1978 History/Videos

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1978 Following on from the oil crisis Japanese car Imports account for half the US import market. The first first ever Cellular Mobile Phone is introduced in Illinois and Space Invaders appears in arcades Launching a Craze for Computer Video Games . Sweden is the first country in the world to recognize the effect of aerosol sprays on the Ozone Layer and bans the sale. The Serial killer David Berkowitz, "Son of Sam," is convicted of murder after terrorizing New York for 12 months. 1978 is also a great year for movies with Greace, Saturday Night Fever and Close Encounters of the Third Kind all showing in Movie Theatres around the world.

Cost of Living 1978

How Much things cost in 1978
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 7.62%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 805
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 11.75%
Average Cost of new house $54,800.00
Average Income per year $17,000.00
Average Monthly Rent $260.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 63 cents
1LB of Bacon $1.20
Dozen Eggs 48 Cents


What Events Happened in 1978

  • Camp David Peace Treaty Egypt makes peace with Israel
  • Public Service strikes in UK causes major disruption to all services
  • After nearly 30 years The Volkswagen Beetle stops production having manufactured 20 million cars
  • Worldwide Unemployment rises after several decades of near full employment
  • Gold reaches an all time high of $200.00 per ounce
  • The US Dollar plunges to record low against many European currencies
  • The Japanese car Imports account for half the US import market following the energy crisis and increase in fuel prices that fuels demand for economy cars
  • The European Court of Human Rights finds the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland
  • Sweden becomes the first nation to ban aerosol sprays that are thought to damage earth's protective ozone layer.
  • Rhodesia's prime minister Ian Smith and three black leaders agree on the transfer to black majority rule.
  • The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz runs aground on the coast of Brittany. Causing an ecological disaster with A slick 18 miles wide and 80 miles long covered about 200 miles (320 km) of Brittany coastline
  • Serial killer David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam", is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison
  • The US stops production of the Neutron Bomb ( Kills People but leaves buildings and infrastructure standing )
  • The first Susan B. Anthony Dollar is minted
  • The Cult leader Jim Jones instructed 400 members of his church, "People's Temple", to commit suicide
  • Israel attacks on southern Lebanon following bus hijacking in Tel Aviv
  • A powerful magnitude 6.5 earthquake hits Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Due to poor Cold War Relations United States bans sale of latest computer technology to Soviet Union
  • Pope Paul VI dies at age of 80.
  • John Paul I Becomes Pope from August 26, 1978 and dies just 33 days later on September 28, 1978
  • Cardinal Karol Wojtyla becomes Pope John Paul II
  • Britain launches the Motability scheme to provide cars for disabled people
  • Worlds Population Estimated at 4.4 billion
  • Dominica Gains Independence From Great Britain
  • Karl Wallenda, founder of the Flying Wallendas, dies after falling off a tight-rope
  • Argentina Wins 1978 World Cup in Argentina

Popular Culture 1978

  • Record company EMI sacks the controversial UK punk rock group the Sex Pistols.
  • Star Wars opens in cinemas and filmgoers line up for hours to see it
  • "Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols" is released
  • The Clash release their first album "The Clash "
  • Perhaps most important in Popular Culture is the development of punk music. from groups like the Ramones, Iggy Pop's ,Clash , Elvis Costello, The Stranglers, and the Sex Pistols.

Popular Films

  • Grease
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • National Lampoon's Animal House
  • Jaws 2
  • Heaven Can Wait
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Revenge of the Pink Panther
  • The Deer Hunter

Popular Musicians

  • Bee Gees with " Night Fever and Stayin Alive "
  • Paul McCartney and Wings
  • John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
  • Rolling Stones
  • Commodores with " Three Times a Lady "
  • Boomtown Rats

Popular TV Programs

  • Happy Days
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • The Rockford Files
  • Good Morning America
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Charlie's Angels
  • Quincy, M.E.
  • The Muppet Show
  • CHiPs
  • The Love Boat
  • Three's Company

Technology 1978

  • Illinois Bell Company introduces first ever Cellular Mobile Phone System
  • Space Invaders Launches Craze for Computer Video Games
  • The first computer bulletin board system BBS is created
  • 98% of all American homes have a television
  • First Test Tube Baby is born in England a girl Louise Brown, from in vitro fertilization

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

  • In Vitro Fertilisation England "the First test tube baby is born"


Research for this year is provided by The People History.
See History By Year and Decade for more prices and information.
Find out more about the 70s at ThePeopleHistory.com.



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