Simply JD History A walk down memory lane – Part 3: The ’80s

A walk down memory lane – Part 3: The ’80s

The ’80s showed up with great music some people still prefer to listen to. Oranje started the second golden Dutch Football generation and I tried to make my Mama proud by acing my studies. Some wars ended, others started and escalated. Come along and take a walk with me down memory lane.

As always, some of this is very Dutch!


  • Rubik’s Cube!
  • Pac-Man arcade game!
  • Iran-Iraq War.
  • Israel returns the Sinai to Egypt under UN supervision.
  • CNN launched.
  • Post-It launched.
  • John Lennon murdered.
  • Boycott of Olympics in Moscow, USSR hits my school buddy who had worked for this since kindergarten.
  • Queen Juliana resigns, Queen Beatrix inaugurated, an I am a proud young Officer in the Royal Guard.
  • Military coup in Suriname.
  • Operation Eagle Claw ends in disaster for the US Special Forces.
  • Solidarność strikes in Gdańsk, Poland.
  • Camcorders introduced.
  • Fax machines introduced.
  • NASA’s Voyager 1 sends the first high resolution images of Saturn and confirms the existence of Janus, a moon of Saturn.
  • President Reagan elected.
  • Marinus van der Lubbe cleared of all guilt!


  • AIDS virus identified.
  • NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia maiden flight!
  • USSR’s Venera 13 and 14 are launched to explore Venus.
  • ESA launches the European Rocket Ariane.
  • President Reagan inaugurated.
  • US hostages released by Iran.
  • Muhammad Ali retires.
  • IBM PC launched.
  • MS-DOS launched by Microsoft.
  • Greece joins the EEC.
  • USSR and Warsaw Pact hold largest military exercises in Poland in response to Solidarność.
  • Crack down on Polish protests.
  • MTV lauched.
  • Europe wide protests against NATO deployment of nuclear missiles.


  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
  • AT&T breakup.
  • Phillips launches the CD and CD player.
  • USSR’s Vanera 13 lands on Venus and transmits color pictures!
  • Failed military coup attempt in Suriname followed by the December Murders.
  • Falkland war.
  • Spain joins NATO.
  • War in Lebanon escalates.
  • Emoticons introduced.
  • Greenland leaves the EEC.


  • IBM launches the PC-XT
  • NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger maiden flight.
  • NASA’s Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.
  • NASA’s Pioneer 10 leaves our Galaxy and continuous to send data.
  • USA invades Grenada.
  • NATO continuous to deploy nuclear missiles in Europe.
  • USA Embassy in Beirut bombed.
  • US and French bases in Lebanon bombed.
  • Ethiopia suffering under famine.
  • ARPA introduces TCP/IP, launch of the internet.
  • Lotus 1-2-3 launched.
  • MS-Word launched.
  • GNU launched.
  • Dutch infrared satellite IRAS launched.
  • War criminal Klaus Barbie arrested and convicted.
  • Revised constitution for The Netherlands.
  • Korean Air 007 shot down by the USSR.
  • Freddy Heineken kidnapped.
  • Oranje kicked out of qualification for the European Championship by Spain with controversial 12-1 win over Malta.


  • Iran-Iraq war escalates further, USA and USSR are main suppliers.
  • USSR deploys nuclear missiles in DDR and other Soviet Block countries.
  • Vietnam intensifies invasion of Cambodia.
  • Band AID!
  • Apple Macintosh launched.
  • NASA makes the first un-tethered space walk.
  • NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery maiden flight.
  • AT&T break up completed.
  • DNA introduced.
  • Sony introduced the 3.5″ disk.
  • Marvin Gaye murdered.
  • Desmond Tutu awarded with Nobel Peace Prize.


  • Iran-Iraq war continuous to escalates further.
  • War in Lebanon continuous to cause civilian casualties, Israel starts to withdraw.
  • Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia in 7th year, population when possible.
  • Live AID!
  • MS-Windows launched.
  • Rainbow Warrior sunk by French secret service.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Soviet Leader.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev perestrojka.
  • TWA Flight 847, EgyptAir Flight 648 and Achille Lauro hijackings.
  • Terror attacks on El Al at airports of Vienna and Rome.
  • NASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis maiden flight.
  • Ozone layer punctures discovered.
  • Super Mario Bros. launched,
  • Halley’s Comet


  • Chernobyl!
  • NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
  • USSR’s Mir space station launched.
  • Halley’s Comet continuous.
  • Mad Cow Disease
  • Pan Am Flight 73 hijacked.
  • TWA flight bombing.
  • Iran-Contra Affair.
  • USA bombs Libya.
  • Spain and Portugal join the EEC.
  • Israel confirmed as nuclear power.
  • Aruba status aparte.
  • United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim accused of war crimes and holocaust participation.
  • Iran-gate confirms that USA and USSR have both supplied Iran and Iraq with arms and information during the Iran-Iraq war. This is the first known conflict in which both superpowers have supplied both parties during the conflict, taking the concept of proxy-war to a dangerous new level.


  • President Reagan gives his famous speech at the Berlin Wall.
  • Mathias Rust lands his plane at the Red Square in Moscow.
  • Zeebrugge sea ferry disaster.
  • Single European Act lays the foundation for the European Union.
  • Terry Waite is kidnapped in Beirut.
  • Stock market crash.
  • Iraq attacks the USS Stark.
  • Work on the Channel Tunnel begins.
  • Clive Sinclair launches the Z88 Portable Computer.
  • 1987 is shortened by 1 second.
  • Extremely cold winter in The Netherlands.
  • USSR and USA resume nuclear testing.
  • The Dream Team Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard sign with AC Milan.
  • Ajax wins the Europe Cup.
  • IBM launches IBM PS/2.
  • War criminal Rudolf Hess commits suicide.
  • Bomb attack during qualification game between Cyprus and Oranje.


  • Oranje wins its first title and is European Football Champion by beating USSR in the finals with 2-0 and I was in the stadium.
  • Pan Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie.
  • Iran-Iraq bombing ends.
  • Iraq attacks Kurds with chemical weapons.
  • USSR withdraws from Afghanistan.
  • NASA’s Space Shuttle program resumes.
  • USSR’s Soyuz TM-5 mission takes cosmonauts to the Mir space station.
  • First transatlantic fibre optic cable.
  • A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawking.
  • First computer virus infects computers connected to the Internet.
  • Speed limit on Dutch highways is increased from 100 km/h to 120 km/h.
  • Ramstein Air Base airshow disaster.
  • Jean-Loup Chrétien is the first European Astronaut to make a space walk.
  • Osama Bin Laden founds terror group Al Qaida.


  • Soviet Block and Warsaw Pact start to dissolve.
  • Partial (members only) elections in USSR.
  • Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia against Soviet rule.
  • First elections in Poland since the end of World War II.
  • Peaceful protests for independence in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
  • Riots in Kosovo.
  • Austria opens its borders to Hungary, the first breach of the Iron Curtain.
  • Hans-Dietrich Genscher makes his famous speech, allowing Eastern German refugees to travel to Western Germany from the embassy in Prague.
  • FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL – reunification of West and East Germany.
  • Student protests on Tiananmen Square in Beijing violently crushed.
  • PLO and Israel begin preliminary peace talks.
  • USA invades Panama.
  • Intel launches (80) 486 processor.
  • F.W. de Klerk starts to dismantle apartheid in South Africa.
  • NASA launches the Galileo Spacecraft.
  • NASA’s Voyager 2 reaches Neptune!
  • Exxon Valdez causes environmental disaster in Alaska.
  • Nintendo launches the Game Boy.
  • Montreal Protocol to end ozone depletion.
  • Dutch state owned telecoms and postal PTT is privatized.
  • War criminals Franz Fischer en Ferdinand aus der Fünten, aka De 2 van Breda, released after serving their sentences and expelled to Germany.
  • Fabeltjeskrant broadcasts its final episode.
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