Events of the 1980s

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    1980s

  • Boycott of Agricultural products due to Afghan invastion

    Boycott of Agricultural products due to Afghan invastion
    January 4, 1980 - President Jimmy Carter announces the embargo on sale of grain and high technology to the Soviet Union due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
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  • Winter Olympics - "Miracle on Ice"

    Winter Olympics - "Miracle on Ice"
    Miracle on Ice February 13, 1980 - The opening ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics Games are held in Lake Placid, New York. One of the most thrilling moments include the "Miracle on Ice" when a team of U.S. amateur ice hockey players defeated the vaunted Soviet Union professional all-star team in the semi-final game, then won the gold medal over Finland. U.S. speedskater Eric Heiden also concluded one of the most amazing feats in sports history when he won all five speedskating medals from the sprint at
  • Operation Eagle Claw - failed attempt to rescue American hostages

    Operation Eagle Claw - failed attempt to rescue American hostages
    Failed rescue attempt
    Operation Eagle Claw on April 24, 1980, a failed attempt by the Jimmy Carter administration to put an end to the Iran hostage crisis by rescuing 52 Americans held captive at the U.S. The public, humiliating debacle that ensued damaged American prestige worldwide and is believed by many, including Carter himself, to have played a major role in his defeat in the 1980 presidential election.
  • Ronald Reagan is elected President

    Ronald Reagan is elected President
    November 4, 1980 - Ronald Reagan, the former Republican governor of California, beats President Jimmy Carter and independent candidate John B. Anderson, also a Republican, in a landslide victory, ousting the incumbent from office. The victory in the Electoral College, 489 to 49, as well as an 8 million vote margin in the popular vote over Carter, ensured a mandate for the new president.
  • Assination of John Lennon

    Assination of John Lennon
    John Lennon Assassinated (December 8, 1980): A month after Reagan’s election, a deranged fan shot and killed John Lennon outside his New York home. While Reagan’s election signaled the end of the sixties and seventies politically, Lennon’s death spelled the end of the period culturally. The former Beatles’ wife, Yoko Ono, has continued to release his material which serves to both satisfy the desire for more John, but also remind fans what was lost.
  • Reagan's first inaugeration

    Reagan's first inaugeration
    First inaugural address January 20, 1981 - The inauguration of Ronald Reagan as the 40th president of the United States occurs in Washington, D.C. It was followed by the release of the fifty-two Americans still held hostage in Tehran. The Iranian hostage crisis, which lasted four hundred and forty-four days, was negotiated for the return of $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets.
  • Assassination attempt on Reagan

    Assassination attempt on Reagan
    assassination attemptMarch 30, 1981 - President Ronald Reagan withstands an assassination attempt, shot in the chest while walking to his limousine in Washington, D.C.
  • First space shuttle mission

    First space shuttle mission
    STS-1 ColumbiaThe first space shuttle mission, STS-1. Launched April 12, 1981. Returned April 14, 1981.
  • IBM introduces the PC

    IBM introduces the PC
    On August 12, 1981, IBM released their new computer, re-named the IBM PC. The "PC" stood for "personal computer" making IBM responsible for popularizing the term "PC".
  • First female appointed to the US Supreme Court

    First female appointed to the US Supreme Court
    Photo compilation September 21, 1981 - Sandra Day O'Connor is approved unanimously, 99-0, by the United States Senate to become the first female Supreme Court associate justice in history.
  • Rev. Sun Myung Moon mass wedding

    Rev. Sun Myung Moon mass wedding
    2075 Couple Blessing (July 1, 1982, Madison Square Garden): First large scale Blessing ceremony to be held outside of Korea
  • Vietnam Memorial dedication

    Vietnam Memorial dedication
    Vietnam Wall slide showNovember 13, 1982 - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., holding the names of the more than 58,000 killed or missing in action during the conflict.
  • "Star Wars" speech

    "Star Wars" speech
    Clip of "Star Wars" speechOn March 23, 1983, President Ronald Reagan proposed the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative, a space and ground-based defense system to intercept enemy nuclear missiles.
  • Sally Ride, first American woman in space

    Sally Ride, first American woman in space
    Sally Ride talking about her shuttle flightSally was finishing her Ph.D. in physics at Stanford University in 1977 when she answered a NASA newspaper ad seeking astronaut candidates. When she blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman—and, at 32, the youngest American—in space. Sally's historic flight made her a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers and a hero to generations of adventurous young girls.
  • U.S. Embassy in Beirut hit by car bomb

    U.S. Embassy in Beirut hit by car bomb
    Beirut car bomb on the embassyA suicide bomber drives a truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives into a U.S. Marine Corps barracks at the Beirut International Airport. The explosion killed 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers. A few minutes after that bomb went off, a second bomber drove into the basement of the nearby French paratroopers' barracks, killing 58 more people. Four months after the bombing, American forces left Lebanon without retaliating.
  • US invasion of Grenada

    US invasion of Grenada
    Grenada invasion October 25, 1983 - The United States invasion of Grenada occurs at the request of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to depose the Marxist regime.
  • First female vice presidential candidate

    First female vice presidential candidate
    Geraldine Ferraro acceptance speech July 12, 1984 - Democratic candidate for President, Walter Mondale, selects Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential running mate, the first woman chosen for that position.
  • Summer Olympics in Los Angeles

    Summer Olympics in Los Angeles
    Opening ceremonies of the 1984 Los Angeles gamesOpening date July 28,1984
    Closing date August 12, 1984
  • Presidential election of 1984

    Presidential election of 1984
    1984 Presidential election results November 1984 - President Ronald Reagan wins reelection over Democratic challenger Walter F. Mondale, increasing his Electoral College victory since the 1980 election to a margin of 525 to 13.
  • Reagan's second inauguration speech

    Reagan's second inauguration speech
    Reagan's second inaugeration address
    President Reagan's 2nd Inaugural Address including taking the Oath of Office on 1/21/85.
  • The Titanic is located

    The Titanic is located
    One day after the discovery: On September 1, 1985, a joint American-French expedition, headed by famous American oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard, found the Titanic over two miles below the ocean’s surface by using an unmanned submersible called Argo.
  • Geneva Summit

    Geneva Summit
    Portion of Reagan's speech to CongressNovember 19, 1985 - The first meeting in six years between the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States occurs when Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan engage in a five hour summit conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • First MLK Day

    First MLK Day
    History of MLK DayJanuary 20, 1986 - Martin Luther King Day is officially observed for the first time as a federal holiday in the United States.
  • Challenger explosion

    Challenger explosion
    challenger explosionAt 11:38 a.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. As the world watched on TV, the Challenger soared into the sky and then, shockingly, exploded just 73 seconds after take-off. All seven members of the crew, including social studies teacher Sharon "Christa" McAuliffe, died in the disaster. An investigation of the accident discovered that the O-rings of the right solid rocket booster had malfunctioned.
  • Chernobyl nuclear explosion

    Chernobyl nuclear explosion
    Chernobyl (Greenpeace video)At 1:23 a.m. on April 26th, 1986, reactor four at the nuclear power plant near Chernobyl, Ukraine exploded
  • First reporting of the Iran-Contra affair

    First reporting of the Iran-Contra affair
    Iran Contra AffairNovember 3, 1986 - The first reporting of the Iran-Contra affair, diverting money from arm sales to Iran to fund Nicaraguan contra rebels, begins the largest crisis in the Reagan tenure.
  • Ronald Reagan "Tear down this wall"

    Ronald Reagan "Tear down this wall"
    Reagan - "Tear down this wall"On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Berlin Wall and delivered this message to Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev:"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate!Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"' >Reagan -"tear down this wall"</a>On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Berlin Wall and delivered this message to Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev:
    "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate!
    Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!
    Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
  • Black Monday

    Black Monday
    Black MondayOctober 19, 1987 - The stock market crash known as Black Monday occurred on the New York Stock Exchange, recording a record 22.6% drop in one day. Stock markets around the world would mirror the crash with drops of their own.
  • Republican Convention - No New Taxes

    Republican Convention - No New Taxes
    G.H.W. Bush - No New Taxes"Read my lips: no new taxes" is a now-famous phrase spoken by then American presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention as he accepted the nomination on August 18.
  • Pan Am Flight 103

    Pan Am Flight 103
  • Exxon Valdez crash

    Exxon Valdez crash
    reportThe Exxon Valdez crashed into Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound, causing the largest oil spill in American history, eleven million gallons, which extended forty-five miles.
  • Earthquake Series - San Francisco

    Earthquake Series - San Francisco
  • The Berlin Wall comes down

    The Berlin Wall comes down
    News report - fall of the wallNovember 9, 1989 - The Berlin Wall, after thirty-eight years of restricting traffic between the East and West German sides of the city, begins to crumble when German citizens are allowed to travel freely between East and West Germany for the first time. One day later, the influx of crowds around and onto the wall begin to dismantle it, thus ending its existence. (Photo below) President Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall speech, fronting the Brandenburg Gate, June 12, 1987. Photo: White House P