Russia / Soviet Union
First Secretary of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev South Africa Prime Minister Pieter Willem Botha United States President Jimmy Carter United Kingdom Prime Minister James Callaghan Till 4 May
United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher From 4 May

Political Elections This Year

Canadian Federal Election 1979 Joe Clark ( Progressive Conservatives ) defeats Pierre Trudeau ( Liberal )

British General Election 1979 Margaret Thatcher ( Conservative ) defeats James Callaghan ( Labour ) and David Steel ( Liberal )