Pioneer 10

What Happened in 1983?

When we think of the 80s, we all tend to think of it as a whole. One, big, eventful decade! But, it’s important to remember that each year brought its own changes to the decade – and ‘83 was just a step forward during the “time that fashion forgot.”

1983 was a year during which fashion and music trends were challenged, political shockwaves struck the planet, and we made some big steps forward in terms of space exploration.

It was also the latest year in a decade marked by the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union – when nuclear war was still a very real possibility.

Here are some of the biggest things that took place in 1983.

In this year



There are plenty of points across the past 30-40 years where we can speculate the true internet began – but there’s a very strong case for it being January 1st, 1983’s ARPANET migration! Moving over to TCP/IP effectively created a network that laid the groundwork for the very service you’re using now.



The finale to the immensely popular TV show M*A*S*H* broadcast to the world via CBS – over 121 million people are thought to have tuned in to “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen” on February 28th, 1983 - making it likely the most-watched non-news, political, or sporting TV event in history.

3d Printer


Thought 3D printers were a new invention? Think again. They’re at least 40 years old – with the invention first emerging as of March 9th, 1983, thanks to talented brainbox Chuck Hull. They’ll be in all our homes in the near future!

Beirut embassy


As of April 18th, 1983, a suicide bomber attacked the US embassy in Beirut in Lebanon. There were 63 fatalities, the majority being CIA and embassy staff. It's this event that many believe to have been the start of Islamist terrorism against the US. The killings occurred shortly after the US intervened in the Lebanese Civil War.



Medical researchers Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo made huge strides in the mission to break the mysteries behind HIV and AIDS on May 20th, 1983. It’s on this day that the duo published their findings regarding a novel retrovirus in the Science Journal.

Pioneer 10


Pioneer 10 finally passed the orbit of Neptune, one of the furthest planets out from Earth in our galaxy. In so doing, it became the first human-made vessel (or object) to travel beyond major planets within our Solar System.

Nintendo Entertainment System - NES


The world of home entertainment changed forever as of July 15th, 1983, as a card game specialist released its “video game console” to the Japanese market. That console was the Famicom (or NES as it arrived in the West), the company was Nintendo, and the rest is history.

interesting facts about hurricanes


Hurricane Alicia began a campaign of natural disaster across the Texas coastline. The hurricane killed a total of 22 people and is believed to have caused over $3.8 billion in damage.

nuclear war head


The world just narrowly avoided nuclear war breaking out on September 26th, 1983 – as Soviet Union early warning detectors believed there to be a ballistic missile heading to Russia from the US. Thankfully, engineer Stanislav Petrov believed them to be false positives – and by waiting for evidence, he prevented the USSR from effectively opening up international nuclear war. Phew!

Kakuei Tanaka


Kakuei Tanaka, once the Prime Minister of Japan, faced a heavy prison sentence back on October 12th, 1983 – as he was found guilty of accepting a bribe worth a staggering $2 million. The crime resulted in the ex-Minister facing prison for four years.



South Africa took a further step forward out of apartheid and racial segregation back on November 2nd, 1983, as a new constitution granting some political freedoms to non-white people was agreed upon.

facts about the world cup football


In a bizarre moment of brazen theft, the iconic Jules Rimet trophy – the original World Cup marking the winner of the planet’s biggest soccer tournament – went missing. It’s said to have been stolen from Rio de Janeiro – and, weirdly, it’s never been seen again.

1983 was the year of the…

year of the pig


Like 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1995, 2007, and 2019, 1983 Was all about throwing Pig-related celebrations, according to followers of the Chinese Zodiac. People born in Pig years are usually quite relaxed, kind, caring, and very considerate people. The next Pig year won't be until 2031.

This page was last modified on February 20, 2024. Suggest an edit