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§Of World Interest

Medical Research Council scientists decipher the complete DNA sequence of the Epstein-Barr virus, 170 kb.


§Burkina Faso (Formerly Upper Volta)

August 4 - The African republic Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso.To sever ties to the colonial past, the nation's leader, Thomas Sankara, changed the name of the country to Burkina Faso, which combines two of the nation's languages and means “the land of upright men.â€


October 23 - The world learns from moving BBC News TV reports that a famine is plaguing Ethiopia, where thousands of people have already died of starvation due to a famine and as many as 10,000,000 more lives are at risk.



September 26 - The United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China sign the initial agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.

December 19 - The People's Republic of China and United Kingdom sign the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong.

§Central America


September 4 - The Sandinista Front wins the Nicaraguan general elections.


October 25 - The European Economic Community makes £1.8billion available to help combat the Ethiopian famine.


December 18 - RAF "Commando Jan-Carl Raspe" attempts to bomb the SHAPE School, the NATO Officers’ School in Oberammergua. The bomb is discovered and defused.

December - RAF prisoners begin a hungerstrike, demanding association. Two statements are released, a shorter Hunger strike Statement and a longer one Regarding the Association of Political Prisoners aimed towards the movement.

§Great Britain

April 17 - WPC Yvonne Fletcher is shot and killed by a secluded gunman during a siege outside the Libyan Embassy in London.

June 20 - The biggest exam shake-up in the British education system in over 10 years is announced, with O-level and CSE exams to be replaced by a new exam, the GCSE.

October 12 - The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) attempts to assassinate the British Cabinet in the Brighton hotel bombing.

§British Entertainment

November 25 - Thirty-six of Britain and Ireland's top pop musicians gather in a Notting Hill studio to form Band Aid, and record the song "Do They Know It's Christmas", in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

§British Industry

March 6 - A year-long strike action begins in the British coal industry

June 22 - Virgin Atlantic Airways makes its inaugural flight.

December 3 -“ British Telecom is privatised.


March 14 - Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams and 3 others are seriously injured in a gun attack by the UVF.


December 22 - In Malta, Prime Minister Dom Mintoff resigns.


October 19 - Polish secret police kidnap Jerzy Popiełuszko, a Catholic priest who supports the Solidarity movement. His dead body is found in a reservoir 11 days later on October 30.


January 10 - The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations

January 23 - The Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984 between Chile and Argentina is signed in Vatican City.


March 5 - Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi orders Operation Blue Star to flush out separatist militants from Harimandir Sahib, the most sacred shrine of Sikhism.

April 13 - India launches Operation Meghdoot, as most of the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir comes under Indian control.

June 3 - 8 - Operation Blue Star was an Indian military operation on 3–8 June 1984, ordered by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in order to establish control over the Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar, Punjab and remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the complex buildings. Bhindranwale had earlier taken residence in Harmandir Sahib and made it his headquarters in April 1980 CE. 492 civilians were killed in an attack on the Sikh holy temple.

June 6 - Indian troops storm the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the Sikhs' holiest shrine, killing an estimated 2,000 people.

October 31 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her 2 Sikh security guards . Riots soon break out in New Delhi, and some 2,700 Sikhs are killed. Rajiv Gandhi becomes prime minister of India.

November 30 - The Tamil Tigers begin the purge of the Sinhalese from North and East Sri Lanka; 127 are killed.

December 3 - Bhopal Disaster: A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, kills more than 2,000 people outright and injures anywhere from 15,000 to 22,000 others (some 6,000 of whom later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history.

§Middle East


December - A peace agreement between Kenya and Somalia is signed in the Egyptian capital Cairo. With this agreement, in which Somalia officially renounces its historical territorial claims, relations between the two countries began to improve.


March 5 - Iran accuses Iraq of using chemical weapons; the United Nations condemns their use on March 30.


April 12 - Palestinian gunmen take Israeli Bus Number 300 hostage. Israeli special forces storm the bus, freeing the hostages (1 hostage, 2 hijackers killed).


February 26 - United States Marines pull out of Beirut, Lebanon.

March 16 - The CIA station chief in Beirut, William Francis Buckley, is kidnapped by Islamic Jihad and later dies in captivity.

September 20 - Hezbollah car-bombs the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut, killing 22 people.


March 23 - General Rahimuddin Khan becomes the first man in Pakistan's history to rule over 2 of its provinces, after becoming interim Governor of Sindh.

§North America


February 29 - Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announces his retirement.

June 30 - John Napier Turner becomes Canada's 17th Prime Minister.

September 4 - The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, led by Brian Mulroney, wins 211 seats in the House of Commons, forming the largest majority government in Canadian history.


November 19 - A series of explosions at the PEMEX Petroleum Storage Facility at San Juan Ixhuatepec, in Mexico City, ignites a major fire and kills about 500 people.

§United States

January 3 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan meets with Navy Lieutenant Robert Goodman and the Reverend Jesse Jackson at the White House, following Lieutenant Goodman's release from Syrian captivity.

January 10 - The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations

February 3 - Dr. John Buster and the research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center announce history's first embryo transfer, from one woman to another resulting in a live birth.

March 22 - Teachers at the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California are charged with Satanic ritual abuse of the schoolchildren (the charges are later dropped as completely unfounded).

April 4 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan calls for an international ban on chemical weapons.

May 12 - The Louisiana World's Fair opens.

June 8 - A deadly F5 tornado nearly destroys the town of Barneveld, Wisconsin, killing 9 people, injuring nearly 200, and causing over $25,000,000 in damage.

June 28 - Richard Ramírez, aka the "Night Stalker," murders his first confirmed victim.

July 18 - In San Ysidro, California, 41-year-old James Oliver Huberty sprays a McDonald's restaurant with gunfire, killing 21 people before being shot and killed.

July 23 - Vanessa Lynn Williams becomes the first Miss America to resign when she surrenders her crown, after nude photos of her appear in "Penthouse" magazine.

July 28 - August 12 - The 1984 Summer Olympics are held in Los Angeles, California.

August 11 - United States President Ronald Reagan, during a voice check for a radio broadcast remarks, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes"

November 28 - Over 250 years after their deaths, William Penn and his wife Hannah Callowhill Penn are made Honorary Citizens of the United States.

December 22 - Four African-American youths (Barry Allen, Troy Canty, James Ramseur, and Darrell Cabey) board an express train in The Bronx borough of New York City. They attempt to rob Bernhard Goetz, who shoots them. The event starts a national debate about urban crime, which is a plague in 1980s America.

§U.S. Business

January 24 - The Apple Macintosh is introduced.

November 9 - Cesar Chavez delivers his speech, "What The Future Holds For Farm Workers And Hispanics", at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

§U.S. Entertainment

January 27 - Michael Jackson's hair catches on fire during a Pepsi commercial.

June 1 - William M. Gibbons is released as receiver and trustee of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad, after all of its debts and creditors are paid off by order of a federal bankruptcy court.

November 25 - Band Aid records the charity single Do They Know It's Christmas? to raise money to combat the famine in Ethiopia. The all-British act, led by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, includes George Michael, Bono, Phil Young and David Bowie as well as the members of bands including Status Quo, Spandau Ballet and Bananarama.

November 29 - The Band Aid single is released.

§U.S. Politics

November 6 - U.S. presidential election, 1984: Ronald Reagan defeats Walter F. Mondale with 59% of the popular vote, the highest since Richard Nixon's 61% victory in 1972. Reagan carries 49 states in the electoral college; Mondale wins only his home state of Minnesota by a mere 3,761 vote margin and the District of Columbia.

§U.S. Religion

June 14 - The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution against ordaining women in the Baptist Church.

July 1984 - Jerry Falwell was forced to pay gay activist Jerry Sloan $5,000 after losing a court battle. During a TV debate in Sacramento, Falwell falsely denied calling the gay-oriented Metropolitan Community Churches "brute beasts" and "a vile and Satanic system" that will "one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven." When Sloan insisted he had a tape, Falwell promised $5,000 if he could produce it. Sloan did, Falwell refused to pay, and Sloan successfully sued. Falwell appealed, with his attorney alleging that the Jewish judge in the case was prejudiced. Falwell lost again and was forced to pay an additional $2,875 in sanctions and court fees.

November 1984 - Reports from the Federal Election Commission reveal that Jerry Falwell's "I Love America Committee," a political action committee created in 1983, was a flop. The PAC raised $485,000 in its first year, but had spent $413,000 in the process.


§Soviet Union

February 13 - Konstantin Chernenko succeeds the late Yuri Andropov as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

May 8 - The Soviet Union announces that it will boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.



December 28 - A Soviet cruise missile plunges into Inarinjärvi lake in Finnish Lapland. Finnish authorities announce the fact in public on January 3, 1985.

§Southeast Asia


January 1 - Brunei becomes a fully independent state.

January 7 - Brunei becomes the 6th member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


April 25 - The term of Sultan Ahmad Shah as the 7th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia ends.

April 26 - Sultan Iskandar, Sultan of Johor, becomes the 8th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

§South Pacific


February 1 - Medicare comes into effect in Australia.

April 19 - Advance Australia Fair is proclaimed as Australia's national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours.

May 14 - The one dollar coin is introduced in Australia.

August 1 - Australian banks are deregulated.

September 2 - Seven people are shot and killed and 12 wounded in the Milperra massacre, a shootout between the rival motorcycle gangs Bandidos and Comancheros in Sydney.

September 5 - Western Australia becomes the last Australian state to abolish capital punishment.

December 2 - Bob Hawke's government is re-elected in Australia with a reduced majority.

§Hawaiian Islands

March 25 - April 15 - Mauna Loa erupts sending lava toward the town of Hilo on the island of Hawaii.

§New Zealand

July 14 - New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon calls a snap election and is heavily defeated by opposition Labour leader David Lange.


August 21 - Half a million people in Manila demonstrate against the regime of Ferdinand Marcos.

November 14 - Zamboanga City mayor Cesar Climaco, a prominent critic of the government of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, is assassinated in his home city.


February 3 - STS-41-B: Space Shuttle Challenger is launched on the 10th space shuttle mission.

February 7 - Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk.

February 11 - STS-41-B: Space Shuttle Challenger| makes the first shuttle landing at the Kennedy Space Center.

April 2 - Indian Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma is launched into space, aboard the Soyuz T-11.

May 11 - A transit of Earth from Mars takes place.

August 30 - STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage.

October 5 - STS-41-G: Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian in space, aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

October 11 - Aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to perform a space walk.


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