The Year is 1985

Live Aid pop concerts in Philadelphia and London raise over 50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.

  1. The Live Aid Concerts were held during July of 1985.
  2. They were a series of rock concerts held to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia around the world.
  3. They took place in cities including London, Philadelphia, Sydney and Moscow.
  4. The concerts attracted close to 200,000 people and by using satellite link-ups and TV broadcasts around the world, they attracted an estimated one billion viewers in 110 countries who watched the concerts performed live.
  5. The concerts were organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and they raised over $125 million in relief money for Africa.
  6. Notable acts included B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Cher, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Elton John, Hall & Oates, Lionel Richie, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Queen, Run-DMC, and U2.

Coca-Cola Company introduces New Coke.
In April of 1985, Coca-Cola introduced “New Coke” in what many observers declared to be the worst marketing blunder in history. At the time, Coca-Cola was a 99 year old company looking for a way to update itself and they chose to do so by changing the original formula of their iconic soft drink. They created a sweeter version that had been preferred in taste tests, but fans of the brand protested the decision in an overwhelmingly negative response. Within three months Coca-Cola announced it would return to the old formula and tried to re-brand the drink as Coca-Cola “Classic” and New Coke quickly disappeared.

The Eastern half of North America is hit with an exceptionally cold winter, one of the worst in recorded history.
The Eastern halves of the United States and Canada face some of the coldest temperatures ever recorded in the 20th century as an arctic air mass moves through the country. According to meteorologists the cold wave occurred as a result of a polar vortex moving further south than what was usually observed and being coupled with a high pressure system. The cold snap lasted from January 20th to the 22nd and resulted in record-breaking cold temperatures as far south as Florida.

The popular comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” makes its debut during November of 1985. Created by Bill Watterson, “Calvin and Hobbes” followed the adventures of a young boy, Calvin, and his stuffed animal tiger, Hobbes, while also exploring social, scientific, and philosophical ideas and issues. The comic was originally shown in 250 newspapers but expanded to over 2,000 newspapers at its most popular point. The strip ended in December of 1995 but is still used in papers throughout the world.

Route 66 is removed from the United States Highway System.

  1. Established in 1926, Route 66 was one of the first highways created in the United States Highway System.
  2. Immortalized in television, film, song, and literature, the iconic road spanned a total of 2,448 miles in length, running from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.
  3. The road traveled through parts of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California and was a popular path through the American Southwest during the 1920’s until the 1960’s.
  4. It soon fell into disrepair as it was replaced by the Interstate system.
  5. During June of 1985 the historic Route 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System.

Mikhail Gorbachev replaces Konstantin Chernenko as Soviet leader.
In March of 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union after the death of former leader Konstantin Chernenko. Gorbachev became a transformative figure in the USSR as he ushered in new domestic and foreign policy reforms in an attempt to salvage the crumbling Communist system. One of the important decisions that he made was agreeing to nuclear disarmament deals with the United States, some of the first steps towards ending the Cold War. By the early 1990’s, his reforms had worked too well and the Soviet Union was dissolved. He resigned in 1991 as the transition to democracy began.

Nintendo releases the NES in North American markets during October.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released in North American markets during October of 1985. The revolutionary home gaming system had been previously released in Japan during 1983. The NES was originally launched with seventeen games including “Duck Hunt” and “Ice Climber.” The system did not initially sell much as the market for video games had dropped, but, with Nintendo’s U.S. release of their breakout game “Super Mario Bros.” later that year, the NES soon caught on in the U.S. and was a popular item distributed throughout stores across the country in 1986.

The popular film “The Color Purple” premieres.
The classic film “The Color Purple” has its premiere on December 16, 1985 in New York City. The film stars Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery, and several other notable actors. It was based on the novel by the same name by Alice Walker and was directed by legendary film maker Stephen Spielberg. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress but it did not win one category. Despite not winning an Academy Award, “The Color Purple” was the fourth highest-grossing film in 1985.

Michael Jordan is named as the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year.”
In May of 1985, legendary basketball player Michael Jordan was given the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year” award during his inaugural season Jordan had been drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984 and played exceptionally well in his first season, soon becoming one of the fan-favorite players. He helped the Bull get into the playoffs for the first time in a few years and set several team records that season. Jordan would evolve into one of the most well-known, highest paid and accomplished basketball players of all time and is still considered by many to be the best and most competitive player to ever play the sport professionally. History of Basketball

The Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for AIDS,
The first .Com domain name,, is registered by the Symbolics corporation. However, .edu domains, for educational institutions, still predominate over the commercial .com ones
Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0.
Switzerland is the first country to bring into law catalytic converters must be fitted to private cars
Compact Discs are introduced to American Consumers
The space shuttle Atlantis is launched
UK Starts screening Blood donations for AIDS
British Scientists discover a hole in the earths Ozone Layer

World Events
Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader
Nimeiri ousted in the Sudan
Rainbow Warrior sinks
Achille Lauro seiezed
TWA flight 847 hijacked
US becomes a debtor nation
Reagan tax reform
Colombian terrorists execute 100 people, including 11 judges

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics Series: 4-2
NCAA Football: Oklahoma Record: 11-1-0
Heisman Trophy: Bo Jackson, auburn, RB points: 1,509
Stanley Cup: Edmunton Oilers vs. Philadelphia Flyers Series: 4-1
Super Bowl XIX: San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins Score: 38-16
US Open Golf: Andy North Score: 279 Course: Oakland Hills, CC Location: Birmingham, MI
World Series: Kansas City Royals vs. St. Louis Cardinals Series: 4-3

Popular Songs
1.”I Want To Know What Love Is” … Foreigner
2.”Careless Whisper” … Wham! featuring George Michael
3.”Can’t Fight This Feeling” … REO Speedwagon
4.”One More Night” … Phil Collins
5.” We Are the World” … U.S.A. for Africa
6.”Crazy for You” … Madonna
7.”Don’t You” … Simple Minds
8.”Everything She Wants” … Wham!
9.”Everyone Wants to Rule the World” … Tears for Fears
10.”Heaven” … Bryan Adams

Top Ten Movies

  1. Back to the Future
  2. Beverly Hills Cop
  3. Cocoon
  4. Fletch
  5. The Goonies
  6. The Jewel of the Nile
  7. National Lampoon’s European Vacation
  8. Pale Rider
  9. Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
  10. Rambo: First Blood, Part II

Most Popular Books

  1. “The Mammoth Hunters” by Jean Auel
  2. “Texas” by James Michener
  3. “Lake Wobegon Days” by Garrison Keillor
  4. “If Tomorrow Comes” by Sidney Sheldon
  5. “Skeleton Crew” by Stephen King


  1. “Iacocca: An Autobiography” by Lee Iacocca
  2. “Yeager: An Autobiography” by Chuck Yeager
  3. “Elvis and Me” by Priscilla Presley
  4. “Fit for Life” by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond
  5. “The Be- Happy Attitudes” by Robert Schuller

Most Popular Television Shows

  1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
  2. Family Ties (NBC)
  3. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
  4. 60 Minutes (CBS)
  5. Cheers (NBC)
  6. Dallas (CBS)
  7. Dynasty (ABC)
  8. The Golden Girls (NBC)
  9. Miami Vice (NBC)
  10. Who’s the Boss? (ABC)

Academy Awards
Best Picture:”Out of Africa”
Best DirectorSydney Pollack … “Out of Africa”
Best Actor:William Hurt … “Kiss of the Spider Woman”
Best Actress:Geraldine Page … “The Trip to Bountiful”

Popular Films
Back to the Future
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rocky IV
The Color Purple
Out of Africa
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
A View to a Kill
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Grammy Awards
Record of the Year: “We Are the World” … USA for Africa
Song of the Year: “We Are the World” … Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie
Best Album: “No Jacket Required” … P
Male Vocalist: Phil Collins … “No Jacket Required”
Female Vocalist:Whitney Houston … “Saving All My Love for You”

Popular Musicians
Duran Duran
Simple Minds
Madonna with ” Crazy for You “
Bruce Springsteen
Dire Straits with ” Money for Nothing “
The Cure
David Bowie
Phil Collins
USA For Africa
Simple Minds

Pulitzer Prizes
Drama:Steven Sondheim & James Lapine … “Sunday In the Park With George”
Fiction:Alison Lurie … “Foreign Affairs”
International Reporting: Josh Friedman & Dennis Bell … “Newsday” (Garden City, NY)
National Reporting: Thomas J. Knudson … “Des Moines Register”
Public Service:”Ft. Worth Star-Telegram”

Tony Awards
Best Play: “Biloxi Blues” … Neil Simon
Best Musical:”Big River”
“Best Actor in a play:
Derek Jacobi … “Much Ado About Nothing”
Best Actress in a play:Stockard Channing … “Joe Egg”

Major World Political Leaders
Australia Prime Minister Bob Hawke
Brazil President João Figueiredo Till 15 March
Brazil President José Sarney From 15 March
Canada Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
China Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Li Xiannian
France President François Mitterrand
Germany Chancellor Helmut Kohl
India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
Italy Prime Minister Bettino Craxi
Japan Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone
Mexico President Miguel de la Madrid
Russia / Soviet Union
General Secretary of the CPSU Mikhail Gorbachev
South Africa State President Pieter Willem Botha
United States President Ronald Reagan
United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Cost of Living
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 3.55%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 1546
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 10.75%
Average Cost of new house $89,330
Median Price Of and Existing Home $75,500
Average Income per year $22,100.00
Average Monthly Rent $375.00
Average Price for new car $9,005.00
gallon of gas $1.09
Movie Ticket $2.75
US Postage Stamp 22 cents
Bacon per pound $1.65
Bean Bag Lounger $39.99
Rainbow Brite Color Kids $9.99 Each
Rib Eye Steak Lb $3.89

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