February 13, 1980 – The opening ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics Games are held in Lake Placid, New York. Famously known for the Miracle on Ice, the United States Men’s Hockey team defeating the USSR in the semifinal game of hockey and then winning Gold.
April 24-25, 1980 – The attempt to rescue the American hostages held captive in the U.S. Embassy in Iran. This attempt fails causing eight Americans deaths and five wounded in Operation Eagle Claw. The deaths occurred when two helicopters collided in mid air.
May 18, 1980 – The Mt. St. Helens volcano, in Washington State, erupts, killing fifty-seven people and economic devastation to the area with losses near $3 billion. They have estimated that the volcanic blast had five hundred times more power than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
November 4, 1980 – Ronald Reagan, the former Republican governor of California, beats President Jimmy Carter and independent candidate John B. Anderson, also a Republican, in a landslide victory to become the new President of the United States. The victory in the Electoral College, 489 to 49, as well as an 8 million vote margin in the popular vote over Carter, was and still is one of the biggest victories in presidential voting history.
June 18, 1983 – Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman to travel into space.
January 20, 1986 – Martin Luther King Day is officially observed for the first time as a federal holiday in the United States. It is now held on the third Monday in January, every year.
November 9, 1989 – The Berlin Wall, after thirty-eight years of restricting traffic between the East and West German sides of the city, begins to crumble when German citizens are allowed to travel freely between East and West Germany for the first time. A day after the citizens are allowed to travel freely, the huge crowds begin to dismantle the wall, hence why it does not stand today.