1981 Newspapers

Relive this year in history with an original 1981 newspaper. Historic Newspapers has the largest database of original certified copy newspapers in the world, featuring over 4 million originals from some of Britain’s longest lasting news outlets such as The Guardian, The Times, and The Daily Mail. The 1980s was the decade that reshaped pop culture. Digitalised music, blockbuster movies, and video games all brought about a drastic change in how people spent their time.

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1981 Newspaper Headlines Summary

Our collection of 1981 newspaper articles feature some of the most captivating headlines of the year. Such memorable 1981 headlines include Ronald Reagan succeeding Jimmy Carter to become the 40th President of the United States, and Bob Marley’s death. These are covered in authentic newspapers chronicling the events as they happened.

It was during this year that Rupert Murdoch expanded his media empire by buying The Times and The Sunday Times, Reagan was shot in the chest in an attempted assassination, and the first ever London Marathon attracted 7,500 participants. One of the most memorable events of this year was the marriage of Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles, where the whole world tuned in to watch the young couple wed. An authentic 1981 newspaper is a wonderful gift idea for anyone interested in history, or with a particular affinity with the year 1981.

20th January 1981
Ronald Reagan succeeds Jimmy Carter as the 40th President of the United States. Minutes later, Iran releases the fifty-two Americans who had been held captive for 444 days, ending the Iran hostage crisis.

13th February 1981
Rupert Murdoch buys The Times and The Sunday Times for £12 million.

10th March 1981
Sir Geoffrey Howe announces the British budget, which raises taxes in the middle of a recession.

29th March 1981
The first London Marathon is held with 7,500 runners.

30th March 1981
U.S. President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington D.C. hotel by John Hinckley Junior. Two police officers and Press Secretary James Brady are also wounded.

4th April 1981
Bucks Fizz wins the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song, “Making Your Mind Up“.

11th April 1981
Rioters in Brixton throw petrol bombs, attack police and loot shops.

5th May 1981
Bobby Sands, Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer and elected member of the House of Commons, dies aged twenty-seven while on hunger strike in HM Prison Maze.

11th May 1981
Bob Marley, Jamaican singer and musician (b. 1945) dies.

13th May 1981
Pope John Paul II is shot and nearly killed by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman, as he enters St. Peter’s Square in Rome to address a general audience.

22nd May 1981
Peter Sutcliffe is found guilty of being the Yorkshire Ripper. He is sentenced to life imprisonment on thirteen counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

27th May 1981
Liverpool FC wins the European Cup, beating Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris.

13th June 1981
At the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London, Marcus Sarjeant fires six blank shots at the Queen.

3rd July 1981
The Toxteth riots begin in Liverpool after a mob saves a youth from being arrested. Shortly afterward, the Chapeltown riots start in Leeds after increased racial tension.

29th July 1981
Lady Diana Spencer marries Charles, Prince of Wales.

24th August 1981
Mark David Chapman is sentenced to twenty years to life in prison, after being convicted of murdering John Lennon in Manhattan eight months earlier.

14th September 1981
Margaret Thatcher appoints Cecil Parkinson as Chairman of the Conservative Party.

29th September 1981
Bill Shankly, former Liverpool football manager (b. 1914) dies.

15th October 1981
The heavy metal band Metallica forms.

1st November 1981
Antigua and Barbuda gain independence from the United Kingdom.

8th December 1981
Arthur Scargill becomes President-elect of the National Union of Mineworkers.

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