1979

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1979 in Clemson History

Events in 1979

  • January: Former Physical Plant employees found guilty in Pickens County General Sessions Court and sentenced: two receive two-year terms, one receives a four-year term, and one receives two years probation.
  • January 10: Tiger Band travels to Columbia to participate in inauguration activities of Governor Richard W. Riley.
  • January 19: The Gutter, the Union coffeehouse located under the YMCA, reopens after one and a half year's renovation. Texas folk singer Allen Wayne Damron is featured entertainment (Damron passed away in August 2005 after a long illness.). Budapest Symphony Orchestra performs in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • January 20: Guitar band Boston performs in Littlejohn Coliseum. Opening act is Sammy Hagar.
  • January 24: The Clemson Area Railroad Club holds monthly meeting in room A-102, Plant and Animal Science Building at 7:30 p.m. The program will be a tape recorded commentary-slide show on scale model railroader John Allen's legendary pike, the GORRE AND DAPHETID Railroad, depicted in slides by Jerry Drake. Program lent from the National Model Railroad Association. (The Clemson Area Railroad Club newsletter, January 1979, Volume III, Number 1, page 1.)
  • January 31: Last run of the Southern Railway-operated "Southern Crescent" passenger train through Clemson, one of two privately-operated trains in the United States. The other, the Denver & Rio Grande Western's "Rio Grande Zephyr", will operate until 1983, at which time the route will also be turned over to Amtrak.
  • February 1: Amtrak takes over the passenger route and renames it simply the "Crescent".
  • February: A new computer science major and a master's program in computer science are approved by the faculty senate and sent to the Commission of Higher Education in Columbia for approval.
  • February 2: Clemson fencing team, coached by Charlie Poteat, wins ACC regular season championship at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • February 6: The Clemson University Concert Series presents The Intimate P.D.Q. Bach (Peter Schickele) in concert in Littlejohn Coliseum with the Semi-Pro Musica Antiqua. Snowstorm hits Clemson, President Edwards cancels classes.
  • February 9: Sea Level and Oconee concert in Tillman Hall Auditorium.
  • February 13: Shawn Weatherly wins Miss Clemson University title, beginning her run to the Miss Universe crown.
  • February 14: Central Spirit sponsors "Pass The Bucks" for the R.C. Edwards Endowment Fund reception in the Old Gym of Fike Fieldhouse at 6 p.m., before the men's basketball game with Virginia.
  • February 16: The Union Cultural Committee presents The Hobbit, a unique puppet show by the Hutsah Puppet Theatre, in Tillman Auditorium.
  • February 17-February 18: A second snowstorm beginning on a Saturday night closes the university for two days the following Monday and Tuesday. Many hall keg parties are thrown. (It's not safe to go to class, but we can darn sure get to the keg store uninjured!)
  • February 19-February 24: The Clemson Players present The Beaux' Strategem in Daniel Auditorium.
  • February 22: The Union presents the Tell-Tale Poe in Tillman Auditorium.
  • February 24: Selection of Bill Atchley as new president of the university is announced.
  • February 28: Alan Funt of Candid Camera fame speaks in Tillman Auditorium and presents filmclips from the show. A reception is held afterwards in the Palmetto Ballroom. Organizers agree that Funt is one of the friendliest and most-approachable of all the guests to speak on campus in many years. A man with a common touch.
  • March: The Dixie Dregs release their album "Night of the Living Dregs" which becomes a staple of WSBF airplay.
  • March 6: The Union sponsors The Harlequin Street Theatre which performs on the Union Plaza during lunch.
  • March 9: The Union sponsors beer bust at the Hanover House. A female visitor on campus reports that she was raped at 10:15 p.m. in the Physical Plant parking lot by a lone male while she was returning to her car. Police had no leads at month's end.
  • March 14: The Southwest German Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Paul Angerer, with piano soloist Michael Ponti, performs in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • March 16: The Buzzard is published. Front page stories: "Dr. Ball Batchley¬†: the 'inside' story " and "Stupid government loses leaders". Spring break begins after last classes. Renovation and expansion of the campus bookstore located under Harcombe Commons dining hall begins during the break week.
  • Mid-late March: Student leader elections overturned after candidate breaks rules on campaign expenditures; appeals follow, eventually Bob Fuzy is confirmed as new Student Senate president.
  • March 27: Horace Fleming, associate professor of political science, elected as new president of the Faculty Senate.
  • March 28: The Speakers Bureau presents NBC News diplomatic correspondent Richard Valeriani in Tillman Auditorium, speaking on "The Carterization of Foreign Policy".
  • March 30: Billy Joel concert in Littlejohn Coliseum at 8 p.m. Tickets are $9.75 and $8.75, with a $2 discount for students.
  • Early April: A team of investigators from the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, visit the campus to review compliance with Title XI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
  • April 6: Special Olympics for disabled children from Anderson, Pickens and Oconee Counties held on campus.
  • April 7: Sororities hold Dixie Day on Riggs Field. Despite popularity of the Allman Brothers Band in the region, group charts on the Billboard Top 40 for only the second time this date as "Crazy Love" enters the 40, reaching 29th position during five-week run. (Whitburn, Joel, "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits", Billboard Publications, Inc., New York, 1985, ISBN 0-8230-7518-4, page 22.)
  • April 11: Honors and Awards Day; Founders Day ceremonies capped by naming of portion of US 76 as the Thomas Green Clemson Parkway.
  • Mid-April: The Clemson Players present The Eccentricities of a Nightingale by Tennessee Williams in Daniel Auditorium.
  • April 15: Nantucket, Molly Hatchet and Scottish band Horselips appear in concert at Greenville Memorial Auditorium.
  • April 16: James Dickey, author of "Deliverance", speaks in Daniel Auditorium (drunk). Student Senate approves controversial resolution giving individual dorms the right to vote to determine their own escort policy. In the fall, Resident Assistants and Dorm Council members in each dormitory will hold a referendum to determine the desire and requirements for an escort policy in each hall.
  • April 17: The Faculty Senate raises questions again about low faculty salaries. President William Steirer, associate professor of history, passes the gavel to newly-elected Horace Fleming, associate professor of political science. The senate acknowledges a letter being sent to President Edwards commending him for removing the Clemson golf team from a tournament being held at a racially segregated club. The letter praises Edwards' initiative and wise judgement.
  • April 20: Spring Folly presented by Union Special Events Committee on Bowman Field. Country Empire, the U.S. Navy's country band, appears on the Union Plaza at noon, in support of an appearance by the Blue Angels flight demonstration team in Anderson on April 21. Hard Cider String Band appears in Edgar's at 9 p.m., 50 cents admission. The Tiger prints several articles about the retirement of President Robert C. Edwards, including a farewell letter from him to the student body. See President Edwards farewell letter.
  • April 21: Orange and White game played in Death Valley. Seventh annual Bengal Ball held at Y Beach, 1 p.m., tix are $3.50, admission limited to 4,000. Music by Mose Jones, Grinder Switch, and John Stanfield.
  • April 22: The First annual Fiji-Shriner Celebrity Run held, a 30-mile relay sponsored by Phi Gamma Delta fraternity to raise money for the Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children of Greenville. Clemson athletes Chubby Wells and Derek Johnson anchor the run which begins on Bowman Field at 9 a.m., reaching the hospital on Pleasantburg Drive at 2 p.m.
  • April 24: The Department of Music sponsors Applied Music student recitals at 7:30 p.m. in Daniel Auditorium, free admission.
  • April 25: The Department of Music sponsors Applied Music student recitals at 4 p.m. in Daniel Auditorium, free admission.
  • April 26: "A Salute to President Robert C. Edwards" public concert is held in Littlejohn Coliseum at 8 p.m. with free admission. Performances by the Clemson Concert Band and Chorus.
  • May 11: Commencement held in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • June: The university motor pool takes delivery of five 1979 Chevrolet Chevettes as economy experiments.
  • June 1: A chemical research project catches fire and explodes in a Brackett Hall laboratory at 5 p.m. causing $20,000 in damage and slightly injuring the student researcher with flying glass.
  • June 2-June 3: New university IBM computer system installed replacing 2 1/2 year old model - cost is approximately $3.4 million.
  • June 16: Atlanta Rhythm Section gets first "hit" of 1979 when "Do It Or Die" enters Billboard Top 40 chart this date, will rise to 19th slot during nine-week run. (Whitburn, Joel, "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits", Billboard Publications, Inc., New York, 1985, ISBN 0-8230-7518-4, page 28.)
  • June 17: Dr. Claude Bethune Green, dean of undergraduate studies since 1970, dies in Toccoa, Georgia, four weeks after undergoing heart surgery.
  • June 27: Star Trek episode "The Menagerie" shown in Edgar's by the Union film board. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppYM-JWvbiI
  • Summer semester: Off-campus activities attract attention of Pickens County authorities who set undercover "cool dudes" out in public drinking establishments, lurking amongst the clientele. Eventually some fools fall into their trap and a small non-conspiracy of the usual suspects will be busted in early December when the Narcs spring their trap. Most infidels are small change, but Dave Lorick, the head of the Central Dance Association, is living that rock lifestyle and his charges are for real.
  • July: "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough", the lead single from Michael Jackson's first solo album Off The Wall on the Epic label, is released and gets immediate and sustained play in the area dance clubs like The Bookstore and the Corporation. Song will peak at number one on the Billboard charts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvc9XBTfu6g
  • July 1: President Robert C. Edwards retires after 21 years at Clemson's helm. Bill Atchley takes office as the ninth Clemson president.
  • July 25: Star Trek episodes "Trouble With Tribbles" and "Space Seed" shown in Edgar's by the Union film board.
  • August: With most of the work completed, the remodelled Student Bookstore reopens, expanded into basement spaces that were formerly storerooms, one of which had been converted into the band room for the Clemson University Bands.
  • August 19: Dormitories open, 10 a.m.
  • August 22: The Union sponsors a disco party on the Union Plaza at 8 p.m., music provided by WANS-FM, Anderson, South Carolina.
  • August 24: Classes begin. The Central Dance and Concert Committee (CDCC) sponsors a Beer Bust at the Hanover House beginning at 4:30 p.m. - beer costs 25 cents. Drunken foodfight in Schilletter dining hall afterwards forces the Union to discontinue using the Hanover House location for beer fests.
  • September 1: Jack D. Ferguson Jr., an executive officer with the Greenville County Sheriff's Department, takes over as director of public safety at Clemson University.
  • September 7: "Paw the Paladins" First Friday Parade. Two Furman students are arrested after painting a purple "F U" on the side of the President's Mansion. ESPN goes on the air for the first time (originally an abbreviation for the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network).
  • September 8: Clemson defeats Furman, 21-0, in Death Valley. Atlanta Rhythm Section scores last Billboard Top 40 action for two years as "Spooky" enters chart this date, rising to 17 during eight-week stay. (Whitburn, Joel, "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits", Billboard Publications, Inc., New York, 1985, ISBN 0-8230-7518-4, page 28.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UngQVK7op4&feature=related
  • September 11: Student government elections are held but results are cast out when some 20 candidates fail to file election expense reports.
  • September 12: First Speakers Bureau event of the semester with President Bill Atchley appearing in Tillman Auditorium.
  • September 14: Union sponsors East Bank beach party.
  • September 15: The Tigers are blanked by the Maryland Terrapins, 0-19, in Memorial Stadium.
  • September 17: The Supreme Court disqualifies five candidates from last week's student election, ruling that Keith Lang, Peter Everett, Gary Nagamoto, Johnny Porter, and Tom Wilson violated elections procedures by not filing the vouchers with the elections chairperson. All five except Wilson were running for off-campus seats. Wilson was running for the Fike Recreation Center seat. (Bolchoz, Charles, news editor, "Court disqualifies senate candidates", The Tiger, Friday 21 September 1979, Volume 73, Number 5, page 1.)
  • September 18: The Tequila Mockingbird Chamber Ensemble performs in Daniel Auditorium.
  • September 22: Clemson defeats traditional opponent Georgia Bulldogs in Death Valley, 12-7, marking the Tigers' 400th victory. Gene Cotton in concert in Tillman Auditorium.
  • September 29: The "Weird Party" held off-campus.
  • Fall: Stephen M. Gregg opens the Clemson Newsstand on Sloan Street in a recently-constructed building. Student senate moves to create a campus shuttle system. Renovation of Sirrine Hall begins. Kicker Obed Ariri breaks Banks McFadden's forty year old record for best punting average.
  • October: The university housing office determines that the installation of cable television in dormitories is not "cost feasible" at this time. Television reception has long been dicey on campus, especially in Johnstone Hall where the sheet-steel walls play havoc on the signal.
  • October 1-October 6: The Clemson Players present The Apple Tree in Daniel Auditorium.
  • October 4: The Dixie Dregs play Tillman Hall Auditorium. Woody Dantzler born.
  • October 6: Clemson defeats Virginia, 17-7, in Death Valley.
  • October 6: Seven students shot at Homecoming Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity party, two fatally, at the University of South Carolina. A sophomore is charged.
  • October 13: Clemson shuts out Virginia Tech, 21-0, in Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Virginia.
  • October 16: Sponsored by the League of Women Voters, a group of state and industry panelists hold a public meeting at the United Methodist Church on Seneca Road addressing safety procedures and policy in case of an incident at Duke Power's Oconee Nuclear facility.
  • October 18: The Pocket Mime Theatre performs in Daniel Auditorium.
  • October 19: Members of Kappa Alpha fraternity are caught stealing 2,200 issues of The Tiger after they object to article about certain of their members harassing campus EMTs during a call at the frat house on October 7. On October 31 two members are placed on probation by the university - the fraternity was placed on two-weeks social suspension and fined $200 on October 11 for the original disturbance. Dumbest Criminals Award - The KA brothers ditched The Tigers they had purloined in a dumpster - RIGHT NEXT TO THE KAPPA ALPHA HOUSE! They provide much grist for The Buzzard issue of March 14,1980. Another major theft of The Tiger will take place on October 28, 1994 with the perpetrators making off with 10,000 copies of a 12,000 press run.
  • October 20: Clemson defeats the Duke Blue Devils, 28-10, in Durham.
  • October 24: Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz speaks in Tillman Hall auditorium. Jazz legend and Cheraw, South Carolina native John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie performs in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • October 25: Jimmy Howard opens the Sloan Street Tap-Room in a recently constructed building.
  • Late October: Pink Floyd releases The Wall, a concept double album - it receives immediate and sustained airplay on WSBF. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIjM6_XFP-E
  • October 26: The Union sponsors an End of Summer Beer Bust at East Bank beach.
  • October 27: N.C. State fans vandalize the Tiger statue at Littlejohn Coliseum with spray paint. Clemson drops game against the Wolfpack, 13-16, in Memorial Stadium.
  • November 3: Clemson shuts out Wake Forest, 31-0, in Death Valley. On leaving the game, fans learn on the news about the shooting of five members of the Communist Workers Party by members of the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, N.C. in a confrontation that afternoon. Progressive rock band Kansas appears in Littlejohn Coliseum. Sniff & the Tears is opening act, presented by the CDCC and Beach Club Promotions. About 3,000 students attend the show.
  • November 3-November 4: Clemson soccer team wins eighth consecutive ACC title.
  • November 7: Baseball personality Bob Uecker speaks in Tillman Hall auditorium.
  • November 8: Dinner theatre in Edgar's with the Alpha Omega Players, a two-couple troupe, presenting a comic western melodrama, Jenny, the Mail Order Bride.
  • November 10: Clemson defeats the University of North Carolina, 19-10, in Chapel Hill.
  • November 13-November 17: The Clemson Players present So Far From China in Daniel Auditorium.
  • November 14: Some 400 students rally on Bowman Field to protest the actions of Iranian students who took over the American Embassy in Tehran on November 5. Ayatollah Khomeini poster is burned, volunteer students speak their minds, local television stations cover the event.
  • November 16: Twiggs Lyndon, road manager for the Dixie Dregs, and prior that with the Allman Brothers Band, is killed in a skydiving accident at Duanesburg, New York. He becomes separated from his chute at deployment. The Dregs miss their gig that night.
  • November 17: Clemson beats Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, 16-10. Obed Ariri boots three field goals so that Billy Lott can toss the winning pass in the fourth quarter.
  • November 19: The Prague Chamber Orchestra performs in Littlejohn Coliseum with pianist Hans Richter-Haaser.
  • November 20: The Chronicle staff meets with Deans Walter T. Cox and Susan G. Deloney over possibly controversial nude photos in latest issue but they okay the layout of the magazine.
  • November 24: The Tigers are defeated by the Gamecocks in Columbia, 9-13. Tigers have 8-4 record, 4-2 in conference, for second place in the ACC.
  • November 26-December 4: The university motor pool takes delivery of 80 new 1980 Ford Fairmonts, replacing the previous "U Car" fleet of 77 1975 Ford LTDs and 20 1975 Plymouth Gran Furies delivered in the summer of 1975. The primitive economy design of the Fairmont is not popular.
  • November 30: The Son Seals Blues Band performs in the Clemson House ballroom.
  • December: Walter Cox, dean of student affairs, announces that he is cancelling all future rock concerts at Clemson in light of a handful of drug arrests and minor bathroom vandalism at the Kansas concert in Littlejohn Coliseum on November 3.
  • December 7-December 8: Pickens County authorities arrest some eight or ten students on drug charges culminating an investigation that began in mid-year. On December 7, Star Trek-The Motion Picture opens in 850 theatres in the U.S., ending a decade-long drought of the Trek saga (the animated series, notwithstanding...) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXYjvrzJkl8&feature=related
  • December 20: Clemson Lady Tigers Basketball team wins the Carolina Christmas Classic, 80-77, over host North Carolina, in the championship game.
  • December 31: Clemson loses Peach Bowl to Baylor, 24-18, in frigid (43 F air temperature, 27 F wind chill) Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta on New Years Eve for a season record of 8-4. It snows in Atlanta that night. Boogie band ZZ Top plays in the Omni that evening.


1978 The 1970's 1980