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1984: Reagan Re-Election Landslide, Summer Olympics in L.A., Bhopal Disaster

By Patrick Mondout

President Reagan won an easy re-election over Walter Mondale. Mondale made news by choosing Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate with the latter becoming the first woman to be named to a major-party ticket.

Major Stories

January 1: AT&T is officially broken up into 22 independent units.
January 9: Wendy's begins their "Where's the Beef?" family of commercials starring Clara Peller.
January 22: The Los Angeles Raiders blowout the Washington Redskins 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII.
February 3: First Space Shuttle mission of the Challenger.
February 9: Soviet leader Yuri Andropov dies at age 69.
February 13
: Konstantin Chernenko succeeds Yuri Andropov as general secretary of the Communist Party and leader of the Soviet Union.
February 29: Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announces his resignation after leading his Liberal Party for over 15 years.
March 16: The Islamic Jihad kidnapped and later murdered CIA station chief William Buckley in Beirut, Lebanon. He would die while in captivity.
March 22: Seven teachers at the McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, California are charged with 115 counts of child sexual abuse. A pair of trials end with an acquittal for one and hung juries for the others.
April 1
: Motown superstar Marvin Gaye is shot dead by his father in Los Angeles.
April 12: Eighteen U.S. servicemen were killed, and 83 people were injured in a bomb attack on a restaurant near a U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain.
May 8: Soviet leader Chernenko announced his country will boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
June 5: Sikh terrorists seized the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. One hundred people died when Indian security forces retook the Sikh holy shrine in Operation Blue Star.
July 12: Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first woman to named to a major party presidential ticket when Walter Mondale announces his choice in Minnesota.
July 18: James Oliver Huberty riddles a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California with bullets killing 21 people before being shot dead himself by police.
July 21: Author of several books on running, James Fixx dies of a heart attack while jogging.
July 23: Vanessa Williams becomes a household name when she becomes the first Miss America to resign after old nude photos of her appeared in "Penthouse" magazine.
August 16: Carmaker John DeLorean is acquitted of a $24 million dollar cocaine conspiracy.
September 9: In the first case of bioterrorism in the U.S., the Rajneeshee religious cult (followers of Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh) contaminated restaurant salad bars in The Dalles, Oregon. The cult planned to infect residents with salmonella on election day to influence the results of county elections. This test run left 751 people ill.
September 26: Britain agrees to return Hong Kong to China as scheduled in 1997.
October 12
: Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet survives an IRA bombing at the Brighton Hotel.
October 31: Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh members of her security force (ensuing riots in New Delhi left nearly 2,000 Sikhs dead).
November 2: Velma Barfield - a serial murderer who killed her mother, husband and an elderly couple - becomes the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1962 (and the last until 1998).
November 7: Ronald Reagan wins another four years by trouncing Walter F. Mondale in the U.S. presidential election with the latter only carrying his home state of Minnesota.
December 3: A dense cloud of lethal gas from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India kills nearly 4,000 people and sickens upwards of 100,000.
December 22: Bernhard Goetz shoots four thugs on a New York City subway and earns the title the "Subway Vigilante."


Ronald Reagan giving campaign speech at a Reagan-Bush rally September 12, 1984 in Endicott, New York

Image courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, all rights reserved.

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