1980s Decade


Iran Hostage Crisis

January 20,1981

On January 20, 1981 52 Americans were released from an Iran prison.


March 1981

AIDS was identified in this year.


August 1, 1981

MTV, originally an initialism of Music Television, is an American cable television channel based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981

Air Traffic Controllers Strike

August 3, 1981

On August 3, 1981 nearly 13,000 of the 17,500 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) walked off the job, hoping to disrupt the nation's transportation system to the extent that the federal government would accede to its demands for higher wages, a shorter work week, and better retirement benefits.

First Woman In Supreme Court

September 1, 1981

Sandra Day O’Connor was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the first woman justice on the Supreme Court.

Disney World Opening

October 1, 1982

Disney World opened to the public.

Vietnam War Memorial

November 13, 1982

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial

IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)


Washington, D.C., United States


38°53′28″N 77°2′52″WCoordinates:

38°53′28″N 77°2′52″W


2.00 acres (0.81 ha)


November 13, 1982


3,799,968 (in 2006)

Governing body

National Park Service

U.S. National Register of Historic Places

U.S. National Monument


Maya Ying Lin

NRHP Reference#:


Added to NRHP:

November 13, 1982

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national memorial in Washington, D.C. It honors U.S. service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam/South East Asia, and those service members who were unaccounted for (Missing In Action) during the War.

Michael Jacksons Thriller

December 2, 1982

Michael Jackson's Thriller is a 13-minute-and-43-second-long music video for the song of the same name released on December 2, 1983 and directed by John Landis.

Star Wars

March 23, 1983

Reagan proposed the development of the technology to intercept enemy nuclear missiles.


April 4, 1983

NASA's second space shuttle was put into flight only completeing 9 missions before breaking apart into seven pieces.

PG 13 Rating

July 7, 1984

Motion picture association of America introduced this rating for the first time.

Equal Access Act

August 11, 1984

Us law passed to compel federally funded secondary schools to provide equal access to extracurricular clubs

Titanic Wreck

September 1, 1985

The Titanic was discovered

Hole In Ozone Layer.

December 8, 1985

Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act

December 12, 1985

A law provided for automatic spending cuts to take effect.

Iran Contra Scandal

November 1986

Officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran.

DNA Convictions

March 11, 1987

DNA testing made it easier to convict criminals.

World Wide Web

March 1989

Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal that referenced ENQUIRE, a database and software project he had built in 1980, and described a more elaborate information management system.

Berlin Wall Falls

November 9, 1989

When the Berlin Wall was opened on November 9, 1989 it marked for many the symbolic end of the cold war. Masses of people used hammers and chisels to knock out pieces of the wall. Shortly thereafter, on November 10, 1989 and later on December 22, 1989 checkpoints were opened at Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenberg Gate.