1979 Newspaper Headlines
If you’re curious about this year in particular, then 1979 newspaper articles are a great way to gain a deeper insight into the events that took place, within the context that they were happening. Important 1979 headlines include the collapse of the horrific Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, the assassination of Lord Mountbatten by the IRA, and the eradication of the Smallpox virus. It was also the year that Margaret Thatcher became the British Prime Minister, beginning over a decade long term in power and changing the trajectory of British politics forever. An authentic 1979 newspaper is a wonderful way to celebrate the highs and lows of this year in history.
7th January 1979
Vietnam and supporting Cambodian insurgents announce the fall of Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and the collapse of the Pol Pot regime. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge retreat west to an area along the Thai border.
18th February 1979
The Sahara Desert experiences snow for thirty minutes.
30th March 1979
Airey Neave, a World War II veteran and Conservative Northern Ireland spokesman, is killed by an Irish National Liberation Army bomb in the House of Commons car park.
4th May 1979
The Conservatives win the general election and Margaret Thatcher becomes the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
30th May 1979
Nottingham Forest wins the European Cup, beating Malmo 1-0 in the final in Munich.
2nd June 1979
Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country.
11th June 1979
John Wayne, American actor (b. 1907) dies from stomach cancer.
16th July 1979
Iraqi President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and Vice President Saddam Hussein replaces him.
9th August 1979
The first British nudist beach is established in Brighton.
27th August 1979
Lord Mountbatten and three other people are assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. He was a British admiral, statesman and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. On the same day, the Warrenpoint ambush occurs: Provisional Irish Republican Army members attack a British convoy at Narrow Water, County Down, killing eighteen British soldiers.
1st September 1979
The U.S. ‘Pioneer 11’ becomes the first spacecraft to visit Saturn, when it passes the planet at a distance of 21,000 km.
4th November 1979
3,000 Iranian radicals, mostly students, invade the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and take ninety hostages; 53 of whom are American. The radicals demand that the United States send the former Shah of Iran back to stand trial.
23rd November 1979
In Dublin, Provisional Irish Republican Army member Thomas McMahon is sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten.
9th December 1979
The eradication of the smallpox virus is certified. Smallpox is therefore the first human disease to be driven to extinction.
24th December 1979
The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.
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