What the sky looked like on 1981
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The 80s is probably the era that brought about courage not experienced before. Freedoms were accessible to more people than ever, and it brought about unrivaled creativity. Despite the colorful creations in the fashion and entertainment industry, tragic events were happening in separate parts of the world.
After addressing the construction and building workers union at the Hilton in Washington D. C. on 30, March 1981, reports across the radios and televisions were awash with the shooting of the USA president, Ronald Regan. The culprit, John Hinkley Jr., was only ten feet away from the president armed with .22 revolver with exploding bullets. He was not an excellent shot, and most of the bullets failed to explode as expected. The collateral damage includes the then press secretary James Brady, a police officer, and a secret service agent. The last bullet hit the presidential limo and ricocheted to hit the president in the chest. Hinkley walked free after doctors had found he was clinically insane.
Two months later, four gunshots rang through the air as Pope John Paul II’s procession made its way through St. Peter’s Square in Rome in the evening of May 13. One hit the pontiff in the abdomen, another hit the pope’s left hand; the third hit 60-year old Ann Odre from the USA in the chest, while the fourth struck Jamaican Rose Hill, 21 in the arm. The world waited as a team of surgeons took more than five hours to remove the bullets lodged in the pontiff’s abdomen and hand. The assailant was a 23-year-old Turk, Mehmet Ali Agca. Pope John Paul II visited Mehmet in prison and offered him forgiveness two years later.
Split in opinion on religious lines was the order of the day on June 6, when a train plunged into the Baghmati River. The engineer of the train braked too hard when a cow crossed the tracks and a rough estimate of 600 passengers in a train lost their lives. Torrential rains had made the tracks wet, and when the brakes were applied, the cars slid, and seven cars plunged into the murky waters of the Baghmati River. After a day’s search recovered 286 bodies with over 300 missing to this very day. The train had an estimated 1000 passengers onboard.
Despite the tragic events of 1981, it saw the worldwide invasion by Japanese electronics like the Walkman from Sony. A 12-year old also dissected the Rubik’s cube and wrote a book on how to solve the cube; it turned out to be a best seller.
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