- This article is about the year. For the song, see 1985 (song).
1982 1983 1984 – 1985 – 1986 1987 1988
| Decades: |
1950s 1960s 1970s – 1980s – 1990s 2000s 2010s
| Centuries: |
19th century – 20th century – 21st century
Table of contents
Environmental and weather change
- Asian Tiger Mosquito, an invasive species is first found in Houston, Texas
- May 25 – Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge which kills approximately 10,000 people.
- September 19 – 8.1 Richter scale earthquake strikes Mexico City more than 9000 dead, 30,000 injured, 95,000 lose their homes.
- November 13 – The volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupts in Colombia, killing an estimated 23,000 people.
- Ethiopian famine continues — Live Aid attempts to raise funds for famine relief.
- January 1 – The Internet's Domain Name System is created.
- January 1 – The first British mobile phone call is made (by Ernie Wise to Vodafone).
- January 17 – British Telecom announces they are going to phase out its famous red telephone boxs.
- January 20 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan is sworn in for a second term in office.
- January 23 – A debate in the House of Lords is televised for the first time.
- February 1 – AM Stereo Broadcasting starts. (Aus)
- February 5 – Australia Cancels it's involment in U.S lead MX missile tests
- February 6 – Steve Wozniak leaves Apple Computer.
- February 7 – "New York, New York" becomes the official city anthem of New York City.
- February 11 – Wasim Akram takes ten wickets in his 2nd Test Cricket match, but New Zealand still wins.
- February 14 – CNN reporter Jeremy Levin is freed from captivity in Lebanon.
- February 19 – Artificial heart patient William Schroeder becomes the first such patient to leave hospital.
- March 2 – Cain government reelected in Victoria for 2nd consecutive term
- March 3 – Women Against Pornography award their "Pig Award" to Kimberly-Clark Corporation's Huggies Diapers, claiming that their television commercials had "crossed the line between eye-catching and porn."
- March 4 – The Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS, used since then for blood donation.
- March 11 – Mikhail Gorbachev becomes the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and de facto leader of the Soviet Union.
- March 11 – Mohammed Al Fayed buys the London-based department store company, Harrods.
- March 11 – The Prague Appeal by Jiří Dienstbier, Czech dissident.
- March 14 – Five lionesses at the Singapore Zoo are put on birth control because the lion population had increased from two to 16.
- March 15 – José Sarney takes oath as acting president of Brazil, because the president-elect Tancredo Neves becomes severely ill.
- March 16 – Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut. He would later be released on December 4, 1991.
- March 17 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez (the "Night Stalker") commits his first two murders in Los Angeles, California.
- March 20 – Libby Riddles becomes the first woman to win the 1,135-mile Iditarod dog sled race.
- March 31 – Wrestlemania I occurs at Madison Square Garden, New York. The Main Event features Hulk Hogan and Mr. T with Jimmy Snuka vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff with Bob Orton, Jr.
- April (unknown date) – DC Comics releases the epic series called Crisis on Infinite Earths which changed the complete history of the DC Universe and sacrificed characters like the second Flash and Supergirl.
- April 1 – Villanova University's "perfect upset" of Georgetown University and Patrick Ewing for the NCAA Basketball Championship
- April 1 – Sports Illustrated magazine publishes an article about the non-existent baseball prodigy Sidd Finch.
- April 15 – South Africa ends its ban on interracial marriages.
- April 21 – Tancredo Neves, president-elect of Brazil, dies after 38 days of illness that prevented him to take oath.
- April 26 – High Court judge Justice Lionel Murphy is commited to stand trial on charges of trying to pevert the course of Justice
- April 28 – Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP), Splits.
- May 8 – New Coke is released on the 99th anniversary of Coca-Cola. It will later become a major flop with consumers.
- May 11 – The FBI brings charges against suspected heads of the five Mafia families in New York City
- May 13 – Philadelphia's mayor orders police to storm the radical group's MOVE headquarters to end a stand-off. The police drop an explosive device into the headquarters killing 11 MOVE members and destroying the homes of 61 city residents in the resulting fire and leaving 250 people homeless.
- May 20 – Propaganda: Radio Marti begins broadcasting to Cuba.
- May 23 – Thomas Patrick Cavanagh is sentenced to life in prison for attempting to sell stealth bomber secrets to the Soviet Union.
- May 29 – The Heysel Stadium disaster, 39 football fans die and hundreds are injured.
- May 31 – The US-Canadian Outbreak: Forty-one tornadoes hit in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario. By its end, 76 perish.
- June – Alexey Pajitnov develops Tetris in Moscow Academy of Science, Moscow for Electronica 60 -computer.
- June 2 – Serial killer Leonard Lake is arrested near San Francisco, California for shoplifting.
- June 6 – The body of Josef Mengele is located and exhumed in Brazil.
- June 9 – Thomas Sutherland is kidnapped in Lebanon (he was not released until 1991).
- June 10 – Claus von Bulow acquitted on charges of trying to kill his wife.
- June 14 – TWA Flight 847 is hijacked by Hezbollah.
- June 23 – A Boeing 747 carrying Air India Flight 182 blew-up 31,000 feet (9500 m) above the Atlantic Ocean, South of Ireland, killing all 329 aboard.
- July 10 – The Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland Harbour by French DGSE agents.
- July 10 – After a storm of controversy surrounding a change in its cola's formula (see New Coke), Coca-Cola re-introduces the old formula as "Coca-Cola Classic".
- July 13 – Live Aid pop concerts in both the United States and United Kingdom raise over £50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.
- July 19 – US Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush announces that New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe will become the first schoolteacher to ride aboard the Space Shuttle (see Space Shuttle Challenger).
- July 20 – The main ship wreck site of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha (which sank in 1622) is found 40 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida by treasure hunters who soon begin to raise $400 million in coins and silver.
- August 6 – In Hiroshima, tens of thousands mark the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.
- August 12 – Japan Airlines Flight 123, a Boeing 747SR-46 plane en route from Tokyo to Osaka, crashed northwest of Tokyo, killing 520 of the 524 people on board.
- August 22 – 55 people killed at in the Manchester air disaster at Manchester International Airport when a British Airtours Boeing 737 burst into flames after the pilot aborts the takeoff.
- August 31- Richard Ramirez arrested for 'Night Stalker' murders.
- September 1 – A joint American-French expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic.
- September 5 – John Howard replaces Andrew Peacock as Federal Opposition Leader
- September 6 – A Douglas DC-9 carrying Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105 crashes just after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin killing 31.
- September 15 – US hostage Benjamin Weir released in Iran.
- September 28 – Alex X. Han born
- October 3 – Walter Polovchak, an immigrant from Ukraine who had been fighting for citizenship, is awarded a U.S. citizenship.
- October 7 – The passenger ship Achille Lauro is hijacked by Palestinians.
- October 10 – United States Navy F-14 fighter jets intercept an Egyptian plane carrying the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijackers and force it to land at a NATO base in Sigonella, Sicily where they are arrested.
- October 29 – Major General Samuel K. Doe is announced the winner of the first multiparty election in Liberia.
- November 6 – In Colombia, leftist guerrillas of the April 19 Movement seize control of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá. By the next day, 115 people are dead including 11 Supreme Court justices.
- November 15 – In separate events, mail bombs kill two people in Salt Lake City, Utah; a third bomb explodes the next day, injuring Mark Hoffman. The ensuing police investigation leads to the arrest of Mark Hoffman for these murders, as well as forgery.
- November 16 – When 1800 staff of Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, South Africa go on strike for better pay, they are dismissed and troops called in to help run the hospital.
- November 18 – First Calvin and Hobbes comic strip printed in a handful of newspapers; the strip is not carried in the hometown newspaper of its creator, Bill Watterson.
- November 19 – Cold War: In Geneva, US President Ronald Wilson Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time.
- November 19 – Pennzoil wins a US$10.53 billion verdict from Texaco in the largest civil verdict in US history (Texaco established a signed contract to buy Getty Oil after Pennzoil entered into an unsigned, yet still binding, buyout contract with Getty).
- November 21 – United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard is arrested for spying (he was caught giving Israel classified information on Arab nations and was eventually sentenced to life in prison).
- November 23 – Gunmen hijack EgyptAir Flight 648 while en route from Athens to Cairo (when the plane lands in Malta, Egyptian commandos storm the hijacked jetliner but 60 people die in the raid).
- November 26 – US President Ronald Wilson Reagan signs over rights to his autobiography to Random House for a record US$3 million.
- December 12 – An Arrow Air DC-8 crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland – 256 dead.
- December 16 – In New York City, mafia bosses Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead while exiting Sparks Steak House, making hit organizer, John Gotti the leader of the powerful Gambino organized crime family.
- December 27 – Palestinian guerrillas kill twenty people inside Rome and Vienna airports.
- December 27 – American naturalist Dian Fossey is found murdered in Rwanda.
- Victoria celebrates It's 150th Anniversary
- Capital Gains tax introduced
- Buckyballs discovered by Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley.
- GNU Manifesto first written by Richard Stallman.
- Western Sahara is admitted to the Organization of African Unity; Morocco, which claims Western Sahara, leaves in protest.
- Solarquest, space age real estate game, first published by Golden.
- Free Software Foundation founded.
Year in topic
- 1985 in film
- 1985 in literature
- 1985 in music
- 1985 in rail transport
- 1985 in sports
- 1985 in television
- February 8 – After 5–1/2 years, the television series The Dukes of Hazzard goes off the air.
- August 19 – David Letterman interrupts the Today Show with a megaphone while both shows are on the air. Letterman leaned out the window of his building and announced "My name is Larry Grossman (then president of NBC News) and I'm not wearing any pants!". The Today Show was taping an interview several stories below.
- NBC becomes the first commercial television network to use satellite interconnection for its stations.
- February 5 – Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese footballer
- February 18 – Lee Boyd Malvo, convicted Beltway sniper
- February 20 – Yulia Volkova, Russian musician (t.A.T.u.)
- February 28 – FeFe Dobson, Canadian singer
- March 2 – Robert Iler, actor
- March 13 – Emile Hirsch, actor
- March 26 – Keira Knightley, actress
- May 2 – Sarah Hughes, figure skater
- June 8 – Alexandre Despatie, Canadian diver
- June 26 – Urgyen Trinley Dorje, Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader
- June 30 – Michael Phelps, American swimmer
- October 11 – Michelle Trachtenberg, actress
- October 22 – Zachary Hanson, musician
- October 24 – Wayne Rooney, English footballer
- November 10 – Giovonnie Samuels, television actress
- December 2 – Liene Buldure, streaker
- December 5 – Frankie Muniz, actor
- December 10 – Raven Symone, actress and singer
- January 4 – Sir Brian Horrocks, British general (b. 1895)
- February 8 – Sir William Lyons, English automobile designer and entrepreneur (b. 1901)
- February 11 – Henry Hathaway American actor and director (b. 1898)
- February 11 – Ulysses Simpson Kay, composer
- February 11 – Heinz Eric Roemheld, composer
- February 20 – Clarence Nash, American voice actor (b. 1904)
- February 27 – Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., American politician (b. 1902)
- February 27 – Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, British genealogist (b. 1919)
- February 28 – Ray Ellington, British singer (b. 1916)
- March 10 – Konstantin Chernenko, Soviet politician (b. 1911)
- March 12 – Eugene Ormandy, Hungarian conductor (b. 1899)
- March 28 – Marc Chagall, Russian-born painter (b. 1887)
- April 11 – Enver Hoxha, Albanian dictator (b. 1908)
- May 5 – Sir Donald Bailey, British civil engineer (b. 1901)
- May 8 – Theodore Sturgeon, American science fiction writer (b. 1918)
- May 9 – Edmond O'Brien, American actor (b. 1915)
- May 10 – Chester Gould, American cartoonist (b. 1900)
- May 12 – Jean Dubuffet, French artist (b. 1901)
- May 16 – Margaret Hamilton, American actress (b. 1902)
- May 17 – Abe Burrows, songwriter, composer, and writer
- June 15 – Andy Stanfield, American athlete (b. 1927)
- July 9 – Jimmy Kinnon, Scottish founder of Narcotics Anonymous (b. 1911)
- July 16 – Heinrich Böll, German writer (b. 1917)
- July 19 – Janusz A. Zajdel, Polish science fiction writer (b. 1938)
- August 12 – Manfred Winkelhock, German race car driver (b. 1951)
- August 25 – Samantha Smith, American schoolgirl activist (b. 1972)
- September 6 – Isabel Cox-Meighen, First Lady of Canada (b. 1882)
- September 6 – Little Brother Montgomery, American jazz musician
- September 11 – William Alwyn, English composer (b. 1905)
- September 19 – Italo Calvino, Italian writer (b. 1923)
- October 2 – Rock Hudson, American actor (b. 1925)
- October 6 – Nelson Riddle, American bandleader (b. 1921)
- October 11 – Orson Welles, American film director (b. 1915)
- October 12 – Johnny Olson, American game show announcer (b. 1910)
- October 22 – Thomas Townsend Brown, American scientist (b. 1905)
- November 5 – Spencer W. Kimball, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (b. 1895)
- November 24 – Big Joe Turner, American blues singer (b. 1911)
- December 7 – Robert Graves, English writer (b. 1895)
- December 23 – Ferhat Abbas, Algerian nationalist (b. 1899)
- December 27 – Dian Fossey, American biologist (b. 1932)
- December 31 – Ricky Nelson, American singer and actor (b. 1940)
- Physics – Klaus von Klitzing
- Chemistry – Herbert A. Hauptman, Jerome Karle
- Medicine – Michael S Brown, Joseph L Goldstein
- Literature – Claude Simon
- Peace – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
- Theo van Boven, Cary Fowler / Pat Mooney / Rural Advancement Fund International, Lokayan / Rajni Kothari and Duna Kör