1984 (The People's Chronology)
Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov dies of acute kidney failure at Moscow February 9 at age 69. He is succeeded after 15 months as general secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee by Politburo member Konstantin U. Chernenko, 72, who will rule for 13 months.
Beirut terrorist gunmen kill American University president Malcolm H. Kerr January 18 and vow to rid Lebanon of Westerners. U.S., French, and Italian peacekeeping forces leave Lebanon in the spring, but Syria refuses to withdraw her troops from the Bekaa Valley. Israeli forces occupy southern Lebanon.
Israeli parliamentary elections July 23 end with the Labor Alignment Party of Shimon Peres winning 44 seats in the Knesset. The Likud Party of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir wins 41 seats. Since neither party has a 61-seat majority, the Knesset votes September 14 to have a coalition government in which Peres will serve as PM for 25 months followed by a 25-month term for Shamir.
Iran-Iraq hostilities spread to the Persian Gulf (see 1982). Iraq uses French Exocet air-to-surface missiles against tankers loading at Iran's Kargh Island, Iran strikes back at tankers loading oil from Saudi Arabia and smaller Arab oil states. Foreign military analysts estimate that more than 100,000 Iranians have been killed and 50,000 Iraqis. Teheran refuses to make peace unless Iraq withdraws to the prewar border, pays war damages, and punishes her leaders (see 1985).
Mozambique and South Africa end hostilities with the Accord of Nkomati, signed March 16. It is the first agreement between white South Africa and any black nation. Guinea's president Ahmed Sekou Toure dies during emergency heart surgery at Cleveland March 27 at age 62, having led his country to freedom and governed it for 26 years. Premier Louis Lansana Beavogui, 61, is named acting president.
Upper Volta becomes Burkina Faso ("land of upright men") August 3 as the African nation's military government moves to exorcise its colonial past. Army captain Thomas Sankara, 34, has led a successful revolution last year and as president has negotiated new cooperation agreements with France, but the French cut off nearly all aid when Sankara suggests that his underpaid people who sweep Paris streets represent a form of reciprocal aid (see 1987).
Former Egyptian president Muhammad Naguib dies at Cairo August 28 at age 83.
Mauritania's president Mohammed Khouna Ould Haldala is deposed December 12 after nearly 6½ years in power; army chief of staff Gen. Maouye Ould Sidi Ahmed Taya, 41, seizes power in a bloodless coup d'état and will run the country through the end of the century, despite ethnic clashes and some violent protests occasioned by austerity measures such as a currency devaluation.
Brunei on the island of Borneo gains independence January 1 after nearly 96 years as a British protectorate (see oil, 1929). An Islamic sultanate is proclaimed, Sultan Sir Muda Hassanai Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah becomes prime minister along with other posts, he appoints members of his family to various official positions, and he proclaims the first National Day February 23 with a celebration in a newly-constructed $50 million stadium. Britain's Prince Charles attends the festivities, as do leaders of 70 countries; a crowd estimated at between 30,000 and 50,000 takes the National Day oath, 1,984 birds are released, Prince Charles remains through February 25 to visit the British Army Ghurka battalion, and Brunei joins the United Nations September 21, becoming the 159th member.
Sikh extremists occupy the Golden Temple at Amritsar; India's prime minister Indira Gandhi sends in troops June 5 to 6 and 600 to 1,200 are killed in a bloody takeover of the temple. Sikhs control the prosperous Punjab state and have pressed for independence, as have some other Indian states, and Mrs. Gandhi is determined to keep the nation united by whatever means. Now 66, she says October 30, "I don't mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation." Two Sikh members of her personal guard assassinate her October 31 and some 1,000 people are killed in anti-Sikh riots. Gandhi is succeeded by her son Rajiv, 40, who has had little political experience but wins election as prime minister in his own right at year's end (see 1989).
South Korean opposition leader Kim Dae-jung announces September 12 that he will return from the United States, where he has lived in exile since 1982 after serving 2½ years of a 20-year prison sentence for sedition (see 1980). Admitting that he may be imprisoned again, he dismisses suggestions that he may meet the same fate as Filipino opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino last year; "The Korean government will not be so stupid as to repeat that sort of thing," Kim says, and he vows to "participate in the people's struggle for the restoration of democracy and human rights" (see 1987).
Striking Surinamese bauxite workers black out Paramaribo January 10, sabotaging transformers relaying power from hydroelectric dams in a protest against military rule (see 1983); troops surround the U.S.-owned Suralco bauxite-processing plant at Paranam January 11 to prevent workers from destroying equipment, bank workers and bus drivers join the strike in mid-January, the workers vote to return to work late in the month, an interim government is sworn in February 3, but the new cabinet submits its resignations at year's end (see 1986).
Armed speedboats and a helicopter from a CIA mother ship mine Nicaraguan harbors at the start of the year in a move to block import of Cuban and Soviet arms allegedly destined for rebels in El Salvador. They damage a Soviet freighter and other foreign ships in a clear violation of the 1982 Boland Amendment, return a week later to mine an oil terminal, the World Court denounces the U.S. action, the White House denies World Court jurisdiction in the matter, the Senate votes 84 to 12 April 10 to cut off funds for any further mining of the harbors, a second Boland amendment takes effect October 3, but the speedboats return October 11 to attack oil facilities at Corinto.
Salvadoran junta leader José Napoleon Duarte wins election as president in May, defeating ultra-rightist candidate Roberto D'Aubuisson, who has been linked to death squads. Duarte succeeds Alvaro Alfredo Magana in the U.S.-backed election, visits Washington in July, and persuades Congress to provide increased economic and military aid.
Nicaragua has her first presidential election since 1974 November 4, 80 percent of the country's 1.55 million voters turn out (although voting is not compulsory), and FSLN junta coordinator Daniel Ortega Saavedra wins the presidency with 60 percent of the popular vote, having told the United Nations General Assembly that the United States was planning to invade his country (see 1979). Opposition leader Arturo (Jose) Cruz has boycotted the election, calling it "totally ridiculous and illegitimate," U.S. State Department officials call the election a sham, they point out that the FSLN used government facilities during the brief campaign, but while foreign observers, including more than 30 from the United States, note a shortage of opposition party poll watchers, they report no irregularities and some maintain that the balloting was fairer than the U.S.-backed election held 6 months earlier in El Salvador (see 1985).
Uruguayan voters elect moderate Julio Maria Sanguinetti, 49, to the presidency November 25 (see 1981). A member of the Colorado Party, he has promised to reestablish full democracy after 12 years of military rule and restore human and civil rights. He pardons leftist Tupamoro rebels immediately after his inauguration; popular sentiment favors criminal trials for the former military leaders, who have committed thousands of human-rights abuses during the dictatorship (but see human rights, 1986).
Belize holds her first national election December 14 (see 1981). George Price of the People's United Party has run for a seventh consecutive term as prime minister of what used to be British Honduras before he led it to independence, but he loses to the right-wing United Democratic Party candidate Manuel Esquivel, 44, who will remain in power until 1989. A fall in the world price of sugar has had a depressing effect on the country's economy, as has the loss of more than two-thirds of her trade with Mexico following that country's financial problems 2 years ago. It is Price's first electoral defeat in a 30-year career; now 65, he even loses his National Assembly seat to 25-year-old Derek Aikman (but see 1989).
Canada's Liberal prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau announces his resignation February 29. He steps down June 30 after 16 years in office (interrupted for 9 months in 1979-80) and is succeeded by English-born lawyer-politician John Napier Turner, 55, but corporate lawyer Brian Mulroney, 45, leads the Progressive Conservatives in an election sweep September 4 as his party takes 211 of the 282 seats in the House of Commons.
Britain's prime minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly escapes injury October 12 when a bomb explodes at Brighton's Grand Hotel, where she and most of her cabinet have been attending a Conservative Party conference. Five people are killed and 32 injured, the Provisional Irish Republican Army claims responsibility, and a court at London's Bailey in June 1986 will convict Belfast terrorist Patrick J. Magee, now 33, of planting the timed explosive.
Sen. Frank F. Church (D. Idaho) dies of pancreatic cancer at Bethesda, Md., April 7 at age 59, having gained prominence for opposing the Vietnam War and reforming the CIA; Gen. Mark W. Clark (ret). dies of pancreatic cancer at Charleston, S.C., April 16 at age 87. Last of the top five U.S. World War II commanders, he served as president of the Citadel at Charleston from 1954 to 1966.
President Reagan wins reelection with 525 electoral votes to 13 for former vice president Walter Mondale, 56, who has run with Queens, N.Y., congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, 48, but carries only the District of Columbia and his home state of Minnesota. Now 73, Reagan wins 59 percent of the popular vote.
An agreement signed at Beijing December 19 by Britain's prime minister Margaret Thatcher and China's premier Zhao Ziyang provides for transfer of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Hong Kong is to retain its capitalist way of life until 1997.
Human Rights, Social Justice
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights votes January 17 to discontinue numerical quotas for promotion of black workers and executives. "Such racial preferences merely constitute another form of discrimination," the commission says in a sharp reversal of its previous position. President Reagan has appointed its members and they reflect his views.
New York's City Council enacts legislation (Local Law 63) banning discrimination in clubs that have more than 400 members, provide regular meal service, and regularly receive "payment for dues, fees, use of space, facilities, services, meals or beverages directly from or on behalf of non-members for the furtherance of trade or business." The law is designed in part to protect professional and business women, who have been excluded from clubs such as the Union League, University, Athletic, and Century Association at which men often conduct business. Dues payment by employers make a club subject to the law (see 1988).
Polish security police abduct pro-Solidarity priest Jerzy Popieluszko, 37, and murder him October 19. His body is discovered in a reservoir on the Vistula River and public reaction forces the government to hold a public trial of the perpetrators. Four security officials will be convicted in February of next year.
South Africa troops and police raid Sebokeng and three other black townships October 23 with automatic rifles to suppress riots that have raged since September 2 (see 1982); 358 are arrested on charges of possessing stolen goods or violating pass laws, which restrict movements of blacks into urban areas; the troops withdraw October 24, leaving police to deal with the riots, but the anti-apartheid United Democratic Front calls the raid "akin to civil war." African National Congress (ANC) activists and others have made it virtually impossible since July for the nation's white minority to govern, and the United States issues a statement saying that the raid "put into question [South African government's] professed intentions in dealing with the problems of the country by reform and concession." Black activists in the Johannesburg and Pretoria areas stage a massive strike November 5 to 6, demanding regulation of political officials in the black townships, release of political prisoners and detainees, reinstatement of all dismissed workers, an end to rent and bus-fare increases, and abolition of the general sales tax. The Southern Africa Catholic Bishops' Conference issues a report December 6 estimating that the disturbances have cost 150 lives since early September, and violence in the next 2 years will result in 4,000 being killed (see 1985).
Chilean police raid the Santiago slum district La Victoria November 15, round up 32,000 suspected leftists, and hold them in a soccer stadium for questioning about recent demonstrations against the absolutist rule of Gen. Pinochet.
U.S. astronauts Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart take the first untethered space walks February 7, using jet backpacks; two astronauts from the shuttle Challenger perform the first in-orbit retrieval and repair mission April 10 to 12 on the failing Solar Max satellite.
The People's Republic of China launches its first successful communications satellite April 8 (see 1981). The Shiyan Tongbu Tongxin Weixing will remain in geostationary orbit and function for more than 4 years (see 1990).
Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, 35, is the first woman to walk in space July 25. Biologist Kathryn Sullivan, 33, follows suit October 11 as a member of the seven-member Challenger crew, largest ever, and is the first U.S. woman to perform any extra-vehicular activity in space.
Britain's National Union of Mine Workers bans overtime work in January as pit closings loom. Ian Kinloch MacGregor, 71, insists on the government's right to shut down unprofitable pits; a Scots-born American who heads the National Coal Board that manages the industry, he closes a Yorkshire colliery in early March, and Mine Workers head Arthur Scargill, 45, takes 55,000 miners out on strike. Since 1977, workers who have mined more have earned more, a bonus plan favoring those in coal-rich Nottinghamshire but hard on those in north Derbyshire, Kent, Scotland, south Wales, and Yorkshire, where many miners join the strike. Violence spreads and other unions begin to support the strikers. Some 3 to 4 million are idle by year's end although many miners drift back to work.
Italy's Socialist prime minister Bettino Craxi issues a legislative decree February 14 that ends the scala mobile that has automatically linked wage increases to price rises (the inflation rate now exceeds 12 percent); another decree sets a 10 percent limit on government-controlled prices, such as those on electricity and gas. The country's largest trade union has opposed any wage reductions, the two other major unions have agreed after months of negotiation, but although the government says it will propose laws that block rent increases and set guidelines for voluntary reductions in working hours to cut unemployment, workers disrupt major cities with protest marches and wildcat strikes. The decree lapses April 16 after failing to receive parliamentary approval, but in a referendum held May 9 to 10 voters reject a Communist Party-sponsored proposal to restore wage cuts, a new decree issued April 17 wins approval in the Chamber of Deputies May 24 by a vote of 329 to 256, and the Senate approves June 8 to 172 to 12.
Japan's Nikkei average reaches 10,000 January 9 as optimists bid up stock prices to new heights. The average will nearly quadruple in the next 5 years (but see 1989).
U.S. economic growth rises at a 6.8 percent rate, highest since 1951, while the Soviet economy grows by only 2.6 percent, lowest since World War II, as grain harvests fall below target levels. The 3.7 percent U.S. inflation rate is the lowest since 1967, but U.S. budget and trade deficits rise to record levels, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reports May 1 that 250,000 to 350,000 Americans are homeless.
Economic reforms announced by Beijing October 20 extend to urban areas the incentive system granted to farmers in 1979: wages and bonuses will be linked to job performance, prices will not be held to "irrational" levels, each enterprise will be permitted more independence to plan production and marketing. A degree of capitalism in Chinese rural areas has boosted production sharply and raised living standards.
Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average closes December 31 at 1211.56, up from 1046.55 at the end of 1983.
France receives her first deliveries of Soviet natural gas January 1; only 5 percent of the nation's electrical power is generated by oil, while 55 percent is generated by nuclear plants, up from 39 percent in 1974. No other country depends so heavily on nuclear energy.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo, Calif., a license August 2 to begin full-power operations. Fears of earthquake damage and design-flaw issues have delayed approval for a decade, and two inspectors have resigned amidst charges that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. officials were obstructing their inquiries.
New York's transit fares rise January 2 from 75¢ to 90¢ (see 1981; 1986).
India's first subway opens October 24 at Calcutta, where the first section of the Calcutta Metro Railway has been completed after 11 years' work, connecting Esplanade with Bhowanipur (3.4 kilometers) as part of a system that will grow by 1995 to cover 16.5 kilometers with 17 stations, 15 of them underground, one elevated, and one at surface level, and the city of more than 11 million will also have a 68-kilometer tram network to help relieve congestion and diminish air pollution from automobile exhausts, buses, and trucks (see New Delhi, 2002).
The New York Times publishes its "Shipping/Mails" column for the last time April 15. New York remains the nation's leading commercial shipping port, but passenger volume in the port has dwindled to 400,000, down from 900,000 in 1960, and most of the arrivals and departures are cruise ships. Jet planes have almost completely supplanted transatlantic passenger liners.
Virgin Atlantic Airways is founded by British gramophone-record magnate Richard Branson, now 33, who leases a single plane from Boeing (the deal allows him to walk away from the venture if it falters) and undercuts the fares of competing transatlantic carriers. By 1988 Branson will be offering economy-class passengers individual video machines and a year later will be giving business-class passengers free manicures and massages.
The Taurus introduced by Ford Motor Company has cost about $3 billion to develop but will help the company counter inroads by foreign makes and become more profitable than General Motors. A full-size car, its front-wheel drive and sleek European styling combine with fuel efficiency to make it popular.
The Macintosh computer introduced by Apple January 24 is a "user-friendly" PC with superior graphics capabilities. New York-born Apple engineer-writer-artist-composer Jef Raskin, 41, has come up with the name and, more importantly, had his colleague Ted Atkinson persuade Steve Jobs to visit Xerox Parc at Palo Alto (see 1970), where Jobs has discovered computer menus, the mouse, and other revolutionary Xerox breakthroughs. Jobs has chosen the 68,000-transistor Motorola 68000 microchip as the brain of the new computer.
Cisco Systems is founded in December by former Stanford University computer whiz Leonard Bosack and his wife, Sandra Lerner, 29, to develop computer networking (Internet) technology. They set up shop at San Jose, Calif., with two employees and will introduce the first commercially successful router next year, enabling once-incompatible computers in remote computer networks to communicate; by the end of the century fully 80 percent of all communications on the Internet will be handled by Cisco routers, and Cisco Systems will have 29,000 employees producing 150 products that include dial-in access servers (introduced in 1992), switches (1993), WAN switches (1994), hubs, firewalls, and caching engines (all 1995), cable boxes and cable head-ends (1996), DSL head-ends (1997), Internet phones (1998), home modems (1999), and wireless LANs (2000).
Bell Laboratories announces December 20 that it has perfected a one-megabit random access memory chip able to store on a tiny sliver of silicon four times as much information as anything now available.
Mathematician Stanislaw M. Ulam dies after a heart attack at Santa Fe, N.M., May 13 at age 78; Nobel physicist Pyotr Kapitsa at Moscow April 8 at age 89; paleontologist George G. Simpson of pneumonia at Tucson, Ariz., October 6 at age 82; Nobel physicist Paul Dirac at Talahassee, Fla., October 20 at age 82. He has taught at Florida State University since 1971 after a long career at Cambridge; Nobel radio astronomer Martin Ryle dies of cancer at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, October 16 at age 66.
Virologist Luc Montagnier of the Paris Institute publishes the genetic code of the AIDS retrovirus January 21; National Cancer Institute researcher Robert C. Gallo at Bethesda, Md., publishes the code for a retrovirus that he has isolated January 24; Gallo announces June 13 that he and Montagnier have compared notes on the retrovirus that is spreading AIDS and agreed that Montagnier's LAV and what Gallo calls HTLV-3 (human T-cell leukemia virus type 3) are "close relatives" (see Montagnier, 1983). The genetic codes are in fact virtually identical and vary in some vital aspects from any HTLV viruses heretofore known. Who discovered the retrovirus remains in dispute, but the journal Science cites evidence July 6 that the virus has been found both in the plasma of a blood donor (who had shown no symptoms) and in a patient recipient who subsequently developed AIDS. Centers for Disease Control researchers report August 6 that they have succeeded in infecting chimpanzees with the virus, an essential step toward developing a possible vaccine (see 1985).
Bennington College freshman Libby Zion, 18, is brought to the emergency room of New York Hospital March 4 dehydrated and suffering from the chills and fever that physicians call "rigors." She is given 25 mgs. of Demerol but thrashes about so violently that nurses strap her to her bed to keep her from falling out; Zion dies 4 hours later, evidently from adverse drug reactions, and her father, New York Times writer Sidney Zion, 49, will sue the hospital and its staff members for malpractice and pain and suffering. Litigation will continue until February 1995, juries will find no evidence of malpractice, administering such a small amount of Demerol will be ruled out as having contributed to the girl's death, but the case will lead to legislation limiting the number of hours that hospital interns and residents can work without rest.
The Canada Health Act approved by Parliament at Ottawa April 1 reaffirms the government's commitment to its universally accessible, comprehensive, portable, publicly-administered health insurance system (see Hall Commission report, 1979). While the system works better in some provinces than in others, and there are sometimes lengthy waits for elective surgical procedures, the vast majority of Canadians are well pleased with their nation's healthcare system.
What to Expect When You're Expecting becomes mandatory reading for pregnancy women despite criticism that it reinforces negative worries and contains some misinformation. New Yorker Heidi Murkoff (née Eisenberg) got the idea for the book while carrying her first child and wrote the book with her sister Sandee (Hathaway) and their mother, Arlene Eisenberg, 48. Within 20 years more than 13 million copies will be in print.
More than 20,000 pregnant U.S. women choose amniocentesis to detect chromosomal abnormalities in unborn infants. First used in the late 1960s, the procedure can find recombinant DNA markers for diseaseost commonly Down's syndrome (trisomy 21). Between the 16th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, a tiny amount (less than 1/8 cup) of amniotic fluid, containing cells sloughed off by the fetus, is taken from the uterus; the cells are grown in a culture and then examined for genetic defects, a procedure that takes 2 to 4 weeks of complex laboratory work that costs $400 to $1,000 (even states that fund abortion often do not fund amniocentesis, so accessibility is a problem). Many genetic defects.g. Tay-Sachs disease, Cooley's anemia, sickle-cell anemia, and spina bifidaan be detected by prenatal diagnosis, but amniocentesis is surer. Chances of giving birth to an infant with Down's syndrome are about one in 2,000 at age 22, one in 885 at age 30, one in 365 at age 35, and one in 109 at age 40. Named for British physician J. Langdon Down (1828-1896), Down's syndrome, or Mongolism, means mental retardation, and where once scarcely any Down's syndrome children survived beyond age 20, many can now live to age 50 or more. About 95 percent of Down's syndrome pregnancies are terminated (second trimester abortions are done with saline or urea injections into the uterus to kill the fetus, although drugs are sometimes used to induce early labor; dilation and evacuation procedures are also performed by vacuuming out the amniotic fluid and then removing the fetus).
Ultrasound diagnostic procedures determine the gender of a fetus in China, India, and other developing countries; used before the 16th week of pregnancy, they cost only a fraction of the price of amniocentesis or CVS. Female fetuses are aborted at an alarming rate in China and India, where male births consequently outnumber female by a wide margin (see population, 1981). Beijing will outlaw the use of sonograms to determine gender in rural areas, but many will defy the ban.
The Hatch-Waxman Act (Drug Price Competition and Patent Restoration Act) signed into law by President Reagan September 24 expands the availability of low-cost generic versions of prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies have claimed that up to 8 years of a product's 17-year patent term may be spent negotiating the federal approval process.
Lutheran pastor and human rights activist Martin Niemoeller dies at Wiesbaden March 6 at age 92.
Followers of the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, 52, bus in thousands of vagrants to tip a local Oregon election, keep them under sedation, and allegedly spread salmonella in the Dalles. More than 700 cases of salmonella poisoning are reported in September, the first instance of bioterrorism in America. Rich families and individuals have joined the guru's ashram Rajneeshpuram and given him funds to buy a fleet of Rolls-Royces, he has let his personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela speak for him while keeping a vow of silence, but he ends that vow late in the year, angering the woman (see 1985).
The United States pulls out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) December 31. President Reagan sent Oregon-born Army officer's wife Jean Broward Gerard (née Shevlin), 46, as his envoy to UNESCO in 1981 with a mandate to clean up what his administration has regarded as woeful mismanagement (the agency had also become increasingly politicized and anti-Western). Mrs. Gerard tried to negotiate changes at the Paris headquarters but failed, she notified the agency a year ago that the United States would end its financial support, and the U.S. example will soon be followed by Britain and Singapore.
American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (AT&T) divests itself January 1 of its 22 Bell operating companies pursuant to a federal court order (see 1982). AT&T retains its Western Electric division and remains in the long-distance telephone and computer businesses. Regional holding companiesmeritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Nynex, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell, and USWestake over 22 Bell units and will thrive as "Baby Bells." Local telephone rates go up across the country and service deteriorates, but many of the Baby Bells will merge and go into other businesses.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules 5 to 4 January 17 that home videotape recording does not infringe copyrights (Sony Corp. v Universal City Studios). Justices Marshall, Powell, and Rehnquist join in Justice's Blackmun's dissent from Justice Stevens's majority opinion; Sony Corp., makers of Betamax, and other VCR makers hail the decision, Hollywood film makers bewail it.
Prime Minister Thatcher forbids union membership at Britain's General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and offers £1,000 for each union card turned in. All but 150 GCHQ employees accept the offer.
British Telecom shares go on sale as Britain moves to "privatize" telephone service (see 1981).
Japan moves to end government ownership of telephone service.
The $3,500 black-and-white desktop laser printer introduced by Hewlett-Packard revolutionizes office paperwork (see 1980). The technology was developed originally at Xerox Parc in California; Hewlett-Packard has licensed it from Canon in Japan.
Reader's Digest cofounder Lila Acheson Wallace dies of heart failure at Mt. Kisco, N.Y., May 8 at age 94. Her philanthropic contributions are estimated to have exceeded $60 million; pollster George Gallup dies at his summer home in Switzerland July 27 at age 82.
Nonfiction: Weapons and Hope by English-born Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson, 61, who solved some problems of quantum mechanics in the 1940s, worked with Edward Teller in the 1950s on a small nuclear reactor that emphasized safety, and was a consultant in the 1960s to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Survival Is Not Enough: Soviet Realities and America's Future by Richard Pipes; Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War by Helen Caldicott; The Russians and Reagan and Deadly Games: The Reagan Administration and the Stalemate in Nuclear Arms by Strobe Talbott; The Good War: An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel; Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes is a mixture of biography, literary criticism, and fiction; The Pleasure, Pain, and Politics of Unpaid Work from 1830 to the Present by New York lawyer and social critic Wendy Kaminer, 34.
Structural philosopher-cultural historian Michel Foucault dies of AIDS at Paris June 25 at age 57 (he has been the most celebrated public intellectual in Europe); philosopher Henry Habberley Price dies at Oxford November 26 at age 85.
Fiction: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Nesitelna lehkost byti) by Milan Kundera; Bathsheba (Batseba) by Swedish novelist Torgny Lindgren, 46; The Lover (L'Amant) by Marguerite Duras, now 70; The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (O Ano a Morte de Ricardo Reis) by José Saramago; The Ark Sakura (Hakobune Sakura-maru) by Kobo Abe; Him with His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories by Saul Bellow; Neuromancer by South Carolina-born "cyberpunk" science-fiction writer William (Ford) Gibson, 36, who has used the term cyberspace for the first time in a short story; Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie; Love Medicine by Minnesota-born novelist (Karen) Louise Erdrich, 30 (whose mother is a Chippewa); The Haj by Leon Uris; House on Mango Street by Chicago-born novelist Sandra Cisneros, 29; Family Dancing (stories) by Pittsburgh-born author David Leavitt, 23; The Tie That Binds by Colorado-born novelist Kent Haruf, 41; God Knows by Joseph Heller; Fragments by Chicago-born novelist Jack Fuller, 38; Lincoln by Gore Vidal; The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa; Hôtel du Lac by Anita Brookner; The Lights of Earth by Margaret Drabble; Foreign Bodies by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison; Stones for Ibarra by Pasadena, Calif.-born novelist Harriet Doerr, 74; Golden States by Cincinnati-born novelist Michael Cunningham, 31; Voices from the Moon (novella) and We Don't Live Here Anymore (stories) by Andre Dubus; Separate Checks by Lancaster, Pa.-born novelist Marianne Wiggins, 37; Dreams of Sleep by Charleston novelist Josephine Humphreys, 39.
Argentine novelist Julio Cortázar dies of leukemia at Paris February 12 at age 69; Nobel novelist Mikhail Sholokhov at Veshenskaya, Rostov-on-Don, February 21 at age 78; Jessamyn West of a stroke at Napa, Calif., February 25 at age 81; Sylvia Ashton-Warner at Tauranga, New Zealand, April 28 at age 75; Irwin Shaw of a heart attack at Davos, Switzerland, May 16 at age 71; novelist-essayist J. B. Priestley at Stratford-on-Avon August 14 at age 89, having aroused controversy by refusing a knighthood; Truman Capote is found dead at Los Angeles August 25 at age 59; Liam O'Flaherty dies at Dublin September 7 at age 88.
Poetry: The Dead and the Living by Sharon Olds; An Explanation of America by Robert Pinsky; Secular Love by Michael Ondaatje.
Poet laureate Sir John Betjeman dies at Trebetherick, Cornwall, May 19 at age 77; George Oppen of Alzheimer's disease at Sunnyvale, Calif., July 7 at age 76; poet-artist Henri Michaux at Paris October 17 at age 85; May Swenson at Ocean View, Del., December 4 at age 65; Nobel poet Vicente Aleixandre at Madrid December 14 at age 86.
Juvenile: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend follows its hero past his 16th birthday; Unclaimed Treasures by Patricia MacLachlan; Prince Sparrow, Roll Over!, and The Room by Mordichai Gerstein.
Painting: Polestar by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Italian-born painter Francesco Clemente, 32; I Forgot to Remember to Forget by Edward Ruscha; Five by Robert Indiana, who lost the lease on his five-story New York studio 6 years ago and moved to the Maine island of Vinalhaven; Creek by Jennifer Bartlett; Can You Hear Me? (oil on four canvases) by Elizabeth Murray. Lee Krasner (Pollock) dies at New York June 19 at age 75; Alice Neel of cancer at New York October 13 at age 84.
Sculpture: Bad Dream House No. 1 by Vito Acconci; Monument with Standing Beast by Jean Dubuffet for Chicago's State of Illinois Building.
The Dallas Museum of Art opens in January, replacing the 81-year-old Museum of Fine Arts and beginning a 60-acre Arts District. Edward Larrabee Barnes has designed the giant new limestone building.
Landscape photographer Ansel Adams dies at Carmel, Calif., April 23 at age 82; photographer Brassaï of a heart attack at Nice July 8 at age 84.
Theater: Benefactors by Michael Frayn 4/4 at London's Vaudeville Theatre, with Polly Adams, Clive Francis; The Miss Firecracker Contest by Beth Henley 5/27 at New York's off-Broadway Manhattan Theater Club, with Georgia-born actress Holly Hunter, 26, St. Louis-born actor Mark Linn-Baker, 30; The War at Home by U.S. playwright James Duff, 29, 6/13 at London's Hampstead Theatre, with David Threlfell, Frances Sternhagen; Hurlyburly by David Rabe 8/7 at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater, with Washington, D.C.-born actor William Hurt, 34, Harvey Keitel, New York-born actor Christopher Walken, 41, comedian Jerry Stiller, New York-born actress Sigourney Weaver, 34, 343 perfs.; Balm in Gilead by Lanford Wilson 9/6 at New York's off-Broadway Minetta Lane Theater, with Steven Bauer, Glenn Headley, Laurie Metcalf, 143 perfs.; Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by Pittsburgh-born playwright August Wilson (Frederick Wilson Kittel), 38, 10/11 at New York's Cort Theater, with Theresa Merritt, 61, Baltimore-born actor Charles S. Dutton, 32, 225 perfs.; The Foreigner by New Orleans-born, Chicago-raised actor-playwright Larry Shue, 38, 11/1 at New York's Astor Place Theater, with Shue, New Rochelle, N.Y.-born actor Anthony Heald, 39, 686 perfs.
Former New York Times drama critic (and foreign correspondent) Brooks Atkinson dies of pneumonia at Huntsville, Ala., January 13 at age 89 (he was at the Times for 31 years); actor Sam Jaffe dies at Beverly Hills, Calif., March 24 at age 93; actor-director-producer William Keighley at New York June 24 at age 94; playwright Lillian Hellman of a heart attack on Martha's Vineyard June 30 age 74; actor Richard Burton of a stroke at his home in Switzerland August 5 at age 58; actor Luther Adler at Kutztown, Pa., December 8 at age 81.
Television: Aspell & Co. on London Weekend Television (Saturday night talk show; to 1993); Kate & Allie 3/19 on CBS with Susan Saint James, now 37, as Kate McArdle, former Saturday Night Live co-host Jane Curtin, now 36, as Allie Lowell, two divorced mothers sharing a New York apartment (to 5/22/1989); The Jewel in the Crown 9/1 on Britain's Grenada TV; Miami Vice 9/16 on NBC with Galena, Mo.-born actor Don Johnson (Donald Wayne), 34, as police detective Sonny Crockett, Philip Michael Thomas as Rico Tubbs (to 5/21/1989); The Cosby Show 9/20 on NBC with comedian Bill Cosby, now 47, as physician Cliff Huxtable; Houston-born actress Phylicia Rashad, 36, as his wife, Clair; Los Angeles-born actress Lisa Bonet, 16, as their daughter Denise; Tempest Bledsoe, 10, as their daughter Vanessa; Malcolm-Jamal Warner, 13, as their son Theo (to 9/17/1992); Who's the Boss? 9/20 on ABC with New York-born actor Tony Danza, 33, as former ballplayer-turned-housefather Tony Micelli; Trenton, N.J.-born actress Judith Light, 36, as advertising executive Angela Bower; Dan Pintauro, 8, as her son Jonathan (to 4/25/1992); Murder, She Wrote 9/30 on CBS with Angela Lansbury, now 57, as novelist-turned crime solver Jessica Fletcher of Cabot Cove, Me. (to 5/19/1996); The Body in the Library 12/26 on BBC-1 with actress Joan Hickson as Miss Marple begins a series based on the Agatha Christie detective (to 1992).
TV producer and host Jack Barry dies of a heart attack at New York May 4 at age 66.
Films: Milos Forman's Amadeus with Wisconsin-born actor Tom Hulce, 30, as W. A. Mozart, Murray Abraham; Martin Brest's Beverly Hills Cop with Eddie Murphy; Alan Parker's Birdy with Los Angeles-born actor Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage; Alan Rudolph's Choose Me with Canadian-born actress Genevieve Bujold, 42, Keith Carradine, Lesley Ann Warren; Claude Chabrol's Cop au Vin with Jean Poiret, Stephane Andran; Juzo Itami's The Funeral (Ososhiki); Fred Schepsi's Iceman with Timothy Hutton, Lindsay Crouse; Roland Joffe's The Killing Fields with Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, Athol Fugard; Paul Mazursky's Moscow on the Hudson with Robin Williams, Maria Conchita Alonso; David Lean's A Passage to India with Australian actress Judy Davis, 29, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft; Robert Altman's Secret Honor with Philip Baker Hall as Richard Nixon; Norman Jewison's A Soldier's Story with Baltimore-born actor Howard E. (Ellsworth) Rollins Jr., 33, Adolph Caesar; Martin Bell's documentary Streetwise about teenage vagrants; Bertrand Tavernier's A Sunday in the Country with Louis Ducreux; James Cameron's The Terminator with Austrian-born actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 33; Robert Epstein's documentary The Times of Harvey Milk narrated by Harvey Fierstein; John Huston's Under the Volcano with Albert Finney, English actress Jacqueline Bisset (Jacqueline Fraser), 40; John Hanson's Wildrose with Reading, Pa.-born actress Lisa Eichhorn, 32.
Onetime child actor Jackie Coogan dies at Santa Monica, Calif., March 1 at age 69; actor William Powell at Palm Springs, Calif., March 5 at age 91 (told by New York doctors in 1950 that he would die within a year if he did not stop drinking, he quit cold); director Joseph Losey dies at his London home June 22 at age 75, having lived in Europe since being blacklisted for alleged communist associations in 1951; Dame Flora Robson dies at Brighton July 7 at age 82; James Mason after a heart attack at Lausanne July 27 at age 75; Janet Gaynor of pneumonia at Palm Springs, Calif., September 14 at age 77 (she has never fully recovered from a 1982 San Francisco traffic accident); actor Richard Basehart dies at Los Angeles September 17 at age 70 after a series of strokes; actor-director François Truffaut of cancer at at Paris October 21 at age 52; director Sam Peckinpah of a heart attack at Inglewood, Calif., December 28 at age 59.
Hollywood musical: Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense with The Talking Heads.
Stage musicals: The Rink 2/9 at New York's Martin Beck Theater, with Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, book by Terrence McNally, 204 perfs.; Starlight Express 3/27 at London's Apollo Theatre, with performers on roller skates imitating locomotives, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Richard Stilgoe; Sunday in the Park with George 5/2 at New York's Booth Theater with Mandy Patinkin as painter Georges Seurat, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, 540 perfs.; The Hired Man 10/31 at London's Astoria Theatre, with music by English composer Howard Goodall, 29, book and lyrics by Melvyn Bragg, 45; The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 12/12 at Wyndham's Theatre, London, with book by Sue Townsend, songs by Ken Howard and Olive Blakeley.
Former West End musical star Binnie Hale dies at London January 10 at age 84; Ethel Merman is found dead in her New York apartment February 15 at age 760 months after undergoing surgery for a brain tumor; former Broadway musical star Ray Middleton dies at Panorama City, Calif., April 10 at age 77.
Nashville, Tenn.-born soprano Dawn Upshaw makes her Metropolitan Opera debut at age 24 and will be a Met regular for decades.
New Orleans-born trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis, 22, wins Grammy awards in both the jazz and classical music categories.
Popular songs: "What's Love Got to Do with It?" by Scottish songwriters Graham Lyle and Terry Britten; Born in the U.S.A. (album) Bruce Springsteen; "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder (for the film The Woman in Red); "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by British songwriter Phil Collins, 33; The Unforgettable Fire (album) by U2 includes the single "Bad" and is based on the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945; Goodbye Cruel World (album) by Elvis Costello; Purple Rain (album) by Prince includes "Darling Nikki," which will lead to the founding of Parents' Music Resource Center with a mission to require warning labels on albums; "Careless Whisper" by British songwriters George Michael, 21, and Andrew Ridgley; Like a Virgin (album) by Madonna includes the title song and "Material Girl"; Private Dancer (album) by Tina Turner makes her an international pop diva with hits that include "I Might Have Been Queen," "Show Some Respect," and "Better Be Good to Me" (co-written with Holly Knight); "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Dublin-born songwriter Bob Geldof, 33, and Midge Ure.
Onetime émigrée nightclub singer-cabaret owner Bricktop (Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith) dies at New York January 31 at age 89; onetime bandleader Claude Hopkins at New York February 19 at age 80; soul singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye Jr. is shot to death by his 70-year-old clergyman father at Los Angeles April 1 on the eve of his 45th birthday; jazz pianist Count Basie dies of cancer at Hollywood, Fla., April 25 at age 80 (jazz singer Joe Williams, now 65, sings the Duke Ellington song "Come Sunday" at Basie's funeral); songwriter-composer-conductor Gordon Jenkins dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) at Malibu May 1 at age 73; choral music composer Randall Thompson at Boston July 9 at age 85; blues singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton of heart and liver complications at Los Angeles July 25 at age 57 (drug and alcohol abuse has shrunk her weight from 350 pounds to 95); blues singer Alberta Hunter dies at New York October 17 at age 89; former American Federation of Musicians president James C. Petrillo at his native Chicago October 23 at age 92.
Los Angeles beats Washington 38 to 9 at Tampa January 22 in Super Bowl XVIII. Al Davis, maverick owner of the L.A. Raiders, has moved his team from Oakland and challenged the leadership of NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in a court battle that has cost the NFL about $50 million, but Rozelle presents the traditional trophy after the game and congratulates Davis in the locker room.
John McEnroe wins both the U.S. and British men's singles titles, Martina Navratilova the women's titles.
The Olympic Games at Los Angeles attract a record 7,800 from 140 nations despite a boycott by 14 Soviet bloc countries. The International Olympic Committee set up a trust fund late in 1981 at the urging of track star Edwin Moses to subsidize athletes and end the long-abused rule against acceptance of financial help (see Helsinki, 1952). Olympic swimming champion (and Tarzan portrayer) Johnny Weissmuller has died of heart disease at Acapulco, Mexico, January 20 at age 79. U.S. athletes win 83 gold medals, West German athletes 59 in the first privately funded games. West Virginia-born gymnast Mary Lou Retton, 16, wins the gold in the women's all-round with a perfect 10 in the vault, and Brooklyn, N.Y.-born North Carolina basketball player Michael Jordan, 21, plays on the team that wins the gold in that event. Birmingham, Ala.-born runner Carl Lewis, 23, matches Jesse Owens's 1936 record at Berlin by winning four gold medalsor the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter, the long jump, and the anchor leg of the 400-meter relay. San Diego-born diver Greg Louganis, 24, wins the springboard and platform competitions. South African athletes have been banned but South African runner Zola Budd, 18, has been accorded British citizenship in April because of her parental background, she has refused to condemn apartheid, and has run 5,000 meters in a record 15:01.83, but her career comes to an end after an accidental collision with Flemington, N.J.-born, California-raised runner Mary Decker, 26. The games turn a profit of $200 million, thanks to effective marketing efforts.
Running enthusiast Jim Fixx dies of a heart attack July 20 at age 52 while jogging at Hardwick, Vt. An autopsy shows that he has suffered previous myocardial infarctions.
Cincinnati General Motors dealer Marge Schott, 56, buys the local National League baseball franchise for an estimated $11 million (she has inherited her late husband's business). The Reds lost $4 million last year; Schott (and player-manager Pete Rose) will increase attendance by 85 percent to 2.4 million by 1990 (see 1993).
The Detroit Tigers win the World Series, defeating the San Diego Padres 4 games to 1.
The Breeders' Cup horserace has its first running at California's Hollywood Park in October. Upstate New York-born pet food heir and National Thoroughbred Association founder John R. Gaines, 56, proposed the multi-million-dollar event 2 years ago as a way to clean up the image of racing after a series of scandals.
Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan scores 16 points October 26 in his first National Basketball Association game (the Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 109 to 83). As a freshman at the University of North Carolina in March 1982, Jordan made a jump shop that beat Georgetown to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship. The Bulls made Jordan their number three draft pick in June (Hakeem Olajuwon of Houston and Sam Bowie of Portland were first and second), but Jordan will win the NBA Rookie of the Year award in April of next year.
Maryland-born Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie, 22, throws a Hail Mary pass in the closing seconds of a November 23 game against Miami and scores an upset victory, beating Miami 47 to 45.
Trivial Pursuit revives the board-game industry. Devised 5 years ago by four Montreal newspaper staffers, the game goes on sale in U.S. stores and becomes wildly popular, but San Francisco-born former Sacramento, Calif., air traffic controller Fred L. Worth, now 40, published The Trivia Encyclopedia in 1974, followed it up in 1977 with The Complete Unabridged Super Trivia Encyclopedia, the game contains some of the same errors found in Worth's books, and he files suit October 23 in the federal district court for Southern California, demanding $300 million in damages from the game's inventors and marketers. By year's end Trivial Pursuit has generated more than $256 million in sales, but although Worth's lawyers will pursue the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court their appeal will be rejected in March 1988.
The black-and-white comic book Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) features the turtles Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael, who were transformed by a radioactive "mutigant" and now live in New York's sewers. Created in May by New York freelance artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the comic book has little success until a UPI reporter writes a syndicated story which attracts the attention of licensers, Eastman and Laird sign a contract, and by the end of 1990 about $1 billion worth of Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtle T-shirts, buttons, comic books, toys, video games, breakfast cereals, and other merchandise will have been sold in 30 countries. The TMNT cartoon show will be the highest-rating CBS morning show in CBS history, and the first TMNT film will earn $250 million.
Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title under pressure July 23 when it is learned that the September issue of Penthouse magazine will contain nude photographs of her taken several years ago (she had sworn that she had never committed any acts of "moral turpitude"). Contestant Suzette Charles, who was first runner-up in last year's contest, becomes the second black Miss America.
Chess master Tigran V. Petrosian dies of cancer at Moscow August 13 at age 55.
Donna Karan mounts her first show as an independent designer (see 1974). She and her partner launched Anne Klein II last year and gained quick success, but the Japanese conglomerate that owns a majority stake in Anne Klein has urged Karan to start her own label. She has resisted, Takiyho has sacked her while agreeing at the same time to back her new company, and she breaks all records at a special sale for customers of Bergdorf Goodman, the top U.S. fashion retailer.
Free Hold is introduced by the French cosmetic giant L'Oreal. The first hair moussen aerosol foam containing negatively charged polymers (to create fullness), it promises to leave hair shiny, smooth, soft, and manageable, with good "body." By year's end more than two dozen competing brands are on the market, driving out sprays that leave hair stiff and sticky.
Colombian drug lords escalate their terrorist activities at Bogotá, Medéllin, and Calí: two men riding motorcycles use machine guns April 30 to assassinate Minister of Justice Rodrigo Lara Bonilla as he is being driven to Bogotá in his limousine, his bodyguards kill one of the assassins and capture the other; he says he has been paid about $20,000 to shoot Lara Bonilla, who has charged that drug traffickers are financing the political campaigns of some congressmen and control six professional football (soccer) teams. President Belisario Betancur Cuartas declares a state of siege May 1, saying that the "national dignity" has been "trampled by drug traffickers" and "We are not going allow ourselves to be annihilated by cowardice and crime." Lara Bonilla had supported extradition of 18 Colombian drug smugglers wanted in the United States, and although Betancur says May 2 that military courts will try all drug-related cases, with no bail permitted, he announces later in the day that he will approve extradition. Colombian troops destroy a major cocaine laboratory May 6 in the Amazon jungle near Aracuara, but other laboratories continue to process coca leaves brought in from Peru and Bolivia, and the Aracuara lab's estimated monthly output of as much as 10,000 kilograms represents a small percentage of total Colombian cocaine and heroin exports, most of them to the United States. Attorney General Carlos Jimenez Gomez meets secretly at Panama in May with seven major drug dealers; they reportedly include Pablo Escobar Gaviria, Gonzalo Rodriguez Garcia, and Jorge Luis Ochoa, and together claim to control 80 percent of Colombia's drug trade and have a combined annual income of $2 billion. Jimenez announces July 5 that the government has rejected an offer by the drug dealers that they cease their operations in return for a virtual amnesty such as that being offered to guerrilla groups (church groups, politicians, and the media have opposed any such deal).
Four gunmen get away with $21.8 million at Rome March 24.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that evidence obtained "in good faith" is admissible even if a search warrant is later ruled invalid, thereby weakening the exclusionary rule that dates to 1949 (see Mapp v. Ohio, 1961). The 6-to-3 decision handed down July 5 in the case of United States v. Leon is based on the argument that excluding such evidence creates a social cost that is unacceptable (Justices Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissent).
DNA fingerprinting gets its name from British geneticist Alec Jeffries at the University of Leicester, who announces September 15 that his research team has found that DNA sequencing is specific to individuals (see 1987).
New York's "Mayflower Madam" makes headlines following an October 11 raid by officers of the Manhattan North Public Morals District on a small, first-story apartment at 307 West 74th Street and, 1 hour later, the arrest of a young woman in a $300-per-night room at the Parker Meridien Hotel, where she has been entertaining a "John" (actually an undercover cop). Three young women at the West 74th Street apartment have been shredding documents, but police find records linking them to a $1 million-per-year ring of 20 or 30 call girls working for one "Sheila Devlin." She turns out to be Sidney Biddle Barrows, 32, who surrenders October 16 to the Manhattan district attorney. The landlord of her West 80th Street apartment has been trying to evict her for alleged "business use" offenses and excessive "traffic," but Barrows is listed in the Social Register and is a descendant (on the Barrows side) of two Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth in 1620 (she attended the annual party of the Mayflower Society in March). After plea bargaining, Barrows gets off with a $5,000 fine; she is permitted to keep more than $150,000 in profits, and her list of 3,000 clients (said to include company presidents, lawyers, physicians, and Arab sheiks who paid $200 to $400 per hour or $1,150 for the night) is not made public. Women Against Pornography estimates that the city has some 25,000 prostitutes.
Japan has a candy scare as extortionists announce that confectionery in retail outlets has been poisoned.
Unemployed security guard Oliver Huberty, 41, of San Ysidro, Calif., walks into the local McDonald's July 18 with a semiautomatic rifle, shotgun, and pistol, begins firing at anything that moves, and kills 20, wounds 16, before police sharpshooters kill him.
Three men with revolvers seize two Merrill Lynch Canada couriers December 21 at Montreal and escape with $51.3 million in securities.
A New York "subway vigilante" shoots four black youths December 22, climbs off the train, and disappears into a tunnel after telling a motorman that the teenagers had tried to rob him. Crime has been rampant in the subways and public support rallies at first behind the unknown gunman, especially when his victims all turn out to have criminal records. Engineer Bernhard Hugo Goetz, 37, will turn himself in to New Hampshire police early in January and confess to the shootings, which have left one youth paralyzed from the waist down. A Manhattan grand jury will indict Goetz only on charges of illegal weapon possession (he will be convicted and serve 8 months). A second grand jury will indict Goetz for attempted murder but he will be acquitted.
Architecture, Real Estate
Seattle's 76-story Columbia Seafirst Center is completed to give the city its tallest skyscraper.
The average price of a new U.S. single-family house tops $101,000 in May, crossing the six-figure mark for the first time.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) founded March 9 at Washington, D.C., by lobbyist Fred L. Smith Jr. will work to fight against "big government" regulation of fossil fuel producers, utility companies, the automobile industry, and organizations bent on reducing air pollution.
French biologist Alexandre Meinesz, 38, of the University of Nice explores the Mediterranean seabed off Monaco and finds a square yard of lush, bright green algae never seen before outside tropical waters. The director of Monaco's prestigious Oceanographic Museum dismisses the warning he raises of a potential species invasion, but Meinesz and other biologists will find that a Stuttgart zoo imported some of the seaweed (Caulerpa taxifolia) for its aquarium, the algae brought in was a mutant that could withstand relatively cold water, pet shops obtained some for use in home fish tanks, a sample was sent to the Oceanographic Museum when it was headed by Jacques Cousteau, and the museum evidently dumped some of the weed into the sea while cleaning its tanks. Protected by its toxicity to fish, sea urchins, and other herbivores, the algae grows one inch per day and proliferates through non-sexual (cloning) reproduction; within 15 years it will have covered 10,000 acres of ocean bottom along the shores of France, Italy, Spain, and Croatia, and by the end of the century it will be crowding edible seaweed varieties along part of California's coastline, posing a threat to marine life and defying efforts to eradicate it.
Mexico City loses some 300 homes November 19 as 50,000 barrels of gas explode at a depot of the state oil company, Pemex, killing at least 500.
A Union Carbide pesticide plant operated entirely by Indians at Bhopal, India, leaks the lethal gas methyl isocyanate (MIC) early in the morning of December 3, killing 2,500 outright and injuring perhaps 200,000 in the chemical industry's worst disaster ever. A plant operator noticed the pressure inside a storage tank to be higher than normal an hour before midnight December 2 but not outside the tank's working pressure. A leak of MIC was reported near the vent gas scrubber 15 minutes after midnight, rumbling sounds came from the tank and a screaming noise from the safety valve; radiated heat could be felt from the tank, and employees ran for their lives, leaving townspeople to be killed in their sleep without warning. The death toll quickly rises to 7,000, far more people will be left blind, suffer birth defects, and die from cancer or tuberculosis, the Indian government will sue Union Carbide for $3 billion, India's Supreme Court in February 1989 will order the company to pay $470 million in damages, but it will not sustain criminal charges against Union Carbide executives.
U.S. agriculture remains in distress as world markets shrink, partly because the dollar is so high. Costly federal farm programs come under fire.
Florida orders citrus growers in September not to harvest fruit even from fields certified by state agents to be free of citrus canker. Florida has some 800,000 acres of commercial citrus groves, the bulk of its orange and grapefruit crop will not be ripe for picking until January, it can safely remain on the trees for months thereafter, but the highly contagious plant disease threatens the state's entire $2.5 billion citrus industry.
UNICEF reports August 20 that more than 7 million people face starvation in Ethiopia, where the worst drought in a decade is occurring. Drought worsens throughout sub-Sahara Africa, some parts of which have had no rain or food harvest for 10 years. Guerrilla warfare in the provinces and poor roads prevent aid from reaching the hungry, rebel Eritrean secessionists seize the famine-relief center at Koren in November, cutting off supplies for thousands of drought victims, famine kills 300,000 Ethiopians by year's end, and some 800,000 will die before foreign grain comes to the rescue next year.
Nearly 20 percent of the $290 billion spent on retail foods by U.S. consumers goes for special "light" and "diet" foods. This does not include expenditures for cottage cheese, fruits, vegetables, skim milk, and other items purchased by weight-conscious Americans.
The Infant Formula Action Coalition announces January 29 that it is ending a 7-year boycott of Nestlé products pending ratification of an agreement at Mexico City February 2 (see 1982). The 70 members of the Coalition include the National Organization for Women.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposes February 14 to allow irradiation of fruits and vegetables, with doses up to 100,000 rads, to inhibit maturation, retard spoilage, and kill certain insects which infest produce. The controversial process has been known since the 1940s and subjected to years of testing by the U.S. Army but has not been considered economically viable despite widespread concern about pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables (it could replace use of pesticides after harvesting). Radiation-sterilized food has been used at British cancer centers for patients whose treatment has left them extremely vulnerable to infection, and food preserved by irradiation is sold in more than two dozen foreign countries. Opposition to irradiation in the United States has been based on worries about possible exposure of workers to radiation burns and about the resistance of botulinum bacteria to irradiation.
Georgia state inspectors remove a brand of cornmeal from store shelves in February after finding that the five-pound bags contain more than 1,000 parts per billion of aflatoxin0 times the level deemed safe for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration (see 1977; 1988).
Food And Drink
Budweiser Beer is introduced into Britain by Anheuser-Busch through a licensed brewing agreement with Grand Metropolitan Brewing; it will soon be the second largest-selling premium packaged lager in the United Kingdom.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi move in November to replace the remaining 50 percent sucrose in their soft drinks with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS); by 1992 HFCS will be supplying bottlers with the equivalent of 8 million tons of sugar.
McDonald's chairman Ray Kroc dies at San Diego January 14 at age 81 (he suffered a stroke in December 1979 and soon afterwards entered an Orange, Calif., alcoholism treatment center). Kroc has built up a family fortune of more than $500 million and his fast-food chain has grown to be the largest U.S. food-service organization, with 7,500 outlets in the United States and 31 other countries, three-fourths of them operated by franchisees (who have included a U.S. congressman from Virginia, a former under-secretary of Labor, lawyers, dentists, advertising men, a chemist, and a golf professional); total systemwide sales last year were more than $8 billion (see Chicken McNuggets, 1980).
Papa John's Pizza has its beginnings at Jeffersonville, Ind., where tavern owner's son John Schnatter, 23, sells his 1972 Z28 Camaro, uses the proceeds to buy $1,600 worth of used restaurant equipment, knocks out a broom closet in the back of his father's tavern (Mick's Lounge), and bakes traditional pizza pies that he sells to the tavern's patrons. The pizza is so well received that Schnatter takes over adjoining space, he will open the first Papa John's restaurant next year, and by the end of the century there will be more than 2,600 such restaurants in 47 states plus 10 international markets.
U.S. funding of international birth control programs is halted by order of the Reagan administration.
The Chinese government changes its family-planning program slightly to allow a small increase in exceptions to the one-child rule: from 5 to 10 percent of families are permitted to have two children and this will be increased to 20 percent.