1980-1989 Timeline for Allen County, Indiana

1981 - 1982 - 1983 - 1984 - 1985 - 1986 - 1987 - 1988 - 1989

1980-1989: Era of Economic Turmoilvarious newspaper articles include a 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.


1980 - Knight-Ridder purchases The News-Sentinel newspaper. Copied from the 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1980, 22 February - the US Olympic hockey team upset the team from the Soviet Union, 4– 3, at the Lake Placid Winter Games to earn a victory often called the “Miracle on Ice.” Led by coach Herb Brooks, the Americans went on to defeat Finland two days later and win the gold medal.

1980, May 18 - 8:32 Sunday morning, Mount St. Helens in Skamania County, Washington state erupted and blew down or scorched 230 square miles of forest with an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale. The deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. From Wikipedia.

May 18, 2023 post by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Facebook:

43 years ago today, Mount St. Helens cataclysmically erupted. The event led to 57 deaths, including that of David Johnston, a dedicated U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist, and caused the worst volcanic disaster in the recorded history of the lower 48 states.

Since the eruption, technology and the scientific study of volcanoes have made significant advances. USGS Volcanoes monitors and assesses volcano hazards and works with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions. https://www.usgs.gov/.../volcanoes-and-usgs-volcano...

May 18, 2023 post by Newspapers.com on Facebook:

Was your city affected by ash from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens? The eruption occurred in Washington state on the morning of May 18, and in addition to the devastation and loss of life in the volcano's immediate vicinity, communities downwind were hit by the enormous cloud of ash.

The map on this Canadian newspaper's front page shows which areas of the U.S. and Canada were expected to be affected by ash in the days following the eruption.

See this clipping in The Province on our site: https://www.newspapers.com/.../the-province-mt.../124759030/

1980, May 29 - Jimmy Carter 39th President of the United States: 1977 ‐ 1981 Statement by the President on the Shooting of Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. I was shocked and saddened to learn of the shooting of Vernon Jordan, president of the National Urban League. Vernon is a valued leader and a personal friend. All of us are praying for his speedy and full recovery. Note: Mr. Jordan was shot early on the morning of May 29 after stepping from a car outside the motel where he was staying in Fort Wayne, Ind. Copied from The American Presidency Project which also has Fort Wayne, Indiana Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters Following a Visit With Vernon E. Jordan, Jr..

June 1, 1980 CNN, Cable Network News, goes live on the air at 6:00 pm for the very first time with the shooting of Vernon Jordan in Fort Wayne as one of their first national stories at 6:22 pm.


1981 - Miscellaneous files (1981) - Barr Street Irregulars - collection of photocopied pages. Some have good print quality while others have very poor print quality. Page 49 has 3 obituaries - Freda C. Withers, Louise I. Miller, and Miriam E. Elston. Archive.org.

1981 - the decision is made to tear down the original Indiana School for Feeble Minded Children administration buiding now Indiana State School on State Boulevard and convert the land into Northside Park.

1981, April 12 - Space Shuttle Columbia launches as the first of the Space Shuttle program, it completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry on February 1, 2003 near the end of its 28th mission, STS-107, resulting in the deaths of all crew members aboard.


1982 - The proposed Equal Rights Amendment dies. Citizens for Decency through Law group begins picketing adult theaters in Fort Wayne. International Harvester announces it will close its Fort Wayne plant. Copied from a 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1982, February 10 - a low of -18°.  At one point that day, the Associated Press reported, Fort Wayne was the coldest spot in the United States – including Alaska. Meanwhile, snow was piling up on the frigid ground – until a fast thaw in early March led to the Flood of 1982. Copied from The cold old days published February 2, 2019 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

March 14, 2017 by WANE 15 News on YouTube.
The historic flood of 1982 forced 9000 people from their homes and damaged 260 businesses at an estimated cost of $56 million in the cityof Fort Wayne.

1982 March 11 - second highest flood stage of the Maumee River was 25.9 feet from Fort Wayne Indiana Climate at the National Weather Service.

See our Flood of 1982 page.

1982, March 26 - Groundbreaking ceremonies take place in Washington, D.C., for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

1982, June 2 - Mother Teresa visits Fort Wayne and June 6, 1982 speaks to a crowd of 3,000 at Bishop Dwenger High School. Remembering Mother Teresa's 1982 Fort Wayne visit by Kaitor Kposowa updated: Septempber 04, 2016 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

1982, September 24 - the Center for Disease Control uses the term "AIDS" for the first time. From the The National Museum of American History from a September 24, 2014 Twitter tweet.

1982, September 28 - on the front page of The Journal Gazette newspaper Harvester announces it would shut the Fort Wayne plant laying off 2,100 workers. Early in 1979, 10,600 people worked for Harvester. The engineering and parts distribution center would remain with about 2,000 employed in 1984. The city assembled a $31 million aid package for the 60-year-old local plant compared to the $27.6 million package offered for the 17-year-old successful Springfield, Ohio facility.

1982, November 11 - the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D. C. with 58,220 names on 140 black granite panels welcomed its first visitors and was dedicated November 13, 1982.

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1983 - In its 150th year, The News-Sentinel wins a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Flood of ‘82. Copied from the 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1983 - a column with a new information plaque from the original Indiana School for Feeble Minded Children administration building torn down in 1982 is dedicated in the new Northside Park on State Boulevard.

1983, April - groundbreaking for the Grand Wayne Center.

1983, May 2 - Microsoft introduces a mouse for their personal computer. See photo on Micosoft on Facebook.

1983, June 19 - Sally Ride, is the first female American astronaut to go into space.

1983, September 18 - Osborne Family Murder. The News-Sentinel's editorial page editor Dan Osborne and his wife, Jane, and their 11-year-old son, Ben, were found beaten to death as their 2-year-old daughter and sister Caroline sat in the Harrison Hill area home for more than two days before the bodies were found. New police technology could offer insight into infamous 30-year-old Osborne family murder case by Jaclyn Goldsborough published September 18, 2013 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1983, October 19 - around 10 am two explosions rock the Gladieux Refinery on the northeast side of town injuring 38 people.

1983, November 2 - President Ronald Reagan signs the Martin Luther King Holiday legislation - see photo on U.S. National Archives tumblr.

1983, November 6 - Nomination of John G. Keane To Be Director of the Bureau of the Census by Ronald Reagan 40th President of the United States: 1981 ‐ 1989, at The American Presidency Project. See John Gorman Keane.

1983, November 20 - the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory opened.

1983, December 23-26 - a record 66 hours of continuous below-zero readings was logged at the airport. Copied from The cold old days published February 2, 2019 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.


1984 -

  1. The U.S. Office of Civil Rights cites Fort Wayne for deliberately maintaining segregated schools and orders the problem corrected.
  2. General Motors confirms that it will build a $500 million truck plant in southwest Allen County, employing 3,000 workers.
  3. Mayor Win Moses Jr. is indicted by a grand jury on charges of election report fraud.
  4. Fort Wayne Community Schools releases a desegregation plan.
  5. Copied from the 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1984 - the English language is adopted as the official language of the state of Indiana. See Indiana State Language (Indiana Code: IC 1-2-10-1) by the Indiana Historical Bureau.

1984, January 22 - Apple Macintosh introduced during Super Bowl with "1984" commercial. See Apple "Classic" Macintosh Personal Computeron The National Museum of American History.

1984, March 28 - Baltimore Colts football team owner Robert Irsay moves his NFL team under the cover of darkness out of Baltimore, Maryland to Indianapolis, Indiana. See History Highlights on Colts.com. Thirty years later, remembering how Colts' move went down Phillip B. Wilson published March 29, 2014 in USA Today Sports.

1984, December - the Grand Wayne Center opened.

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1985 -

  1. Lutheran Hospital begins performing heart-transplant surgery.
  2. The city wades through its second major flood in four years.
  3. The Rev. John D'Arcy is named bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
  4. Homemaker and community activist Sharon Lapp, 43, is found murdered in a bedroom of her West Rudisill Boulevard home.
  5. Mayor Win Moses Jr. resigns as part of a plea bargain in his campaign finance case. He is back in office two weeks later, winning a landslide vote in a special Democratic caucus.
  6. The $12.2 million Fort Wayne Hilton checks in its first guests.
  7. Copied from the 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1985, January 20 - the record low high temperature for a day was -11°. Copied from The cold old days published February 2, 2019 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

1985, January - first conference held at the Grand Wayne Center.

1985, April 1

March 31, 2023 post by US National Archives on Facebook:

On April 1, 1985, the National Archives became independent after having been administered under the General Service Administration (GSA) for 35 years.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation to create the National Archives in 1934 to preserve and care for the records of the U.S. Government. Previously, federal records were kept in various basements, attics, abandoned buildings, and other storage places with little security or concern for storage conditions. In 1949, Congress transferred the National Archives to the GSA with the goal of government efficiency. The GSA and National Archives had very different missions, which caused the National Archives to continue to try to gain its independence. Multiple bills were introduced in the early 1980s to make the National Archives independent, but they all failed. On March 23, 1983, Senator Thomas Eagleton introduced S. 905, which would become the National Archives and Records Administration Act of 1984, proposing an independent agency. After passing the House and Senate, President Reagan signed the bill into law on October 19, 1984.

The National Archives now has over 40 facilities nationwide, including field archives, Federal Records Centers, Presidential Libraries, the Office of the Federal Register, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), the National Declassification Center (NDC), and the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).


#Archives #NationalArchives

1985, August 25 - Dr. Jack C. Copeland surgically implanted the first Jarvik-7 artificial heart into a patient awaiting a heart transplant in Tucson, Arizona. From History Wired by the Smithsonian Institution.

1985, August 26 - Ryan White of Kokomo, Fulton County, Indiana began to gain national attention as he was forced to leave school and enroll in online classes. Ryan, a teenager who contracted AIDS through medication for his hemophilia had a new disease called AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) that terrified the nation. In spite of facts about how AIDS is spread, fear and misinformation caused his expellusion from school. Publicity about his story made him famous around the world. He died April 8, 1990. See the Ryan White Files From the Kokomo Tribune on Howard County, Indiana Memory Project, Ryan White on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, and The unusual, unforgettable way Indy buried Ryan White by Will Higgins published April 9, 2015 on IndyStar.com. Over 5,000 Ryan White letters on Indiana Memory .

August 26, 2021 post by the Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

On August 26, 1985, Ryan White, a 14-year-old boy who had been diagnosed with AIDS from a hemophilia treatment in 1984, attended classes via telephone after being barred from school due to his diagnosis.

At the time of his diagnosis, White was given three to six months to live, but soon beat the odds and regained enough of his health to attend school. However, he was barred from doing so by the Western School Corporation superintendent. The school board later upheld the decision.

Eventually, Ryan and his family moved to Cicero, where he was allowed to attend school and even held a job. Ryan White lived for over five years after his diagnosis.

Learn more with our Indiana state historical marker: Ryan White (1971-1990)

The image below, showing Ryan participating in classes from home is courtesy of Getty Images. 

Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook has many posts about Ryan White.

1985, November 13 - Nomination of David M.L. Lindahi To Be Director of the Office of Alcohol Fuelsby Ronald Reagan 40th President of the United States: 1981 ‐ 1989 at The American Presidency Project.


1986 - German Heritage Society was formed as the youngest of the Fort Wayne German clubs. While each of the other German clubs have a specific focus (e.g. music or sports), GHS is intended to be a place for anyone with ties to or curiosity about: German culture, their German heritage, or the effects our local German history has had on the Fort Wayne Area. It is a welcoming club whose goal is to support, encourage, and stimulate education concerning German cultural traditions, German language, German-American immigration and German-American cultural development. Read more World of GHS on their website: http://www.germanheritagesociety.com/.

1986, January 20 - a January 20, 2023 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebookstated: #OTD 1986: Americans observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the first time, due to the efforts of an Indiana lawmaker. After a previous attempt to recognize King with a national holiday failed, first year Congresswoman Katie Hall from Gary introduced a bill in July 1983. She overcame conservatives' concerns about the cost of the holiday by proposing it take place on a fixed Monday rather than King's birthday, so that offices would not have to open twice in one week. Hall reminded colleagues, “'The legislation before us will act as a national commitment to Dr. King’s vision and determination for an ideal America, which he spoke of the night before his death, where equality will always prevail.'” The bill passed Congress, and President Ronald Reagan signed the measure into law on November 2, 1983.

Read more about her efforts at our blog: Representative Katie B. Hall’s Fight for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Achievement.org



1986, January 28 - NASA and the world suffered the loss of the brave pioneers aboard Space Shuttle Challenger. President Ronald Reagan statement: The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them — this morning, as they prepared for their journey, and waved good-bye, and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.' watch PublicDomainFootage.com video. After the Challenger explosion, President Ronald Reagan spoke to the public on January 28, 1986. See Primary Resources: The Challenger Disaster on American Experience | PBS . Challenger: President Reagan's Challenger Disaster Speech - 1/28/86 by ReaganFoundation on YouTube.

1986, June 2 - Majority Leader Bob Dole and Democratic Leader Robert C. Byrd engineered the vote that started the United States Senate Live Television from the Senate Chamber.

1986, September - 3,000 residents and Glenbrook Square shoppers are evacuated after a sodium chloride leak at I.J. Recycling on North Clinton Street. Copied from the 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1986, October 6 - President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as German-American Day to celebrate and honor the 300th anniversary of German immigration to and culture in the United States since the founding of Germantown (now part of Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, in 1683. Partly from an October 6, 2022 post by the German Heritage Society on Facebook and October 6th – German-American Day on German-American Hall of Fame. Radio Address to the Nation on the Tricentennial Anniversary Year of German Settlement in America June 25, 1983 at the Reagan Library. See our German Heritage page.

1986, November 10 - the movie Hoosiers premiered at the Circle Theatre in Indianapolis. One of the most popular sports movies of all time, it is loosely based on the 1954 Milan High School basketball championship. Here are some of the few differences between the Milan Miracle and the 1986 movie it inspired: Milan Miracle That Inspired Hoosiers Film Turns 60 Five distinctions of the famous game and the movie that came of it. via Indianapolis Monthly. Posted November 10, 2017 by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook.

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1987 -

  1. Helene Foellinger, longtime philanthropist and former publisher of The News-Sentinel, dies at age 76.
  2. An earthquake rumbles through Indiana. There are no serious injuries or damage.
  3. Lutheran Hospital announces it will build a hospital on West Jefferson Boulevard near Interstate 69.
  4. Black Monday on Wall Street: Oct. 19, the Dow Jones average plummets a record 508 points on the New York Stock Exchange, panicking world markets.
  5. Hoosier movie legend James Dean's original gravestone, missing for almost four years from his Fairmount resting place, is found behind a Fort Wayne firehouse.
  6. Copied from the 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1987: beginning of Catholic Vincent House in Fort Wayne, now an ecumenical agency, to develop housing for the homeless and low-income

1987 - Democrat Presidential candidate Gary Hart stops in Fort Wayne

1987 - Presidential Candidate Gary Hart Visits Fort Wayne, Indiana by TheClassicSports published on September 10, 2018 on YouTube.
Vintage news clip of report by WANE anchor Ken Owen from 1987. Fort Wayne Mayor Win Moses appears with Hart.

1987 - Bicentennial Tree located on Baker Street, just south of Parkview Field received a plaque. It is 14 feet, 4 inches in circumference. See our Bicentennial Tree article.

President Reagan at Brandenburg Gate Berlin Wall "Tear Down this Wall - published November 3, 2013 by PublicDomainFootage

1987, June 12 - Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev in Berlin. See Berlin Wall Pieces onSmithsonian National Museum of American History blogand YouTube video from the Regan Foundation.

1987, December 10 - 25 year old police officer Omega Graham was killed by accidental gunfire during training exercises, the third police office killed while serving with the Fort Wayne police department. From Fallen officer added to national memorial by Rod Hissong published May 14, 2013 formerly on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

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1988 - The Midwest bakes during a summer plagued by record high temperatures. Indiana's corn and oat crops are nearly decimated. Copied from the 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1988, April 4 - April Marie Tinsley was abducted on Good Friday as she walked from a friend’s house. Her body was discovered in DeKalb County three days later. Investigators are asking for the assistance of the public on the Fort Wayne Police Department April Tinsley Investigation web page.

1988, June 25 - Fort Wayne matched the all time recorded high temperature of 106° first recorded July 22, 1934. From Fort Wayne Indiana Climate at the National Weather Service.

1988 - Northwest Ordinance Day, July 13 adopted by the 1988 Indiana General Assembly (IC 1-1-14) to celebrate the adoption by the U.S. Congress in 1787 of this ordinance which established the Northwest Territory. See Special Days of Celebration by the Indiana Historical Bureau.


1989 - Amtrak officials announce passenger train service in Fort Wayne will be diverted to routes north of the city. Copied from the 1980-1989: Timeline of the decade from the Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper. Service is currently available in Waterloo, Steuben County, Indiana. See Amtrak or The Waterloo train depot.

1989, May 3 - the Indiana legislature ratified the Lottery Act. It was signed a week later by Governor Evan Bayh. Hoosier Lottery scratch-off ticket sales began in October. See May 3, 2017 post by Indiana Bicentennial Commission on Facebookon Facebook and Lottery History on Hoosier Lotter.com.

1989, September 12 - 41 year old Sgt. Kenneth Hayden died by accidental gunfire that 11 years later caused metastatic cancer after 16 years of service, the fourth police office killed while serving with the Fort Wayne police department. From Fallen officer added to national memorial May 14, 2013 by Rod Hissong of CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. Has photo on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

1989, October 19 - Continuation of David M.L. Lindahl as Director of the Office of Alcohol Fuels at the Department of Energy by George Bush 41st President of the United States: 1989 ‐ 1993, at The American Presidency Project.

1989, November 9 - the Berlin Wall falls. It was erected in 1961 to separate East and West Germany, during the Cold War with Russia after World War II. October 4, 1990 was Unity Day when East and West Germany came together. See President Reagan at Brandenburg Gate Berlin Wall "Tear Down this Wall" archival footage sound bite from U.S. President Ronald Reagan on June 12, 1987 on PublicDomainFootage published November 3, 2013 on YouTube.

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