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, 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).
- 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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