Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s - 1980s - 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s
Years: 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 - 1988 - 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993
- January 26 - Australia celebrates its bicentennial day.
- February 3 - The United States House of Representatives rejects President Ronald Reagan's request for $36.25 million to aid Nicaraguan Contras.
- February 11, Anthony M. Kennedy is appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- February 21 - On his own televangelism program being tapped in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jimmy Swaggart confesses that he is guilty of an unspecified sin and will be will be temporarily leaving the pulpit.
- February 24 - The Supreme Court of the United States sides with Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.
- March 8 - Two United States Army helicopters collide in Fort Campbell[?], Kentucky killing 17 servicemen.
- March 9 - Students at Gallaudet University go on strike for the selection of a Deaf university president.
- March 16 - Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
- May 16 - California v. Greenwood[?]: In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States rules that police officers do not need a search warrant to search through discarded garbage.
- April 25 - In Israel John Demjanuk[?] is sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II. He was accused of being a notorious guard at the Treblinka extermination camp known as "Ivan the Terrible" by survivors.
- May 24 - Section 28 is passed as law by Parliament in the United Kingdom.
- May 15 - Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: After more than eight years of fighting, the Red Army begins its withdraw from Afghanistan.
- May 16 - A report by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.
- July 6 - The Piper Alpha[?] drilling platform in the North Sea is destroyed by explosions and fires killing 167 oil workers.
- September 29 - NASA resumes space shuttle flights, grounded after the Challenger disaster
- November 2, The Morris worm is unleashed on the Internet
- November, George H. W. Bush defeats Michael S. Dukakis in the U.S. presidential election
- December 21, Pan AM flight 103 is blown up by terrorists over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 5 - Pete Maravich, baseball star
- January 7 - Trevor Howard, actor
- January 11 - Pappy Boyington[?], aviator
- January 14 - Georgi Malenkov[?], First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party
- January 22 - Parker Fennelly[?], comedian, actor
- February 15 - Richard Feynman, physicist
- March 7 - Divine, actor
- March 10 - Andy Gibb, singer
- April 3 - Milt Caniff[?], cartoonist
- April 22 - Irene Rich[?], actress
- May 8 - Robert A. Heinlein, science fiction author
- May 11 - Kim Philby, spy
- May 12 - Chet Baker[?], jazz trumpeter
- May 18 - Daws Butler[?], voice actor
- May 25 - Ernst Ruska, Nobel Prize Physicist
- June - Hillel Slovak[?], Red Hot Chili Peppers, guitarist
- September 28 - Charles Addams, American cartoonist
- October 19, Son House, blues musician
- Robert Heinlein, science fiction author
- December 6, Roy Orbison, singer