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CQ Almanac
CQ Almanac book cover

Senate and presidential elections in 1980 marked a shift from the policies which defined America during the Carter years.
Reagan Buries Carter in a Landslide
GOP Wins Senate Control For First Time in 28 Years


Sandra Day O'Connor's historic appointment in 1981 made her the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
O'Connor: First Woman on Supreme Court


Iran's release of detained U.S. Embassy personnel after 444 days was timed to coincide with the inauguration of President Reagan, in a move designed to embarrass outgoing President Carter.
See Policy Tracker on Iran Hostage Crisis


Reagan's reelection renewed the political mandate for a more robust foreign policy and limited government at home.
Landslide Victory by Reagan Underscores Democratic Ills


Reagan and Gorbachev's summit in Geneva advanced dialogue between America and the Soviet Union and began a period of rapprochement between the two leaders.
Reagan, Gorbachev Meet in 'Fireside Summit'


The Strategic Defense Initiative, a proposed nuclear shield commonly referred to as Star Wars, attracted the opposition of arms control advocates as well as the Soviet Union.
Defense 1985: Overview
Reagan Fends Off Major Cuts in SDI Program
Congress Authorizes $302.5 Billion for Defense


The Iran-Contra Affair exposed a secret operation in which the U.S. funneled the proceeds from arms deals with Iran to Nicaraguan guerilla forces.
See Policy Tracker on Iran-Contra Affair


The stock market crashes on "Black Monday," spurring Congress and the White House to tighten financial regulations.
Economic Policy 1987: Overview
Congress and White House Hold Economic Summit


The Berlin Wall falls, symbolizing the end of Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe and reuniting a city divided for nearly thirty years.
As Iron Curtain Falls, Superpowers Thaw


The Exxon Valdez oil spill in the prince William Sound was the worst in American history.
Approval of Liability Bills Spurred by Alaska Spill