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Fun Facts and Trivia From the Year 1978

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1978.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1978.

What Happened in the Year 1978?

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1978? What were some of the top news stories in the U.S. and around the world, and what major events took place in the business and financial sectors? What was popular in everyday life, and what happened in science, technology, sports, and in the entertainment industry? From world leaders to pioneers to innovators, who were the most influential people in 1978? What about famous birthdays, marriages, and deaths that year, as well as how much things cost at the grocery store? Finally, what was the year 1978 best known for, and was it a good or bad year overall?

Here is a summary of what took place in 1978:

  1. President Carter decided to postpone production of the controversial neutron bomb, since the proposed venture was “straining the Western alliance and creating sharp divisions within his administration.”
  2. President Carter signed the Humphrey–Hawkins Full Employment Act into law, which adjusted “the government's economic goals to include full employment, growth in production, price stability, and balance of trade and budget.”
  3. The president also signed a bill that restored U.S. citizenship to Jefferson Davis, “an American politician who served as president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865.”
  4. The oil shock of 1978-79 began in December 1978 when OPEC “raised oil prices by 18% and agreed on a 14.5% petroleum price increase for 1979.”
  5. By a vote of 68 to 32, the Senate ratified the Neutrality Treaty, which stated that “the United States could use its military to defend the Panama Canal against any threat to its neutrality, thus allowing perpetual U.S. usage of the Canal.” By another vote of 68 to 32, the Senate ratified The Panama Canal Treaty, which stated that “the Panama Canal Zone would cease to exist on October 1, 1979, and the Canal itself would be turned over to the Panamanians on December 31, 1999.”
  6. In January, the Great Blizzard of 1978 devastated the Ohio Valley and caused 51 deaths in Ohio alone. Then, in February, a blizzard ravaged both New England and the New York metropolitan area, killing about 100 people and causing over $500 million in damage.
  7. From 1953 until 1978, the National Hurricane Service only used female names to designate Atlantic hurricanes. As a result, many weathermen began to use “sexist cliches” to describe the behavior of the storms, which offended both female meteorologists and feminists. Starting in 1979, hurricanes had both male and female names, and Hurricane Bob was the first Atlantic hurricane to be identified with a masculine name.
  8. In 1978, NASA unveiled the first group of women astronauts, and the Women's Army Corp (WAC) disbanded after 35 years.
  9. The price of gold topped $200 an ounce for the first time in history, and the first Susan B. Anthony dollar went into circulation.
  10. California voters approved Proposition 13, which slashed property taxes by nearly 60%.
  11. Cleveland, Ohio became the first major American city since the Great Depression to go into default.
  12. Abolitionist Harriet Tubman became the first African-American woman to be honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
  13. Sweden became the first country in the world to ban aerosol sprays that contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the propelling agent.
  14. China lifted a ban on the writings of Aristotle, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens, as “the end of censorship was foreshadowing other important reforms.”
  15. Bob Barnaby created WordStar, which was one of the first popular word processing systems for personal computers. WordStar retained a loyal following even after Microsoft Word surpassed it in sales.
  16. The first spam email was sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager who was promoting a new model of computer. Thuerk sent the correspondence out to about 600 prospects via ARPANET, and “complaints started coming in almost immediately.”
  17. The Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl, the Washington Bullets were the NBA champs, and the Montreal Canadiens clinched the Stanley Cup.
  18. MLB legends Eddie Mathews, Addie Joss, and Larry MacPhail were all inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  19. The first Garfield comic strip appeared in 41 newspapers throughout the U.S.
  20. At the 50th Academy Awards, Annie Hall won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Woody Allen), and Best Actress (Diane Keaton). On the other hand, Star Wars won six Oscars, including Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction. Finally, Madame Rosa (France) won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
  21. The news magazine, 20/20, premiered on ABC, and the all-night Larry King Show made its national radio debut on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
  22. In 1978, Golda Meir, Harvey Milk, Hubert H. Humphrey, Pope John Paul VI, Jack Warner, and Norman Rockwell all passed away.
  23. Consumer products that were introduced in 1978 include 2000 Flushes, Burger King specialty sandwiches, Cabbage Patch kids, Coors Light, Dry Idea, Huggies, and the LaserDisc player.
  24. Companies and brands that were established in 1978 include Banana Republic, Ben & Jerry’s, the Bombay Company, Grease Monkey, Home Depot, Monster Cable, Pelle Pelle, and Raw Books.
  25. At the 51st Scripps National Spelling Bee, the winner was Peg McCarthy of Topeka, Kansas, who correctly spelled the word “deification.”

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1978. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, famous birthdays, and other cool pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1970s-themed trivia game.

In 1978, the Ford Motor Company was one of America's largest corporations.

In 1978, the Ford Motor Company was one of America's largest corporations.

Table of Contents

For easier reading and referencing, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1978
  2. History Facts From the USA and World
  3. Sports Trivia
  4. Influential People From 1978
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Entertainment News
  7. Nobel Prize Winners
  8. Best-Selling Fiction and Non-Fiction Books
  9. Most Popular Television Shows From 1978-79
  10. Most Popular Movies
  11. Ten Best Horror Films
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. Top 40 Songs for the Year
  14. Food and Beverage Trivia
  15. Famous Birthdays
  16. Notable Weddings
  17. Famous People Who Died
  18. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year
  19. America’s Largest Corporations
  20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1978
In 1978, the first Garfield comic strip appeared in 41 newspapers throughout the U.S.

In 1978, the first Garfield comic strip appeared in 41 newspapers throughout the U.S.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1978

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library and ThePeopleHistory.com.

  1. Apples (Granny Smith): 29 cents a pound
  2. Bacon: $1.89 for a one-pound package
  3. Beef (sirloin steak): $1.49 a pound
  4. Bread (rye): 79 cents for a two-pound loaf
  5. Cake (Pepperidge Farm, layer): $1.19 for a 17-ounce package
  6. Cake mix (Betty Crocker): 59 cents for a 18.5-ounce box
  7. Cereal (Cheerios): 69 cents for a 15-ounce box
  8. Cheese (Borden, American singles): $1.49 for a 16-ounce package
  9. Cherries (Bing): 69 cents a pound
  10. Eggs: 59 cents a dozen
  11. Fish (Chicken of the Sea, tuna): 59 cents for a 6.5-ounce can
  12. Folgers coffee: $1.90 for a one-pound can
  13. Grapes: 69 cents a pound
  14. Ground beef: 98 cents a pound
  15. Ham (smoked, rump cut): $1.09 a pound
  16. Hot dogs (Toban’s, kosher): $1.69 for a one-pound package
  17. Juice (Minute Maid, frozen, orange): 79 cents for a 12-ounce can
  18. Land O’Lakes butter: $1.33 for a one-pound package
  19. Lettuce (iceberg): 48 cents for a large head
  20. Margarine: 59 cents for a one-pound package
  21. Marshmallows (Ann Page): 49 cents for a 16-ounce package
  22. Milk: $1.33 a gallon
  23. Mustard (Gulden’s, spicy brown): 26 cents for an eight-ounce jar
  24. Onions: Five pounds for $1.00
  25. Oranges: 10 for 99 cents
  26. Peaches: Three pounds for $1.00
  27. Pickles (B&G): 99 cents for a quart jar
  28. Pie (Mrs. Smith’s, apple): 99 cents for a 26-ounce package
  29. Pineapple: 29 cents a pound
  30. Pork & beans (Campbell’s): Four 16-ounce cans for $1.00
  31. Pork roast: $1.33 a pound
  32. Pot roast: 79 cents per pound
  33. Potato chips (Wise): 69 cents for an eight-ounce bag
  34. Potatoes: 98 cents for a five-pound bag
  35. Roasting chickens: 98 cents a pound
  36. Soda (C&C cola): Six 12-ounce cans for 69 cents
  37. Sweet potatoes: 14 cents a pound
  38. Tomatoes: 49 cents a pound
  39. Watermelon: 10 cents a pound
  40. Yogurt (Light & Lively): Three eight-ounce cups for $1.00
In 1978, Ben & Jerry’s—a Vermont-based company that manufactures ice cream—founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.

In 1978, Ben & Jerry’s—a Vermont-based company that manufactures ice cream—founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.

2. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. President: Jimmy Carter (D-Georgia)
  2. Vice President: Walter Mondale (D-Minnesota)
  3. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: Warren E. Burger (Minnesota)
  4. Speaker of the House of Representatives: Tip O'Neill (D-Massachusetts)
  5. Senate Majority Leader: Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia)
  6. The 95th Congress was in session. There were 435 representatives, including 292 Democrats and 143 Republicans. According to History.House.gov, “The Democrats retained control of Congress and won the presidency in the 1976 elections. Thomas P. ‘Tip’ O’Neill of Massachusetts succeeded Speaker Carl Albert of Oklahoma following his retirement in 1977. But despite their one-party control of the federal government, Democrats failed to pass President Jimmy Carter’s comprehensive energy program. The 95th Congress (1977–1979) produced only stop-gap energy legislation.”
  7. On January 1, after 30 years on the force and more than eight years as the police chief, Edward M. Davis retired from the Los Angeles Police Department.
  8. On January 6, the United States returned the Holy crown of Hungary—also known as the Crown of Saint Stephen—to the people of Hungary. (For safekeeping purposes, the U.S. had kept the Crown at Fort Knox since World War II.)
  9. On January 13, NASA unveiled the first group of women astronauts. The six candidates were Shannon W. Lucid, Margaret Rhea Seddon, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Judith A. Resnik, Anna L. Fisher, and Sally K. Ride.
  10. On January 14-15, the body of former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey “lied in state at the Capitol Rotunda, following his death from cancer.”
  11. On January 19, the last Volkswagen Beetle manufactured in Germany left VW’s plant in Emden. (Beetle production would continue in Latin America until 2003.)
  12. On January 23, Sweden became the first country in the world to ban aerosol sprays that contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the propelling agent.
  13. On January 25-27, the Great Blizzard of 1978 devastated the Ohio Valley and caused 51 deaths in Ohio alone.
  14. On January 30, MLB legends Addie Joss and Larry MacPhail were both elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  15. On February 1, abolitionist Harriet Tubman became the first African-American woman to be honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
  16. On February 5-7, a blizzard ravaged both New England and the New York metropolitan area, killing about 100 people and causing over $500 million in damage.
  17. On February 6, the first Home Depot store opened in Marietta, Georgia.
  18. On February 11, China lifted a ban on the writings of Aristotle, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens, as “the end of censorship was foreshadowing other important reforms.”
  19. On February 16, the first computer bulletin board system (CBBS) was created in Chicago.
  20. On March 4, the Chicago Daily News—founded in 1875—published its last issue.
  21. On March 28, Daryl Gates became the 49th chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.
  22. On April 7, President Carter decided to postpone production of the controversial neutron bomb, since the proposed venture was “straining the Western alliance and creating sharp divisions within his administration.”
  23. On April 17, 63,500,000 shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange—setting a record.
  24. On April 16, by a vote of 68 to 32, the Senate ratified the Neutrality Treaty, which stated that “the United States could use its military to defend the Panama Canal against any threat to its neutrality, thus allowing perpetual U.S. usage of the Canal.”
  25. On April 18, by another vote of 68 to 32, the Senate ratified The Panama Canal Treaty, which stated that “the Panama Canal Zone would cease to exist on October 1, 1979, and the Canal itself would be turned over to the Panamanians on December 31, 1999.”
  26. On April 28, the Women's Army Corp (WAC) was disbanded after 35 years.
  27. On May 3, the first spam email was sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager who was promoting a new model of computer. Thuerk sent the correspondence to about 600 prospects via ARPANET, and “complaints started coming in almost immediately.”
  28. On May 26, Resorts International, the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opened for business.
  29. On May 29, the cost of a first-class postage stamp increased to 15 cents.
  30. On June 6, California voters approved Proposition 13, which slashed property taxes by nearly 60%.
  31. On June 19, the first Garfield comic strip appeared in 41 newspapers throughout the U.S. It focused "on the life of a lazy and often sarcastic cat named Garfield."
  32. On July 28, the price of gold topped $200 an ounce for the first time.
  33. On August 7, MLB legends Eddie Mathews, Addie Joss, and Larry MacPhail were all inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  34. On October 4, Pier 39, a tourist attraction, opened on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
  35. On October 10, President Carter signed a bill that authorized the minting of the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
  36. On October 14, President Carter signed legislation that allowed the home brewing of beer in the United States.
  37. On October 17, President Carter signed a bill that restored U.S. citizenship to Jefferson Davis, “an American politician who served as president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865.”
  38. On October 17, the New York Yankees won their 22nd World Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-2, and winning the series 4 games to 2.
  39. On October 27, President Carter signed the Humphrey–Hawkins Full Employment Act, which adjusted “the government's economic goals to include full employment, growth in production, price stability, and balance of trade and budget.”
  40. On November 27, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk were both assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White.
  41. On December 4, Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco’s first female and Jewish mayor.
  42. On December 5, baseball legend Pete Rose signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, and became the highest-paid MLB player.
  43. On December 13, the first Susan B. Anthony dollar went into circulation.
  44. On December 15, Cleveland, Ohio became the first major American city to go into default since the Great Depression.
  45. On December 17, OPEC “raised oil prices by 18% and agreed on a 14.5% petroleum price increase for 1979, to be implemented quarterly.”
In 1978, the Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl.

In 1978, the Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl.

3. Sports Trivia

Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. Kentucky Derby: Argentina
  2. NBA Champions: Washington Bullets
  3. NCAA Football Champs: Kentucky
  4. Orange Bowl: Arkansas over Oklahoma
  5. Rose Bowl: Washington over Michigan
  6. Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
  7. Sugar Bowl: Alabama over Ohio State
  8. Super Bowl: Dallas Cowboys
  9. U.S. Open Golf: Andy North
  10. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Jimmy Connors/Christine Marie Evert
  11. Wimbledon (men/women): Bjorn Borg/Martina Navratilova
  12. World Series Champions: New York Yankees

4. Influential People From 1978

From world leaders to pioneers to innovators, who were the most influential people in 1978?

  1. Addie Joss, Larry MacPhail, and Eddie Mathews: Three MLB legends who were inducted into the Baseball of Fame.
  2. Anwar Sadat: The President of Egypt and Nobel Prize winner.
  3. Aristotle, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens: Their writings were no longer banned in China.
  4. Bob Barnaby: He created WordStar, which was one of the first popular word processing systems for personal computers. WordStar retained a loyal following even after Microsoft Word surpassed it in sales.
  5. Cardinal Albino Luciani: He became Pope Paul VI, the 263rd head of the Roman Catholic Church. (He also died unexpectedly after 34 days in office.)
  6. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla: After the sudden death of Pope Paul VI, he became Pope John Paul II, the 264th head of the Roman Catholic Church.
  7. Carol Burnett: Her Emmy award-winning variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, aired for the last time on CBS.
  8. Diane Keaton: She won the Best Actress Oscar (Annie Hall).
  9. Dianne Feinstein: She became the first female and Jewish mayor of San Francisco.
  10. Giuseppe Verdi: His opera, Otello, was broadcast on Live from the Metropolitan Opera, a PBS television series that presented live performances of operas from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. This was “the first complete television broadcast of the opera in the U.S. since the historic 1948 one.”
  11. Harriet Tubman: She became the first African-American woman to be honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
  12. Jim Davis: He created the popular Garfield comic strip.
  13. Jimmy Carter: The 39th U.S. president.
  14. John Madden: The Oakland Raiders’ coach who became the 13th coach to win 100 NFL games.
  15. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John: They were popular music artists who also starred in the 1978 version of the musical comedy Grease.
  16. Joseph Califano: He was the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter.
  17. Judge William H. Webster: President Carter appointed him as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  18. Larry King: His all-night talk show made its national radio debut on the Mutual Broadcasting System, and also became an increasingly popular program.
  19. Max Robinson: He became the first African-American anchor on a network news broadcast (ABC World News Tonight).
  20. Menachem Begin: The Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Prize winner.
  21. Pete Rose: He signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, and became the highest-paid MLB player.
  22. Richard Dreyfuss: He won the Best Actor Oscar (Annie Hall).
  23. Sally K. Ride, Shannon W. Lucid, Margaret Rhea Seddon, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Judith A. Resnik, and Anna L. Fisher: They were NASA’s first group of women astronauts.
  24. The Bee Gees: Their album, Saturday Night Fever, went #1 for 24 weeks.
  25. Woody Allen: He won the Best Director Oscar (Annie Hall).
In 1978, the New York Yankees were the World Series champions.

In 1978, the New York Yankees were the World Series champions.

  1. In 1978, the most popular baby names for boys were Michael, Jason, Christopher, David, and James. Today, the most popular names include Liam, Noah, Oliver, Elijah, and William.
  2. In 1978, the most popular baby names for girls were Jennifer, Melissa, Jessica, Amy, and Heather. Today, the most popular names include Olivia, Emma, Amelia, Ava, and Sophia.
  3. The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 73.36 years.
  4. Fashion icons in 1978 were Kim Basinger, Candice Bergen, Jacqueline Bisset, Carol Burnett, Angie Dickinson, Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Jane Seymour, and Donna Summer.
  5. Susan Perkins (Ohio) was crowned Miss America.
  6. Judi Anderson (Hawaii) became Miss USA.
  7. The cost of a Super Bowl ad was $162,000.
  8. Consumer products introduced in 1978 include 2000 Flushes, Burger King specialty sandwiches, Cabbage Patch kids, Coors Light, Dry Idea, Huggies, the LaserDisc and LaserDisc player, Simon (game), Speak & Spell (toy), and the Trapper Keeper.
  9. France ended its price controls on bread, and Sweden banned aerosol cans.
  10. Violent crime in the U.S. per 1,000 people: 51.4
  11. Property crime in the U.S. per 1,000 people: 46.4
  12. Movie ticket: $2.34
  13. 1978 Honda Civic: $4,299.00
  14. Men’s necktie: $2.00-$8.50 each
  15. Men’s painter’s pants: $6.98 a pair
  16. Men’s Wrangler jeans: $5.98 a pair
  17. Men’s sport shirts: $2.99-$3.99 apiece
  18. Women’s summer shorts: $2.98 a pair
  19. Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil: Three 25’ rolls for $1.00
  20. Tide: $1.99 for a three-pound box
  21. Clorox bleach: 59 cents for a 64-ounce jug
  22. General Electric dishwasher: $169.95
  23. GE food processor: $14.99
  24. Unemployment: 6.0%
  25. Inflation rate: 7.59%
  26. Median household income: $15,064.00
  27. Average cost of a new house: $62,500
  28. Average monthly rent: $260
  29. Dow Jones high for the year: 893
  30. Dow Jones low for the year: 807
In 1978, Grease—a musical romantic comedy based on the 1971 Broadway show with the same title—was the highest-grossing film.

In 1978, Grease—a musical romantic comedy based on the 1971 Broadway show with the same title—was the highest-grossing film.

6. Entertainment News

  1. On January 21, the Bee Gees’ album, Saturday Night Fever, went #1 for 24 weeks.
  2. On January 28, at the 35th Golden Globe Awards, The Turning Point won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama, and The Goodbye Girl won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
  3. On January 30, the Larry King Show made its national radio debut on the Mutual Broadcasting System. (By early 1980, King's “increasingly popular all-night program was being carried by around 200 stations and was credited with attracting many new affiliates to the [Mutual] network.”)
  4. On March 4, the Chicago Daily News—founded in 1875—published its last issue.
  5. On March 10, the Incredible Hulk (1978-82), starring Bill Bixby as David Banner, premiered on CBS.
  6. On March 29, the comedy series, The Carol Burnett Show, aired its final installment on CBS. It starred Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, and Lyle Waggoner.
  7. On April 1, the final broadcast of The Bob Newhart Show aired on NBC.
  8. On April 2, the primetime soap opera, Dallas, debuted on CBS and ran for 14 seasons. The series “revolves around an affluent and feuding Texas family, the Ewings, who own the independent oil company, Ewing Oil, and the cattle-ranching land of Southfork.”
  9. On April 3, at the 50th Academy Awards, which honored the best motion pictures of 1977, Annie Hall won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Woody Allen (Annie Hall) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye Girl) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Diane Keaton (Annie Hall) won an Oscar for Best Actress. Finally, Star Wars won an Oscar for Best Original Score, and Star Wars also won an Oscar for Best Sound.
  10. On April 3, Larry King moved his radio show from Miami to Washington, DC.
  11. On April 17, the Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Carl Sagan for his book, The Dragons of Eden.
  12. On May 9, the musical revue—Ain’t Misbehavin’—opened at the Longacre Theater in NYC for 1,604 performances.
  13. On May 30, at the 31st Cannes Film Festival, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, directed by Ermanno Olmi, won the Palme d’Or.
  14. On June 4, at the 32nd Tony Awards, Da won a Tony for Best Play, and Ain’t Misbehavin’ won a Tony for Best Musical. Likewise, Barnard Hughes (Da) won a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, and Jessica Tandy (The Gin Game) won a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play.
  15. On June 6, the news magazine, 20/20, debuted on ABC, and would still be on the air in 2021.
  16. On June 16, the film Grease—a musical comedy based on the 1971 Broadway show with the same title—was released. It starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
  17. On June 19, the musical comedy, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, opened at the 46th Street Theater in NYC for 1,577 performances.
  18. On July 10, the newscast, World News Tonight, premiered on ABC, and would still be on the air in 2021. In 1978, it featured Max Robinson, the first black anchor on a network newscast.
  19. On September 1, the final episode of the police drama, Colombo, aired on NBC.
  20. On September 1, the horror film, Dawn of the Dead, was released in Torino.
  21. On September 12, the sitcom, Taxi, debuted on ABC. It starred Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, and Danny DeVito.
  22. On September 17, at the 30th Primetime Emmy Awards, All in the Family (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and The Rockford Files (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Carroll O’Connor (All in the Family) won an Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series, and Jean Stapleton (All in the Family) won an Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series.
  23. On September 29, the final episode of the daytime soap, For Richer, For Poorer, was broadcast on NBC.
  24. On September 29, the comedy-drama series, Flying High, premiered on NBC.
  25. On October 4, the film adaption of Ira Levin’s novel, The Boys from Brazil, was released. It starred Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier.
  26. On October 25, the horror film, Halloween, starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, was released.
  27. On November 3, the sitcom, Different Strokes, debuted on NBC.
  28. On November 15, Harold Pinter’s play, Betrayal, premiered in London.
  29. On December 8, The Deer Hunter, a film starring Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Steep, was released in Los Angeles.
  30. On December 10, Superman: The Movie, starring Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, and Margot Kidder, debuted at the Uptown Theater in Washington, DC.
In 1978, Animal House, a comedy film directed by John Landis, was one of the most popular motion pictures.

In 1978, Animal House, a comedy film directed by John Landis, was one of the most popular motion pictures.

7. Nobel Prize Winners

Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.

This Nobel Prize information from 1978 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  • Chemistry: Peter D. Mitchell
  • Economic Sciences: Herbert A. Simon
  • Literature: Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • Peace: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat
  • Physics: Arno Penzias, Robert Woodrow Wilson, and Pyotr Kapitsa
  • Physiology or medicine: Daniel Nathans, Werner Arber, and Hamilton O. Smith

8. Best-Selling Fiction and Non-Fiction Books

This book trivia from 1978 has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

Fiction:

1. Chesapeake by James A. Michener

2. War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

3. Fools Die by Mario Puzo

4. Bloodlines by Sidney Sheldon

5. Scruples by Judith Krantz

6. Evergreen by Belva Plain

7. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

8. The Holcroft Covenant by Robert Ludlum

9. Second Generation by Howard Fast

10. Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett

Nonfiction:

1. If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck

2. Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet

3. The Complete Book of Running by James Fixx

4. Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford

5. Pulling Your Own Strings by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

8. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon by Richard Nixon

7. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century by Barbara Tuchman

8. Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee

9. In Search of History: A Personal Adventure by Theodore H. White

10. The Muppet Show Book by The Muppet People

This TV trivia from 1978-79 has been made available courtesy of Nielsen.com.

  1. Laverne & Shirley (ABC)
  2. Three's Company (ABC)
  3. Mork & Mindy (ABC)
  4. Happy Days (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)
In 1978, Laverne & Shirley (ABC) was the most popular television show.

In 1978, Laverne & Shirley (ABC) was the most popular television show.

This motion picture trivia has been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.

  1. Grease
  2. National Lampoon’s Animal House
  3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  4. Every Which Way but Loose
  5. Heaven Can Wait
  6. Jaws 2
  7. Saturday Night Fever
  8. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
  9. Superman
  10. Lord of the Rings

11. Ten Best Horror Films

This film trivia from 1978 has been made available courtesy of IMDB.com.

  1. Dawn of the Dead
  2. Halloween
  3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  4. Martin
  5. I Spit on Your Grave
  6. Piranha
  7. Damien: Omen II
  8. The Toolbox Murders
  9. Magic
  10. Jaws 2

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

Here are some of the popular music artists and groups from 1978:

  1. Andy Gibb
  2. Barbra Streisand
  3. Barry Manilow
  4. Billy Joel
  5. Daryl Hall & John Oates
  6. Debby Boone
  7. Dolly Parton
  8. Donna Summer
  9. Earth, Wind & Fire
  10. Evelyn Champagne King
  11. Fleetwood Mac
  12. Foreigner
  13. George Benson
  14. George Duke
  15. Heatwave
  16. Jefferson Starship
  17. John Travolta
  18. KC & the Sunshine Band
  19. Linda Ronstadt
  20. Olivia Newton-John
  21. Paul McCartney & Wings
  22. Quincy Jones
  23. Roberta Flack
  24. Rod Stewart
  25. Smokey Robinson
  26. Stevie Wonder
  27. Teddy Pendergast
  28. The Bee Gees
  29. The Commodores
  30. The Rolling Stones
In 1978, the top song was Night Fever by the Bee Gees.

In 1978, the top song was Night Fever by the Bee Gees.

13. Top 40 Songs for the Year

This music trivia has been made available courtesy of MusicOutfitters.com.

  1. Shadow Dancing: Andy Gibb
  2. Night Fever: The Bee Gees
  3. You Light Up My Life: Debby Boone
  4. Stayin' Alive: The Bee Gees
  5. Kiss You All Over: Exile
  6. How Deep Is Your Love: The Bee Gees
  7. Baby Come Back: Player
  8. (Love Is) Thicker Than Water: Andy Gibb
  9. Boogie Oogie Oogie: A Taste Of Honey
  10. Three Times a Lady: The Commodores
  11. Grease: Frankie Valli
  12. I Go Crazy: Paul Davis
  13. You're the One That I Want: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
  14. Emotion: Samantha Sang
  15. Lay Down Sally: Eric Clapton
  16. Miss You: The Rolling Stones
  17. Just the Way You Are: Billy Joel
  18. With a Little Luck: Wings
  19. If I Can't Have You: Yvonne Elliman
  20. Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah): Chic
  21. Feels So Good: Chuck Mangione
  22. Hot Child In the City: Nick Gilder
  23. Love Is Like Oxygen: The Sweet
  24. It's a Heartache: Bonnie Tyler
  25. We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions: Queen
  26. Baker Street: Gerry Rafferty
  27. Can't Smile Without You: Barry Manilow
  28. Too Much, Too Little, Too Late: Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams
  29. Dance With Me: Peter Brown
  30. Two Out of Three Ain't Bad: Meat Loaf
  31. Jack and Jill: Raydio
  32. Take a Chance On Me: Abba
  33. Sometimes When We Touch: Dan Hill
  34. Last Dance: Donna Summer
  35. Hopelessly Devoted to You: Olivia Newton-John
  36. Hot Blooded: Foreigner
  37. You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim): Rod Stewart
  38. The Closer I Get to You: Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
  39. Dust In the Wind: Kansas
  40. Magnet and Steel: Walter Egan
In 1978, wacky cake, “a spongy, cocoa-based cake,” was a popular dessert. Wacky cake “is unique in that unlike most pastries and desserts, no eggs, butter or milk are used to make the cake batter.”

In 1978, wacky cake, “a spongy, cocoa-based cake,” was a popular dessert. Wacky cake “is unique in that unlike most pastries and desserts, no eggs, butter or milk are used to make the cake batter.”

14. Food and Beverage Trivia

EatThis.com tells us that “In a yearbook consisting entirely of food, the 1970s would be a colorful entry. It was a decade marked by health consciousness, packaged goods, French cuisine, and global awareness.” During the 1970s, we saw everything from green goddess dressing and Jell-O salads to Hamburger Helper and lo mein."

Here are 50 of the most popular foods from the 1970s:

  1. Ambrosia salad
  2. Bacon-wrapped SPAM bites
  3. Beef Bourguignon
  4. Black Forest cake
  5. Campbell’s Chunky Soup
  6. Carrot cake
  7. Cheese balls
  8. Cheeseburger macaroni
  9. Chex Mix
  10. Chicken Aloha
  11. Crepes Suzette
  12. Cup Noodles
  13. Deviled eggs
  14. Fajitas
  15. Fondue
  16. Frozen yogurt
  17. Garden-fresh chef salad
  18. Golden Grahams
  19. Granola bars
  20. Hamburger Helper
  21. Hawaiian meatballs
  22. Honey Nut Cheerios
  23. Hunt’s Manwich
  24. Jell-O 1-2-3
  25. Jell-O salads
  26. Layered lettuce salad
  27. Macaroni salad
  28. Mississippi mud pie
  29. Munchkins donut hole treats
  30. Old English trifle
  31. Orange salad
  32. Pasta primavera
  33. Perrier
  34. Pina colada grilled pineapple
  35. Pineapple upside-down cake
  36. Poke cake
  37. Polynesian kabobs
  38. Pumpkin bread
  39. Quiche Lorraine
  40. Rainbow gelatin cubes
  41. SPAM and eggs
  42. Snapple
  43. Spaghetti-Os
  44. Spicy goulash
  45. Strawberry pie
  46. Strawberry-banana crepes
  47. TV dinners
  48. Tab (soft drink)
  49. Wacky cake
  50. Watergate salad
In 1978, Hamburger Helper was all the rage. EatThis.com tells us that “It came with pasta and seasoning packets, so all you had to do was combine the separate pieces with water and ground beef to make a complete (and fast) meal.”

In 1978, Hamburger Helper was all the rage. EatThis.com tells us that “It came with pasta and seasoning packets, so all you had to do was combine the separate pieces with water and ground beef to make a complete (and fast) meal.”

15. Famous Birthdays

Here are some of the famous people who were born in 1978:

  1. Anthony Mackie: Movie actor
  2. Dianna Williams: Reality star
  3. Ian Somerhalder: TV actor
  4. James Franco: Movie actor
  5. January Jones: TV actress
  6. Josh Dallas: Movie actor
  7. Katherine Heigl: Movie actress
  8. Katie Holmes: TV actress
  9. Katie Price: Model
  10. Kenan Thompson: TV actor
  11. Kobe Bryant (1978-2020): Basketball player
  12. Lauren German: Movie actress
  13. Mandana Mani: Fashion designer
  14. Matthew Davis: TV actor
  15. Matthew Morrison: TV actor
  16. Rachel McAdams: Movie actress
  17. Tamera Mowry: TV actress
  18. Tia Mowry: TV actress
  19. Tom Ellis: TV actor
  20. Usher: R&B singer

16. Notable Weddings

These marriage facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. On February 14, country singer Roger Miller married Mary Arnold.
  2. On March 28, actor Jeremy Irons married actress Sinéad Cusack.
  3. On April 15, novelist Danielle Steel married William George Toth.
  4. On May 8, singer Donny Osmond married Debra Glenn.
  5. On May 28, NBA legend Jerry West married cheerleader Karen Bua.
  6. On May 29, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke married school teacher Anna Friedmann.
  7. On June 4, broadcaster Howard Stern married Alison Berns.
  8. On June 4, Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams married Valerie Velardi.
  9. On July 6, country singer Tammy Wynette married record producer George Richey.
  10. On August 2, Canadian singer and songwriter Neil Young married American waitress Pegi Morton.
  11. On August 11, actress Charo married producer Kjell Rasten.
  12. On August 23, actress Kate Jackson married actor Andrew Stevens.
  13. On September 2, British musician George Harrison married American record-label marketer Olivia Arias.
  14. On September 2, singer Gloria Estefan married musician and producer Emilio Estefan.
  15. On September 30, actress Meryl Streep married sculptor Don Gummer.
  16. On October 7, country singer and songwriter Merle Haggard married singer Leona Williams.
  17. On October 20, journalist Ben Bradlee married fellow journalist Sally Quinn.
  18. On November 4, actress Fran Drescher married writer and director Peter Marc Jacobson.
  19. On December 17, actor Mark Hamill married dental hygienist Marilou York.
  20. On December 31, best-selling author Michael Crichton married lawyer Kathleen St. Johns.

17. Famous People Who Died

This information has been made available courtesy of TheFamousPeople.com.

  1. Carlos Chavez: Composer
  2. Charles Boyer: Movie actor
  3. Charles James: Fashion designer
  4. Chill Wills: Movie actor
  5. Golda Meir: World leader
  6. Hannah Hoch: Photographer
  7. Harvey Milk: Civil rights leader
  8. Hubert H. Humphrey: Former Vice-President of the United States
  9. Jack Warner: Entrepreuner
  10. Louis Prima: Jazz singer
  11. Mark Robson: Director
  12. Mel Street: Country singer
  13. Michael Wilson: Screenwriter
  14. Norman Rockwell: Painter
  15. Pope John Paul VI: Religious leader
  16. Robert Shaw: Movie actor
  17. Rose Reid: Fashion designer
  18. Will Geer: TV actor
  19. William Grant Still: Composer
  20. Zara Cully: TV actress
In 1978, Coors Light—a 4.2 light beer—was introduced by the Coors Brewing Company.

In 1978, Coors Light—a 4.2 light beer—was introduced by the Coors Brewing Company.

18. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year

Here are the U.S. automobile production figures for 1978:

  1. Chevrolet: 2,375,436
  2. Ford: 1,923,665
  3. Oldsmobile: 1,015,805
  4. Pontiac: 900,380
  5. Buick: 803,187
  6. Mercury: 635,051
  7. Plymouth: 501,129
  8. Dodge: 467,720
  9. Chrysler: 354,029
  10. Cadillac: 349,684
  11. Lincoln: 169,620
  12. AMC: 137,860
  13. Excalibur: 263
  14. Avanti II: 165

19. America’s Largest Corporations

This corporate trivia has been made available courtesy of Money.CNN.com.

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. Mobil
  5. Texaco
  6. ChevronTexaco
  7. IBM
  8. Gulf Oil
  9. General Electric
  10. Chrysler
  11. ITT Industries
  12. Amoco
  13. Atlantic Richfield
  14. Shell Oil
  15. U.S. Steel
  16. DuPont
  17. Conoco
  18. AT&T
  19. Tenneco Automotive
  20. Procter & Gamble
  21. Union Carbide
  22. Goodyear Tire & Rubber
  23. Sunoco
  24. ConocoPhillips
  25. Dow Chemical

20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1978

  1. America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses is a discount provider of eye examinations, eyeglasses, and contact lenses.
  2. Ampm is a chain of convenience stores with locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as in the countries of Costa Rica and Brazil.
  3. Banana Republic is a clothing and accessories retailer.
  4. Ben and Jerry’s is a Vermont-based company that manufactures ice cream.
  5. The Bombay Company is a furniture and home accessories retailer.
  6. Grease Monkey is “an independent franchiser of automotive service centers” that offer oil changes and preventative maintenance.
  7. The Home Depot is the largest home improvement retailer in the United States.
  8. Marco’s Pizza is an American restaurant chain and interstate franchise headquartered in Toledo, Ohio.
  9. Monster Cable is a manufacturer of audio and video cables. “It also produces speakers, headphones, power strips, mobile accessories, and audio devices for automobiles.”
  10. Pelle Pelle is an urban fashion brand created by Marc Buchanan.
  11. Pitt Ohio Express “is a privately-owned transportation and supply chain management company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  12. Raw Books is a publishing company that specializes in comics and graphic novels.
  13. Shoe Carnival is a family footwear retailer.
  14. Telepictures is a television show and filmmaking company.
  15. Tiger Electronics is a toy manufacturer best known for its handheld LCD games.
In 1978, Star Wars action figures were introduced.

In 1978, Star Wars action figures were introduced.

References:

In 1978, the Montreal Canadiens clinched the Stanley Cup.

In 1978, the Montreal Canadiens clinched the Stanley Cup.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Gregory DeVictor

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