1985 << 1986 >> 1987

At a glance

Thatcher and Reagan's program of continuously escalating economic and military pressure on the Soviet Union begins to show results as Mikhail Gorbachev ushers in the era of perestroika and glasnost. South Africa comes under intensifying international pressure to end its racist policy of apartheid. Halley's comet swings through on its regularly scheduled visit, Out of Africa is Best Picture, and Japanese company Nintendo debuts its first electronic game console to stellar sales.


American deep space probe Voyager 2 beams astonishing images of Uranus back to earth on January 24.

The American space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after takeoff on January 28.


The Soviet Union launches its Mir space station on February 20.

Ferdinand Marcos is forced to flee the Phillipines on February 26. He is succeeded by the popularly elected Corazon Aquino.


On the 8th, Martina Navratilova became the first tennis player to win $10 million dollars in a single season.

On the 19th, Buckingham Palace announces the engagement of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. Six years later, to the day, the divorce of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson would be announced.

Rambo: First Blood part II is awarded the Golden Raspberry as the worst film of the preceding year on the 23rd.


Halley's Comet makes its once-every-76-years visit, passing closest to earth on April 10.

US planes attack suspected terrorist facilities in Libya on April 14.

The #4 nuclear reactor at Chernobyl melted down, leading to a massive explosion spewing radioactive material all over northern Europe early in the morning of April 26.


The Greatest Love of All, by Whitney Houston spends all of May, 1986 in the #1 position of the Billboard Top 40.

Sylvester Stallone becomes the richest man in Hollywood as he signs a 6-year, 10-picture deal with United Artists worth a reported $150 million on May 22. Later in the month his new movie, Cobra, would set a single-day box-office record as it brought in $12.4 million on its first day of release.


Former Nazi Kurt Waldheim is elected president of Austria on June 8.

Teen stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson are born on June 13.

On June 30, the United States Supreme Court upheld an anti-sodomy law from Georgia, ruling that states could Constitutionally limit sexual contact between consenting adults.


On July 3, the Statue of Liberty celebrates its 100th birthday in a gala re-lighting ceremony attending by President Reagan. The statue had been restored to commemorate the historic anniversary. It will reopen to the public after the $66 million restoration on the 4th.

Sid and Nancy, chronicling the troubled life of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, opens in London on the 20th.

On July 23, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in a lavish ceremony watched by a global television audience of 300 million.

Greg LeMond becomes the first American to win the Tour de France on July 27.


Acting in response to growing American sentiment against apartheid, the US Senate approved economic sanctions against South Africa on the 15th.

On August 20, US Postal employee Patrick Henry Sherril goes, well, postal, killing 14 co-workers and himself in Edmonton, Oklahoma.


Media mogul Ted Turner ignites controversy on September 9th as his TBS network broadcasts a colorized version of Yankee Doodle Dandy, the first colorized classic film to be aired.

William Rehnquist is confirmed by the Senate as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the 17th.

Bass player Cliff Burton of Metallica died on the 27th in a bus accident while on tour in Europe.


Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres resigned from office on the 10th of October.

The New York Mets became World Champions with an 8-5, Game 7 victory over the luckless Red Sox on October 27.


On November 6, the first media reports of Reagan administration deals to trade arms to Iran in return for the freedom of hostages held in Lebanon appear.

It is revealed on November 26 that some of the funds from arms sales to Iran were diverted to help finance the Contra rebel movement in Nicaragua.


On December 15, country singer Kenny Rogers signed the then-largest-ever product endorsement deal, agreeing to pitch Dole Foods in television, radio, and print ads for the pitiful sum of $17 million.

Walk Like an Egyptian, by girl-band The Bangles, spent most of the month at #1

On the 27th, Corazon Aquino becomes the third woman to win Time magazine's Man of the Year award.

1985 << 1986 >> 1987

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