Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s - 1980s - 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s
Years: 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 - 1983 - 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
- January - Apple Lisa introduced by Apple Computer
- January 1 - the ARPANET officially changes to use the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet
- January 2 - The musical Annie[?] is performed for the last time after 2,377 shows (Uris Theatre[?] on Broadway, New York City).
- January 19 - Klaus Barbie, Nazi war criminal, is arrested in Bolivia
- January 19 - The Apple Lisa personal computer is announced
- January 22 - Bjorn Borg retires from tennis after winning 5 consecutive Wimbledon championships.
- January 26 - Lotus 1-2-3 is released
- February 16 - The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim the lives of 71 people in Australia's worst ever fires.
- February 24 - A special commission of the United States Congress releases a report critical of the practice of Japanese internment during World War II.
- March 8 - President Reagan calls the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire".
- March 23 - Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles. The media dub this plan "Star Wars."
- April 7 - During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave[?] and Don Peterson[?] perform the first space shuttle spacewalk (duration: 4 hours, 10 minutes).
- April 25 - American schoolgirl Samantha Smith is invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.
- May 17 - Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
- June 18 - Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space on the Space Shuttle Challenger
- July 7 after writing Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov, asking why the Soviets wanted to rule the world
- August 4 - Thomas Sankara become President in Upper Volta
- August 21 - Benigno Aquino, Jr.[?], Philippines opposition leader, assassinated in Manila
- September 1 - Korean Airlines flight 007 shot down while off course over Soviet territory [ (http://aviation-safety.net/cvr/cvr_ke007.htm)]
- October 23 - United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut destroyed by suicide bomber, killing 241
- October 27 - Pope John Paul II visits Mehmet Ali Agca in prison to forgive him. Ali Agca is a Turkish gunman, who attempted to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981,
- October 25 - United States invades Grenada
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 23 - George Cukor, director
- February 4 - Karen Carpenter[?], singer, dies of anorexia nervosa
- February 12 - Eubie Blake, musician, songwriter
- February 25 - Tennessee Williams, playwright
- March 3 - Herge, Belgian comics creator
- March 8 - William Walton, composer
- March 15 - Rebecca West, writer
- March 23 - Barney Clark[?], first artificial heart recipient
- April 4 - Gloria Swanson, actress
- April 22 - Earl 'Fatha' Hines[?], musician
- May 15 - Meyer Lansky, gangster
- May 19 - Jean Rey, President of the European Commission
- June 12 - Norma Shearer, Academy Award winning actress
- July 23 - Georges Auric, composer, member of Les Six
- July 29 - Raymond Massey, actor
- September 25 - Leopold III of Belgium
- October 28 - Otto Messmer[?], creator of Felix the Cat
- November 7 - Germaine Tailleferre, composer
- December 2 - Fifi D'Orsay, actress
- December 25 - Joan Miro, surrealist painter
- Buckminster Fuller, American architect
- Stan Rogers, Canadian musician