The 80s is probably the era that brought about courage not experienced before. Freedoms were accessible to more people than ever, and it brought about unrivaled creativity. Despite the colorful creations in the fashion and entertainment industry, tragic events were happening in separate parts of the world.
After addressing the construction and building workers union at the Hilton in Washington D. C. on 30, March 1981, reports across the radios and televisions were awash with the shooting of the USA president, Ronald Regan. The culprit, John Hinkley Jr., was only ten feet away from the president armed with .22 revolver with exploding bullets. He was not an excellent shot, and most of the bullets failed to explode as expected. The collateral damage includes the then press secretary James Brady, a police officer, and a secret service agent. The last bullet hit the presidential limo and ricocheted to hit the president in the chest. Hinkley walked free after doctors had found he was clinically insane.
Two months later, four gunshots rang through the air as Pope John Paul II’s procession made its way through St. Peter’s Square in Rome in the evening of May 13. One hit the pontiff in the abdomen, another hit the pope’s left hand; the third hit 60-year old Ann Odre from the USA in the chest, while the fourth struck Jamaican Rose Hill, 21 in the arm. The world waited as a team of surgeons took more than five hours to remove the bullets lodged in the pontiff’s abdomen and hand. The assailant was a 23-year-old Turk, Mehmet Ali Agca. Pope John Paul II visited Mehmet in prison and offered him forgiveness two years later.
Split in opinion on religious lines was the order of the day on June 6, when a train plunged into the Baghmati River. The engineer of the train braked too hard when a cow crossed the tracks and a rough estimate of 600 passengers in a train lost their lives. Torrential rains had made the tracks wet, and when the brakes were applied, the cars slid, and seven cars plunged into the murky waters of the Baghmati River. After a day’s search recovered 286 bodies with over 300 missing to this very day. The train had an estimated 1000 passengers onboard.
Despite the tragic events of 1981, it saw the worldwide invasion by Japanese electronics like the Walkman from Sony. A 12-year old also dissected the Rubik’s cube and wrote a book on how to solve the cube; it turned out to be a best seller.
All Academy Awards Prize winners of the 54th edition of the Oscar ceremony
Chariots of Fire
Best supporting actor
Best supporting actress
Time Person of the Year
Who was the person of the year of 1981?
Which were the most popular books released in 1981 ?
Unlimited books on any devices, try your first month free
All Nobel Prize winners of 1981
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Elias Canetti
- Nicolaas Bloembergen
- Arthur Leonard Schawlow
- Kai Siegbahn
- James Tobin
- Kenichi Fukui Roald Hoffmann
Physiology or Medicine
- Roger Wolcott Sperry
- David H. Hubel
- Torsten Wiesel
Which were the top hits of 1981?
Top #1 songs in the USA
- Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes
- Diana Ross - Endless Love
- Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
- Christopher Cross - Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)
- John Lennon - Woman
- Pointer Sisters - Slow Hand
- Grover Washington Jr. - Just The Two Of Us
- The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up
- Juice Newton - Queen Of Hearts
- Smokey Robinson - Being With You
Top #1 songs in the UK
- Michael Jackson - One Day In Your Life
- Adam & The Ants - Stand And Deliver
- Julio Iglesias - Begin The Beguine (Volver A Empezar)
- Soft Cell - Tainted Love
- Shakin' Stevens - This Ole House
- Aneka - Japanese Boy
- Joe Dolce Music Theatre - Shaddup You Face
- Adam & The Ants - Prince Charming
- Bucks Fizz - Making Your Mind Up
- Ennio Morricone - Chi Mai (Theme From 'Life And Times Of David Lloyd George')
Which were the most popular Movies released in those months?
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Demographic statistics of the year 1981
- Total population: 4.5 billion (4,536,996,762 to be precise!)
- Urban population: 1.8 billion, that is 40.0% of the total population of 1981 lives in cities
- Yearly change: +78.9 million, corresponding to a percentage increase of +1.77%
- Average density: 30.0 persons per km2
Which were the important events of 1981?
- 01 Jan 1981 International Year for the Disabled begins
- 02 Jan 1981 Sylvester Clarke knocks out spectator with brick, West Indies versus Pakistan.
- 03 Jan 1981 Mary Terstegge Meagher swims female record 100 metre butterfly (58.91s).
- 04 Jan 1981 Frankenstein opens and closes on Broadway
- 05 Jan 1981 Nightline with Ted Koppel extended from 20 minutes to 30 minutes
- 06 Jan 1981 50th hat trick in New York Islanders' history - John Tonelli scores five goals.
- 08 Jan 1981 Pirates of Penzance opens at Uris Theater in New York City, New York for 772 performances.
- 09 Jan 1981 Francisco Balsamao elected President of Portugal.
- 10 Jan 1981 John Severin sets 100-mile unicycle speed record, 9 hours 21 minutes.
- 11 Jan 1981 Tintypes closes at John Golden Theater NYC after 93 performances
- 12 Jan 1981 Dynasty with Joan Collins premieres on ABC-TV
- 13 Jan 1981 Barbara Sonntag, Colorado, crochets record 147 stitches/minutes for 30 minutes.
- 14 Jan 1981 FCC frees stations to air as many commercials an hour as they wish
- 15 Jan 1981 Hill Street Blues premieres on NBC-TV
- 16 Jan 1981 John Lennon releases Woman in the UK
- 17 Jan 1981 Philippino President Marcos ends state of siege
- 18 Jan 1981 Wendy O Williams arrested in Milwaukee for on-stage obscenity
- 19 Jan 1981 US and Iran sign agreement to release 52 American hostages
- 20 Jan 1981 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed
- 21 Jan 1981 Bernhard Goetz is assault for 1st time on a New York subway train
- 22 Jan 1981 40th Islander shut-out opponent-3-0 vs. Red Wings-Billy Smith 15th
- 23 Jan 1981 First Richard Nixon museum opens (San Clemente, California).
- 24 Jan 1981 Kim Hughes scores 213 versus India at Adelaide.
- 25 Jan 1981 Super Bowl XV: Oakland Raiders beat Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10 in New Orleans Super Bowl MVP: Jim Plunkett, Oakland, QB
- 26 Jan 1981 Sandeep Patil scores memorable 174 versus Australia at Adelaide Oval.
- 27 Jan 1981 The Indonesian passenger ship ''Tamponas 2'' catches fire and capsizes in the Java Sea, killing 580.
- 28 Jan 1981 Olympic Glory oil tanker at Galveston Bay, Texas, spills one million gallons of oil in a ship collision.
- 30 Jan 1981 8th American Music Awards: Kenny Rogers wins.
- 31 Jan 1981 The Tide Is High by Blondie hits #1
- 01 Feb 1981 11th AFC-NFC pro bowl, NFC wins 21-7
- 02 Feb 1981 Donald W Douglas, US aircraft pioneer/builder, dies at age 88.
- 03 Feb 1981 Gro Harlem Brundtland elected Premier of Norway
- 05 Feb 1981 Piaf opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 165 performances
- 06 Feb 1981 Brady Brides, debuts on NBC TV
- 08 Feb 1981 Brigadoon closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 133 performances
- 09 Feb 1981 Stardust fire: A fire at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, Dublin, Ireland in the early hours kills 48 and injures 214.
- 10 Feb 1981 8 killed and 198 injured by fire at Las Vegas Hilton
- 11 Feb 1981 Polish Premier Jozef Pinkowski replaced by Wojciech Jaruzelski
- 12 Feb 1981 Cape Verde amends its constitution.
- 13 Feb 1981 Longest sentence published by New York Times-1286 words
- 14 Feb 1981 Stardust Disaster: A fire in a Dublin nightclub kills 48 people
- 15 Feb 1981 Rocket-powered ice sled attains 399 kph, Lake George, New York.
- 17 Feb 1981 Chrysler Corp reports largest corporate losses in US history
- 20 Feb 1981 James Sanford equals 50 metre indoor world record (5.61 seconds).
- 21 Feb 1981 Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, murderer of 13 women, captured
- 22 Feb 1981 Amy Alcott wins LPGA Bent Tree Ladies Golf Classic.
- 23 Feb 1981 People Magazine features drug ordeal of Mackenzie and Papa John Phillips
- 24 Feb 1981 Boston Celtics begin 18 NBA game win streak
- 25 Feb 1981 Calgary Flames scored 11 goals against the Islanders
- 26 Feb 1981 84 penalties (406 mins) assessed for a brawl between NHL Minn and Bost
- 27 Feb 1981 Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder record Ebony and Ivory
- 28 Feb 1981 Calvin Murphy (Houston Rockets) sets NBA record with 78 consecutive free throws.
- 01 Mar 1981 Sophisticated Ladies opens at Lunt-Fontanne NYC for 767 performances
- 02 Mar 1981 Howard Stern begins broadcasting on WWDC in Washington DC
- 05 Mar 1981 Bring Back Birdie opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 4 performances
- 06 Mar 1981 Walter Cronkite signs-off as anchorman of CBS Evening News
- 07 Mar 1981 Bring Back Birdie closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 4 performances
- 08 Mar 1981 Dennis Lillee ct by Queensland 12th man Dennis Lillie in Shield game
- 09 Mar 1981 Max Delbrnck, German/US biologist (Nobel Prize 1969), dies at age 74 (born 1906).
- 11 Mar 1981 Chile constitution takes effect; military dictator Augusto Pinochet is sworn in as President for another 8-year term.
- 12 Mar 1981 Walter R T Witschey installs world's largest sundial in Richmond, Virginia.
- 13 Mar 1981 Attempt on Pope John Paul II by Mehemet Ali Agca
- 15 Mar 1981 Broadway Follies opens / closes at Nederlander Theater, New York City
- 17 Mar 1981 FC Lisse, Dutch soccer team, forms.
- 18 Mar 1981 Buffalo Sabres sets NHL record of 9 goals in one period (they beat Toronto Maple Leafs 14-4).
- 19 Mar 1981 2 workers killed in space shuttle Columbia accident
- 20 Mar 1981 Jean Harris sentenced 15-to-life for slaying of Scarsdale Diet Doctor.
- 22 Mar 1981 1st class postage raised to 18 cents from 15 cents
- 23 Mar 1981 US Supreme Court rules states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls sought abortions.
- 24 Mar 1981 Nightline with Ted Koppel premieres on ABC
- 25 Mar 1981 (to March 26) Bowers and Ruddy Galleries auctions part of the Garrett coin collection.
- 26 Mar 1981 Police and Albanian demonstrators battle in Kosovo, Yugoslavia.
- 27 Mar 1981 John Lennon releases Watching the Wheels in the UK
- 28 Mar 1981 Christa Rothenburger skates ladies world record 500 metre (40.18 seconds).
- 29 Mar 1981 Woman of the Year opens at Palace Theater NYC for 770 performances
- 30 Mar 1981 President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.
- 31 Mar 1981 53rd Academy Awards - Ordinary People, R De Niro and Sissy Spacek win
- 01 Apr 1981 CNN airs a videotape that shows that Tamara Rand predicted that Reagan is in danger from someone named Jack Humley (a hoax)
- 02 Apr 1981 Heavy battle between Christian militia and Syrian army in East Lebanon.
- 03 Apr 1981 The Osborne 1, the first successful portable computer, is unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.
- 04 Apr 1981 Henry Cisneros becomes 1st Mexican-American mayor (San Antonio)
- 05 Apr 1981 10th Colgate Dinah Shore Golf Championship won by Nancy Lopez.
- 06 Apr 1981 Yugoslav government sends troops to Kosovo.
- 07 Apr 1981 Belgium Eysken's government forms.
- 08 Apr 1981 Islanders scored 9 goals against Toronto in playoffs
- 09 Apr 1981 US sub George Washington rams Japanese freighter Nisso Maru
- 10 Apr 1981 Caveman with Ringo premieres
- 11 Apr 1981 Race riot in London area of Brixton
- 12 Apr 1981 Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA American Defender / WRAL Golf Classic
- 13 Apr 1981 Washington Post's Janet Cooke wins Pulitzer Prize for "Jimmy's World" (later admits story was a hoax and returns prize).
- 14 Apr 1981 First Space Shuttle - Columbia 1 - returns to Earth.
- 15 Apr 1981 Janet Cooke says her Pulitzer award-winning 8-year-old heroin addict story is a lie; Washington Post relinquishes Pulitzer Prize on fabricated story.
- 16 Apr 1981 Copperfield opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 13 performances
- 18 Apr 1981 Pawtucket and Rochester start a 33-inning baseball game
- 19 Apr 1981 Oakland Athletics runs record to 11-0
- 20 Apr 1981 Final performance of TV show Soap airs
- 21 Apr 1981 US furnishes US$1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia.
- 22 Apr 1981 10,000 copper workers in Chile strike.
- 24 Apr 1981 IBM-PC computer introduced
- 25 Apr 1981 Maureen Reagan (40) marries 3rd husband, Dennis Revell (28)
- 26 Apr 1981 Copperfield closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 13 performances
- 27 Apr 1981 Xerox introduces the Xerox 8010 Star Information System. It features graphics display, word processor, mouse, laser printer, Ethernet, and software for combining text and graphics Priced at about $16,000, the computer is not a commercial success. During its lifetime, 100,000 units are produced.
- 29 Apr 1981 Peter Sutcliffe admits he is the Yorkshire Ripper (murdered 13 women).
- 30 Apr 1981 Can-Can opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 5 performances
- 01 May 1981 Billie Jean King admits to a lesbian affair with Marilyn Barnett
- 02 May 1981 Radio Shack re-releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3 with 2 fixes
- 03 May 1981 Can-Can closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 5 performances
- 04 May 1981 Rockline premieres on KLOS FM in Los Angeles
- 05 May 1981 Bobby Sands, Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer and elected member of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, dies aged 27 while on hunger strike in HM Prison Maze.
- 06 May 1981 Inacent Black opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 14 performances
- 08 May 1981 Ron Davis pitches 10th consecutive strike out, one short of record.
- 09 May 1981 Kazimiroff Blvd in Bronx named for a Bronx Historian
- 10 May 1981 Amy Alcott wins LPGA Lady Michelob Golf Tournament.
- 12 May 1981 Lena Horne: Lady, Music opens at Nederlander NYC for 333 performances
- 13 May 1981 Dinamo Tbilisi wins 21st Europe Cup II.
- 14 May 1981 35th NBA Championship: Boston Celtics beat Houston Rockets, 4 games to 2.
- 15 May 1981 George Harrison releases All Those Years Ago in the UK
- 16 May 1981 Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks
- 17 May 1981 Inacent Black closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 14 performances
- 20 May 1981 Ipswich Town wins 10th UEFA Cup at Amsterdam.
- 21 May 1981 Stanley Cup: New York Islanders beat the Minnesota North Stars, 4 games to 1
- 22 May 1981 Soyuz 40 returns to Earth.
- 23 May 1981 Barcelona fascists take 200 people hostage.
- 24 May 1981 Kathy Hite wins LPGA Corning Golf Classic.
- 25 May 1981 Al Unser becomes 1st Indy 500 winner to be disqualified
- 26 May 1981 Marine jet crashes on flight deck of USS Nimitz, killing 14.
- 27 May 1981 John Hinckley attempts suicide by overdosing on Tylenol
- 29 May 1981 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
- 30 May 1981 Nightline extends from 4 nights to 5 nights a week (Friday)
- 31 May 1981 Cathy Reynolds wins LPGA Golden Lights Golf Championship.
- 01 Jun 1981 Production of Chevrolet Corvette cars begins at a new plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA. The first Corvette is a two-tone Beige over Dark Brown 1981 model.
- 02 Jun 1981 Barbara Walters asks Katharine Hepburn what kind of tree she would be
- 03 Jun 1981 Pope John Paul II released from hospital after assassination attempt
- 04 Jun 1981 54th National Spelling Bee: Paige Pipkin wins spelling sarcophagus
- 05 Jun 1981 Center of Disease Control reports of a pneumonia affecting gays (AIDS)
- 06 Jun 1981 113th Belmont: George Martens aboard Summing wins in 2:29
- 07 Jun 1981 35th Tony Awards: Amadeus and 42nd Street win
- 08 Jun 1981 15th Music City News Country Awards: Mandrell Sisters
- 10 Jun 1981 Seven Brothers Square in Bronx named honoring 7 Santini Bro Moving Company
- 11 Jun 1981 Cannibal Issei Sagawa kills Dutch student
- 12 Jun 1981 Raiders Of The Lost Ark starring Harrison Ford premieres
- 13 Jun 1981 39 Unification church couples wed in Germany
- 14 Jun 1981 27th LPGA Championship won by Donna Caponi Young
- 17 Jun 1981 Battle between Moslems and Christians in Cairo, 14 killed
- 18 Jun 1981 Vaccine to prevent hoof and mouth disease announced
- 19 Jun 1981 Boeing commercial Chinook 2-rotor helicopter is certified.
- 20 Jun 1981 Guitarist Gerry Cott quits Boomtown Rats
- 21 Jun 1981 81st US Golf Open: David Graham shoots 273 at Merion Golf Club - Ardmore, Pennsylvania
- 22 Jun 1981 Iran President Bani Sadr deposed
- 23 Jun 1981 This Was Burlesque opens at Princess Theater NYC for 28 performances
- 24 Jun 1981 The Humber Bridge is opened to traffic, connecting Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It would be the world's longest single-span suspension bridge for 17 years.
- 25 Jun 1981 Supreme Court upholds male-only draft registration, constitutional
- 26 Jun 1981 For Your Eyes Only premieres in US
- 27 Jun 1981 Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes returns to #1 slot
- 28 Jun 1981 Piaf closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 165 performances
- 29 Jun 1981 Bomb attack on headquarters of Islamic Party in Teheran, 72 killed
- 01 Jul 1981 NEC soccer team forms in Nijmegen
- 02 Jul 1981 The Wonderland Gang is brutally murdered in a massacre involving Eddie Nash.
- 03 Jul 1981 88th Wimbledon Womens Tennis: Chris Evert beats H Mandlikova (62 62)
- 05 Jul 1981 9th du Maurier Golf Classic (Peter Jackson Classic): Jan Stephenson
- 07 Jul 1981 1st solar-powered aircraft, Solar Challenger, crosses English Channel
- 08 Jul 1981 Prime Minister Maurois nationalizes banks / plane / steel industry in France
- 09 Jul 1981 Jacksons begin a 36-city tour
- 10 Jul 1981 CERN achieves first proton-antiproton beam collision (570 GeV).
- 11 Jul 1981 Neva Rockefeller is 1st woman ordered to pay her husband alimony
- 12 Jul 1981 Debbie Austin wins LPGA Mayflower Golf Classic
- 14 Jul 1981 US Senate confirms Donna Pope as US Mint director.
- 16 Jul 1981 India performs nuclear Test
- 17 Jul 1981 This is Burlesque closes at Princess Theater NYC after 28 performances
- 18 Jul 1981 Poland communist party selects ex-party leader Edward Gierek
- 19 Jul 1981 110th British Golf Open: Bill Rogers shoots a 276 at Royal St. George
- 20 Jul 1981 England set for innings loss vs. Aust, Botham hits 100 in 87 balls
- 21 Jul 1981 Australia set 130 to win, all out 111 at Headingley Willis 8-43
- 22 Jul 1981 Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca sentenced in a Rome court to life in prison.
- 24 Jul 1981 Mohammed Ali Rajai elected President of Iran
- 25 Jul 1981 Voyager 2 encounters Saturn.
- 26 Jul 1981 New York Mayor Ed Koch is given Heimlich maneuver in a Chinese restaurant
- 27 Jul 1981 6 year old Adam Walsh, son of John Walsh is kidnapped in Hollywood, Florida and is found murdered two weeks later.
- 29 Jul 1981 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Amphitheater is dedicated
- 30 Jul 1981 Belgian Senate accept laws against racism
- 31 Jul 1981 42 day old, 2nd major league baseball strike ends
- 01 Aug 1981 MTV premieres at 12:01 AM
- 02 Aug 1981 Australia set 151 to win, all out 121, Botham 5-11 in 14 overs
- 03 Aug 1981 13,000 Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) begin their strike
- 04 Aug 1981 Columbia mated with SRBs and external tank for STS-2 mission
- 05 Aug 1981 Federal government began firing striking air traffic controllers
- 06 Aug 1981 Crowned Miss National Teen-Ager
- 07 Aug 1981 The Washington Star ceases all operations after 128 years of publication.
- 09 Aug 1981 52nd All Star Baseball Game: NL wins 5-4 at Municipal Stadium, Cleveland
- 10 Aug 1981 Coca-Cola Bottling Co agrees to pump $34 million into black business
- 12 Aug 1981 IBM introduces PC and PC-DOS version 1.0
- 13 Aug 1981 Last broadcast of Waltons on CBS-TV
- 14 Aug 1981 Phils Mike Schmidt hits his 300th career HR off New York Met Mike Scott
- 15 Aug 1981 Botham scores a century in 86 balls vs. Australia at Old Trafford
- 16 Aug 1981 Jan Stephenson wins LPGA Mary Kay Golf Classic
- 18 Aug 1981 My Fair Lady opens at Uris Theater NYC for 119 performances
- 19 Aug 1981 2 US Navy F-14 jet fighters shoot down 2 Soviet-built Libyan SU-22
- 24 Aug 1981 American Charles Chapman is 1st black to swim English Channel
- 25 Aug 1981 Jeff Schwartz sets solo record for trampoline bouncing (266:09).
- 26 Aug 1981 Space Shuttle vehicle moves to Launch Complex 39A for STS-2 mission
- 27 Aug 1981 Divers begin to recover a safe found aboard Andrea Doria
- 28 Aug 1981 Sebastian Coe of the UK sets 1-mi record of 3:47.33 (since broken)
- 29 Aug 1981 28th Walker Cup: US wins 15-9
- 30 Aug 1981 Joanne Carner wins Columbia Savings LPGA Golf Classic
- 31 Aug 1981 Royals manager Jim Frey is fired and replaced by Dick Howser
- 01 Sep 1981 Military coup under general Kolingba in Central African Republic, President Dacko flees
- 03 Sep 1981 Gerald P Remy of Boston gets 6 hits in a baseball game
- 04 Sep 1981 Longest game at Fenway Park completed in 20, Mariners-8, Red Sox-7
- 06 Sep 1981 Bob Lemon becomes the New York Yankees' manager for the second time.
- 07 Sep 1981 Joanne Carner wins LPGA Rail Charity Golf Classic
- 09 Sep 1981 Vernon E Jordan resigns as President of National Urban League
- 10 Sep 1981 Guernica of Pablo Picasso returns to Spain
- 11 Sep 1981 2nd government of Agt forms
- 12 Sep 1981 95th US Womens Tennis: Tracy Austin beats M Navratilova (16 76 76)
- 13 Sep 1981 33rd Emmy Awards: Taxi, Hill St. Blue, Judd Hirsh and Isabel Sanford wins
- 14 Sep 1981 Entertainment Tonight premieres on TV
- 15 Sep 1981 Pope John Paul II publishes encyclical Laborem exercens against capitalism / marxism
- 16 Sep 1981 1st broadcast of Miami Vice on NBC-TV
- 17 Sep 1981 Fernando Valenzuela sets NL rookie record with 8th shutout of season
- 18 Sep 1981 Assemblee Nationale votes to abolish capital punishment in France.
- 19 Sep 1981 Satellites China 10 and 11 launched into Earth orbit by B-1 rocket.
- 20 Sep 1981 Belize declares independence
- 21 Sep 1981 Belize (British Honduras) gains independence from the UK
- 24 Sep 1981 Enterprise Radio (all sports) resigns air
- 25 Sep 1981 Rolling Stones begin their 6th US tour (JFK Stadium, Philadelphia)
- 26 Sep 1981 First flight of the Boeing 767 airliner.
- 27 Sep 1981 Day in Hollywood, A Night.., closes at John Golden New York after 588 performances
- 28 Sep 1981 Joseph Paul Franklin, avowed racist, sentenced to life imprisonment for killing two black joggers in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- 29 Sep 1981 US Senate confirms Elizabeth Jones as US Mint chief engraver.
- 30 Sep 1981 Seoul, South Korea is selected to host 1988 Summer Olympics.
- 01 Oct 1981 Iranian plane crash
- 03 Oct 1981 Brewers (since 1970) and Expos (1969) clinch their 1st-ever postseason
- 04 Oct 1981 Donna Caponi Young / Kathy Whitworth wins Portland Ping Team Golf Champ
- 05 Oct 1981 Dutch guilder / Deutsche mark revalued up 5.5%
- 07 Oct 1981 Hosni Mubarak became acting President of Egypt
- 08 Oct 1981 1st broadcast of Cagney & Lacey on ABC-TV
- 09 Oct 1981 Abolition of capital punishment in France.
- 11 Oct 1981 Expos beat Phillies, 3 games to 2, in NLCS
- 12 Oct 1981 Marlowe opens at Rialto Theater NYC for 48 performances
- 13 Oct 1981 Vice President Hosni Mubarak elected President of Egypt
- 14 Oct 1981 Yank Graig Nettles is 1st to get 2 hits in same inning of an ALSC game
- 15 Oct 1981 New York Yankees capture 33rd AL pennant, sweeping 3 games from Oakland Athletics
- 16 Oct 1981 2nd Dutch government of Van Agt resigns
- 18 Oct 1981 Poland General Jaruzelski elected party leader
- 19 Oct 1981 LA Dodgers beat Montreal Expos for NL pennant
- 20 Oct 1981 1st NBA game at Meadowlands Arena, New Jersey Nets lose to New York Knicks 103-99
- 22 Oct 1981 Start of 1st-class game at Newcastle, NSW vs. Queensland
- 23 Oct 1981 US national debt hits $1 trillion
- 25 Oct 1981 12th NYC Marathon won by Alberto Salazar in 2:08:13
- 27 Oct 1981 Andrew Young, former United Nations Ambassador, elected mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.
- 28 Oct 1981 Edward M McIntrye elected 1st black Mayor of Augusta, Georgia
- 29 Oct 1981 Bill Giles becomes CEO of Philadelphia Phillies
- 31 Oct 1981 1st live radio drama in 25 years (Halloween Story on NBC)
- 01 Nov 1981 1st Class Mail raised from 18 cents to 20 cents
- 03 Nov 1981 Brewers reliever Rollie Fingers wins AL Cy Young Award
- 04 Nov 1981 Columbia shuttle launch scrubbed with 31 seconds remaining
- 06 Nov 1981 Fernando Valenzuela is 1st rookie to win a Cy Young Award
- 08 Nov 1981 Christian Democrats looses Belgium parliamentary election
- 10 Nov 1981 Oh, Brother! opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 3 performances
- 11 Nov 1981 Oh, Brother! closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 3 performances
- 12 Nov 1981 Pilin Leon of Venezuela, crowned 31st Miss World
- 13 Nov 1981 Ringo releases Wrack My Brains
- 14 Nov 1981 Old Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park repaired andworking again
- 15 Nov 1981 Camelot opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 48 performances
- 16 Nov 1981 Merrily We Roll Along opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 16 performances
- 17 Nov 1981 1st opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 37 performances
- 18 Nov 1981 Phillies 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt wins his 2nd consecutive NL MVP
- 20 Nov 1981 Burundia adopts its constitution
- 21 Nov 1981 400,000 demonstrate in Amsterdam against cruise missiles
- 22 Nov 1981 Marlowe closes at Rialto Theater NYC after 48 performances
- 24 Nov 1981 1st air-launched cruise missile tested
- 25 Nov 1981 Failed coup by South African mercenaries in Seychelles
- 28 Nov 1981 Merrily We Roll Along closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 16 performances
- 29 Nov 1981 My Fair Lady closes at Uris Theater NYC after 119 performances
- 30 Nov 1981 New York Yankee Dave Righetti wins AL Rookie of Year Award
- 01 Dec 1981 180 dies as Yugoslav DC-9 jetliner slams into a mountain
- 02 Dec 1981 Spanish government requests membership in NATO.
- 03 Dec 1981 Beth Daniel / Tom Kite wins LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic
- 04 Dec 1981 Falcon Crest premieres on CBS-TV
- 05 Dec 1981 47th Heisman Trophy Award: Marcus Allen, Southern California (RB).
- 06 Dec 1981 Rob de Castella of Australia sets marathon record at 2:08:18.
- 07 Dec 1981 Spain becomes a member of the NATO
- 08 Dec 1981 The No. 21 Mine explosion in Whitwell, Tennessee kills 13.
- 09 Dec 1981 Porn star John Holmes charged with Laurel Canyon murders
- 10 Dec 1981 During the Ministerial Session of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, Spain signs the Protocol of Accession to NATO.
- 11 Dec 1981 Argentine President / General Roberto Viola flees
- 12 Dec 1981 1st closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 37 performances
- 13 Dec 1981 Polish government declares martial law, arrests Solidarity activists
- 14 Dec 1981 Arab-Israeli conflict: Israel's Knesset passes The Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the area of the Golan Heights.
- 15 Dec 1981 4th Emmy Sports Award presentation
- 17 Dec 1981 Members of Red Brigades kidnap Brigadier General James L Dozier
- 19 Dec 1981 Sixteen lives are lost when the Penlee lifeboat goes to the aid of the stricken coaster Union Star in heavy seas.
- 20 Dec 1981 Dreamgirls opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 1522 performances
- 21 Dec 1981 Cincinnati beats Bradley 75-73 in 7 overtimes (NCAA record).
- 22 Dec 1981 Argentine General Leopoldo Galtieri sworn in as president.
- 24 Dec 1981 Guardian Angels Curtis Sliwa and Lisa Evers marry
- 28 Dec 1981 Cleveland Metroparks Administrative offices move from downtown to Zoo
- 30 Dec 1981 In the 39th game of his 3rd NHL season Wayne Gretzky scores 5 goals giving him 50 on the year setting a new NHL record previously held by Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy who earlier had each scored 50 goals in 50 games.
- 31 Dec 1981 CNN Headline News debuts.