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1 9 8 6

Science goes tragically awry, as the space shuttle Challenger explodes seconds after lift-off and the Soviet nuclear power plant at Chernobyl has a partial meltdown. Politics heats up in the Philippines with Ferdinand Marcos out and Corazon Aquino in; Libya takes a direct hit from U.S. fighter planes, and the American public meets Lt. Col. Oliver North for the first time.

  • Challenger explodes
  • Halley's comet
  • Soviets launch Mir
  • Aquino sworn in
  • Marcos ousted
  • Libya strike
  • Chernobyl accident
  • Iran-Contra probe


  • Marcos ousted from the Philippines -- February 26, 1986

    Ferdinand Marcos' downfall as leader of the Philippines developes rapidly in February. Marcos delcares himself the winner in presidential elections, but an indendent tally gives the victory to Corazon Aquino, widow of his late political rival Benigno Aquino. After the U.S. Senate votes that the election was marred by fraud, Philippine Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile resigns, seizes military headquarters and demands Marcos' resignation. Marcos and Aquino hold separate inaugurations February 25, but Marcos flees the country hours later.


    (wtn)
    Violence in the streets:
    1M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 2M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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    Reagan strikes Gadhafi -- April 14, 1986

    U.S. aircraft attack "terrorist-related targets" in Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya. The airstrike, involving carrier-based Navy bombers and F-111s based in Great Britain, is in retaliation for the recent bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed an American serviceman and as a deterrence to future terrorist attacks. Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi said his adopted infant daughter had been killed in the raid, along with other civilians.

    Reagan addresses the public:
    2.0M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 6.8M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    Reagan cites reasons for the strike:
    2.0M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 7.3M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    CNN's John Donvan describes the attack:
    1.6M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 5.6M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    Damage to civilian areas:
    2.8M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 9.1M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    Civilian reactions:
    3M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 8.4M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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    Soviet nuclear accident spreads radiation -- April 28, 1986

    Clouds of radiation waft across Europe after a reactor at the Soviet nuclear power plant Chernobyl catches fire in a partial meltdown. Moscow shrouds the accident in secrecy, but concedes a problem after radiation is detected in Sweden and elsewhere. Soviet officials admit two deaths at the plant north of Kiev. Within days, Moscow claims it has the accident under control.

    Scenes from Chernobyl:
    1.1M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 2.1M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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    Iran-Contra probe -- December 5-11, 1986

    With the Iran-Contra scandal threatening President Reagan, Lt. Col. Oliver North is called before Congress December 9 to explain reports that the administration had traded arms to Iran to sponsor Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The former National Security Council staffer invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

    Poindexter invokes the Fifth Amendment:
    1.4M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 4.1M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    North invokes the Fifth Amendment:
    1.9M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 5.9M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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