Many events happened in the 1980s, including the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, the assassination attempt of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1981, the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986 and the fall of the Berlin Wall 1989. The 1980s is the defined as the decade that started on January 1, 1980 and ended on December 31, 1989.
The 1980s was a time of social, political and cultural change. Several terrorist attacks occurred, notably the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The decade also saw several wars, including the U.S. invasion of Grenada, the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands and the Iran-Iraq War. In 1989, the Tienanmen Square protests were defeated by the People's Liberation army.
Major political reform occurred in the 1980s. Mikhail Gorbachev became president of the Soviet Union in 1985. He began to open the country, eventually leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism.
Many icons of pop culture were introduced during this decade. Michael Jackson's second solo album, "Thriller", was released in 1982 and, as of 2014, remains the best-selling album of all time. The film "E.T." was also released in 1982 and The Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were introduced a year later. The 1980s also saw the rise of singers Madonna and Whitney Houston and the premieres of the TV shows "Cheers," "The Cosby Show," "Family Ties," "The Simpsons" and "Seinfeld."