Information for the Year 1985

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  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Terrorists seize Egyptian Boeing 737 airliner after takeoff from Athens (Nov. 23); 59 dead as Egyptian forces storm plane on Malta (Nov. 24).
  • Population:   4.850 billion
  • Nobel Peace Prize:  International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
  • Ronald Reagan, 73, takes oath for second term as 40th President (Jan. 20).
  • US Supreme Court, 54, 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).
  • President:  Ronald W. Reagan
  • Vice President:  George Bush
  • Population:  237,923,795
  • Life expectancy:  74.7 years
  • 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)
  • Super Bowl  San Francisco 49er's defeated Miami Dolphins (SCORE 38-16)
  • World Series of Baseball  Kansas City defeated St. Louis Cardinals
  • National Basketball Association Championship  Los Angeles Lakers defeated Boston
  • National Hockey League Stanley Cup  Edmonton Oilers defeated Philadelphia Flyers
  • Women Wimbledon Tennis  Martina Navratilova defeated Chrissy Evert Lloyd (4-6 6-3 6-2)
  • Men Wimbledon Tennis   Boris Becker defeated K. Curren (6-3 6-7 7-6 6-4)
  • Kentucky Derby Horse Race Champion   Spend A Buck
  • National College Athletic Association Basketball Championship  Villanova defeated Georgetown (SCORE 66-64)
  • National College Athletic Association Football Champions  Oklahoma (RECORD 11-1-0)
  • 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.
  • Academy Award, Best Picture:  Amadeus
  • Grammy Award - Record of the Year  What's Love Got to Do With It by Tina Turner
  • Emmy Award - Best Television Comedy  The Cosby Show - NBC
  • Miss America:   Sharlene Wells (Utah)
  • British scientists report the opening of an enormous hole in the earth's ozone layer over Antarctica.
  • 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.

 

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