3 December 1979

Iranian Revolution: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini becomes the first Supreme Leader of Iran.

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution, was a series of events that led to the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty and the establishment of an Islamic republic in Iran. The revolution took place from 1978 to 1979 and had significant implications for the political landscape of the Middle East.

Pahlavi Dynasty and Mohammad Reza Shah:
Iran was ruled by the Pahlavi dynasty, and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was the last monarch. His rule was marked by modernization efforts, economic development, and ties with Western powers, particularly the United States.

Political Repression:
The Shah’s regime was criticized for its authoritarian rule and suppression of political opposition. The SAVAK, the Shah’s secret police, was notorious for human rights abuses and suppressing dissent.

Islamic Opposition:
The Islamic clergy, led by figures such as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, became a focal point for opposition to the Shah’s rule. Khomeini, who was in exile in Iraq and later France, used cassette tapes and other means to communicate his messages to Iranians, calling for an Islamic republic.

Social and Economic Grievances:
There were widespread social and economic grievances, including high inflation, unemployment, and income inequality. Many Iranians felt marginalized by the rapid Westernization and modernization policies implemented by the Shah.

Protests and Uprising:
The revolution gained momentum in 1978 with a series of protests and demonstrations across the country. The movement drew support from various segments of society, including students, intellectuals, and the urban middle class.

Exile and Return of Khomeini:
In January 1979, the Shah fled Iran, and Ayatollah Khomeini returned triumphantly from exile. His return sparked mass celebrations, and he quickly assumed a leadership role in the revolutionary process.

Establishment of the Islamic Republic:
In April 1979, a national referendum resulted in overwhelming support for the establishment of an Islamic republic. The monarchy was officially abolished, and Iran became an Islamic republic with Khomeini as its Supreme Leader.

Consolidation of Islamic Rule:
After the revolution, Iran underwent significant political, social, and economic changes. The new government implemented Islamic law, and institutions such as the Revolutionary Guard were established to safeguard the revolutionary ideals.

4 November 1979

Iran hostage crisis: A group of Iranian college students overruns the U.S. embassy in Tehran and takes 90 hostages.

The Iran hostage crisis, also known as the American hostage crisis, was a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran that lasted for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981. It began when a group of Iranian militants, primarily students, stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, and took 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage.

The crisis had its roots in the complex and contentious history of U.S.-Iran relations. One major factor was the U.S. government’s support for Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the monarch of Iran, who was seen by many Iranians as a puppet of the United States and a symbol of oppression. The Shah’s regime was marked by widespread corruption, human rights abuses, and a lack of political freedoms, which fueled popular discontent in Iran.

Following the success of the Iranian Revolution in early 1979, which led to the overthrow of the Shah and the establishment of an Islamic Republic, anti-American sentiment in Iran intensified. The U.S. government granted asylum to the Shah for medical treatment, which further infuriated Iranians. The embassy takeover was framed as a protest against the United States’ interference in Iranian affairs and its perceived role in propping up the deposed Shah.

The 52 hostages were held in captivity for more than a year, and negotiations to secure their release were protracted and complicated. The crisis strained U.S.-Iran relations and had significant domestic and international ramifications. The United States imposed economic sanctions on Iran and attempted a military rescue mission in April 1980, which ended in failure and the loss of American lives.

The crisis finally ended on January 20, 1981, coinciding with the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan. The hostages were released as part of an agreement known as the Algiers Accords, which involved the unfreezing of Iranian assets and a commitment by the United States not to interfere in Iranian affairs. The timing of the hostages’ release led to allegations that the Reagan campaign had made a secret deal with Iran to delay their release until after the 1980 U.S. presidential election, though these allegations were never conclusively proven.

The Iran hostage crisis had a profound impact on U.S.-Iran relations, contributing to the deep-seated mistrust between the two nations that persists to this day. It remains a significant historical event in both American and Iranian history and is often cited in discussions of international diplomacy, hostage situations, and the consequences of foreign policy decisions

9 June 1979

The Ghost Train fire at Luna Park Sydney, Australia, kills seven.

Luna Park Sydney is an amusement park located in Milsons Point, Sydney, Australia. It is situated at the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, providing visitors with stunning views of the harbor and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Luna Park Sydney opened its doors on October 4, 1935, and has since become a beloved attraction for both locals and tourists. The park retains a nostalgic charm with its classic amusement park aesthetics and iconic entrance, featuring the distinctive smiling face known as “Mr. Moon.”

The park offers a variety of rides and attractions suitable for all ages. Some of the popular rides include the Ferris wheel, Wild Mouse roller coaster, Tango Train, Dodgem City, and the Hair Raiser. There are also various sideshows, arcade games, and carnival-style food stalls throughout the park.

Luna Park Sydney is known for hosting special events and entertainment throughout the year, including live performances, fireworks displays, and themed celebrations. The park’s location near Sydney’s vibrant central business district and its picturesque waterfront setting make it a popular destination for both daytime outings and evening adventures.

9 November 1979

The NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detected purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early-warning radars, the alert is cancelled.