1981 - 1990


January 25: Launch of SDP by 'Gang of Four'

March 29: First London marathon run

April 5: Census day in Britain

April 12: US Space Shuttle (Columbia) launched

April 25: Worst April blizzards this century in Britain

July 29: Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer 




January 26: Unemployment reached 3 million in Britain (1 in 8 of working population)

March 18: Argentineans raised flag in South Georgia

April 2: Argentina invades Falkland (Malvinas) Islands

April 5: Royal Navy fleet sails from Portsmouth for Falklands

June 14: Ceasefire in Falklands

June 21: Birth of Prince William

October 11: Mary Rose raised (sank 1545)

October 31: Thames Barrier raised for first time

November 4: Lorries up to 38 tonnes allowed on Britain's roads

December 12: Women's peace protest at Greenham Common (Cruise missiles arrived 14 November 1983)



January 17: Start of breakfast TV in Britain

January 31: Seat belt law came into force  "Clunk Click Every Trip"

April 21: 1 coin into circulation in Britain

October 7: Plans to abolish GLC announced



January 9: FTSE index exceeded 800

June 22: Inaugural flight of Virgin Atlantic

October 12: Bomb explodes at Tory conference hotel in Brighton 4 killed

October 24: High Court orders sequestration of NUM assets

December 3: British Telecom privatised shares make massive gains on first day's trading



March 3: Miners agree to call off strike

March 11: Al Fayed buys Harrods

July 13: Live Aid pop concert raises over 50M for famine relief

September: Wreck of Titanic found (sank 1912)



March 31: GLC and 6 metropolitan councils abolished

April 28: Chernobyl nuclear accident

May 7: Mannie Shinwell, veteran politician, dies aged 101



Terry Waite kidnapped in Beirut (released November 1991)

Car ferry "Herald of Free Enterprise" capsizes off Zeebrugge 188 die

Order of the Garter opened to women

October: The 'Hurricane' sweeps southern England

October: 'Black Monday' in the City of London Stock Market crash



Copyright Act

December 21: Lockerbie disaster Pan Am flight 103 blows up over Scotland



Poll Tax implemented in Scotland

House of Commons proceedings first televised

Berlin Wall torn down



Margaret Thatcher resigns as Conservative party leader (and Prime Minister)

Poll Tax implemented in England & Wales riots

Aug 2: Iraq invades Kuwait

Channel Tunnel excavation teams meet in the middle

Nelson Mandela released in S Africa 

October 1990 Germany, which had been divided in 1945 among the victors of World War II, was reunited as one country. East Germany dissolved and its citizens became citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany. Reunification came after the Communist system disintegrated in eastern Europe in the late 1980s. The event that symbolised reunification had occurred in 1989, when the people of East and West Germany dismantled the Berlin Wall—for 30 years a symbol of the divided Germany—after the East German government lifted travel and emigration restrictions between the two countries.  The first all-German election was held in December 1990, and the newly elected government chose Berlin as the capital of the reunified Germany. The new Federal Republic of Germany faced many problems; the most important was the different standards of living between East and West. The area that had been East Germany suffered from unemployment, business failures, and housing shortages.