Some historical events from 1981:
January 1981: Greece became the tenth member of the Europen Economic Community. The Broadway show Frankenstein lost an estimated 2 million dollars, when it opened and closed on the same night. The scottish novelist A.J Cronin died. 52 Americans held hostage in their embassy in Teheran, Iran, were released. The Social Democrats party was formed in UK.
February 1981: Billy Haley, the American rock and roll musician, died. An English Football League match was played on a Sunday for the first time. Spanish army officers attempted a coup in the Spanish Parliament. The engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana was announced.
March 1981: The Social Democratic Party was launched by the 'Gang of Four'. The first ever London marathon was held; won by an American, Dick Beardsley. President Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt.
April 1981: Robert de Niro won an Oscar for best actor in the film 'Raging Bull'. The Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev went to Czechoslovakia to discuss Polish crisis. The US space shuttle Columbia was launched from Cape Canaveral. Lord Scarman headed the enquiry into the Brixton riots. The first space shuttle, Columbia, was successfully launched. The first American space shutte, Columbia, returned safely to Earth. The IBM Personal Computer was introduced. Britain was hit by the worst blizzards this century. The Now! magazine ceased publication, after making huge losses.
May 1981: A terrosist bomb exploded at the Sullom Voe oil terminal, during a visit by the King of Norway. Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded. Peter Sutcliffe was convicted of the Yorkshire Ripper murders at the Old Bailey.
June 1981: IRA prisoners escaped from the Crumlin Road gaol. A youth fired blanks at the Queen, during Trooping the Colour. The French Socialist Party won a landslide vote. An alliaince between the Liberals and the SDP was announced. The first ever traffic crossed the new Humber bridge. The BBC announced it had to make cutbacks to its foreign language radio services.
July 1981: There were riots in Southall during a punk concert. Riots between the police and youths took place in Toxteth. There were riots in Moss Side, Manchester, & Wood Green, London. There were riots in several British cities. Parliament rejected the return of the death penalty. Fresh rioting broke out in Brixton, between youths and the police. The Humber Estuary Bridge, the world's longest single-span structure, was officially opened by the Queen. The Polish government announced increases in food prices; this led to a general strike. The American spacecraft Voyager 2 reached the planet Saturn. Riots continued in Toxteth, near Liverpool. Prince Charles marred Lady Dianna Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral. Britain's civil servants ended their 21 week strike.
August 1981: The United States announced plans to produce the neutron bomb. Mark Chapman began a life sentence for killing the 'Beatles' legend. The spacecraft Voyager 2 flew past the planet Saturn. Voyager made its closest approach to the planet Saturn, enroute to Uranus. In Iran, the President and Prime Minister were killed by a bomb.
September 1981: Garages in Britain began selling petrol in litres. France abolished capital punishement.
October 1981: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in Cairo.
November 1981: Citizens Band radio was legally allowed in Britain. The US shuttle Columbia became the first reusable crewed spacecraft, by making its second trip.
December 1981: Arthur Scargill became leader of 'The National Union Of Mineworkers'. A new mystery illness in the US was found to destroy the immune system.