Back to '80s Timeline Home
Academy Awards
The Last Emperor...Michael Douglas...Cher...
The Wonder Years...thirysomething...The Murder of Mary Phagan...
Fences...Les Miserables...
"Graceland"...The Joshua Tree..."Somewhere Out There"...
Jody Watley...
Nobel Prizes
Oscar Arias Sanchez...
Pulitzer Prizes
A Summons to Memphis...Fences...
New York Giants
Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Lakers...Indiana...
Pat Cash...Martina Navratilova...Ivan Lendl...
World Soccer Cup: N/A
Americas Cup: Stars and Stripes (USA)
Larry Mize...Larry Nelson...Scott Simpson...
Stanley Cup: Edmonton Oilers
Tour de France: Stephen Roche (Ireland) [Team: Systeme U]
Mike Tyson...
Auto Racing
Indianapolis 500: Al Unser
The Olympics
Horse Racing
Kentucky Derby: Alysheba
Memorable People Include
Oral Roberts...Liberace...Fawn Hall...Gary Hart...Donna Rice...
Jim Bakker...Tammy Faye Bakker...Jessica Hahn...Jerry Falwell...
Jimmy Swaggart...Ivan Boesky...Robert Bork...Oliver North...
Robert McFarlane...Donald Regan...Mikhail Gorbachev...
Jessica McClure...Michael Deaver...

January 4

January 15

  • Actor Ray Bolger dies at the age of 83. Guess he doesn't need that brain now.

January 16

  • Zhao Ziyang becomes secretary-general of China's communist party.

January 17

  • Gregory Abbott's "Shake You Down" begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

January 22

  • Pennsylvania treasurer R. Budd Dwyer, soon to be sentenced for a conviction of bribery, calls a press conference where he shoots himself to death in the head on television.

January 24
February 2

  • CIA director William Casey resigns. He is replaced by William Webster.

February 4

  • Entertainer and pianist Liberace dies of AIDS at the age of 67.
  • President Reagan's veto of the Clean Water Act is overridden by Congress.
  • America's Cup is recaptured from the Australians by the Yacht Stars & Stripes.

February 7

  • Madonna's "Open Your Heart" begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

February 9

  • Scheduled to testify before the Tower Commission the next day, Robert McFarlane attempts suicide by swallowing a load of valliums.

February 14

  • Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" begins a 4-week reign as the number 1 song.

February 17

  • Charles Haughey becomes prime minister of Ireland.

February 19

  • The United States lifts its sanctions against Poland after political prisoners are freed by that country.

February 22

  • Artist Andy Warhol dies of a heart attack at the age of 58.

  • Fawn Hall admits that she helped Oliver North shred documents back in November.

February 24

  • The University of Toronto observatory in Chile discovers a supernova 160,000 light years away, the closest observed supernova since 1604.

February 25

  • It was announced that Southern Methodist University's football team would not be allowed to field a football team in the 1987 as punishment for paying its players a total of $61,000. They also were limited to 7 games, all road games in 1988, which would bring in no revenue to the University. The NCAA equivalent of a "death penalty", this was the harshest punishment ever dished out by the NCAA.

February 26

  • The Tower Commission implicates White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan for his role in the Iran-Contra Affair, and is very critical of President Reagan for either not knowing what his own administration is doing or for being unable to control what his administration is doing.

February 27
March 3

  • Comedian Danny Kaye dies at the age of 74.

March 5

  • A series of earthquakes in Ecuador kills over 300 people.

  • Fawn Hall turns down a $500,000 offer for a nude photo shoot.

March 6

  • Herald of Free Enterprise, a ferry en route from Belgium to England, capsizes in the English Channel, killing 188 of the 543 people on board.

  • Tammy Faye Bakker, wife of televangelist Jim Bakker, announces that she is addicted to prescription drugs and under treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic.

March 14

  • "Jacob's Ladder" by Huey Lewis and the News begins a 1-week reign as a number 1 song.

March 21

  • "Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau begins a 2-week reign as the number 1 song.

March 19

  • PTL televangelist Jim Bakker announces his resignation after admitting to an affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn seven years earlier. He had paid Hahn $115,000 blackmail. Along with his wife Tammy Faye Bakker, who sells her own line of cosmetics, the couple had earned $1,600,000 from the church and from Heritage USA, a 2,300 acre $172,000,000 theme park run by the PTL.

March 20

  • AZT is approved by the FDA as a treatment for AIDS patients.

March 22

  • A barge loaded with 3,168 tons of trash from New York City, the Mobro 4000, departs on a 6,000 mile search for a port that will take the trash. Over the next 162 days it will be refused entry by 3 countries and 6 states before returning to New York City, where the trash is then burned.

March 24

  • Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart admits that he leaked the story about Jim Bakker's affair.

March 27

  • Jim Bakker and Jessicah Hahn each claim that the other was the aggressor in their 1980 affair.

March 30
April 4

  • "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship begins a 2-week reign as the number 1 song.

April 18

  • "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael begins a 2-week reign as the number 1 song.

April 5

  • On the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway near Albany, New York, a bridge collapses into the flooded Schoharie Creek. Several vehicles plunge into the raging floodwaters and 10 people are killed.

  • The Fox TV network begins its first night of regular network broadcasting.

April 7

  • The National Museum of Women in the Arts opens in Washington, D.C.

April 16

  • The U.S. announces it will begin allowing patents on new forms of animal life.

April 17

  • Richard Wilbur becomes the second poet laureate of the U.S.

April 23

  • Physicists publicly state that Ronald Reagan's SDI or "Star Wars" defense system might not work in real life.

  • Ivan Boesky please guilty on a charge of conspiracy to file false documents with the federal government.

April 24

  • Televangelist John Ankerberg makes several accusations about Jim Bakker's sex life, but also accuses bakker of embezelling millions of dollars of church money.

April 27

  • Austrian president Kurt Waldheim becomes the first foreign head-of-state banned from entering the United States. The ban is enacted because of his alleged Nazi activities during World War II.

  • Televangelist Jerry Falwell, who took over the PTL when Jim Bakker temporarily stepped down, refuses to give it back to him.

April 28

    In the third-largest takeover in US history, Standard Oil was bought by British Petroleum for 7.8 billion dollars, making BP the third largest oil company in the world.

April 30
May 1

  • Jim Bakker publicly denies John Ankerberg's charges of sexual misconduct.

May 2

  • Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" begins a 2-week reign as the number 1 song.

May 3

  • Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Gary Hart, whose campaign has been hampered by rumors of womanizing, says he is doing no such thing and challenges reporters to stake him out and they will see he is up to nothing.

  • The Miami Herald, wich had staked out Gary Hart's townhouse in Washington, reports that Hart had spent much of the weekend with an unidentified Miami woman.

May 4

  • 29-year-old model and actress Donna Rice is identified as Gary Hart's "mystery woman". It is revealed that the duo and two friends had recently taken a weekend cruise to Bimini on a yacht named Monkey Business.
  • The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Rotary Clubs must allow women.

May 5

  • Two committees in the U.S. Congress investigating the Iran-Contra affair begin questioning of witnesses, including John Poindexter and Oliver North.

May 6

  • The Assemblies of God formally fires Jim Bakker.

  • Former CIA chief William Casey dies of pneumonia at the age of 74.

May 7

  • U.S. Representative Stewart McKinney dies of AIDS.

May 9

  • Eddie Fenech Adami becomes prime minister of Malta.

May 12

  • The first ever three-way heart and lung transplant was performed by doctors in Baltimore, MD.

May 14

  • Actress Rita Hayworth dies at the age of 68.

  • A military coup in Fiji overthrows prime minister Timoci Bavadra. Sitiveni Rabuka siezes power.

May 15

  • Ishtar is released in theaters, instantly replacing Heaven's Gate as the worst movie of the 1980s.

May 16

  • "With or Without You" by U2 begins a 3-week reign as the number 1 song.

May 17

  • An Iraqi fighter mistakingly fires two missiles at the American frigate U.S.S. Stark, killing 37 sailors.

May 23

  • Personal property of Jim Bakker goes on the aution block after he is unable to account for $12,000,000 of missing church money.

May 29
June 1

  • Prime Minister Errol Barrow of Barbados dies at the age of 67. He is replaced by Erskine Sandiford.

  • Prime Minister Rashid Karami of Lebanon is killed by an assassin's bomb on his helicopter. Selim al-Hoss becomes the new prime minister.

June 2

  • Guitarist Andres Segovia dies at the age of 94.
  • Alan Greenspan is named the new Federal Reserve Board Chairman.

June 3

  • Quebec accepts the Constitution of Canada.

June 4

  • The longest winning streak in modern track history came to an end at 122 races when Edwin Moses was finally defeated in the 400 meter hurdles by Danny Harris.

June 6

  • "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by Kim Wilde begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

June 11

  • Margaret Thatcher begins a third consecutive term as prime minister of Great Britain. She is the first British prime minister to serve 3 consecutive terms in 160 years.

June 12

  • The PTL files for bankruptcky.

June 13

  • "Always" by Atlantic Starr begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

June 16

  • Bernhard Goetz is convicted of illegal gun possession but acquitted of attempted murder.

  • Citibank announces it is withdrawing all operations from South Africa.

June 17

  • Tammy Faye Bakker reveals that Jerry Falwell (who had taken control of the PTL) has sent her dogs to the pound and has dug a large pit into which he dumped every unsold copy of her books and albums and buried them in concrete.

June 18

  • Vo Chi Cong becomes president of Vietnam, and Pham Hung becomes prime minister.

  • A Delta jet begins taxiing down the wrong runways in Nashville, nearly colliding with a jet taking off on that runway.

June 19

  • The U.S. Supreme Court rules that public schools may not be required to teach creationism along with evolution if the intent in the creationism lessons is to foster religious belief.

June 20

  • "Head to Toe" by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

June 22

  • Actor and dancer Fred Astaire dies at the age of 88.

June 24

  • Karoly Grosz becomes prime minister of Hungary.

  • Actor and comedian Jackie Gleason dies at the age of 71.

June 27
July 1

  • Ronald Reagan nominates Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court after Justice Lewis Powell, Jr. retires.

  • 16 of 17 illegal immigrants from Mexico hiding in a boxcar heading to Dallas die from extreme heat and lack of oxygen.

July 5

  • A river barge crossing the Luapula River between Zaire and Zimbabwe capsizes, killing 400 of the 470 people on board.

  • A Delta jet taxiing in Washington runs into a van.

July 6

  • A movement begins to recall Arizona governor Evan Mecham from office.

July 7

  • A Delta jet bound for Lexington, Kentucky gets lost and lands in Frankfort, Kentucky.

July 8

  • A Delta jet 60 miles off course over the Atlantic Ocean nearly collides with a Continental jet.

July 11

  • "Alone" by Heart begins a 3-week reign as the number 1 song.

July 12

  • Two separate Delta jets taking off from Cincinnati return to the airport after experiencing equipment failure.

  • A Delta jet landing in Boston lands on the wrong runway.

July 13

  • Kim Chung Yul becomes prime minister of South Korea.

  • Ramaswamy Vankataraman becomes president of India.

  • Giovanni Goria becomes prime minister of Italy.

July 16

  • A Delta jet en route from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City is forced to return after it begins losing cabin pressure due to an improperly-closed door.

July 19

  • Two Delta jets flying over Virginia come within 1.3 miles of each other, well below the regulated 5-mile minimum distance.

July 22

  • The United States Navy begins providing escorts to Kuwaiti tankers (which now fly the American flag) in the Persian Gulf to protect them from attacks by Iranian forces.

July 25

  • U.S. Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldridge dies at the age of 64 in a horseback riding accident.

July 29

  • 13 shootings on Los Angeles freeways in the past six weeks have killed 4 people and injured 2.

July 31
August 1

  • Bob Seger's "Shakedown" begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.
  • Mary Stout became the first woman to head the Vietnam Veterans of America.
  • Mike Tyson unified the heavyweight crown when he defeated Tony Tucker to take the IBF belt.

August 8

  • "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2 begins a 2-week reign as the number 1 song.

August 10

  • Ronald Reagan nominates C. William Verity, Jr. to be the new U.S. Commerce Secretary.

August 15

  • Great Basin National Park in Nevada is officially dedicated as the 49th U.S. National Park.

August 16

  • A Northwest Airlines jet crashes on takeoff in Detroit, killing 153 of the 154 people on board and 3 people on the interstate highway onto which it crashes.

August 17

  • Former Nazi deputy Rudolf Hess, the last survivor of those convicted in the Nuremburg Trials, dies at the age of 93.

August 22

  • Madonna's "Who's That Girl" begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

August 28

  • Director and actor John Huston dies at the age of 81.

August 29
September 3

  • President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza of Burundi is overthrown in a military coup. Pierre Buyoya siezes power.

September 5-7

  • Siamese twins joined at the head were separated and metal plates were placed over the exposed areas of their brains. Despite some brain damage, they were expected to go on to normal lives.

September 10

  • Fulfilling a fundraising pledge, televangelist Jerry Falwell plummets down a Heritage USA waterslide in his suit.

September 11

  • U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden is accused of plagiarism after one of his speeches is found to be virtually identical to a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock.

  • Dan Rather walks of the set of his newscast in anger when he learns it will be delayed by a televised tennis match, forcing CBS to go black screen for 6 minutes.

September 14

  • Elizabeth Dole resigns as U.S. Transportation Secretary.
  • A new method of measuring television audiences through a push-button approach is instituted by the A.C. Nielsen Company.

September 16

  • A treaty amoong the United States, Canada, and 12 other nations is signed to ban the use of CFCs (chloroflourocarbons).

September 17

  • The United States celebrates the 200th anniversary of its Constitution.

September 18

  • Fatal Attraction premieres in movie theaters.

September 19

  • "I Just can't Stop Loving You" by Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

September 22

  • An Iranian minelayer in the Persian Gulf is attacked by a U.S. helicopter.

September 26

  • "Didn't We Almost Have It All" by Whitney Houston begins a 2-week reign as the number 1 song.

September 28

  • The Smithsonian Institution opens two new museums: the Arthur M. Sackler Museum for Asian and Near East Art, and the National Museum of African Art.

September 29
October 1

  • A powerful earthquake in Los Angeles, California, kills 7 people.

October 9

  • Journalist and playwright Clare Boothe Luce dies at the age of 84.

October 10

  • Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

October 13

  • 18-month-old Jessica McClure falls into a 22-foot-deep shaft measuring only inches across in Midland, Texas.

October 15

  • William Brock resigns as U.S. Labor Secretary.

October 16

  • Jessica McClure is successfully rescued from the shaft into which she had fallen.
  • At only a few hours old, a baby in Linda Loma, CA becomes the youngest recipient of a heart transplant.

October 17

  • "Lost in Emotion" by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

October 19

  • Two Iranian offshore oil installations are attacked by U.S. forces in reponse to Iranian attacks in the Persian Gulf.

  • The New York Stock Exchange suffers its worst crash in history, falling 508 points to 1738.74. The crash was in part caused by computerized trading.

October 23

  • Robert Bork, whom President Reagan nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court, is rejected by the Senate after weeks of criticism about his extreme right-wing views.

October 24

  • Michael Jackson's "Bad" begins a 2-week reign as the number 1 song.

October 29
November 1

  • Mahmoud Zubi becomes prime minister of Syria.

November 5

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger announces his resignation.

November 6

  • Noboru Takeshita becomes the prime minister of Japan.

November 7

  • Douglas Ginsburg withdraws himself from U.S. Supreme Court confirmation proceedings after admitting he once used marijuana.

  • A coup overthrows Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba. Prime Minister Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali becomes president.

  • Tiffany's remake of "I Think We're Alone Now" begins a 2-week reign as the number 1 song.

November 10

  • President Seyni Kountche of Niger dies at the age of 56. Ali Seybou becomes the new president.

November 11

  • President Reagan nominates Anthony Kennedy for the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • At an auction in New York, the highest price for a painting, 53.9 million dollars, is paid for Van Gogh's Irises.

November 15

  • A Continental Airlines jet crashes on takeoff during a snowstorm in Denver. The plane flips over and breaks apart, killing 28 of the 81 people on board.

November 18

  • The Congressional Committees on the Iran-Contra Affair present their report, which blames President Reagan for the scandal. The report says that he is responsible for all the actions of his aides, and if he was unaware of their actions, then he failed in his duty to be in control.

November 21

  • A Federal Prison riot in Oakdale, La. started by Cuban prisoners afraid of being deported back to Cuba. 30 hostages are taken and the standoff lasts for 8 days, ending without violence.
  • "Mony Mony" by Billy Idol begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

November 24

  • Li Peng becomes the prime minister of China.

November 28
December 1

  • Author and civil rights leader James Baldwin dies at the age of 63.

December 2

  • Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada and U.S. President Ronald Reagan sign a free-trade agreement between the two countries.

December 5

  • Sitiveni Rabuka of Fiji appoints Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara as prime minister and Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau and president.

December 8

  • Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev sign the first treaty that reduces the number of nuclear weapons in existance. The treaty calls for 2,611 medium and short range missiles in Europe to be destroyed by both sides.

December 5

  • Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" begins a 1-week reign as the number 1 song.

December 10

  • Violinist Jascha Heifetz dies at the age of 86.

December 12

  • "Faith" by George Michael begins a 4-week reign as the number 1 song.

December 16

  • Former Reagan aide Michael Deaver is found guilty of five counts of perjury in regard to unethical lobbying activities.

December 17

  • Milos Jakes becomes secretary general of Czechoslovakia's communist party.

December 18

  • Ivan Boesky is sentenced to three years in prison.

December 20

  • An oil tanker and a passenger ferry collide 160 kilometers south of Manilia, Philipines, killing over 1,600 people.
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