The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
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Nothing came between Brooke and her Calvins

1/4 -- President Jimmy Carter limits American grain sales to the USSR to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a week before. Ten days later, the UN General Assembly approves a resolution calling for the removal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

1/6 -- India's former prime minister, Indira Gandhi, regains power in an election victory orchestrated by her son Sanjay, who has been convicted on a criminal charge for illegally profiting from a state project to produce cheap automobiles.

2/2 -- A U.S. senator from New Jersey, a representative from Pennsylvania, and the governor-elect of Louisiana are among the politicians accused of accepting bribes in two FBI undercover operations known as Abscam and Brilab.

2/2 -- A 36-hour riot begins at the New Mexico State Penitentiary outside Santa Fe. The riot will end with 33 inmates dead and 100 seriously wounded, most at the hands of fellow inmates.

2/11 -- Ferdinand Marcos admits that his party used fraud and terrorism to steal the election held the previous month in the Philippines.

3/10 -- Scarsdale Diet doctor, Herman Tarnower, 69, is shot dead in his Harrison home by Madeira School headmistress Jean Harris. She claims it was an accident.

3/14 -- A LOT Polish Airlines Ilyushin 62 crashes at Warsaw, killing 87, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

3/23 -- The deposed Shah of Iran leaves Panama for Cairo, accepting an invitation for medical treatment and sactuary by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

3/24 -- Archbishop Oscar Romero, a vocal defender of human rights in strife-torn El Salvador is assassinated while saying mass in a San Salvador church. Thirty people are killed by bombs and sniper fire during his funeral six days later.

3/27 -- Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington erupts for the first time since 1857. Another eruption will occur on May 18, killing 34 persons.

3/28 -- The Shah of Iran's enlarged spleen and part of his liver are removed by surgeons in Cairo.

3/31 -- President Jimmy Carter signs into law the Banking Deregulation Act which, among other things, authorizes the payment of interest on checking accounts and similar accounts at thrift institutions.

4/2 -- Major U.S. banks increase their prime lending rate to a record high 20%.

4/12 -- Liberian President William R. Tolbert, Jr. is ousted by a military coup and executed, with 27 high officials.

4/17 -- After years of civil war, the former British colony of Rhodesia gains independence as Zimbabwe, with a government headed by Marxist Robert Mugabe, who promises fair treatment for the country's 230,000 white residents.

4/21 -- Beginning on this date, 125,262 Cubans leave their country, with most heading for the United States. This mass migration will end September 26, when Fidel Castro shuts down the port of Mariel; an estimated 375,000 would-be-emigrants are stranded.

4/25 -- An American military mission to rescue the 52 hostages held at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran fails, and eight crewmen are killed when a helicopter collides with a C-130 cargo plane at a location known as "Desert One," 300 miles southeast of Teheran.

4/25 -- A "people's redemptive council" suspends the Liberian constitution and names General (formerly Master-Sergeant) Samuel K. Doe, 28, president.

4/30 -- Queen Juliana of the Netherlands abdicates on her 71st birthday and is succeeded by her daughter, Beatrix, 42, after reigning for 32 years. Beatrix is married to a former officer in the German SS. There are demonstrations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

5/4 -- Yugoslavia's President Josip Broz Tito dies, age 87. His passing raises fears that Yugoslavia will splinter into the old states of Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Herzogovina.

5/4 -- The new U.S. Department of Educations begins operations with 17,000 employees and a $17 billion annual budget. The Health, Education and Welfare Department becomes the Department of Health and Human Services.

5/17 -- Miami blacks riot upon learning that an all-white Tampa jury has acquitted four white ex-policemen accused of beating Arthur McDuffie to death last year. The riots claim 14 lives.

5/18 -- Mount St. Helens in Washington State erupts, killing scores of people and blocking the Columbia River with 51 million cubic yards of dirt and rock.

6/1 -- Cable News Network (CNN) goes in the air.

6/3 -- Nearly 5,000 Cuban refugees reach the U.S., bringing the total since April 21 to over 100,000, including thousands of criminals.

6/12 -- Japan's Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira dies.

6/22 -- Zenko Suzuki, 66, becomes prime minister of Japan.

6/23 -- Sanjay Gandhi, son of India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, dies, along with a flight instructor, in a plane crash.

6/27-- President Jimmy Carter signs a measure that requires four million American males, ages 19 and 20, register for the draft.

6/27 -- The Canadian House of Commons officially adopts "Oh, Canada" as the national anthem.

6/30 -- The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Hyde Amendment, ruling that state and federal governments have no obligation to pay for abortions.

7/1 -- President Jimmy Carter signs into law the Motor Carrier Act, which deregulates interstate trucking.

7/2 -- In Fullilove v. Klutznick, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Congress may redress past racial discrimination by using a quota system in dispensing government contracts. In Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, the Court rules that the press and the public have the right to attend criminal trials.

7/14 -- President Carter's brother Billy becomes a registered foreign agent of the Libyan government after receiving a $220,000 "loan" from the Libyans. Two weeks later the president admits having given Billy classified information dealing with Libya.

7/26 -- The deposed Shah of Iran dies of cancer, age 60, ending the Pahlevi dynasty that had ruled Iran since 1921.

7/30 -- Vanuatu, formerly the New Hebrides, gains independence after 93 years of joint British and French colonial rule.

8/14 -- Shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland, quit working in protest of rising meat prices. The strike soon includes 350,000 workers who demand the right to form self-governing unions independent of the ruling Communist Party. They are led by 37-year-old electrician Lech Walesa.

8/31 -- Hurrican David hits the Dominican Republic, killing more than 600 people, leaving 150,000 homeless, and causing $1 billion in damage.

9/1 -- Poland's Solidarity, with 10 million members, becomes the first independent labor union in the Soviet bloc. Polish Communist Party leader Edward Gierek is ousted, replaced by Stanislaw Kania. The Soviet Union masses 55 divisions within striking distance of Poland.

9/17 -- Anastasio Somoza, president of Nicaragua for 23 years before being forced to flee that country in 1979, is assassinated in Asuncion, Paraguay, by gunmen who fire a bazooka and machineguns into Somoza's Mercedes.

9/18 -- Cuba arrests the two former refugees who had hijacked a Delta Airlines jet in South Carolina and returns them to the United States.

9/21 -- Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport (cost: $750 million) opens with 138 passenger gates (44 more than Chicago's O'Hare).

9/22 -- Iranian and Iraqi air and naval forces clash as a conflict over disputed territory escalates into a war that will last most of the decade.

9/23 -- Iraqi troops cross the border and lay siege to the important Iranian oil refinery at Abadan.

9/25 -- The Goschenen-Airolo Tunnel -- at 10 miles the longest road tunnel in the world -- is opened. The project took 11 years, cost $420 million and 19 lives.

10/4 -g- A bomb explosion outside a Paris synagogue kills four. French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing bans neo-Nazi meetings and vows to crush racist organizations. The bombers remain at large.

10/24 -- Solidarity, the new independent federation of Polish trade unions is given legal status by a Warsaw court.

11/4 -- Republican Ronald Reagan wins the American presidency, defeating Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter. The Republicans also take control of the U.S. Senate for the first time since 1956.

11/12 -- The Voyager I passes close to Saturn during her 3-year, 1.3 billion mile journey, making new discoveries regarding the planet's moons and rings.

11/19 -- The Brooke Shields "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins" jeans ad is banned by CBS.

11/21 -- A fire in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas claims the lives of 84 people. Helicopters lift more than one thousand guests to safety from the rooftop. The hotel had no smoke alarms.

11/23 -- An earthquake in southern Italy claims thousands of lives.

12/8 -- Mark David Chapman shoots and kills John Lennon outside New York City's Dakota apartment building.

12/19 -- Major U.S. banks raise their prime lending rate to 21.5%, a new record. The U.S. economy continues to suffer from rising inflation and high unemployment.

This year...
Inflation continues in the U.S. as prices rise 12.4%.....British unemployment rises above 2 million for the first time since 1935, and reaches 2.5 million by year's end.....West Germany's currency deficit reaches $14.2 billion, nearly triple that of last year.....Poland's debts to Western lenders rises to $23 billion while its industrial production falls 1.3% due to labor unrest.....U.S. personal bankruptcies number 367,000, up from 209,500 last year.....36 million Americans receive monthly Social Security checks, 26 million receive Medicare benefits, 22 million Medicaid benefits, 15 million veterans' benefits and 11 million receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children funds.....Due largely to oil imports, Japan has a record trade deficit of $14.4 billion for the year.....U.S. gas prices average $1.22 a gallon.....Domestic car sales in the U.S. decline 20%, while U.S. auto production declines 30% (7.8 million cars and trucks).....29,019 U.S. high school students score above 650 on the verbal part of the SAT, down from 53,794 in 1972, while only 73,386 score above 650 on the mathematics part, down from 93,868 in 1972.....Time-Life launches a new monthly science magazine entitled Discover in October.....Rollerblade, Inc. is founded by Canadian hockey player Scott Olsen, 20.....U.S. cigarette sales rise to 614.5 billion even though smoking has dropped 28% since 1970 among men 20 and older, 13% among women, 20% among teenage boys; smoking among teenage girls has increased 51% since 1968.....U.S. housing starts drop below 1.3 million, down 33% from last year.....Coca Cola Co, the world's largest user of sugar, switches to high fructose corn syrup when world sugar prices soar to 24c per lb, up 60% from 1979.