Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s - 1980s - 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s
Years: 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 - 1985 - 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
- January 17 - British Telecom annouces they are going to abolish the famous red telephone boxes.
- February 6 - Steve Wozniak leaves Apple Computer
- February 7 - "New York, New York[?]" becomes the official city anthem of New York City.
- February 11 - Wasim Akram[?] takes 10 wickets in his 2nd Test Cricket match, but New Zealand still wins.
- February 14 - CNN reporter Jeremy Levin[?] is freed from captivity in Lebanon.
- February 19 - Artificial-heart[?] patient William Schroeder[?] becomes the first such patient to leave hospital.
- March 3 - Censorship: Women Against Pornography[?] award their "Pig Award" to Huggies Diapers[?] for claiming that their television ads had "crossed the line between eye-catching and porn."
- March 11 - Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader.
- March 16 - Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson[?] is taken hostage in Beirut. He would later be released on December 4, 1991.
- March 17 - Serial killer Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker", commits his first two murders in Los Angeles, California.
- March 20 - Libby Riddles[?] becomes the first women to win the 1,135-mile Iditarod dog sled[?] race.
- May 8 - New Coke[?] is released on the 99th anniversary of Coca-Cola. It will later become a major flop with consumers
- May 20 - Propaganda: Radio Marti[?] begins broadcasting to Cuba.
- May 23 - Thomas Patrick Cavanagh[?] is sentenced to life in prison for attempting to sell stealth bomber[?] secrets to the Soviet Union.
- May 29 - The Heysel Stadium disaster, 39 football fans die and hundreds are injured.
- May 13 - Philadelphia's mayor orders police to storm the radical group's MOVE headquarters to end a stand-off. The police drop an explosive device into the headquarters killing 11 MOVE members and destroying the homes of 250 city residents in the resulting fire.
- May 25 - Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge[?] which kills approximately 10,000 people.
- July - Wreckage from the Titanic is discovered by Dr. Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The wreckage is filmed with a robotic underwater camera.
- July 10 - The Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland Harbour by French DGSE[?] agents.
- October 7 - The passenger ship Achille Lauro is hijacked by Palestinians.
- December 27 - Palestinian guerrillas kill twenty people inside Rome and Vienna airports.
- December 27 - American naturalist Dian Fossey is found murdered in Rwanda.
- Buckyballs were invented by Buckminster Fuller
- First syndication of Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
- GNU Manifesto first written by Richard Stallman
- Western Sahara is admitted to the Organization of African Unity; Morocco, which claims Western Sahara, leaves in protest
- Ethiopian famine continues -- Live Aid attempts to raise funds for famine relief[?]
Art, Culture & Fashion
- February 8 - Sir William Lyons[?], founder of Jaguar Motors
- February 11 - Heinz Eric Roemheld[?], composer.
- February 11 - Henry Hathaway[?] actor/director.
- February 11 - Ulysses Simpson Kay[?], composer.
- February 20 - Clarence Nash, Disney voice actor
- February 27 - Henry Cabot Lodge, politician, candidate for Vice President of the United States
- March 10 - Konstantin Chernenko, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
- May 8 - Theodore Sturgeon, science fiction writer
- May 9 - Edmond O'Brien[?], actor
- May 10 - Chester Gould, cartoonist
- May 16 - Margaret Hamilton[?], actress
- May 17 - Abe Burrows[?], songwriter, composer, writer
- August 12 - Manfred Winkelhock, auto racing driver
- September 6 - Little Brother Montgomery, musician
- October 2 - Rock Hudson, actor, died of AIDS
- October 11 - Orson Welles, movie director
- October 22 - Thomas Townsend Brown, scientist