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MCMLXXXV) was a
starting on Tuesday (
dominical letter F) of the
Gregorian calendar, the 1985th year of the
Common Era (CE) and
Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 985th year of the
2nd millennium, the 85th year of the
20th century, and the 6th year of the
1980s decade. The year 1985 was designated as the
International Youth Year by the
- March – The
GNU Manifesto, written by
Richard Stallman, is first published.
March 1 – After a 12-year-long dictatorship,
Julio María Sanguinetti is sworn in as the first democratically elected
President of Uruguay.
March 3 – An 8.0 on the
Richter magnitude scale
Chile, leaving 177 dead, 2,575 injured, 142,489 houses destroyed, and about a million people homeless.
March 4 – The United States
Food and Drug Administration approves a
blood test for
AIDS, used since then to screen all
blood donations in the United States.
March 8 – A
Beirut car bomb, planted in an attempt to assassinate Islamic cleric
Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, kills more than 80 people, injuring 200.
March 14 – Five
lionesses at the
Singapore Zoo are put on
birth control after the lion population increases from 2 to 16.
March 15 – Vice-President
José Sarney, upon becoming vice president, assumes the duties of president of
Brazil, as the new president
Tancredo Neves had become severely ill, the day before. Sarney will become Brazil's first civilian president in 21 years, upon Neves' death on
March 16 –
Associated Press reporter
Terry Anderson is taken hostage in
Beirut (he is released on December 4,
March 17 –
Expo '85, a
World's Fair, is held in
Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, until
March 18 – Australia's longest running soap opera
Neighbours debuts on
March 21 – Canadian paraplegic athlete and activist
Rick Hansen sets out on his 40,000 km, 26 month Man in Motion tour which raises $26M for spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives.
March 23 –
OCAM is dissolved.
March 24 – United States Army
military intelligence officer
Arthur D. Nicholson is shot by Soviet military sergeant Aleksandr Ryabtsev at a Soviet military base in
March 25 – The
57th Academy Awards are held in
Los Angeles, with
March 31 –
WrestleMania debuts at
Madison Square Garden.
May 4 – The
30th Eurovision Song Contest takes place in
Sweden and is won by the
La det swinge for
May 5 – U.S. President
Ronald Reagan joins West German Chancellor
Helmut Kohl for a controversial funeral service at a cemetery in
Bitburg, West Germany, which includes the graves of 59 elite
S.S. troops from World War II.
Wilson Goode orders police to storm the radical group
MOVE's headquarters to end a stand-off. The police drop an explosive device into the headquarters, killing 11 MOVE members and destroying the homes of 61 city residents in the resulting fire.
National Assembly of
Kuwait grants women the right to vote. The right is revoked in
1999 and re-instated in
May 16 – Scientists of the
British Antarctic Survey announce discovery of the
May 19 –
John Anthony Walker Jr. is arrested by the FBI for passing classified naval communications to the
May 23 –
Thomas Patrick Cavanaugh is sentenced to life in prison for attempting to sell
stealth bomber secrets to the Soviet Union.
May 25 –
Bangladesh is hit by a
Tropical Storm One (1B), and
storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people.
May 29 –
Heysel Stadium disaster: 38 spectators are killed in rioting on the terraces during the
European Cup final between
Liverpool F.C. and
Heysel Stadium in
May 31 –
Forty-one tornadoes hit
Pennsylvania, New York and
Ontario, killing 77.
June 6 – The remains of
Josef Mengele, the physician notorious for
Nazi human experimentation on inmates of
Auschwitz concentration camp, buried in
1979 under the name of Wolfgang Gerhard, are exhumed in
Embu das Artes, Brazil.
June 13 – In
Auburn, Washington, police defuse a
Unabomber bomb sent to
June 15 –
Studio Ghibli, an animation studio, is founded in Tokyo.
June 17 –
John Hendricks launches the
Discovery Channel in the United States.
June 20 –
A series of bomb blasts occur in
Kathmandu and other cities of
June 23 –
Air India Flight 182, a
Boeing 747, is blown up by a terrorist bomb 31,000 feet (9,500 m) above the Atlantic Ocean, south of Ireland, on a Montreal–London–Delhi flight, killing all 329 aboard.
June 24 –
Discovery completes its mission, best remembered for having
Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, the first
Arab and first Muslim in space, as a
June 25 – Irish police foil a
Provisional Irish Republican Army–sponsored 'mainland bombing campaign' which targeted luxury vacation resorts.
June 27 –
U.S. Route 66 is officially decommissioned.
August 2 –
Delta Air Lines Flight 191 crashes near
Dallas, Texas, killing 137 people.
August 7 –
Mamoru Mohri and
Chiaki Mukai are chosen to be Japan's first
August 12 –
Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashes in Japan, killing 520 people (the worst single-aircraft disaster in history).
August 14 – The
Accomarca massacre takes place in
August 15 – Three miners die in an accident at a coal mine in southeastern Kentucky.
August 20 –
Iran–Contra affair: The first arms, 96
BGM-71 TOWs, are sent to
Iran in exchange for hostages in
Lebanon and profits for the Nicaraguan
Contras. The public does not know about the arms sale.
August 22 –
British Airtours Flight 28M: The 737's left engine catches fire while on its take off roll, 55 people are killed while trying to evacuate the aircraft.
August 25 –
Samantha Smith, 13, "Goodwill Ambassador" between the
Soviet Union and the United States for writing a letter to
Yuri Andropov about
nuclear war, and eventually visiting the Soviet Union at Andropov's request, dies in the
Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808 plane crash.
August 28 – The first
smoking ban banning smoking in restaurants in the United States is passed in
August 31 –
Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known as the Night Stalker, is captured in Los Angeles.
September 1 –
The wreck of the RMS Titanic (1912) in the North Atlantic is located by a joint American-French expedition led by Dr.
Robert Ballard (
Jean-Louis Michel (
side-scan sonar from
September 2 –
Hurricane Elena makes landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast after reaching a Category 3 status
September 6 –
Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a
Douglas DC-9, crashes just after takeoff from
Milwaukee, killing 31.
September 11 –
Pete Rose becomes the all-time hit leader in
Major League Baseball, with his 4,192nd hit at
Riverfront Stadium in
September 19 – An 8.1
earthquake strikes Mexico City. Around 10,000 people are killed, 30,000 injured, and 95,000 left homeless.
September 20 – The
capital gains tax is introduced to Australia.
September 22 – The
Plaza Accord is signed by 5 nations.
September 23 – Italian crime reporter
Giancarlo Siani is killed by
September 28 –
Brixton riots are sparked with the shooting of Dorothy 'Cherry' Groce by the
Metropolitan Police in
Brixton, an area of south London, England.
November 5 – In an all-English match,
Mark Kaylor defeats
Errol Christie to become the
middleweight boxing champion, after the two brawl in front of the cameras at the weigh-in.
November 9 – In an all-Soviet match, 22-year-old
Garry Kasparov defeats
Anatoly Karpov to become the youngest-ever undisputed winner of the
World Chess Championship.
November 12 – A
total solar eclipse occurs over Antarctica at 14:11:22 UTC.
November 13 –
Armero tragedy: The
Nevado del Ruiz
volcano erupts, killing an estimated 23,000 people, including 21,000 killed by
lahars in the town of
November 19 –
Cold War: In
Geneva, U.S. President
Ronald Reagan and
Soviet Union leader
Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time.
November 20 – Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows,
November 23 –
EgyptAir Flight 648 is hijacked by the
Abu Nidal group and flown to
Egyptian commandos storm the plane; 60 are killed by gunfire and explosions.
November 25 –
1985 Aeroflot Antonov An-12 shoot-down: A Soviet
Antonov An-12 cargo airplane, en route from
Cuito Cuanavale to
Luanda, is shot down by
South African Special Forces and crashes approximately 43 km east of
Menongue, the provincial center of the
Cuando Cubango Province,
Angola, killing 8 crew members and 13 passengers on board.
November 26 – U.S. President
Ronald Reagan sells the rights to his autobiography to
Random House for a record US$3 million.
November 29 –
Gérard Hoarau, exiled political leader from the
Seychelles, is assassinated in London.
December 8 – The
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is established.
December 12 –
Arrow Air Flight 1285, a
Douglas DC-8, crashes after takeoff from
Gander, Newfoundland, killing 256, 248 of whom were U.S. servicemen returning to
Fort Campbell, Kentucky from overseeing a peacekeeping force in
December 16 – In New York City,
American Mafia bosses
Paul Castellano and
Thomas Bilotti are shot dead in front of Spark's Steak House, making hit organizer
John Gotti the leader of the powerful
Gambino crime family.
December 20 –
Pope John Paul II announces the instituting of
World Youth Day for Catholic youths.
December 24 – Extremist
David Lewis Rice murders
civil rights attorney Charles Goldmark as well as Goldmark's wife and two children in
Seattle. Rice suspects the family of being Jewish and
Communist and claims his dedication to the
Christian Identity movement drove him to the crime.
December 31 – American singer, songwriter and actor
Ricky Nelson dies in a plane crash in
De Kalb, Texas.
- The Australian state of
Victoria celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Robert Curl and
Richard Smalley discover C60, a type of
Western Sahara is admitted to the
Organization of African Unity;
Morocco, which claims Western Sahara, leaves in protest.
Solarquest, the space age real estate game, is first published by Golden.
ATI Technologies is founded.
Tommy Hilfiger brand is established.
DNA is first used in a criminal case.
- Multiple cases of espionage in the United States prompt the media to label this
"The Year of the Spy".
- Africa has a population growth of 3.2 percent per year.
Asian tiger mosquito, an
invasive species, is first found in
Famine in Ethiopia continues;
USA for Africa ("
We Are the World") and
Live Aid raise funds for
Fall of Communism begins with
resistance gaining victory in the
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Over the next six years, other countries begin renouncing Communism, ending with the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1991.