Jackie: Yeah I know. I had a tough day too. General Hospital was pre-empted by some stupid hostage crisis.
While the time-line for the series is questionable, this final year does seem to be set in 1979, according to the validation sticker on the license plate in the credits. The hostage crisis that pre-empted television programs in 1979 occurred on November 4, 1979, when Iranian militants stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took 66 people hostage; this occurred during the reign of Ayatollah Khomeini, although he did not sanction the plan before it happened, he approved of the militants' actions after the fact. The crisis lasted for 444 days, ending on January 20, 1981.
General Hospital is a long-running ABC soap-opera which began in 1963.