1982 1983 1984 - 1985 - 1986 1987 1988
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Events of 1985
- January 15 – Tancredo Neves is elected president of Brazil by the Congress, ending the 21-year military rule.
- January 20 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan is privately sworn in for a second term in office (publicly sworn in, January 21).
- February 10 – Nelson Mandela rejects an offer of freedom from the South African government.
- February 14 – CNN reporter Jeremy Levin is freed from captivity in Lebanon.
- February 16 – Israel begins withdrawing troops from Lebanon.
- February 19 – William J. Schroeder becomes the first artificial heart patient to leave the hospital.
- February 28 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army carries out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing 9 officers in the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day.
- March 4 – The Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS, used since then to screen all blood donations in the United States.
- March 6 – Mike Tyson makes his professional debut in Albany, New York, a match which he wins by a first round knockout.
- March 8 – A car bomb planted in Beirut by CIA mercenaries attempts to kill Islamic cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah and kills more than 80 people, injuring 200.
- March 11 – Mikhail Gorbachev becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and de facto leader of the Soviet Union.
- March 11 – Mohammed Al Fayed buys the London-based department store company Harrods.
- 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 Jose Sarney takes the oath as the first civilian president of Brazil in 21 years, as the elected president Tancredo Neves had become severely ill on the day before.
- March 16 – Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut (he is eventually released on December 4, 1991).
- March 17 – Expo '85, a World's Fair, is held in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, until September 16.
- March 21 – Canadian parapalegic 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 24 – Norwich City wins the English League Cup at Wembley Stadium, beating Sunderland 1-0 in the final.
- March 25 – The 57th Academy Awards are held at in Los Angeles, California with Amadeus winning Best Picture.
- March 31 – WrestleMania debuts at Madison Square Garden.
- April 1 – Two Japanese government-owned corporations, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation, and Japan Tobacco and Salt Public Corporation, are privatized and change their names to Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, and Japan Tobacco.
- April 1 – Eighth seeded Villanova defeats national powerhouse Georgetown 66-64 to win the first 64 team field NCAA Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky.
- April 11 – The USS Coral Sea collides with the Equadorian tanker ship Napo off the coast of Cuba.
- April 12: 1985 El Descanso bombing: A terrorist bombing attributed to the Islamic Jihad Organization in the El Descanso restaurant near Madrid, Spain, mostly attended by U.S. personnel of the Torrejon Air Force Base, causes 18 dead (all Spaniards) and 82 injured.
- April 15 – South Africa ends its ban on interracial marriages.
- April 18 – The United Kingdom has its first ever national Glow-worm day.
- April 19 – The U.S.S.R performs a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakhstan.
- April 21 – Brazilian President Tancredo Neves dies, he is succeeded by Jose Sarney.
- April 23 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. (The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market in less than 3 months.)
- April 28 – The Australian Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP) splits.
- May 4 – The 30th Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden.
- May 5 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan joins German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for a controversial funeral service at a cemetery in Bitburg, Germany, which includes the graves of 59 elite S.S. troops from World War II.
- May 11 – The FBI brings charges against the suspected heads of the 5 Mafia families in New York City.
- May 11 – Fire engulfs a wooden stand in the Valley Parade stadium in Bradford, England during a football match, killing 56.
- May 13 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mayor 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.
- May 15 – An explosive device sent by the Unabomber injures John Hauser at UC Berkeley.
- 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 cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people.
- May 29 – Heysel Disaster: 38 spectators are killed in rioting on the terraces during the European Cup final between Liverpool F.C. and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.
- May 31 – Forty-one tornadoes hit in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, killing 76.
- June 13 – In Auburn, Washington, police defuse a Unabomber bomb sent to Boeing.
- June 14 – TWA Flight 847, carrying 153 passengers from Athens to Rome, is hijacked by a Hezbollah fringe group. One passenger, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Robert Stethem, is killed.
- June 17 – John Hendricks launches the Discovery Channel in the United States.
- June 23 – Air India Flight 182, a Boeing 747, blows up 31,000 feet (9,500 m) above the Atlantic Ocean, south of Ireland, killing all 329 aboard.
- June 24 – STS-51-G: Space Shuttle Discovery completes its mission, best remembered for having Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the first Arab and first Muslim in space, as a Payload Specialist.
- June 25 – Irish police foil a Provisional Irish Republican Army-sponsored 'mainland bombing campaign' which targeted luxury vacationing resorts, arresting 13 suspects.reference required
- June 26 – The Walt Disney World Resort Monorail Gold catches fire on the EPCOT beam around 9:00 p.m., due to friction from a flat tire.
- June 27 – U.S. Route 66 is officially decommissioned.
- July 4 – Ruth Lawrence, 13, achieves a first in mathematics at Oxford University, becoming the youngest British person ever to earn a first-class degree and the youngest known graduate of Oxford University.
- July 10 – The Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland harbour by French DGSE agents.
- July 13 – Live Aid pop concerts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and London raise over £50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.
- July 13 – U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush serves as Acting President for 8 hours, while President Ronald W. Reagan undergoes colon cancer surgery.
- July 19 – U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush announces that New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe will become the first schoolteacher to ride aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.
- July 19 – The Val di Stava Dam in Italy collapses.
- July 20 – The main ship wreck site of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha (which sank in 1622) is found 40 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida by treasure hunters who begin to excavate $400 million in coins and silver.
- July 24 – Commodore launches the Amiga personal computer at the Lincoln Center in New York.
- August 2 – Delta Air Lines Flight 191 crashes near Dallas, Texas, killing 137 people.
- August 4 – Major League Baseball player Rod Carew of the Anaheim Angels becomes the 16th player to achieve 3,000 hits in a career.
- August 6 – In Hiroshima, tens of thousands mark the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.
- August 7 – Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai are chosen to be Japan's first astronauts.
- August 12 – Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashes in Japan, killing 520 people (the worst single-aircraft disaster in history).
- August 31 – Knorr, Robert Ballard, Jean-Louis Michel, and crew, find the wreck of R.M.S. Titanic.
- September 1 – A joint American-French expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic.
- September 5 – John Howard replaces Andrew Peacock as Australian Federal Opposition Leader.
- September 6 – Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a Douglas DC-9, crashes just after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing 31.
- September 19 – An 8.1 Richter scale earthquake strikes Mexico City. Around 10,000 people are killed, 30,000 injured, and 95,000 left homeless.
- September 22 – The Plaza Accord is signed by 5 nations.
- September 28 – The 1985 Brixton race riots are sparked with the shooting of Dorothy 'Cherry' Groce by the Metropolitan Police in Brixton, an area of South London, England.
- October 1 – The Israeli air force bombs PLO Headquarters near Tunis.
- October 4 – The Free Software Foundation is founded in Massachusetts, USA.
- October 7 – The cruise ship Achille Lauro is hijacked in the Mediterranean Sea by 4 heavily armed Palestinian terrorists. One passenger, American Leon Klinghoffer, is killed.
- October 18 – The Nintendo Entertainment System is released in U.S. stores.
- November 5 – 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 13 – Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupts, killing an estimated 23,000 people, including 21,000 killed by lahars in the town of Armero, Colombia.
- November 15 – In separate events, mail bombs kill 2 people in Salt Lake City, Utah; a third bomb explodes the next day, injuring career counterfeiter Mark Hoffman. The ensuing police investigation leads to the arrest of Hoffman for the 2 murders.
- November 18 – The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes debuts in 35 newspapers.
- 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, Windows 1.0.
- November 23 – EgyptAir Flight 648 is hijacked by the Abu Nidal group and flown to Malta, where Egyptian commandos storm the plane; 60 are killed by gunfire and explosions.
- November 26 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan sells the rights to his autobiography to Random House for a record US$3 million.
- November 29 – Gerard Hoarau, exiled political leader from the Seychelles, is assassinated in London.
- November 29 – The SM City North EDSA shopping mall is the country's first SM Supermall owned by Henry Sy.
- December 1 – The Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable are released for sale to the public.
- December 12 – Arrow Air Flight 1285, a Douglas DC-8, crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland, killing 256, 248 of whom were U.S. servicemen returning to Fort Campbell, Kentucky from overseeing a peacekeeping force in Sinai.
- December 16 – In New York City, 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 organized crime family. During the shootout Andrew Bearse is born in the middle of the street, when his mother is hit by a stray bullet which forces her into early labor. He survives and currently resides in Detroit, Michigan.
- December 24 – Right wing extremist David Lewis Rice murders civil rights attorney Charles Goldmark as well as Goldmark's wife and 2 children in Seattle. Rice suspected the family of being Jewish and Communist and claimed his dedication to the Christian Identity movement drove him to the crime.
- December 27 – Rome and Vienna airport attacks: Abu Nidal terrorists open fire in the airports of Rome and Vienna, leaving 18 dead and 120 injured.
- December 27 – American naturalist Dian Fossey is found murdered in Rwanda.
- December 31 – The last issue of The Columbus Citizen-Journal is circulated.