1978March 2-The coffin of Charlie Chaplin, who died a couple of months earlier at 88, is stolen from a cemetery in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland.
April 10-The first American-made Volkswagen rolls off the assembly line at a plant in Pennsylvania.
April 18-Marking what President Carter termed "the beginning of a new era," the Senate votes to turn over the Panama Canal to Panama on December 31, 1999.
July 25-The first baby to be conceived outside the human body is born to a British couple.
Sept. 17-Muhammad Ali, 36, defeats Leon Spinks in 15 grueling rounds. Ali won the title back for the third time, unprecedented in boxing history.
Oct. 23-John Paul II, the first non-Italian to be elevated to the papacy in 455 years, is inaugurated.
Nov. 29-The last of the bodies of more than 900 American followers of cult leader Jim Jones who committed suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, are flown out of the South American country.
Dec. 31-Legendary Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes loses his cool during the Gator Bowl, punching a Clemson University player after he intercepted a pass in the last minute of play in the 17-15 Clemson win.
1979Feb. 26-The triumphant return of the Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran after 16 years unleashes a revolutionary fervor that had been kept in check by the departed Shah.
March 31-Egypt's President Sadat makes history by signing a peace treaty with Israel, isolating himself in the Arab world.
July 31-The Chrysler Corp. announces the largest quarterly loss in its history and asks the federal government for $1 billion in cash to keep the company afloat.
Dec. 31-President Carter accuses Soviet leader Brezhnev of lying about the invasion of Afghanistan. Carter rejected Brezhnev's assertion that the Soviets had been invited by the Afghan government, which was subsequently toppled in a coup.
1980Jan. 18-Gold, up $159 in a week, soars to $802 per ounce.
Feb. 24-The U.S. hockey team defeats Finland 4-2 after a stunning 4-3 victory over the incumbent Soviet squad, touching off patriotic celebrations throughout the nation.
Apr. 28-The effort to free the American hostages in Tehran fails. Eight helicopters had been dispatched to free the hostages, but they were called back after three had technical failures. When the choppers landed in the desert to refuel, eight servicemen were killed when one chopper collided with a transport plane.
May 19-At least eight people are dead in Washington after Mount St. Helens erupts, sending up a 60,000-foot tower of ash that darkens the skies as far as 160 miles away.
May 20-Officials agree to evacuate the 710 families remaining in Love Canal, New York, which is near the site of an abandoned chemical dump. Nearly a third of the residents tested had chromosome damage.
Oct. 28-Ford Motor Co. reports a third-quarter loss of $595 million, the largest operating loss ever reported by an American company.
Nov. 4-Ronald Reagan, 69, promising "to put Americans back to work again," is elected the nation's 40th president.
Dec. 8-Former Beatle John Lennon is shot to death by a crazed fan outside his residence in Manhattan.
1981Jan. 31-Americans welcome home the 52 former hostages held in Iran for 444 days.
March 30-President Reagan is shot in the chest and gravely wounded as he walks to his limousine after a speech in Washington.
May 10-Francois Mitterand becomes France's first Socialist president.
May 13-Pope John Paul II is shot in an assassination attempt as he rides in an open car in St. Peter's Square in Rome.
Oct. 6-Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat is assassinated and many others killed or wounded as men wearing military uniforms break from a military parade and storm the reviewing stand, lobbing grenades and firing automatic weapons.
Dec.-Doctors identify AIDS, a disturbing new disease with no cure.
1982Feb. 14-Socialist French President Mitterand follows through on promises to nationalize some banks and industry.
April 30-The U.S. openly sides with Britain, condemning Argentina for its invasion of the Falkland Islands.
June 12-More than 800,000 people fill Manhattan and Central Park to demonstrate against nuclear proliferation.
June 14-Argentine forces surrender to the British.
July 9-Queen Elizabeth of England awakes to find a man sitting at the edge of her bed clutching a broken glass, blood dripping from his hand. She talks to him for 10 minutes before the man asks for a cigarette and the Queen is able to summon a footman.
Dec. 22-Barney Clark, the first recipient of a permanent artificial heart, takes his first steps.
1983Jan. 13-New evidence suggesting that chronic brain damage is prevalent among prizefighters leads the AMA to call for a ban on the sport.
Jan. 23-Bjorn Borg, 26, winner of five straight Wimbledon titles, retires from tennis after being barred from major titles for failing to enter a minimum number of tournaments.
March 8-In a speech, President Reagan calls Soviet communism "the focus of evil in the modern world."
April 14-President Reagan maintains that the administration is complying with congressional restrictions on aid to the contra rebels in Nicaragua, while complaining that his constitutional powers have been unduly restricted by the Boland amendment, which bans covert aid to the rebels.
Oct. 25-More than 216 marines (the toll eventually reaches 241) die in a terrorist attack on Marine headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon.
Oct. 31-U.S. Marines invade the Caribbean island of Grenada to help restore democratic institutions and defeat a band of what President Reagan called "Cuban thugs."