Posts Tagged ‘news’
Kid of the 80s

reagan-berlin-wall

On June 12, 1987, President Reagan told Soviet Union leader Gorbachev “Tear down this wall!” at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall.

On November 9, 1989, after increasing public unrest, East Germany finally opened the Berlin Wall. By the end of the year, official operations to dismantle the wall had begun.

Kid of the 80s

crack

The crack epidemic began to spread across the US in the mid-80s. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 increased penalties for crack possession and usage.

By the end of 1986, crack cocaine was available in 28 states and the District of Columbia. By 1987, crack was reported to be available in all but four states in the United States.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 mandated a mandatory minimum sentence of five years without parole for possession of five grams of crack; to receive the same sentence with powder cocaine one had to have 500 grams. This sentencing disparity was reduced from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1 by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

Kid of the 80s

mount-st-helens

After a two-month series of earthquakes, Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. The eruption killed 57 and resulted in $1.1 billion in property damage.

Mount St. Helens remained dormant from its last period of activity in the 1840s and 1850s until March 1980. Several small earthquakes beginning as early as March 15, 1980, indicated that magma may have been moving below the volcano. Shocks of magnitude 3.2 or greater occurred at an increasing rate during April and May with five earthquakes of magnitude 4 or above per day in early April, and eight per day the week before May 18.

The May 18 event was the most deadly and economically destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed and 200 houses, 27 bridges, 15 miles of railways and 185 miles of highway were destroyed.

Mount St. Helens produced an additional five explosive eruptions between May and October 1980. Through early 1990, a total of at least 21 periods of eruptive activity had occurred. The volcano remains active, with smaller, dome-building eruptions continuing to occur.

Kid of the 80s

pope-assassination-attempt
An assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II took place in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on May 13, 1981.

The Pope was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali Ağca while he was entering the square. The Pope was struck four times and suffered severe blood loss. Ağca was apprehended immediately, and later sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court.

Following the shooting, Pope John Paul II asked people to “pray for my brother (Ağca)… whom I have sincerely forgiven.” In 1983, he and Ağca met and spoke privately at the prison where Ağca was being held. Ağca reportedly kissed the Pope’s ring at the conclusion of their visit.

At the Pope’s request, Ağca was pardoned by Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and deported to Turkey in June 2000.

Kid of the 80s

reagan-inauguration

Ronald Reagan was President for most of the decade. He was inaugurated on January 20, 1981, and left office in 1989.

During his Presidency, Reagan pursued policies that reflected his personal belief in individual freedom, brought changes domestically, both to the U.S. economy and expanded military, and contributed to the end of the Cold War.

You may be too young to remember Reagan was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 and in 1976. He is the oldest man elected to the office of the presidency (at 69).