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1 9 8 5

A hostage drama in the Mediterranean Sea ends with U.S. fighters stopping a group of terrorists from escaping to freedom. Live Aid sizzles and new Coke fizzles, while a deadly earthquake rocks Mexico City. President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time, striking a rapport but accomplishing little of substance.

  • New Coke fizzles
  • Live Aid
  • Delta crash in Dallas
  • Mexico City earthquakes
  • Achille Lauro incident
  • Orson Welles dies
  • Reagan and Gorbachev summit


  • American killed as terrorists capture cruise ship -- October 7, 1985

    Four heavily armed Palestinian terrorists in October hijack the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, carrying more than 400 passengers and crew, off Egypt. The hijackers demand that Israel free 50 Palestinian prisoners. The terrorists kill a disabled American tourist, 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer, and throw his body overboard with his wheelchair. After a two-day drama, the hijackers surrender in exchange for a pledge of safe passage. But when an Egyptian jet tries to fly the hijackers to freedom, U.S. Navy F-14 fighters intercept it and force it to land in Sicily. The terrorists are taken into custody by Italian authorities.

    Background and demands:
    2.0M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 6.6M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    Death of Leon Klinghoffer:
    2.9M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 7.3M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    Former hostage recalls Klinghoffer incident:
    1.7M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 4.8M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    A "near miss" story:
    1.7M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 5.2M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    Hostages released:
    2.5M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 8M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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    Orson Welles dies -- October 10, 1985

    Hollywood legend Orson Welles dies October 10 of an apparent heart attack at the age of 70. A star of American theater, broadcasting and film, Welles in 1938 presented a radio version of H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" that frightened tens of thousands of listeners into thinking a Martian invasion was actually under way. In 1941, he directed, starred in and co-authored "Citizen Kane," which in 1962 was voted by a panel of international film critics as "the best film in motion picture history." Although he made a number of acclaimed films, the uncompromising writer and director had difficulty making films later in life and left several projects unfinished.

    Press conference:
    736K QuickTime Movie (160x120) 1.4M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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    Geneva summit for Reagan and Gorbachev -- November 19, 1985

    President Reagan and new Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gobachev meet in Geneva for a hectic three-day summit, the first such U.S.-Soviet meeting since 1979. Reagan and Gorbachev spend about five hours in private negotiations, far more than expected. They sign a number of cultural and scientific agreements, but there are no breakthroughs on divisive issues of arms control or human rights.

    Reagan and Gorbachev shake hands:
    416K QuickTime Movie (160x120) 768K QuickTime Movie (320x240)


    1980 -- 1981 -- 1982 -- 1983 -- 1984 -- 1985 -- 1986 -- 1987 -- 1988 -- 1989 -- 1990 -- 1991 -- 1992 -- 1993 -- 1994 -- 1995 -- 1996 -- 1997

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