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1981 Historical Event(s)
- February 5, 1981 – New Year’s Day in Chinese calendar. Start of the year of the Metal Rooster in Chinese astrology.
- February 8, 1981 – Twenty-one association football spectators are trampled to death at Karaiskakis Stadium in Neo Faliro, Greece, after a football match between Olympiacos F.C. and AEK Athens FC.
- February 23, 1981 – In Spain, Antonio Tejero attempts a coup d'état by capturing the Spanish Congress of Deputies.
- February 24, 1981 – An earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale hits Athens, killing 16 people and destroying buildings in several towns west of the city.
- May 21, 1981 – The Italian government releases the membership list of Propaganda Due, an illegal pseudo-Masonic lodge that was implicated in numerous Italian crimes and mysteries.
- July 7, 1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan appoints Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- August 1, 1981 – MTV begins broadcasting in the United States and airs its first video, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles.
- September 15, 1981 – The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, D.C.
- October 14, 1981 – Citing official misconduct in the investigation and trial, Amnesty International charges the U.S. Federal Government with holding Richard Marshall of the American Indian Movement as a political prisoner.
- November 1, 1981 – Antigua and Barbuda gain independence from the United Kingdom.
Who Were Born On 1981?
- March 2, 1981 – Bryce Dallas Howard, American actress
- April 10, 1981 – Laura Bell Bundy, American actor
- May 27, 1981 – Johan Elmander, Swedish footballer
- July 15, 1981 – Marius Stankevičius, Lithuanian footballer
- August 21, 1981 – Tyler Winklevoss, American Rower and Entrepeneur
- August 29, 1981 – Lanny Barbie, Canadian pornographic actress
- September 2, 1981 – Bracha van Doesburgh, Dutch actress
- September 5, 1981 – Daniel Moreno, Spanish professional bicyclist
- October 26, 1981 – Sam Brown, American comedian
- November 3, 1981 – Sten Pentus, Estonian racing driver