January 20, 1981: The Iran Hostage Crisis ends after 444 Days. Ted Koppel on Nightline reported on this event every night from November 4, 1979 (Day 1) until January 20 (Day 444).
January 25,1981: Super Bowl XV Oakland Raiders defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 …Superdome, New Orleans
March 6,1981: After 19 years hosting the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signs off for the last time.
March 30, 1981: U.S. President Ronald Reagan is shot outside the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. by John Hinckley, Jr. . Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, police officer Thomas Delahanty, and Press Secretary James Brady are also wounded (all survive).
March 31, 1981 At the 53rd Academy Awards hosted by Johnny Carson, Robert Redford’s directorial debut in Ordinary People wins Best Picture and Best Director. Other winners: Best Actress Sissy Spacek (Coal Miner’s Daughter); Best Actor Robert De Niro (Raging Bull);
April 12, 1981: First Space Shuttle Launched. NASA launched the world's first reusable manned spacecraft. Astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen piloted the Columbia (Orbiter Vehicle Designation OV-102) on its first test flight into space. On February 1, 2003, during it's 28th mission, Columbia exploded on re-entry killing all seven astronauts: William McCool, Michael P. Anderson, Kalpana Chawa, David M. Brown, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon.
April 19,1981 A Minor League Baseball (MiLB) game between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island becomes the longest professional baseball game in history: 8 hours and 25 minutes/33 innings. Pawtucket won 3-2.
May 21, 1981: Minnesota North Stars lose to the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Final. New York wins 4 games to 1 in the best of 7 series. Games 3 and 4 were played at the Met Center, Bloomington, Minnesota.
Monday, June 8, 1981: Patrick Henry High School Class of 1981: Graduation – Porter Field- Graduation speaker Alice W. Rainville, President of the Minneapolis City Council.
June 12,1981: Major League Baseball (MLB) goes on strike forcing the cancellation of 38 percent of the schedule. The strike ends and the season resumes at the 1981 All-Star Game on August 9, 1981 in Cleveland.
July 9,1981: First release of Donkey Kong and the first debut of Mario.
July 29, 1981: Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England
August 1,1981: MTV (Music Television) is launched on cable television in the United States.
August 12, 1981: The original Model 5150 IBM PC (with a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 processor) is released in the United States.
September 19, 1981: Simon & Garfunkel perform The Concert in Central Park, a free concert in New York City in front of half a million people.
September 25, 1981:Sandra Day O’Connor takes her seat as the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
October 28, 1981: the band Metallica forms in Los Angeles, California.
October 29, 1981: The Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the New York Yankees 4 games to 2 to win their 5th World Series Title.
November 16, 1981 – Luke and Laura marry on the U.S. soap opera General Hospital; it is the highest-rated hour in daytime television history..