News and Events of 1985

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.850 billion
population by decade

Nobel Peace Prize:
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

More World Statistics...

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

President: Ronald W. Reagan
Vice President: George Bush
Population: 237,923,795
Life expectancy: 74.7 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 52.1
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 46.5

More U.S. Statistics...
  • Ronald Reagan, 73, takes oath for second term as 40th President (Jan. 20).

  • General Westmoreland settles libel action against CBS (Feb. 18).

  • US Supreme Court, 5–4, bars public school teachers from parochial schools (July 1).

  • Arthur James Walker, 50, retired naval officer, convicted by federal judge of participating in Soviet spy ring operated by his brother, John Walker (Aug. 9).

  • US budget-balancing bill enacted (Dec. 12).


US GDP (1998 dollars):   $4,180.70 billion
Federal spending:   $946.39 billion
Federal debt:   $1817.5 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
Consumer Price Index:   107.6
Unemployment:   7.2%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.20 ($0.22 as of 2/17/1985)


Super Bowl
San Francisco d. Miami (38-16)
World Series
Kansas City d. St. Louis Cardinals (4-3)
NBA Championship
LA Lakers d. Boston (4-2)
Stanley Cup
Edmonton d. Philadelphia (4-1)
Women: Martina Navratilova d. C. Evert Lloyd (4-6 6-3 6-2)
Men: Boris Becker d. K. Curren (6-3 6-7 7-6 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
Spend A Buck
NCAA Basketball Championship
Villanova d. Georgetown (66-64)
NCAA Football Champions
Oklahoma (11-1-0)


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes
Fiction: Foreign Affairs, Alison Lurie
Music: Symphony RiverRun, Stephen Albert
Drama: Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine

Oscars awarded in 1985
Academy Award, Best Picture: Amadeus, Saul Zaentz, producer (Orion)

Nobel Prize for Literature: Claude Simon (France)

1985 Emmy Awards

1985 Tony Awards

Grammys awarded in 1985
Record of the Year: "What's Love Got to Do With It," Tina Turner
Album of the Year: Can't Slow Down, Lionel Richie (Motown)
Song of the Year: "What's Love Got to Do With It," Graham Lyle and Terry Britten, songwriters

Miss America: Sharlene Wells (UT)

More Entertainment Awards...


  • Rock Hudson dies of AIDS at age 59. He's the first major star to fall victim to the disease.
  • Madonna launches her first road show, the Virgin Tour.
  • Dozens of top-name musicians and bands perform at the Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia and London. The shows benefit African famine victims.
  • With the availability of relatively inexpensive laser printers and computers, tools for desktop publishing begin to be commonly used.


  • Kiss of the Spider Woman, Out of Africa, Prizzi's Honor, The Color Purple



Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Herbert A. Hauptman and Jerome Karle (both US), for their outstanding achievements in the development of direct methods for the determination of crystal structures

Physics: Klaus von Klitzing (Germany), for developing an exact way of measuring electrical conductivity

Physiology or Medicine: Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein (both US), for their work, which has drastically widened our understanding of the cholesterol metabolism and increased our possibilities to prevent and treat atherosclerosis and heart attacks

  • British scientists report the opening of an enormous hole in the earth's ozone layer over Antarctica. Background: Environment & Nature
  • Researchers at IBM develop the scanning tunneling microscope, which can visualize images on an atomic scale.
  • Coca-Cola attempts to change its 99-year-old formula in an effort to attract younger drinkers. "New" Coke is poorly received, and the company soon reintroduces the original, "Classic" beverage. Background: carbonated beverages


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