1983 History Events: What Happened in 1983

The 1980s, marked by big hair bands and significant socioeconomic change, provided the groundwork for many of the things we now take for granted. While 1983 follows many of these trends, it also has its own set of noteworthy occurrences. Consider a year with a population of just around 4.7 billion people and a large number of births called Michael or Jennifer. The horror novels Christine and Pet Sematary by Stephen King dominated the shelves, and The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize.

Flashdance, Star Wars Episode VI, Scarface, and A Christmas Story were the most popular films on the big screen. In the realm of music, David Bowie’s single “Let’s Dance” debuted at number one. While we acquired Carrie Underwood and Amy Winehouse in 1983, we also lost Tennessee Williams, a playwright, and professional boxer Jack Dempsey. Aside from the media and births, 1983 was plenty of intriguing occurrences.

The year saw a number of firsts, including Sally Ride being the first woman in space. The first one-pound coin was issued in the United Kingdom. For the first time, the US Congress passed the War Powers Act. India’s first rocket was launched. The world also witnessed the first CT scan-based recreation of a human head.

Many abortion restrictions were also overturned by the Supreme Court in 1963. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established by the US government in a less contentious move. On April 15th, Tokyo inaugurated its own Disneyland, allowing Japanese families to experience a different kind of vacation. On April 8th, David Copperfield performed one of the world’s most famous illusions, making the Statue of Liberty vanish in front of an audience.

Continue reading to discover more about the events of 1983.


(January 01, 1983)
The ARPANET switches to TCP/IP, the Internet Protocol, essentially establishing the Internet. photo source:


(January 18, 1983)
The gold medals of American athlete Jim Thorpe, who won the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm but was later stripped of his medals due to suspicions that he was not an amateur athlete, have been officially reinstated by the International Olympic Committee.

(February 28, 1983)
The final episode of the hugely popular TV show M*A*S*H aired, with an estimated 106 million viewers tuning in.

(March 23, 1983)
President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative, sometimes known as Star Wars, in a countrywide television address. The Strategic Defense Initiative is a proposed strategic defensive system against potential nuclear assaults.

(April 12, 1983)
Harold Washington was elected as Chicago's first African-American mayor.


(June 13, 1983)

When Pioneer 10 crosses beyond the orbit of Neptune, it becomes the first man-made object to leave the Solar System's core.

(June 18, 1983)
Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly into space, was launched aboard the space shuttle Challenger with four other astronauts.

(August 30, 1983)
The NASA astronaut Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. was the first African American and the second person to go to space. He flew on three subsequent shuttle missions after serving as a mission specialist on the Challenger orbiter. photo source:

(September 19, 1983)
Saint Kitts and Nevis Independence Day.


(October 23, 1983)
At the Beirut International Airport in Lebanon, a suicide vehicle bomber killed 241 US Marines and sailors in 1983, while 58 French paratroopers were killed in a near-simultaneous attack. photo source:

(October 25, 1983)
Six days after a coup d'état results in the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several of his followers, the United States and its Caribbean allies invade Grenada. photo source:

(December 19, 1983)
The Jules Rimet Trophy, the first FIFA World Cup trophy, is stolen from the Brazilian Football Confederation's headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. photo source:

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

Our team at World Amazing Facts is committed to verifying the accuracy of our content. It's possible that we'll get something wrong, or that our knowledge may become obsolete. Please let us know if you see any errors in the information provided.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

1982 History Events: What Happened in 1982

1984 History Events: What Happened in 1984