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1977 Events

As 1977 approached, disco was king, there was a new man in the White House, and the world seemed a little more upbeat than during the earlier years of the decade.

Some notable 1977 events included:

January

  • The first woman TV play-by-play commentator in MLB was hired by the White Sox
  • Snow fell for the first (and only) time in Miami, Florida
  • The miniseries Roots premieres on ABC

February

  • A New England blizzard claims 100 lives
  • The Space Shuttle, piggy-backed on a 747, takes its maiden flight
  • Eric Heiden becomes the first American to win a world speed skating championship

March

  • Jay Leno first appears on the Tonight Show
  • The world’s worst air disaster kills 583 in Tenerife in the Canary Islands

April

  • Fiber optics are used for the first time to carry telephone traffic
  • Alex Haley wins the Pulitzer Prize for Roots
  • Studio 54 disco opens in New York City

May

  • Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Silver Jubilee (25 years on the throne)
  • Howard Stern begins his broadcasting career
  • The original Star Wars movie is released

June

  • The Apple II series of computers go on sale
  • The Supremes disband
  • Elvis Presley performs his last concert in Indianapolis
  • Casino gambling is permitted in Atlantic City, NJ

July

  • The first free test flight of the space shuttle Enterprise occurs
  • A 25-hour blackout occurs in Manhattan, devastating the city as extensive looting occurs
  • The first oil is run through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and makes it to Valdez
  • John Lennon is granted permanent U.S. resident status

August

  • Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 computer and sells thousands within a few weeks
  • Elvis Presley dies at age 42 of an apparent lethal mix of prescription drugs

September

  • Commodore sells its first computer
  • The Panama Canal Treaty is signed, giving canal control back to Panama at the end of the century
  • The first TV “viewer discretion warning” is issued for the show Soap
  • Love Boat premieres on ABC-TV

October

  • The Department of Energy is established
  • Debbie Boone’s You Light Up My Life spends 10 weeks as #1 on the charts
  • The Atari 2600 game system is released, ushering in the video game era

November

  • The minimum wage in the U.S. is raised from $2.30 to $3.35
  • The Bee Gee’s release the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, which becomes the then best-selling album of all times
  • British Airways schedules regular Concorde service from London to JFK
  • The L’il Abner comic strip ends after 43 years in print

December

  • The Nickelodeon cable channel premieres, first known as the Pinwheel Network
  • Saturday Night Fever premieres in NYC
  • Lockheed’s first stealth aircraft makes its inaugural flight