Bakhtiar invited Khomeini back to Iran, with the intention of creating a Vatican-like state in the holy city of Qom, declaring that "We will soon have the honor of welcoming home the Ayatollah Khomeini". On 1 February 1979 Khomeini returned to Tehran in a chartered Air France Boeing 747. The welcoming crowd of several million Iranians was so large he was forced to take a helicopter after the car taking him from the airport was overwhelmed by an enthusiastic welcoming crowd.
On the day of his arrival Khomeini made clear his rejection of Bakhtiar's government in a speech promising, "I shall kick their teeth in. I appoint the government, I appoint the government in support of this nation". On 5 February at Khomeini's headquarters in the Refah School in southern Tehran, he declared a provisional revolutionary government, appointed opposition leader Mehdi Bazargan (from the religious-nationalist Freedom Movement, affiliated with the National Front) as his own prime minister, and commanded Iranians to obey Bazargan as a religious duty.
On 9 February, a rebellion of pro-Khomeini air force technicians broke out at the Doshan Tappeh Air Base. A unit of the pro-Shah Immortal Guards attempted to apprehend the rebels, and an armed battle broke out. Soon large crowds took to the streets, building barricades and supporting the rebels, while Islamic-Marxist guerillas with their weapons joined in support.
On 11 February, Khomeini appointed his own competing interim prime minister, Mehdi Bazargan, demanding, "since I have appointed him, he must be obeyed." It was "God's government," he warned, disobedience against him or Bazargan was considered a "revolt against God".
The final collapse of the provisional non-Islamist government came at 2 pm 11 February when the Supreme Military Council declared itself "neutral in the current political disputes... in order to prevent further disorder and bloodshed." All military personnel were ordered back to their bases, effectively yielding control of the entire country to Khomeini. Revolutionaries took over government buildings, TV and radio stations, and palaces of the Pahlavi dynasty, marking the end of the monarchy in Iran. Bakhtiar escaped the palace under a hail of bullets, fleeing Iran in disguise.
Mork became popular, featured on posters, coloring books, lunch-boxes, and other merchandise. Mork & Mindy was such a success in its first season that Williams appeared on the March 12, 1979, cover of Time magazine. The cover photo, taken by Michael Dressler in 1979, is said to have " his different sides: the funnyman mugging for the camera, and a sweet, more thoughtful pose that appears on a small TV he holds in his hands" according to Mary Forgione of the Los Angeles Times. This photo was installed in the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian Institution shortly after his death to allow visitors to pay their respects.
On 30 and 31 March (Farvardin 10, 11) a referendum was held over whether to replace the monarchy with an "Islamic republic". Khomeini called for a massive turnout and only the National Democratic Front, Fadayan, and several Kurdish parties opposed the vote. The results showed that 98.2% had voted in favor of the Islamic Republic.
A Car bomb claimed the life of Airey Neave, a prominent Conservative politician, while he was driving out of the Commons car park in New Palace Yard. The attack occurred on 30 March 1979, one day after the announcement of that year's general election; both the Irish National Liberation Army and the Provisional IRA claimed responsibility for Neave's assassination, but it is now accepted that the former were responsible.
The Labour government then faced fresh public unease about the direction of the country and a damaging series of strikes during the winter of 1978–79, dubbed the "Winter of Discontent". The Conservatives attacked the Labour government's unemployment record, using advertising with the slogan "Labour Isn't Working". A general election was called after the Callaghan ministry lost a motion of no confidence in early 1979. The Conservatives won a 44-seat majority in the House of Commons and Thatcher became the first female British prime minister.
The Revolutionary Guard, or Pasdaran-e Enqelab, was established by Khomeini on 5 May 1979, as a counterweight both to the armed groups of the left, and to the Shah's military. The guard eventually grew into "a full-scale" military force,becoming "the strongest institution of the revolution."
American Airlines Flight 191, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, crashed on May 25, 1979, shortly after lifting off the runway at Chicago O'Hare Airport after the number one (left) engine and pylon separated from the wing. This broke hydraulic lines, causing leading edge lift devices to retract on that side of the aircraft and resulted in an asymmetrical lift and loss of control. The accident was attributed to improper maintenance procedures. The crash resulted in the deaths of all 271 passengers and crew on board, as well as two people on the ground. It remains the deadliest commercial aircraft accident in United States history.
Moonraker is a 1979 spy film and the eleventh in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The third and final film in the series to be directed by Lewis Gilbert, it co-stars Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Corinne Cléry, and Richard Kiel.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called on Iraqis to overthrow the Ba'ath government, which was received with considerable anger in Baghdad. On 17 July 1979, despite Khomeini's call, Saddam gave a speech praising the Iranian Revolution and called for an Iraqi-Iranian friendship based on non-interference in each other's internal affairs. When Khomeini rejected Saddam's overture by calling for Islamic revolution in Iraq, Saddam was alarmed.
The jury deliberated for less than seven hours before convicting him on July 24, 1979, of the Bowman and Levy murders, three counts of attempted first-degree murder (for the assaults on Kleiner, Chandler, and Thomas), and two counts of burglary. Trial judge Edward Cowart imposed death sentences for the murder convictions.
Following this win, on July 27, 1979, Ali announced his retirement from boxing. His retirement was short-lived, however; Ali announced his comeback to face Larry Holmes for the WBC belt in an attempt to win the heavyweight championship an unprecedented fourth time. The fight was largely motivated by Ali's need for money.
South Africa reached an understanding with the United States after signing a 50-year collaboration under the U.S.-sanctioned programme, Atoms for Peace. The treaty concluded the South African acquisition of a single nuclear research reactor and an accompanying supply of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel, located in Pelindaba. South Africa was able to mine uranium ore domestically and used aerodynamic nozzle enrichment techniques to produce weapons-grade material.
On 22 October 1979, the United States admitted the exiled and ailing Shah into the country for cancer treatment. In Iran, there was an immediate outcry, with both Khomeini and leftist groups demanding the Shah's return to Iran for trial and execution.
On November 4, 1979, a group of Iranian students took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The students belonged to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line and were in support of the Iranian Revolution.
The provisional government fell shortly after American Embassy officials were taken hostage on 4 November 1979. Bazargan's resignation was received by Khomeini without complaint, saying "Mr. Bazargan ... was a little tired and preferred to stay on the sidelines for a while." Khomeini later described his appointment of Bazargan as a "mistake."
On 4 November, a group of Iranian college students calling themselves the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, took control of the American Embassy in Tehran, holding 52 embassy staff hostage for 444 days – an event known as the Iran hostage crisis.
On 4 November 1979 youthful Islamists, calling themselves Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, invaded the US embassy compound in Tehran and seized its staff. Revolutionaries were angry because of how the Shah had fled abroad while the Embassy-based American CIA and British intelligence organized a coup d'état to overthrow his nationalist opponent who was a legitimately elected official. The students held 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days, which played a role in helping to pass the constitution, suppressing moderates, and otherwise radicalising the revolution.
Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for President of the United States in New York City on November 13, 1979. On July 17, 1980, he became the nominee of the Republican Party for the 1980 presidential election.
Air New Zealand Flight 901, an Antarctic sightseeing flight, on November 28, 1979, collided with Mount Erebus on Ross Island, Antarctica, killing all 237 passengers and 20 crew on board. The flight crew had not been informed that the computer coordinates for the flight path of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 had been changed the night before, directing the flight directly into Mount Erebus rather than the usual path down McMurdo Sound.
The FBI closed its file on December 31, 1979, after a 17-year investigation. Their official finding was that the prisoners most likely drowned in the cold waters of the bay while attempting to reach Angel Island, it being unlikely that they made it the 1.25 miles to shore with the strong ocean currents and the cold seawater temperatures ranging between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They cited the remnants found of the raft as well as the personal effects of the men, as evidence to bolster the official line that the raft broke up and sank at some point after having launched from Alcatraz and that the three convicts tried to swim for it, but then surely succumbed to hypothermia, their bodies swept to sea by the rapid currents of the San Francisco Bay. However, the FBI did hand the investigation over to the U.S. Marshals Service, who have not closed theirs since. As Deputy U.S. Marshal Michael Dyke told NPR in 2009: "There's an active warrant, and the Marshals Service doesn't give up looking for people." Dyke also pointed out that the bodies of two out of every three people who go missing in San Fransisco Bay are eventually recovered.