1984 News and Interesting History Tidbits

Olympic Games 1984
The Summer Olympic Games of the XXIII Olympiad are held in Los Angeles, United States.

Soviet-led boycott of the Olympics caused 14 Eastern Bloc countries and allies including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany to not compete.

This was only the second Olympic Games to make a profit.

Carl Lewis equals the performance of Jesse Owens of 1936 and wins four gold medals in the 100 m, 200 m, 4x100 m relay and the Long Jump.

The opening ceremony featured the arrival by means of the Bell Aerosystems rocket pack (also known as a Jet Pack).

The talented controversial runner from South Africa Zola Budd who was representing the British Team has causes further controversy during the final of the 3,000 metres when she collides with the American favorite Mary Decker causing the American athlete to fall and drop out of the race, the American crowd began booing and Zola Budd who many believed would be a medal winner together with Mary Decker came in seventh place .

Ethiopia Famine
Following reports from Oxfam, Save the Children, Christian Aid and the Red Cross who believe 10 million people are facing starvation in Ethiopia. The EEC donates £1.8 million. It is thought just in 1984 1 million people DIED of starvation in Ethiopia as the aid was still not enough and in many cases to late.

The 44 music stars from around the world working together as ( Band Aid ) which was founded by Bob Geldof to help raise money to assist famine stricken Ethiopia, recorded the single "Do They Know It's Christmas" in a London studio . The single raised more than £12 million for famine victims in Africa.

McDonalds Murders 21 Dead
21 people were shot dead and 19 injured in a San Ysidro, California McDonald's by James Oliver Huberty who had told his wife as he was leaving with 3 guns ( A 9mm Uzi semi-automatic ), ( Winchester pump-action twelve-gauge shotgun ) ,( a 9mm Browning HP ) that he was "hunting humans". The killings only ended when he was fatally shot by a SWAT team sniper

Gerry Adams Shot
The Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, is shot in a street attack in central Belfast, and was hit in the neck, shoulder and arm as several gunmen riddled his car with bullets.

EEC Refund Row
A row over the amount of refund Britain receives back from the European Economic Community has reached an en pass as Mrs Thatcher the British Prime Minister asked for an annual rebate of £730m but was offered £580m. The current refunds are often based on the amount of farming subsidies the country receives and Britain often got less back than other states because of its relatively small farming industry and the fact a high percentage of the budget is made up from farm subsidies.

Nokia makes it's First Mobile Phone
Mobira now called Nokia introduced its first car phone, the Mobira Senator for NMT 450 networks. The Mobira Talkman, launched in 1984, was the world's first transportable phone.

Wing of York Minster Gutted By Fire
A 760-year-old wing of York Minster of York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral in Britain, was gutted by a fierce fire started by lightning. A rescue party tried as many of the historic and valuable artifacts from the burning cathedral including tapestries and silver candlesticks as they could.

Leukaemia Links To Sellafield Nuclear Plant
A new government report confirms an increased incidence of Leukaemia clusters in and around the Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant in Cumbria. The report led by Sir Douglas Black has confirmed the clusters but says to little research has been done to confirm they are related to the Nuclear Power Plant.

A number of reports in later years did link the increase of Leukaemia in the area to Sellafield but BNFL ( British Nuclear Fuels ) and the government continue to say that there is no evidence to support a link between Leukaemia and nuclear power plants.

WPC Yvonne Fletcher Murdered
WPC Yvonne Fletcher a London police officer is shot and killed while helping control a small demonstration outside the Libyan People's Bureau Embassy in central London.

The police can not enter The Libyan building as it has diplomatic immunity but the building is surrounded by armed police officers. Meanwhile Libyan soldiers have now surrounded Britain's embassy in Tripoli trapping the 18 diplomats inside.

Following the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two countries British Diplomats leave Libya and the Libyan diplomats leave England including the person who had killed Yvonne Fletcher.

Diplomatic relations with Libya are restored after 15 years in 1999 after the Libyan Government admitted it bore "general responsibility" for WPC Fletcher's death. ( It is also believed that when the killer returned to Libya he was immediately executed but this can not be confirmed )

Bhopal Chemical Disaster
Hundreds of people die from the effects of toxic gases which leaked from Bhopal Union Carbide Factory near the central Indian city of Bhopal.

Army Attacks Golden Temple Compound
The Indian government sends army troops into the Sikh rebel held Golden Temple compound in Amritsar the holiest shrine of Sikhism where they kill at least 500 Sikh rebels. The army was also ordered to attack Sikh guerrillas besieged in three dozen other temples and religious shrines throughout the state of Punjab.

Subway Vigilante
Bernhard Goetz shoots four black youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him. He is dubbed the "Subway Vigilante" by the New York press and becomes a symbol of New Yorkers' frustrations with a high crime rate.

Chad Civil War
Libya has offered to withdraw Libyan troops who support the rebel army from Chad if France will also withdraw French Support for the current regime.

Ronald Reagan Visits China
Ronald Reagan, has arrived in China for a six-day visit the first visit by an American president since Richard Nixon in 1972.

US Aid to El Salvador
President Reagan Said he will continue aid to El Salvador despite critics as it was an important step in stopping the influence of Communism in South America

Marvin Gaye Shot By His Father
Singer Marvin Gaye the Motown singer who had numerous hits including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" was shot to death by his father at age 45. His father was suffering from a brain tumor at the time and after pleading guilty to manslaughter was sentenced to six years of probation.

Boat Race Postponed
The 130th Cambridge / Oxford Boat Race is postponed for 24hrs after the Cambridge boat collides with a barge and sinks. The Boat Race dates back to 1829, with the first race held on 10 June at Henley-on-Thames. The current race is over the four and a quarter mile distance from Putney to Mortlake along the River Thames through London and pits students from Cambridge and Oxford universities . Cambridge currently lead the series since 1829 by 79-73. The 154th Boat Race takes place Saturday, March 29th 2008 at 17.15pm Boat Race Website

Brunei Gains Independence
Brunei Gains Independence from Great Britain in 1984

Greenham Common Peace Demonstrators
The women from the main peace camp at Greenham Common in Berkshire have been evicted with more than 30 arrested after bailiffs backed up by 300 police officers moved in. By the following day women had returned to Greenham Common to re-establish their camps around the smaller gates and remained at the base throughout the time Cruise missiles were there. The last of the missiles was flown back to the US in 1991 and most of the protestors left the site believing they had helped to keep the base in the Public Eye which forced the government to end the of Cruise missiles in England.

MTV Music Awards
The MTV Video Music Awards Started in 1984

First Human To Fly In Space
Astronaut Bruce McCandless unhooked a lifeline and became the first human to fly free in space , using a gas-powered jet-pack to propel himself nearly 300 feet away from the Earth-orbiting U.S. space shuttle Challenger and back again

Michael Jackson hair burns during commercial
Michael Jackson recieves serious burns to his head after his hair caught light while singing his hit "Billie Jean" for a Pepsi Cola commercial in Los Angeles when the special effects went wrong.

Gas Line Explosion Brazil Kills 500
A huge explosion caused by a Gas Pipeline close to the Shanty Town destroys the shanty town in Brazil, killing at least 500 people, mostly young children.

World's Deepest Cave Found
Speleologists in Mexico had discovered what might be the world’s deepest cave after going through a maze of underground tunnels in the jungle. The explorations took place in the state of Oaxeca.

Rajiv Gandhi Wins Election In India
Rajiv Gandhi the son of the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi wins landslide election victory

Hong Kong Return to Communist China in 1997
Hong Kong is to be returned to Communist China in 1997 after an historic agreement was signed in Peking between the British and Chinese Governments. The British colony of Hong Kong has been under British Rule for 155 years.

China has agreed to a principle of "one country, two systems" which will allow Hong Kong to have a capitalist economy and enjoy existing rights and freedoms.

Chevy Nova Introduced
The first Chevy Nova is introduced a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors .

British Coal Miners Strike
The NUM Miners' leader Arthur Scargill has ruled out a national ballot of miners on whether to the continue the miners strike.

Violence at picket lines during the Miners Strikes in the coal industry leads to 100's of picketers arrested during violent clashes with police outside two working coal pits in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

The leader of the mine workers union Arthur Scargill is found guilty of two charges of obstruction during a picket at a Yorkshire coal works and was fined £250 and ordered to pay £750 in costs following a scuffle outside Orgreave Coal Works, near Sheffield, Yorkshire, on 30 May.

The miners strike started on 6 March after the head of the National Coal Board, Ian McGregor, announced plans to lose 20,000 jobs in the mining industry and ended on March 3rd 1985 making it one of the longest running industrial disputes in Britain.
The strike continued for 12 months and ended because the miners failed to stop power production when the government used a higher percentage of electricity generated from oil powered power stations.

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean win the Olympic ice skating championship with the free dance performance of Ravel's Bolero.

I must admit I included this as an indulgence as I was never a fan of Olympic Ice Skating but when I watched the performance thought it was pure perfection as an art form on ice

British Pound Note Ends
The English pound note is to disappear and be replaced by the one pound coin which introduced last April.

O'Levels and CSE's To Be Replaced By GCSE's
General Certificate of Education / GCE O-Level and CSE exams are to be abolished and replaced by a new examination for 16 year olds in Great Britain.

General Certificate of Education / GCE O-Level and GCE A-Level were introduced in Great Britain replacing the older School Certificate (SC) and Higher School Certificate (HSC) in 1951.

Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) were introduced in 1965 designed for those students who were not capable of taking the "O Levels".

The A-Level Examinations are still taken in the UK and are still used by most British Universities as a de facto university entrance examination, though some universities also require applicants to take separate entrance examinations.

Mexico City Tragedy
A preventable tragedy in the giant gas-works on the outskirts of Mexico City left 500 dead and public facilities crammed with injured people. The LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) was stored in massive million-gallon containers which was a disastrous mistake. The gas should have been stored in smaller receptacles in various locations to prevent a calamity like this occurring.

1983 Previous Year ---- ( Current Year Is 1984 ) ---- Following Year 1985

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