The Most Notable Events and Products From 1986 - What Else Was Happening?

The Most Notable Events and Products From 1986 - What Else Was Happening?

Posted by Philadelphia Website Design in Boyertown - Media Fusion Tech on Monday, December 27, 2021

Media Fusion Technologies was founded in 1986 as 'DK Kean Photographic Services', a commercial and industrial photography company. Since then, numerous ways to market organizations have evolved - and with that - Media Fusion Technologies has evolved. In keeping with the ever-changing landscape of online design and functionality, MFT has firmly established itself as a leading source for all conventional graphic design services and much more.

That being said, whether you were doling in diapers or depleting the earth of hair spray, here are - in no particular order - some other notable happenings of 1986 that you may or know about:

1. Soviet Nuclear Reactor at Chernobyl Explodes

On April 26th, 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred when a reactor exploded, releasing radioactive material across Europe. The accident was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel. The resulting steam explosion and fires released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the environment, with the deposition of radioactive materials in many parts of Europe. It is one of only two nuclear energy accidents rated at seven - the maximum severity - on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. The initial emergency response and subsequent mitigation efforts involved more than 500,000 personnel and cost an estimated 18 billion roubles - roughly US$68 billion in 2019, adjusted for inflation. It is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history.

2. Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated just 73 seconds after liftoff on January 28th, 1986 resulting in the loss of all seven crew members. The spacecraft exploded 46,000 feet (14 km) above the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39 a.m. EST (16:39 UTC). It was the first fatal accident involving an American spacecraft while in flight. The mission, designated STS-51-L, was the tenth flight for the orbiter and the twenty-fifth flight of the Space Shuttle fleet. The crew was scheduled to deploy a communications satellite and study Halley's Comet while they were in orbit, in addition to taking schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe into space under the Teacher In Space program.

3. USSR Hosts First Goodwill Games

In July, 1986 the United States and Soviet Union participated in the inaugural Goodwill Games, fostering cultural exchange through sports. The Games were a response to the Olympic boycotts of the period, which saw the United States refuse to attend the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, and the Soviet Union refusing to attend the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The Soviet athletes dominated the competition, winning 118 gold medals and 241 medals overall. The United States finished second place, with 42 golds and 142 medals in total.

5. Halley’s Comet Returns

 The famous Halley’s Comet made its return to the inner solar system, captivating skywatchers worldwide. In February 1986, the comet and the Earth were on opposite sides of the Sun, creating the worst possible viewing circumstances for Earth observers during the previous 2,000 years. Halley's periodic returns to the inner Solar System have been observed and recorded by astronomers around the world since at least 240 BC, but it was not until 1705 that the English astronomer Edmond Halley understood that these appearances were re-appearances of the same comet. As a result of this discovery, the comet is named after Halley.

6. Hands Across America

Hands Across America was a public fundraising event held on Sunday, May 25, 1986 - Memorial Day weekend - which attempted to create a continuous human chain of people held hands across the contiguous United States. While approximately 5.5 million people participated, the chain was broken in many places, particularly in the Southwestern desert. The number of participants would have been roughly sufficient to create an unbroken chain if they had been spread out evenly along the planned route, but most joined the chain in major cities and few traveled to more remote areas. The various gaps in the line between participants were filled using ribbons, ropes, or banners.

7. Phantom of the Opera Premieres

 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “The Phantom of the Opera” opened in London’s West End on October 9th, 1986 captivating audiences with its haunting melodies and romantic storyline. The Phantom of the Opera was the longest running show in Broadway history, and celebrated its 10,000th performance on February 11, 2012, becoming the first Broadway production in history to do so.

8. Rutan Voyager’s Global Flight

On December 23, 1986 Voyager completed the first nonstop, non-refueled flight around the world. Voyager, a unique aircraft constructed almost entirely of lightweight graphite-honeycomb composite materials and laden with fuel, lifted from Edwards AFB, California at 8:01:44 a.m., Pacific Standard Time, on Dec. 14, and returned 9 days later at 8:05:28 a.m., Pacific Standard Time on Dec. 23. For their record-breaking flight, the pilots, Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, the designer, Burt Rutan, and the crew chief, Bruce Evans, earned the Collier Trophy, aviation's most prestigious award. 

9. US Economic Sanctions Against Libya

On January 7th, 1986 President Ronald Reagan announced economic sanctions against Libya in response to its support for terrorism following the December 17 terrorist attacks on the Rome and Vienna airports. Libya had supported and praised the attacks, which were conducted by the Abu Nidal Organization. On April 14, the United States launches air strikes against Libya in retaliation for the Libyan sponsorship of terrorism against American troops and citizens.

10. Willie McCovey Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

San Francisco Giants’ legendary first baseman Willie McCovey was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility - making him the 16th player so honored. He appeared on 346 of 425 ballots cast (81.4 percent). McCovey is best remembered for the ferocity of his line drive batting style. In his book Ball Four, pitcher Jim Bouton wrote about watching the slugger blast the ball in batting practice, while making "little whimpering animal sounds" in response to each of McCovey's raw power drives. In 1999, McCovey was ranked 56th on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

11. Fiesta Bowl Showdown

On January 1st, 1986 the 15th Fiesta Bowl witnessed a thrilling clash between #5 Michigan and #7 Nebraska, with Michigan emerging victorious with a 27-23 score. Meanwhile, the 52nd Orange Bowl saw #3 Oklahoma defeat #1 Penn State, and the 52nd Sugar Bowl witnessed #8 Tennessee’s triumph over #2 Miami.

12. Aruba’s Independence

On 1 January, 1986 - after elections were held for its first parliament - Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles, officially becoming a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with full independence planned for 1996.

13. Reykjavik Summit

In October, 1986 Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev engaged in talks at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, marking a significant moment in the Cold War. The story of the Reykjavik summit meeting is a tale of two visionary leaders and an “impossible dream.” It was the most remarkable summit ever held between U.S. and Soviet leaders. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev seriously discussed the elimination of all ballistic missiles held by their two countries and aired the possibility of eliminating all nuclear weapons.

14. London’s “Big Bang”

On October 27th, 1986 the British government deregulated financial markets in what became known as the “Big Bang.” This move enhanced London’s status as a financial capital but also contributed to income inequality. The effect of Big Bang led to significant changes to the structure of the financial markets in London. The changes saw many of the old firms being taken over by large banks both foreign and domestic and would lead in the following years to further changes to the regulatory environment that would eventually lead to the creation of the Financial Services Authority. Although the "Big Bang" eased stock market transactions there is a debate in the UK about how far it affected the Financial crisis of 2007–2008.

15. Kodak’s Instant Camera

After losing a nine-year patent battle with Polaroid, Kodak had to give up its instant camera business. The court ruling and Kodak's decision left Polaroid in total control of the billion-dollar-a-year U.S. instant photography market. Polaroid, which pioneered instant photography by marketing the first workable camera in 1948, charged its competitor with patent infringement when Kodak brought out its own line of instant cameras and film in 1976. Reagan and Gorbachev brought two great nations close to the end of the era of the Cold War.

16. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The first group of musicians was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23rd, 1986. The first group of inductees included Elvis Presley, James Brown, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Established in 1983 and located in Cleveland, Ohio, the organization is dedicated to recording the history of some of the best-known and most influential musicians, bands, producers, and others that have in some major way influenced the music industry, particularly in the area of rock and roll.

17. Mike Bossy’s NHL Record

New York Islanders right wing Mike Bossy became the first NHL player to score 50 goals in 9 straight seasons. In just 752 regular-season games, Bossy scored 573 goals, which fittingly ranks 22nd in NHL history, and 1,126 points. His 0.762 goals per game is tops in NHL history. His 1.497 points per game ranks third. His nine seasons of 50-plus goals are tied with Gretzky for most, as are his five with 60-plus goals.

18. Top Song & Album

The longest running number-one singles of 1986 were "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne and Friends and "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles, which each logged four weeks at number-one. The album, 'True Blue', by Madonna was the top-selling album with 25,000,000 copies followed by Bon Jovi, 'Slippery When Wet', at 16,964,277 copies. Eventually 'Slippery When Wet' went on to eclipse 'True Blue' in total sales.

19. Super Bowl XX

Super Bowl XX on January 26, 1986 was an American football game between the NFC champion Chicago Bears and the AFC champion New England Patriots. The Bears defeated the Patriots by the score of 46–10, capturing their first NFL championship since 1963, three years prior to the birth of the Super Bowl. The game was play at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans and featured 'Up with People', an American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which stages song and dance performances promoting themes such as multiculturalism, racial equality, and positive thinking. 

20. U.S. Marine Corps

Super Bowl XX fans - on 26 January, 1986 - watched during a break in the action as one of the Marine Corps’ most popular recruiting advertisements took over the screen. The ad began with “You begin with raw steel…” and captured the makings of a gleaming Mameluke sword which was then put through a display of precision by a Marine in dress blues. The Marine in the commercial was Captain Thomas R. Kean with 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, Anchorage, Alaska. 

Additionally on 14 April, 1986 - U.S. warplanes bombed suspected Libyan terrorist headquarters after obtaining irrefutable evidence that Libya was responsible for recent terrorist attacks on Americans and planned future multiple attacks against U.S. installations, diplomats, and citizens. A strike force of F-1211s from airbases in England joined warplanes from Navy carriers in the Mediterranean and hit the Libyan port cities of Tripoli and Benghazi in an attack which included the headquarters of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy. Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons 314 and 323 on board the USS Coral Sea were part of the Navy’s Sixth Fleet.

21. Best Selling Toy

Teddy Ruxpin was the bestselling toy of 1985 and 1986, and was in homes everywhere throughout the ’80s. The talking toy was a cutting-edge novelty at the time. Teddy Ruxpin is an animatronic children's toy in the form of a talking 'Illiop', a creature which looks like a bear. The toy's mouth and eyes move while he reenacts stories played on an audio tape cassette deck built into its back. Conventional cassette tapes carry two audio tracks for stereo sound reproduction. Teddy Ruxpin cassettes use the left track for audio and the right track for a control data stream. The data stream controls servomotors that move the eyes and mouth and can divert the audio signal to Grubby, the companion toy, by means of a proprietary cable. This allows the two to engage in pre-recorded interactions. Grubby only works with the original WoW version of Teddy Ruxpin.

22. Camera of the Year

The Canon RC-701, introduced in May 1986, was the first SVF camera (and the first SVF-SLR camera) sold in the US. It employed an SLR viewfinder and included a 2/3” format color CCD sensor with 380K pixels. The RC-701 had 780 pixels horizontally and recorded its images on a special floppy disk. This floppy disk was a format standardized by the industry and could record 50 image fields. The RC-701 was a 10 fps (frames per second) high-speed shutter-priority and multi-program automatic exposure camera. Exposure data and camera information was concentrated on an LCD panel and many functions to provide smooth, efficient photography were included.

23. Most Popular Personal Computer

Compaq beats IBM to the market when it announces the Deskpro 386, the first computer on the market to use Intel´s new 80386 chip, a 32-bit microprocessor with 275,000 transistors on each chip. At 4 million operations per second and 4 kilobytes of memory, the 80386 gave PCs as much speed and power as older mainframes and minicomputers. The 386 chip brought with it the introduction of a 32-bit architecture, a significant improvement over the 16-bit architecture of previous microprocessors. It had two operating modes, one that mirrored the segmented memory of older x86 chips, allowing full backward compatibility, and one that took full advantage of its more advanced technology. The new chip made graphical operating environments for IBM PC and PC-compatible computers practical. The architecture that allowed Windows and IBM OS/2 has remained in subsequent chips.

24. Top Grossing Movie

'Top Gun' from Paramount - starring Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis, and Val Kilmer - grossed $176,781,728 to be the top movie of the year. Upon its release, the film received mixed reviews from film critics, but despite this, its visual effects and soundtrack were universally acclaimed. Four weeks after its release, the number of theaters showing it increased by 45 percent. Despite its initial mixed critical reaction, the film was a huge commercial hit, eventually grossing $357 million globally against a production budget of $15 million.

25. Top Selling Movie Soundtrack

The 'Top Gun' soundtrack reached number one in the US charts for five nonconsecutive weeks in the summer and autumn of 1986. It was the best selling soundtrack of 1986 and one of the best selling of all time. The song "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin went on to win both the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. According to Allmusic, the album "remains a quintessential artifact of the mid-'80s", and the album's hits "still define the bombastic, melodramatic sound that dominated the pop charts of the era." Legend has it that this soundtrack was an in-flight favorite for Air Force fighter jocks ferrying smart-bombs into downtown Baghdad during the Gulf War. If nothing else, it's a time-capsule-ready example of what the jingoistic side of Reaganism wrought in Hollywood during the mid-'80s. With a musical cast of veterans (the insufferable Kenny Loggins, long-suffering Cheap Trick), one-hit wonders (Berlin, Loverboy) and promising newcomers (Miami Sound Machine) cranking the corps-rock out to order, Top Gun sold over 16 million copies to date.

26. Best Selling Car

The Chevrolet Celebrity—the front-drive mid-size entry that made its debut as an '82 model—emerges as the best-selling car in the United States for 1986, supplanting its smaller sibling, the Cavalier, to take the crown. The new Celebrity was based on the front-wheel drive A-body style previously featured in the Buick Century, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, the Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser, and the Pontiac 6000. There were two engine options for the original Celebrity – a tech IV 2.5-liter TBI I4 and a powerful fuel-injected 2.8-liter V6 – and both were coupled with an automatic transmission. A five-speed manual transmission option was briefly offered, but it was eventually discarded. A 4.3-liter Diesel V6 was eventually included as an option, and the unit eventually gained praise from both critics and customers.

27. Kentucky Derby

The 112th running of the Kentucky Derby took place on May 3rd with 123,819 people in attendance. Ferdinand, ridden by Bill Shoemaker and trained by Charlie Whittingham, was crowned the winner with a time of 2:02.80. Hardly anyone expected it to be Ferdinand, a 17-1 shot ridden by a 54-year-old jockey and saddled by a 73-year-old trainer. But at the finish of a slow and roughly run Derby, it was Ferdinand. Ferdinand paid $37.40 for $2 to win, the highest Derby payoff since Gato del Sol, also a Californian, also rallied to win from last place and returned $41.40 in 1982.

28. Microsoft Goes Public

Microsoft stock first went public on March 13, 1986 at $21 per share. By the end of the trading day, the price had risen to $35.50 per share. Some 2.5 million shares were sold the first day, raising $61 million in what some analysts referred to as “the deal of the year.” Co-founder Bill Gates, then 30, sold $1.6 million in shares and retained a 45 percent stake worth $350 million. Microsoft stock climbed more than a hundredfold between 1986 and 1996.

29. Nintendo Entertainment System Released

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) seeded these first systems to limited American test markets starting in New York City on October 18, 1985, and followed up in Los Angeles in February 1986; the American nationwide release came on September 27. Nintendo released 17 launch games: 10-Yard Fight, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Duck Hunt, Excitebike, Golf, Gyromite, Hogan's Alley, Ice Climber, Kung Fu, Pinball, Soccer, Stack-Up, Super Mario Bros., Tennis, Wild Gunman, and Wrecking Crew.

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