1978 in the United States
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|1978 in the United States|
|Years:||1975 1976 1977 – 1978 – 1979 1980 1981|
50 stars (1960–present)
Events from the year 1978 in the United States.
- President: Jimmy Carter (D-Georgia)
- Vice President: Walter Mondale (D-Minnesota)
- Chief Justice: Warren E. Burger (originally now residing in from of the U.S. state of Virginia)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Tip O'Neill (D-Massachusetts)
- Senate Majority Leader: Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia)
- Congress: 95th
- January 1 – The Copyright Act of 1976 takes effect, making sweeping changes to United States copyright law.
- January 6 – The Holy Crown of Hungary (also known as Stephen of Hungary Crown) is returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held since World War II.
- January 14–15 – The body of former U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda, following his death from cancer.
- January 19 – Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster is appointed Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- January 25–27 – The Great Blizzard of 1978 strikes the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes, causing 51 deaths in Ohio.
- January 28 – Richard Chase, the "Vampire of Sacramento", is arrested.
- February 1 – Hollywood film director Roman Polanski flees to France to avoid sentencing after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.
- February 5–7 – The Northeastern United States blizzard of 1978 hits the New England region and the New York metropolitan area, killing about 100 and causing over US$520 million in damage.
- February 8 – United States Senate proceedings are broadcast on radio for the first time.
- February 11 – Sixteen Unification Church couples wed in New York, New York.
- February 15 – Serial killer Ted Bundy is captured in Pensacola, Florida.
- February 16
- March 3 – The New York Post publishes an article about David Rorvik's book The Cloning of Man, about a supposed cloning of a human being.
- March 6 – American porn publisher Larry Flynt is shot and paralyzed in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
- March 22 – Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- March 28 – Stump v. Sparkman (435 U.S. 349): The Supreme Court of the United States hands down a 5–3 decision in a controversial case involving involuntary sterilization and judicial immunity.
- April 2 – The CBS soap opera Dallas is launched. It is set to be aired later this year in several countries, including the United Kingdom by the BBC.
- April 3 – The 50th Academy Awards are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California with Annie Hall winning Best Picture.
- April 7 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter decides to postpone production of the neutron bomb – a weapon which kills people with radiation but leaves buildings relatively intact.
- April 10 – Volkswagen becomes the second (after Rolls-Royce) non-American automobile manufacturer to open a plant in the United States, commencing production of the Rabbit, the North American version of the Volkswagen Golf, at the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant near New Stanton, Pennsylvania with a unionized (UAW) workforce (the plant closed in 1988.)
- April 18 – The U.S. Senate votes 68–32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.
- April 25 – St. Paul, Minnesota becomes the 2nd U.S. city to repeal its gay rights ordinance after Anita Bryant's successful 1977 anti-gay campaign in Dade County, Florida.
- April 28 – WAC abolished; women integrated into regular Army.
- May 5 – Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds gets his 3,000th major league hit.
- May 20 – Mavis Hutchinson, 53, becomes the first woman to run across the U.S.; her trek took 69 days.
- May 25 – A bomb explodes in the security section of Northwestern University, wounding a security guard (the first Unabomber attack).
- May 26 – In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Resorts International, the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opens.
- May 28 – Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins his third race, and the first for car owner Jim Hall.
- June 6 – California voters approve Proposition 13, which slashes property taxes nearly 60%.
- June 8 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints extends the priesthood and temple blessings to 'all worthy males', ending a general policy of excluding 'Canaanites' from Priesthood ordination and temple ordinances (see Blacks and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
- June 10 – Affirmed becomes only the 11th horse to ever win the Triple Crown by defeating Alydar in the 110th running of the Belmont Stakes. 
- June 13 – The musical film Grease is released, starring 24-year-old New Jersey born actor John Travolta and 29-year-old British actress and singer Olivia Newton-John.
- June 28
- August 2 – President Jimmy Carter declares an unprecedented state emergency and evacuation immediately following the revelation that Niagara Falls, New York neighborhood Love Canal was built on a toxic waste dump.
- August 17 – Double Eagle II becomes the first balloon to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean, flying from Presque Isle, Maine, to Miserey, France.
- September 5 – Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat begin the peace process at Camp David, Maryland.
- September 25
- PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides with a small private airplane and crashes in San Diego, California; 144 are killed.
- Giuseppe Verdi's opera Otello makes its first appearance on Live from the Met, in a complete production of the opera starring Jon Vickers. This is the first complete television broadcast of the opera in the U.S. since the historic 1948 one.
- October 2 – The New York Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox 5–4 at Fenway Park to clinch the AL East after being 14 games out of first place only two months earlier. The Yankees would eventually go on to defeat the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers and win the World Series.
- October 10 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs a bill that authorizes the minting of the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
- October 14 – United States President Jimmy Carter signs a bill into law which allows homebrewing of beer in the United States.
- October 17 – The New York Yankees clinch their 22nd World Series championship, defeating the Dodgers 7–2 in Los Angeles and winning the Series 4 games to 2.
- October 27 – President Jimmy Carter signs the Humphrey–Hawkins Full Employment Act, adjusting the government's economic goals to include full employment, growth in production, price stability, and balance of trade and budget.
- November 7 – California voters defeat the Briggs Initiative that would have prohibited gay school teachers.
- November 18 – Mass murder/suicide of 909 Americans in Jonestown, Guyana under the direction of Jim Jones.
- November 19 – The first U.S. Take Back the Night march occurs in San Francisco.
- November 27 – In San Francisco, California, Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White.
- December 3 – The Southern Crescent passenger train derails at Shipman, Virginia, killing 6, injuring 60.
- December 4 – Dianne Feinstein succeeds the murdered George Moscone as San Francisco, California's first woman mayor (she serves until January 8, 1988).
- December 11 – Lufthansa heist: Six men rob a Lufthansa cargo facility in New York City's Kennedy airport.
- December 13 – The first Susan B. Anthony dollar enters circulation.
- December 15 – Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first major American city to go into default since the Great Depression, under Mayor Dennis Kucinich.
- December 22 – Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was subsequently convicted of the murder of 33 young men, is arrested.
- January 29 – Brian Windhorst, journalist
- February 17 – Jacob Wetterling, kidnapping victim
- May 9 – Aaron Harang, baseball player
- May 12 – Josh Phelps, baseball player
- May 22 – Ginnifer Goodwin, actress
- June 6 – Judith Barsi, actress and murder victim (killed 1988)
- June 9 – Matthew Bellamy, singer (Muse band)
- July 28 – Julian Peterson, American football player
- November 17 – Rachel McAdams, actress
- December 18 – Katie Holmes, actress
See also: Deaths in 1978
- July 18 – Claude P. Dettloff, photographer (born 1899)
- November 25 – Elaine Esposito, American coma victim (b. 1934)
- Media related to 1978 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons