A closer look at 1982

Updated: January 9, 2006, 5:57 PM ET
ESPN.com

Women's NCAA basketball was just getting under way. But many memorable events occurred in 1982. A look at some of them (some information included below was taken from the 2005 ESPN Sports Alamanac and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia):

• Ronald Reagan was in the second year of his first term as President of the United States.

• Steven Spielberg had everybody phoning home -- and eating Reese's Pieces -- with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

• Unprecedented cold air from Canada caused temperatures across most of the United States to plunge far below existing all-time record lows. The Jan. 17 "Cold Sunday" caused thermometers in Chicago to dip to minus-27 degrees Fahrenheit, to minus-31 degrees in Madison, Wis., and even minus-5 degrees in Jackson, Miss.

• After a ground-breaking ceremony was held in late March, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on Nov. 13 as thousands marched to the site in Washington D.C.

• Precipitated by Argentines landing on South Georgia island on March 19, the Falklands War began on April 7. The war ran through June 14, when British forces arrived at Stanley to find the Argentine forces flying white flags of surrender.

• Seven people die in the Chicago area from Sept. 29-Oct. 1 after taking Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide.

• On May 30, Spain became the 16th member -- and first nation since West Germany in 1955 -- of NATO.

• On Dec. 7, the first U.S. execution by lethal injection was carried out in Texas.

• For the first time, Time Magazine's Man of the Year was given to a non-human: a computer.

IN SPORTS

The San Francisco 49ers beat Cincinnati to win the Super Bowl. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers for the NBA crown. The Saint Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers to win the World Series. And Penn State's Joe Paterno won his first national championship in college football.

Also:

Feb. 24: Wayne Gretzky, then just 21 years old, scored his 77th goal of the season, breaking the previous NHL single-season record of 76. The Great One, who was playing for the Edmonton Oilers at the time, went on to shatter the mark, finishing with 92 goals that season, which remains the record.

Nov. 20: In the Bay Area, especially, it's known simply as The Play. And college football fans haven't seen anything like it since. With Cal trailing Stanford and time expiring, the Golden Bears' Kevin Moen capped a 57-yard kickoff return that included five laterals -- and Moen winding his way through Stanford band members who had prematurely entered the field to celebrate what they thought was a Cardinal victory over their arch rival. Instead, Cal wins the axe with a 25-20 victory.

NOTABLE BIRTHS OF 1982

Athletes: Florida Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis (Jan. 12), Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (Jan. 17), Argentinean tennis player Guillermo Coria (Jan. 13), gold medalist U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin (Feb. 10), Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (March 2), 2005 Rookie of the Year IRL driver Danica Patrick (March 25), San Antonio Silver Spurs guard Tony Parker (May 17), Belgian tennis player Justine Henin-Hardenne (June 1), Russian tennis player Nadia Petrova (June 8), gold medalist U.S. figure skater Tara Lipinski (June 10), WNBA All-Star Diana Taurasi (June 11), Russian tennis player Mikhail Youzhny (June 25), Memphis Grizzlies post Hakim Warrick (July 8), Italian soccer player and Real Madrid member Antonio Cassano (July 12), NCAA champion sprinter Tyson Gay (Aug. 9), American tennis player Andy Roddick (Aug. 30), Spanish and Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina (Aug. 31), Australian gold medalist swimmer Ian Thorpe (Oct. 13).

Celebrities (actors/musicians): Jessica Biel (March 3), Kelly Clarkson (April 24), Kirsten Dunst (April 30), Prince William of Wales (June 21), Sophia Bush (July 8), Ryan Cabrera (July 18), Jared Padalecki (July 19), Anna Paquin (July 24), Brad Renfro (July 25), LeAnn Rimes (Aug. 28), Lacey Chabert (Sept. 30), Anne Hathaway (Nov. 12).

NOTABLE DEATHS OF 1982

Actor John Belushi (March 5), author Ayn Rand (March 6), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas (April 5), baseball player Satchel Paige (June 8), actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly (Sept. 14), First Lady Bess Truman (Oct. 18).