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Ronald Reagan was the leader of the United States of America during the decade of the 1980s.

Mikhail Gorbachev was the leader of the Soviet Union during the 80s.

This photo was captured on December 8 of 1987. It shows the signing of the document to dismember the Berlin Wall. This signing also represented the collapse of the communist Soviet Union.

This photo was taken on November 9, 1989. This photo shows the dismemberment of the Berlin Wall.

This photo shows oil refineries burning in Iran while an Iranian soldier watches during the
Iraq-Iran war.

This photo shows an Iranian soldier wearing a gas mask to protect himself from deadly Iraqi gas during the war.

In this photo, Mt. Saint Helens is shown erupting on May 18, 1980. This eruption deposited ash in 11 states with an eruption column rising 80,000 feet into the air. The eruption was massive.

Nolan Ryan, captured here throwing a four-seam fastball, was one player that took pitching to a new level during his career.

Larry Bird was a small/power forward for the Boston Celtics for 13 seasons, his entire career. He was one of the greatest basketball players ever to play the game.

As he sprints out of the pocket, Joe Montana is caught on camera as he looks for a receiver during a game in the 1980s. Also like Nolan Ryan, but instead its quarterbacks rather than pitchers, Joe Montana set a new level for quarterbacks in the game of football.

Biography: Larry Bird Born and raised in Indiana on December 7th, 1956. His high school ball earned him a scholarship to the University of Indiana, but as a small town boy the big campus overwhelmed him and he dropped out, later he enrolled at Indiana State. He led the Sycamores to the NCAA championship game where he faced off against his would be rival for the first time, Ervin “Magic” Johnson. Johnson prevails in a hard fought game. The following year Bird, who had been signed the year before, went to Boston to play for the reeling Celtics. There he started one of the biggest single season turnarounds in NBA history leading to him being awarded the Rookie of the Year. He went on to win 3 NBA championships in ’81, ’84, ’86. He appeared in the NBA all-star game 12 times, voted MVP three times, and one a gold metal with the “Dream Team” in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Larry Bird revitalized the NBA, his rivalry with Magic Johnson breathed life back into the fading popularity of the NBA and still stands as one of the greatest sports rivalrys in sports history. RONALD REAGAN BIO: (Born: Feb. 6, 1911-June 5, 2004) Ronald Reagan served in office from 1981 to 1989. He was elected at the age of 69 and was the only actor to ever be elected president. Reagan was often characterized by his appealing personality and folksy charm. His policies reflected his own beliefs. One in which was of individual freedom. This brought changes to both the U.S. economy and the U.S. military. His main goal was to decrease the American’s dependence on the government and focus more on the military. When he decided to expand the military is the main reason in how we ended the Cold War. He also wanted to cut taxes to lessen the people’s reliance on government, and increase the national defense. He accomplished all these things. He met several times with the Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, in an attempt to agree to jointly eliminate most of their nuclear weapons. The whole time Reagan was in office is now being callled the “Reagan Revolution” because of his drastic changes in government policy. He introduced the largest tax cuts in the nation’s history. His economic policies were known as “Reaganomics” and the economy saw a strong recovery in the 1980’s, but still the national debt rose significantly.

Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr.
Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. was born January 31, 1947 in Refugio, Texas. Six weeks after he was born his family moved to Alvin, Texas. As he grew up in Alvin, Ryan threw objects, thus starting his baseball career as a young boy. Ryan's father, Lynn Nolan Ryan, Sr., encouraged his son to play the game of baseball. He thought it would be a better use for his son's arm to throw a baseball instead of random objects. When Ryan, Jr. turned nine he played his first year of baseball at Alvin Little League. It all started there in Alvin, Texas, where Ryan, a future 8-time All-Star, threw his first no-hitter, became the top hitter at the local high school, and was the best pitcher his age in Texas when he graduated from high school.

Ryan's professional baseball career started as soon as he graduated from Alvin High School. In 1965 Ryan was drafted in the twelfth round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Mets. He played for the Mets' minor league team, the Marion Mets form his first year. After his first year in the minors, he was called up to the majors, but his career didn't start becoming significant until 1969. In 1969 Ryan had a few amazing outings in the postseason, including an appearance in the world series. In New York, Ryan learned how to become a real pitcher in the major leagues, but his name would become even more famous over the next few seasons. Later in 1971, Ryan was traded to the California Angels after requesting to be traded from the Mets. Ryan played with the Angels from 1972 to 1979. In 1980 he was picked up by the Houston Astros as a free agent. After playing for the Astros for eight years, Ryan left the organization in 1988 and was picked up by another team of his home-state, the Texas Rangers. With the Rangers, Ryan ended his baseball career. He played with the team from 1989 until 1993. Through his struggles, Ryan pitched great baseball for all four organizations during his 27 season in the majors. He lead the majors in strikeouts, no hitters, complete games, and a low ERA. Unfortunately, he also lead the majors in walks, wild pitches, ninth in hit batters, and was third in losses. Besides pitching, Ryan was also recognized for his three run home-run as a Houston Astro, the mound fight against Chicago White Sox player Robin Ventura when Ryan was on the Rangers, and also he was most known for his fastball. Even though
Ryan's career ended in a terrible way, his achievements still shine today in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

After Ryan retired, he received great attention for the records he had set. In 1999, Ryan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was his first of eligibility and was short of an unanimous decision by six votes. He was ranked 41st out of the list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players by the Sporting News'. He was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 2003, he was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. In 2005 he was chosen to throw the "first pitch" before Game 3 of the World Series between the Astros and White Sox. In 2006 Ryan was named the "hometown hero" for the Rangers and Astros. Ryan's jersey numbers for the Angels (30), Astros (34), and Rangers (34) have all been retired. Ryan was recognized to have been the first to play for all four MLB expansion teams. Also, today, State Highway 288 in Texas has been named the "Nolan Ryan Expressway" and a junior high school in Texas near the highway has been named after Ryan.

During the 1980s, America saw great change in many areas. Those areas include social, political, and economical. Some changes during the decade were positive and some were negative. Also, during this decade, America saw a few deadly disasters that were natural and some non-natural.


In the 1980s major social events pertained to the new scenes of music, television, movies, sports figures, video games, toys and fashion. The new main streams of music became Pop, Hard Rock, Hip-Hop, Reggae, and Techno. The new music and new artists brought popular new dances and new clothing styles into American culture. On TV and in the movie theatre, new comedy, action-adventure, and drama flicks were produced. The new movies influenced the youth of America. Kids began to use their imagination as if they were a Jedi knight in Star Wars or Indiana Jones crawling through caves to find a lost treasure. Teens fell in love the new and popular TV channel, MTV. The new shows and movies were a sensation and offered different genres for people of all ages. Sports figures were also idolized by American citizens. Some of the most popular figures were Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Joe Montana, and Mike Tyson. It seemed that any child that played a sport in America always had a role model to look up to no matter what the sport was. Video games and toys offered new ways of fun. Nintendo video game systems were highly popular and so were the games they produced. New toys that lets kids experience new fun were BMX bicycles, the yo-yo and the Rubik's Cube. Finally there was fashion. As mentioned previously, musicians brought new trends to American culture. Some of these trends are gaining popularity again. Those trends are the use of gel to create crazy hair styles, leggings, headbands, and jean jackets.

The political events during the 1980s all happened during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980. The U.S. was not really involved in any fighting action with other countries during the 80s besides the continuing Cold War, the invasion of Grenada, the airstrikes on Libya, and by supporting Central and South American countries to stop communism and illicit drug trade. Here at home during the 80s, the Reagan Administration promoted War on Drugs. The program was publicized by First Lady, Nancy Reagan's campaign. Their one rule was simple, Just Say No. Even though Reagan was one of the greatest presidents America saw, someone tried to put an end to his presidency. On March 31, 1981 in Washington D.C. President Reagan was shot along with his Press Secretary, a police officer, and a Secret Service agent. They were shot by John Hinckley. Hinckley's assassination attempts failed because everyone recovered and survived.

Throughout the 1980s, the financial world and the stock market shined in the light. Two figures that helped make the financial world grow and become big during the 80s were Donald Trump and Michael Milken. In 1989 the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement established a stronger economic bond between the two neighboring countries. Also, during the 80s, capitalism and laissez-faire economics came back to life in the United States of America.

A few negatives were encountered during the decade. Some were natural disasters, but others were non-natural disasters. The natural disasters were the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington on May 18, 1980, the U.S. drought of 1988, the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco, California that shook the city in 1989, and also four major, deadly Atlantic hurricanes that struck America's East and Southern coasts. The non-natural disasters were the disintegration of the NASA space shuttle Challenger in 1986, destroying the space shuttle and killing everyone onboard. Also, in 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska created one of the largest ecological disasters in the world.