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Timeline: 1980s

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1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

1980s graphic

Thumbs UpIndustries move from urban centers to suburbs with lower taxes and weaker environmental regulations. As a result, unemployment and demand for social services increase, tax bases decline and social programs fail. Low-income housing disappears and homelessness rises.

Thumbs DownSelective Service registration resumes.

Thumbs Down May 17, 1980. Emergency at Love Canal alerts the public to hidden dangers of soil and ground water pollution.

Thumbs Up Superfund created to clean up hazardous waste sites.

Thumbs DownReaganomics slashes social spending and increases tax cuts mostly for the wealthy and for corporations.

Thumbs UpU.S. invades Grenada. Oct. 25, 1983. Reagan administration supplies money and weapons to El Salvador and Honduras, finances paramilitaries in Nicaragua, sells arms and gives aid to forces in Iran, sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Public finds out Nov. 1986.

Thumbs UpIn 1986, amnesty granted to undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before 1982.

Thumbs UpSupreme Court bans capital punishment for insane persons.

Thumbs UpSexual harassment declared a form of illegal job discrimination

Thumbs Up Dec. 8, 1987. U.S. signs Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Thumbs DownNov. 20, 1989. U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. U.S. and Somalia do not sign.

Thumbs DownSupreme Court rules that those who commit crimes at age 16 or 17 can be executed.

1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


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