1986 was a memorable year for many reasons, particularly for space exploration, and sadly for mixed reasons. While humankind did make some advances in space, notably with NASA’s Voyager 2 passing by the icy planet Uranus, and with the launch of the Soviet Union’s space station, Mir, there was a major disaster that occurred this year.
1986 will unfortunately be remembered in no small part due to the Challenger disaster. On January 28th, NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean, less than two minutes after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with no crewmembers surviving the crash.
In another disaster for the other major power in the Cold War, on April 26th, the Chernobyl disaster occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near Pripyat in what was at the time part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union. The explosion and fires caused unfathomable damage and killed thousands of people.
1986 was not all bad news, however. This was the year that Pixar Animation Studios opened in California, a company that would bring joy to millions with their films and animated creations. In television news, this was the year that The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered in syndication.
This was also a significant year for gamers, as Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda in Japan. This game would become an international sensation and, as part of Nintendo’s foundation, it would become a great gaming franchise, spanning decades. 1986 was also the year that Nintendo released Dragon Quest in Japan. This game would be released as Dragon Warrior in North America a few years later, after the localization process had been completed. This game is significant because it laid the foundation for the Role Playing Game (RPG) genre for gaming consoles.
1986 was also a big year for theatre and film. This was the year that The Phantom of the Opera opened in London. It holds the distinction of being the longest-running show in Broadway history. In film, Top Gun, Crocodile Dundee, Platoon, Aliens, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off were all notable films this year.
Discover how USA looked like in 1986
Have a look at the old newspapers from 1986 and get them!
Which were the most popular movies released this year ?
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David
Country: United States
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Starring: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger, Elya Baskin
Directed by: David Lynch
Starring: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser
Which were the top hits of 1986 ?
Which were the most popular books released in 1986 ?
By: Jean M. Auel
Once again Jean M. Auel opens the door of a time long past to reveal an age of wonder and danger at the dawn of the modern human race.
By: Bill Cosby
From one of America's most beloved funnymen comes a hilarious look at the lighter side of fatherhood. So, what is fatherhood...?It's
By: James Herriot
In this very special, heart-warming collection of favorite stories about dogs great and small, James Herriot tells us about his own dogs and all the wonderful people and animals we have
By: Robert Ludlum
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Reenter the shadowy world of Jason Bourne, an expert assassin still plagued by the splintered nightmares of his former life.
Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1986 in the USA ?
Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1986