Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s - 1980s - 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s
Years: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 - 1981 - 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986
- Ronald Reagan succeeds Jimmy Carter as President of the United States of America
- January 1 - Greece enters the European Community
- January 1 - Palau becomes self-governing
- January 19 - United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity
- January 20 - Iran releases 52 American hostages that were captive for 444 days minutes after Ronald Reagan becomes president.
- February 10 - A fire at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino kills eight and injures 198.
- February 11 - Polish Prime Minister Jozef Pinkowski[?] replaced by Wojciech Jaruzelski
- February 23 - Antonio Tejero[?], with members of the Guardia Civil[?] enters the Spanish Congress of Deputies, and stops the session, where Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo[?] was going to be named president of the government. The coup d'etat would fail thanks to King Juan Carlos.
- February 24 - Jean Harris[?] is convicted of murdering Dr. Herman Tarnower[?], the author of the bestselling The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet[?]
- March 6 - After 19 years hosting the CBS Evening News Walter Cronkite signs off for the last time.
- March 19 - Three workers are killed and five injured during a test of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
- March 29 - First running of the London Marathon
- March 30 - President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley, Jr.. Two police officers and James Brady are also wounded.
- April 12 - Columbia 1 mission, first launch of a Space Shuttle
- May 6 - A jury of architects and sculptors unanimously selects Maya Ying Lin's design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from 1,421 other entries.
- May 13 - Mehemet Ali Agca attempts to assassinate Pope John Paul II at St. Peter's Square[?] in Rome.
- May 25 - In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation Council is created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- June 7 - Israeli Air Force destroys Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor
- July 29 - Diana Spencer marries Charles Windsor, also known as Princess Diana and Prince Charles
- December 13 - Wojciech Jaruzelski declares the state of martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity
- December 28 - The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born (Norfolk, Virginia).
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 6 - A.J. Cronin, writer
- January 10 - Richard Boone[?], actor
- January 23 - Samuel Barber, American composer
- January 25 - Adele Astaire, dancer
- February 9 - Bill Haley, musician ("Bill Haley and the Comets")
- February 15 - Mike Bloomfield[?], musician
- March 9 - Max Delbrück, German biologist
- April 7 - Norman Taurog[?], director
- May 7 - Eddit Rabbitt[?], musician
- May 11 - Bob Marley, reggae musician
- May 18 - William Saroyan, author
- June 28 - Terry Fox, cancer activist
- October 6 - Anwar Sadat, Egyptian president (assassinated)
- October 16 - Moshe Dayan, Israeli general
- November 22 - Sir Hans Adolf Krebs, German medical doctor[?] and biochemist[?]
- December 28 - Allan Dwan, pioneer film director