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Landmark events that defined 1977

It was the year the Fine Gael-Labour coalition under Liam Cosgrave was swept out of office by a Fianna Fail landslide.

Jack Lynch won a record 20-seat Dail majority on the back of a vote-grabbing package of "goodies" which included the abolition of wealth tax and motor tax and subsidies for first-time home buyers.

Queen Elizabeth celebrated a quarter century on Britain's throne and in the North two founders of the peace movement received Nobel Prizes for their work.


Gary Gilmore becomes the first person to die in the US following the reintroduction of the death penalty.

Jimmy Carter succeeds Gerald Ford as the 39th President of the US.


A crater on the planet Mercury is named after Irish poet WB Yeats.

Space shuttle Enterprise test vehicle takes its maiden "flight" on the back of a Boeing 747.


Brian Faulkner, the sixth and last prime minister of Northern Ireland, dies.

In Tenerife 583 people are killed in the worst single aviation accident on record following a collision between KLM and PanAm Boeing 747s.

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Cardinal William Conway, Archbishop of Armagh, dies.

First use of fibre optic cable to carry live telephone traffic.


Queen Elizabeth celebrates 25 years on Britain's throne and visits Northern Ireland for the first time in 11 years.

Northern Ireland is paralysed by a loyalist workers' strike led by Ian Paisley.

The first of the hugely successful 'Star Wars' movies opens.


Jack Lynch leads Fianna Fail to a landslide victory and 20-seat Dail majority in the general election. As a new generation of TDs comes to power, Charles Haughey returns to Cabinet.

Spain has its first democratic elections in 41 years.


A 25-hour power blackout in New York city leads to looting and other disorder.


The "king" Elvis Presley dies of a heart attack.

In New York, Son of Sam -- David Berkowitz -- is captured.


Anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko dies after suffering a massive head injury while in police custody in south Africa.


Peace People founders Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams receive Nobel Prize for Peace.

Brazilian footballing legend Pele plays his final professional game as a member of the New York Cosmos.

German troopers storm a hijacked Lufthansa passenger plane in Mogadishu, Somalia. Three of the four hijackers are killed.


The National Council for Education Awards is given degree-awarding status.

British Airways inaugurates a regular London-to-New York supersonic Concorde service.

First three nodes of the ARPAnet are connected in what will eventually become the internet.


A Malaysia Airlines plane is hijacked and crashes, killing all 100 passengers and crew on board.

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