World Events

  • Soviet leader Chernenko dies at 73 and is replaced by Mikhail Gorbachev, 54 (March 11). Under the slogans of glasnost and Perestroika, Gorbachev initiates a broad program of reform and liberalization. Background: Rulers of Russia since 1533
  • Two Shi’ite Muslim gunmen capture TWA airliner with 133 aboard, 104 of them Americans (June 14); 39 remaining hostages freed in Beirut (June 30).
  • PLO terrorists hijack Achille Lauro, Italian cruise ship, with 80 passengers, plus crew (Oct. 7); American, Leon Klinghoffer, killed (Oct. 8); Italian government toppled by political crisis over hijacking (Oct. 16).
  • Reagan and Gorbachev meet at summit (Nov. 19); agree to step up arms control talks and renew cultural contacts (Nov. 21). Background: nuclear disarmament
  • Terrorists seize Egyptian Boeing 737 airliner after takeoff from Athens (Nov. 23); 59 dead as Egyptian forces storm plane on Malta (Nov. 24).
U.S. Events
  • Ronald Reagan, 73, takes oath for second term as 40th President (Jan. 20).
  • General Westmoreland settles libel action against CBS (Feb. 18).
  • US Supreme Court, 5–4, bars public school teachers from parochial schools (July 1).
  • Arthur James Walker, 50, retired naval officer, convicted by federal judge of participating in Soviet spy ring operated by his brother, John Walker (Aug. 9).
  • US budget-balancing bill enacted (Dec. 12).
Economics

US GDP (1998 dollars):   $4,180.70 billion
Federal spending:   $946.39 billion
Federal debt:   $1817.5 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
$23,618
Consumer Price Index:   107.6
Unemployment:   7.2%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.20 ($0.22 as of 2/17/1985)

Sports

Super Bowl
San Francisco d. Miami (38-16)

World Series
Kansas City d. St. Louis Cardinals (4-3)

NBA Championship
LA Lakers d. Boston (4-2)

Stanley Cup
Edmonton d. Philadelphia (4-1)

Wimbledon
Women: Martina Navratilova d. C. Evert Lloyd (4-6 6-3 6-2)
Men: Boris Becker d. K. Curren (6-3 6-7 7-6 6-4)

Kentucky Derby Champion
Spend A Buck

NCAA Basketball Championship
Villanova d. Georgetown (66-64)

NCAA Football Champions
Oklahoma (11-1-0)

Entertainment

Events

  • Rock Hudson dies of AIDS at age 59. He’s the first major star to fall victim to the disease.
  • Madonna launches her first road show, the Virgin Tour.
  • Dozens of top-name musicians and bands perform at the Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia and London. The shows benefit African famine victims.
  • With the availability of relatively inexpensive laser printers and computers, tools for desktop publishing begin to be commonly used.

Movies

  • Kiss of the Spider Woman, Out of Africa, Prizzi’s Honor, The Color Purple

Books

  • Robert Bly, Loving a Woman in Two Worlds
  • Keri Hulme, The Bone People
  • Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove
Science
  • British scientists report the opening of an enormous hole in the earth’s ozone layer over Antarctica. Background: Environment & Nature
  • Researchers at IBM develop the scanning tunneling microscope, which can visualize images on an atomic scale.
  • Coca-Cola attempts to change its 99-year-old formula in an effort to attract younger drinkers. “New” Coke is poorly received, and the company soon reintroduces the original, “Classic” beverage. Background: carbonated beverages
Deaths
  • Louise Brooks
  • Marc Chagall
  • Rock Hudson
  • Frank Oppenheimer

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