Thursday, April 17, 2008

80s Global Events ~ tear down this wall

(yep this song made into the blog too.) 

Vietnam was over, the hippies had become yuppies, the pendulum had swung back to the right. An actor became president, in 1985 homelessness in the US was at the highest since the depression. While the 80s are not thought of as a "turbulent" decade like the 60s and early 70s, and while there was not a full on war going on anymore, events that occurred between the years 1980-1989 have forever shaped our world and some days it seems as if we are rehashing mistakes made from the 80s over and over again in this decade. Here is a brief discussion of major events and some noteworthy news thrown in: 

In 1980: Operation Eagle Claw was a failed military operation to free the 53 hostages in Iran. These people we not freed until January 20th, 1981 almost to the minute after Reagan was sworn in as President.  Mt. St. Helen's erupted killing 57 people. That pesky Iran and Iraq war that we here so much about these days started this year. The US decided to boycott the Olympics being held in the USSR (because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan...WOW!) John Lennon was shot to death.

1981: THE MANNY WAS BORN! Iran released the US diplomatic hostages. Air traffic controllers went on strike and were ordered back to work by Reagan due to the "peril of national security."  Pope John Paul II was shot thus creating the Pope Mobile. Scientists identify the AIDs virus. Charles and Diana wed. Ten members of the IRA died while on a hunger strike. Reagan authorized support for groups trying to overthrow the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Reagan survived an assassination attempt.

1982: After much debate the groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam War memorial takes place (oddly enough involving H. Ross Perot.) That pesky Falkland Islands Debacle occurred. Someone put cyanide into Tylenol bottles killing 7 people. 

1983: The US embassy was bombed in Beirut. An IRA bomb explodes outside of Harrods. Reagan introduced "Star Wars" or better known as Strategic Defense Initiative. Tom Brokaw begins anchoring NBC Nightly News. 

1984: USSR boycotts the 1984 LA Olympics. US pulls Marines out of Beirut. President Reagan during a voice check for a radio broadcast remarks "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes" and then he was re-elected. Crack cocaine starts to become quite an annoyance. Ma Bell was broken into the Baby Bells. 

1985: Gorbachev becomes leader of the Soviet Union. Live Aid concerts raise money for Ethiopian famine crisis. The hole in the ozone layer discovered. A blood test for AIDS was approved by the FDA.

1986: US bombs Libya. The Soviet reactor in Chernobyl explodes and people start to think nuclear energy may not be so good after all. Gorbachev introduces Perestroika and Glasnost. Halley's Comet zoomed past earth. The Challenger explodes after launching into space. A bombing of a West Berlin nightclub happens (the night club was popular with US soldiers.) Greg Le Mond wins the Tour de France. The Iran Contra Affair (weapons for hostages) was reported by a Lebanese magazine. Reagan denies involvement. Mad Cow disease is first discovered. 

1987: Black Monday (US stock market drops 508 points)  Margaret Thatcher is re-elected for a third time. Reagan tells Gorbachev while in Berlin to "tear down this wall" The First Intifada begins between Israel and Palestine begins.  The drug Prozac was approved by the FDA.

1988: Iran-Iraq war ends, so Iraq gasses the Kurds.  A bomb explodes on Pan Am flight 103 killing 270 people. The USSR withdrawals from Afghanistan.  George Bush is elected President. North and Poindexter were indicted on conspiracy charges for their roles in the Iran-Contra affair. Iran Air Flight 655 is shot down by missiles launched from the USS Vincennes. Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as first female PM of Pakistan (and first female leader of an Islamic state, and yet we haven't had one...oops this is the 80s.)

1989: 12 European nations agree to ban CFCs. Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels of oil. The Berlin Wall comes down.  There were free elections in Poland and thousands of Chinese students fill Tiananmen Square. ...and Seinfeld premieres. 

Which city was devastated by an earthquake in 1985 and then hosted the World Cup in 1986?


The Manny said...

I would have to go with What is Mexico City? Bob.

Yes, yes my birth was a red-letter date in the 80s. 10 lbs and change ladies, natural birth at that. And you thought yours was bad, my mom is a trooper.

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Tootsie Farklepants said...

Seriously, I love this post. I was a teen in the 80's and while I remember these events, I was a teen and not paying very close attention. Thanks for the refresher!