Return to home1983 Jan 1,
Lt. Gov. Mario Cuomo (b.1932) succeeded Hugh Carey as governor of
New York. Cuomo served 3 terms as the state’s 56th governor.
1983 Jan 1, Pope John Paul II
declared this year to be an extraordinary Holy Year to mark the
1,950th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in
(SFC, 12/24/99, p.A15)
1983 Jan 1, TCP/IP became the
standard for Internet protocol.
(SFC, 8/30/99, p.C10)
1983 Jan 2, The musical play
"Annie," based on the "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip, closed at
Broadway’s Alvin Theater after a run of 2,377 performances.
1983 Jan 2, "Sophisticated
Ladies" closed at the Lunt-Fontanne, NYC, after 767 performances.
1983 Jan 3, In Hawaii the Pu’u
O’o vent of the Kilauea volcano lit up the skies for the first time
and began a state of almost constant eruption.
(SFEC, 4/2/00, p.T6)
1983 Jan 4, US Congress amended
the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with the Orphan Drug Act
(P.L. 97-414). Additional orphan drug amendments were passed in
1984, 1985 and 1988.
1983 Jan 5, President Reagan
announced he was nominating Elizabeth Dole to succeed Drew Lewis as
secretary of transportation. Dole became the first woman to head a
Cabinet department in Reagan's administration, and the first to head
1983 Jan 8, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il's third and youngest son Jong Un is believed to have been
1983 Jan 13, Carlo Rubbia of
Harvard Univ. announced from a workshop in Rome the first evidence
for the discovery of a vector boson.
1983 Jan 14, In Iowa Terry
Branstad (b.1946) began serving as governor and continued to 1999
after which he became president of Des Moines Univ. In 2011 he began
serving a 5th term as governor of Iowa.
(Econ, 10/19/13, p.34)
1983 Jan 15, Meyer Lansky (born
Majer Suchowlinski, July 4, 1902), American gangster, died. He and
Charles "Lucky" Luciano were instrumental in the development of the
so-called "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States. He was
the intellectual impetus behind the Commission and the so-called
"Mogul of the Mob." In 2004 Enrique Cirules authored "The Secret
Life of Meyer Lansky in Havana." The book was only available in Cuba
1983 Jan 17, Alabama Gov George
C. Wallace (1919-1998), became governor for a record 4th time.
1983 Jan 19, The New Catholic
code expanded women's rights in the Church.
1983 Jan 19, Apple’s Lisa
computer went on sale for $1400. It was pulled from the market after
1983 Jan 23, Cosmos 1402, a
Russian nuclear powered satellite launched in 1982, fell into the
1983 Jan 24, George Cukor
(b.1899), film director, died. His films included My Fair Lady, A
Star is Born, Born Yesterday, Love Among the Ruins and The
1983 Jan 25, The Infrared
Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) space probe, sponsored by the United
Kingdom, the US, and the Netherlands, was launched. It studied
infrared radiation from across the cosmos and exposed stars as they
were born from clouds of gas and dust.
(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)
1983 Jan 25, Klaus Barbie, SS
chief of Lyon in Nazi-France, was arrested in Bolivia.
1983 Jan 25, China's supreme
court commuted the death sentence of Jiang Qing, Mao's widow, to
1983 Jan 26, Paul Bryant (Bear
Bryant), former Univ. of Alabama football coach, died at age 69. In
1975 he authored his autobiography “Bear."
1983 Jan 27, In San Francisco
the Rock & Bowl at 1855 Haight St. held its opening night.
Gilbert Klein (1946-2018) took over the 22 lanes of the Park Bowl
and reopened it as Rock & Bowl. The facility closed in 1996 and
re-opened as Amoeba Music.
(SFC, 8/20/96, p.E4)(SFC, 5/2/18, p.D6)
1983 Jan, This month’s issue of
Hustler magazine featured "Dirty Pool," that depicted a woman being
gang-raped on a pool table.
(SFC, 1/10/97, p.A27)
1983 Jan, Pres. Reagan signed a
reauthorization of the independent council act, despite strong
misgivings by his Justice Department.
(SFEC, 3/7/99, Z1 p.6)
1983 Feb 3, Cardinal Antonio
Samore (b.1905), Vatican representative and archivist, died. In 1978
he mediated the Beagle conflict, a border dispute between Argentina
1983 Feb 4, Singer-musician
Karen Carpenter (32) died in Downey, Ca.
1983 Feb 4, In Texas Wanda
Lopez was murdered in Corpus Christi. In 1989 Carlos DeLuna (27) was
executed for her murder. In 2012 a report, entitled "Los Tocayos
Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution," said DeLuna was not guilty
of the murder.
1983 Feb 5, Former Nazi Gestapo
official Klaus Barbie (1913-1991), expelled from Bolivia, was
brought to trial in Lyon, France. He was convicted and sentenced to
life in prison.
1983 Feb 7, Elizabeth H. Dole
was sworn in as the first female secretary of transportation by
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to sit on the US
1983 Feb 7, Iran opened an
invasion in the southeast of Iraq.
1983 Feb 8, Baseball ordered
Mickey Mantle (1931-1995) to sever ties with Claridge Casino.
1983 Feb 8, Champion
thoroughbred Shergar was kidnapped in Ireland and never found.
Lloyds of London paid $10.6 million insurance.
1983 Feb 9, In a dramatic
reversal from 50 years earlier, the Oxford Union Society at Oxford
University rejected, 416 to 187, a motion "that this House would not
fight for Queen and Country."
1983 Feb 13-1983 Feb 14, The
Americus and Altair fishing boats sank in the Bering Sea and 14
fishermen from Anacortes, Wa., died. In 1998 Patrick Dillon authored
"Lost At Sea," an account of the tragedy.
(WSJ, 11/13/98, p.W12)
1983 Feb 15, Norman Thomas
discovered asteroid 3367 Alex, 3413 Andriana, 3525 Paul & 3580.
1983 Feb 16, In India a bomb
wounded 13 people in the latest election violence in the
northeastern state of Assam. The assassination pushed the death toll
from 15 days of violence to at least 217 people.
1983 Feb 17, In California
Denise Denofrio was found strangled to death in a car in Fairfield.
Alan Hall was convicted in the case of voluntary manslaughter in
July. In 1997 a suspected friend of Denofrio lured Hall into having
sex and then severed his penis with a knife and escaped.
1983 Feb 18, Paul Allen,
co-founder of Microsoft, left the company but kept his stake in the
business. Allen was forced to resign from Microsoft after being
diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease which was successfully treated by
several months of radiation therapy.
1983 Feb 18, The Venezuelan
bolivar suffered a serious devaluation. Pres. Luis Herrera initiated
a round of currency devaluations. The Herrera government was forced
to devalue the currency, which at 4.3 bolivars to the US dollar had
been underwriting a lifestyle the country could no longer afford. By
2000 the bolivar lost 16,185% to the dollar.
1983 Feb 18-1983 Feb 20, In
India Hindu attacks against Moslems in Assam state left over 1500
1983 Feb 19, A shooting at the
Wah Mee gambling parlor in Seattle, Wa., left 13 men dead. Kwan-Fai
Mak and Benjamin Ng were later found guilty on 13 murder counts and
sentenced to life in prison.
(SFC, 7/6/98, p.A7)(SFC, 4/16/07, p.A8)(AP,
1983 Feb 22, Harold Washington
(1922-1987) won Chicago's Democratic mayoral primary.
1983 Feb 23, Adrian Boult
(b.1889), British conductor, died.
1983 Feb 24, A US congressional
commission, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of
Civilians, released a report condemning the internment of
Japanese-Americans during World War II as a "grave injustice."
(AP, 2/24/98)(SFEC, 8/9/98, p.A10)
1983 Feb 24, Tennessee
Williams, US playwright born as Thomas Lanier Williams (1911), died
in NYC. He left a $10 million estate to support his sister and
directed that anything left go to support aspiring writers at the
Univ. of the South of Sewanee. His plays included “Cat on a Hot Tin
Roof" and “The Rose Tattoo" originally titled "The Eclipse of May
29, 1919." In 1995 Lyle Leverich (d.1999 at 79) published "Tom: The
Unknown Tennessee Williams," a definitive work on the playwright's
formative years. In 2007 editor Margaret Bradham Thornton published
“Notebooks: Tennessee Williams."
p.B4)(SSFC, 5/13/07, p.M6)
1983 Feb 25, Tennessee Williams
(71), playwright, was found dead in his NYC hotel suite.
1983 Feb 25, A 10-year-old
girl, Jeanine Nicarico of Naperville in DuPage County, Ill., was
raped and murdered. Rolando Cruz was convicted and served 10 years
on death row before a sheriff's officer recanted on his story and
exonerated Cruz. In 1999 7 prosecutors and sheriff's deputies went
on trial on charges of conspiracy to frame an innocent man. Cruz, a
small-time criminal, started out as an informant in the case.
Charges against 2 prosecutors were dismissed and 4 sheriff's
officers and a prosecutor were acquitted in 1999. In 2005 convicted
killer Brian Dugan was indicted by a DuPage County grand jury, a
full decade after an expert concluded DNA evidence linked him to the
(SFC, 3/9/99, p.A6)(SFC, 4/7/99, p.A5)(SFC,
6/5/99, p.A7)(AP, 2/25/06)
1983 Feb 26, Michael Jackson's
"Thriller" album went to #1 and stayed #1 for 37 weeks.
1983 Feb 26, Short-wave pirate
Radio USA in Wellsville, NY, began transmission.
1983 Feb 28, The last episode
of M*A*S*H was shown. A record 125 million made MASH the most
watched TV show.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A26)(SFEC, 4/19/98, DB
1983 Mar 1, A tornado producing
F2 damage touched down in St. Louis, Mo. It later strengthened and
produced F3 damage in Illinois causing five million dollars in
1983 Mar 1, Arthur Koestler
(b.1905), Hungary-born British writer (Dialogue With Death), died in
a double suicide with his wife in London. His novels included
"Darkness at Noon" (1940). In 1998 David Cesarani authored "Arthur
Koestler: The Homeless Mind." In 2009 Michael Scammell authored
“Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century
(SSFC, 1/3/10, Books
1983 Mar 2, The USSR launched
spacecraft "TKS-M" to "Salyut-7" space station, which was named
1983 Mar 3, Peter Ivers
(b.1946), American musician, was found bludgeoned to death in his
Los Angeles apartment. In 2008 Josh Frank authored “In heaven
Everything Is Fine: The Unsolved Life of Peter Ivers and the Lost
History of New Wave Theater."
1983 Mar 3, Georges Remi
(b.1907), Belgian author and illustrator, died. In 1929 Remi, under
the pseudonym Herge, created the cartoon character Tintin. Remi is
known as the father of the modern European comic book. In 2006 Tom
McCarthy authored “Tintin and the Secret of Literature." In 2007
Philippe Goddin authored “Herge: Lignes de vie," a biography of
6/24/06, p.98)(Econ, 12/20/08, p.84)
1983 Mar 5, The Australian
Labor Party won the federal election. The new prime minister, former
trade unionist Bob Hawke, had vowed to stop the Franklin River dam
from being constructed, and the anti-dam vote increased Hawke's
1983 Mar 6, Country Music
Television (CMT) began showing.
1983 Mar 6, "On Your Toes"
opened at Virginia Theater in NYC for 505 performances.
1983 Mar 6, In a case that drew
much notoriety, a woman in New Bedford, Mass., reported being
gang-raped atop a pool table in a tavern; four men were later
1983 Mar 6, Helmut Kohl's
CDU/CSU won West German parliament elections.
1983 Mar 7, TNN (The Nashville
Network) began on Cable TV.
1983 Mar 7, Igor Markevitch
(b.1912), Ukraine-born conductor, composer, died in Antibes.
1983 Mar 7, In France Claude
Vivier (b.1948), a French-Canadian composer, was found stabbed to
death. A 19-year-old man was convicted of the murder. Vivier left
behind 48 completed scores and part of a 49th. His 1976 "Siddartha"
was a 30 minute orchestral piece written on commission from the CBC.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Vivier)(SFEC, 1/4/98, DB. p.31)
1983 Mar 8, Pres Reagan called
the USSR an "Evil Empire."
1983 Mar 8, IBM released PC DOS
1983 Mar 8, William T. Walton
(b.1902), English composer (Belhazzar's feast), died.
1983 Mar 9, Margaret Heckler
was sworn in as secretary of Health and Human Services, the same day
Anne M. Burford resigned as head of the embattled Environmental
1983 Mar 10, Dorka Lisker (66)
was stabbed to death at her Sherman Oaks, Ca., home. Her son Bruce,
age 17 at the time of the murder, was convicted of her murder in
1985 and was sentenced to life in prison. Lisker confessed to the
murder in prison, but said he only did so in hopes of getting
parole. In 2009 he was freed on bail after a judge overturned his
conviction due to false evidence and sloppy defense work.
Prosecutors decided not to retry him.
(SFC, 8/14/09, p.D4)(SFC, 9/23/09, p.D5)
1983 Mar 13, "Woman of the
Year" closed at Palace Theater NYC after 770 performances.
1983 Mar 15, World Consumer
Rights Day (WCRD) was first observed. US President John F Kennedy
gave an address to Congress on March 15, 1962, in which he formally
addressed the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world
leader to do so.
1983 Mar 15, Rebecca West (born
in 1892 as Cicily Fairfield), British writer, died. Her books
included "The Return of the Soldier" (1918) and "Black Lamb and Grey
Falcon," which was written following a trip through Yugoslavia. She
had a relationship with H.G. Wells that led to the birth of a son,
Anthony. In 1996 Carl Rollyson wrote her biography: "Rebecca West: A
Life." Her pen name came from a character in Ibsen’s play
"Rosmersholm." In 2000 the "Selected Letters of Rebecca West" was
edited by Bonnie Kime Scott. In 2003 Bernard Schweitzer edited and
introduced her work "Survivors in Mexico."
3/6/00, p.A28)(SSFC, 6/8/03, p.M3)
1983 Mar 17, Laura Marie
Purchase was murdered in southeast Texas. In 2021 police in Kansas
arrested Thomas Elvin Darnell (75), following DNA evidence that
linked him to her sexual assault and murder.
1983 Mar 18, Mexico's financial
crisis was causing a surge of illegal aliens over the border into
1983 Mar 21, The US signed the
Strasbourg Treaty with European nations for the exchange of
1983 Mar 23, President Reagan
first proposed development of technology to intercept enemy missiles
-- a proposal that came to be known as the Strategic Defense
Initiative, as well as "Star Wars." In 2000 Frances FitzGerald
authored "Way Out There in the Blue," a study of Reagan and his SDI
(AP, 3/23/97)(WSJ, 3/23/00, p.A20)
1983 Mar 23, Dr. Barney Clark,
recipient of a permanent artificial heart, died at the University of
Utah Medical Center after 112 days with the device.
1983 Mar 26, US performed a
nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1983 Mar 26, Anthony Blunt
(b.1907), art historian and one of Britain's most notorious Cold War
spies, died in London. In a memoir published in 2009 he admitted
that spying for Russia was "the biggest mistake of my life." He had
written his memoirs, with the stipulation they should not published
until a quarter of a century after his death.
1983 Mar 27, Neil Simon's
"Brighton Beach Memoirs," premiered in NYC.
1983 Mar 31, A 5.4 earthquake
hit the region of Popoyan, Colombia. It killed about 250 people and
left some 1,500 injured.
1983 Mar, Compact Disc
recordings, introduced by Phillips and Sony in Europe in 1982, were
introduced to the US.
1983 Mar, In Guatemala on the
eve of Pope John Paul’s visit Gen’l. Montt had 6 rebel suspects
(SFC, 7/31/98, p.D3)(http://tinyurl.com/ckmy6)
1983 Mar, Chaim Herzog was
elected as the 6th president of Israel and served for 10 years.
(SFC, 4/18/97, p.E2)
1983 Apr 1, Tens of thousands
of anti-nuke demonstrators linked arms in 14-mile human chain
spanning three defense installations in rural England, including the
Greenham Common US Air Base.
1983 Apr 3, Martin Cooper,
Motorola project manager, demonstrated the 1st mobile phone, the
DynaTAC 8000x. It was designed by Rudy Krolopp. The 2½ pound cell
phone was soon made available for $3,995.
(SFC, 4/12/00, p.D3)(SFC, 4/3/03, p.B1)(NW,
3/17/03, p.14)(SFC, 8/17/11, p.D1)
1983 Apr 4, The space shuttle
Challenger roared into orbit on its maiden voyage and the first US
female into space was Sally Ride.
(TMC, 1994, p.1983)(AP, 4/4/97)
1983 Apr 5, France threw out 47
Soviet diplomats accusing them of espionage..
1983 Apr 6, Saying rock 'n'
roll bands attracted "the wrong element," Interior Secretary James
Watt declined to invite the Beach Boys to perform at a Washington
Fourth of July celebration -- a stand he later reversed.
1983 Apr 6, Melida Anaya Montes
("Comandante Ana Maria"), Salvadoran FMLN guerrilla leader, was
killed in Nicaragua, where many Salvadoran guerrillas took refuge
under its leftist government. In 2007 her body was exhumed and
buried in her homeland.
1983 Apr 7, Specialist Story
Musgrave and Don Peterson took the first US space walk in almost a
decade as they worked in the open cargo bay of Challenger for nearly
(HN, 4/7/97)(AP, 4/7/03)
1983 Apr 9,
The space shuttle Challenger, commanded by Astronaut Paul J. Weitz
(1932-2017), ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards
Air Force Base in California.
(AP, 4/9/97)(SFC, 10/25/17, p.D7)
1983 Apr 10, King Hussein of
Jordan, officially renounced pursuing any negotiations to implement
the Reagan Plan, and ceased negotiations with PLO.
1983 Apr 11, In the 3rd Golden
Raspberry Awards: Inchon! won.
1983 Apr 11, In the 55th
Academy Awards "Gandhi," Ben Kingsley and Meryl Streep won.
1983 Apr 12, Chicagoans went to
the polls to elect Harold Washington the city's first black mayor.
(AP, 4/12/97)(HN, 4/12/98)
1983 Apr 15, The costliest
theft in Israel's history saw 106 timepieces worth millions of
dollars disappear from the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art. Among
them was a pocket watch made for French queen Marie Antoinette that
museum officials valued at more than $30 million. In 2008 detectives
blamed Naaman Diller, a notorious Israeli thief, who fled to Europe
and died in the United States in 2004. Diller apparently confessed
the crime to his wife on his deathbed. When Israeli police and
American law enforcement officials arrived at Diller's wife's Los
Angeles home to question her, they found some more of the stolen
clocks. Others were later found in hidden locations in Israel and
around the world. They were put up for display again in 2009.
(AP, 11/4/08)(AP, 7/20/09)
1983 Apr 15, Tokyo Disneyland
1983 Apr 17, Mark W. Clark
(b.1896), US general (WW II), died.
1983 Apr 17, Felix Pappalardi
(b.1939), singer and producer for the group Mountain, was fatally
shot by his wife, Gail Collins, in their East Side Manhattan
apartment. She had co-written songs for the group and designed their
famous album covers.
(SSFC, 12/27/20, p.C11)
1983 Apr 17, In Warsaw, police
routed 1,000 Solidarity supporters.
1983 Apr 18, Alice Walker
(b.1944) won a Pulitzer Prize for "The Color Purple."
(SSFC, 9/26/04, p.M1)
1983 Apr 18, At the US Embassy
in Beirut, Lebanon, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed
by a suicide bomber. In 1996 sixteen Islamic militants were ordered
to stand trial by a military court in Lebanon. Hezbollah leader Imad
Mughniyah was suspected of involvement. CIA agent Robert Ames was
among those killed. In 2014 Kai Bird authored “The Good Spy: The
Life and Death of Robert Ames."
(WSJ, 3/26/96, p.A-1)(WSJ, 9/19/01, p.A14)(WSJ,
8/3/06, p.A4)(AP, 4/18/08)(Econ, 6/7/14, p.87)
1983 Apr 20, Pres. Reagan
signed a $165B bail out for Social Security.
1983 Apr 21, Walter Slezak
(b.1902), Austrian-born actor (Bedtime For Bonzo), committed suicide
1983 Apr 22, Earl Hines
(b.1903), jazz pianist and bandleader, died in Oakland, Ca. He was
one of jazz’s greatest pianist and was universally known as Earl
1983 Apr 22, In Germany the
bogus “Hitler Diaries" was published by Stern Magazine. Stern
magazine announced the discovery of a 60 volume personal diary
written by Adolph Hitler. It turned out to be a hoax.
(SFC, 10/15/96, p.A19)(AP, 4/22/07)
1983 Apr 25, "Nightline"
expanded from a 1/2 hour to a full hour. The new format proved to be
unsuccessful, and after a few months, the old program was restored.
1983 Apr 25, Soviet leader Yuri
V. Andropov invited Samantha Smith to visit his country after
receiving a letter in which the Manchester, Maine, schoolgirl
expressed fears about nuclear war.
1983 Apr 25, The Pioneer 10
spacecraft crossed Pluto's orbit, speeding on its endless voyage
through the Milky Way.
1983 Apr 26, The Dow Jones
moved past 1200 for the first time.
1983 Apr 27, Nolan Ryan became
the strikeout king (3,509), passing Walter Johnson.
1983 Apr 27, SF Mayor Diane
Feinstein overwhelmingly defeated a recall attempt.
(SSFC, 4/27/08, DB p.58)
1983 Apr 27, In San Diego, Ca.,
Philip Buell, age 33 months, died from injuries of a fall while
under the care of Ken Marsh. In 1984 Marsh was convicted of murder.
He was freed in 2004, after spending 21 years in prison, before it
was proven that he had been wrongfully convicted. In 2005 state
prosecutors ruled that he should be compensated $756,000 for the
time spent in prison.
1983 Apr 28, The nuclear
powered aircraft carrier Enterprise ran aground in SF Bay and was
stick for over 5 hours yards from her berth at the Alameda Naval air
(SSFC, 4/27/08, DB p.58)
1983 Apr 28, Argentine
government declared all 15-30,000 "missing persons" dead from "Dirty
1983 Apr 29, Harold Washington
was sworn in as the first black mayor of Chicago.
(AP, 4/29/98)(HN, 4/29/98)
1983 Apr 30, McKinley
Morganfield (68), better known as Muddy Waters, died at his suburban
home in Westmont, Illinois. The US blues singer and guitarist (Mad
Love) was known as the King of the Blues. The Mississippi-born
guitarist revolutionized the genre in Chicago in the 1940s and 50s
with his electric blues.
1983 Apr, This month’s issue of
Nature had an article by John Baross and his colleagues on bacterial
biota in the superheated waters of smokers, conical mounds on the
ocean floor that spout water at 650 degrees.
(Nat. Hist. 3/96, p.23)
1983 Apr, The first Black
College Spring Break festival was held in Atlanta.
(SFEC, 4/19/98, p.A17)
1983 May 1, "My One & Only"
opened at St James Theater in NYC for 767 performances.
1983 May 1, Charles McCabe
(68), SF Chronicle columnist, was found dead at his home at 22 Alta
(SSFC, 4/27/08, DB p.58)
1983 May 2, A 6.4 earthquake
injured 94 people in Coalinga, Ca., and caused an estimated $10
million in damages.
1983 May 7, Mirella Gregori
(15) went missing in Rome. In 2018 the news agency ANSA reported
that prosecutors were focusing on whether the remains found in an
annex of the Holy See's embassy in Rome could be linked either to
Gregori, or to Emanuela Orlandi, another 15-year-old girl who went
missing a month later.
1983 May 10, The last episode
of the TV sitcom "Laverne & Shirley", subtitled “Hear Today Hair
Tomorrow," aired on ABC-TV.
1983 May 10, Dominica PM Dame
Eugenia Charles chose to support Taiwan out of political conviction
(Econ, 4/10/04, p.29)
1983 May 14, Fyodor Abramov
(b.1920), Russian playwright, died in Leningrad. His plays included
“Brothers and Sisters."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyodor_Abramov)(Econ, 10/21/06, p.96)
1983 May 14, In Warsaw, Poland,
Grzegorz Przemyk (19), student and son of Solidarity Grzegorz
activist Barbara Sadowska, died from internal injurious while
in police custody.
1983 May 15, The Madison Hotel
in Boston, Mass., was destroyed by implosion.
1983 May 18, The US Senate
passed the Simpson-Mazzoli bill for immigration reform. It offered
millions of illegal aliens legal status under an amnesty program.
1983 May 21, Eric Hoffer
(b.1898), longshoreman-philosopher, died in SF. His writings
included "The True Believer" (1951), a critical view of mass
movements, "The Passionate State of Mind," "The Ordeal of Change,"
and "The Temper of the Time."
1983 May 23, Radio Moscow
announcer Vladimir Danchev (35) praised Afghanistan Muslims standing
up to Russia. He was removed from the air. Soviet sources said that
Vladimir Danchev, the Radio Moscow news announcer who twice in six
days described Soviet troops in Afghanistan as an occupying force,
had been dismissed and was under investigation.
1983 May 24, The US Supreme
Court ruled, in Bob Jones University v. United States, that the
government can deny tax breaks to schools that racially discriminate
against students. This upheld a 1970 ruling.
1983 May 24, Fred Sinowatz
(1929-2008) became Austrian Chancellor and continued for 3
1983 May 25, "Return of the
Jedi" (Star Wars 3) was released.
1983 May 25, The 1st National
Missing Children's Day was observed under a proclamation by Pres.
Reagan. This marked the May 25, 1979, date when Etan Patz (6)
disappeared while walking to the bus stop on his way to school in
1983 May 25, France performed a
nuclear test at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific.
1983 May 25, Sydney Box
(b.1907), British academy award producer, died.
1983 May 26, A 7.8 earthquake
struck off the shore of Hokkaido, Japan, and a major tsunami
followed. Some 100 fatalities were due to the tsunami.
1983 May 28, In Peru 15
peasants were murdered by soldiers near the village of Totos. A
witness pointed out their graves in 2004.
1983 May 31, Jack Dempsey
(b.1895), former US heavyweight boxing champ (1919-1926), died.
Dempsey wrote a book on boxing, “Championship Fighting: Explosive
Punching and Aggressive Defence" (1950). In 1999 Roger Kahn authored
"A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring Twenties."
1983 May, In Montgomery, Ala.,
the mysterious Jack Smith invited a number of Blacks and Whites to
have supper together at the Piccadilly Cafeteria. 35 people convened
and the Friendly Supper Club thus was born and continued to convene.
(WSJ, 12/17/98, p.A1,10)
1983 May, A 40 million year-old
whale fossil of this age was found along the Savannah River in
Georgia during the building of the Plant Vogtle nuclear power
(SFC, 10/2/98, p.A10)
1983 May, The comet
IRAS-Araki-Alcock came within 3 million miles of Earth.
(NG, 12/97, p.106)
1983 May, Chile’s Gen'l.
Pinochet reacted to protests with strong repression.
(SFC, 12/11/06, p.A4)
1983 Jun 2, Kevin Cooper
escaped from the state prison in Chino, Ca., where he was serving
time for burglary.
(SFEC, 7/23/00, p.B3)
1983 Jun 2, A toilet caught
fire on Air Canada's DC-9 and 23 died at Cincinnati.
1983 Jun 3, Gordon Kahl
(b.1920), a militant tax protester wanted in the slayings of two US
marshals in North Dakota, was killed in a gun battle with law
enforcement officials near Smithville, Ark. Kahl was a former member
of the anti-tax Posse Comitatus movement founded in 1969 by Henry L
1983 Jun 4, In Chino Hills,
Ca., Douglas and Peggy Ryen and their 10-year old daughter, Jessica,
were killed in the master bedroom of their home. Christopher Hughes
(11), a neighbor, was also killed. Joshua Ryen (8) survived despite
serious wounds. Kevin Cooper, who escaped from Chino prison on June
2, was arrested 47 days later and was convicted for the murders in
1985 and faced execution. Cooper claimed he was innocent and called
for DNA testing of the evidence in 2000. In 2003 an execution date
of Feb 10, 2004, was set for Cooper. Cooper won a last minute
reprieve on Feb 9 pending a re-examination of the case. In 2005 a
federal judge upheld his death penalty. In 2016 Cooper's lawyers
asked for a reprieve and new DNA testing.
12/18/03, p.A21)(SFC, 2/11/04, p.A4)(SFC, 7/4/18, p.A8)
1983 Jun 5, In the 37th Tony
Awards: “Torch Song Trilogy" won for best play and “Cats" won for
1983 Jun 6, James Casey
(b.1988), co-founder of United Parcel Service (UPS), died.
1983 Jun 6, Maine resident
Kitty Wardwell (29) was reportedly last seen by her boyfriend,
Francis Julian. A friend reported her missing on July 11. Julian
(80) died in 2011 and a storage unit rented in his name was found to
contain Wardwell’s body.
1983 Jun 6, First Session of
Sixth National People's Congress opened. The Congress elected Li
Xiannian as President and Deng Xiaoping as supreme commander of
1983 Jun 7, A. Gilmore & P.
Kilmartin discovered asteroid #3152.
1983 Jun 9, Margaret Thatcher's
Conservative Party won the British parliamentary election. The
Labour Party under Michael Foot won just 209 seats.
1983 Jun 12, Norma Shearer
(80), Canadian-born Hollywood film actress, died.
(SSFC, 7/25/04, Par p.2)
1983 Jun 13, The US space probe
Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, became the first spacecraft to leave
the solar system as it crossed the orbit of Neptune.
(AP, 6/13/97)(HN, 6/13/98)
1983 Jun 15, The US Supreme
Court struck down state & local restrictions on abortion.
1983 Jul 15, In France a bomb
explodes in front of the THY counter at Orly airport. 8 people were
killed and more than sixty injured. A 29 years old Syrian-Armenian
named Varadjian Garbidjian (d.2019) confessed to having planted the
bomb. He admitted that the bomb was intended to have exploded once
the plane was airborne. Karapetian (d.2019), who headed the French
branch of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia,
later confessed to paying a passenger to check a bomb-carrying bag
for him onto a Turkish Airlines flight, claiming he had too much
luggage himself. Karapetian was sentenced to life imprisonment in
France, but was released in 2001 on condition of his being deported
1983 Jun 16, Pope John Paul II
1983 Jun 16, Yuri Andropov
(1914-1984, USSR party leader, was elected president.
1983 Jun 17, The US Air Force
successfully conducted the first test flight of the Peacekeeper ICBM
from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
1983 Jun 18, Astronaut Sally K.
Ride became America's first woman in space as she and four
colleagues blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
(AP, 6/18/97)(HN, 6/18/98)
1983 Jun 18, IRA's Joseph
Doherty was arrested in NYC for illegally entering the US. The
British sought his extradition on charges relating to the death of a
member of a British commando unit.
1983 Jun 20, The crew of the
space shuttle Challenger, including America's first woman in space,
Sally K. Ride, launched the Indonesian-owned Palapa B communications
satellite into orbit.
1983 Jun 22, Emanuela Orlandi
(b.1968), the daughter of a Vatican messenger, disappeared after a
music lesson in Rome. She was 15 at the time. Her self-proclaimed
kidnappers demanded the release of Ali Agca, who wounded the Pope in
1981, for her freedom. They never offered any proof they had the
girl or that she was alive.
1983 Jun 24, The US Supreme
Court ruled that Congress cannot veto presidential decisions.
1983 Jun 24, The space shuttle
"Challenger," carrying America's first woman in space, Sally K.
Ride, coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in
1983 Jun 26, "Evita" closed at
Broadway Theater in NYC after 1568 performances.
1983 Jun 27, Maxie Anderson and
Don Ida died in West Germany during a balloon race.
1983 Jun 27, The Russian Soyuz
T-9 spacecraft launched from Baikonur carrying 2 cosmonauts to the
Salyut 7 space station.
1983 Jun 28, A 100-foot span of
the Mianus River Bridge, part of Interstate 95 in Connecticut,
collapsed without warning in the middle of the night, leaving 3 dead
and three injured.
1983 Jun, James Carney (53) of
St. Louis, Jesuit priest-turned-guerrilla, traveled to Nicaragua,
where he joined leftist guerrillas. He was captured by soldiers in
September as he led a column of 100 rebels across the border into
Honduras. He was never heard from again. Suspected remains found in
early 2003 proved false.
1983 Jun, Japan’s Nissan began
to produce trucks in the US. Nissan became the first foreign
carmaker in America when it opened an assembly plant in Smyrna,
6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1983 Jul 1, Buckminster Fuller
(87), visionary and inventor, died in LA. He dubbed our planet
"Spaceship Earth." He was the creator of the geodesic dome and the
dymaxion motor car. He founded the World Game Institute to help
solve global problems through deployment of military resources.
(SFC, 4/10/96, p.D-3)(SFC, 4/15/96, D-1)(NH,
1983 Jul 1, In Australia the
High Court on circuit in Brisbane ruled by a vote of 4 to 3 in the
federal government's favor and prohibited Franklin River dam-related
clearing, excavation and building activities that had been
authorized by Tasmanian state legislation.
1983 Jul 5, Harry James
(b.1916), American band leader and trumpet player, died, He is best
remembered for his hit "You Made Me Love You." In 1999 Peter J.
Levinson authored “Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James."
1983 Jul 7, Samantha Smith (11)
of Manchester, Maine, left for a visit to the Soviet Union at the
personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov.
1983 Jul 13, Chrysler under Lee
Iacocca paid off the last of its guaranteed loans totaling $1.2
billion, 7 years ahead of schedule.
1983 Jul 14, In Texas Clarencio
Champion (59), a party store operator in Mercedes, was stabbed
during a robbery and died a week later. In 1998 David Castillo (34)
was executed for the murder though he insisted on his innocence.
(SFC, 9/24/98, p.A3)
1983 Jul 15, In France a bomb
explodes in front of the THY counter at Orly airport. 8 people were
killed and more than sixty injured. A 29 years old Syrian-Armenian
named Varadjian Garbidjian confessed to having planted the bomb. He
admitted that the bomb was intended to have exploded once the plane
1983 Jul 19, In Honduras Reyes
Mata, a Cuban-trained doctor and guerrilla leader, led a unit of 96
Nicaraguan-trained rebels and Rev. James F. Carney into the Olancho.
They were routed by the Honduran army. American CIA records,
disclosed in 1998, reported that Mata was tortured and executed by
the Honduran army.
1983 Jul 20, The US House
censured Reps. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts and Daniel B. Crane of
Illinois for having sexual relations with pages. Studds, a liberal
Democrat who acknowledged having sex with a 17-year-old male page in
1973 and making sexual advances to two others, admitted an error in
judgment but did not apologize. The first openly gay member of
Congress went on to win re-election until his retirement in the
mid-1990s. Crane admitted having sex several times with a
17-year-old female page in 1980. He apologized to the House in a
quavering voice "for the shame I have brought down on this
institution." The conservative Republican was defeated a year later.
1983 Jul 21, The coldest
temperature ever measured on Earth was -128.6 Fahrenheit (-89.2
Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.
1983 Jul 22, Samantha Smith
(11) and her parents returned home to Manchester, Maine, after
completing a whirlwind tour of the Soviet Union.
1983 Jul 22, Washington Public
Power Supply System defaulted $2.25 billion.
1983 Jul 22, Polish government
ended 19 months of martial law. Some 100 government opponents lost
their lives in the 1½ year crackdown.
1983 Jul 23, A regional
struggle for independence by Tamil Tigers in the north escalated
into a civil war when they killed 13 Sri Lankan Sinhalese soldiers.
The nation's Sinhalese majority responded by killing thousands of
Tamil civilians in the south. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam
were formed and led by Vellupillai Prabhakaran. They were initially
a group of 26 fighters.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)(AP,
7/23/97)(SFC, 8/8/98, p.B1)
1983 Jul 24, In Sri Lanka
island-wide anti-Tamil riots broke out in retaliation for the deaths
of soldiers the day before and some 400 people died. This marked the
beginning of the civil war.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)(WSJ, 6/29/95, p.A-1)
1983 Jul 25, The first nonhuman
primate, a baboon, was conceived in a lab dish in San Antonio, Tx.
1983 Jul 28, In Germany
Yugoslav dissident Stjepan Durekovic was killed near Munich. In 2014
Zdravko Mustac (72), a former top spy in Yugoslavia's secret
service, was charged with complicity in the murder. Prosecutors
wrote that Mustac probably ordered his subordinate Josip Perkovic to
plan the murder. Perkovic was also extradited to Germany in 2014. On
August 3, 2016, former Yugoslav spy chief Zdravko Mustac (74) and
ex-agent Josip Perkovic (71) were found guilty and sentenced to life
(AP, 8/12/14)(AP, 8/3/16)
1983 Jul 29, David Niven
(b.1910), actor, died in Switzerland.
1983 Jul 30, Lynn Fontanne
(b.1887), British-born stage and screen actress (Emmy 1965), died in
1983 Jul, The Tuna Task Force
(TTF) issued a draft plan of management. It contained 14
recommendations, the most important of which include the use of
catch-quotas, minimum limits on fish-size, limited-entry and further
limits on purse-seine operations. It was proposed that the plan
should come into effect at the beginning of the 1983-84 fishing
season (on 1 October 1993). Because of difficulties in reaching
agreement on all aspects, this target was not achieved. Australia,
New Zealand and Iceland pioneered Individual Transferable Quotas
(ITQs) for commercial fisheries.
1983 Jul, In Turkey the Welfare
Party was founded by close aides of Necmettin Erbakan while he
remained banned from politics. In April 1997 a coalition government
led by Erbakan fell apart under pressure by the military and the
party was banned in January 1998 by the Constitutional Court.
Leaders of Refah immediately created a new party : "Fazilet," the
1983 Aug 3, Carolyn Jones
(b.1930), actress, died. She is best remembered for playing the role
of Morticia Addams in the classic TV Series The Addams Family.
1983 Aug 4, In Burkina Faso
Blaise Compaore played a key role in a coup that brought Thomas
Sankara (1949-1987) to power.
1983 Aug 7, Some 675,000
employees struck ATT Corp.
1983 Aug 7, Cynthia Munoz (17)
of Campbell, Ca., was found raped and murdered with stab wounds. In
2007 prosecutors with DNA evidence charged Christopher Melvin
Holland (52) with the murder and sought his arrest. Holland was
arrested in San Jose, Ca., on Oct 18, 2007.
1983 Aug 8, In Guatemala Gen’l.
Efrain Rios Montt (b.1926) was overthrown and the military
government of Gen. Humberto Mejia Victores took power.
1983 Aug 12, General Manuel A.
Noriega (b.1938) assumed command of Panama’s National Guard.
1983 Aug 17, Ira Gershwin
(b.1896), lyricist, died in Beverly Hills, Ca. Later a room at the
Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building was dedicated to him and his
12/4/96, p.E3)(SFC, 4/14/98, p.E5)
1983 Aug 18, Hurricane Alicia
slammed into the Texas coast, leaving 21 dead and causing more than
$1 billion damage.
1983 Aug 18, Samantha Druce
earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest
person to swim the English Channel. She completed the crossing in 15
hours 26 minutes at the age of 12 years 118 days.
1983 Aug 18, Nikolaus Pevsner
(b.1902, German-born British architectural researcher, died. His
work included the 46 volume series “The Buildings of England"
1983 Aug 19, In Florida the
body of Barbara Grams (19) was found in the yard outside a dentist
office. She had been attacked while walking home from her restaurant
job in Tampa. In 2020 DNA evidence cleared Robert DuBoise (55) of
her rape and murder. He had spent 37 years in jail based on
reconstructed bite marks that the prosecution argued matched his
teeth. In 2021 DuBoise filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing
three former detectives, a former police sergeant and a forensic
dentist of fabricating the bitemark evidence.
(The Independent, 8/27/20)(Miami Herald, 10/9/21)
1983 Aug 21, The musical play
"La Cage Aux Folles" opened on Broadway.
(WSJ, 8/12/98, p.A13)(AP, 8/21/98)
1983 Aug 21, Philippine
opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile
in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a
plane at Manila International Airport. Fabian Ver (d.1998 at 78),
leader of the Philippine army, was among 20 men later charged in the
murder of Aquino. Ver fled to Hawaii in 1986 along with Marcos.
1983 Aug 25, The US and USSR
signed a $10 billion grain pact.
1983 Aug 25, The French
cultural center in West Berlin was bombed. One person was killed and
23 injured. The attack was attributed to Carlos the Jackal, aka
Ilich Ramirez Sanchez.
1983 Aug 28, Israel’s PM Begin,
reportedly despondent over the death of his wife and the rising
casualty toll of Israeli troops in Lebanon, announced his intention
to resign as fighting continued in Lebanon with no apparent end in
1983 Aug 29, William Goyen
(b.1915), Texas-born novelist and playwright, died in Los Angeles.
His 1st novel was “House of Breath" (1950).
1983 Aug 30, Lieutenant Colonel
Guion S. Bluford Jr. became the first black American astronaut to
travel in space, blasting off aboard the Challenger.
(AP, 8/30/97)(HN, 8/30/98)
1983 Aug 31, In Fairfield, Ca.,
Kyle Stracner (15) returned home after visiting with friends and
found his mother, Priscilla Strole (40), naked and beaten to death
on the floor. In 2014 investigators used DNA evidence to identify
Robert Hathaway (48), a childhood friend of Kyle, as the murderer.
Hathaway hanged himself on Feb 15, 2014.
(SFC, 3/6/14, p.D2)
1983 Sep 1, The KAL flight 007
was downed by a Soviet jet fighter after the airliner entered Soviet
airspace. 269 people were killed aboard the Korean Air Lines Boeing
747 including sixty-one Americans, among them Georgia Representative
Larry McDonald. The order was given by Soviet Gen’l. Anatoly
Kornukov who held that the plane was part of a hostile US operation.
In 2005 the History Channel featured a TV documentary on the
(SFC, 5/29/96, A3)(AP, 9/1/97)(WSJ, 1/23/98,
1983 Sep 1, Henry "Scoop"
Jackson (b.1912), Sen-D-Wash., died.
1983 Sep 2, Yitzhak Shamir
(68), the Foreign Minister of Israel, was elected to succeed PM
Menachem Begin as leader of the governing Herut Party.
1983 Sep 5, The "MacNeil-Lehrer
Report" became the first one-hour TV news broadcast in the US.
Robert MacNeil bowed out in 1995 and it became the "NewsHour with
1983 Sep 6, The USSR admitted
to shooting down KAL 007 on Sep 1.
1983 Sep 7, Irish people voted
in a referendum to amend the constitution to make abortion illegal.
The 8th amendment, banning abortion, was signed into law on Oct 7,
(http://tinyurl.com/cqtafxh)(Econ, 8/23/14, p.52)
1983 Sep 10, John Vorster,
prime minister of white-ruled South Africa from 1966 to 1978, died
in Cape Town at age 67.
1983 Sep 12, Filiberto Ojeda
Rios (d.2005), a Puerto Rican nationalist leader, was involved in
the robbery of a Connecticut armored truck. It was considered an act
of domestic terrorism because the money was used to fund activities
by the Puerto Rican nationalist Macheteros, or Cane Cutters. Only
about $80,000 of the $7 million was recovered. In 2005 Rios was shot
and killed by FBI agents in Puerto Rico
(www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=24432). In 2008 Avelino Gonzalez
Claudio (65), a Puerto Rican militant suspected in the Connecticut
robbery, was arrested in Puerto Rico, where he lived quietly under
an assumed name.
1983 Sep 12, The USSR vetoed a
UN resolution deploring its shooting down of South Korea’s KAL
flight 007 plane.
1983 Sep 15, New York City Cops
beat to death Michael Stewart for graffiting the subway.
1983 Sep 15, Israel’s premier
Begin (d.1992) resigned.
1983 Sep 17, Vanessa Williams
of New York became the first black contestant to be crowned "Miss
America." The following July, she also became the first Miss America
to resign in the wake of her Penthouse magazine scandal.
1983 Sep 19, Chuck Woolery
(b.1941) began hosting the syndicated TV game show “Love
Connection." He continued to 1995. The show was produced by Eric
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Woolery)(SSFC, 7/6/08, p.B6)
1983 Sep 19, St. Kitts and
Nevis became a single nation, but Nevis retained the right to
secede. St Kitts and Nevis declared independence from the UK.
1983 Sep 21, In a speech to the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Interior Secretary James G. Watt jokingly
described a special advisory panel as consisting of "a black ... a
woman, two Jews and a cripple." Although Watt later apologized, he
ended up resigning.
1983 Sep 21, The David Mamet
play "Glengarry Glen Ross" was first performed in London. It won a
Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and was made into a film in 1992.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glengarry_Glen_Ross)(SFEC, 5/30/99, DB
1983 Sep 21, In the Philippines
at least 7 people were killed in anti Marcos demonstrations in
1983 Sep 23, The so-called Law
of National Pacification was issued two weeks before the election
that brought President Alfonsín to power. Argentina’s military
regime gave a blanket amnesty to military and political killers and
1983 Sep 24, In North Carolina
Sabrina Buie (11) went missing. Days later her body was found.
Forensic tests showed she had been raped and suffocated. Henry
McCollum (19) and his half-brother Leon Brown (15) were arrested and
convicted following confessions that were coerced. In 2014 McCollum
and Brown were freed after DNA evidence pointed to another man who
lived near where Buie’s body was found. On June 4, 2015, McCollum
and Brown were pardoned by Gov. Pat McCrory. On Sep 2, 2015, the two
brothers were awarded $750,000 each for their wrongful conviction.
p.A8)(SFC, 6/5/15, p.A7)(SFC, 9/3/15, p.A6)
1983 Sep 25, In the 35th Emmy
Awards the winners included Hill St Blues, Cheers, Ed Flanders and
1983 Sep 25, Leslie Michelle
English (2) was raped and murdered in Griffin, Georgia. Her uncle,
Eddie Albert Crawford was convicted of the murder and sentenced to
death. After 20 years on death row Crawford was executed July 19,
(SFC, 7/19/04, p.A4)
1983 Sep 25, In Northern
Ireland Jimmy Smythe escaped from the Maze prison near Belfast along
with 37 other prisoners. He made his way to San Francisco where he
was arrested and released on bail in 1992. Kevin Barry Artt, Terence
Kirby, and Pol Brennan also escaped and made their way to
California. They were arrested in the 1992 and held in a federal
prison in Pleasanton, Ca. After a lengthy court battle, Smythe was
extradited in 1996 to Northern Ireland to serve the remainder of his
20-year prison term. In 1998 he was freed from a Belfast prison.
(SFC, 7/4/96, p.A20)(SFC, 10/10/98,
1983 Sep 26, The Liberty of
the New York Yacht Club lost the America Cup to the Australia
II, owned by businessman Alan Bond. In 1851 the Schooner America
outraced the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy that
became known as the America’s Cup. For 132 years the New York Yacht
Club had defeated all challengers to retain the prestigious
America’s Cup, the record for the longest winning streak in sports
8/22/97)(SFEC, 10/1/00, p.T4)
1983 Sep 26, The Soviet Union's
early warning system wrongly signaled the launch of a US Minuteman
intercontinental ballistic missile. Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov (44),
in charge of the system, decided the alarm was false and did not
launch a retaliatory strike. Because of military secrecy and
international policy, Petrov's actions were kept secret until 1998.
In 2004 the San-Francisco-based Association of World Citizens
presented Petrov a World Citizen Award.
1983 Sep 26, Cosmonauts Titov
and Strekalov were saved by their escape system when the rocket that
was to carry their Soyuz T-10-1 mission into space caught fire on
1983 Sep 30, The first AH-64
Apache attack helicopter was rolled out by McDonnell Douglas
(SFC, 6/18/99, p.D7)
1983 Sep, Forbes Magazine
listed Gordon Getty as the richest man in America with a net worth
of $2.2 billion.
1983 Oct 4, Richard Noble set a
land speed record on the Nevada Black Rock Desert of 633.47 mph.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A7)
1983 Oct 5, The TV show “Whiz
Kids" was produced by Philip DeGuere Jr. and ran for one season.
1983 Oct 5, Lech Walesa, Polish
Solidarity founder, was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
(SFC, 10/12/96, p.A13)(AP, 10/5/08)
1983 Oct 5, Earl Tupper
(b.1907), a Massachusetts tree surgeon, inventor and founder of
Tupperware [see 1938], died in Costa Rica. In 2008 Bob Kealing
authored “Tupperware: Brownie Wise, Earl Tupper, and the Home Party
1983 Oct 6, Cardinal Terence
Cooke (62), the spiritual head of the Archdiocese of New York, died.
1983 Oct 8, Joan Hackett
(b.1942), American film actress, died. Her films included “Only When
I Laugh" (1981).
1983 Oct 9, The president of
South Korea, Chun Doo Hwan, with his cabinet and other top officials
were scheduled to lay a wreath on a monument in Rangoon, Burma, when
a bomb exploded. Hwan had not yet arrived so escaped injury, but 17
Koreans, including the deputy prime minister and two other cabinet
members, and two Burmese were killed. North Korea was blamed. In the
“Rangoon Massacre" a terrorist attack plotted by North Korea killed
17 South Korean officials on a visit to Burma.
(WSJ, 9/9/96, p.A18)(HN, 10/9/98)
1983 Oct 10, Israel's 20th
government was formed by Yitzhak Shamir.
1983 Oct 11, The last hand
cranked telephones in the US went out of service as 440 telephone
customers in Bryant Pond, Maine, were switched over to direct dial.
1983 Oct 13, The Space Shuttle
Challenger, carrying seven, the largest crew to date, landed safely
at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
1983 Oct 14, Cecil Parkinson,
British Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, resigned
following a highly publicized extra-marital affair.
(Econ, 10/22/05, p.62)(http://tinyurl.com/bfvue)
1983 Oct 15, One US marine was
killed and another wounded when Marine positions at Beirut
International Airport came under sniper fire from neighboring Shiite
1983 Oct 16, George Liberace
(b.1911), American violinist, died. He was the older brother of
Liberace (1919-1987), the famed pianist.
1983 Oct 16, Kelso, Horse of
the Year for 5 years straight (1960-1964), died and was buried in
Maryland. In 2007 Linda Kennedy authored “Kelso: The Horse of Gold."
(WSJ, 6/2/07, p.P8)
1983 Oct 19, The US
Senate established the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as
the 3rd Monday in January each year. Dr. King was born on January
15, 1929. It was not until 2000 that it was recognized in all 50 US
1983 Oct 19, In Grenada an
extremist Marxist faction executed PM Maurice Bishop and 4 Cabinet
ministers. 17 men were later convicted of the killings during the
coup that prompted a US invasion. Their death sentences were later
commuted to life in prison. In 2005 they were allowed to appeal to
the London-based Privy Council. In 2009 Bernard Coard and the six
others — Dave Bartholomew, Callistus Bernard, Leon Cornwall, Liam
James, Ewart Layne and Selwyn Strachan — were released. Ten others
convicted in the killings, including Coard's wife, were previously
released. The bodies of Bishop and 10 men killed with him had not
(SFC, 7/25/98, p.A10)(Econ, 10/18/03, p.38)(AP,
6/29/05)(AP, 6/28/06)(AP, 9/5/09)
1983 Oct 21, US Pres. Ronald
Reagan sent a ten-ship task force to Grenada.
1983 Oct 22, In Marion, Ill., 2
handcuffed inmates at the federal prison killed 2 guards in separate
incidents. This led to permanent lockdown at Marion, the beginning
of the ADX prison, administrative maximum.
(SFC, 12/28/98, p.A3,4)
1983 Oct 23, A truck filled
with explosives, driven by a Moslem suicide terrorist, crashed into
the US Marine barracks near the Beirut International Airport in
Lebanon. The bomb killed 241 Marines and sailors and injured 80.
Almost simultaneously, a similar incident occurred at French
military headquarters, where 58 died and 15 were injured. Hezbollah
leader Imad Mughniyah was suspected of involvement. In 2007 under a
law allowing foreign governments to be sued in US courts, US federal
judge Royce Lamberth ordered Iran to pay $2.65 billion to victims'
(WSJ, 8/1/96/p.B1)(AP, 10/23/97)(WSJ, 9/19/01,
1983 Oct 23, Jessica Savitch
(36), news anchor (NBC-TV), died in an automobile accident with
Martin Fischbein in New Hope, Pa.
1983 Oct 25, Dominica PM Dame
Eugenia Charles stood next to US Pres. Ronald Reagan at the White
House as he announced the US invasion of Grenada.
(SFC, 1/8/04, p.A19)(SFC, 9/8/05, p.B7)
1983 Oct 25, Some 1,800 US
Marines and Rangers, assisted by 300 soldiers from six Caribbean
nations, invaded Grenada at the order of President Reagan, who said
the action was needed to protect US citizens there. Protection for
the American students at St. George’s Medical School was a pretext
for the invasion. 45 Grenadians were killed along with 29 Cubans and
19 Americans. This day later became celebrated as Grenada’s
(AP, 10/25/97)(SFC, 7/25/98, p.A10)(SFC,
8/3/98, p.A8)(HN, 10/25/98)(SFC, 3/12/07, p.B4)
1983 Oct 28, US forces led by
Vice Adm. Joseph Metcalf III took control of Grenada 3 days after
invading the island. Deputy PM Bernard Coard, leader of the
rebellion, was captured. The fighting left 19 Americans dead along
with 45 Grenadans.
(SFC, 3/12/07, p.B4)
1983 Oct 28, In Idaho a
magnitude 6.9 earthquake near Borah Peak killed two children in
Challis and caused an estimated $12.5 million in property damage.
1983 Oct 30, In California the
body of Sharon Ray (19) was found half-buried in the sand at
Pescadero Beach in San Mateo County. In 2015 John Joseph Scott (67)
was arrested after DNA evidence linked him to the victim.
(SFC, 11/19/15, p.D4)
1983 Oct 30, Argentina held
general elections. The democratic government of Raul Alfonsin
replaced the 7-year-old military junta and formed a national human
rights commission. The first act of the government was to annul the
amnesty rushed through by the junta just before it fell.
p.D4)(Econ, 4/14/07, p.40)
1983 Oct, The TV show "Bay City
Blues" began and lasted for one season. It was a one-hour drama
about life in a minor league baseball team.
(SFC, 12/3/98, p.E5)
1983 Oct, Frank W. Epperson
(89), who invented the Popsicle on an extraordinarily cold night in
San Francisco in 1905, died in SF.
(SSFC, 10/19/08, DB p.58)
1983 Oct, In Texas four bodies
were found shot execution-style in an airplane hangar on the B&B
Ranch north of Dallas. 3 months later chemical salesman Lester Leroy
Bower Jr. was charged with capital murder. More than 20 years later,
a state judge stopped Bower's scheduled July 22, 2008, execution and
agreed to consider his request that evidence be examined to see if
DNA testing could back up his claim of innocence. Bower was executed
on June 3, 2015.
(AP, 7/6/08)(Reuters, 6/3/15)
1983 Oct, In Australia Edwina
Boyle disappeared from her Melbourne suburb home. Her husband
Frederick William Boyle (35) of Carrum Downs, dismembered her, and
hid her body in a 44-gallon drum. In 2006 his son-in-law opened the
drum a found her remains. A post-mortem showed she died of a bullet
wound to the head. In 2008 Boyle was convicted of murder.
(AFP, 1/31/08)(Reuters, 2/9/08)
1983 Oct, Hong Kong pegged its
currency to the US dollar. Hong Kong adopted a currency board. The
board is a type fixed exchange rate system that requires currency in
circulation to be fully matched by the country’s foreign exchange
reserves. The Hong Kong dollar was pegged at 7.8 to the US dollar.
(SFC, 2/16/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 8/10/98, p.A10)(Econ,
6/30/07, SR p.10)
1983 Nov 1, IBM released PC DOS
1983 Nov 1, Anthony van Hoboken
(b.1887), Dutch musicologist, died in Zurich. He is best known for
his Haydn Catalog (1957).
1983 Nov 2, President Reagan
signed a bill establishing a federal holiday on the third Monday of
January in honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The
legislation declared the national holiday beginning in January 1986.
(AP, 11/2/98)(HNQ, 1/18/99)
1983 Nov 3, Jesse Jackson
announced his candidacy for the office of President of the United
1983 Nov 4, Dennis Nilsen
(b.1945), serial killer, was sentenced in England to life
imprisonment. He had killed at least 15 men over a 5 year period
(1978-1983). All his victims were students or homeless men whom he
picked up in bars and brought to his house either for sex or just
for company. In 1993 Brian Masters authored “Killing for Company."
1983 Nov 7, A bomb exploded on
the 2nd floor of the Capitol, causing heavy damage but no injuries.
A caller said the bomb was an action against US aggression in
Grenada and Lebanon.
1983 Nov 8, In SF Mayor Diane
Feinstein won her final 4-year term as mayor. Voters backed policy
measures asking for an end to bilingual voting.
(SSFC, 11/9/08, DB p.58)
1983 Nov 8, Wilson Goode was
elected as the first black mayor of the city of Philadelphia.
1983 Nov 8, Martha Layne
Collins (b.1936) was elected as the 56th governor of Kentucky, the
state’s first female governor. She served to 1987.
1983 Nov 9, Alfred Heineken,
beer brewer from Amsterdam, was kidnapped and held for a ransom of
more than $10 million. Heineken was freed Nov 30. Cor van Houton,
the kidnapper, was shot to death in 2003.
(HN, 11/9/98)(AP, 1/24/03)
1983 Nov 11, President Reagan
became the first U.S. chief executive to address the Diet, Japan's
1983 Nov 13, In south Florida
the beaten body of Carla Lowe was found on a roadside. She had last
been seen waiting for a train at an Amtrak station in Delray Beach.
On Nov. 29, 2021, Ralph Williams (59) was arrested in Jacksonville
and charged with the death of Lowe.
1983 Nov 15, In Athens, Greece,
US Navy Captain George Tsantes and his driver were assassinated by
the November 17 terrorist group.
1983 Nov 15, Turkish Cypriots
declared the northern third Cyprus a separate republic, the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus. It was only recognized by Turkey.
1983 Nov 16, In San Francisco
Nikolaus Crumbley was found murdered in McLaren Park. In 2012 police
with DNA evidence from the scene arrested William Payne (47). Payne
had been arrested in 1984 in connection with a sexual assault on a
(SFC, 2/1/12, p.C8)
1983 Nov 18, In Ohio Jenean
Brown (19) went missing. Her body was found 36 hours later
outside Toledo. She had been beaten and nearly decapitated. In 2013
DNA tests linked Andrew Gustafson (56) to her murder. In 2014
Gustafson pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and rape and
was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
(SFC, 12/23/14, p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/lrsnwx3)
1983 Nov 18, Argentina
announced its ability to produce enriched uranium for nuclear
1983 Nov 19, Angela Bugay (5)
was abducted in Antioch, Ca., [see Nov 26].
(SFC, 5/29/02, p.A18)
1983 Nov 21, "Doonesbury"
opened at Biltmore Theater in NYC for 104 performances.
1983 Nov 24, An IRA unit
disguised as police officers seized Don Tidey, an American former
chief executive of Ireland's Superquinn grocery stores, outside his
Dublin home. They held him for more than three weeks in woods near
the Irish border and demanded the equivalent of US$7.5 million in
ransom. A joint Irish police-army search stumbled on the kidnappers'
hideaway, freeing Tidey, but the IRA kidnappers killed a police
officer and soldier as they escaped.
1983 Nov 24, PLO exchanged 6
Israeli prisoners for 4,500 Palestinians and Lebanese.
1983 Nov 25, Syria and Saudi
Arabia announced a cease-fire in PLO civil war in Tripoli.
1983 Nov 26, Over £25m worth of
gold bullion bound for the Far East was stolen from the Brinks Mat
warehouse, about one mile (1.6km) outside the airport perimeter, in
Heathrow, England. At least 6 men stole of 6,800 gold bars worth
1983 Nov 26, Angela Bugay of
Antioch, Ca., 5-years-old, was found in a shallow grave in Concord,
Ca. She had been kidnapped a week earlier. Larry Graham, who dated
Angela’s mother, was later arrested as a suspect and prosecutors in
1995 received a court order to draw his blood for DNA evidence. In
1996 police matched the DNA of Graham, with samples recovered from
the girl’s body and arrested him on charges of murder. Use of the
DNA evidence was cleared in 1998. Graham was convicted Aug 20, 2002,
and sentenced to death Oct 22. Graham (58) was found dead in his
cell on June 16, 2009, of apparent suicide.
(SFC, 4/26/96, p.A-19)(SFC, 5/20/98, p.A19)(SFC,
3/18/99, p.A19)(SFC, 4/15/02, p.A1)(SFC, 8/21/02, p.A15)(SFC,
10/23/02, p.A16)(SFC, 6/17/09, p.B6)
1983 Nov 27, In Spain 181
people were killed when a Colombian Avianca Airlines Boeing 747
crashed near Madrid's Barajas airport.
1983 Nov 28, The space shuttle
Columbia blasted into orbit, carrying six astronauts who conducted
experiments using the $1 billion Spacelab in the shuttle's cargo
1983 Nov 28, Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir met with President Reagan at the White House
to discuss ways to strengthen U.S.-Israeli military and economic
1983 Nov 30, Radio Shack
announced the Tandy Model 2000 computer (80186 chip).
1983 Nov 30, Police freed
kidnapped beer magnate Alfred Heineken in Amsterdam.
1983 Nov, The US stationed
nuclear-tipped Pershing missiles on German soil.
1983 Nov, In San Francisco
Jimmy "the Beard" Ferrozzo (40), the assistant manager of the Condor
Club, made famous by topless dancer Carol Doda, was crushed to death
by a piano that was used to raise Doda up and down on a hydraulic
lift. Exotic dancer Teresa Hill (23), naked and hysterical, survived
(http://tinyurl.com/7lrvcuu)(SSFC, 12/30/12, DB
1983 Nov, DeWitt Duckett (14)
was shot in the neck inside Harlem Park Junior High in Baltimore.
Authorities later said he was killed over his Georgetown University
Starter jacket. Police soon arrested 16-year-olds Alfred Chestnut,
Ransom Watkins, and Andrew Stewart, charging them with murder.
Witnesses later recanted and it emerged that police withheld
exculpatory evidence, including that several other students
identified another man as Duckett's killer. He died in 2002. In 2019
the three men convicted of the murder were exonerated.
(The Week, 11/26/19)
1983 Nov, Hafez Assad,
president of Syria, suffered a heart attack and his brother Rifat
(b.1937) tried to take power by moving tanks against other Alawite
chieftains. Hafez Assad recovered and stripped Rifat of power.
1983 Dec 4, US jet fighters
struck Syrian anti-aircraft positions in Lebanon in retaliation for
Syrian-backed attacks on the US peacekeeping force. The Syrian
anti-air defense shut down two American airplanes and a pilot was
captured. The positions of the Marines at the Beirut International
Airport were bombarded. Eight Marines were killed.
(http://tinyurl.com/35ek6z)(SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)
1983 Dec 6, The SF Golden Gate
Bridge closed for the 2nd December in a row as winds at the toll
plaza measured 77.2 mph.
(SSFC, 11/30/08, DB p. 58)
1983 Dec 6, A bomb planted on a
bus in Jerusalem exploded and killed 6 Israelis.
1983 Dec 7, In the SF Bay Area
three of Marsha Carter's (25) four boys found a pool of blood on her
bed in Richmond. Her body was later discovered in the trunk of a car
in West Sacramento. In 2018 a jury convicted Sherill Smothers (56),
a former boyfriend, of fatally stabbing Carter. He was sentenced to
25 years in prison. In 2021 Smothers was givern a new trial as DNA
evidence under the victims fingernails led to Kevin Sennett, an Army
reservist living in wisled to Kevin Sennett, an Army reservist
living in Wisconsin.
p.D1)(https://tinyurl.com/bh9nnp3f)(SFC, 7/23/21, p.B4)
1983 Dec 7, Edgar Graham
(b.1954), member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, was shot dead by
1983 Dec 7, In Madrid, Spain,
an Aviaco DC-9 collided on a runway with an Iberia Air Lines Boeing
727 that was accelerating for takeoff, killing all 42 people aboard
the DC-9 and 51 aboard the Iberia jet.
1983 Dec 8, US Att. Gen. Edwin
Meese said people go to soup kitchens "...because food is free and
that's easier than paying for it."
1983 Dec 10, Argentina's Pres.
Reynaldo Bignone handed power over to Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín.
(SSFC, 3/11/18, p.C10)
1983 Dec 11, Pope John Paul II
visited a Lutheran church in Rome, the first visit by a Roman
Catholic pontiff to a Protestant church in his own diocese.
1983 Dec 12, Australia’s labor
government under Bob Hawke allowed its dollar to float.
5/28/11, SR p.3)
1983 Dec 12, A truck bomb
exploded at the US Embassy in Kuwait. Shiite Muslims backed by Iran
drove bomb-laden trucks into six targets. The most deadly of these
struck the US Embassy, killing five persons and wounding 62. Other
trucks destroyed the French embassy and several Kuwaiti
(WSJ, 4/28/05, p.A1)
1983 Dec 13, Mary Renault
(b.1905), English and South African writer, died in South Africa.
She is best known for her historical novels set in ancient Greece.
1983 Dec 15, In Ohio motel
clerk Helen Vantz was killed in Elyria. Ronald Post was convicted of
her murder and sentenced to death. Post was granted clemency from
death in 2013 on the grounds that at 450 lbs he was too obese to be
executed humanely. Post (53) died in prison on July 26, 2013.
(SFC, 7/27/13, p.A6)
1983 Dec 16, Argentina’s Pres.
Raúl Alfonsín launched a truth commission on the systematic yet
secret, disappearance, torture, and death of thousands of
individuals suspected by the government of supporting the left-wing
agenda following the military coup in 1976. Over the next nine
months the commission established that at least 8,960 people had
1983 Dec 17, There was an IRA
bombing near Harrods department store in London. Six people were
killed and 90 injured.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1
1983 Dec 17, An Economic
cooperation agreement between the Community and the Andean Pact
countries was signed in Cartagena, Colombia.
1983 Dec 20, Donald Rumsfeld
visited Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Following his visit the US supplied
Hussein with satellite photos of Iranian deployments and allowed
shipment of a variety of materials from American suppliers.
1983 Dec 20, PLO chairman
Yasser Arafat and 4,000 loyalists evacuated Lebanon.
1983 Dec 21, Paul de Man
(b.1919), Belgium-born Yale professor of humanities, died in
Connecticut. He had curried favor with Nazi occupiers during WWII
and fled to the US after being convicted of fraud and embezzlement
in a publishing house he reated. In 2014 Evelyn Barish authored “The
Double Life of Paul de Man."
(SFC, 5/11/14, p.F7)
1983 Dec 22, Egyptian president
Mubarak met with PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
1983 Dec 27, President Reagan
took all responsibility for the lack of security in Beirut that
allowed a terrorist on a suicide mission to kill 241 Marines on Oct
1983 Dec 27, Pope John Paul II
pardoned Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot him. The Pope visited
Mehmet Ali Agca at Rome’s Rebibbia prison and personally pardoned
him for the 1981 assassination attempt.
1983 Dec 27, A propane gas fire
devastated 16 blocks of Buffalo, NY. The fire killed five
firefighters, two civilians, destroyed about a million in fire
equipment, and leveled several city blocks, as well as the infamous
fire alarm box # 29 also known as the Hoodoo Box.
1983 Dec 28, Dennis Wilson
(b.1944), a founding member of the Beach Boys, died in a swimming
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.D8)
1983 Dec 29, US announced its
withdrawal from UNESCO.
1983 Dec 29, In Nigeria Pres.
Shehu Shagari announced austerity measures. The country was already
suffering from high unemployment rates and general disillusionment
after the oil boom of the '70s.
1983 Dec 30, A 7.2 earthquake
killed 26 people in Afghanistan (14) and Pakistan (12).
(SFC, 3/5/02, p.A10)
1983 Dec 31, In France bombings
in the main railroad terminal in Marseilles and on the
Paris-Marseilles express train killed 5 people and injured 50. The
attack was attributed to Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez
1983 Dec 31, In Nigeria the
military again ousted the civilian government. Gen’l. Muhammadu
Buhari (b.1942), a Muslim from the Hausa tribe (Fulani), took power
in a coup. He soon launched a “war on indiscipline" and continue to
rule for 18 months.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammadu_Buhari)(Econ, 3/12/11, p.58)
1983 Dec, Segundo Marey, a
French furniture dealer, was kidnapped from his home in France as a
suspected Basque terrorist. In 1998 in Spain former Interior
Minister Jose Barrionuevo and Rafael Vera, former director of state
security, were arrested for the kidnapping and misappropriation of
government funds for the crimes along with Julian Sancristobal,
former civil governor of Vizcaya province.
(SFC, 7/30/98, p.A16)
1983 Jasper Johns painted his
autobiographical picture "Racing Thoughts." It was done from the
vantage point of inside a bathtub inspired by a 1938 painting by
(WSJ, 10/17/96, p.A20)(SFEC, 9/28/97, BR p.5)
1983 Amy Clampitt (1920-1994),
American poet, published ‘The Kingfisher."
(WSJ, 11/7/97, p.A17)
1983 "Sisters In Affliction:
Circumcision and Infibulation of Women in Africa" by Raquiya H.
Abdalla was published.
(NH, 8/96, p.65)
1983 Charles Allen wrote "A
Mountain in Tibet."
(NH, 5/96, p.68)
1983 Kingsley Amis (1922-1995),
British novelist, authored “Everyday Drinking," a book cobbled
together from his newspaper columns.
1983 Dr. Paul Auerbach
(1951-2021) edited “Management of Wilderness and Environmental
Emergencies," with a colleague, Edward Geehr. It became widely
considered the definitive textbook in the field.
(NY Times, 7/19/21)
1983 Daniel Boorstin, American
historian, published "The Discoverers." [see 1975-1987]
(WSJ, 3/29/96, p.A-9)
1983 Marion Zimmer Bradley
(d.1999 at 69) published "The Mists of Avalon," a woman's
perspective of the King Arthur legend.
(SFC, 9/29/99, p.C2)
1983 US foreign policy expert
Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928-2017) authored "Power and Principle." It
was hailed and reviled as a kiss-and-tell memoir.
1983 John le Carre authored
“The Little Drummer Girl," a novel set amidst the conflict between
the Palestinians and Israelis.
(WSJ, 10/28/06, p.P12)
1983 Fred J. Cook (1911-2003)
authored "The Great Energy Scam," an examination of the oil
(SFC, 5/5/03, p.B4)
1983 "The Return of Martin
Guerre" by Natalie Zemon Davis was published. It was a historical
account of a true story from 16th cent. France.
(WSJ, 7/17/96, p.A12)
1983 Nora Ephron (1941-2012)
authored her novel “Heartburn," modeled on her marriage to former
Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein.
(SFC, 6/27/12, p.C5)
1983 Andrew Ezergailis authored
“The Latvian Impact on the Bolshevik Revolution."
1983 Frederick Vanderbilt Field
(d.2000 at 94) published his autobiography: "From Right to Left."
(SFC, 2/12/00, p.A21)0
1983 Derek Freeman published
"Margaret Mead in Samoa," in which he laid waste Mead's portrayal of
1920s Samoan society.
(WSJ, 3/3/99, p.A17)
1983 Harvard Prof. Howard
Gardner authored “Frames of Mind" in which he proposed the "multiple
intelligence theory," which held that there are multiple types of
intelligence, such as athletic prowess and musical ability, beyond
the traditional math and verbal skills.
(WSJ, 4/1/02, p.A1)(Econ, 4/17/04, p.80)
1983 Hollywood screenwriter
William Goldman authored “Adventures in the Skin Trade."
(Econ, 12/21/13, p.112)
1983 Jane Goodall published "In
the Shadow of Man."
(SFEC, 12/15/96, zone 1 p.3)
1983 Seymour Hirsch published
"The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House." It won a
National Book Critics Circle award.
1983 Joyce Johnson authored
"Minor Characters," a memoir of the Beat generation. In 2000 she
authored "Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958,"
that covered her relationship with Jack Kerouac.
(SFEC, 6/18/00, BR p.7)
1983 Stanley Karnow published
"Vietnam: A History."
(SFC, 5/11/99, p.A19)
1983 Prof. William Webster
Lammers of USC (d.1997 at 60) published "Public Policy and Aging."
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A19)
1983 David Landes, Harvard
historian, published "Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of
the Modern World."
(SFEC, 3/22/98, BR p.8)
1983 Rigoberta Menchu,
Guatemalan-born Mayan Indian and human rights activist, authored her
book "I, Rigoberta Menchu." In 1992 she won the Nobel peace Prize.
In 1998 David Stoll, a US anthropologist, authored "Rigoberta Menchu
and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans." He asserted a number of
inaccuracies in Menchu’s original book.
(SFEC, 1/19/97, Par p.5)(SFC, 12/15/98, p.C20)
1983 Journalist Joe McGinniss
(1942-2014) authored “Fatal Vision,“ the true crime story of Jeffrey
McDonald, convicted in the 1970 murder of his wife and children in
at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
(SFC, 3/11/14, p.A8)
1968 Jerome Mintz (d.1997 at
67), US anthropologist, published "The Anarchists of Casa Viejas,"
an account and oral history of the 1933 Spanish uprising.
1983 James Michener wrote his
1983 Amos Oz, novelist,
published "In the Land of Israel," a collection of essays.
(SFEC, 10/20/96, BR, p.4)
1983 Maynard Parker, editor of
Newsweek, authorized the publication of the spurious "Hitler
Diaries." The work was identified as "patent and obvious forgeries"
by Charles Hamilton (1914-1996), "philography" expert.
(WSJ, 8/23/96, p.A1)(SFC, 12/13/96, p.B6)
1983 Geoffrey Pearson authored
“Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears." It became a classic of
(Econ, 8/20/11, p.54)
1983 Donald E. Russell and
Prof. Donald Savage (d.1999 at 81) wrote "Mammalian Paleofaunas of
the World," it was a compendium of mammals through the ages.
(SFC, 4/14/99, p.C5)
1983 Richard Shevell (d.2000 at
89), aeronautics professor at Stanford, authored the text
"Fundamentals of Flight."
(SFC, 4/27/00, p.A24)
1983 Michael Straight (d.2004),
US State Dept employee (1938) and later editor of the new Republic,
authored "After Long Silence." He had passed reports to the Russians
(Econ, 1/17/04, p.76)
1983 Colin Thubron authored
"Among the Russians."
(Econ, 9/30/06, p.93)
1983 The book "I Will Go On
Living" by Japanese writer Chio Uno (1898-1996) was published.
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A21)
1983 Lynda Van Devanter (d.2002
at 55) authored "Home Before Morning," the 1st major autobiography
by a woman veteran. It inspired the 1988-1991 TV series "China
(SFC, 11/27/02, p.A26)
1983 Alan Walker (b.1930)
authored the first of his three-volume work “Franz Liszt." Here he
analyzed Liszt’s achievement as a composer, conductor and
1983 Betty Cornfeld and Owen
Edwards authored "Quintessence". It described items whose design was
so good that they could not be improved upon.
(http://tinyurl.com/jzkg2ee)(SFC, 7/3/96, zz-1,
1983 Brock Yates authored “The
Decline and Fall of the American Automobile Industry.
(WSJ, 11/5/05, p.P8)
1983 Edward Albee wrote his
play "The Man Who Had Three Arms."
(SFEC, 7/27/97, DB p.33)
1983 The opera "St. Francis
d’Assise" by Olivier Messiaen premiered in Paris.
(SFC, 9/30/02, p.D1)
1983 "The Gospel at Colonus," a
Pentecostal Gospel rendering of Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, was
written by Lee Breur and composed by Bob Telson.
(SFC, 2/27/97, p.B1)(www.leebreuer.com/cv.htm)
1983 The dance show "Tango
Argentino" was created by Hector Orezzoli and Claudio Segovia.
(WSJ, 11/13/96, p.A20)
1983 The film "Gandhi" won as
Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.E5)
1983 The musical film "Pirates
of Penzance" was directed by Wilford Leach. It featured Linda
Ronstadt (b.1946) as Mabel.
1983 Brian Levant co-wrote the
TV movie "Still the Beaver," starring the original cast of the
"Leave It to Beaver" series.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A25)
1983 Trivial Pursuit was big as
was MTV (Music Television). Linda F. Pezzano (d.1999 at 54),
marketing consultant, invented the "viral marketing concept" to
publicize the Canadian board game.
(TMC, 1994, p.1983)(SFC, 10/30/99, p.C2)
1983 A television movie titled
"The Day After" showed Soviet missiles vaporizing Kansas City. It
focused people’s attention on the reality of their local missile
(WSJ, 5/23/96, p.A-9)
1983 PBS first showed the
13-hour series "Vietnam: A Television History" in the US. It won
every award in TV. It was rebroadcast in 1989 and 1997. The 6-year
work was produced by Richard Ellison (1924-2004).
(SFC, 10/12/04, p.B8)(SFC, 5/26/97, p.B1)
1983 Jay Ungar composed
"Ashokan Farewell." It was used in the TV special "The Civil War."
1983 Billy Joel's "52nd Street"
was the first mass-marketed compact disc, CD.
(SFC, 1/14/99, p.D1)
1983 Shane MacGowan formed the
punk group Pogues in London. He left the group in 1992.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, DB p.39)
1983 The Townes Van Zandt
(1944-1997) song" Pancho and Lefty," sung by Merle Haggard and
Willie Nelson, topped the country charts. Zandt was born Mar 7, 1944
in Ft. Worth, Texas, into a prominent oil family.
(SFC, 1/3/97, p.A26)
1983 Ellen Taaffe Zwilich won a
Pulitzer Prize for her composition "Symphony No. 1."
(SFC, 9/22/00, p.C9)
1983 The SF Jazz Festival began
with 2 nights of concerts and a $27,000 budget.
(SFEC, 11/24/96, DB p.49)
1983 Alfred Brendel became the
first pianist to play all 32 Beethoven sonatas in Carnegie Hall. He
later authored 2 volumes of essays that were published in English
as: "Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts," and "Music Sounded Out."
(WSJ, 5/6/99, p.A24)
1983 Olivier Messiaen composed
his opera "Saint François d’Assise."
(SFC, 12/6/01, p.D1)
1983 In Denver the 52-story One
Norwest Center with its cash register crown was completed. The
architects were Philip Johnson and John Burgee.
(WSJ, 1/3/97, p.B10)
1983 The IBM corporate
headquarters at Madison and 57th Ave. in Manhattan, designed by
Edward Larrabee Barnes (1915-2004), was completed.
(SFC, 9/24/04, p.B7)
1983 The Catholic Church code
to annul marriages was revised under Canon 1095. It permitted
annulment if it could be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that at
the time of their marriage one or both spouses suffered from a
"grave lack of discretionary judgement" concerning their marriage
(WSJ, 9/11/98, p.W9)
1983 Vanessa Williams was the
first black Miss America but her reign was short due to the
revelation of a set of "Penthouse" photos.
(SFC, 6/9/96, DB p.41)
1983 Dr. Constance Wofsy
(1943-1996) and Dr. Paul Volberding founded the AIDS program at San
Francisco General Hospital.
(SFC, 6/5/96, C5)
1983 Joe Hunt founded the
Billionaire Boys Club in Los Angeles as an investment and social
fraternity. He hired Jim Pittman (d.1997 at 43) as the club
bodyguard. Hunt and Pittman later plotted and executed the murder of
con artist Ronald George Levin in 1984.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p. A17)(SFC, 3/29/97, p.A20)
1983 Elmer and Joanne Martin
founded the Great Blacks Wax Museum in Baltimore, Md.
(SFC, 5/26/96, T-7)
1983 Mitch Kaplan created the
Miami Book Fair. It grew to become a week-long marathon with
estimated attendance at 400,000 in 1998.
(SFEM, 5/17/98, p.74)
1983 Betsey Cushing Roosevelt
Whitney (d.1998 at 89) and her daughters founded the Greentree
Foundation to support community groups in the New York metropolitan
(SFC, 3/26/98, p.B4)
1983 Jim and Marie Petcoff
founded the Computer Museum of America at La Mesa in San Diego
County. It was later relocated to Coleman College.
(SFC, 8/5/97, p.A20)
1983 Paul Matzner, curator of
the California Library of Natural Sounds at the Oakland Museum,
organized a group of people under the name the Nature Sounds
Society. The largest nature sound archive is at the Library of
Natural Sounds at Cornell Univ. It has more than 100,000 recordings
and adds 5,000 per year.
(Smith., 4/1995, p.154)
1983 Dianne and Jim Clapp
bought 500 acres in Shasta County, Ca., that became the nucleus for
a wild horse sanctuary.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.T5)
1983 The Cookies ‘n Cream
flavored ice cream made its debut.
(SFEC, 12/13/98, Z1 p.10)
1983 Gunnar Michelson received
an award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for
his invention of an advanced electronic precision light valve for
machines that strike movie prints.
(SFC, 1/8/98, p.E3)
1983 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his insight into black holes.
Chandrasekhar was the nephew of Nobel-prize winning physicist C. V.
1983 Gerard Debreu (1921-2004)
of UC Berkeley won the Nobel Prize in Economics for offering proof
of how prices affect the supplies of goods bought and sold.
(SFC, 10/8/01, p.A17)(SFC, 1/6/05, p.B1)
1983 William Golding
(1911-1993), English author, received the Nobel Prize for
(WSJ, 10/5/95, p.A-12)
1983 Barbara McClintock
(1902-1992), American geneticist, won the Nobel prize.
1983 Henry Taube won a Nobel
Prize in chemistry.
(SFC, 11/21/96, p.D4)
1983 The Pulitzer Prize for
drama went to Beth Henley for her play "Crimes of the Heart."
(SFEC, 4/13/97, DB p.54)
1983 Alice Walker won a
Pulitzer Prize for her book "The Color Purple."
(SFEC, 4/20/97, BR p.6)
1983 The UN "Man and the
Biosphere" Reserve system included the Big Sur coastal area by
Limekiln State Park (est. 1995).
(SFEC, 3/30/97, p.T3)
1983 The La Paz Treaty was
signed whereby the US and Mexico agreed to reduce pollution within
60 miles of their common frontier.
(SFC, 10/10/98, p.A8)
1983 Pres. Ronald Reagan made
America’s military satellite navigation system, GPS, available to
the world. President Ronald Reagan declassified the GPS system in
response to a tragedy involving a civilian airplane. Korean Airline
flight 007 got lost over Soviet territory and was shot down by
1983 Faith Whittlesey
(1939-2018) became the director of the White House Office of Public
Liaison under Pres. Ronald Reagan.
(SSFC, 5/27/18, p.C10)
1983 The Reagan administration
began to phase in tax cuts.
(WSJ, 8/15/96, p.A12)
1983 The US Reagan
administration slapped an extra 45% tariff on imports of motorcycles
in response to a petition from Harley-Davidson.
(Econ, 3/4/17, p.60)
1983 The US deficit under Pres.
Regan reached 6% of GDP, the highest since WW II.
(SFC, 10/15/05, p.A7)
1983 The US Executive Office
for Immigration Review, an arm of Justice, was created to oversee
the immigration judges. They had previously worked for the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, which posed a conflict of
(SFC, 1/31/02, p.AA7)
1983 The New York Times
editorial writer Howell Raines described Walter Mondale’s rebuff of
challenges to his pursuit of the Democratic nomination as "a
defining moment" for the party. This marked the first apparent use
of the "defining moment" term in print.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A1)
1983 Federal prosecutor Rudolph
Giuliani won a 43 year sentence against Silvia Baraldini for a
series of armored car robberies that included the 1981 Brinks
robbery in Nyack, NY, where a guard and 2 policemen were killed.
Baraldini was transferred to Italy in 1999.
(SFC, 8/26/99, p.A14)
1983 A federal grand jury
indicted financier Marc Rich on evading over $48 million in income
taxes. Rich fled the US to Switzerland and in 2001 was pardoned by
Pres. Clinton. The 65-count indictment against Rich and Pincus Green
also included charges of oil profiteering and unlawful trading with
(SFC, 1/29/01, p.A4)(WSJ, 1/29/00, p.A1)
1983 The US Post Office
featured the Brooklyn Bridge on a stamp.
(SFC, 9/3/98, p.A19)
1983 The federal government
adopted the CPT codes, which matched payment information with
medical procedures for Medicare.
(WSJ, 8/25/00, p.A1)
1983 The FDA received its first
applications for review of safer needle devices.
(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A7)
1983 The Centers for Disease
Control warned against recapping needles.
(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A7)
1983 OSHA issued voluntary
guidelines for protecting health care workers from hepatitis B.
(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A7)
1983 The EPA put the Iron
Mountain mine in Northern California on the federal Superfund list.
1983 The Pequot Indians of
Connecticut won federal recognition.
(WSJ, 9/3/98, p.A16)
1983 The American CIA developed
a manual to train security forces in Latin America. It was titled
"Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual."
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.A3)
1983 The Tomahawk subsonic
cruise missile, introduced by McDonnell Douglas in the 1970s, went
into service under the US Navy. It was initially designed as a
medium to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched
from a surface platform. It was used extensively in the 1991 Gulf
1983 US forces built the
3,090-acre El Aguacate air base in Olancho province, Honduras.
(SFC, 8/9/99, p.A8)
1983 Edwin Wilson was convicted
of running arms to Libya. In 2003 the conviction was thrown out
because prosecutors knew he worked for the CIA and misled the court.
(WSJ, 10/29/03, p.A1)
1983 Gov. Clinton of Arkansas
had an intimate sexual encounter by mutual consent with Mrs.
Elizabeth Ward Gracen, a 1982 Miss America.
(SFC, 4/1/98, p.A3)
1983 Louis K. Loewenstein
(d.2002) authored “Streets of San Francisco: The Origins of Street
and Place Names."
1983 In San Francisco the
42-story office tower at 50 Fremont was completed.
(SFC, 8/17/11, p.E2)
1983 California’s Warm Springs
Dam, begun in 1975, was completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
It extended 9 miles on Dry Creek and 4 miles on Warm Springs Creek.
The dam created Lake Sonoma in Sonoma County and allowed the county
(SFC, 10/20/96, Z1 p.4)(SFEC, 5/23/99, p.T6)(SFC,
1983 San Francisco police
officer William Bigarini (d.1986), one of two former Beatnik patrol
officers, was fired from the force after pleading no contest to a
charge that he kept $50,000 from a check-cashing operation he was
running at Woolworth’s at Market and Powell.
(SFC, 3/21/15, p.C2)
1983 Charles Rothenberg
(Charley Charles) was sentenced to 13 years in state prison for
setting his 6-year old son on fire at a Southern California motel.
He tried to kill the boy because he feared that his ex-wife would
permanently separate him from his son. He served less than 7 years.
In 2007 he was sentenced to 25 years to life for two subsequent
(SFC, 6/8/96, p.A17)(SFC, 6/16/01, p.A1)(SFC,
1983 Willie Earl Green was
conviction in the murder of Denise "Dee Dee" Walker (25), in a South
Los Angeles crack house. Green insisted on his innocence and was
released in 2008 after a judge found that Green had not received a
fair trial. The former chauffeur from Canton, Miss., said he was
proud of his achievements in prison, including earning an associates
degree and teaching math to fellow inmates at San Quentin.
1983 In the SF Bay Area Anthony
Sully (39), a former Millbrae policeman, killed 6 people over six
months while he ran an electrical contracting business in
Burlingame. 4 of the victims were prostitutes, one a pimp and a
woman who helped him buy cocaine. In 2013 a federal appeals court
upheld his conviction and death sentence.
(SFC, 8/7/13, p.D2)
1983 Barbaro Mouton (1925-2007)
led a ballot for the incorporation of East Palo Alto, Ca. The
measure, which failed a year earlier, won by 15 votes. Mouton became
the 1st mayor and served to 1986.
(SFC, 3/19/07, p.B4)
1983 The Silicon Valley venture
capital firm Accel Partners was founded by Arthur Patterson and Jim
(SFC, 4/27/11, p.D4)
1983 Raisin prices took a steep
fall that hurt California farmers in the Central Valley.
Circumstances surrounding this was later described by Victor Davis
Hanson in his book: "Fields Without Dreams," where he argues on
behalf of the small family farm.
(SFC, 5/26/96, BR p.7)
1983 Robert C. Maynard (d.1993)
and his wife Nancy Hicks Maynard (d.2008 at 61) purchased the
Oakland Tribune from the Gannett chain for $22 million. It became
the first major metropolitan newspaper owned by an African American.
He was the founder of the Institute for Journalism Excellence in
Oakland. In 1997 he was inducted into the California Press
Association’s Hall of Fame. They sold the paper in 1992 to the
Alameda Newspaper Group as Robert was struggling with cancer.
p.A24)(SFC, 9/22/08, p.B3)
1983 In California the Center
for Governmental Studies was founded as a watchdog on campaign
finance reforms and governance. In 2011 it planned to shut down do
to a lagging economy and a polarized political environment.
(SFC, 10/15/11, p.A1)
1983 In San Francisco workers
building the foundation of the Pansini Building at Pacific and
Columbus found fossilized mammal bones that dated back to about
25,000 years BC.
(SFC, 8/3/13, p.C3)
1983 Charlie Sava, an immigrant
born in the Balearic Islands of Portuguese parents, died while
driving to work at Larsen pool on 19th Ave. He had coached San
Francisco’s Crystal Plunge swimming team and 1948 Olympic medalist
(SFC, 1/31/15, p.C2)
1983 Concrete and steel from
the press boxes in the old Gator Bowl stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.,
ended up as a reef in the Atlantic Ocean.
(WSJ, 7/8/96, p.B1)
1983 Kilauea began erupting in
(WSJ, 11/28/94, B4)
1983 In Mass. Napoleon Crepeau
Jr. was convicted for the kidnapping and rape of a 17-year-old
Dartmouth woman. He was convicted for 16 years in prison. He told
psychologists in prison that he would attack more women if released.
He was released in 1998.
(SFC, 6/9/98, p.A5)
1983 Dennis Maher was convicted
in Boston of raping 3 women and spent the next 19 years in prison.
In 2003 DNA evidence proved his innocence.
(SFC, 4/4/03, p.A3)
1983 The J.L. Hudson department
store in downtown Detroit, Mi., closed. The structure was imploded
in 1998. In 2017 the Bedrock real estate firm, belonging to
businessman Dan Gilbert, broke ground on a new block-long building
on the site.
(Detroit Free Press, 11/26/19, p.11A)
1983 Bernie Ebbers and other
founders worked out the details for starting Long distance Discount
Service (LDDS) in Hattiesburg, Miss. The company changed its name to
WorldCom in 1995 and merged with MCI in 1997. Ebbers resigned in
2002 and in 2003 WorldCom agreed to pay $500 million to settle civil
(SFC, 5/20/03, p.B10)
1983 Trump Tower was completed
in New York City. At this time fire sprinklers were not required in
(SSFC, 4/8/18, p.A9)
1983 An intruder broke into the
Brooklyn home of a police officer as he and his wife were sleeping.
The assailant restrained the husband and raped the wife. Scott
Fappiano was arrested in 1984 but his trial ended in a hung jury. He
was convicted in a 2nd trial in 1985 and sentenced to 20-50 years in
jail. Fappiano (44) was freed in 2006 after his DNA did not match
that found at the crime scene.
1983 Crude-oil futures began
trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
(WSJ, 9/13/99, p.R4)
1983 In Garfield, New Jersey,
thousands of pounds of hexavalent chromium leaked from a tank at the
EC Electroplating Co. The factory was surrounded by houses and
apartments. NJ started cleanup, but stopped after two years. The
site was later designated as a Superfund site.
(SFC, 3/25/13, p.A8)
1983 In Ringwood, New Jersey, a
500-acre site once used by Ford Motor Co. as a dump site was
declared a Superfund site. Ford paid for a $2.5 million cleanup in
1994. Complaints in 2004 led to calls for a re-testing of the site.
(USAT, 3/23/04, p.11A)
1983 Atari dumped 728,000
cartridges of its video game “E.T." into a landfill in New Mexico
following disappointing sales of what many called the worst video
game ever. In 2014 a documentary film company recovered a number of
the cartridges that were still playable.
(SSFC, 4/27/14, p.A2)
1983 The Texas-based Belo Corp.
under CEO James Moroney Jr. (1921-2007) purchased Corinthian
Broadcasting Group from Dun & Bradstreet for $606 million. This
was the largest deal to date in US broadcast history.
(SFC, 2/20/07, p.B4)
1983 In Utah rising floodwaters
impacted the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. In 1991 Terry Tempest
Williams authored "Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and
1983 In Virginia a tire fire
burned a pile of 7 million tires for 9 months.
(SFC, 8/10/98, p.A20)
1983 Costco opened its 1st
store in Seattle, Wa. In 2004 it had 432 locations. Founders
included Sol Price, Jeff Brotman (1942-2017) and James Sinegal.
(WSJ, 3/26/04, p.B1)(SFC, 8/4/17, p.D5)
1983 Corrections Corp. of
America (CCA) was founded by former West Point roommates Doctor R.
Crants and Thomas W. Beasley. By 1998 it had 60 facilities with
revenues of $462.2 million.
(WSJ, 8/5/98, p.A1)
1983 Bank of America acquired
Charles Schwab securities brokerage firm.
(SFC, 4/14/98, p.B4)
1983 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.
was formed with the purchase of the Ritz-Carlton in Boston. In 2001
the Atlanta-based company owned 26 city hotels and 12 resorts.
Host-Marriott held a 49% ownership.
(SSFC, 3/25/01, p.B6)
1983 Haim Saban (b.1944)
founded Saban Entertainment with the rights to a handful of Schlocky
Japanese cartoons. The company recycled foreign shows for kids and
dubbed them into English. "Power Rangers Turbo," and "Ninja Turtles:
The Next Generation" were some of its later programming.
1983 Cessna ceased production
of its single-engine planes due to product liability suits over
alleged defective fuel tanks. In 1994 Pres. Clinton signed the
General Aviation Revitalization Act, which gave aircraft
manufacturers broad immunity from liability suits, and Cessna
(WSJ, 4/30/01, p.A1)
1983 Chrysler Corp. announced
plans to make minivans.
(WSJ, 5/15/07, p.A14)
1983 GM increased the focus on
trucks and discontinued the Malibu, introduced in 1963, after 6.5
million units were sold. The Malibu was reintroduced in 1997.
(WSJ, 4/1/09, p.A20)
1983 Southern Pacific Co.,
under Benjamin Bioaggini (d.2005), merged with Santa Fe Industries.
In 1986 the federal ICC refused to allow the merger. The SP railroad
property was sold to Denver billionaire Phillip Anschutz, who sold
it to Union Pacific in 1996.
(SFC, 6/2/05, p.B6)
1983 Vidal Sassoon (b.1928),
hairdresser, sold his interest in the high-end Vidal Sassoon salons.
1983 Betty Holberton led a
committee to establish standards for COBOL, the Common Business
Oriented Language for computers.
(WSJ, 11/22/96, p.A12)
1983 Optical fibers began to
replace copper cables for transmitting information.
(WSJ, 8/1/97, p.A9C)
1983 John Sculley was recruited
from Pepsico to reorganize Apple Computer Corp.
(I&I, Penzias, p.183)
1983 Fred Cohen, graduate
student, released (in a controlled experiment) the world's first
(Wired, 8/95, p.117)
1983 William K. Bowes Jr.
(1926-2017) recruited a team of scientists and founded a new firm
called Applied Molecular Genetics. The firm later became Amgen and
in 2017 was valued at more than $120 billion.
(SFC, 1/14/17, p.C2)
1983 Amgen Inc. developed the
hormone drug erythropoietin (EPO). In 1989 it was approved for the
treatment of anemia in patients with end-stage kidney disease.
(SFC, 8/26/05, p.A6)
1983 The polymerase chain
reaction (PCR) was developed by Kary Mullis. It is a technique in
molecular biology to amplify a single or a few copies of a piece of
DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to
millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.
(Econ, 5/12/12, IL
1983 The Multicenter AIDS
Cohort Study was begun by Dr. Mellors in Pittsburgh. It became the
largest ongoing study with med. info and blood samples over the
lifetime of AIDS patients. Dr. Mellors pioneered the viral load test
that showed how increased viral load hastened the HIV disease.
(WSJ, 9/26/96, p.B1,5)
1983 Dr. Jay Levy at UCSF was
among the first to identify the AIDS virus as the cause of HIV. He
developed an early test for detecting the presence of the virus and
he found that heat inactivates HIV in clotting preparations.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W27)
1983 Nasalcrom, a prescription
drug for allergies made by Fisons PLC, was approved by the FDA to be
marketed by Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. It was first approved in the US for
bronchial asthma in 1968 under the name Intal and in 1996 it was
approved for over the counter sale by McNeil Consumer Products, a
division of Johnson & Johnson.
(SFC, 1/7/97, p.A5)
1983 Louis Brus (b.1943) of
Bell Labs published work that led to the development of new lighting
based on quantum dots. He discovered the colloidal semi-conductor
nanocrystals known as quantum dots.
(Econ, 3/6/10, TQ
1983 Glenn Seaborg, a Nobel
winning chemist, published the report "A Nation at Risk," for the
Reagan administration. It inspired a decade of educational reform.
(SFC, 1/29/98, p.B12)(Econ, 12/3/16, p.21)
1983 John Winslow, American
anthropologist, published an article with Alfred Meyer in Science
83: "The Perpetrator of Piltdown," that suggested Arthur Conan Doyle
as the man behind the Piltdown hoax.
(PacDisc. Spring/’96, p.16)
1983 Felix Smith, biologist for
the US Fish and Wildlife Service, discovered the first selenium
deformed birds at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in Merced
(WSJ, 11/18/98, p.CA3)
1983 Genetic modification (GM)
of agricultural cereals was invented as a more predictable
alternative to mutation breeding.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.30)
1983 The Science Olympiad was
created by Dr. Gerard Putz and Jack Cairns to increase interest in
science as an alternative to traditional science fairs. After
successful tournaments were held in Michigan and Delaware, the
program began to attract interest from school districts all around
1983 US News & World Report
published the results of a straw poll ranking America’s top
colleges. The magazine had asked 662 college presidents to identify
the country’s best places of learning. The ranking developed into an
(Econ, 8/26/06, p.25)
1983 Paul C. Sereno first
viewed fossils of Pegomastax, a member of the heterodontosaur family
and one of the smallest dinosaurs that ever lived, in a slab of red
rock that was collected in the early 1960s by scientists working in
South Africa. In 2012 Sereno, a paleontologist at the Univ. of
Chicago and a dinosaur specialist, described the strange anatomy of
the specimen, which dated back some 200 million years, and gave the
new species the name Pegomastax africanus (thick jaw from Africa).
1983 The ozone hole over the
Antarctic was measured to be the size of the United States.
(LSA., D. Gilbert, p.29)
1983 The General Conference on
Weights and Measures defined the speed of light in a vacuum at
299,792,458 meters per second. This set the value of the meter as
the path traveled by light in 1/299,792,458 of a second.
(NH, 2/05, p.24)(Econ, 1/29/11, p.79)
1983 A tanker ship sank and
exploded west of the Golden Gate Bridge.
1983 George Balanchine, leader
of the New York City Ballet, died. One of his star dancers, Allegra
Kent, published her autobiography in 1997: "Once a Dancer."
(WSJ, 1/16/97, p.A16)
1983 Eugene Von Bruenchenhein
(b.1910), commercial bakery worker, died In Milwaukee, Wis. He was
also a prolific artist but never exhibited any of his work.
(NYT, 10/8/04, p.B35)
1983 Chang Dai-chien,
Chinese-born artist, died at age 84. His work included "Summer on
California Mountain" (1967), "Splashed Ink on Gold" (1968), and
"Snow in the Spring Mountain" (1973).
(SFC, 9/27/99, p.D1,5)
1983 Jack Fante (b.1909),
novelist and screenwriter, died in Los Angeles. His novels included
"Ask the Dust" and "Wait Until Spring, Bandini." His 12 screenplays
included the 1956 film "Full of Life." In 2000 Stephen Cooper
published "Full of Life: A Biography of Jack Fante."
(SFC, 3/30/00, p.E1)(TVM, 1975, p.199)
1983 George "Harmonica" Smith,
bluesman, died. He was mentor from 1977 to blues harmonica player
William Clark (1951-1996).
(SFC, 11/6/96, p.B4)
1983 Ross Macdonald (b.1915 as
Kenneth Millar), crime fiction writer, died. He wrote 18 Lew Archer
detective novels over 25 years. In 1999 Tom Nolan authored "Ross
Macdonald, A Biography."
(SFEC, 3/28/99, BR p.1)(WSJ, 4/28/99, p.A16)
1983 Lulie Nall, a Penobscot
Indian, died. She had designed a tepee-emblazoned flag for the
19-month American Indian occupation of Alcatraz, that began in 1969.
In 2008 the flag was put up for auction and valued at up to
(SFC, 1/24/08, p.A1)
1983 In Argentina shortly after
the restoration of democracy Gen’l. Reynaldo Bignone ordered the
burning of all documents regarding the disappeared. As president
from 1982 to 1983, it fell to Bignone to protect the military as
Argentina returned to democracy. He granted amnesty to human rights
violators and ordered the destruction of documents related to
torture and disappearances of political opponents before agreeing to
transfer power to the democratically elected Raul Alfonsin. In 2003
Bignone was charged for holding ultimate responsibility for cases of
torture, illegal break-ins and deprivations of freedoms from 1976 to
1978. His trial in open court began in 2009.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A18)(AP, 11/2/09)
1983 In Bangladesh Muhammad
Yunus opened the Grameen Bank, dedicated to providing small loans to
rural villagers. The bank was very successful and was copied as a
model for similar programs in the US and elsewhere.
(SFEC, 8/17/97, Par p.4)
1983 In Belgium Rom Houben (20)
was injured in an auto accident and fell into a coma. Doctors soon
diagnosed him as having fallen into a vegetative state. After 23
years a PET scan revealed that his brain was functioning and
communication was established via a computer device and a touch
screen. A study of his misdiagnosis was published in 2009.
(SFC, 11/24/09, p.A3)
1983 Bhutan’s Paro Airport, the
country’s first commercial airport, was constructed 40 miles from
(WSJ, 3/6/97, p.A8)
1983 In Brazil a national
security law made it a crime to harm the heads of the three branches
of government or expose them to danger.
1983 A severe drought plagued
(SFC, 5/18/98, p.A10)
1983 The London Encyclopedia
was first published by Macmillan.
(Econ, 6/30/12, p.84)
1983 The Stone Roses, an
English rock band, formed in Manchester. One of the pioneering
groups of the Madchester movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
the band's classic and most prominent lineup consisted of vocalist
Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni.
Their debut album, The Stone Roses, was released in 1989.
1983 Britain’s Labor Party
issued an election manifesto that was later dubbed “the longest
suicide note in history." This was later said to have mark the
demise of Socialism in Britain.
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.63)
1983 Britain introduced the
(WSJ, 7/24/98, p.W11)
1983 Britain introduced its
Youth Training Scheme.
1983 English driver Richard
Noble set the land speed record at 633 mph.
(SFC, 6/16/96, p.B1)
1983 The British Social
Attitudes survey began. In 1987 it began asking people if they
thought the gap between rich and poor was too wide.
1983 In the Burma "Rangoon
Massacre" a terrorist attack plotted by North Korea killed 17 South
Korean officials on a visit.
(WSJ, 9/9/96, p.A18)
1983 Former Cameroon
Pres. Ahmadou Ahidjo went into exile after President Biya accuses
him of masterminding a coup.
1983 A couple of Canadian
vineyards began producing ice wine, a 1794 German invention
(eiswein), using frost-bitten grapes to produce a desert wine.
(Econ, 5/22/04, p.32)(http://wine.about.com)
1983 In Regina, Canada, JoAnn
Wilson (43) was found in the garage of her home, beaten, hacked and
shot in the head. Her former husband, Colin Thatcher, former cabinet
minister in Saskatchewan's government, was sentenced to life in
prison for her murder. In 2006 he was granted full parole.
1983 In China Deng Xiaoping
launched his "anti-spiritual pollution" campaign.
(WSJ, 2/20/97, p.A20)
1983 In China Peng Zhen
(d.1997) was appointed chairman of the National People’s Congress
and served to 1988.
(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.B8)
1983 China signed on to the
1967 Outer Space Treaty banning all weapons of mass destruction from
(SSFC, 7/15/07, p.D1)
1983 Armand Hammer negotiated a
joint venture through Deng Xiaoping to create China’s largest
open-pit coal mine. Occidental Petroleum wrote off the $250 million
venture following Hammer’s death in 1990.
(WSJ, 3/19/02, p.A20)
1983 In China over 600 million
people, i.e. two-thirds of the population, lived on $1 a day or
less. By 2008 this number was less than 180 million.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.27)
1983 In China some 14 million
women had abortions, many of them coerced, organized by family
planning committees. By 2009 this dropped to some 6 million.
(Econ, 6/16/12, p.49)
1983 Zhang Daqian (b.1899),
Chinese painter, died. He had imitated the style of the old masters.
(SFC, 2/6/04, p.D2)
1983 Colombia’s Cano Limon Oil
Field, operated by Occidental Petroleum, was discovered.
(WSJ, 1/3/96, p.A-1)
1983 Mohamed Heikal (1923-2016,
Egyptian political author, passed a damning judgment of Sadat's 11
years in power in his 1983 book "Autumn of Fury, The Assassination
1983 An international
expedition of American, Polish and Egyptian anthropologists in the
Aswan region unexpectedly came upon the skeleton of a prehistoric
man thought to be about 80,000 years old, the oldest human skeleton
ever found in Egypt. Early modern humans were present in the Levant
between 130,000-80,000 BP.
1983 French Pres. Francois
Mitterrand in a U-turn jettisoned hyper-taxation and accepted the
(Econ, 10/3/15, p.58)
1983 French Pres. Francois
Mitterrand lowered the retirement age from 65 to 60.
(Econ, 9/11/10, p.31)
1983 In France Dr. Luc
Montagnier and his team, which included Dr. Francoise
Barre-Sinoussi, published a paper fingering HIV as the cause of
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.110)
1983 Christa Wolf, East German
writer, authored her novel “Cassandra."
(WSJ, 3/10/07, p.P6)
1983 Bayer, a German drug
maker, patented the active ingredient of the antibiotic Cipro.
(SSFC, 1/20/08, p.A10)
1983 Germany’s constitutional
court elaborated a right to “informational self-determination." The
term informational self-determination was first used in the context
of a German constitutional ruling relating to personal information
collected during the 1983 census.
1983 In Guatemala the Peace
Brigades Int'l. program began with volunteers standing in support of
Nineth Montenegro, the leader of a group of relatives of the
(SFC, 6/11/99, p.A12)
1983 The Hong Kong film "The
Prodigal Son" starred Sammo Hung.
(SFEC, 4/11/99, Par p.18)
1983 The Hong Kong film
"Project A" (Part I) starred Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung.
(SFC,11/28/97, p.C18)(SFEC, 3/1/98, DB
p.48)(SFEC, 4/11/99, Par p.18)
1983 The Hong Kong film
"Warriors of the Magic Mountain" starred Sammo Hung.
(SFEC, 4/11/99, Par p.18)
1983 The Hong Kong film
"Winners and Sinners" starred Sammo Hung.
(SFEC, 4/11/99, Par p.18)
1983 In Hong Kong Teddy Wang
Teh-huei, owner of Chinachem, was abducted by armed men and stuffed
into a refrigerator. He was released following an $11 million
(WSJ, 10/20/99, p.A23)
1983 India’s Supreme Court
ordered that capital punishment only be used in the “rarest of rare"
cases. From 1995-2010 only one convict was hanged.
(Econ, 10/1/11, p.43)
1983 Vijay Mallya (27)
inherited the UB Group of India when his father, Vittal Mallya, died
of a heart attack. Sales for UB then grew from $100 million to $1.6
billion in 2003. Import duties on foreign liquor of up to 550%
protected his business.
(SSFC, 10/26/03, p.I3)(WSJ, 6/8/07, p.A1)
1983 The Indian guru Swami
Muktananda (1908-1982) was charged posthumously with seducing young
girls and stashing funds in a Swiss bank account.
(SFC, 6/15/05, p.A13)
1983 Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.,
a subsidiary company of Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corporation,
began producing cars in Delhi.
(Econ, 10/22/11, SR
1983 In Iran the Fajr Int'l.
Film Festival began. In 2004 the 22nd festival established its own
web site (www.fajrfilmfest.com).
(SFC, 2/10/04, p.D8)
1983 In Iraq Nassir Hindawi
wrote a secret report for the governing Baath Party on using germ
weapons as a military asset.
(SFC, 3/24/98, p.A12)
1983 Reform Judaism recognized
patrilineal Jews as full Jews, provided they chose to live Jewish
lives. This contradicted Israeli law, which takes matrilinealism as
the criterion for Jewish descent.
(Econ, 7/28/12, SR p.11)
1983 Israel sentenced Marcus
Klingberg (1918-2015) to 20 years in prison for having passed
information to Moscow on Israeli biological weapons research. In
2003 he was authorized to live with his daughter in Paris.
1983 In Japan Kenshi Hirokane
created his Mr Shima, a salaryman manga (cartoon) character. By 2008
some 30 million Shima Kosaku books had been sold.
(Econ, 8/9/08, p.65)
1983 In Japan Koji Takahashi
founded the Life Space cult. His self-enlightenment seminars were an
instant success. The group believed that the human body never dies.
(SFC, 3/21/00, p.A14)
1983 The Green Cross Corp., a
major Japanese pharmaceutical firm, was later accused of having sold
unheated blood products at this time even after learning that they
could infect people with the AIDS virus. In 1996 prosecutors raided
their offices. Drug company executives, Renzo Matsushita (79),
Takehiko Kawano (69) and Tadakazu Suyama (72) pleaded guilty in 1997
and began prison terms in 2000.
(SFC, 8/31/96, p.A14)(SFC, 2/25/00, p.D4)
1983 Keiko Arimoto of Japan was
lured to N. Korea while job hunting in Denmark. In 2002 N. Korea
admitted to having kidnapped her and listed her as dead.
(SFC, 9/18/02, p.A10)
1983 Zoo officials in
Kazakhstan reportedly claimed that a teenage elephant named Batyr
could reproduce Russian to utter 20 phrases, including "Batyr is
good." But there was no scientific study on the claim.
1983 In Lebanon fierce battles
raged between the Christian Maronite and Druze militias.
(SFC, 9/28/98, p.A8)
1983 Charles Taylor fled
Liberia after being accused of embezzling nearly US$1 million. He
was later detained in the United States on a Liberian arrest
1983 In Malawi 4 dissident
politicians were murdered. Dr. Attati Mpakati was found murdered in
central Harare, Zimbabwe while on a private visit. Dick Matenje, the
Secretary-General of MCP and two other senior politicians died in a
mysterious car accident, their deaths coming at a time when they
were being seen as possible successors to Banda. In 1995 former
dictator Banda and his “official hostess" Cecilia Kadzamira were
cleared of murder charges after an 8-month trial
1983 In Malaysia PM Mahathir
Mohamed initiated Proton, the Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (National
Car Project). Production of the 1st model, Saga, began in 1985 in
association with Mitsubishi of Japan.
(Econ, 5/8/04, p.61)(WSJ, 7/14/04, p.B2B)(Econ,
1983 Malaysia passed an Islamic
banking law and set up Bank Islam. Takaful Malaysia, an Islamic
insurance company, was set up in 1984.
(WSJ, 4/4/07, p.A13)
1983 The Marshall Islands
received $183.7 million for the 1946-1958 US nuclear tests near
1983 In Mexico Jesus Leon (17)
co-founded CEDICAM, the Center for Integral Small Farmer Development
of the Mixtec.
(SSFC, 4/13/08, p.A4)
1983 In the Netherlands the
Dapper Foundation of Amsterdam was founded with a private gift
donation of African art. It was brought to Paris in 1986 and housed
in an elegant private museum at 50 Avenue Victor Hugo.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T7)
1983 A Nigerian court decision
showed that politicians and others cannot demand the arrest of
individuals who slander, libel or defame them.
1983 In the Philippines
dictator Ferdinand Marcos secretly took some $228,000 from the
National Food Authority and transferred the money to a private
account. In 2010 an anti-graft court ordered his wife, Imelda
Marcos, to return the money plus 27 years of interest and $44,000 in
damages and litigation costs.
(SSFC, 9/19/10, p.A4)
1983 In Saudi Arabia the King
Khalid Int'l. Airport opened in Riyadh and was touted as the largest
in the world. One of the terminals was mothballed at opening and
remained so in 2008.
(WSJ, 8/20/96, p.A1)(Econ, 4/26/08, p.15)
1983 Sulaiman Al Rajhi and his
brother Saleh won permission to open Saudi Arabia’s first Islamic
bank. They had begun changing money for traders and pilgrims in the
1940s. In 2007 Sulaiman Al Rajhi’s fortune was estimated at $12
billion and the Al-Rajhi Bank was the largest Islamic bank in Saudi
(WSJ, 1/26/07, p.A1)
1983 In Senegal rebel fighters
with the Movement of the Democratic Forces (MFDC) began a low level
insurgency against the government.
(SFC, 5/9/08, p.A19)
1983 Singapore’s PM Lee Kuan
Yew ended the “stop at two" policy, initiated in the 1960s, and
started promoting larger families.
(Econ, 9/18/10, p.60)
1983 In South Africa the Organ
and Tissue Act of this year allowed officials to remove needed
organs and tissues without consent if reasonable attempts to locate
the potential donor’s next of kin had failed.
(NH, 10/98, p.51)
1983 Didata, a South African
computer firm, was established.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.59)
1983 In South Africa Nokuthula
Simelane (23) disappeared just weeks before her graduation ceremony.
Her body was never found. In 1995 her mother learned that Simelane
had been abducted and killed by state police. A trial against her
alleged killers finally began in 2016.
1983 The Soviet psychiatrists
were forced out of the World Psychiatric Association thanks to
papers smuggled out by dissidents who had been dragged off to mental
hospitals overseen by state psychiatrists and the KGB.
(Econ, 4/11/20, p.66)
1983 Sudan’s Pres. Gaafar
Numeiri brought in Sharia law as the basis for criminal law causing
much grievance in the non-Muslim south.
(Econ, 8/8/09, p.44)
1983 Civil War began again in
the Sudan when the People’s Liberation Army renewed the battle for
greater autonomy from the Muslim north. The discovery of oil in the
middle of the country and the imposition of Shariah law by the
government reignited violence.
(SFC, 5/29/96, p.A8)(SFC, 1/31/98, p.A9)(SSFC,
1983 Nicolas Hayek (1928-2010),
Lebanese-born businessman, introduced the Swatch, an inexpensive
wristwatch, which became highly collectible. He was later credited
with having saved the Swiss watch industry.
(SFC, 6/30/10, p.C5)
1983 Thailand experienced
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.60)
1983 Turkey began battling a
Kurdish insurgency in the southeast.
(SFC, 9/4/96, p.A7)
1983 Turkey legalized abortions
for up to 10 weeks after conception.
(SFC, 5/30/12, p.A2)
1983 Pope John Paul II came to
Managua, Nicaragua, berated the leftist priests serving in the
government of Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega, and ordered Catholics
to obey their bishops and avoid "unacceptable ideological
1983 The Vatican code to annul
marriages was revised under Canon 1095. It permitted annulment if it
could be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time of their
marriage one or both spouses suffered from a "grave lack of
discretionary judgement" concerning their marriage obligations.
(WSJ, 9/11/98, p.W9)
1983 The Vatican abolished the
role of “devil’s advocate," who argued against prospective
(Econ, 1/25/14, p.56)
1983-84 Shiing-Shen Chern (1911-2004), US Berkeley
mathematician, was awarded the Wolf Prize in mathematics, the
equivalent of the Nobel Prize. He reshaped differential geometry.
(SFC, 12/9/04, p.B7)
1983-1984 Phillip Pizzo (b.1950), dubbed
"the mall rapist," committed a string of kidnappings and rapes at
malls throughout Greater Boston. In 2021 Pizzo (71) was again denied
parole as he served 11 concurrent life sentences for his crimes.
1983-1984 Twelve Navajo weavers in Arizona
completed the 26x28 foot "Little Sister" rug. It was a smaller
version of a larger rug woven in 1976, and recorded as the largest
Navajo rug in the world. In 1997 the rug was put up for auction to
raise funds for a community health clinic.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A7)
1983-1984 Dallas was again the top ranking network
show on television with a ranking of 25.7%.
(WSJ, 4/24/95, p.R-5)
1983-1985 In Ethiopia an estimated 1 million
people died of a famine brought on by the policies of Marxist
dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.
(Econ., 1/23/21, p.10)
1983-1986 Deng Xiaoping directed a massive
(WSJ, 2/20/97, p.A20)
1983-1987 Spain waged a "dirty war" against Basque
rebels. A former interior minister and 11 others went on trial in
1998 for kidnapping linked to the war in which 27  people were
killed. The killings were attributed to the Anti-Terrorist
Liberation Groups known as GAL.
(SFC, 6/13/96, p.C3)(WSJ, 5/26/98, p.A1)(SFC,
1983-1987 In Zimbabwe state security minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa supported Operation Gukurahundi during which a
North Korean-trained brigade rampaged through the southwestern
provinces of Matabeleland, leaving 10,000 to 20,000 civilians dead.
In 2018 the documentary "Gukurahundi genocide: 36 years later" was
1983-1988 Sigmund Koch (1917-1996), psychologist
and philosopher, compiled a film archive at Boston Univ. of 17
videotapes of interviews with artists from various fields. Included
were Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, Edward Albee , Arthur Miller and
(SFC, 8/15/96, p.C4)
1983-1988 In Mexico Manuel Bartlett Diaz was the
Interior Minister and oversaw the Federal Security Directorate
(WSJ, 3/5/97, p.A16)
1983-1991 Heshamuddin Hesam served as the head of
Afghan military intelligence. In 2005 Dutch prosecutors demanded a
sentence of 12 years in prison for war crimes and torture.
1983-1992 DNA Plant Technology Corp. later
admitted to having worked on a secret research project over this
period, at the behest of an unnamed US tobacco company, to increase
the nicotine content of tobacco plants.
(SFC, 1/8/98, p.A1)
1983-1998 In Sudan the civil war killed some 1.5
million people over this period.
(SFC, 11/3/98, p.A10)
1983-2002 Bulgaria experienced an average of 7.4
self-immolations a year during this period, most of them politically
(Econ, 3/23/13, p.60)
1983-2005 Prince Bandar bin Sultan served as Saudi
Arabia’s ambassador in Washington. In 2006 William Simpson authored
“The Prince: The Secret Story of the World’s Most Intriguing Royal,
Prince Bandar bin Sultan."