1981 history


  • January - President Reagan issues a top secret executive order authorizing the FBI to use whatever means necessary to neutralize Soviet agents operating within the United States. (Pilot)
  • March 11 - Meeting between Caspar Weinberger, Margaret Thatcher and John Nott (The Clock)
  • March 30 – President Reagan shot by John Hinckley Jr. (In Control)
  • April 26 - Game 7 of the National Hockey League's Eastern Quarterfinals, Calgary Flames vs. Philadelphia Flyers, played in Philadelphia (Safe House)
  • May 21 - Game 5 of the Stanley Cup, Minnesota North Stars vs. New York Islanders, played in New York (The Colonel)
  • December 23 - President Reagan's address to the nation about Christmas and the situation in Poland (Duty and Honor)
1982 history


  • January 6 - California "Freeway Killer" William Bonin was convicted in Los Angeles County of murdering 10 people (newspaper headline, Comrades)
  • March 5 - Actor/Comedian John Belushi dies (referenced by Matthew and Sandra Beeman in Behind the Red Door)
  • The Belomorsk, a Soviet submarine, went down due to a catastrophic propellor malfunction, killing 160 men. (New Car)
  • June 4 - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan opens in theaters (referenced by Henry in Operation Chronicle).
  • October 1 - EPCOT Center opens in Bay Lake, FL (referenced in Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow)
  • November 3 - Salang Tunnel Fire (Salang Pass)
  • November 10 - Leonid Brezhnev passes away (EST Men)
  • November 22 - Time Magazine lead article on Andropov (Open House)
  • November 23-28 - Trade conference in Geneva, attended by 88 nations (Open House)
  • December 21, 1982 - First Boland Amendment, restricting US support of the Contras, signed into law by Ronald Reagan (Salang Pass)
1983 history


  • February 28 - The final episode of M*A*S*H aired (I Am Abassin Zadran)
  • March 8 - President Reagan gave his famous speech in which he condemned the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” (March 8, 1983)
  • March 20 - Charles, Prince of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales, and their son Prince William, arrive in Australia for an official visit (The Rat)
  • April 8 - Illusionist David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty disappear (The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears)
  • September 26 - Soviet officer Stanislav Petrov averted nuclear war by disobeying orders and declining to tell his superiors about what appeared on radar to be five incoming missiles from the US; they turned out to be sunlight reflections on a cloud (The Day After)
  • November 20 – The television movie ‘The Day After’ aired (The Day After)
1984 history


  • January 22 - Super Bowl XVIII was played between the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Raiders. The Raiders defeated the Redskins 38–9. (Persona Non Grata
  • February - The 1984 Winter Olympics, took place from February 8-19, in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia. It was the first Winter Olympics held in a socialist state.  (Amber Waves
  • August 11 - As Reagan prepared to make a speech, he joked with radio technicians, stating "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".  This microphone gaffe was not broadcast over the air, but rather leaked later to the general populace. The Soviet reaction, and mild confusion it created, was covered by NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw. (The Soviet Division)



  • January 28 - The NASA Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39 EST (16:39 UTC). The disintegration of the vehicle began after an O-ring seal failed at liftoff. The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor. The exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown; several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program. (A Roy Rogers in Franconia)