January 1 - First woman Episcopal priest ordained
January 18 - Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious "legionnaire's disease."
January 18 - Australia experiences its worst railway disaster at Granville, near Sydney, in which 83 people died.
January 19 - President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D'Aquino (aka "Tokyo Rose").
January 20 - Gerald Rudolph Ford, 38th President of the United States is succeeded by Jimmy Carter.
January 21 - President Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam War draft evaders.
February 7 - The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 24.
February 11 - A 20.2-kg lobster is caught off Nova Scotia (heaviest known crustacean).
February 18 - The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle goes on its maiden "flight" while sitting on top of a Boeing 747.
March 4 - An earthquake in southern and eastern Europe kills more than 1,500.
March 9 - Appoximetely a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims take over three buildings in Washington, DC, killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. The hostage situation ends two days later.
March 27 - Collision between KLM and PanAm Boeing 747's at Tenerife kills 583.
May 23 - Scientists report using bacteria in lab to make insulin.
May 28 - In Southgate, Kentucky, the Beverly Hills Supper Club is engulfed in fire, killing 165 inside.
June 20 - The Supreme Court of the United States rules that states are not required to spend Medicaid funds on elective abortions.
July 13 - An electricity blackout hits the City of New York, lasting for 25 hours and resulting in looting and other disorder.
July 22 - The purged Chinese communist leader Deng Xiaoping is restored to power as the "Gang of Four" is expelled from the Communist Party of China.
August 4 - US President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.
August 20 - Voyager program: The United States launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
September 5 - Voyager program: Voyager 1 is launched after a brief delay.
September 6 (approx) - Steve Biko suffers a massive head injury in police custody in South Africa.
September 7 - Treaties between Panama and the United States on the status of the Panama Canal are signed. The US agrees to transfer control of the canal to Panama at the end of the 20th century.
September 8 - INTERPOL releases copyright laws that govern the reproduction of video tapes & other material.
September 11 - The last "wild" infection of smallpox is reported in Somalia.
September 12 - Steve Biko dies of his injuries.
September 21 - Nuclear-proliferation pact, curbing spread of nuclear weapons, is signed by 15 countries including the United States and USSR.
October 13 - Four Palestinians hijack a Lufthansa Airlines flight to Somalia and demand release of 11 members of the Red Army Faction.
November 6 - The Kelly Barnes Dam, located above Toccoa Falls Bible College near Toccoa, Georgia, fails, killing 39.
November 19 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel when he meets with Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement (much of the Arab world was outraged by the visit).
November 22 - British Airways inaugurates regular London to New York City supersonic Concorde service.
December 4 - Jean-Bédel Bokassa, president of the Central African Republic, crowns himself Emperor.
December 4 - A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737 is hijacked and then blown up in mid-air over the Straits of Johore, killing 100.
A collection of work by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, is published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien.
Swedish music group ABBA passes The Beatles as having most records sold.
2060 Chiron, first of the outer solar system asteroids known as Centaurss, discovered by Charlie Kowal.
Don Novello first appeared on Saturday Night Live.
2000 A.D the UK sci-fi comic is launched, featuring Judge Dredd.