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Lee Saunders : The Puzzle Project

: 1981 :

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Individual years :

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January 1st
In Europe, Greece entered the European Economic Community (EEC).
January 4th
In Britain, the Sheffield police arrested Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper.
January 15th
Pope John Paul II receieved a Polish delegation at the Vatican, led by the leader of the Solidarity (Solidarnosc) trade union, an electrician from the Gdañsk shipyard, Lech Walesa.
January 16th
Protestant gunmen shoot and wound Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and her husband.
January 19th
United States and Iranian officials signed an agreement to release the 52 American hostages. The hostages had been captive since November 4th 1979, a period of 444 days.
January 20th
In the United States, the newly elected President Ronald Reagan delivered his first inaugural address in Washington D.C.
January 20th
As Ronald Reagan succeeded Jimmy Carter as President of the United States of America, Iran released the 52 American hostages that had been held captive for 444 days, since November 4th 1979.
February 9th
In Poland, Polish Prime Minister Józef Pinkowski resigned and was replaced by General Wojciech Jaruzelski.
February 14th
In Australia, the Australian government withdrew its recognition of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.
March 1st

In Northern Ireland, IRA prisoners at the Maze prison go on hunger strike to establish their status as 'political prisoners'. The hunger strike was led by Bobby Sands.
March 1st
Bobby Sands, an IRA member, began his hunger strike for political status in Long Kesh prison - he died May 5th, the first of ten men.
March 6th
In the United States, legendary journalist Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time. Cronkite had hosted the CBS Evening News for 19 years.
March 7th
In South America, Colombian guerillas executed US bible translator Chester Allen Bitterman for being a CIA agent.
March 11th
In Chile, President Augusto Pinochet was sworn in for an eight-year term as the Chilean President.
March 19th
At NASA, three workers were killed and five injured during a test of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
March 30th
In the United States, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley. Two police officers and James Brady were wounded.
April 11th
In Britain, riots broke ou in Brixton, South London. The rioters looted shops and clashed with the Police with petrol bombs.
12th - 14th
In the United States, NASA launched its first Space Shuttle, Columbia, on mission STS-1. NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia, the world's first reusable rocket was launched at Kennedy Space Center, Florida and returned from space, landing at Edwards Air Force Base two days later.
April 15th
In Australia, the Australian Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock resigned from his cabinet post, and accused the Australian Prime Minister Fraser of gross disloyalty.
May 5th
In Northern Ireland, IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands died after going 66 days without food in protest at the Maze prison. Nine other hunger strikers died before the IRA called off the campaign.
May 10th
In France, François Mitterrand beat Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in the second round of the French elections and became the new French President.
May 13th
In Italy, Pope John Paul II escaped an assassination attempt when he was shot at and nearly killed by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman, as he entered St. Peter's Square in Rome. The assassin Mehmet Ali Agca was a suspected KGB agent.
May 21st
In France, socialist François Mitterrand became President of the Republic.
May 22nd
In Britain, the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe known as the 'Yorkshire Ripper', was imprisoned for life for 13 counts of murder.
May 25th
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council was created between the Middle-Eastern oil producing countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
May 30th
Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated in Chittagong.
June 5th
In the United States, scientists identified AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that five homosexual men in Los Angeles, California had a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems.
June 7th
In the Middle-East, the Israeli Air Force launched an air attack and destroyed Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor.
June 13th
In London, at the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade, Marcus Sargeant fired six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth II while on her mount.
June 22nd
In Iran, the Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr was deposed.
June 29th
In the United States, Morris Edwin Robert was armed with a machine gun and held hostages in the FBI section in Atlanta Federal Building. After three hours the hostages were rescued and Robert was shot.
July 17th
In Lebanon, Israeli bombers destroyed the PLO HQ in Beirut.
July 29th
In Britain, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Pauls in London.
Civil unrest erupted in Britain. Riots started in Brixton, London, spread to other areas of London and other major cities in Britain, including Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Bristol.
August 1st
The television music channel MTV was launched, offering 24 hours of music and videos.
August 5th
In the United States, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.
August 19th
Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi (Moamer al-Khaddhafi) sent two Libyan jet fighters to intercept two US fighters over the Gulf of Sidra. The intercepting Libyan fighters were destroyed by the American jet fighters.
August 19th
In the United States, President Ronald Reagan appointed the first female US Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor.
August 28th
In Africa, South African troops invaded neighbouring Africa state of Angola.
August 31st
In Ramstein, West Germany, a terrorist bomb exploded at the US Army base and injured 20 people.
September 1st
Nazi official and Adolf Hitler's architect Albert Speer died. Speer was sentenced at Nuremberg and served 20 years imprisonment for his involvement with the Nazis.
September 8th
The legendary Liverpool football manager Bill Shankly died.
September 18th
In France, the newly elected socialist government abolished capital punishment in France.
October 6th
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated during a parade by army members who were part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organisation, they opposed his negotiations with Israel.
October 14th
In Egypt, following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, Vice President Hosni Mubarak was elected as the new President of Egypt.
October 21st
In Greece, Andreas Papandreou became the new Prime Minister of Greece.
November 23rd
In the United States, President Ronald Reagan signed the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), which gave the CIA the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
November 30th
In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union began to negotiate intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe.
December 11th
In South America, the 'El Mozote massacre' took place in El Salvador. 900 civilians were killed by the army.
December 13th
In Poland, Polish Prime Minister General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared a state of martial law in Poland, in an attempt to prevent the dismantling of the communist system by the trade union Solidarity.
December 15th
In Beirut, Lebanon, a car bomb was detonated and destroyed the Iraqi Embassy. 61 people were killed. This was the first modern suicide bombing and was blamed on Syrian intelligence.
December 20th
In Britain, the Penlee lifeboat disaster off the coast of South-West Cornwall.
December 28th
In the United States, Elizabeth Jordan Carr was born the in Norfolk, Virginia, and became the first American test-tube baby.
British Honduras became the independent state of Belize.

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| 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 |
| 2000-2008 |


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For those visitors that have entered to this site, directly to this page, we would like to inform you that this page is part of a series of pages, within a section that acts as a backdrop to 'The Puzzle' project. 'The Puzzle' is a musical project that looks at different events from the 20th-21st Century.

This section is part of the 'Global Timeline' zone.

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