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World Events
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  • Pope John Paul II signs new Roman Catholic code incorporating changes brought about by Second Vatican Council (Jan. 25).

  • Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., 50, political rival of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, is assassinated in Manila (Aug. 21).

  • South Korean Boeing 747 jetliner bound for Seoul apparently strays into Soviet airspace and is shot down by a Soviet SU-15 fighter after it had tracked the airliner for two hours; all 269 aboard are killed. (Aug. 30).

  • Terrorist explosion kills 237 US Marines in Beirut (Oct. 23).

  • US invades Grenada (Oct. 25).


U.S. Events
  • space shuttle, Challenger, makes successful maiden voyage, which includes the first US space walk in nine years (April 4).

  • US Supreme Court declares many local abortion restrictions unconstitutional (June 15).

  • Sally K. Ride, 32, first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger (June 18).

  • US admits shielding former Nazi Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, 69, the "butcher of Lyon," wanted in France for war crimes (Aug. 15).
Economics
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US GDP (1998 dollars):   $3,514.50 billion
Federal spending:   $808.38 billion
Federal debt:   $1371.7 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
$20,885
Consumer Price Index:   99.6
Unemployment:   9.6%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.20

Sports
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Super Bowl
Washington d. Miami (27-17)

World Series
Baltimore d. Philadelphia Phillies (4-1)

NBA Championship
Philadelphia 76ers d. LA Lakers (4-0)

Stanley Cup
NY Islanders d. Edmonton (4-0)

Wimbledon
Women: Martina Navratilova d. A. Jaeger (6-0 6-3)
Men: John McEnroe d. C. Lewis (6-2 6-2 6-2)

Kentucky Derby Champion
Sunny's Halo

NCAA Basketball Championship
N.C. State d. Houston (54-52)

NCAA Football Champions
Miami-FL (11-1-0)

Entertainment
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Events

  • With the introduction of noise-free compact discs, the vinyl record begins a steep decline.

  • Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy wins the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and Tony Award for best play, marking the acceptance of gay theater.

  • Singer Karen Carpenter dies of complications from anorexia nervosa at age 32.

  • More than 125 million viewers tune in to the last episode of M*A*S*H.

Movies

  • The Big Chill, Terms of Endearment, Fanny & Alexander, The Right Stuff

Books

  • J.M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K

  • William Kennedy, Ironweed

Theater

  • Torch Song Trilogy
Science
  • "Crack" cocaine is developed in the Bahamas, and soon appears in the United States. Background: Nationwide Trends in Drug Abuse

  • The FCC authorizes Motorola to begin testing cellular phone service in Chicago.

  • The El Niño phenomenon disrupts global weather patterns. Background: What's Wrong With Our Weather?

Deaths
  • Tennessee Williams

  • Joan Miró

  • Buckminster Fuller

  • Jack Dempsey

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