Japan Airlines Flight 123

What Happened in 1985?

1985 was smack-dab in the middle of a decade full of wild fashion, catchy music, and amazing movies. However, for many people, it was also a tense and scary time – as tensions between the US and Russia were high, and nuclear war remained a very real possibility.

However, there's more than just Cold War tensions to remember about 1985 and, indeed, the 80s in general. Whether you were around at the time or not, here are some major events that occurred in 1985, and a few extra facts to consider alongside.

In this year

Domain Name System


Could January 1st, 1985 be the official birth date of the internet? It's entirely possible. It's on this day that the Domain Name System or DNS was first established. It would be a few years before we said hello to the World Wide Web for the first time, however!

boundary between Spain and Gibraltar


In monumental European border news, the long-established boundary between Spain and Gibraltar finally reopened on February 4th, 1985, for the first time since dictator Francisco Franco had closed it back in 1969.

Mikhail Gorbachev


A new era began in Russia on March 11th, 1985. It’s on this day that Mikhail Gorbachev would become the Soviet Union’s leader and General Secretary of the Communist Party. Gorbachev would become instrumental in helping to reform the country and worked with Ronald Reagan and George Bush toward potentially ending the Cold War. Tensions for now, however, remained high between the nations.

Coca Cola Facts


In a move that would prove fairly short-sighted, Coca-Cola completely revamped its formula and branding on April 23rd, 1985, when they released the much-maligned New Coke. Reception to the new cans and taste was so negative, the old recipe and style came back by the end of the summer of ‘85!

new Coke


The controversy surrounding claims laid to ownership of the Falkland Islands came to a head as of May 15th, 1985 – while this was the date on which then-Argentinian President Raúl Alfonsín relinquished the country’s administration of the islands, he didn’t give up the country’s claim over them.

My Neighbor Totoro


Studio Ghibli, the iconic animation studio that helped to bring movies such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Ponyo to the West, was formed on June 15th, 1985, in Tokyo, Japan.

spandau ballet


July 13th, 1985, was, all over the world, Live Aid Day. This colossal global concert taking place in London and Philadelphia saw huge stars of the day such as Madonna, Spandau Ballet, Sting, U2, Queen, Bob Dylan, Elton John, David Bowie, Billy Ocean, The Four Tops, The Beach Boys, and Run-DMC perform to raise money for African aid. Spare a thought for Phil Collins, who decided to somehow perform at both concerts on the same day!

Japan Airlines Flight 123


Japan Airlines Flight 123 tragically crashed in Japan on August 12th, 1985. 520 people onboard died as a result of the disaster, making it the worst single-aircraft tragedy of its kind in history.

interesting facts about RMS Titanic


The wreck of the RMS Titanic was finally found by an American-French expedition led by Robert Ballard and Jean-Louis Michel – using side-scan sonar, the duo and their teams finally managed to answer questions about the missing vessel that had gone unanswered for decades.

Emirates Airlines


October 25th, 1985 is the official birth date of one of the most prestigious airlines in the world – Emirates, which was established on this day in Dubai, flying people out on its maiden voyage toward Karachi.

Windows 1.0


Microsoft made computing history on November 20th, 1985, as Bill Gates and co announced the release of Windows 1.0, the first in the long-running line of operating systems still used widely today. It’s shaped work and personal computing the world over – this writer personally prefers MacOS, but still…

Theodore Kaczynski


The infamous campaign of the Unabomber started on December 11th, 1985, with Californian citizen Hugh Scrutton tragically dying in a blast caused by an explosive placed outside his computer store in Sacramento. The Unabomber’s campaign would continue from here on out, making him a true villain of the decade.

1985 was the year of the…

Chinese Year of the Ox


Like 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1997, 2009, and 2021, 1985 celebrated Oxen everywhere – provided you followed the Chinese Zodiac! People born in Ox years tend to be hardworking, independent, quiet, and loyal. The next Ox year won't be until 2033.

This page was last modified on February 19, 2024. Suggest an edit