1986 Following a number of trouble free years in Space Exploration the Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after take off watched by people live on TV around the world. The Internet Mail Access Protocol defined which opens the way for E-Mail and the same year the Human Genome Project is launched to understand the Human Makeup , this will open the way for great advances in the treatment of many illnesses. The worst ever Nuclear Disaster occurs as the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station Explodes causing the release of radioactive material across much of Europe. In the UK (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease is identified which causes many deaths over the next few years and a major reform in farming practices.

Cost of Living 1986

How Much things cost in 1986
Yearly Inflation Rate USA1.91%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 1895
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 7.50%
Average Cost of new house $89,430
Median Price Of and Existing Home $80,300
Average Income per year $22,400.00
Average Monthly Rent $385.00
Average Price for new car $9,255.00
1 gallon of gas 89 cents
Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 44,040
Gallon of Petrol 1.89
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 3.4%
Interest Rates Year End Bank of England 10.88%
A Few More Examples
Casio Portable Color Television $249.99
Tandy 600 Portable Computer $1599.00
Jar Of Skippy Peanut butter $1.49
Potatoes 5 Lbs $1.00
Broccoli Lb 39 Cents
Bacon per pound $1.75
Plymouth Colt $4,999
Ford Mustang $7,452

Elyria, Ohio
10 acres plus 3 bed home Fully modernised all appliances large kitchen $71,000

What Events Happened in 1986

  • US bombs Libya in protest at Libyan sponsorship of terrorist organizations involved in the bomb exploded in the crowded La Belle disco in Berlin, Germany.
  • Breakthrough in US - USSR Arms Talks between Reagan and Gorbachev leads to commitment to disarm thus ending a long period of instability caused by the Cold War
European Union
  • Spain and Portugal join the EEC
  • John McCarthy, a British TV journalist, is kidnapped in the capital of Lebanon, Beirut.
  • Soviet Nuclear reactor at Chernobyl Explodeson April 26th causing release of radioactive material across much of Europe
  • British newspapers move to Wapping , East London in an attempt to break print union stranglehold over the newspaper industry
  • M25 circling London is completed
  • Gorbachev steps up reform programme in Russia introducing Perestroika ( restructuring ) and Glasnost ( openness )
  • Comet Halley reaches the closest point to the Earth, during its second visit to the solar system in the 20th century.
  • Approximately Seven million Americans join hands in "Hands Across America"
Northern Ireland
  • Violence continues to escalate in Northern Ireland during the Orangemen Parades in Dumcree and Portadown with more innocents killed during the troubles.
  • Pan Am Flight 73 with 358 people on board is hijacked at Karachi International Airport by four armed men
  • Bomb Explodes on TWA Jet over Greece blowing hole in aircraft sucking 4 passengers out
El Salvador
  • Earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale strikes San Salvador, El Salvador, killing an estimated 1,500 people.
  • Iran-Contra Affair President Ronald Reagan's administration sold arms to Iran, an avowed enemy. At the time, Americans were being held hostage in Lebanon by Hezbollah, a militant Shi'a organization loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini.
  • The London Stock Exchange is deregulated allowing computerized share dealing ( The Big Bang )
  • Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease first identified Following an epidemic of BSE in Britain, 157 people (as of 2004) acquired and died of a disease with similar neurological symptoms subsequently called vCJD, or (new) variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
  • Mike Tyson becomes the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history
South Africa
  • South African troops launch multiple raids on Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana
South Africa
  • 175 Gold Miners Die in Kinross mine in the Eastern Transvaal, South Africa
United States
  • The experimental aircraft Rutan Voyager makes the first continuous non-stop flight around the world without refueling.
More Information and Timeline for the Rutan Voyager.
On December 23rd of 1986, the experimental aircraft Rutan Voyager became the first aircraft to fly a continuous non-stop round the world flight without refueling. The aircraft made of a lightweight graphite amd took about six years to construct. It was piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager. The record-breaking around the world flight took nine days and they traveled a total of 25,012 miles. When they landed back at Edwards Air Force Base, the Rutan Voyager had only five gallons of fuel left in its tank.

South Africa
  • The South African government censors reporters and the news media from reporting unrest throughout the country.
  • Richard Branson on the 72 ft powerboat Virgin Challenger II breaks the world record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic
  • Smoking is banned on all public transport including trains, planes, busses and coaches
  • Lethal gas from the volcanic Lake Nyos in Cameroon, West Africa kills 1,500
  • Swedish Prime Minister Murdered
  • A full survey is carried out of Loch Ness hoping to find proof that Nessie exists.( No Proof Found )
  • The experimental airplane Voyager, completed the first non-stop, around-the-world flight
  • The Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, is laid to rest alongside her husband King Edward VIII
  • A mass uprising by Palestinians against Israeli military occupation, begins in Jabalia refugee camp and spread to Gaza
  • A british newspaper reveals information that Israel has Secret Nuclear Weapons including 100 nuclear war heads.

  • Micronesia Gains Independence From the United States
  • US introduces sweeping tax reform legislation
  • Argentina Wins 1986 World Cup in Mexico


  • The United Kingdom and France announce plans to construct the Channel Tunnel.
  • Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after launch, killing all on board
  • The Soviet Union launches the Mir space station
  • IBM unveils the PC Convertible, the first laptop computer.
  • British Surgeons perform the worlds first triple transplant ( Heart, Lung and Liver )
  • Internet Mail Access Protocol defined for e-mail transfer
  • The 386 series of microprocessor introduced by Intel.
  • Human Genome Project launched with the object to understand the human genome and therefore provide the continuing progress of medicine, It was announced in 2000 to be completed by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )
High Temperature Superconductor Switzerland
Nicotene patch Frank Etscorn

1986 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

Part of our Collection of Clothing From The1980's
Fashion Clothing From 1986

1986 Childrens Toys

Part of our toy collection From The1980's

Kids Toys From 86

Popular Culture 1986

  • first ten musicians are inducted into Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

Popular Films

  • Top Gun
  • Crocodile Dundee
  • Platoon
  • The Karate Kid, Part II
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Aliens
  • Ruthless People
  • The Color of Money
  • The Money Pit

Popular Musicians

  • Billy Joel
  • Robert Palmer
  • Lionel Richie
  • Van Halen
  • The Police
  • Debbie Harry
  • Simply Red
  • Whitney Houston with " the greatest love of all "
  • The Pretenders
  • Genesis
  • The Bangles with " Walk Like and Egyption "
  • Chris de Burgh
  • Madonna with " Papa Don't Preach "
  • Prince
  • Culture Club
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Pet Shop Boys

Popular TV Programmes

  • Magnum, P.I.
  • Dynasty
  • Falcon Crest
  • Hill Street Blues
  • Cagney and Lacey
  • Cheers
  • Fame
  • Family Ties
  • Remington Steele
  • The A-Team
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (UK)
  • Highway to Heaven
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • The Bill (UK)
  • The Cosby Show
  • EastEnders
  • Growing Pains
  • Neighbours
  • Only Fools and Horses (UK)
  • The Twilight Zone

1986 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders 1986

Australia Prime Minister Brazil President José SarBob Hawke ney Canada Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Li Xiannian

France President François Mitterrand

Germany Chancellor Helmut Kohl
India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi

Italy Prime Minister Bettino Craxi

Japan Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone Mexico President Miguel de la Madrid Russia / Soviet Union
General Secretary of the CPSU Mikhail Gorbachev South Africa State President Pieter Willem Botha United States President Ronald Reagan United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher