After 444 days in captivity, 52 American hostages were released by Iran on the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th president.
John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan with a .22 handgun. The president quickly recovered from a wound to his left lung after surgery, but press secretary James Brady suffered severe brain damage. A secret service agent and Washington police officer were also shot.
The federal minimum wage was raised to $3.35 per hour.
President Reagan lifted a ban on commercial recycling of nuclear fuel, despite fears that the action could put weapons-grade plutonium in the hands of terrorists. The president authorized development of the neutron bomb.
President Reagan issued an excutive order giving the CIA its first full authority to conduct domestic covert operations.
The U.S. Navy shot down two Libyan jets that had fired upon them while conducting training exercises in the Gulf Of Sidra.
Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Columbia, the nation's first space shuttle, was launched April 12th.
The royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana drew more Americans to their TV sets than coverage of the assassination attempt on the president.
Chariots Of Fire won the Oscar for best picture. Raiders Of The Lost Ark became the first film to draw over $100 million in its first two weeks at the box office.
Walter Cronkite retired from The CBS Evening News.
The top-selling song of the year was Physical by Olivia Newton-John.