- Sierra Club succeeds in persuading Congress to pass the Alaska Lands Act, which 103 million acres of national parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas.
- RU-486 is released in France.
- China's population is 987.05 million.
- National humiliation because of incompetent Big Business decision-making: Japan passes United States as the largest automaker.
- CNN is launched. The initial disappointment will only increase in the years to come.
- ABSCAM sting operation conducted.
- William Casey directs Ronald Reagan's campaign for President. Allegedly attends meetings in Madrid and Paris with representatives of Ayatollah Khomeini. In these proceedings, Casey supposedly asks the Iranians to keep the American hostages in Iran until after the 1980 election in exchange for weapons, thus ruining Jimmy Carter's reelection bid. The evidence of this claim is sketchy at best. Casey claimed that he was at Bohemian Grove at the time of the supposed meetings. If true this is an act of treason.
- Following the Kwanju Massacre, South Korean military dictator Chun Doo Hwan tells meeting of pulishers and editors that the U.S. government had been informed before his December 12 coup d'etat, his appointment as KCIA director and his declaration of martial law before the Kwangju Massacre. The U.S. Embassy issues denial in response.
- Republican U.S. Representative John Shimkus graduates from West Point.
- January 1: Federal Hourly Minimum Wage is raised from $2.90 (1979) to $3.10 an hour.
- January 23: Carter Doctrine that the secure flow of Persian Gulf oil is in a "vital interest" of the U.S. is announced.
- February 3: Carter administration national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski looks at Soviet occupied Afghanistan through the sights of a machine gun on the Pakistani border. The blowback that would result in 9/11 begins with joint U.S.-Saudi-Pakistani support for Afgani Islamists opposed tot he Soviet occupation.
- February 12: Darwin Day
- February 22: The U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team defeats the Soviet Union's team 4-3, lifting the national mood. The U.S. went on to win the gold medal.
- March 21: Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will boycott the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, to be held in Moscow in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Another 65 nations support the boycott.
- March 24: Former Shah Reza Pahlavi flies from Panama to Egypt where is offered permanent asylum.
- March 24: Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero is assassinated by wingnut murderers.
- May 18: South Korean military regime of Chun Doo Hwan declares martial law in South Cholla Province, including Cheju island. Universities and colleges are ordered closed and democratic dissident leaders Kim Dae-jung and Kim Young Sam are arrested.
- May 21: Kwangju Massacre. South Korean Army paratroopers open fire on crowds of 100,000 university and high school students protesting in Kwangju.
- May 23: U.S. DoD spokesperson admits that the U.S. military agreed to release the South Korean troops of the OP-Con of the CFc for the operation that turned into an atrocity.
- June 1, 1980: conservatives put brochures on the cars of chruchgoers across South Dakota showing pictures of a dead fetus and Senator George McGovern with an 'X' across his face and the claim that the Senator voted tax dollars to kill unborn children.
- June 21: Twenty-eight Guatemalan union leaders are abducted from the Guatemala City headquarters of the National Confederation of Labor (CNT). They are not seen alive again.
- July 31: French Socialist Party leader Francois Mitterrand tells Le Monde interviewer Michel Tatu that the Atlantic alliance rests on a fiction: "American intervention in Europe in the case of Soviet aggression."
- August 18: Syrian Ambassador and his staff are expelled from Baghdad, Iraq.
- August 24: Seventeen Guatemalan union leaders are abducted from a Roman Catholic retreat house in Palin, Escuintla. They are not seen alive again.
- September 4: Fugitive Abbie Hoffman turns himslef into Federal authorities in Manhattan.
- September 17: Gen. Anastosio Somoza, U.S. backed dictator of Nicaragua, is assassinated in Asuncion, Paraguay. An assassin's first recoiless rifle round impacts the target armored car but fails to detonate, but he calmly reloads and the second round incinerates the target.
- September 22: Led by president Saddam Hussein, Iraq invades Iran.
- Indian police open fire on a village meeting in gadchiroli, killing Peddi Shankar.