What Was The Big News Story The Year You Were Born?
Find your birth year to find out which news stories were rocking the world just as you were coming into it.
1960: Kennedy Defeats Nixon-barely!
The margin of victory was less than 1% of the popular vote. Kennedy had 31,590,353 votes, or 50.31%. Nixon had 31,204,550, or 49.69%.
1961: The Russians Win the Space Race!
The Space Race was called for The Russians after cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin is the first man to travel into space.
1962: Happy Birthday, Mr. President
The blonde actress famously, and breathily, sang Happy Birthday for President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962. Sad note: She died just three months after her iconic performance.
1963: I Have a Dream!
Just a few months before JFK is assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous speech during a civil rights march on Washington.
1964: Civil Rights Flies and Jim Crow Dies
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed into law by President Johnson. The law makes discrimination illegal and ends Jim Crow laws that allowed segregation to continue in some states.
1965: Vietnam War Protests
Protests against the Vietnam War dominated the news all year with protest songs, be-ins, sit-ins. teach-ins and marches on Washington and all over the world.
1966: The Beatles Get Burned
After John Lennon makes the offhand comment "We're more popular than Jesus," burning Beatles records becomes popular among Christians.
1967: The Peaceful Boxer
Muhammed Ali declines to sign up for selective service as a conscientious objector and is convicted for draft evasion. He doesn't serve jail time, but his boxing title is stripped, and he is banned from boxing for three years.
1968: The Shot Heard Round the World
Martin Luther King Jr was shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4th. Thousands of mourners followed his casket during his funeral on April 9th.
1969: Breakfast in Bed for 400 Thousand
Woodstock Music and Arts Fair was scheduled to be a paid concert for tens of thousands but turned into a free concert after about 400 thousand music fans showed up. It was three days of love, music, and freedom that defined a generation.
1970: Four Dead in Ohio
As the Vietnam War expanded, the nation was shocked and saddened when four war protestors were shot and killed by the National Guard at Kent State.
1971: Houston, We've Had a Problem
Broken equipment caused Apollo 13 had to make a precarious return to earth. Make-shift repairs and the quick thinking of the crew led to a dramatic ocean rescue tailor-made for the movies!
1972: Mark the Shark Takes Seven In Munich
During an Olympics that was darkened by a deadly terrorist attack, Mark Spitz won an astounding SEVEN gold medals for the USA. A record that wasn't broken until 2008 with Michael Phelps.
1973: The Situation Womb
In an emotional landmark 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court makes abortion legal in all 50 states, sparking protests and counter-protests that are still waging today.
1974: The Cancer on the Presidency Proves Terminal
Richard Nixon resigned the presidency on August 8, 1974. Tapes of oval office conversations revealed that Nixon was involved in a cover-up of break-in at the Watergate offices of the DNC in 1972.
1975: War is Over For Now
After 20 years, the much-protested Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975, after a rushed evacuation of US citizens from Saigon.
1976: No Little Green Men Found
NASA's US Viking 1 becomes the first spacecraft to land successfully on Mars, sending back astounding, first-ever photographs of the planet's surface and gathering data that is still being used today.
1977: The Force is With Us
On May 25, 1977, unknown director George Lucas releases Star Wars, a movie that takes place in a galaxy far, far away and proves to be a sensation at the box office.
1978: White Smoke: We Have a Pope!
When Cardinal Karol J. Wojtyla was elected as the new pope, it sent shockwaves around the Catholic world as he was the first non-Italian Pope in more than 400 years. John Paul the II reign lasted until his death in 2005, the second longest in papal history.
1979: Iron Lady Breaks Glass Ceiling
England elects its first female prime minister in the conservative Baroness Margaret Thatcher. She remains the PM and "the most powerful woman in the world" for the next decade.
1980: The News Makes the News
The cable news phenomenon began with a newscast by husband and wife team Dave Walker and Lois Hart on Ted Turner's ground (and rule) breaking 24-hour news channel. The gamble paid off in 1991 when CNN dominated coverage of the first Gulf War.
1981: A Fairy Tale Beginning
All eyes, and cameras, were on St Paul's Cathedral, London on the 29th July 1981 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer and they seemed destined to live happily ever after.
1982: You Can't Hug Your Kids With Nuclear Arms
With the specter of Nuclear War hanging over the political rhetoric of the world, More than 700 thousand people protested against the nuclear arms race in New York, and the No More Nukes movement was begun.
1983: Sally's Historic Ride
With a Challenger flight on June 18th, astronaut and physicist Sally Ride became the first woman in space telling us, "The stars don't look bigger, but they do look brighter."
1984: The Queen is Gone. Long Live the Queen.
Multiple-award-winning recording artist and actress Vanessa Williams was thrust into the national spotlight when Penthouse Magazine published nude photos of the reigning Miss America, resulting in her being stripped of her crown. The pageant has since apologized to Ms. Williams.
1985: We Are the World
The world is shocked by images of famine coming out of Ethiopia and the rock world responds with Live Aid, a multiple continent concert event founded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and featuring blockbuster musical acts of the day including David Bowie, Queen, Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Don Johnson. (Yes. Don Johnson. The 80s were a strange decade.)
1986: Tragedy at Cape Canaveral
Shortly after launch, the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven crew members, including Christa Mcauliffe, a schoolteacher from Concord, NH and the first civilian chosen to travel in space.
1987: There's a Baby in the Well
Eighteen-month-old Jessica McClure was playing in her aunt's yard when she fell into a well with just an 8-inch opening. America was glued to CNN as it took rescuers 58 hours and some high-tech equipment to rescue Baby Jessica.
1988: Bush is on Fire!
Despite starting out the year in a shouting match with Dan Rather about his involvement in the Iran/Contra scandal, Vice President George H. Bush beats Bob Dole for the Republican nomination and Mike Dukakis for the presidency.
1989: Even Walls Come Down
In a symbolic end to the Cold War, the reunification of East and West Germany leads to an end to Communist Berlin. German citizens enthusiastically pulled apart the wall that had separated them since 1961.
1990: Blame it on the Lip Synch
After a backing track malfunctioned at one of their concerts, it was discovered that pop duo Milli Vanilli had been lip-synching their songs. The Grammys they'd won the year before were revoked.
1991: Shock and Awe in the Desert
After Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army invades Kuwait, George H. Bush launches a naval and aerial attack on January 17th, followed by a land campaign that culminated in the liberation of Kuwait on February 28th.
1992: Not Just Getting Along
After four LA police officers were acquitted in the videotaped beating of Rodney King, riots raged for six days resulting in over 11 thousand arrests, two thousand injuries and nearly 60 deaths.
1993: Terror Strikes the Twin Towers
Ramzi Yousef, a Kuwait national with ties to Al Qaeda, lead a truck bombing on the World Trade Center that was meant to bring down the Twin Towers. Six people died and over a thousand people were injured, but the buildings were still standing. Yousef and his accomplices were apprehended the next year.
1994: Drama on Ice
At the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Champions, Nancy Kerrigan was hit in the leg with a metal bar by a man paid by the husband of her skating rival, Tonya Harding. When Harding and Kerrigan competed in the 94 Winter Olympics, their event was one of the most watched events in American television history. Kerrigan got a silver medal. Harding eventually got three years probation.
1995: The Three-Ringed Murder Trial
In 1995, America watched the murder trial of OJ Simpson like a soap opera. Attorneys and judges became celebrities. People quoted lines of testimony at work the next day. The country was divided when Simpson was found not guilty in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.
1996: Tupac is Dead: Long Live Tupac
Rapper and actor Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Vegas after attending a boxing match with Suge Knight. His fans refused to let his legacy die. Shakur's writing and music are more popular than ever.
1997: A Candle in the Wind
The entire world mourned when Lady Di, the Princess of Wales, was killed in a traffic accident that was blamed on over-enthusiastic paparazzi.
1998: A US President is Impeached!
Impeachment hearings were brought against President Bill Clinton in December of 1998 because he said he did not have sex with that woman, but he did, in fact, have sex with that woman. He was acquitted in February of 1999.
1999: The End of the World Scare
The Y2K bug was a bug that was predicted to cause computers programmed up until December 31, 1999 to stop working as New Years 2000 rang in. People were afraid that planes were going to fall out of the sky. They didn't.
2000: Hanging Chads
After long-fought campaigns between Al Gore and George W. Bush, the 2000 election resulted in an excruciating and detailed recount in the state of Florida. Eventually, the Supreme Court put an end to the misery and declared Bush the winner.
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