All news shamelessly sourced from Wikipedia.
- January 1: Changes to the Swedish Act of Succession make Princess Victoria of Sweden Crown Princess and therefore next in line to the throne, ahead of her younger brother.
- January 11: Nigel Short, 14, becomes the youngest chess player to be awarded the degree of International Master.
- March 22: The Georgia Guidestones are erected in Elbert County, Georgia.
- April 24-25: Operation Eagle Claw, a commando mission in Iran to rescue American embassy hostages, is aborted after mechanical problems ground the rescue helicopters. Eight United States troops are killed in a mid-air collision during the failed operation.
- May 18: Ian Curtis, singer/songwriter of acclaimed post punk band Joy Division, is found hanged.
- May 18: Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 and causing US$3 billion in damage.
- July 16: Former California Governor and actor Ronald Reagan is nominated for U.S. President, at the Republican National Convention in Detroit, Michigan. Influenced by the Religious Right, the convention also drops its long standing support for the Equal Rights Amendment, dismaying moderate Republicans.
- August 17: In Australia, baby Azaria Chamberlain disappears from a campsite at Ayers Rock (Uluru), reportedly taken by a dingo.
- November 21: A then-record number of viewers (for an entertainment program) tune into the U.S. TV soap opera Dallas to learn who shot lead character J.R. Ewing. The “Who shot J.R.?” event is an international obsession.
- December 8: John Lennon, an English musician and peace activist, is murdered in New York City.
Please note that there were no Wikipedia-worthy news items from my actual date of birth, which I share with Albert Pujols.