1984 History Events: What Happened in 1984

The world became aware of the Ethiopian famine in 1984, causing the European Economic Community to set aside £1.8 million for humanitarian aid and inspiring Irish artist Bob Geldof to start the Band Aid organisation, which would contribute its income to help fight the hunger.

Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister, is assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31st, igniting fatal anti-Sikh riots across the country. In the same year, the Bhopal tragedy happens in India’s Madhya Pradesh region, when a gas leak kills over 8000 people in the world’s worst industrial disaster. In the largest demonstration in Brazilian history, over a million people march in the streets of Sao Paulo, led by politician Tancredo Neves, to demand democratic elections. Ronald Reagan was re-elected on November 6th, just months after calling for a ban on chemical weapons in response to Iran’s condemnation of Iraq’s use of such weapons.

In sports, the 1984 Summer Olympics are hosted in Los Angeles, with the Soviet Union boycotting the games, which had been announced a few months prior. The Chicago White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the longest game in Major League Baseball history on May 8th, clocking in at eight hours. Born in the USA was released by Bruce Springsteen on June 4th, and Terms of Endearment won five Oscars, including Best Picture.

In the world of science and technology, Apple Computers debuted the Macintosh Personal Computer on January 4th, a day after running the famous advertising based on George Orwell’s novel 1984, and US scientists announced the discovery of the AIDS virus later that year. Kate McKinnon, an American actress and comedian, was born in 1984, as was Mark Zuckerberg, an American entrepreneur, and Trevor Noah, a South African comedian and television host.

Continue reading to discover more about the events of 1984.


(January 10, 1984)
After over 117 years, the United States and the Holy See (Vatican City) re-establish full diplomatic ties, overturning the US Congress's 1867 ban on public support for such a diplomatic representative.


(January 24, 1984)
Apple's revolutionary computer Macintosh was launched by Steve Jobs two days after the landmark commercial "1984" aired on national television, heralding the product's upcoming release.

(April 05, 1984)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has surpassed Wilt Chamberlain as the National Basketball Association's all-time top scorer.

(May 14, 1984)
Mark Zuckerberg, an American computer programmer and co-founder of the social networking website Facebook, was born.

(June 22, 1984)
Virgin Atlantic flies from London to Newark for the first time.


(July 28, 1984)
The 1984 Summer Olympics (formally known as the XXIII Olympiad's Summer Olympics) opened in Los Angeles. photo source:

(September 18, 1984)
Joe Kittinger finishes the first solo transatlantic balloon journey in the Balloon of Peace, which holds 106,000 cubic feet (3,000 m³). photo source:

(September 26, 1984)
The United Kingdom and China agree on a 1997 deadline for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong. photo source:

(October 05, 1984)
Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian in outer space.


(October 11, 1984)
Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan makes history as the first American woman in space on board the Space Shuttle Challenger. photo source:

(October 25, 1984)
The Red Cross and Oxfam have reported that ten million Ethiopians are at risk of hunger, and Christian Aid and the Red Cross believe the same. The European Economic Community makes a donation of £1.8 million. Around 1 million Ethiopians died of malnutrition in 1984 because relief was inadequate or arrived too late in the situation. photo source:

(October 26, 1984)
In the United States, the action thriller The Terminator was released; it was a major hit, making actor Arnold Schwarzenegger a star and establishing director James Cameron as a bankable filmmaker. photo source:

(November 09, 1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street, directed by Wes Craven, was premiered in American theatres, introducing audiences to the villain Freddy Krueger; film is regarded a horror classic and has spawned a number of sequels. photo source:

(November 25, 1984)
Thirty-six top musicians meet in a Notting Hill studio to record "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid in order to collect funds for Ethiopian famine relief. photo source:


(December 03, 1984)
In one of the greatest industrial catastrophes in history, a methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, kills about 3,800 people and injures 150,000–600,000 more (some 6,000 of whom ultimately died from their injuries). photo source:

(December 30, 1984)
LeBron James, a superstar in the National Basketball Association, was born. 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.

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