June 17 – The Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia collapses killing 18 people.
October 23 – The third Springhill Mining disaster kills 74 people when a “bump” (underground earthquake) occurs. Prior to the incident, The Nova Scotia coalfi eld endured two explosions in 1891 and 1956.
November 29 – The Hamilton Tiger Cats lose the Grey Coup to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with a score of 35 to 28.
Grease is the highest grossing film of the year, bringing in $159,978,870 at the box office.
January 8 – American politician Harvey Milk becomes the first openly gay person elected to public offi ce in the State of California.
January 23 – Sweden takes a stand for the environment and becomes the first nation to ban aerosol sprays under the belief that they are damaging to the earth’s ozone layer.
March 2 – Charlie Chaplin’s coffin and remains are stolen from a Swiss cemetery. The comic actor’s widow received a ransom call demanding $600,000 but refused to pay saying that her husband would have thought the demand to be ridiculous. Five weeks later, the investigation led to the capture of the culprits and the discovery of the remains.
The Cosby Show is the most popular television show with an average of 24.6 million homes tuning in to watch. Canadian figure skater Kurt Browning completes the first-ever quadruple toe loop in competition.
July 8 – Stevie Wonder announces his intention to run in the Detroit mayoral race in 1992. Despite support from his fans, the singer did not follow through with his plan.
December 12 – Rainman, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise premiers in New York. The film would go on to be the highest grossing fi lm of the year, and would win Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Director. Hoffman would also win Best Actor in a Leading Role.