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
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. speed
skater Eric Heiden also concluded one of the most amazing feats in
sports history when he won all five speed skating medals from the
sprint at 500 meters to the marathon 10,000 meter event.
1, 1980 - The 1980 census shows a population in the United States of
226,542,203, an 11.4% increase since 1970. For the first
one state had over 20 million people living within its borders, the
state of California with 23.7 million. Due to a trend of
migration, Missouri now contained the geographic population center of
the United States, one quarter mile west of De Soto in Jefferson County.
12, 1980 - The United States Olympic Committee, responding to the
request of President Jimmy Carter on March 21, votes to withdraw its
athletes from participation in the Moscow Summer Olympic Games due to
the continued involvement of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
24-25, 1980 - The attempt to rescue the American hostages held captive
in the U.S. Embassy in Iran fails with eight Americans killed and five
wounded in Operation Eagle Claw when a mid-air collision occurs.
18, 1980 - The Mt. St. Helens volcano, in Washington State, erupts,
killing fifty-seven people and economic devastation to the area with
losses near $3 billion. The blast was estimated to have the power five
hundred times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
10, 1980 - President Carter signs legislation establishing Boston
African American National Historic Site, which includes the oldest
black church in America and other historic sites of the Black Heritage
Trail in Boston, Massachusetts.
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.
20, 1981 - The inauguration of Ronald Reagan as the 40th president of
the United States occurs in Washington,
It was followed by the release of the fifty-two Americans
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.
30, 1981 - President Ronald Reagan withstands an assassination attempt,
shot in the chest while walking to his limousine in Washington, D.C.
April 12, 1981 - The first launch of the Space Shuttle from Cape
and the Kennedy Space Center occurs as Columbia begins its STS-1
mission. The Space Shuttle is the first reusable spacecraft to be flown
into orbit, and it returned to earth for a traditional touch down
landing two days later.
29, 1981 - Tax cut legislation proposed by President Ronald Reagan, the
largest in history, is passed by both houses of the U.S.
Congress. It would reduce taxes by $750 billion over the next
August 12, 1981 - IBM introduces the IBM-PC personal computer, the IBM
5150. It was designed by twelve engineers and
designers under Don Estridge of the IBM Entry Systems Division. It sold
for $1,565 in 1981.
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.
8, 1982 - ATT settles its lawsuit with the U.S. Justice Department. The
agreement forced the independence of the twenty-two regional Bell
System companies in return for expansion into the prohibited areas of
data processing and equipment sales.
March 2, 1982 - The Senate passes a bill that virtually eliminated the
practice of busing to achieve racial integration.
1, 1982 - The Knoxville World's Fair opens on the topic of energy by
President Reagan. A special category exposition sanctioned by the
Bureau of International Exhibitions, the Knoxville event would draw
over eleven million people to the Tennessee valley over the next six
5, 1982 - The highest unemployment rate since 1940 is recorded at
10.4%. By the end of November, over eleven million people
November 13, 1982 - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated
D.C., holding the names of the more than 58,000 killed or
missing in action during the conflict.
23, 1983 - The initial proposal to develop technology to intercept
incoming missiles, the Strategic Defense Initiative Program, or Star
Wars, is made by President Ronald Reagan.
April 20, 1983 - President Reagan signs legislation meant to rescue the
Social Security System from bankruptcy.
June 18, 1983 - Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman
to travel into space.
23, 1983 - A terrorist truck bomb kills two hundred and forty-one
United States peacekeeping troops in Lebanon at Beirut International
Airport. A second bomb destroyed a French barracks two miles away,
killing forty there.
1983 - The United States invasion of Grenada occurs at the request of
the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to depose the Marxist
7, 1984 - Navy Captain Bruce McCandless and Army Lt. Colonel Robert
Stewart become the first astronauts to fly free of a spacecraft in
orbit during a space shuttle flight that began four days earlier.
12, 1984 - The Louisiana World Exposition of 1984 opens along the
Mississippi River waterfront in New Orleans. The event, the last
world's fair held in the United States, was plagued with financial
trouble, and drew significantly fewer visitors than predicted over the
next six months, 7.3 million, although it was regarded as the catalyst
in the recovery of the waterfront and warehouse district to public use.
12, 1984 - Democratic candidate for President, Walter Mondale, selects
Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential running mate, the first
woman chosen for that position.
28, 1984 - The opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympic Games is
held. The games run by Peter Ueberroth, prove a financial and U.S.
success, despite a retaliatory boycott by most allies of the Soviet
Union due to the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow games.
6, 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.
13, 1985 - A famine relief concert organized by British artist Bob
Geldof and held simultaneously in London and Philadelphia is seen in
one hundred and fifty-two countries. The seventeen hour
raised $70 million for relief efforts in Ethiopia and other African
September 11, 1985 -
Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb's record for most career hits in Major League
Baseball history. He would be banned from baseball in 1989 for
gambling, thus making him ineligible for election into the Baseball
Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,
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,
November 20, 1985 - The first version of the Windows operating system
for computers is released.
11, 1985 - General Electric Corporation agrees to buy RCA Corporation
for $6.28 billion in the largest corporate merger ever outside the oil
20, 1986 - Martin Luther King Day is officially observed for the first
time as a federal holiday in the United States. Photo (Below,
Right) Crowds of the Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C. surround
the Washington Monument. August 28, 1963.
28, 1986 - The Challenger Space Shuttle explodes after lift off at Cape
Canaveral, Florida, killing seven people, including Christa McAuliffe,
a New Hampshire school teacher.
May 25, 1986 - Five million
people make a human chain across the United States in the Hands Across
America campaign to fight hunger and homelessness.
18, 1986 - A tentative agreement on a world-wide ban on medium-range
missiles is reached between the Soviet Union and the United States.
This agreement would not be expanded to include long-range missiles
when President Reagan refused capitulation to the demand from Mikhail
Gorbachev to limit development of the Star Wars missile defense shield.
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.
12, 1987 - Near the end of hearings into the Iran-contra affair,
President Reagan admits to a policy that went astray, but denied
knowledge of the diversion of funds to the contras.
19, 1987 - The stock market crash known as Black Monday occurs 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
October 23, 1987 - The
President's nominee to the Supreme Court, Robert Bork, is rejected by
the U.S. Senate, 58-42, in the largest margin of rejection for the role
December 8, 1987 -
The United States and the Soviet Union sign an agreement, the
Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, to dismantle all 1,752 U.S.
and 859 Soviet missiles in the 300-3,400 mile range.
31, 1987 - El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico is established by
legislation. It preserved a natural volcanic area, a seventeen mile
lava tube system, and remains from the Pueblo Indian culture.
3, 1988 - The United States House of Representatives rejects the
request of President Reagan for $36.25 million to fund the Nicaraguan
April 12, 1988 - The first patent for a genetically
engineered animal is issued to Harvard University researchers Philip
Leder and Timothy Stewart.
1988 - The deadline for amnesty application by illegal aliens is met by
1.4 million applications. It is estimated that 71% of those
applied had entered the United States from Mexico.
31, 1988 - Poverty Point National Monument in Louisiana is established
by President Ronald Reagan in order to preserve some of the most
extensive earthworks from prehistoric times in North America.
8, 1988 - Vice President under Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker
Bush, claims victory in the presidential election over Democratic
challenger Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of Massachusetts. The Electoral
College vote tallied 426 for Bush and 111 for Dukakis.
6, 1989 - Economic reports on the previous year from the Labor
Department indicate a growth rate of 3.8%, the largest in four years
and an unemployment rate of 5.3%, a low of fourteen years.
24, 1989 - The Exxon Valdez crashes 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.
9, 1989 - The Savings and Loan Bailout is approved by Congress and
signed into law by President George Herbert Walker Bush. The
total cost of the bill would approach $400 billion over thirty years to
close and merge insolvent Savings and Loans.
10, 1989 - Army General Colin Powell is elevated to the position of
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, becoming the first African
American to be nominated to that post.
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
History Historic Travel Tip
Take a trip along the Appalachian Trail. There are a myriad
National Park and other historic sites either on the trail or just
nearby. From Acadia National Park in Maine to Harper's Ferry
National Park in West Virginia, plus other Civil War sites nearby, down
to Georgia. So you can take a hike, visit some history, and
whole lot a nature and beauty along the way.