The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Table of Contents     1980   1981   1983   1984   1985   1986   1987   1988   1989
A British paratrooper during the
Falklands War

1/8 -- The Reagan administration supports granting tax-exempt status to segregated schools like South Carolina's Bob Jones University.

1/8 -- American Telephone & Telegraph agrees to relinquish its 22 regional and local companies in the settling of an antitrust suit. AT&T will retain its long-distance lines, Western Electric, and Bell Laboratories.

1/11 -- The Reagan administration imposes heavy tariffs on some steel imports to help struggling American steelmakers.

1/13 -- Civil servant Lenny Skutnik braves the freezing waters of the Potomac River to rescue a stewardess from Air Florida Flight 90 which crashed on take-off from Washington's National Airport.

1/19 -- The purchase of Columbia Pictures by Coca-Cola for $750 million is announced.

1/26 -- In his State of the Union address, President Reagan discusses his "New Federalism," the shifting of federal social programs to the states.

1/28 -- General Dozier is rescued from his Red Brigades captors by an Italian counter-terrorist unit.

2/2 -- Late Night with David Letterman premieres on NBC.

2/19 -- The DeLorean Motor Company, located in Belfast and the manufacturer of stainless steel sports cars, goes into receivership

2/27 -- Wayne Williams is convicted of two child murders in Atlanta and is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison.

3/5 -- Comedian John Belushi is found dead from an overdose of "speedballs" (cocaine and heroin) in a Hollywood hotel room.

3/6 -- Representatives of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) meet and agree to cut their output of oil in order to drive up oil prices and increase their profits.

3/10 -- After warning Libya to cease its support of international terrorism, The U.S. places an embargo on Libyan oil.

3/23 -- Guatemalan dictator Romeo Lucas Garcia is overthrown in a coup and replaced by a military junta. Amnesty International claims Garcia is responsible for at least 5,000 political murders.

4/1 -- Panama officially assumes the responsibility for policing the Canal Zone, as per the terms of the 1977 treaty with the United States.

4/2 -- Argentinian troops invade Great Britain's Falkland Islands. Three days later a British fleet sets sail for the South Atlantic.

4/17 -- Canada gets a new constitution when Queen Elizabeth II signs the Constitution Act in Ottawa.

4/21 -- Israel strikes PLO strongholds in Lebanon, ending a ceasefire they allege has been violated 130 times by the PLO.

4/25 -- Israel completes withdrawal from the Sinai, according to the terms of the 1978 Camp David Treaty, which returned that area to Egyptian control.

4/25 -- British commandos invade South Georgia, in the Falklands.

5/2 -- A British submarine sinks the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano off the shores of the Falkland Islands, killing 321 sailors.

5/21 -- British troops land on East Falkland Island and commence a major offensive against Argentine positions.

6/6 -- Israel invades Lebanon by air, sea and land in order to destroy PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) strongholds

6/12 -- 600,000 nuclear freeze supporters demonstrate in New York's Central Park.

6/15 -- The Falklands War ends when Argentine troops besieged in the capital of Stanley, surrender to British forces. The U.S. Supreme Court rules (5-4) that a free public education must be made available to illegal aliens.

6/18 -- The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly votes to renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act for another 25 years.

6/21 -- John Hinckley, Jr. is found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a mental hospital in Washington DC. Buckingham Palace announces a son, William Arthur Philip Louis, born to Prince Charles and Princess Di. William becomes second in line to the British throne.

6/25 -- Secretary of State Alexander Haig resigns and is replaced by George Shultz, an ex-Marine who had help cabinet posts in the Nixon administration.

6/30 -- the Equal Rights Amendment fails, with 35 states having approved it. (Thirty eight states are needed for ratification.)

7/1 -- Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church marries 2,075 couples at Madison Square Garden. (Many of the newlyweds are complete strangers to one another.)

7/2 -- The U.S. Supreme Court rules (8-0) to overturn a Mississippi supreme court decision that made the NAACP liable for damages resulting from a business boycott.

7/5 -- Oklahoma City's Penn Square bank goes into receivership, leaving the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation with the task of paying off $271 million to insured depositors.

7/9 -- A Pan Am 727 takes off in a rainstorm from New Orleans' Moisant Airport and crashes. All 145 aboard, and four people on the ground, are killed.

7/16 -- Rev. Sun Myung Moon is sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax fraud and obstructing justice.

7/19 -- Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," the theme song to the film Rocky III, hits the top of the Billboard chart and stays there for six weeks

8/1 -- Israeli planes bomb West Beirut. and will do so again on August 12 in an attempt to force the PLO to agree to withdraw from Lebanon.

8/19 -- Both houses of the U.S. Congress approve a $98.3 million tax increase.

8/20 -- Mexico becomes the first Third World country to default when its treasury secretary informs foreign bankers that mexico cannot repay her $60 billion foreign debt.

8/25 -- 800 U.S. Marines arrive in Beirut to evacuate 8,000 PLO guerrillas after mediation by U.S. envoy Philip Habib has ended months of heavy fighting.

9/8 -- The Boeing 767 makes its commercial debut on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Denver. But struggling airlines order relatively few of the new jetliners.

9/14 -- Grace Kelly -- Princess Grace of Monaco -- is killed in an auto accident.

9/14 -- Lebanon's president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, is slain in a bomb explosion at the headquarters of his Christian Falangist party. He is succeeded by his brother, Amin Gemayal.

9/15 -- The first issue of USA Today hits the newstands.

9/16 -- Christian militia slaughter Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps located in West Beirut, Lebanon.

9/21 -- Professional football players strike in mid-season. The strike is the first of its kind in the history of the NFL and will last 57 days. The players association demands a share in television revenues.

9/29 -- 1200 U.S. Marines land in lebanon as part of an international peacekeeping force.

9/30 -- Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide kill seven people in the Chicago area.

10/5 -- Johnson & Johnson recalls Tylenol capsules and destroys 31 million of them. Henceforth, the capsules are sold in triple-sealed safety packages.

10/7 -- The New York Stock Exchange sets a new one-day record with the trading of 147,070,000 shares. This activity is linked to declining interest rates.

10/13 -- The Union Pacific merges with the Missouri Pacific and Western Pacific, creating a 22,800 miles railway system.

10/14 -- Liberace's former chauffeur Scott Thorson files a $380 million palimony suit against the flamboyant entertainer.

10/15 -- President Ronald Reagan signs into law the Garth-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act, which lifts regulatory restraints on federally insured savings-and-loan companies.

10/19 -- In a Los Angeles hotel room, independent carmaker John DeLorean is arrested by FBI agents for possession of a suitcase full of cocaine, which he had hoped to sell to raise money for his struggling company. He will be acquitted in 1984.

10/29 -- Spanish voters elect a Socialist government for the first time since 1937.

11/3 -- The Republican party loses 26 House seats and seven governorships in the mid-term elections. They retain a 54-46 advantage in the Senate.

11/10 -- Soviet chief of state Leonid Brezhnev, 75, dies of a heart attack. He is replaced by Yuri Andropov, former KGB head.

11/13 --The Vietnam War Memorial dedicated in Washington, DC contains the names of all 57,692 U.S. servicemen killed in that conflict.

11/14 -- Lech Walesa, leader of Poland's Solidarity movement, is released after 11 months of detention and is reunited with his family in Gdansk.

11/16 -- The space shuttle Columbia lands at Edwards AFB to conclude a successful inaugural mission.

12/2 -- Barney Clark, 61, receives the world's first permanent aritifical heart in surgery conducted at the University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City. He will live for 112 days before dying of multi-organ failure.

12/4 -- The U.S. unemployment rate is 10.8%, the highest its been in four decades.

12/8 -- The Boland Amendment to a defense appropriations bill approved by the U.S. Congress bans the use of defwense funds to support CIA efforts to overthrow Nicaragua's Marxist regime.

12/10 -- 117 nations sign the UN Law of the Sea Treaty, which would regulate deep sea mining. The United States does not sign on.

12/21 -- Congress passes the Boland Amendment, which forbids the U.S. from participating in the overthrow of Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

This year...Unemployment reaches 10.8 % in the U.S. in November, the highest level since 1940, with the most number of people living under the poverty line in 17 years....The Dow Jones Industrial Average sets a record high of 1072,55 in December, up from 776.92 in August.....Japanese autos take 22.6% of the American market, up from 3.7 % in 1970; Honda opens its plant at Marysville, OH.....MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines are introduced in Britain.....According to a Surgeon General's Report released in March, lun cancer kills 111,000 Americans, up from 18,313 in 1950.....Electronic mail gains in popularity after third-generation Japanese technology reduces transmission time to 20 seconds a page, reducing per-page costs from $4 to $1; by the end of the year there are 350,000 fax installations in the U.S., up from 69,000 in 1975.