This is a timeline of major news events and popular culture happenings that took place during the years CED was on the market. Mixed in with the news and pop culture events are links to RCA press releases and lists of CED titles as they were released. Some of the news items and many of the pop culture items relate in some way to CED, and these are marked with the blue CED letters. A picture is provided for a major news event during each month of the timeline. The number one songs are also playable in MIDI format.
Presently listed are the first three years of this timeline, as I'm building it one week at a time in conjunction with the "20 Years Ago in CED History" column that is sent out once a week as part of CED Digest. This page will only be updated at the end of each year, so to have access to the timeline on a weekly basis, subscribe to CED Digest. The timeline starts at the beginning of 1981, which coincides with RCA's splashy introduction of CED at the Consumer Electronics Show and will end in 1986, the year the last CED's were pressed and RCA ceased to exist as a distinct corporate entity. The news and cultural events chronicled in this historical timeline are derived from a dozen different encyclopedia Year Books.
Timeline Quick Index:
January 1, 1981:
* Greece joins the European Common Market as its 10th member.
* University of Georgia defeats Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl at the New Orleans Superdome for the National Collegiate Football Championship.
January 2, 1981:
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Breaker Morant, The Jazz Singer.
January 3, 1981:
* The head of El Salvador's land redistribution program and two American advisors are murdered in San Salvador.
January 4, 1981:
* The Broadway show "Frankenstein" loses an estimated $2 million when it opens and closes on the same night.
January 5, 1981:
* The 97th U.S. Congress convenes with the Senate and House controlled by different parties, Republican and Democratic respectively, for the first time in 49 years.
* British police charge Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper" with one of thirteen alleged murders.
* Nightline TV news show expands from 20 to 30 minutes.
* In the current issue, Time Magazine names Ronald Reagan as the 1980 Man of the Year.
January 6, 1981:
* After four days of talks in Tripoli, Libya, between President Goukouni Oueddei of Chad and Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi, Libya announces that the two countries will merge.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Acquires Rights to 11 James Bond Films for its 'SelectaVision' VideoDisc Catalog
January 7, 1981:
* Figures published by the U.S. automobile industry showed that domestically manufactured passenger car sales fell 20% behind the level of the previous year, making 1980 the industry's worst year since 1961.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Favorable Outlook for Video Consumer Products Keyed to Five Growth Areas, RCA Executive Says
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Sees $175 Million Industry Sales for Projection TV in 1981
January 8, 1981:
* Winter 1981 Consumer Electronics Show floor opens in Las Vegas, Nevada.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Largest Display of VideoDisc Players Marks RCA's Return to CES Show
January 9, 1981:
* Thirty people die in Keansburg, NJ when fire destroys a two-story home for the elderly.
* U.S. Representative Raymond F. Lederer is found guilty on charges of bribery and Conspiracy relating to the Abscam investigation.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Stir Crazy, Seems Like Old Times.
January 10, 1981:
* Actor Richard Boone dies at the age of 63. Best known for his starring role in the TV series "Have Gun Will Travel," he also appeared in a number of CED titles including The Robe, The Alamo, Hombre, The Hobbit (voice of Smaug), and Winter Kills.
January 11, 1981:
* A study released on "Acid Snow" in the Adirondack Mountains finds that rapid runoff when the snow melts is even more toxic to fish in mountain lakes than acid rain.
January 12, 1981:
* Television series "Dynasty" with Joan Collins premieres on ABC.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Taps Many of Television's Greatest Programs for Use on its 'SelectaVision' VideoDisc System
January 13, 1981:
* Soviet Marshall Viktor Kulikov visits Poland, a move outside observers believe is intended to intimidate the Polish Solidarity labor movement.
January 14, 1981:
* U.S. President Jimmy Carter delivers farewell speech to the nation focusing on the issues of: "The threat of nuclear destruction, our stewardship of the physical resources of our planet, and the preeminence of the basic rights of human beings."
January 15, 1981:
* "Hill Street Blues" TV series premiers on NBC.
January 16, 1981:
* British character actor Bernard Lee dies at the age of 73. He played spy chief "M" on the James Bond CED titles "Dr. No" through "Moonraker."
* Jimmy Carter submits his final State of the Union message in writing to Congress assessing the nation as sound, but warning that the problems of unemployment, inflation, the energy shortage, and challenges from Russia were yet to be solved.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Altered States, Stardust Memories.
January 17, 1981:
* Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declares an end to martial law, but stipulates that decrees issued during the "emergency" which began in September 1972, will remain in force unless they are specifically changed.
January 18, 1981:
* Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin calls for parliamentary elections on July 7, about four months before his term of office is due to expire.
January 19, 1981:
* Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos relinquishes legislative powers to the National Assembly but retains the right to issue decrees.
January 20, 1981:
* Ronald Reagan takes the oath as the 40th President of the United States. His inauguration speech was the first live broadcast to use closed captioning for the deaf.
* Iran frees 52 U.S. hostages after 444 days in captivity. An Algerian airliner carries them to Algiers after a brief refueling stop in Greece. In Algiers they are turned over to US custody and flown to the US air base at Wiesbaden, West Germany.
January 21, 1981:
* Mexico and Cuba sign a joint energy pact intended to solve many of Cuba's energy problems.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Reports Record Sales and Earnings in 1980; Fourth Quarter Results Also Reach New High
January 22, 1981:
* The FDA opens hearings to study a kit, already in use in Great Britain and elsewhere, that tests pregnant women for neural tube birth defects by detecting the presence of alphafetal protein (AFT).
January 23, 1981:
* U.S. Department of Labor reports a Consumer Price Index increase of 12.4% for the year 1980 (compared to 3.4% for the year 2000).
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: The Formula, The Mirror Crack'd.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Montgomery Ward to Market RCA's 'CED' VideoDisc System
January 24, 1981:
* President Chun Doo Hwan decrees an end to martial law in South Korea after deciding that the country has sufficiently regained the stability it lost after the assassination of Pres. Park Chung Hee in October 1979.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Montgomery Ward to Market RCA's 'CED' VideoDisc System
January 25, 1981:
* Oakland Raiders win Super Bowl XV, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 (CED).
* The 52 freed American hostages land at New York's Stewart Airport near the West Point Military Academy for a few days of semi-privacy with their families.
* Jiang Qing, widow of Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung and leader of the "gang of four" receives a "suspended" death sentence for treason in China.
January 26, 1981:
* Thornton Bradshaw announces his resignation as ARCO's president in preparation for replacing Edgar Griffiths as chairman of RCA.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Video Discs Marketing Team Tours Distributors in 48 Cities
January 27, 1981:
* Some 467 people are feared drowned when the Indonesian passenger ship Tampomas II catches fire and sinks in the Java Sea during a storm.
January 28, 1981:
* Secretary of State Alexander Haig announces Iran will get no military equipment from the U.S. "either under earlier obligations and contractual agreements or as yet unstated requests."
January 29, 1981:
* President Reagan orders a 60-day freeze on pending government regulations.
January 30, 1981:
* Odvar Nordli, prime minister of Norway for more than five years, resigns "for reasons of health."
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Scanners, A Change of Seasons.
January 31, 1981:
* Polish government workers and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa agree on a 40-hour, five day work week.
The Tide is High by Blondie becomes the No. 1 U.S. single replacing John Lennon's Just Like Starting Over.
* 38TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
Ray Sharkey, The Idolmaker (CED)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Robert De Niro, Raging Bull (CED)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture
Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People (CED)
Best Director - Motion Picture
Robert Redford, Ordinary People (CED)
Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical
Alan Alda, M*A*S*H (CED)
Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Drama
Richard Chamberlain, Shogun (CED)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
Sissy Spacek, Coal Miner's Daughter (CED)
Best Foreign Language Film
Tess, Great Britain (CED)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Mary Tyler Moore, Ordinary People (CED)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture
Mary Steenburgen, Melvin and Howard
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television-Series - Comedy/Musical
Katherine Helmond, Soap
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television-Series - Drama
Yoko Shimada, Shogun (CED)
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
William Peter Blatty, Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane
Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television
The Shadow Box, Shadow Box Film/ABC
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV
Pat Harrington (tie), One Day At A Time
Vic Tayback (tie), Alice
Best Supporting Actress in Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV
Valerie Bertinelli (tie), One Day At a Time
Valerie Bertinelli (tie), One Day At A Time
Diane Ladd (tie), Alice
Best Television -Series - Drama
Shogun, Paramount TV/NBC (CED)
Best Television-Series - Comedy/Musical
Taxi, John Charles Walters/Paramount/ABC
Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Coal Miner's Daughter, Universal (CED)
Cecil B. DeMille Award
Best Motion Picture - Drama
Ordinary People, Paramount (CED)
Historic Award: New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture - Female
Nastassia Kinski, Tess (CED)
Historic Award: New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture - Male
Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People (CED)
Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Dominic Frontiere, The Stunt Man (CED)
Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Fame, Fame (CED)
February 1, 1981:
* French government accord sends 60 Mirage fighter jets to Iraq.
February 2, 1981:
* President and Nancy Reagan welcome South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan and his wife to a luncheon at the White House. Chun Doo Hwan is one of the first foreign dignitaries to meet with the new president.
* General Motors Corporation announces that it lost money in 1980 for its first full-year loss since 1921.
February 3, 1981:
* Norway's Labor Party chooses Gro Brundtland as premier, the first woman to hold the office and at age 41 the youngest person to hold the office as well.
February 4, 1981:
* The RCA Board of Directors announces that Thornton Bradshaw will replace Edgar Griffiths as head of RCA, effectively ending Griffiths tenure though he remains on-board until June 30, 1981.
February 5, 1981:
* Ronald Reagan warns in first televised address that America faces "an economic calamity of tremendous proportions."
* "Piaf" (CED) opens at the Plymouth Theater in New York City.
February 6, 1981:
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Fort Apache, The Bronx.
* Former Beatles Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr record a tribute to John Lennon.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
David D. Tompkins Succeeds Tucker. P. Madawick as Industrial Design Head for RCA Video Products
February 7, 1981:
Celebration by Kool and the Gang becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
February 8, 1981:
* Exiled Prince Norodom Sihanouk offers to lead a movement to oust the Vietnamese from Kampuchea (Cambodia), but weak response ends the plan two weeks later.
February 9, 1981:
* Wojciech Jaruzelski replaces Jozef Pinkowski as chairman of Poland's Council of Ministers.
* Band leader and Rock 'n' Roll pioneer Bill Haley dies at age 55. His recording of "Rock Around the Clock" sold more than 20 million copies and "Rip It Up" is featured on the CED title "Cool Cats."
February 10, 1981:
* Massive fire kills eight and injures 200 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Laboratories Names Paul W. Lyons Manager of VideoDisc Testing Center
February 11, 1981:
* Corsican separatists resort to bombings in Corsica and Paris in retaliation for the conviction of eight separatists in Paris.
February 12, 1981:
* A four day mutiny in Zimbabwe's army by former guerrillas loyal to Joshua Nkomo is crushed by Prime Minister Robert Mugabe leaving more than 150 dead.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Introduces 9-Inch ColorTrak Receiver and Compact Modular Design in VCR Portable
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Names Jack Sauter Group Vice President
February 13, 1981:
* Australian newspaper magnate Rupert Murdock buys "The Times" of London.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Tess.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
James M. Alic Elected Vice President of RCA; George D. Prestwich Becomes President of RCA Service Company
February 14, 1981:
* Forty-six people are killed and 129 injured by fire in a Dublin, Ireland discotheque.
February 15, 1981:
* Richard Petty driving a Buick Regal wins the Nascar Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
February 16, 1981:
* Pope John Paul II begins his first visit to Asia with stops including Pakistan, the Philippines, Guam, and Japan.
February 17, 1981:
* Chrysler loan guarantees of $150 million are reluctantly agreed to by Canada.
* The Reagan administration receives backing for its plan to send military and economic aid to El Salvador following the briefing of a bipartisan group of senators and representatives by Secretary of State Alexander Haig.
February 18, 1981:
* President Reagan calls for budget cuts of $41.4 billion and a tax reduction in his program for economic recovery message to Congress.
* Pioneering aeronautical engineer John K. Northrop dies at age 85. He was the main force behind the design of the Lockheed Vega, the P-61 "Black Widow" night fighter from World War II, and the Flying Wing, which can be seen in operation 21 minutes into Side 2 of the CED title "The War of the Worlds."
February 19, 1981:
* Sinclair announces their first flat-screen, pocket-sized TV, the Microvision 2700.
* Ford Motor Co. reports a loss of $1.54 billion, their first yearly loss since 1946.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Two RCA Units Join to Develop Music Video Discs for 'SelectaVision' System
February 20, 1981:
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: The Dogs of War.
February 21, 1981:
* "Hi Infidelity" by REO Speedwagon (CED) becomes the No. 1 U.S. album, entering the charts at the top spot.
9 to 5 (CED) by Dolly Parton becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
February 22, 1981:
* Three British Anglican missionaries arrested in August 1980 on charges of spying are released from an Iranian prison after officials acknowledge that documents linking the missionaries to the U.S. CIA are forgeries.
February 23, 1981:
* At the opening of the 26th congress of the Soviet Communist Party, Leonid Brezhnev suggests a summit conference with Ronald Reagan.
February 24, 1981:
* Headmistress Jean S. Harris is convicted of murdering cardiologist Herman Tarnower, author of "The Complete Scarsdale Diet."
* Prince Charles's engagement to Lady Diane Spencer is announced in Great Britain.
February 25, 1981:
* The SelectaVision VideoDisc system is introduced to 14,000 RCA dealers and distributors via a closed-circuit telecast from NBC Studios.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA's Opening Video Disc Catalog of 100 Titles Offers Consumers A Variety of Quality Programs
* 23RD ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS:
Record of the Year "Sailing" Christopher Cross
Album of the Year "Christopher Cross," Christopher Cross
Song of the Year "Sailing" Christopher Cross, songwriter
Best New Artist Christopher Cross
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male "This Is It" (CED) Kenny Loggins
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female "The Rose" (CED) Bette Midler
Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal "Guilty" Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb
Best Pop Instrumental Performance "One on One" Bob James and Earl Klugh
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male "Glass Houses" Billy Joel
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female "Crimes of Passion" Pat Benatar
Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal "Against the Wind" Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Best Rock Instrumental Performance "Reggatta de Blanc" Police
Best Rhythm and Blues Song "Never Knew Love Like This Before" Reggie Lucas and James Mtume, songwriters
Best Rhythm and Blues Performance, Male "Give Me the Night" George Benson
Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance, Female "Never Knew Love Like This Before" Stephanie Mills
Best Rhythm and Blues Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal "Shining Star" Manhattans
Best Rhythm and Blues Instrumental Performance "Off Broadway" George Benson
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male "Moody's Mood" George Benson
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female "A Perfect Match/Ella and Basie" Ella Fitzgerald
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist "I Will Say Goodbye" Bill Evans
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, "Group We Will Meet Again" Bill Evans
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, "Big Band On the Road" Count Basie and Orchestra
Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal or Instrumental "Birdland" Manhattan Transfer
Best Country Song "On the Road Again" (CED) Willie Nelson, songwriter
Best Country Vocal Performance, Male "He Stopped Loving Her Today" George Jones
Best Country Vocal Performance, Female "Could I Have This Dance" Anne Murray
Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again" Roy Orbison and Emmylou Harris
Best Country Instrumental Performance "Orange Blossom Special/Hoedown" Gilley's Urban Cowboy Band
Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational "The Lord's Prayer" Reba Rambo, Dony McGuire, B.J. Thomas, Andrae Crouch, the Archers, Walter and Tramiane Hawkins and Cynthia Clawson
Best Gospel Performance, Traditional "We Come to Worship" Blackwood Brothers
Best Soul Gospel Performance, "Contemporary Rejoice" Shirley Caesar
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Traditional "Lord, Let Me Be an Instrument" James Cleveland and the Charles Fold Singers
Best Latin Recording "La Onda Va Bien" Cal Tjader
Best Inspirational Performance "With My Song I Will Praise Him" Debby Boone
Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording "Rare Blues" Dr. Isaiah Ross, Maxwell Street Jimmy, Big Joe Williams, Son House, Rev. Robin Wilkins, Little Brother Montgomery and Sunnyland Slim
Best Instrumental Arrangement "Dinorah, Dinorah" Quincy Jones and Jerry Hey, arrangers
Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) "Sailing" Michael Omatian and Christopher Cross, arrangers
Best Arrangement for Voices "Birdland" Janis Siegel, arranger
Best Instrumental Composition "The Empire Strikes Back" (CED) John Williams, composer
Best Cast Show Album "Evita: Premier American Recording" Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer; Tim Rice, Iyricist
Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special "The Empire Strikes Back" (CED) John Williams, composer
Best Classical Album Berg, "Lulu" (Complete Version), Pierre Boulez conducting Orchestre de l'Opera de Paris; solos: Stratas, Minton, Mazura and Blankenheim
Best Classical Orchestral Recording Bruckner, "Symphony No. 6 in A Major" Sir Georg Solti conducting Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Best Chamber Music Performance "Music for Two Violins," (Moszkowski, "Suite for Two Violins"; Shostakovich, "Duets"; Prokofiev, "Sonata for Two Violins"), Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman
Best Classical Performance, Instrumental Soloist(s) (With Orchestra) (tie) Berg, "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra"; Stravinsky, "Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra," Itzhak Perlman; Seiji Ozawa conducting Boston Symphony Orchestra Brahms, "Concerto in A Minor for Violin and Cello" (Double Concerto), Itzhak Perlman and Mstislav Rostropovich; Bernard Haitink conducting Concertgebouw Orchestra
Best Classical Performance Instrumental Soloist(s) (Without Orchestra) "The Spanish Album," Itzhak Perlman
Best Opera Recording Berg, "Lulu" (Complete Version), Pierre Boulez conducting Orchestre de l'Opera de Paris; solos: Stratas, Minton, Mazura and Blankenheim
Best Choral Performance, Classical (Other Than Opera) Mozart, "Requiem," Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor and Norbert Balatsch, chorus master, Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra
Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance "Prima Donna, Volume 5 Great Soprano Arias From Handel to Britten," Leontyne Price; Henry Lewis conducting Philharmonia Orchestra
Best Comedy Recording "No Respect," Rodney Dangerfield
Best Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama Recording "Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein," Pat Carroll
Best Recording for Children "In Harmony/A Sesame Street Record," Doobie Brothers, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Muppets, Al Jarreau, Linda Ronstadt, Wendy Waldman, Libby Titus and Dr. John, Livingston Taylor, George Benson and Pauline Wilson, Lucy Simon, Kate Taylor and the Simon/Taylor Family
Best Album Package "Against the Wind," Roy Kohara, art director
Best Album Notes "Trilogy: Past, Present and Future," David McClintick, annotator
Best Historical Reissue Album "Segovia: The EMI Recordings 1927-39"
Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) Phil Ramone
Classical Producer of the Year Robert Woods
February 26, 1981:
* Pope John Paul II concludes his 12-day pilgrimage to the Philippines, Guam, and Japan.
February 27, 1981:
* After posting a deficit of $1.7 Billion for 1980, the largest annual loss ever for an American company, Chrysler Corp. is granted an additional $400 Million in federal loan guarantees.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Eyewitness.
February 28, 1981:
I Love A Rainy Night by Eddie Rabbit becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
March 1, 1981:
* British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher leaves the U.S. after wide-ranging talks in her first meeting with Ronald Reagan.
March 2, 1981:
* The U.S. grants El Salvador $25 Million in military aid and sends 20 additional military advisors to help combat left wing guerillas.
* The U.N. General Assembly votes 112-22 against allowing South Africa to reoccupy the seat it was denied in 1974 because its delegation was not thought to represent South African blacks.
* Three hijackers seize a Pakistani airliner with 130 passengers aboard and divert it to Afghanistan.
March 3, 1981:
* The eight-day 26th Congress of the Communist Party comes to a close with all current members of the ruling Politburo re-elected to office.
March 4, 1981:
* The Ivory Coast is granted a $626 million loan by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is hoped the loan will stabilize the country's troubled economy brought on by decreased market value of the principal exports, coffee and cocoa.
March 5, 1981:
* Scott Hamilton (on 3/5) of the U.S. and Denise Biellmann (on 3/6) of Switzerland win at the World Figure Skating Championship in Hartford, Connecticut.
* The city of Atlanta, Georgia is promised nearly $1 million in federal aid in the wake of the unsolved murders of 22 black children.
March 6, 1981:
* The U.S. announces plans to sell advanced military equipment to Saudi Arabia including AWACs surveillance planes.
* Walter Cronkite delivers his final CBS Evening News telecast. Some of his classic telecasts can be seen on the CED title "Man on the Moon."
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: La Cage Aux Folles II.
March 7, 1981:
* Columbian guerillas murder Chester A. Bitterman III, an American linguist and lay missionary whom they abducted on January 19.
March 8, 1981:
* At least 45 people die and 120 are injured when a passenger train collides with two derailed freight cars 60 miles south of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
March 9, 1981:
* Dolomite, a rock whose calcium and magnesium content make it a favorite dietary supplement among health food enthusiasts, is found to contain toxic minerals including lead, arsenic, mercury, and aluminum.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA's First Quarter Earnings Down Considerably from Prior Year
March 10, 1981:
* The U.S. Postal Service announces an increase in first class postage from 15 to 18 cents.
* President Reagan submits a budget for fiscal 1982 that is $48.6 billion smaller than the Carter budget.
March 11, 1981:
* Ronald Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau end a two day meeting in Ottawa-- Reagan's first trip abroad since taking office.
March 12, 1981:
* Dr. Ralph E. Dougherty of Florida State University reports in Science that the average sperm count in American men has dropped more than 30 percent in the last thirty years.
March 13, 1981:
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Back Roads.
March 14, 1981:
* Three Pakistani aircraft hijackers surrender in Syria after they exchange 100 passengers and crewmen for 54 Pakistani prisoners.
9 to 5 (CED) by Dolly Parton regains the No. 1 U.S. single spot.
March 15, 1981:
* Alan Jones of Australia wins Formula One Grand Prix in Long Beach, California, one of two Grand Prix races held in the U.S. in 1981 (on CED title "Start to Finish").
March 16, 1981:
* RCA begins advertising blitz for the RCA SelectaVision VideoDisc system in preparation for the March 22nd introduction.
* Los Angeles Board of Education votes to end mandatory school busing.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA to Launch Its VideoDisc System with Approximately 500,000 Albums
March 17, 1981:
* U.S. housing starts dropped 24.6 percent in February, the sharpest decline since March 1960.
March 18, 1981:
* Secretary of State Alexander Haig accuses the Soviet Union of promoting terrorism and seeking to dominate Central America.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Future Releases for RCA's VideoDisc Catalog Include Three Films Nominated for Oscars
March 19, 1981:
* Australia's largest corporate loss ever is reported by its leading automotive firm. General Motors Holden's Ltd. lost $152 million in 1980.
March 20, 1981:
* The first boat load of DeLorean automobiles departs the harbor in Belfast, Northern Ireland bound for the United States. This is the $25,000 stainless steel body sports car made famous in the CED title "Back to the Future" where the vehicle had a "flux capacitor" installed for time travel. Interesting that two of the biggest technological white elephants of the 1980's were introduced at nearly the same time.
* Jean Harris is sentenced to 15 years to life for slaying of Scarsdale Diet Dr. Herman Tarnower.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: The Postman Always Rings Twice.
March 21, 1981:
Keep on Loving You (CED) by REO Speedwagon becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
* Some RCA dealers such as Macy's in New York City set up their CED VideoDisc kiosks a day early in violation of RCA's policy.
March 22, 1981:
* The RCA SelectaVision CED VideoDisc system is officially launched at 5,000 dealers across the United States. The first player is the SFT100 and the initial catalog contains 100 titles as listed below (although only about half the titles were in distribution on launch day, and the Demo Disc and Service Test Disc were not listed in the catalog).
THE FIRST 102 CED TITLES:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Absent Minded Professor, The
As We Grow
Bad News Bears, The
Bears and I, The
Big Fights, Vol. 1: Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fights
Black Stallion, The [monophonic]
Boys From Brazil, The
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [RCA]
Caring for your Newborn
Charlie Brown Festival, A
College Football Classics, Vol. 1
Count of Monte-Cristo, The
Demo Disc: RCA VideoDiscs
Dirty Dozen, The (2) [RCA]
Disney Cartoon Parade, Vol. 1
Eat to the Beat-- Blondie
Escape From Alcatraz
Evening with the Royal Ballet
Family Entertainment Playhouse, Vol. 1
Fiddler on the Roof (2)
French Connection, The [RCA]
G. I. Blues
Gimme Shelter [monophonic]
Godfather, The (2)
Grateful Dead, The
Great Locomotive Chase, The
Harder They Come, The
Heaven Can Wait
Hello, Dolly! (2) [RCA]
Henry V (2)
Hunchback of Notre Dame, The
Jacques Cousteau, Vol. 1: Sharks/Singing Whales
Jesus of Nazareth (4)
Julia Child: The French Chef, Vol. 1
King Kong 
Lady Sings the Blues (2)
Longest Day, The (2) [RCA]
Longest Yard, The
Looking for Mr. Goodbar (2)
Love Bug, The
Meet Me in St. Louis [RCA]
Muppet Movie, The [Dolby Stereo Label]
New York Yankees Miracle Year: 1978
Night at the Opera, A
North By Northwest (2) [RCA]
On the Town [RCA]
Patton (2) [monophonic]
Philadelphia Story, The
Planet of the Apes [RCA]
Play It Again, Sam
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Red Shoe's, The (2)
Romeo and Juliet (2)
Sands of Iwo Jima
Saturday Night Fever [monophonic]
Service Test Disc
Seven Year Itch, The [RCA]
Singin' in the Rain [RCA]
Star Trek - The Motion Picture (2)
Star Trek: Vol.1, The Menagerie
Star Trek: Vol.2, City/Battlefield
Super Bowl XIV: Steelers vs. Rams
Ten Commandments, The (2)
Terrytoons Volume 1 Featuring Mighty Mouse
Thing, The 
To Russia...With Elton
Tora! Tora! Tora! (2) [RCA]
Tut: the Boy King/The Louvre
Victory at Sea
World of Wildlife, Vol. 1: Snow Geese/Leopard
* A group of 12 Green Berets arrives in El Salvador, thereby raising to 54 the number of U.S. military advisors in that country.
* The previously announced increase in the first class U.S. letter rate from 15 to 18 cents takes effect.
March 23, 1981:
* President Ronald Reagan issues a proclamation that April 14 will be designated Pan American Day.
March 24, 1981:
The White House reports that Vice President George Bush has been selected by President Reagan to head a special crisis management team. Secretary of State Alexander Haig publicly expresses his "lack of enthusiasm."
March 25, 1981:
* The Dow Jones industrial average of selected stocks on the New York Stock Exchange closes at its highest level in more than eight years.
March 26, 1981:
* The Social Democratic Party (SDP) gains official recognition in Great Britain and becomes the third most important political party in Parliament.
March 27, 1981:
* Actress Carol Burnett is awarded $1.6 million in damages in libel suit against National Enquirer magazine.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Final Conflict, Thief.
March 28, 1981:
Rapture by Blondie becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
March 29, 1981:
* Polish workers stage a four hour nationwide strike to protest government harassment.
March 30, 1981:
* President Reagan is shot in the chest outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. The president's press secretary, James Brady, is also severely wounded, and Timothy McCarthy, a Secret Service agent, and Thomas Delahanty, a local police officer, are also shot. The assailant, John W. Hinckley, Jr., is seized at the scene. Confusion arises when Secretary of State Alexander Haig announces on television the he is "in control" while Vice President George Bush is flying back to Washington.
* The Indiana University Hoosiers (from Bloomington) led by irrepressible head coach Bobby Knight win the NCAA Basketball Championship for the fourth time. Star player Isiah Thomas leads the team to a 63-50 win over North Carolina. The start of the game is delayed until it is confirmed that Ronald Reagan's surgery for a gunshot wound is successful.
March 31, 1981:
* Four of five Indonesian terrorists are killed in Bangkok, Thailand after hijacking an airplane on March 28. None of the 55 hostages are injured when Indonesian commandos storm the plane.
* 53RD ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS (WINNERS IN ALL CAPS):
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
John Hurt, The Elephant Man (CED)
Robert Duvall, The Great Santini (CED)
ROBERT DE NIRO, RAGING BULL (CED)
Peter O'Toole, The Stunt Man (CED)
Jack Lemmon, Tribute (CED)
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Michael O'Keefe, The Great Santini (CED)
Jason Robards, Melvin and Howard
Judd Hirsch, Ordinary People (CED)
TIMOTHY HUTTON, ORDINARY PEOPLE (CED)
Joe Pesci, Raging Bull (CED)
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
SISSY SPACEK, COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER (CED)
Gena Rowlands, Gloria (CED)
Mary Tyler Moore, Ordinary People (CED)
Goldie Hawn, Private Benjamin (CED)
Ellen Burstyn, Resurrection
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Diana Scarwid, Inside Moves
MARY STEENBURGEN, MELVIN AND HOWARD
Eileen Brennan, Private Benjamin (CED)
Cathy Moriarty, Raging Bull (CED)
Eva Le Gallienne, Resurrection
Coal Miner's Daughter, John W. Corso (CED)
The Elephant Man, Stuart Craig, Bob Cartwright (CED)
The Empire Strikes Back, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Harry Lange, Alan Tomkins (CED)
Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior), Yoshiro Muraki
TESS, PIERRE GUFFROY, JACK STEPHENS (CED)
Coal Miner's Daughter, Bernard Schwartz (CED)
The Elephant Man, Jonathan Sanger (CED)
ORDINARY PEOPLE, RONALD L. SCHWARY (CED)
Raging Bull, Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff (CED)
Tess, Claude Berri, Timothy Burrill (CED)
The Blue Lagoon, Nestor Almendros (CED)
Coal Miner's Daughter, Ralf D. Bode (CED)
The Formula, James Crabe (CED)
Raging Bull, Michael Chapman (CED)
TESS, GEOFFREY UNSWORTH, GHISLAIN CLOQUET (CED)
The Elephant Man, Patricia Norris (CED)
My Brilliant Career, Anna Senior
Somewhere in Time, Jean-Pierre Dorleac
TESS, ANTHONY POWELL (CED)
When Time Ran Out, Paul Zastupnevich
The Elephant Man, David Lynch (CED)
ORDINARY PEOPLE, ROBERT REDFORD (CED)
Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese (CED)
The Stunt Man, Richard Rush (CED)
Tess, Roman Polanski (CED)
Agee, Ross Spears
The Day After Trinity, Jon Else
FROM MAO TO MOZART: ISAAC STERN IN CHINA, MURRAY LERNER
Front Line, David Bradbury
The Yellow Star - The Persecution of the Jews in Europe 1933-45, Bengt von zur Muehlen, Arthur Cohn
DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject)
Don't Mess with Bill, John Watson, Pen Densham
The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, George Casey
It's the Same World, Dick Young
KARL HESS: TOWARD LIBERTY, ROLAND HALLÉ, PETER W. LADUE
Luther Metke at 94, Richard Hawkins, Jorge Preloran
Coal Miner's Daughter, Arthur Schmidt (son) (CED)
The Competition, David Blewitt
The Elephant Man, Anne V. Coates (CED)
Fame, Gerry Hambling (CED)
RAGING BULL, THELMA SCHOONMAKER (CED)
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior), Japan
The Last Metro, France
MOSCOW DOES NOT BELIEVE IN TEARS, UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS
The Nest, Spain
HONORARY AWARD (Acting)
HONORARY AWARD (Scientific and Technical)
MUSIC (Original Score)
Altered States, John Corigliano (CED)
The Elephant Man, John Morris (CED)
The Empire Strikes Back, John Williams (CED)
FAME, MICHAEL GORE (CED)
Tess, Philippe Sarde (CED)
MUSIC (Original Song)
The Competition, Lalo Schifrin, Wilbur Jennings [Song: People Alone]
FAME, MICHAEL GORE, DEAN PITCHFORD [SONG: FAME] (CED)
Fame, Michael Gore, Lesley Gore [Song: Out Here On My Own] (CED)
Honeysuckle Rose, Willie Nelson [Song: On the Road Again]
9 to 5, Dolly Parton [Song: 9 to 5] (CED)
SCIENTIFIC OR TECHNICAL AWARD (Academy Award of Merit)
Laboratory, LINWOOD G. DUNN, CECIL D. LOVE, ACME TOOL AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY
SCIENTIFIC OR TECHNICAL AWARD (Scientific and Engineering Award)
Camera Cranes, Samuelson Alga Cinema S.A., Samuelson Film Service, Limited, JEAN-MARIE LAVALOU, ALAIN MASSERON, DAVID SAMUELSON
Laboratory, Filmline Corporation , EDWARD B. KRAUSE
Lenses and Filters, DAVID A. GRAFTON
Lighting, OSRAM GmbH , DR. WERNER BLOCK, DR. BERNARD KUHL
Stage Operations, ROSS TAYLOR
SCIENTIFIC OR TECHNICAL AWARD (Technical Achievement Award)
Laboratory, Bell and Howell Company , CARTER EQUIPMENT COMPANY , ANDRE DEBRIE S.A., HOLLYWOOD FILM COMPANY , WALTER HRASTNIK, JOHN W. LANG, CHARLES J. WATSON
Photography, Elicon , PETER A. REGLA, DAN SLATER
Projection, LaVezzi Machine Works, Incorporated , WORTH BAIRD
Systems, Cinetron Computer Systems, Incorporated , EUGENE NOTTINGHAM, CHARLES VAUGHN
SHORT FILM (Animated)
All Nothing, FrÉdÉric Back
THE FLY (1980), FERENC ROFUSZ
History of the World in Three Minutes Flat, Michael Mills (short)
SHORT FILM (Dramatic Live Action)
THE DOLLAR BOTTOM, LLOYD PHILLIPS
Fall Line, Bob Carmichael, Greg Lowe
A Jury of Her Peers, Sally Heckel
Altered States, Arthur Piantadosi, Les Fresholtz, Michael Minkler, Willie D. Burton (CED)
Coal Miner's Daughter, Richard Portman, Roger Heman (sound), Jim Alexander (CED)
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, BILL VARNEY, STEVE MASLOW, GREGG LANDAKER, PETER SUTTON (CED)
Fame, Michael J. Kohut, Aaron Rochin, Jay M. Harding, Chris Newman (CED)
Raging Bull, Donald O. Mitchell, Bill Nicholson, David J. Kimball, Les Lazarowitz (CED)
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (Visual Effects)
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, BRIAN JOHNSON, RICHARD EDLUND, DENNIS MUREN, BRUCE NICHOLSON (CED)
WRITING (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium)
Breaker Morant, Jonathan Hardy, David Stevens, Bruce Beresford (CED)
Coal Miner's Daughter, Tom Rickman (CED)
The Elephant Man, Christopher DeVore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch (CED)
ORDINARY PEOPLE, ALVIN SARGENT (CED)
The Stunt Man, Lawrence B. Marcus, Richard Rush (CED)
WRITING (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)
Brubaker, W. D. Richter, Arthur Ross (CED)
Fame, Christopher Gore (CED)
MELVIN AND HOWARD, BO GOLDMAN
Mon Oncle D'Amerique, Jean Gruault
Private Benjamin, Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, Harvey Miller (CED)
* 1ST ANNUAL GOLDEN RASPBERRY AWARDS ("WINNERS" IN ALL CAPS):
CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC!
The Formula (CED)
Friday the 13th (CED)
The Jazz Singer (CED)
The Nude Bomb
Raise the Titanic (CED)
Saturn 3 (CED)
Michael Beck - Xanadu
Robert Blake - Coast to Coast
Michael Caine - Dressed to Kill (CED) / The Island
NEIL DIAMOND - THE JAZZ SINGER (CED)
Kirk Douglas - Saturn 3 (CED)
Richard Dreyfuss - The Competition
Anthony Hopkins - A Change of Seasons (CED)
Bruce Jenner - Can't Stop the Music!
Sam Jones - Flash Gordon (CED)
Nancy Allen - Dressed to Kill (CED)
Faye Dunaway - First Deadly Sin
Shelley Duvall - The Shining (CED)
Farrah Fawcett - Saturn 3 (CED)
Sondra Locke - Bronco Billy (CED)
Olivia Newton John - Xanadu
Valerine Perrine - Can't Stop the Music
Deborah Raffin - Touched by Love
BROOKE SHIELDS - THE BLUE LAGOON (CED)
Talia Shire - Windows
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
JOHN ADAMES - GLORIA (CED)
Marlon Brando - The Formula (CED)
Charles Grodin - Seems Like Old Times (CED)
Laurence Olivier - The Jazz Singer (CED)
David Selby - Raise the Titanic (CED)
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Elizabeth Ashley - Windows
George Sanford Brown - Stir Crazy (CED)
AMY IRVING - HONEYSUCKLE ROSE
Betsy Palmer - Friday the 13th (CED)
Marilyn Sokol - Can't Stop the Music
John Avildsen - The Formula (CED)
Brian De Palma - Dressed to Kill (CED)
William Friedkin - Cruising (CED)
Sidney Furie and Richard Fleisher - The Jazz Singer (CED)
ROBERT GREENWALD - XANADU
Stanley Kubrick - The Shining (CED)
Michael Ritchie - The Island
John Trent - Middle Age Crazy
Nancy Walker - Can't Stop the Music
Gordon Willis - Windows
CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC - BRONTE WOODWARD, ALLAN CARR
Change of Seasons - Erich Segal, Ronni Kern, Fred Segal (CED)
Cruising - William Friedkin (CED)
The Formula - Steve Shagan (CED)
It's My Turn - Eleanor Bergstein
Middle Age Crazy - Carl Kleinschmidt
Raise the Titanic - Adam Kennedy, Eric Hughes (CED)
Touched By Love - Hesper Anderson
Windows - Barry Siegel
Xanadu - Richard Danus, Marc Rubel
"THE MAN WITH BOGART'S FACE" - THE MAN WITH BOGART'S FACE
"You Can't Stop the Music" - Can't Stop the Music
"Suspended in Time" - Xanadu
"Where Do You Catch the Buss for Tomorrow" - Change of Seasons (CED)
"You, Baby, Baby!" - The Jazz Singer (CED)
April 1, 1981:
* CNN airs a videotape showing psychic Tamara Rand predicting President Reagan is in danger from someone with the initials "J.H." This turns out to be a hoax, taped after the assassination attempt by John Hinckley.
April 2, 1981:
* In the worst violence to occur in Lebanon since the 1976 cease fire, 37 people are reported killed during intense fighting in the cities of Beirut and Zahle.
April 3, 1981:
* The Osborne portable computer is introduced at the 6th West Coast Computer Faire. This 26 pound, $1745 AC-powered unit has a built-in 5" screen and a 4 MHz Z80 microprocessor.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Atlantic City.
April 4, 1981:
* Italian police in Milan arrest Mario Moretti, generally considered to have been the most important member of the Red Brigades terrorist group still at large.
April 5, 1981:
* Bob Hite of the blues band Canned Heat dies at age 36 of a drug-related heart seizure behind the Palamino Club in North Hollywood, California. The Canned Heat song "Goin' Up the Country" can be heard on Side 1 of the CED title "Woodstock".
April 6, 1981:
* A Yugoslav Communist Party official confirms reports of intense ethnic riots in Kosovo, an autonomous region inside Yugoslavia. About three-quarters of Kosovo's 1.5 million inhabitants are ethnic Albanians whose leaders are seeking the status of a republic for the region.
April 7, 1981:
* In a national plebiscite, Philippine voters overwhelmingly approve modifications in the nation's 1973 constitution. The changes will permit President Ferdinand E. Marcos to run for another six-year term and will establish a parliamentary form of government with a strong presidency.
April 8, 1981:
* Omar Bradley, the last of America's five-star generals, dies at age 88. Called the GI's General for the care he took with the lives of ordinary soldiers, he was a graduate of the 1915 "class the stars fell upon" at West Point that contributed more than 30 generals to World War II. He served in Tunisia, the Sicilian campaign, and the D-Day landings in Normandy. After the war he served two terms as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Omar Bradley is portrayed by Karl Malden on the CED title "Patton" and by Nicholas Stuart on "The Longest Day". He appears in archive footage at the beginning of the CED title "A Bridge Too Far".
April 9, 1981:
* The U.S. Submarine "George Washington" strikes and sinks a small Japanese freighter in the East China Sea resulting in the deaths of the freighter's captain and first mate. The submarine leaves the scene without assisting the survivors.
April 10, 1981:
* Bobby Sands, an imprisoned Irish Republican Army member engaged in a hunger strike, is elected to the British Parliament from a district in Northern Ireland.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Excalibur.
April 11, 1981:
* Twelve days after he was wounded in an assassination attempt, President Reagan leaves the hospital and returns to the White House.
Kiss on My List (CED) by Hall & Oates becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
April 12, 1981:
* The U.S launches the "Columbia" on the first orbital space shuttle mission STS-1 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
* Joe Louis, the American heavyweight boxer, dies at the age of 66. He was the heavyweight boxing champion of the world for almost 12 years, from 1937 until 1949. Joe Louis appears on the cover of the CED title "The Big Fights, Vol. 2" which features six of his classic fights, including the memorable 1938 bout with German Max Schmeling which served as an allegory of democracy vs. fascism.
* Golfer Tom Watson wins the $60,000 purse in the Masters at Augusta, Georgia in a narrow victory over Jack Nicklaus.
* Nelson Piquet wins the Argentina Grand Prix (CED).
April 13, 1981:
* Janet Cooke of the Washington Post is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing on a story concerning an eight year old drug addict.
April 14, 1981:
* Space shuttle "Columbia" completes 36 orbits of the Earth during its 54.5 hour flight, gliding to a smooth landing at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California.
April 15, 1981:
* The Washington Post announces that it is relinquishing the Pultizer Prize that had been awarded two days earlier to one of its reporters, Janet Cooke, for a feature story about an eight year old heroin addict. Cooke revealed that the story had been fabricated.
* President Reagan announces unconditional pardons for two former FBI officials convicted of authorizing illegal break-ins of homes in the early 1970's.
April 16, 1981:
* Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau rejects a compromise proposal, endorsed by eight provincial premiers, on the makeup of a new federal constitution. Trudeau insists that a strong central government is essential.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Reports Lower First Quarter Earnings
April 17, 1981:
* The Polish government and members of Rural Solidarity sign an agreement granting the farmers' union official recognition within a few weeks.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: The Howling.
April 18, 1981:
* The Minor League Baseball Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings begin a 33-inning baseball game. The game is suspended at 4:07 AM the following day (Pawtucket later wins in the 33rd inning).
April 19, 1981:
* Thirteen persons are killed and scores seriously injured in Davao City, Philippines when members of the New People's Army, the military branch of the illegal Philippine Communist Party, hurl hand grenades into the Roman Catholic cathedral during Easter services.
April 20, 1981:
* A spokesman for the U.S. Navy announces that the U.S. is accepting full responsibility for the sinking of the "Nissho Maru" on April 9. The Japanese merchant vessel went down 110 miles off southern Japan after being struck by the U.S. submarine "George Washington". Anger in Japan was intense because there was no indication the officers aboard the submarine had made any serious attempt to rescue the merchant crew, who were picked up (except the captain and first mate) by a Japanese destroyer after 18 hours in the water.
* The 85th Boston Marathon is won by Toshihiko Seko of Japan in 2:09:26.
April 21, 1981:
* Post-mortem studies by scientists indicate that the stately mute swan, the bird that has gracefully adorned Britain's lakes, ponds, and streams for hundreds of years is dying in large number due to lead poisoning from the splitshot used by fishermen to weight their lines.
April 22, 1981:
* The Soviet Union conducts an underground nuclear test at their Semipalitinsk (Kazakhstan) test site.
April 23, 1981:
* Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital report that artificial skin has been successfully grafted on burn patients.
April 24, 1981:
* President Reagan ends a 15-month old partial embargo on grain sales to the Soviet Union. The ban had been invoked by President Carter on January 4, 1980 in response to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
* Bill "Willie" Shoemaker wins his 8000th race, 2000 more than any other jockey to date. Willie Shoemaker is the host of the interactive CED title "A Week at the Races".
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Nighthawks.
April 25, 1981:
* Seattle Mariners manager Maury Wills is suspended for 2 games after ordering the grounds crew to enlarge the batter's boxes by one foot.
April 26, 1981:
* Character actor Jim Davis, best known as the patriarch of the oil-rich Ewing family in the television series Dallas, dies at age 65. He appears in the CED westerns El Dorado, Rio Lobo, Big Jake, and Comes A Horseman.
April 27, 1981:
* A Maryland judge rules that Spiro Agnew had taken bribes from contractors when he was governor of Maryland and Vice President of the U.S. He is ordered to pay the state $147,500 plus $101,235 in interest.
* Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, 41, marries actress Barbara Bach, 30, in London. They had recently performed together in the CED title Caveman.
April 28, 1981:
* In his first major appearance since being wounded March 30, President Reagan makes a televised address before Congress in which he appeals for passage of his budget program.
* In an escalating conflict, Israeli jets shoot down two Syrian helicopters said to have been attacking Lebanese Christian militia in Lebanon.
April 29, 1981:
* Peter Sutcliffe, a 35-year-old British truck driver, confesses to killing 13 women in the "Yorkshire Ripper" case.
April 30, 1981:
* In a speech commemorating the Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust, President Ronald Reagan states that he is "horrified" by claims the Holocaust was invented, citing his own experience viewing the first combat film of concentration camps in April 1945.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA VideoDisc Introduction 'Most Successful' Product Launch in Industry History
May 1, 1981:
* Senator Harrison A. Williams, Jr. (D-NJ) is convicted of crimes stemming from the Abscam bribery investigation. Short for Arab scam this investigation involved FBI agents and informants posing as Arabs seeking political favors.
* The Japanese government announces that it will limit its passenger car exports to the U.S. during the next three years; the U.S. Congress had indicated it would impose import quotas if Japan did not act on its own.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Heaven's Gate. This release was the version shortened to 149 minutes. The original release at 220 minutes from November 19, 1980 was pulled from theaters after 3 days in the wake of disastrous reviews. The CED from 1983 is the long version.
May 2, 1981:
* The largest antiwar demonstration since the early 1970's is held in Washington to protest U.S. military aid to El Salvador and the Reagan administration's proposals for increased military spending and cuts in social programs.
* The 107th Kentucky Derby is won by Pleasant Colony ridden by jockey Jorge Velasquez in a time of 2:02.
Morning Train (CED) by Sheena Easton becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
May 3, 1981:
* Nelson Piquet wins the San Marino Grand Prix (CED).
May 4, 1981:
* Continuing a "tight money" policy to curb inflation, the Federal Reserve Board headed by chairman Paul Volcker raises its discount rate, the interest rate on loans to commercial banks, to a record 14 percent.
May 5, 1981:
* Riots break out in Northern Ireland when Robert "Bobby" Sands, a 27-year-old member of the outlawed Irish Republican Army (IRA), dies of starvation in the hospital wing of Maze Prison near Belfast, Northern Ireland. Death came on the 66th day of a hunger strike that Sands and other IRA inmates had undertaken to pressure British authorities into reclassifying them as political prisoners.
May 6, 1981:
* The U.S. orders Libya to close its diplomatic mission in Washington D.C., and to move its staff outside the country within 5 days. The country is cited for its support of international terrorism and assassinations of dissident Libyans living abroad.
* All 21 crew members are killed when a U.S. missile tracking jet explodes in the air near Frederick, Maryland.
May 7, 1981:
* In a key vote, the Democratic-controlled House approves 270-154 the $689 billion fiscal 1982 budget endorsed by Ronald Reagan.
* Some 1,200 government workers in Bermuda end a 25-day strike that had brought the country's vital tourist industry to a virtual standstill.
May 8, 1981:
* Syria formally rejects Israeli demands that it remove antiaircraft missiles from Lebanon.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Caveman.
May 9, 1981:
* The defense minister of El Salvador announces that six members of the country's armed forces have been arrested as suspects in the December 2, 1980 murders of three U.S. nuns and a co-worker.
May 10, 1981:
* Francois Mitterrand, the 64-year-old leader of the Socialist Party, defeats incumbent Valery Giscard d'Estaing in the runoff election for the presidency of France.
May 11, 1981:
* Bob Marley, king of reggae music, dies of lung cancer in Miami at age 36. The Rastafarian dreadlocks he wore were reminders of the anger and impatience of young Jamaicans, but through his music he advocated an end to the violence of Jamaica. Reggae music is prominent on the CED title "The Harder They Come" and Bob Marley is honored on the "Best of Reggae Sunsplash" CED titles.
May 12, 1981:
* President Reagan proposes fundamental changes in Social Security legislation to restore the system to a sound financial basis.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Adds 26 New Titles to its Strong-Selling VideoDisc Catalog
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Four VCR's Introduced by RCA in New Line as Industry Heads for $1 Billion In Sales
RCA's SECOND WAVE OF 26 CED TITLES:
American Alcoholic/Reading, Writing, and Reefer
Apple Dumpling Game, The
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Doll's House, A
Don Kirshner Presents Rock Concert, Vol. 1
Fantastic Voyage [RCA]
Farewell My Lovely
Great Escape, The (2)
Harold and Maude
Last Waltz, The [monophonic]
Mary Tyler Moore Show, Vol. 1
Miracle of Lake Placid, The
North Dallas Forty
Ordinary People (2)
Paul Simon In Concert [monophonic]
Pink Panther, The
Richard Pryor: Live In Concert
Urban Cowboy (2)
War of the Worlds, The
Wimbledon: 1979 and 1980
May 13, 1981:
* Pope John Paul II is shot and seriously wounded as he rides in an open car through St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. Two women tourists from the U.S. are also injured by bullets during the attack. The gunman is captured and identified as a 23-year-old Turkish terrorist.
May 14, 1981:
* The Boston Celtics win the 35th National Basketball Association championship, defeating Houston four games to two. The Celtics are led by Larry Bird "The Hick from French Lick," so called because he was born in French Lick, Indiana (about 50 miles south of Bloomington, where CED players were manufactured).
May 15, 1981:
* Sergej Kraigher begins his one-year term as president of Yugoslavia, following a predetermined order of succession. The nine member collective leadership was elected in 1979, before President Tito's death, by parliaments of the nation's six republics and two autonomous provinces.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: The Stunt Man.
May 16, 1981:
* Nancy Reagan christens the USS Ticonderoga guided missile cruiser, the first vessel equipped with RCA's sophisticated AEGIS electronic combat system.
* The 107th Preakness is won by Jorge Velasquez riding Pleasant Colony in a time of 1:56.6.
Bette Davis Eyes (CED) by Kim Carnes becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
May 17, 1981:
* Charles Reutemann wins the Belgium Grand Prix. The race is marred by accidents involving two mechanics depicted rather dramatically at the beginning of Side 2 of the CED title "Start to Finish".
May 18, 1981:
* Actor Arthur O'Connell dies at age 73. He appears on the CED titles Citizen Kane, Gidget, Fantastic Voyage, The Last Valley, and The Poseidon Adventure.
May 19, 1981:
* The Department of Commerce reports that the U.S. gross national product (GNP) grew at an 8.4 percent annual rate during the first three months of 1981, the strongest quarterly growth rate in three years (figure later revised to 8.6 percent).
May 20, 1981:
* The U.S. reverses a decision that had cut the influx of Indochinese refugees.
May 21, 1981:
* The World Health Organization (WHO) votes 118-1 to discourage use of baby formulas in third world countries due to contamination, lack of sterilization, and poor preparation. The United States casts the only dissenting vote.
* The New York Islanders win professional hockey's Stanley Cup, defeating Minnesota four games to one in the best-of-seven series.
May 22, 1981:
* The U.S. Congress ratifies a compromise $695.5 billion budget resolution for fiscal 1982 that slows the growth of federal spending by curtailing social programs.
* Peter W. Sutcliffe, the convicted "Yorkshire Ripper" who had been charged with 13 murders, is sentenced in London to life imprisonment.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: The Four Seasons, The Legend of the Lone Ranger.
May 23, 1981:
* A dozen or more gunmen seize control of the Central Bank in Barcelona, Spain seizing 200 hostages. They demand the release of some military officers being held for an unsuccessful coup earlier in the year.
May 24, 1981:
* Ecuadorean President Jaime Roldos Aguilera is killed in a plane crash along with his wife, the minister of defense, and two military aides.
* Police storm the Central Bank in Barcelona, Spain capturing nine gunmen, but others escape, passing in the confusion as freed hostages.
* Bobby Unser wins the Indianapolis 500 automobile race 5.3 seconds ahead of Mario Andretti, but is demoted to second place the next day after receiving a one lap penalty. On October 9, 1981 Unser wins an appeal and has first place finish is reinstated.
May 25, 1981:
* Four Turkish hijackers, all members of a Marxist guerilla organization, are overpowered by their hostages at an airport in Burgas, Bulgaria.
May 26, 1981:
* An oil price freeze and production cut is announced by 12 of the 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Saudi Arabia is the lone holdout.
* A U.S Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler Jet crash lands on the deck of the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, killing 14 and injuring 48 service personnel.
May 27, 1981:
* The 1981 Cannes Film Festival ends in France. The CED title "Excalibur" is awarded Prix de la meilleure contribution artistique au Festival international du film, and Ian Holm is awarded Prix du meilleur second rôle masculin au Festival international du film for his performance in "Chariots of Fire."
* Philip Habib, U.S. special envoy to the Middle East returns to Washington, D.C. after a three week diplomatic mission to Jerusalem, Damascus, and Beirut intended to defuse conflict in the region.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA to Offer Video Disc of Mel Brooks' New Film 'The History of the World: Part 1'
May 28, 1981:
* Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, the Roman Catholic primate of Poland, dies at age 79.
May 29, 1981:
* Negotiators for some 160,000 members of the United Mine Workers in the East and Midwest approve a new 40-month contract ending a strike that began on March 27.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Outland.
May 30, 1981:
* Ziaur Rahman, president of Bangladesh, is assassinated in the port city of Chittagong; a number of his aides and bodyguards are also slain during the military coup.
May 31, 1981:
* Gilles Villeneuve wins the Monaco Grand Prix (CED), a race in which only seven of twenty starters finish due to crashes.
June 1, 1981:
* An army rebellion in Bangladesh collapses after 48 hours, and its leader, Major General Muhammed Abdul Manzur, is killed soon after being arrested.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
M*A*S*H Top Selling RCA Video Disc in Initial Telephone Survey of Disc Owners
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA to Offer Video Disc of 'Pippin'
June 2, 1981:
* Lindsay Thompson is named premier of Australia's state of Victoria, replacing Rupert Harner, who resigned.
June 3, 1981:
* French President Francois Mitterrand begins to fulfill his campaign pledges by raising the minimum wage by 10 percent and by increasing some social benefits.
June 4, 1981:
* Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meet in the Sinai, mainly to exchange views on the situation in Lebanon.
June 5, 1981:
* The CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) includes an article entitled "Pneumocystis Pneumonia -- Los Angeles" reporting on five gay men with severely suppressed immune systems of unknown cause.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Improper Channels and Friday the 13th, Part II.
June 6, 1981:
* Coal miners vote to end a ten-week strike by members of the United Mine Workers that had closed hundreds of mines in the East and Midwest United States.
June 7, 1981:
* Israel uses eight F-16 bombers and six F-15 fighter planes to destroy Iraq's nuclear reactor at Daura. Israel defends its surprise attack by stating the soon-to-be-completed facility was designed to produce atomic bombs.
* 35TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS (WINNERS IN ALL CAPS):
PLAY OF THE YEAR
AMADEUS (CED, movie version)
Fifth Of July
A Lesson From Aloes
MUSICAL OF THE YEAR
42ND STREET (CED, movie version)
Woman Of the Year
Brigadoon (CED, movie version)
The Little Foxes
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (CED, movie version)
LEADING ACTOR - PLAY
Tim Curry in Amadeus
Roy Dotrice in A Life
IAN MCKELLEN IN AMADEUS
Jack Weston in The Floating Light Bulb
LEADING ACTOR - MUSICAL
Gregory Hines in Sophisticated Ladies
KEVIN KLINE IN THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (CED, movie version)
George Rose in The Pirates Of Penzance (CED, movie version)
Martin Vidnovic in Brigadoon
LEADING ACTRESS - PLAY
Glenda Jackson in Rose
JANE LAPOTAIRE IN PIAF (CED)
Eva Le Gallienne in To Grandmother's House We Go
Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes
LEADING ACTRESS - MUSICAL
LAUREN BACALL IN WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Meg Bussert in Brigadoon
Chita Rivera in Bring Back Birdie
Linda Ronstadt in The Pirates Of Penzance (CED, movie version)
FEATURED ACTOR - PLAY
Tom Aldredge in The Little Foxes
BRIAN BACKER IN THE FLOATING LIGHT BULB
Adam Redfield in A Life
Shepperd Strudwick in To Grandmother's House We Go
FEATURED ACTOR - MUSICAL
Tony Azito in The Pirates Of Penzance
HINTON BATTLE IN SOPHISTICATED LADIES
Lee Roy Reams in 42nd Street
Paxton Whitehead in Camelot
FEATURED ACTRESS - PLAY
SWOOSIE KURTZ IN FIFTH OF JULY
Maureen Stapleton in The Little Foxes
Jessica Tandy in Rose
Zoe Wanamaker in Piaf (CED)
FEATURED ACTRESS - MUSICAL
MARILYN COOPER IN WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Phyllis Hyman in Sophisticated Ladies
Wanda Richert in 42nd Street
Lynne Thigpen in Tintypes
DIRECTOR - PLAY
Peter Coe for A Life
PETER HALL FOR AMADEUS
Marshall W. Mason for Fifth Of July
Austin Pendleton for The Little Foxes
DIRECTOR - MUSICAL
Gower Champion for 42nd Street
WILFORD LEACH FOR THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE
Robert Moore for Woman Of the Year
Michael Smuin for Sophisticated Ladies
BOOK OF A MUSICAL
The Moony Shapiro Songbook
WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Charlie and Algernon
WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Fifth Of July
Fifth Of July
The Pirates Of Penzance
TRINITY SQUARE REPERTORY COMPANY, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
LENA HORNE FOR LENA HORNE: THE LADY AND HER MUSIC
June 8, 1981:
* President Jose Lopez Portillo of Mexico begins two days of talks with President Reagan in Washington D.C.
June 9, 1981:
* Acknowledging that he had received a warning letter from the Soviet Communist Party, Polish party chief Stanislaw Kania states his government will crack down on resistance within the party and press on anti-Soviet activities.
June 10, 1981:
* The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico reports the invention of a "hard metal" that does not contain cobalt, instead using a combination of metallic elements that can be readily mined in U.S.
June 11, 1981:
* Japanese student Issei Sagawa murders and eats Dutch student Renee Hartevelt at the Sorbonne in France.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Announces Major Expansion of Video Disc Production Facility
June 12, 1981:
* For only the second time in history during the regular season, Major League baseball players begin to strike because of a dispute with owners over free-agent compensation. No early settlement of the strike is expected.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
June 13, 1981:
* Several blank pistol cartridges are fired at Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain as she rides through London on horseback in a ceremony marking her official birthday.
June 14, 1981:
* In a national referendum, Swiss voters approve an amendment to the constitution that will grant women equal rights with men.
June 15, 1981:
* Meeting in Paris, the International Energy Agency representing 21 oil importing countries agrees to hold oil imports at 19 to 21 million barrels a day. The participants emphasized the need to expand the use of other fuels because the energy situation was still precarious.
* The United States agrees to provide Pakistan with $3 billion in military and economic aid from October 1982 to October 1987.
June 16, 1981:
* The U.S. Congress approves federal financing of medical care for servicemen who were exposed to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
* Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos is reelected to a six year term; an overwhelming victory was assured because he was opposed by only minor candidates.
June 17, 1981:
* Riots begin between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Cairo, Egypt that result in the deaths of 17 persons.
June 18, 1981:
* Potter Stewart announces he will retire from the U.S. Supreme Court on July 3, 1981.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Original Art for RCA Video Discs Exhibited at Society of Illustrators
June 19, 1981:
* The Ariane rocket of the European Space Agency puts two satellites into orbit.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: History of the World, Part 1; Superman II.
June 20, 1981:
* In the final round of voting, Socialists win a majority of seats in the French National Assembly.
Stars on 45 (CED) by Stars on 45 becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
June 21, 1981:
* Wayne B. Williams, a free-lance photographer, is charged with killing one of 28 young blacks slain in the Atlanta, Georgia area over a two-year period.
* In separate accidents on Pacific Northwest mountains, 11 climbers are buried in a glacial avalanche on Washington's Mt. Ranier, while 5 climbers fall to their deaths on Oregon's Mt. Hood.
* David Graham wins the U.S. Open Golf Tournament held at the Merion GC in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
* Gilles Villeneuve wins the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, Spain in a turbocharged V-6 Ferrari (CED).
June 22, 1981:
* Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, who was dismissed as chief of Iran's armed forces on June 10, is ousted from his post as president by the Majlis and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He is believed to have fled the country.
June 23, 1981:
* The British government announces that the nation's unemployment rate has climbed to 11.1 percent, the highest it has been in 50 years. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher warns that unemployment will continue to rise because her more immediate goal is to continue the fight against inflation.
* John Bowen and Timothy Farley receive the first Technical Excellence Awards of SelectaVision VideoDisc Operations at a luncheon hosted by RCA Division Vice President Dr. Jay J. Brandinger. Mr. Bowen and Mr. Farley were each recognized "by virtue of his outstanding creativity, resourcefulness, and proficiency in developing analytical techniques relating to disc performance and defect analysis". Although prior efforts had been made to establish a defect analysis function, John and Tim were the first to develop the skills and methods to dissect defects, analyze them optically and chemically, and categorize them by sources. The methods John and Tim developed became the key in the quantification of new carbons and other compound ingredients and process parameters in terms of micro-defect sizes and quantities. Such information has been extremely important in the CED Engineering and Manufacturing groups' achievement over the past two years of a significant reduction (by a factor of 20) in the quantity of disc surface defects.
The analytical techniques John and Tim have developed will become even more important in the near future . Stereo disc development and introduction impose stringent new requirements for low disc defect levels, and the characterizations of disc defects will be an integral part of these development and introduction efforts.
June 24, 1981:
* A type of dengue fever frequently found in Southeast Asia and Africa, but never before in the Western Hemisphere, is detected in two Americans who recently visited the Caribbean.
June 25, 1981:
* Superman II earns $24 million in its first week of theatrical release, smashing the movie industry's single week record.
* The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of having only males register for a potential military draft.
June 26, 1981:
* Don Megowan dies at age 59. He appeared as Gum Chewer in the CED title Blazing Saddles and once starred in the intriguing sci-fi movie Creation of the Humanoids.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Nice Dreams, For Your Eyes Only.
June 27, 1981:
* Heng Samrin is elected Council of State President in Kampuchea (Cambodia).
* "Mistaken Identity" by Kim Carnes (CED) becomes the No. 1 U.S. album.
Bette Davis Eyes (CED) by Kim Carnes regains the No. 1 U.S. single spot.
June 28, 1981:
* Terry Fox, a college student from British Columbia, dies of cancer at the age of 22. Fox had become a Canadian hero by running halfway across the country on an artificial leg to raise money for cancer (he had lost a leg to bone cancer in 1977). This is depicted on the CED title "The Terry Fox Story" with Fox being played by Eric Fryer, who himself lost a leg to cancer.
* A powerful explosion, set off by antigovernment elements in Teheran, Iran, kills 72 people, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti.
* Piaf (CED) closes at the Plymouth Theater in New York City after 165 performances.
June 29, 1981:
* China's communist party condemns Mao Tse-tung's policies during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976.
June 30, 1981:
* Israel's Likud Party, led by Prime Minister Menachem Begin, narrowly wins parliamentary elections.
* Edgar Griffiths works his last official day as CEO of RCA.
* Fred Silverman steps down as president of RCA subsidiary NBC.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Form Joint Venture to Market Home Entertainment Programs Internationally
July 1, 1981:
* The United Automobile Workers (UAW) rejoin the AFL-CIO after 13 years as an independent labor union.
July 2, 1981:
* The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upholds the earlier agreement struck with Iran to return $2 billion in frozen assets in exchange for the 52 U.S. hostages.
July 3, 1981:
* Asian youths in the predominantly Indian neighborhood of Southall in West London fight with "skinheads" who had been stoning and burning shops in the area.
* Polish-born actor Ross Martin dies at age 61. Martin is best known for his role as secret service agent Artemus Gordon in the TV series The Wild, Wild West.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Clash of the Titans, The Great Muppet Caper, SOB, Dragonslayer.
July 4, 1981:
* Chris Everet Lloyd and John McEnroe win the female and male singles titles at the 1981 Wimbledon Championship (CED) respectively defeating Hana Mandlikova and Bjorn Borg. McEnroe is fined $5000 for his enfant terrible antics.
* Racial rioting in Great Britain spreads from London to the city of Liverpool.
July 5, 1981:
* Alain Prost wins the French Grand Prix (CED).
July 6, 1981:
* Isabel Peron, former president of Argentina, is freed from five years of house arrest by a federal court.
July 7, 1981:
* Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra Day O'Connor as the first woman justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
* The Solar Challenger becomes the first solar-powered airplane to cross the English Channel. Energy for the 165 mile, 5.5 hour flight was provided by 16,000 solar cells mounted on the wings and tail.
July 8, 1981:
* French Premier Pierre Mauroy outlines a program to nationalize several large corporations and most private banks, create 200,000 new public-sector jobs, and reduce the workweek to 35 hours.
July 9, 1981:
* Prime Minister Menahem Begin closes Israel's border with Jordan to two-way tourist travel.
July 10, 1981:
* California Governor Jerry Brown orders large-scale aerial spraying of the pesticide malathion in an effort to wipe out the Mediterranean fruit fly, or Medfly.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: The Cannonball Run, Stripes.
July 11, 1981:
* Members of the Writers Guild of America announce an end to their 13-week strike against film and television producers after being guaranteed, for the first time, a share in revenues from videocassettes, VideoDiscs, and pay television.
July 12, 1981:
* Massive, destructive floods begin in China's Szechwan and Hupeh provinces.
July 13, 1981:
* French President Francois Mitterrand and West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt end a two-day meeting in Bonn, West Germany, during which they discussed national and international issues, especially economic and military concerns.
July 14, 1981:
* Poland's Communist Party begins an emergency congress in which delegates are to elect leaders by secret ballot, the first such vote in any communist country.
July 15, 1981:
* The socialist government of French President Mitterand approves a plan to decentralize the government, granting greater power to regional and departmental councils.
July 16, 1981:
* Singer-composer Harry Chapin dies at age 38 in an automobile accident. Best known for poignant folk-rock ballads like "Taxi" and "Cat's in the Cradle," his frequent benefit concerts raised funds for numerous causes and charities, including the campaign against world hunger. He appears on the CED title Harry Chapin: The Final Concert.
* Saudi Arabia announces that it is willing to pay the entire cost of replacing the nuclear reactor that was destroyed in Iraq on June 7 by Israeli planes.
July 17, 1981:
* During a weekly "Tea Dance" two elevated walkways fall to the lobby floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Mo., killing 113 persons.
* Israeli jets bomb a densely populated area of Beirut, Lebanon, containing Palestinian guerrilla headquarters.
* Wayne B. Williams, a 23-year-old music promoter, is indicted on charges of murdering two black youths in Atlanta.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Endless Love, Escape from New York.
July 18, 1981:
* John Watson wins the British Grand Prix (CED).
July 19, 1981:
* A 20-year-old man suffers massive head injuries and dies after falling from a roller coaster in Denver, Colorado; while in Bristol, Connecticut, a 16-year-old girl also dies in a fall from a roller coaster.
July 20, 1981:
* An emergency meeting of the Communist Party of Poland adjourns. Stanislaw Kania is reelected party first secretary while Edward Gierek and other former leaders are expelled over the current political situation in Poland.
July 21, 1981:
* Seven leaders of the countries Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, the United States, and West Germany conclude a two-day meeting near Ottawa, Canada. Economic questions were given top priority because high U.S. interest rates are believed to be causing serious problems for other countries.
July 22, 1981:
* An Italian court finds Mehmet Ali Agca guilty of attempting to assassinate Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981, and sentences him to life imprisonment.
* Chrysler Corporation reports that it earned $11.6 Million in the second quarter, its first profit since 1978.
July 23, 1981:
* Time Inc. announces that its newspaper "The Washington Star" will cease publication on August 7, 1981.
July 24, 1981:
* Israel and the PLO endorse cease-fire agreements, virtually ending combat along the Israel-Lebanon border.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Arthur, Blow Out.
July 25, 1981:
* The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Brighton, England, approves a ban on the hunting of sperm whales except in an area of the Pacific Ocean near Japan.
* "Long Distance Voyager" by The Moody Blues becomes the No. 1 U.S. album.
The One That You Love by Air Supply becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
July 26, 1981:
* A 15-foot-high wall of water rushes over Tanque Verde Falls northeast of Tucson, sweeping eight people to their deaths. The victims were enjoying sunny skies, unaware of the storm in the mountains that caused the flash flood.
* The U.S. Women's Open at the La Grange CC in La Grange, Illinois is won by Pat Bradley.
July 27, 1981:
* President Reagan delivers a televised address urging support "for the first real tax cut for everyone in 20 years".
* A $1 Billion emergency plan to curb youth unemployment is proposed by Great Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
July 28, 1981:
* Canada's dollar plunges to a value of 81.5 U.S. cents, a 48-year low.
* The U.S. Department of Agriculture responds favorably to Poland's request for emergency shipments of feed grain to avoid the wholesale slaughter of poultry and hogs.
July 29, 1981:
* Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer are married at St. Paul's Cathedral in London before a worldwide television audience of 700 million persons. Lady Diana can be seen earlier in the month on the CED title Wimbledon 1981.
July 30, 1981:
* U.S. Attorney General William French Smith announces proposed changes in U.S. immigration laws that will levy fines against any employer of four or more workers who knowingly hires an illegal alien.
July 31, 1981:
* The U.S. baseball strike ends after 49 days as players and owners reach a compromise agreement on the issue of free-agent compensation.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Eye of the Needle, Stevie.
August 1, 1981:
MTV launches at 12:01 AM with Video Killed the Radio Star (CED) by the Buggles:
"Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.
In my mind and in my car,
we can't rewind we've gone too far.
Pictures came and broke your heart,
Put the blame on VCR."
Although the original lyrics from the 1970's used the acronym VTR.
* An airplane crash kills Panama's strongman leader - National Guard Commander Omar Torrijos Herrera.
* Paddy Chayefsky, the American playwright, dies at age 58. He won Academy Awards for three movie screenplays: Marty (CED), Hospital (CED), and Network (CED).
Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield (CED) becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
August 2, 1981:
* The German Grand Prix is won by Nelson Piquet (CED).
August 3, 1981:
* More than 85% of the members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) go on strike across the U.S. despite warnings from the federal government that any controller who refuses to work will be fired.
August 4, 1981:
* Congress completes passage of a tax-relief bill urged by President Reagan, cutting federal tax rates by 25 percent over nearly three years.
* Melvyn Douglas, the American actor, dies at age 80. He won academy awards for his performances in Hud (CED) and Being There (CED). He also appears on the CED titles Ninotchka, The Candidate, and The Changeling.
August 5, 1981:
* The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration begins sending dismissal notices to striking air traffic controllers. Some 13,000 air traffic controllers began the strike two days earlier.
August 6, 1981:
* Egyptian President Anwar Sadat ends a two-day visit to the U.S. during which he held discussions with President Reagan and other government officials. Sadat urged that Saudi Arabia be given a role in negotiating self-rule for the 1.3 million Palestinians living in territory occupied by Israel.
August 7, 1981:
* The Reagan administration announces a decision to produce and stockpile neutron warheads.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Tarzan- the Ape Man, Victory.
August 8, 1981:
* Cuban President Fidel Castro ends a visit to Mexico during which he and President Jose Lopez Portillo discussed the North-South economic summit scheduled for October. Mexico supports Cuban participation, but President Reagan has made it clear he will boycott the meeting if Castro attends.
August 9, 1981:
* The PGA Championship is won by Larry Nelson at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Georgia.
* Major league baseball resumes with the All-Star Game in Cleveland, Ohio, following the settlement of a seven week players' strike.
August 10, 1981:
* The Canadian Union of Postal Workers ends its 42 day strike after more than 80% of its 23,000 members approve a new two-year contract.
August 11, 1981:
* India's foreign minister announces that his country has applied for a $5.65 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, the largest request to date.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Expands Video Disc Catalog with 25 New Titles Catering to a Wide Range of Home Video Collectors
RCA's THIRD WAVE OF 25 CED TITLES FOR FALL 1981 PURCHASE:
African Queen, The
Complete Tennis from the Pros, Vol. 1
Elephant Man, The (2) 
Escape to Witch Mountain
Fleetwood Mac: Documentary and Live Concert
Friday the 13th
From Russia With Love [RCA]
Fugitive: The Final Episode
Fun in Acapulco
Greatest Show On Earth, The (2)
History of the World, Part 1
Let It Be
Little House on the Prairie
Magnificent Seven, The (2) [RCA]
Mary Poppins (2)
Odd Couple, The
Raging Bull (2)
Saturday Night Live, Vol. 1: George Carlin/Steve Martin
Tales From Muppetland
World Series 1980, Phillies vs. Royals
August 12, 1981:
* The IBM PC is announced at a press conference in New York. This is the computer that as manufactured by IBM and in clone form becomes the de facto standard for business use for the remainder of the decade and beyond. The base model retails for $2880 and includes 64 kilobytes of RAM and a single-sided 160K 5.25" floppy drive.
August 13, 1981:
* President Reagan signs a bill to cut taxes by $37.7 billion in 1982 and $280.3 billion the following three years. An accompanying budget reduction bill calls for a reduction of $35.2 billion in 1982, and four times that amount over the following three years.
August 14, 1981:
* Five members of Liberia's People's Redemption Council are executed for participating in the attempted assassination of Master Sgt. Samuel K. Doe, the head of state.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Deadly Blessing, Zorro, the Gay Blade.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Increases Advertising Expenditures by 61 Percent for Fall Video Cassette Recorder Campaign
August 15, 1981:
* At the U.S. Nationals, Robin Leamy sets a new record in the 50-meter freestyle swim.
* "Precious Time" by Pat Benatar (CED) becomes the No. 1 U.S. album.
Endless Love (CED) by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
August 16, 1981:
* Jan Stephenson from Australia wins the LPGA Mary Kay Golf Classic.
August 17, 1981:
* U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig announces the U.S. will no longer hold up the delivery of promised F-16s and F-15s to Israel. Delivery was suspended on June 10 after Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq and was further put off in July after Israel bombed Beirut.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Names James M. Alic Group Vice President
August 18, 1981:
* A two day printers' strike called by Solidarity shuts down most Polish newspapers.
August 19, 1981:
* Two U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat fighters shoot down two Libyan SU-22s that attacked a U.S. aircraft carrier about 60 miles from the coast of Libya. The U.S. insists the dogfight occurred in international airspace over the Gulf of Sidra, an area that Libya claimed as part of its territory in 1973.
August 20, 1981:
* USDA researchers find that a species of wild bee secretes a polyester plastic that may be useful for formulating a petrochemical-free synthetic resin.
August 21, 1981:
* OPEC members adjourn a meeting without reaching agreement on a new oil pricing policy.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: An American Werewolf in London, Prince of the City.
August 22, 1981:
* "Foreigner" by Foreigner becomes the No. 1 U.S. album entering the charts at the No. 1 position.
August 23, 1981:
* Beth Daniel wins the Chevrolet World Championship of Women's Golf.
August 24, 1981:
* In New York City, Mark David Chapman, who pleaded guilty to the murder of former Beatle John Lennon, is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
* South Africa sends two armored columns and air units to attack Angola to destroy guerrillas fighting for Namibia independence, which South Africa controls and still calls South West Africa.
August 25, 1981:
* The Voyager 2 Spacecraft passes within 63,000 miles of Saturn, revealing that the planet has thousands of rings. Voyager 2 then heads for Uranus, which it is expected to reach in 1986.
August 26, 1981:
* Egypt's President Anwar Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Menahem Begin conclude their 12th meeting in four years after agreeing to resume the Palestinian autonomy talks.
* The U.S. claims that North Korea fired an antiaircraft missile at a U.S. surveillance plane while it was over South Korea or in international airspace.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Alan J. Blumenthal Named Advertising Director For RCA 'SelectaVision' VideoDiscs
August 27, 1981:
* Records show that in the Alaskan wilderness the number of snowshoe hares increases dramatically every 10 years resulting in intense browsing that severely damages the hare's preferred food supply of twigs and small branches of birch, poplar, aspen, and alder.
August 28, 1981:
* In a joint declaration presented to the UN Security Council, France and Mexico state that El Salvador's guerrillas should be a recognized political force and accorded a role in negotiating a cessation of hostilities within the ruling junta.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Body Heat.
August 29, 1981:
* Lowell Thomas, the American author and news commentator, dies at age 89. He wrote more than 50 books, the best known of which is Lawrence of Arabia (CED).
August 30, 1981:
* Actress and former RCA Rockette dancer Vera-Ellen dies at age 60. She appears in the CED titles On the Town and White Christmas.
* Iranian President Mohammad Ali Raja'i, Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, and three members of the Supreme Defense Council are killed when a bomb explodes in Bahonar's office.
* Alain Post wins the Dutch Grand Prix (CED).
August 31, 1981:
* Brigadier General Joseph D. Moore and 19 others are injured when a terrorist bomb explodes at U.S. Air Force European headquarters in Ramstein, West Germany.
September 1, 1981:
* Canada's federal government and the oil-rich province of Alberta reach agreement on the pricing of petroleum products.
* Albert Speer, the German architect who was Hitler's Minister of Armaments and War Production during World War II, dies at the age of 76.
* ARTICLE FROM THE SEPTEMBER 1981 ISSUE OF VIDEO MAGAZINE:
MGM/CBS's First CED Offerings:
True to its promise when it adopted the RCA SelectaVision CED videodisc format last year, CBS has now released its first group of videodisc programs under the MGM/CBS Video label. All have already been made available on Beta and VHS videocassette and rank among the most popular titles in circulation today. You'll find a wide variety here from items recently released to theaters to established classics.
MGM/CBS's FIRST GROUP OF 16 CED TITLES:
2001: A Space Odyssey (2) [monophonic]
American in Paris, An
Doctor Zhivago (2)
Electric Light Orchestra Live at Wembley
My Fair Lady (2)
Nutcracker, The 
Wizard of Oz, The 
September 2, 1981:
* General Andre Kolingba, the armed forces chief of staff, proclaims himself head of state of the Central African Republic after David Dacko is forced to resign the presidency.
* Portugal's Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemao forms a new government after resigning on August 11.
September 3, 1981:
* Egypt arrests more than 1,500 opponents of the government, including religious activists, artists, journalists, and politicians.
RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Begins National VideoDiscs Display Contest Offering $50,000 in Prize Money
September 4, 1981:
* The Soviet Union begins war games with about 100,000 troops on the Polish border.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Chu Chu and the Philly Flash.
September 5, 1981:
* In an address before Egypt's Parliament, President Anwar Sadat announces that he is deposing Shenuda III, the spiritual leader of some 6 million Coptic Christians, and is giving his authority to a committee of five bishops.
* Solidarity, Poland's independent trade union, begins its first national congress.
* "Bella Donna" by Stevie Nicks (CED) becomes the No. 1 U.S. album.
September 6, 1981:
* Actress Maria Palmer dies at age 64.
September 7, 1981:
* The Soviet embassy in Madrid sends a note to the Spanish government warning that world tensions will increase if Spain carries out its plan to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
September 8, 1981:
* After returning to Washington from a month's vacation at his ranch in California, President Ronald Reagan begins three days of meetings with economic advisors to discuss further cuts in the budget, the problem of high interest rates, and the business community's lack of confidence in his economic recovery program.
September 9, 1981:
* Nicaragua declares a state of economic emergency and bans strikes.
September 10, 1981:
* President Reagan and Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin end two days of talks in Washington with an agreement for closer military ties.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Launches its Biggest Advertising and Merchandising Campaign for Fall
September 11, 1981:
* Chilean President Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, in a nationwide address marking the eighth anniversary of the coup that toppled Marxist president Salvador Allende, states that the ban on political activities will continue for eight more years.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Chariots of Fire, Mommie Dearest.
September 12, 1981:
* A spokesman for Scotland Yard in London announces that nine Italian terrorists have been arrested. They are prime suspects in the 1980 bombing of a Bologna train station that killed more than 80 people.
* "Escape" by Journey becomes the No. 1 U.S. album.
September 13, 1981:
* U.S. Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig says the United States has physical evidence that Russia and its allies used poisonous biological weapons in Laos, Cambodia, and Afghanistan.
* John McEnroe defeats Bjorn Borg to capture his third consecutive U.S. Open tennis championship. Tracy Austin wins the women's title.
* Alain Prost wins the Italian Grand Prix (CED).
* "Hill Street Blues," a television series about police, wins a record eight Emmy awards.
September 14, 1981:
* Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain makes several changes in her cabinet, generally favoring the members who more strongly support her conservative economic and monetary policies.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Consolidates All Entertainment Activities Other than NBC into Single Group
September 15, 1981:
* Pakistani President Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq formally accepts a six year $3.2 billion military and economic aid package from the United States that includes 40 F-16 fighter planes.
* Egypt expels the Soviet ambassador and 1,500 Russian technicians after leveling accusations the Soviets were fostering religious unrest in Egypt.
* The Studio 54 night club in New York City re-opens under the management of Mark Fleischman following the December 1979 arrest of prior owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager for money laundering. The music video "Heart of Glass" from the CED titles "Blondie - Eat to the Beat" and "Stereo Demo Disc" was recorded at Studio 54.
September 16, 1981:
* Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard defeats Thomas Hearns in the richest sports event in history. It grossed about $35 million and can be viewed on the CED title "Showdown: Leonard vs. Hearns".
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video Signs Distribution Agreement with Dagens Nyheters AB of Sweden
September 17, 1981:
* A car bomb explodes outside the PLO command center in Sidon, Lebanon shortly before PLO leaders are scheduled to meet. At least 20 are killed and 100 injured.
September 18, 1981:
* University of Pennsylvania researchers announce that cow's milk that contains bovine leukemia virus can transmit the virus to other animal species, as well as to the cow's offspring.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: The French Lieutenant's Woman.
September 19, 1981:
* An estimated one-quarter million people attend an AFL-CIO rally in Washington, D.C. to protest policies of the Reagan administration, especially government cutbacks in social programs.
September 20, 1981:
* Joe Danelo kicks a record 55 yard field goal for the New York Giants.
September 21, 1981:
* After more than 300 years under British rule, Belize - long known as British Honduras - gains full independence.
September 22, 1981:
* In Turkey, forty soldiers die when a Turkish air force jet crashes near the Greek border during a NATO exercise.
September 23, 1981:
* Actor Chief Dan George dies at the age of 82. He appears in the CED titles Little Big Man, Nothing Personal, and The Bears and I.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Arnold J. Holland Named Director of Business Affairs for RCA 'SelectaVision' VideoDiscs
September 24, 1981:
* The US and USSR jointly announce that negotiations to limit nuclear weapons in Europe will begin in Geneva on November 20.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA's First Discs-Only Advertising Campaign Will Use Radio Spots for Pre-Christmas Sales
September 25, 1981:
* Sandra Day O'Connor is formally sworn in as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court, the first woman to hold that position.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: True Confessions, Only When I Laugh.
September 26, 1981:
* Houston Astro pitcher Nolan Ryan hurls the fifth no-hitter of his career, breaking a tie with Sandy Koufax for the most career no-hitters.
September 27, 1981:
* Iran claims it has broken the siege of the city of Abadan, surrounded by Iraqi troops for nearly a year. In Tehran, leftist guerrillas clashed with government forces in the heaviest fighting in the Iranian capitol since the overthrow of the shah.
* Robert Montgomery, stage and screen actor and father of actress Elizabeth Montgomery, dies at the age of 77. He appears in the CED titles That's Entertainment and Here Comes Mr. Jordan.
* Jacques Laffite wins the Canadian Grand Prix (CED).
September 28, 1981:
* Stock markets around the world plunge dramatically following a prediction by US analyst Joseph Granville that September 28 will "go down in financial history as a 'Blue Monday'." However, when the US stock markets rebound after an initial drop, other markets quickly recover also.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
M*A*S*H Heads RCA Video Discs Hit Parade; Average Household Surveyed Owns 15 Albums
September 29, 1981:
* For the first time in history, the US Congress approves the raising of the ceiling on the US federal debt to more than one trillion dollars.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA 'SelectaVision' and Columbia Pictures in Video Disc Deal for 25 Titles
September 30, 1981:
* China asks Taiwan to join in talks on the reunification of China.
October 1, 1981:
* President Reagan states that the United States will not allow Saudi Arabia to fall under the control of forces threatening to cut off oil supplies to the West.
* ARTICLE FROM THE OCTOBER 1981 ISSUE OF VIDEO MAGAZINE:
MGM/CBS Adds More CED Titles:
To the list ot the first CED videodisc programs from MGM/CBS Home Video that we brought you last month we have the following additions to bring the total to 20. As you will note, all of the CED releases are already available in Beta and VHS tape from MGM/CBS, Fotomat, and other sources. Recommended list price for the titles below as well as the other one-disc albums is $24.95. The five two-disc albums go for $39.95. MGM/CBS promises 20 more CED releases by the end of next year when its Georgia manufacturing plant will be turning them out.
MGM/CBS ADDS AN ADDITIONAL 4 CED TITLES:
Great Figures in History: John F. Kennedy
Tom & Jerry
October 2, 1981:
* President Reagan announces his proposal for modernizing and reinforcing the U.S. strategic defense. He proposes the deployment of 100 MX missiles and the building of 100 B-1 long-range stealth bombers.
* Solidarity, Poland's federation of trade unions, re-elects Lech Walesa as its chairman with about 55% of the total vote.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Southern Comfort.
October 3, 1981:
* The hunger strike by six Irish nationalists being held in Maze Prison near Belfast, Northern Ireland is called off when five of the men learn that their families intend to order medical treatment once they lose consciousness. Ten prisoners had already died during the seven moth hunger strike.
October 4, 1981:
* The eight nations of the European Monetary System change the relative values of their currencies.
* The body of Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is exhumed and positively identified in Fort Worth, Texas, disproving the theory of a British author that the coffin contains the body of a Soviet spy.
October 5, 1981:
* France freezes the price of certain goods and services to curb inflation after the Franc is devalued.
* President Gaafar Nimeiry of the Sudan dissolves the nation's two parliaments giving greater authority to individual provinces.
* Hojatoleslam Sayyed Ali Khamenei is officially declared the winner of Iran's presidential election.
* Actress Gloria Grahame dies at age 57. She appears in the CED titles Oklahoma and The Greatest Show on Earth.
October 6, 1981:
* Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated during a military parade in Cairo by extremists who jump from a military truck as it reaches the reviewing stand, hurling hand grenades and firing automatic weapons as they race toward the dignitaries. Vice President Hosni Mubarek, standing next to Sadat, is slightly injured.
October 7, 1981:
* The eight-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, in which 44 sovereign states took part, concludes in Melbourne, Australia with a communique calling for "global negotiations" on economic development.
October 8, 1981:
* A Canadian parliamentary subcommittee, after a one-year study, urges government action to curb acid rain.
October 9, 1981:
* The Egyptian Ministry of Defense identifies the leader of the assassination plot against President Sadat as the brother of a man who had been arrested during the September crackdown on dissident elements; the other attacking commandos were said to be Muslim fundamentalists.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Rich and Famous, Paternity.
October 10, 1981:
* An estimated 250,000 people march in Bonn, the capital of West Germany, to protest NATO's announced plans to deploy nuclear weapons in Western Europe.
October 11, 1981:
* An unknown rock performer named Prince opens for the Rolling Stones at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
October 12, 1981:
* Amnesty International, a human rights organization based in London, announces that the 1,800 executions carried out in Iran during the previous four months exceeded the total number of executions by all the governments of the world in 1980.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Demonstrates Advanced VideoDisc Player at Vidcom
A picture of this advanced SGT400 player in operation can be viewed in Media History.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Video Disc Player Owners Buying More Discs than Anticipated
October 13, 1981:
* Hosni Mubarak is overwhelmingly confirmed as president of Egypt in a national referendum.
October 14, 1981:
* Kare Willoch becomes prime minister of Norway as head of a minority Conservative Party government.
October 15, 1981:
* President Reagan, in an address before the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, outlines his policy on world economic development. After saying that "development and economic freedom go hand in hand," he notes that a mere handful of industrialized countries that couple "personal freedom with economic reward now produce more than one-half the wealth of the world."
October 16, 1981:
* Moshe Dayan, military hero and political leader who directed Israel's campaign in the 1967 six-day war, dies at age 66.
* Turkey's National Security Council, headed by General Kenan Evren, dissolves all the country's political parties and confiscates their assets.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Private Lessons, Carbon Copy.
October 17, 1981:
* Las Vegas Grand Prix is won by Alan Jones of Australia. This is the final race of the 1981 Formula One season featured on the CED title "Start to Finish."
Arthur's Theme (CED) by Christopher Cross becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
October 18, 1981:
* French President Francois Mitterrand and President Reagan meet in Williamsburg, Virginia to discuss Western Europe military capabilities.
* Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland's Council of Ministers chairman, replaces Stanislaw Kania as Communist Party first secretary.
* For the first time, President Reagan acknowledges that the U.S. economy is in recession, responding to a reporter's question that the country is in "a light, and I hope short, recession."
October 19, 1981:
* French President Francois Mitterrand and President Reagan attend a re-enactment of the historic British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781.
* "Black Monday" at Sony Corporation, when the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reverses an earlier court ruling, stating that off-air videotape recording is illegal and sending the case back to district court to determine relief. More details are available in CED Digest Vol. 5 No. 5.
October 20, 1981:
* A guard and two policemen are killed in the robbery of a Brink's armored truck and the ensuing chase in Rockland County, New York. Several members of the radical Weather Underground are later arrested in connection with the crime.
October 21, 1981:
* PLO leader Yasir Arafat concludes a two-week trip to Asia and the Soviet Union during which he held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki and won full diplomatic recognition of the PLO from Moscow.
October 22, 1981:
* The U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority votes 2-1 to decertify the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) as bargaining representatives of air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration.
October 23, 1981:
* Representatives of 14 developing and 8 industrialized nations end a two-day North-South conference at the Mexican resort of Cancun. President Reagan supports talks between rich and poor countries but insists they be held within the framework of existing international agencies.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: My Dinner with Andre, All the Marbles.
October 24, 1981:
* Motion picture costume designer Edith Head dies at age 80. She won eight Oscars and worked on some 1000 films including many CED titles.
October 25, 1981:
* Alberto Salazar wins the New York City Marathon in a world-record time of 2 hours 8 minutes 13 seconds. Allison Roe breaks the women's record, finishing in 2:25:28.
October 26, 1981:
* Thirty-three Haitians drown after their boat capsizes less than a mile from shore near Hillsboro Beach, Florida.
October 27, 1981:
* A Russian submarine runs aground near the restricted Karlskrona naval base in southern Sweden.
October 28, 1981:
* The U.S. Senate gives President Reagan a stunning foreign policy victory when it approves 52-48 the sale of $8,5 billion worth of sophisticated aircraft and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia.
* The Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series, defeating the New York Yankees four games to two.
October 29, 1981:
* OPEC sets a single price of $34 per barrel of crude oil through 1982.
October 30, 1981:
* The Federal Reserve board lowers its discount rate to 13 percent.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Tattoo.
October 31, 1981:
* Antigua and Barbuda, an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, becomes independent of Great Britain at midnight, ending three and a half centuries of colonial rule.
November 1, 1981:
* Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin attacks Saudi Arabia's peace plan for the Middle East, saying it was a formula for "how to liquidate Israel in stages."
* The U.S. Postal Service raises the first-class letter rate to 20 cents.
November 2, 1981:
* After a meeting with King Hussein of Jordan at the White House, President Reagan reaffirms the U.S. commitment to the Camp David peace process for the Middle East. Hussein endorses an alternate plan proposed by Saudi Arabia.
November 3, 1981:
* Mayor Edward I. Koch, the first politician in the history of New York City to carry both the Democratic and Republican mayoral endorsements, is elected to a second term with more than 75 percent of the vote.
* The commander of Libya's forces in Chad says his troops were leaving the country, as requested by Chadian President Goukouni Oueddei.
* Leslie A. Torrington, a member of the engineering staff at RCA, receives an RCA "SelectaVision" Technical Excellence Award at a luncheon presided over by Division Vice President Dr. Jay J. Brandinger. Mr. Torrington received the award for improvements to the VideoDisc caddy system allowing the combination of caddy, lip, seal, spine, and label to be effectively mass produced. His caddy patents can be viewed via the CED Patents Table in the Tech Info section .
November 4, 1981:
* The second planned flight of the space shuttle Columbia is canceled with 31 seconds remaining in the countdown.
November 5, 1981:
* Buckingham Palace announces that the Princess of Wales is expecting a baby in June.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Reaches Major VideoDisc Milestone with Shipment of its Two Millionth Disc
November 6, 1981:
* The Labor Department announces that the U.S. unemployment rate reached 8 percent in October, the highest level since 1975.
* The Swedish government releases a Soviet submarine that ran aground inside Swedish territorial water the prior month. Sweden revealed that radiation had been detected near the front of the submarine, an indication that it was probably armed with nuclear weapons.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Time Bandits.
November 7, 1981:
Private Eyes (CED) by Darly Hall and John Oates becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
November 8, 1981:
* In a televised address before the Egyptian Parliament, President Hosni Mubarek asserted that Egypt was "an African State" that was "neither East nor West" and would consequently, never be within the orbit of this or that country, or this or that bloc."
November 9, 1981:
* U.S. troops begin arriving in Egypt for a three-week Rapid Deployment Force exercise that also includes Somalia, Sudan, and Oman.
* The International Monetary Fund approves a record $5.8 billion loan to India.
November 10, 1981:
* Richard Burt, director of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Politico-military Affairs, informs a Senate foreign relations subcommittee that the government now has clear evidence that the U.S.S.R. has engaged in chemical warfare in Asia.
November 11, 1981:
* USS OHIO, the first Trident class submarine, is commissioned at the Electric Boat Division in Groton, Connecticut. The principal speaker, George Bush, Vice President of the United States, remarks to the 8,000 assembled guests that the ship introduces a "new dimension in our nation's strategic deterrence." During the ceremony, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover notes that OHIO should "strike fear in the hearts of our enemies."
November 12, 1981:
* David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget, offers to resign after a magazine article quotes him as saying that he doubts the Administration's economic program will work. President Reagan keeps him on the job.
* Four balloonists complete the first balloon voyage across the Pacific Ocean. The balloon, Double Eagle V, left Japan and traveled nearly 6,000 miles to California in three and one half days.
November 13, 1981:
* The White House announces that national security advisor Richard Allen is under investigation for accepting $1,000 from a Japanese magazine.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Strange Behavior.
November 14, 1981:
* Astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly end Space Shuttle Mission STS-2 aboard the Columbia. This was the second mission of the re-usable vehicle and had to be ended early at 54 hours due to a fuel cell failure.
* U.S. paratroopers bail out over Egypt, beginning the largest U.S. military exercises in the Middle East since World War II.
November 15, 1981:
* Forty-eight persons die and 70 are injured in Merida, Mexico when a bullring wall collapses during a political rally.
November 16, 1981:
* William Holden, one of the most popular male stars in motion picture history, dies at age 63. Called by director Billy Wilder "the best movie actor of his generation," he began in boy-next-door roles but went on to play more complex, often cynical characters in such films as Sunset Boulevard (CED), Stalag 17 (CED), for which he won an Oscar, The Bridge on the River Kwai (CED), Network (CED), and The Earthling (CED).
November 17, 1981:
* Kathryn Whitmire is elected as the first female mayor of Houston, Texas.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
Peter Vadasdy Named President of RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video
November 18, 1981:
* President Reagan, in an address before the National Press Club in Washington ,D.C., says he has sent Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev "a simple, straightforward, yet historic message" calling for removal of Soviet SS-20 missiles targeted at Europe in exchange for NATO's scrapping the planned deployment in Europe of Pershing II and cruise missiles.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA VideoDiscs, RCA Records and MTV Set Precedent with Rock And Roll Jam Session Starring Bob Welch
November 19, 1981:
* The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission suspends the license of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California, citing design error at the facility.
* The AFL-CIO ends its annual meeting in New York City after snubbing President Reagan, who was not invited to address the assembly, and repeatedly ridiculing budget director David Stockman.
* RCA PRESS RELEASE:
RCA Wins First 'Golden VideoDiscs' Ever Awarded by ITA; Six RCA Albums Cited for Reaching $1 Million Sales Level
November 20, 1981:
* World chess champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia keeps his title, defeating Viktor Korchnoi in the 18th game of their title match in Merano, Italy.
* Bulent Ecevit, who served as prime minister of Turkey three different times, faces four months in prison after having been convicted by a martial law court of violating a ban on political statements.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Absence of Malice, Ragtime.
November 21, 1981:
* At least 300,000 people demonstrate in Amsterdam against the nuclear arms race.
Physical by Olivia Newton-John (CED) becomes the No. 1 U.S. single.
November 22, 1981:
* Soviet President Brezhnev arrives in Bonn, West Germany, for three days of talks with Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Arms control outweighs all other issues to be discussed.
November 23, 1981:
* President Reagan vetoes as too costly a financing bill for government operation, causing many federal offices to close down temporarily. The president later signed a bill extending financing at the existing level for three weeks.
November 24, 1981:
* The NIH Record publishes an article titled "Rare Cancer Strain Found in Homosexual Men," concerning the unexplained occurrence of Kaposi's Sarcoma among gay men.
November 25, 1981:
* Actor and comedian Jack Albertson dies at age 74. Best known for his role on the TV series "Chico and the Man," he appears on the CED titles "The Shaggy Dog" and "The Poseidon Adventure."
November 26, 1981:
* In a parliamentary by-election in Crosby, near Liverpool, Social Democrat Shirley Williams upsets the Conservative candidate to become the new party's first member of the British House of Commons.
November 27, 1981:
* German-born actress and singer Lotte Lenya dies at age 83. Acclaimed for her performance as Jenny in "The Threepenny Opera," her most memorable film role is as the KGB agent with a pop-out knife in her shoe in the 007 movie "From Russia With Love" (CED).
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: On Golden Pond, They All Laughed.
November 28, 1981:
* Results of the New Zealand national election indicate that voters have denied Prime Minister Robert Muldoon's National Party a majority in Parliament.
November 29, 1981:
* Actress Natalie Wood drowns after falling off a boat. She appeared in a number of CED titles including "Brainstorm," which was released posthumously in 1983.
* A car loaded with explosives blows up outside a school in Damascus, Syria, killing 90 persons and wounding scores of others. The attack is blamed on Muslim Brotherhood terrorists.
November 30, 1981:
* Representatives of the United States and the Soviet Union open talks in Geneva on the reduction of medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe.
* Democrat James Florio concedes defeat to Thomas H. Kean in the contested November 3 race for governor of New Jersey.
December 1, 1981:
* Ronald Reagan signs a presidential order approving covert aid for the Contras - rebels fighting against the leftist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.
* All 178 persons aboard a chartered Yugoslav DC-9 jetliner are killed when it crashes while approaching Ajaccio airport in Corsica.
December 2, 1981:
* Polish police break up a sit-in by about 300 cadets at a fire fighters' academy in Warsaw, Poland.
December 3, 1981:
* Terrorists trained in Libya have entered the United States in a plot to assassinate President Reagan or other members of the Administration, federal officials say.
December 4, 1981:
* The U.S. Department of Labor announces that the U.S. unemployment rate reached 8.4% of the work force in November.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Reds, Ticket to Heaven.
December 5, 1981:
* The 1981 RCA SelectaVision Christmas party in held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. A series of pictures from this event can be seen starting on this page.
December 6, 1981:
* The 4th Annual Kennedy Center Honors are held featuring the honorees Count Basie, Cary Grant, Helen Hayes, Jerome Robbins, and Rudolf Serkin.
December 7, 1981:
* Reagan administration officials confirm a budget deficit projection of a record $109 billion for fiscal 1982, with slow economic growth, rising interest rates, and high unemployment.
December 8, 1981:
* A methane gas explosion in a coal mine near Whitwell, Tennessee kills 13 miners. It is the third fatal mine accident in six days.
* Dissident Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov ends a 17-day hunger strike after Soviet officials say that his daughter-in-law may leave Russia.
December 9, 1981:
* President Reagan cancels a ban on federal jobs for flight controllers who were fired during an illegal strike in August.
December 10, 1981:
* The U.S. requests that all its citizens leave Libya immediately and invalidates U.S. passports for travel to that country.
December 11, 1981:
* Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali comes out of retirement at age 39 for one last fight against Trevor Berbick in Nassau, the Bahamas. Ali earns $3 million for the fight, but loses in a unanimous 10-round decision.
* Argentina's President Roberto Eduardo Viola is removed from office by the military junta.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Whose Life Is It Anyway?
December 12, 1981:
* The Solidarity National Commission in Poland calls for a day of protest on December 17 and a referendum on replacing the government.
December 13, 1981:
* Polish Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski declares a state of emergency and imposes martial law on the entire country. The government's measures include a raid on Solidarity's headquarters in Gdansk, a near total shutdown of communications facilities, and a nationwide roundup of former government officials including Lech Walesa, Solidarity's leader.
December 14, 1981:
* The Israeli government announces, after an emergency Cabinet meeting, that it is formally extending its "law, jurisdiction, and administration" over the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria during the 1967 war.
December 15, 1981:
* The Iraqi embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, is totally destroyed by explosives planted near the buildings; about 30 persons are killed and some 100 injured.
* Congress passes a $200 spending bill, the largest in U.S. history to date.
December 16, 1981:
* The U.S. Congress restores the $122 minimum monthly social security benefit for current recipients which had previously been eliminated.
December 17, 1981:
* Brigadier General James Dozier, a U.S. Army officer serving with NATO, is kidnapped in Verona, Italy by the Red Brigades terrorist organization.
December 18, 1981:
* The U.S. suspends the memorandum of understanding it signed with Israel on November 30 to protest Israel's sudden annexation of the Golan Heights.
* Mehmet Shehu, premier of Albania since 1954 takes his own life "at a moment of nervous distress," according to a government announcement.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Pennies from Heaven, Neighbors.
December 19, 1981:
* The MARECS-A satellite is launched to provide data and teleprinter services in nautical applications.
December 20, 1981:
* The Polish ambassador to the U.S., Romuald Spasowski, defects to the U.S. to protest the imposition of martial law in Poland. Four days later Zdzislaw Rurarz, the Polish ambassador to Japan, also defects.
December 21, 1981:
* Cincinnati beats Bradley 75-73 in seven overtime periods, an NCAA record.
December 22, 1981:
* General Leopoldo Galtieri is sworn in as president of Argentina.
December 23, 1981:
* NASA approves a plan to continue the Voyager II spacecraft on a trajectory that will take it within 66,000 miles of the planet Uranus on July 24, 1986.
* A federal judge rules that Congress acted unconstitutionally in 1978 when it extended the deadline for ratifying the proposed Equal Rights Amendment until June 30, 1982.
December 24, 1981:
* The Soviet Union performs a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk.
December 25, 1981:
* "For Those About to Rock" by AC/DC becomes the No. 1 U.S. album.
* Future CED titles in widespread theatrical release: Sharky's Machine, Taps.
December 26, 1981:
* Saudi Arabia and Iraq sign an agreement in Baghdad ending their 60-year-old border dispute.
December 27, 1981:
* Researchers at the NIH announce that Vasopressin, a human hormone that normally helps regulate blood pressure, can be used as a drug to improve memory.
December 28, 1981:
* Elizabeth Carr, the first U.S. test-tube baby, is born to Judith and Roger Carr.
December 29, 1981:
* President Reagan announces a series of sanctions against the Soviet Union, saying that it "bears a heavy and direct responsibility for the repression in Poland."
December 30, 1981:
* NASA announces future plans for the first manned excursion outside the space shuttle to service the malfunctioning Solar Maximum payload launched in 1980.
December 31, 1981:
* Ghana's civilian president Hilla Limann is ousted in a bloody coup by former military ruler Jerry Rawlings.
* Video Magazine's Outstanding VideoDiscs of 1981 (both LaserVision and CED):
Overall Excellence in Sight and Sound:
LV: Star Trek - The Motion Picture
Best Disc to Show Off System:
LV: Flash Gordon (1980)
Best Picture Quality:
LV: The Sting
CED: Star Trek - The Menagerie
Best Sound Quality:
LV: Paul Simon
CED: My Fair Lady
Best Educational Program for Adults:
LV: How to Watch Pro Football
CED: Complete Tennis from the Pros, Vol. 1
Best Educational Program for Kids:
LV: The First National Kidisc
CED: As We Grow
Best Unintentional Comedy:
CED: Julia Child: The French Chef, Vol. 1
Best Documentary Program:
LV: Great Figures in History: John F. Kennedy
CED: Great Figures in History: John F. Kennedy
Best Transfer Quality:
LV: Grease, Popeye, Elephant Man (tie)
CED: The War of the Worlds
* MTV hosts the first New Year's Eve Rock 'N Roll Ball.
Forward to the 1982 CED Timeline