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1980s Timeline

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Who'd have thought that super-cool trends like Ninja Turtles, punk rock, Avril Lavigne's jelly bracelets and leg warmers are actually throw backs to the days when your parents were cool? Check out the 411 on the hippest decade of them all - at least according to Madonna - the '80s.

Olympic '80s

  • The Winter Olympics during the 1980s were held in Lake Placid, New York (1980), Sarajevo, Bosnia (formerly Yugoslavia) (1984) and Calgary, Canada (1988.)

The Year 1980

  • In Washington state, USA, Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. It was one of the largest volcanic explosions to happen in North America in recorded history. About 150 square miles were destroyed and more than 65 people died. A second, smaller eruption happened a week later and then again on April 11, 1981.
  • The most gold medals ever won by an athlete in a single Olympics were won by speed skater, Eric Heiden in New York in 1980. He set Olympic records in the 500, 1,000, 1,500, 5,000, and 10,000 meter races, as well as a world record in the 10,000 meter race.
  • December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed by a crazed fan. John Lennon was not only a member of The Beatles,but also a successful writer, artist, actor and an activist. He left behind a wife, 2 sons and millions of grieving fans.

The Year 1981

  • The space shuttle Columbia, the first shuttle that could be (and would be) sent up into space more than once, made its first trip in 1981.
  • A strange and mysterious disease began causing a lot of concern in 1981. The disease broke down the immume system and killed a lot of people. In 1984, this disease became known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
  • On August 1, American culture changed forever with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll!" MTV was the first 24 hour-a-day TV station dedicated to music. The first video played on MTV was a song called, Video Killed the Radio Star by the The Buggles.

The Year 1982

  • On February 1, 1982, Late Night With David Letterman debuted.
  • In 1982 a Seattle dentist, Dr. Barney Clark, was the first person to receive the Jarvik-7, an artificial heart made to last a lifetime. 61 year-old Barney survived for 112 days.

The Year 1984

  • The Summer Olympics in 1984 were held in Los Angeles, USA. Four years after the US led a boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games, the Soviet Union retaliated by boycotting the 1984 Olympics.

The Year 1985

  • Ryan White, a 13 year-old from Kokomo, Indiana, was rejected by his community and his school because he had AIDS. Ryan contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion for his hemophilia. A bullet was fired into his home and in '85 he was asked to leave school. But Ryan fought in court for the right to an education - and won.

The Year 1986

  • On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger and seven astronauts (including school teacher Christa McAuliffe) launched from the Kennedy Space Center. As millions of people around the world watched on TV, the Challenger exploded 73 seconds into the flight. The explosion was a result of a leak in one of the two Solid Rocket Boosters that ignited the main liquid fuel tank. Everyone on board died instantly.
  • On July 14th, 1986, the Titanic was discovered on the bottom of the north Atlantic floor. There's no chance of it being brought up to the surface because of its condition.

The Year 1989

  • On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall, which was the border separating Western and Easten Germany was torn down. The fall of the Berlin Wall will always be seen as a symbol for the end of the Cold War (which was the military rivalry that stopped short of full-scale war, between the United States and Soviet Union following World War II).
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