Decades

1980

January 01 - In Northern Quebec (Canada), a fire kills 45 people at the Opemiska Club after a young man sets fire to party decorations as a prank. 02 - President Jimmy Carter tells the Senate it should not ratify the SALT nuclear arms treaty with the USSR until the Soviets withdraw from Afghanistan. 02(...)

1981

January 01 - Greece becomes the 10th member of the Common Market. 02 - Fire breaks out at La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy. 05 - 38-year-old long-distance lorry driver Peter Sutcliffe confesses to the Yorkshire Ripper killings. Sutcliffe murdered 13 women over a four-year period. 08 - London postal worker intercepts bomb sent(...)

1982

January 02 - Erica Roe Streaks at Twickenham. 03 - South Korea lifts its night time curfew after 36 years. 05 - Public donations to the Penlee lifeboat disaster fund amount to £2,000,000. All to be shared by the families of the lost men. 06 - At least 21 people die in the USA after(...)

1983

January 07 - Unemployment total in the USA reaches 12 million. 14 - Armed police ambush a car in Kensington, London, shooting and wounding a passenger, Stephen Waldorf. They later apologise stating that this was a case of mistaken identity. 17 - Launch of breakfast television in Britain with BBC's Breakfast Time. The ITV's Good(...)

1984

January 01 - Brunei becomes independent of Britain. The Sultan of Brunei appoints himself Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Home Affairs Minister. 01 - After a bloodless coup, Major General Buhari becomes ruler of Nigeria. 01 - Alexis Korner, godfather of British blues, dies of cancer aged 55 (b. April 19 1928). 03 - A(...)

1985

January 02 - USA officially withdraw from UNESCO. 07 - Nine striking miners in the UK are jailed for arson. 10 - Sir Clive Sinclair's ill-fated C5 battery-operated tricycle takes to the road. 10 - Eight die when a gas explosion wrecks a block of flats in Putney, South London. 13 - 390 people are(...)

1986

January 01 - Spain and Portugal join the European Economic Community (EEC). 04 - Thin Lizzy bass player and vocalist, Phil Lynott dies of heart failure after laying in a coma for a week following a drug overdose. He is 34 years old (b. August 20 1951). 07 - President Reagan announces economic sanctions against(...)

1987

January 02 - Ideological purity has reached the superficially cosy world of the nursery. In an attempt to excise any taint of racism, all new editions of Enid Blyton's Noddy books will be shorn of the traditional black golliwogs, who will be replaced by neutral gnomes. Traditionalist are appalled and claim that such "sanitisation" will destroy many(...)

1988

January 04 - Karni Bheel, who boasted the longest moustache in India at 2.3m (7ft 10in) from tip to tip, is found decapitated. 17 - President Ortega offers a cease-fire to US-backed Contra rebels in Nicaragua, hoping to stop American aid. 20 - Two earthquakes, one registering seven on the Richter scale, are felt from(...)

1989

January 01 - Fidel Castro completes 30 years in power in Cuba. 02 - The US and Canada sign a comprehensive free trade agreement which eliminates tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment. 04 - US Navy jets shoot down two Libyan MiG-23 fighters 112 kilometres off the Libyan coast. The Pentagon says they(...)

1990

January 01 - David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City's first black mayor. 02 - World population passes five billion. In 1960 it was three billion. 03 - Manuel Noriega surrenders to US forces in Panama, ten days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission. 07 - The leaning tower of Pisa(...)

1991

January 08 - Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark dies from a cocktail of drugs and alcohol at his home in Chelsea, London, UK. 15 - The UN-authorised, US-led "Operation Desert Storm" begins in Kuwait with an all-out air attack. Iraq responds by attacking Israel (which had taken no military action against Iraq). 18 - Three(...)

1992

January 13 - Japan apologises for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. 21 - Great Mississippi bluesman Willie Dixon dies aged 76. February 07 - British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Hurd signs the Maastricht Treaty in the Netherlands, creating the pillar structure of(...)

1993

January 01 - Czechoslovakia is peacefully divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 03 - George Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in Moscow, calling for the US and Russia to cut their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds over the next decade 06 - Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev dies in(...)

1994

January 01 - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect. 06 - Champion figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is attacked by a 'mystery assailant' five weeks before the Lillehammer Olympic games. Her skating rival, Tonya Harding, pleads guilty to conspiracy to assault Kerrigan. Though her leg is injured in the attack, she still(...)

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