Top News Stories from 1986

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.378 billion
population by decade
Nobel Peace Prize: Elie Wiesel (US)
More World Statistics...

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

President: Ronald W. Reagan
Vice President: George Bush
Population: 240,132,887
Life expectancy: 74.7 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 54.8
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) 48.6
More U.S. Statistics...


US GDP (1998 dollars): $4,422.20 billion
Federal spending: $990.34 billion
Federal debt $2120.6 billion
Consumer Price Index: $109.6
Unemployment: 7.0%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.22


Super Bowl
Chicago d. New England
World Series
NY Mets d. Boston Red Sox (4-3)
NBA Championship
Boston d. Houston
Stanley Cup
Montreal d. Calgary
Women: Martina Navratilova d. H. Mandlikova (7-6 6-3)
Men: Boris Becker d. I. Lendl (6-4 6-3 7-5)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
Louisville d. Duke
NCAA Football Champions
Penn St. (12-0-0)
World Cup
Argentina d. W. Germany


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry

Music: Wind Quintet IV, George Perle
Academy Award, Best Picture: Out of Africa, Sydney Pollack, producer (Universal)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)
Record of the Year: "We Are the World," USA for Africa
Album of the Year: No Jacket Required, Phil Collins (Atlantic)
Song of the Year: "We Are the World," Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, songwriters
Miss America: Susan Akin (MS)
More Entertainment Awards...


  • Barry Diller, head of News Corp., creates Fox, the fourth television network. Fox offers 10 hours of prime-time programming a week.
  • The Television Bureau of Advertising announces that the average American household watches television for more than seven hours a day.
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show hits national television.
  • The Academic American Encyclopedia is available on CD-ROM. It is the first reference work published in this medium.
  • Nintendo video games introduced in U.S.


  • Platoon, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Color of Money, The Mission



Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Dudley R. Herschback, Yuan T. Lee (both US), and John C. Polanyi (Canada), for their work on “reaction dynamics”
Physics: Ernst Ruska, Gerd Binnig (both Germany), and Heinrich Rohrer (Switzerland), for work on microscopes
Physiology or Medicine: Rita Levi-Montalcini (dual US/Italy) and Stanley Cohen (US), for their contributions to the understanding of substances that influence cell growth
More Nobel Prizes in 1998...
  • K. Alex Müller (Switzerland) and J. Georg Bednorz (Germany) discover superconductivity in a ceramic material at -397ºF, a higher temperature than ever before.
  • Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager make the first nonstop flight around the world without refueling. The Voyager flew around the world (24,986 miles) from Edwards AFB, California, returning in 216 hours, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds (Dec. 14–23). Background: Famous Firsts in Aviation
  • The first genetically-engineered vaccine, for hepatitis B, gains FDA approval. Background: Health & Nutrition
  • The Voyager 2 probe passes Uranus in January, returning images and data on its moon, rings, atmosphere, interior, and magnetic field. Background: US Unstaffed Planetary and Lunar Programs
  • Halley's comet yields information on return visit (April 10). Background: comets


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