Learn more about 1978
1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday.
- January 1 - The Copyright Act of 1976 takes effect, making sweeping changes to United States copyright law.
- January 1 - Air India's Boeing 747 explodes near Bombay, killing 213.
- January 4 - A referendum in Chile supports the policies of Augusto Pinochet.
- January 6 - The Hungarian Holy Crown (also known as Stephen of Hungary Crown) is returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held since World War II.
- January 7 - Emilio Palma is born in Antarctica, making his birth the southernmost in history.
- January 10 - Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, a critic of the Nicaraguan government, is assassinated. Riots erupt against Somoza's government.
- January 14-January 15 - The body of former U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda following his death from cancer.
- January 18 - The European Court of Human Rights finds the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.
- January 19 - Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster is appointed FBI Director.
- January 22 - Ethiopia declares the ambassador of West Germany Persona non grata.
- January 23 - Sweden becomes the first nation to ban aerosol sprays that are thought to damage earth's protective ozone layer.
- January 24 - Soviet satellite Cosmos 954 burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering debris over Canada's Northwest Territories.
- January 28 - Richard Chase, the "Vampire of Sacramento", is arrested.
- January 29 - General Rahimuddin Khan assumes the post of Martial Law Governor of Balochistan.
- January 30 - Blizzards in the USA kill 90.
- February 1 - Hollywood film director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees to France, after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.
- February 8 - United States Senate proceedings are broadcast on radio for the first time.
- February 11 - Pacific Western Airlines Flight 314, a Boeing 737-200, crashes in Cranbrook, British Columbia, killing 44 of the 50 people onboard.
- February 11 - Sixteen Unification Church couples wed in New York, New York.
- February 11 - Somalia mobilizes its troops, due to an apparent Ethiopian attack.
- February 11 - The People's Republic of China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.
- February 13 - A bomb explodes outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia, killing two garbagemen, a policeman and several others. Many believe that ASIO is responsible.
- February 15 - Rhodesia's prime minister Ian Smith and 3 black leaders agree on the transfer to black majority rule.
- February 15 - Serial killer Ted Bundy is captured in Pensacola, Florida.
- February 16 - The first computer bulletin board system (CBBS) is created in Chicago.
- February 21 - Electrical workers in Mexico City find the remains of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in the middle of the city.
- March 1 - Charlie Chaplin's remains are stolen from Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland.
- March 1 - The Broadway play Timbuktu! opens at the Mark Hellinger Theatre.
- March 2 - Soyuz 28 (Aleksei Gubarev, Vladimir Remek) is launched on a rendezvous with Salyut 6, with the first cosmonaut from a Soviet satellite (Remek).
- March 3 - Ethiopia admits that its troops are fighting with the aid of Cuban soldiers against Somalian troops in Ogaden.
- March 3 - Rhodesia attacks Zambia.
- 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 10 - Soyuz 28 lands.
- March 11 - Coastal Road Massacre: Palestinian terrorists kill 34 Israelis.
- March 14 - Israeli forces invade Lebanon in Operation Litani.
- March 16 - Former Italian Premier Aldo Moro is kidnapped by the Red Brigades; 5 bodyguards are killed.
- March 17 - The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz runs aground on the coast of Brittany.
- March 18 - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, is sentenced to death by hanging for ordering the assassination of a political opponent.
- March 22 - Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- March 24 - The tanker Amoco Cadiz splits in two off Brittany, spilling 50,000 metric tons of crude oil.
- 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 1 - Dick Smith of Dick Smith Foods tows a fake iceberg to Sydney Harbour.
- 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 8 - Regular broadcasts of British Parliament proceedings start.
- April 10 - Volkswagen becomes the first 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, in New Stanton, Pennsylvania with a unionized (UAW) workforce. (The plant will close in 1992.)
- April 16 - In Cologne, 15,000 former members of the resistance movement demonstrate against Nazism.
- April 18 - The U.S. Senate votes 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.
- April 22 - Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta win the Eurovision Song Contest 1978 for Israel with their song "A-Ba-Ni-Bi".
- April 22 - The One Love Peace Concert is held at National Heroes Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. Bob Marley unites 2 opposing political leaders at this concert, bringing peace to the civil war ridden streets of the city.
- April 27 - Afghanistan President Daoud Khan is killed during a military coup; Nur Mohammed Taraki succeeds him.
- April 30 - The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan is proclaimed, under pro-communist leader Nur Mohammed Taraki.
- May 4 - Communist activist Henri Curiel is murdered in Paris.
- May 5 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds gets his 3,000th major league hit.
- May 8 - Norway opens a natural gas field in the Polar Sea.
- May 9 - In Rome, the body of Aldo Moro, the Italian president of the Christian Democrats, is found in a parked car.
- May 12-May 13 - A group of mercenaries lead by Bob Denard oust Ali Soilih in the Comoros; 10 local soldiers are killed. Denard forms a new government.
- May 12 - In Zaire, rebels occupy the city of Kolwezi, the mining centre of the province of Shaba. The Zairean government asks the U.S., France and Belgium to restore order.
- May 15 - Students of the University of Teheran riot in Tabriz; the army stops the riot.
- May 17 - Charles Chaplin's coffin is found 10 miles from the cemetery it was stolen from, near Lake Geneva.
- May 18 - Soviet dissident Yuri Orlov is sentenced to 7 years hard labor for distributing counterrevolutionary material.
- May 18-May 19 - Belgian and French paratroopers fly to Zaire to aid the fight against the rebels.
- May 20 - Mavis Hutchinson, 53, becomes the first woman to run across the U.S.; her trek took 69 days.
- May 22 - Exiled leaders Ahmed Abdallah and Mohammed Ahmed return to the Comoros.
- 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.
- May 29 - Ali Soilih is found dead in the Comoros, allegedly shot when trying to escape.
- August 6 - Pope Paul VI dies at age 80.
- August 7 - United States President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal.
- August 12 - Sino-Japanese relations: The Treaty of Peace and Friendship is signed between Japan and the People's Republic of China.
- August 15 - Mirapuri, the City of Peace and Future Man in Europe, is founded in Italy.
- August 17 - Double Eagle II (Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, Larry Newman), becomes the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.
- August 19 - The Rex Cinema catches fire in Tehran (477 dead).
- August 20 - Gunmen open fire on an Israeli El Al airline bus in London.
- August 20 - In Abadan, Iran, nearly 400 are killed when Muslim extremist arsonists set fire to a crowded theater.
- August 25 - The Shroud of Turin goes on public display for the first time in 45 years.
- August 25 - U.S. Army Sergeant Walter Robinson "walks" across the English Channel in 11 hours 30 minutes, using homemade water shoes.
- August 26 - Pope John Paul I (Albino Cardinal Luciani) succeeds Pope Paul VI as the 261st pope.
- September 5 - Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat begin the peace process at Camp David, Maryland.
- September 8 - Iranian Army troops open fire on rioters in Teheran - 122 dead, 4,000 wounded.
- September 11 - In London, England, the tip of an umbrella poisons Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, probably on orders of Bulgarian intelligence; he dies 4 days later.
- September 16 - General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq officially assumes the post of President of Pakistan.
- September 17 - The Camp David Accords are signed between Israel and Egypt.
- September 19 - British Police launch a massive murder hunt, when newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater is shot dead after disturbing a burglary.
- September 25 - PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides with a small private airplane and crashes in San Diego, California; 144 are killed.
- September 28 - Pope John Paul I dies after only 33 days of papacy.
 Unknown dates
- January 1 - Phillip Mulryne, Northern Irish footballer
- January 3 - Alex Leigh, British model
- January 4 - Dwight Freeney, American football player
- January 5 - Franck Montagny, French Formula One driver
- January 9 - Chad Johnson, American football
- January 9 - AJ McLean, member of the Backstreet Boys
- January 12 - Kris Roe, American guitarist and singer (The Ataris)
- January 14 - Shawn Crawford, American runner
- January 15 - Franco Pellizotti, Italian professional road racing cyclist
- January 26 - Kelly Stables, actress
- January 28 - Gianluigi Buffon, Italian footballer
- February 5 - Shawn Reaves, American actor
- February 7 - Christopher Ashton Kutcher, American actor
- February 14 - Richard Hamilton, American basketball player
- February 14 - Darius Songaila, basketball player
- February 15 - Tuan Le, American poker player
- February 16 - John Tartaglia, Broadway Actor and Muppeteer.
- February 17 - Jacob Wetterling, child kidnapping victim(missing since 1989)
- February 20 - Jakki Degg, British model
- February 20 - Julia Jentsch, German actress
- February 23 - Dan Snyder, Canadian hockey player (d. 2003)
- February 24 - Janine Machin, English radio presenter
- February 24 - John Nolan, lead singer of Straylight Run
- February 28 - Benjamin Raich, Austrian Olympic skier
- March 1 - Jensen Ackles, American actor
- March 1 - Donovan Patton, American actor
- March 2 - Tomas Kaberle, Czech Hockey Player
- March 12 - Claudio Sanchez, Lead Singer and guitarist (Coheed and Cambria)
- March 13 - Karina Smirnoff, Ukrainian dancer
- March 14 - Pieter van den Hoogenband, Dutch swimmer
- March 14 - Carl Johan Bergman, Swedish biathlete
- March 21 - Kevin Federline, American dancer
- March 22 - Josh Heupel, American football player
- March 23 - Nicholle Tom, American actress
- March 25 - Brian Urlacher, American football player
- March 31 - Stephen Clemence, English footballer
- March 31 - Jérôme Rothen, French footballer
- March 31 - Tony Yayo, American rapper
- May 7 - Brian Clevinger, American author
- May 8 - Josie Maran, American supermodel and actress
- May 9 - Marwan al-Shehhi, United Arab Emirates hijacker (d. 2001)
- May 12 - Jason Biggs, American actor
- May 12 - Aya Ishiguro, Japanese singer, writer, and fashion designer
- May 13 - Mike Bibby, American basketball player
- May 13 - Barry Zito, baseball player
- May 15 - Caroline Dhavernas, French Canadian actress
- May 15 - Dwayne De Rosario, Canadian footballer
- May 21 - Briana Banks, German actress
- May 22 - Jordan, English model
- May 29 - Lorenzo Odone, patient who had Adrenoleukodystrophy
- June 1 - Danielle Harris, American voice actress
- June 6 - Carl Barât, English singer and guitarist (The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things)
- June 8 - Maria Menounos, American actress, journalist, and television presenter
- June 9 - Matthew Bellamy, lead singer of the British band Muse
- June 9 - Miroslav Klose, German football player
- June 10 - Shane West, American actor
- June 13 - Christian Stepien, Canadian artist
- June 19 - Dirk Nowitzki, German basketball player
- June 20 - Mark Powell, Australian politician
- June 21 - Erica Durance, Canadian actress
- June 22 - Pinny Grylls, British Filmmaker
- June 22 - Champ Bailey, American football player
- June 22 - Dan Wheldon, English race car driver
- June 25 - Marcus Stroud, American football player
- June 25 - Layla El, 2006 WWE Diva Search Winner
- June 29 - Nicole Scherzinger, lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls
- July 6 - Kevin Senio, New Zealand rugby union footballer
- July 9 - Linda Park, Korean-born actress
- July 12 - Topher Grace, American actor
- July 18 - Ben Sheets, baseball player
- July 20 - Elliott Yamin, American singer
- July 21 - Francine Dee, import car model
- July 23 - Stuart Elliott, Northern Irish footballer
- July 23 - Stefanie Sun, Singapore singer
- June 24 - Emppu Vuorinen, Lead Guitarist of the Finnish Band Nightwish
- July 25 - Gerard Warren, American football player
- August 1 - Edgerrin James, American football player
- August 3 - Mariusz Jop, Polish football (soccer) player
- August 6 - Marisa Miller, American model
- August 7 - Alexandre Aja, French Director
- August 7 - Vanness Wu, Taiwanese singer
- August 7 - Linsey Dawn McKenzie, English model and porn star
- August 7 - Cirroc Lofton, American actor
- August 7 - Jamey Jasta, American singer (Hatebreed)
- August 9 - Audrey Tautou, French actress
- August 19 - Callum Blue, English actor
- August 21 - Reuben Droughns, American football player
- August 21 - Alan Lee, Irish footballer
- August 23 - Kobe Bryant, American basketball player
- August 23 - Julian Casablancas, American musician (The Strokes)
- August 24 - Rafael Furcal, Dominican Major League Baseball player
- August 25 - Kel Mitchell, American actor
- August 29 - Danielle Hampton, Canadian Actress
- September 7 - Nora Greenwald, American professional wrestler
- September 11 - Ed Reed, American football player
- September 12 - Benjamin McKenzie, American actor
- September 12 - Ruben Studdard, American singer
- September 20 - Jason Bay, Canadian Major League Baseball player
- September 22 - Harry Kewell, Australian footballer
- September 23 - Worm Miller, American screenwriter, director, actor
- September 24 - Wietse van Alten, Dutch archer
- September 25 - Jodie Kidd, English model
- September 29 - Kurt Nilsen, Norwegian singer
- September 30 - Candice Michelle, American professional wrestler and model
- October 2 - Ayumi Hamasaki, Japanese singer
- October 3 - Shannyn Sossamon, American actress and musician (Law & Order: SVU)
- October 5 - Shane Ryan, Irish Gaelic Footballer
- October 13 - Jermaine O'Neal, American basketball player
- October 14 - Usher Raymond, American musician
- October 14 - Paul Hunter, English snooker player (d. 2006)
- October 20 - Virender Sehwag, Indian cricketer
- October 21 - Joey Harrington, American football player
- October 25 - Russell Anderson, Scottish footballer
- October 26 - Antonio Pierce, American football player
- October 26 - Phil "CM Punk" Brooks, American professional wrestler
- October 26 - Jimmy Aggrey, English footballer
- October 27 - Vanessa-Mae, Singaporean musician
- October 28 - Justin Guarini, American singer
- October 29 - Travis Henry, American football player
- November 1 - Manju Warriar, Indian actress
- November 6 - Taryn Manning, American actress
- November 9 - Sisqó, American actor and singer (Dru Hill)
- November 10 - Eve, American rapper
- November 14 - Mersing Nguyen, American actress
- November 17 - Reggie Wayne, American football player
- November 18 - Damien Johnson, Northern Irish footballer
- November 19 - Matt Dusk, Canadian Jazz Musician & Singer
- November 21 - Annie, Norwegian singer
- November 22 - Karen O, American singer (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
- November 24 - Katherine Heigl, American actress
- November 25 - Shina Ringo, Japanese singer and musician
- November 28 - Ludwika Paleta, Polish Mexican actress
- November 30 - Clay Aiken, American singer
- December 1 - Brad Delson, American guitarist (Linkin Park)
- December 2 - Nelly Furtado, Canadian-born singer and songwriter
- December 7 - Shiri Appleby, American Actress
- December 8 - Ian Somerhalder, American actor
- December 8 - Vernon Wells, baseball player
- December 9 - Jesse Metcalfe, American actor
- December 10 - Donna Williams, Cofounder of Neopets
- December 12 - Monica Barladeanu, Romanian actress
- December 15 - Jerome McDougle, professional football player, Philadelphia Eagles
- December 18 - Curtis Taylor, 'Bullycide' victim (d. 1993)
- December 18 - Katie Holmes, American actress
- December 19 - Patrick Casey, American screenwriter and actor
- December 22 - Edo Maajka, Bosnian rapper
- December 23 - Andra Davis, American football player
- December 23 - Víctor Martínez, Venezuelan Major League Baseball player
- December 23 - Estella Warren, Canadian swimmer, model, and actress
- December 26 - Kaoru Sugayama, Japanese volleyball player
- December 29 - Alexis Amore, Peruvian actress, dancer, and model
- December 29 - LaToya London, American singer
 Unknown Date
- September 7 - Keith Moon, English drummer (The Who) (drug overdose) (b. 1946)
- September 9 - Jack Warner, Canadian film studio founder (b. 1892)
- September 10 - Ronnie Peterson, Swedish race car driver (racing accident) (b. 1944)
- September 11 - Georgi Markov, Bulgarian dissident (assassinated) (b. 1929)
- September 15 - Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft engineer (b. 1898)
- September 23 - Lyman Bostock, baseball player (murdered) (b. 1950)
- September 25 - Bret Morrison, actor, voice of The Shadow (b. 1912)
- September 26 - Manne Siegbahn, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1886)
- September 28 - Pope John Paul I (b. 1912)
 Unknown dates
 Nobel prizes
 1978 in fiction
 Computer and video games
 Ship events
ht:1978 (almanak gregoryen)