- Pope John Paul II signs new Roman Catholic code incorporating changes brought about by Second Vatican Council (Jan. 25).
- Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., 50, political rival of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, is assassinated in Manila (Aug. 21).
- South Korean Boeing 747 jetliner bound for Seoul apparently strays into Soviet airspace and is shot down by a Soviet SU-15 fighter after it had tracked the airliner for two hours; all 269 aboard are killed. (Aug. 30).
- Terrorist explosion kills 237 US Marines in Beirut (Oct. 23).
- US invades Grenada (Oct. 25).
- space shuttle, Challenger, makes successful maiden voyage, which includes the first US space walk in nine years (April 4).
- US Supreme Court declares many local abortion restrictions unconstitutional (June 15).
- Sally K. Ride, 32, first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger (June 18).
- US admits shielding former Nazi Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, 69, the “butcher of Lyon,” wanted in France for war crimes (Aug. 15).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $3,514.50 billion
Federal spending: $808.38 billion
Federal debt: $1371.7 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $20,885
Consumer Price Index: 99.6
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.20
Washington d. Miami (27-17)
Baltimore d. Philadelphia Phillies (4-1)
Philadelphia 76ers d. LA Lakers (4-0)
NY Islanders d. Edmonton (4-0)
Women: Martina Navratilova d. A. Jaeger (6-0 6-3)
Men: John McEnroe d. C. Lewis (6-2 6-2 6-2)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
N.C. State d. Houston (54-52)
NCAA Football Champions
- With the introduction of noise-free compact discs, the vinyl record begins a steep decline.
- Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy wins the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and Tony Award for best play, marking the acceptance of gay theater.
- Singer Karen Carpenter dies of complications from anorexia nervosa at age 32.
- More than 125 million viewers tune in to the last episode of M*A*S*H.
- The Big Chill, Terms of Endearment, Fanny & Alexander, The Right Stuff
- J.M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
- William Kennedy, Ironweed
- Torch Song Trilogy
- “Crack” cocaine is developed in the Bahamas, and soon appears in the United States. Background: Nationwide Trends in Drug Abuse
- The FCC authorizes Motorola to begin testing cellular phone service in Chicago.
- The El Niño phenomenon disrupts global weather patterns. Background: What’s Wrong With Our Weather?
- Tennessee Williams
- Joan Miró
- Buckminster Fuller
- Jack Dempsey