As of 2014, major events of 35 years ago (the year 1979) include establishment of full diplomatic relations between the United States and China, the collapse of the Pol Pot regime in Vietnam and the Iranian hostage crisis. In entertainment, major events were the death of Sid Vicious and the television debut of "The Dukes of Hazzard."
Other major events of the year include the establishment of Islamic government in Iran, the start of the Sino-Vietnamese war, the release of Patty Hearst from prison, the institution of the "One Child" policy in China, the departure of British forces from Malta, Pope John Paul II's visit to Poland, the election of Margaret Thatcher and the sentencing of Dan White for the murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone.
Notable disasters were the crash of American Airlines Flight 191, the Ixtoc I oil well disaster, the murder of Bill Stewart, the assassination attempt on Alexander Haig and the Montenegro earthquake.
Pop culture events include the release of Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall," the debut of ESPN, and the debut of the first Star Trek movie. The first demonstration of the compact disc and the introduction of the Happy Meal by McDonalds occurred in 1979 as well. In sports, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Supersonics and Montreal Canadians all won championships in their respective leagues.