Browse a chronology of major events that occurred during Reagan's presidency.

1981
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is first identified
  • Francois Mitterand becomes president of France
  • President of Egypt Anwar Sadat is assassinated
  • Israeli air force bombs a nuclear plant in Iraq
  • Americans held hostage in Iran freed

1982
  • UN Conference adopts the "Law of the Sea"
  • Martial law ends in Poland; Solidarity leader Lech Walesa is released from prison
  • Falkland War between Great Britain and Argentina occurs
  • Israeli troops invade Lebanon

1983
  • Millions starve in Ethiopian drought
  • Pope John Paul II visits Poland
  • Benino Aquino, political opponent of Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, is murdered
  • US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, is bombed by Shiite Moslems
  • Violent conflict breaks out between Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka
  • US troops invade Grenada
  • South Korean airliner shot down by Soviets, killing 269 people

1984
  • Poisonous gas leak kills 2,500 people in Bhopal, India
  • Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi assassinated
  • UK and China agree that Hong Kong will revert to Chinese rule in 1997
  • Soviet leader Andropov dies, succeeded by Chernenko

1985
  • British scientists discover a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica
  • An earthquake hits Mexico City, killing 7,000 people
  • Live Aid concerts are held in England and the U.S. to provide famine relief to Ethiopia
  • UK and Ireland sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement
  • Palestinian terrorists hijack the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro
  • French intelligence agents sink a Greenpeace ship in New Zealand
  • Soviet leader Chernenko dies, succeeded by Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Gorbachev unilaterally stops nuclear missile deployment in Europe

1986
  • Nuclear reactor disaster in Chernobyl, USSR, occurs
  • U.S. space shuttle "Challenger" explodes on takeoff, killing the entire crew
  • Swedish prime minister Olof Palme is assassinated
  • U.S. air force bombs Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya
  • Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda flee the Philippines, Corazon Aquino is elected president

1987
  • Stock markets around the world crash
  • Soviet leader Gorbachev begins policies of "glasnost" and "perestroika"
  • U.S. and USSR sign INF treaty banning short- and medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe
  • Riots in Mecca result in the deaths of 402 Moslem pilgrims

1988
  • Earthquake in Armenia kills 80,000 people
  • Terrorists blow up a Pan American 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all aboard and several people on the ground
  • "Intifada" Palestinian resistance movement begins in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
  • Benazir Bhutto becomes president of Pakistan and the first female to lead a Moslem country

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