bob marley

What Happened in 1978

1978 definitely brought us a lot to remember – more than just another year in which disco strutted its way up the charts, it was also a year in which we saw major political change, and in which a certain orange icon made his debut.

With that in mind, here are some of the biggest things that occurred in 1978.

In this year

Belfast, Ireland


The European Court of Human Rights officially found the British government guilty of mistreating prisoners taken in Northern Ireland as of January 18th, 1978. However, they were not found guilty of committing torture. It was the latest in a long line of events known as The Troubles between Ireland and the UK.

Roman Polanski


Roman Polanski – director of several well-known films – fled to France after skipping bail on February 1st, 1978. He’d pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse with a minor. Since that time, he has lived mainly in France, protected from extradition.



Several facilities – including a control tower – at New Tokyo International Airport were illegally damaged in a terrorist attack on March 26th, 1978. The airport had initially been scheduled to open on March 31st, but the attack forced a rescheduling of its opening across to May 20th. It’s thought New Left activists were to blame for the occupation and damage.

bob marley


The “One Love Peace Concert,” headed by reggae legend Bob Marley, opened on April 22nd, 1978. It was a concert to help foster peace in Kingston, Jamaica – and Marley et al managed to bring two opponents together amid civil war erupting on the streets.

Charlie chaplin


Actor Charlie Chaplin's coffin was finally found around 15 km from the grave site from which it was shockingly stolen, in the vicinity of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. It had originally been stolen back in March of the same year.



The US started reading "Garfield" comics for the first time on June 19th, 1978. The tubby tabby's strip went syndicated across the US and became an overnight hit. Since that time, Garfield has become a multimedia icon, with TV specials, series, and movies bearing his likeness broadcast around the world. There was even a "Garfield Go" mobile app launched some years ago to compete with "Pokemon Go!"

baby girl asleep


In a huge step forward for fertility science and treatments the world over, Louise Brown – the first baby conceived via test tube – was born on July 25th, 1978. Happy birthday, Louise!


The Vatican and the Catholic Church welcomed its 263rd Pope on August 26th, 1978 – as Pope John Paul I became the latest head of the Church following the passing of Pope Paul VI. His reign would only last a month and two days – he would be succeeded by John Paul II.

Camp David Accords


In a landmark moment for world peace, Israel and Egypt formally signed the Camp David Accords on September 19th, 1978. This would broker peace between the nations as their leaders, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, met in Maryland, US.

fun facts about beer


Cheers! Believe it or not, brewing your own beer at home in the US wasn’t legal until President Jimmy Carter signed it into law as of October 14th, 1978. It was likely to have been one of the President’s more popular choices while in office!

Facts of Dominica


Dominica finally gained its independence from the United Kingdom. It had been associated with the UK since 1967 – its official independence day, therefore, is November 3rd each year. Mark it on your calendar!

Juan Carlos I


Following decades under oppressive dictatorship rule, Spain officially approved a new constitution on December 27th, 1978, effectively ending around 40 years of military oversight through a landmark referendum. This movement followed the death of the infamous Francisco Franco in 1975, with Juan Carlos I installed as King.

1978 was the year of the…

chinese year of the horse


Like 1954, 1966, 1990, 2002, and 2014, 1978 was, according to the Chinese Zodiac, all about horsing around. People born in Horse years are very active and energetic. They tend to be pretty positive people, which draws others closer to them. However, they also love being in the spotlight and will not do what they don’t want to, like any good horse! The next Horse year won't be until 2026.

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This page was last modified on May 27, 2024. Suggest an edit

Celebrity Births in 1978

Danai Gurira, Zimbabwean-American actor and playwright, born February 14th, 1978

Jake Johnson, American actor, born May 28th, 1978

Zoe Saldaña, American actor, born June 19th, 1978

Kobe Bryant, American basketball player, born August 23rd, 1978

Rachel McAdams, Canadian actor, born November 17th, 1978

Famous People We Lost in 1978

Keith Moon, British musician, died aged 32

Wendy Barrie, British-American actor, died aged 65

Bob Crane, American actor, died aged 49

Charles Boyer, French-American actor, died aged 78

Ilka Chase, American actor, died aged 72

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