1980 – 1989 World History
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The Republican National Committee
- Six U.S. embassy aides escape from Iran with Canadian help (Jan. 29). F.B.I.'s undercover operation “Abscam” (for Arab scam) implicates public officials (Feb. 2). U.S. breaks diplomatic ties with Iran (April 7). Eight U.S. servicemen are killed and five are injured as helicopter and cargo plane collide in abortive desert raid to rescue American hostages in Tehran (April 25). Supreme Court upholds limits on federal aid for abortions (June 30). Shah of Iran dies at 60 (July 27). Anastasio Somoza Debayle, ousted Nicaragua ruler, and two aides assassinated in Asunción, Paraguay capital (Sept. 17). Iraq troops hold 90 square miles of Iran after invasion; 8-year Iran-Iraq war begins (Sept. 19). Ronald Reagan elected president in Republican sweep (Nov. 4). Three U.S. nuns and lay worker found shot in El Salvador (Dec. 4). John Lennon of the Beatles shot dead in New York City (Dec. 8). Smallpox eradicated.
- Ronald Reagan takes oath as 40th president (Jan. 20). U.S.-Iran agreement frees 52 hostages held in Tehran since 1979 (Jan. 20); hostages welcomed back in U.S. (Jan. 25). President Reagan wounded by gunman, with press secretary and two law-enforcement officers (March 30). Pope John Paul II wounded by gunman (May 14). Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O'Connor, 51, of Arizona, as first woman on Supreme Court (July 7). More than 110 die in collapse of aerial walkways in lobby of Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City; 188 injured (July 18). Air controllers strike, disrupting flights (Aug. 3); government dismisses strikers (Aug. 11). AIDS is first identified.
- British overcome Argentina in Falklands war (April 2–June 15). Israel invades Lebanon in attack on P.L.O. (June 4). John W. Hinckley, Jr., found not guilty because of insanity in shooting of President Reagan (June 21). Alexander M. Haig, Jr., resigns as secretary of state (June 25). Equal Rights Amendment fails ratification (June 30). Princess Grace, 52, dies of injuries when car plunges off mountain road; daughter Stephanie, 17, suffers serious injuries (Sept. 14). Lebanese Christian Phalangists kill hundreds of people in two Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut (Sept. 15). Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet leader, dies at 75 (Nov. 10). Yuri V. Andropov, 68, chosen as successor (Nov. 15). Permanent artificial heart implanted in human for first time in Dr. Barney B. Clark, 61, at University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City (Dec. 2).
- Pope John Paul II signs new Roman Catholic code incorporating changes brought about by Second Vatican Council (Jan. 25). Second space shuttle, Challenger, makes successful maiden voyage, which includes the first U.S. space walk in nine years (April 4). U.S. Supreme Court declares many local abortion restrictions unconstitutional (June 15). Sally K. Ride, 32, first U.S. woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger (June 18). U.S. admits shielding former Nazi Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, 69, the “butcher of Lyon,” wanted in France for war crimes (Aug. 15). Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., 50, political rival of Philippines president Marcos, slain 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, including 61 Americans (Aug. 30). Terrorist explosion kills 237 U.S. Marines in Beirut (Oct. 23). U.S. and Caribbean allies invade Grenada (Oct. 25).
- Bell System broken up (Jan. 1). France gets first deliveries of Soviet natural gas (Jan. 1). Syria frees captured U.S. Navy pilot, Lieut. Robert C. Goodman, Jr. (Jan. 3). U.S. and Vatican exchange diplomats after 116-year hiatus (Jan. 10). Reagan orders U.S. Marines withdrawn from Beirut international peacekeeping force (Feb. 7). Yuri V. Andropov dies at 69; Konstantin U. Chernenko, 72, named Soviet Union leader (Feb. 9). Italy and Vatican agree to end Roman Catholicism as state religion (Feb. 18). Reagan ends U.S. role in Beirut by relieving Sixth Fleet from peacekeeping force (March 30). Congress rebukes President Reagan on use of federal funds for mining Nicaraguan harbors (April 10). Soviet Union withdraws from summer Olympic games in U.S., and other bloc nations follow (May 7 et seq.). José Napoleón Duarte, moderate, elected president of El Salvador (May 11). Three hundred slain as Indian Army occupies Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar (June 6). Thirty-ninth Democratic National Convention, in San Francisco, nominates Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine A. Ferraro (July 16–19). Thirty-third Republican National Convention, at Dallas, renominates President Reagan and Vice President Bush (Aug. 20–25). Brian Mulroney and Conservative party win Canadian election in landslide (Sept. 4). Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards; 1,000 killed in anti-Sikh riots; son Rajiv succeeds her (Oct. 31). President Reagan re-elected in landslide with 59% of vote (Nov. 6). Toxic gas leaks from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, killing 2,000 and injuring 150,000 (Dec. 3).
- Ronald Reagan, 73, takes oath for second term as 40th president (Jan. 20). General Westmoreland settles libel action against CBS (Feb. 18). Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addresses Congress, endorsing Reagan's policies (Feb. 20). USSR leader Chernenko dies at 73 and is replaced by Mikhail Gorbachev, 54 (March 11). 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). 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). P.L.O. 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). John A. Walker and son, Michael I. Walker, 22, sentenced in Navy espionage case (Oct. 28). Reagan and Gorbachev meet at summit (Nov. 19); agree to step up arms control talks and renew cultural contacts (Nov. 21). 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. budget-balancing bill enacted (Dec. 12).
- Spain and Portugal join European Economic Community (Jan. 1). President freezes Libyan assets in U.S. (Jan. 8). Supreme Court bars racial bias in trial jury selection (Jan. 14). Voyager 2 spacecraft reports secrets of Uranus (Jan. 26). Space shuttle Challenger explodes after launch at Cape Canaveral, Fla., killing all seven aboard (Jan. 28). Haiti president Jean-Claude Duvalier flees to France (Feb. 7). President Marcos flees Philippines after ruling 20 years, as newly elected Corazon Aquino succeeds him (Feb. 26). Prime Minister Olof Palme of Sweden shot dead (Feb. 28). Austrian president Kurt Waldheim's service as Nazi army officer revealed (March 3). Union Carbide agrees to settlement with victims of Bhopal gas leak in India (March 22). Halley's comet yields information on return visit (April 10). U.S. planes attack Libyan “terrorist centers” (April 14). Desmond Tutu elected archbishop in South Africa (April 14). Major nuclear accident at Soviet Union's Chernobyl power station alarms world (April 26 et seq.). Ex-Navy analyst, Jonathan Jay Pollard, 31, guilty as spy for Israel (June 4). Supreme Court reaffirms abortion rights (June 11). World Court rules U.S. broke international law in mining Nicaraguan waters (June 27). Supreme Court voids automatic provisions of budget-balancing law (July 7). Jerry A. Whitworth, ex-Navy radioman, convicted as spy (July 24); he is also part of Walker family spy ring. Muslim captors release Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco (July 26). Senate Judiciary Committee approves William H. Rehnquist as chief justice of U.S. (Aug. 14). House votes arms appropriations bill rejecting administration's “Star Wars” policy (Aug. 15). Three Lutheran church groups in U.S. set to merge (Aug. 29). Congress overrides Reagan veto of stiff sanctions against South Africa (Sept. 29 and Oct. 2). Congress approves immigration bill barring hiring of illegal aliens, with amnesty provision (Oct. 17). Reagan signs $11.7-billion budget reduction measure (Oct. 21). He approves sweeping revision of U.S. tax code (Oct. 22). Democrats triumph in elections, gaining eight seats to win Senate majority (Nov. 4). Secret initiative to send arms to Iran revealed (Nov. 6 et seq.); Reagan denies exchanging arms for hostages and halts arms sales (Nov. 19); diversion of funds from arms sales to Nicaraguan Contras revealed (Nov. 25).
- William Buckley, U.S. hostage in Lebanon, reported slain (Jan. 20). Supreme Court rules Rotary Clubs must admit women (May 4). Iraqi missiles kill 37 in attack on U.S. frigate Stark in Persian Gulf (May 17); Iraqi president apologizes (May 18). Prime Minister Thatcher wins rare third term in Britain (June 11). Supreme Court justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., retires (June 26). Klaus Barbie, 73, Gestapo wartime chief in Lyon, sentenced to life by French court for war crimes (July 4). Oliver North, Jr., tells congressional inquiry higher officials approved his secret Iran-Contra operations (July 7–10). Admiral John M. Poindexter, former National Security Adviser, testifies he authorized use of Iran arms sale profits to aid Contras (July 15–22). Secretary of State George P. Shultz testifies he was deceived repeatedly on Iran-Contra affair (July 23–24). Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger tells inquiry of official deception and intrigue (July 31, Aug. 3). Reagan says Iran-Contra arms policy went astray and accepts responsibility (Aug. 12). Severe earthquake strikes Los Angeles, leaving 100 injured and six dead (Oct. 1). Senate, 58–42, rejects Robert H. Bork as Supreme Court justice (Oct. 23).
- U.S. and Canada reach free trade agreement (Jan. 2). Robert C. McFarlane, former National Security Adviser, pleads guilty in Iran-Contra case (March 11). U.S. Navy ship shoots down Iranian airliner in Persian Gulf, mistaking it for jet fighter; 290 killed (July 3). Terrorists kill nine tourists on Aegean cruise (July 11). Democratic convention nominates Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts for president and Texas senator Lloyd Bentsen for vice president (July 17 et seq.). Republicans nominate George Bush for president and Indiana senator Dan Quayle for vice president (Aug. 15 et seq.). Plane blast kills Pakistani president Mohammad Zia ul-Haq (Aug. 17). Republicans sweep 40 states in election. Bush beats Dukakis (Nov. 8). Benazir Bhutto, first Islamic woman prime minister, chosen to lead Pakistan (Dec. 2). Pan-Am 747 explodes from terrorist bomb and crashes in Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 aboard and 11 on ground (Dec. 21).
- U.S. planes shoot down two Libyan fighters over international waters in Mediterranean (Jan. 4). Emperor Hirohito of Japan dead at 87 (Jan. 7). George Herbert Walker Bush inaugurated as 41st U.S. president (Jan. 20). Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini declares author Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses offensive and sentences him to death (Feb. 14). Ruptured tanker Exxon Valdez sends 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound (March 24). Tens of thousands of Chinese students take over Beijing's Tiananmen Square in rally for democracy (April 19 et seq.). U.S. jury convicts Oliver North in Iran-Contra affair (May 4). More than one million in Beijing demonstrate for democracy; chaos spreads across nation (mid-May et seq.). Mikhail S. Gorbachev named Soviet president (May 25). Thousands killed in Tiananmen Square as Chinese leaders take hard line toward demonstrators (June 4 et seq.). Army general Colin R. Powell is first black chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff (Aug. 9). P. W. Botha quits as South Africa's president (Aug. 14). Voyager 2 spacecraft speeds by Neptune after making startling discoveries about the planet and its moons (Aug. 29). Deng Xiaoping resigns from China's leadership (Nov. 9). After 28 years, Berlin Wall is open to West (Nov. 11). Czech Parliament ends Communists' dominant role (Nov. 30). Romanian uprising overthrows Communist government (Dec. 15 et seq.); President Ceausescu and wife executed (Dec. 25). U.S. troops invade Panama, seeking capture of Gen. Manuel Noriega (Dec. 20); resistance to U.S. collapses (Dec. 24). Dalai Lama wins Nobel Peace Prize.
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1970 – 1979 World History