What Happened in 1982?

1982 was a year in which probably plenty of you out there were born – and while that’s a momentous enough occasion, it’s also one of the most eye-opening years on the political and social stages worldwide.

The start of the 80s was a very exciting yet scary time for people all over the world - and yet, many people claim it was this period of time that helped to produce some of the best music, movies, TV, and even fashion!

But, how much do you remember or even know about this incredible year? Here are some of the biggest things that took place in 1982.

In this year

Elk Cloner


At the end of January, the first-ever computer virus, known as the Elk Cloner, was found. It infected original Apple II computers via floppy disk – remember those? The infamous virus was written by then-15-year old Rich Skrenta. Thanks, Rich…

geography teacher in the classroom


In major changes to discipline laws in Europe, February 25th, 1983 saw the European Court of Human Rights declare that teachers caning and belting children (against parental wishes) would be in breach of the Rights Convention. A new revolution in discipline, therefore, soon followed.

Facts about France


France underwent major decentralization in early March 1982 – when council powers changed across the country. The move was seen as complex in many ways – but it was a pivotal moment in the way the government and its agencies managed French areas.

French government


Argentinian forces landed close to Stanley, in the Falkland Islands, on April 3rd, 1982. This act is seen to be the trigger event for the Falklands War that followed. To this day, there is still tension regarding who has clear ownership over the islands.

Pope John Paul II


Pope John Paul II narrowly avoided a brutal assassination attempt on May 12th, 1983, as Juan María Fernández y Krohn, a Spanish priest, had attempted to stab the leader of the Vatican with a bayonet. The Pope was, at the time, making a pilgrimage to the shrine at Fátima.

Lebanon War


As of June 6th, 1982, the Lebanon War officially began – when then-Defense Minister for Israel, Ariel Sharon, started an invasion into the south of Lebanon, under a mission referred to as “Operation Peace for the Galilee.” The event led to the UN Security Council demanding Israel remove its troops from the area, with invaders reaching the capital of Beirut.

Facts about the moon


Keep your eyes peeled! The officially-longest lunar eclipse of the 20th century took place on July 6th, 1982 – lasting a staggering 106 minutes. The most ardent of astronomers, of course, made sure to take it all in!

HK cigarettes


In Hong Kong, new health warnings on cigarette packets became law – in an attempt to deter people from taking up smoking as a habit. Now, in many countries around the world, cigarette packets have health warnings and even boast shocking images to deter buyers.

World Peace Day - January 1st


As of September 21st, 1982, the United Nations declared the world's first International Day of Peace. It's been marked every September 21st since 2001. It's a day during which people all over the world are encouraged to do their part to help aid world peace – and reports are published each year to help measure ceasefire initiatives.



Sony released the first-ever compact disc player to the mass market – the CDP-101 was the first model of its kind, meaning people could now play music on strange, circular discs that used lasers rather than a needle on vinyl. It became the standard for music collectors everywhere until at least the 00s, when MP3s changed music even further. And then, came streaming in the 10s…

Ahmadou Ahidjo


A big change at the head of Cameroon’s government took place on November 6th, 1982 – as Ahmadou Ahidjo resigned as the President. Paul Biya took his place – and, here’s the fascinating part. Biya is still in charge at the time of writing, meaning he’s been the leader of Cameroon for over 40 years!

heart transplant


Barney Clark, a retired dentist, became the world’s first recipient of an artificial heart, fitted for permanent support. The project and operation took place at the University of Utah – and while Clark only lived for another 112 days, the event is still considered an essential benchmark for organ transplantation the world over.

1982 was the year of the…

chinese year of the dog


Like 1946, 1958, 1970, 1994, 2006, and 2018, 1982 celebrated Dogs everywhere – according to followers of the Chinese Zodiac. People born in Dog years are friendly, fiercely loyal, very honest and considerate, patient, and kind. The next Dog year won't be until 2030.

This page was last modified on February 22, 2024. Suggest an edit