1986 events in history

Jan 1 Aruba becomes independent of Curaçao, though it remains in free association with the Netherlands
Jan 11 The Gateway Bridge, Brisbane in Queensland, Australia is officially opened
Jan 12 Space Shuttle program: Congressman Bill Nelson lifts off from Kennedy Space Center aboard Columbia on mission STS-61-C as a Mission Specialist
Jan 13 A month-long violent struggle begins in Aden, South Yemen between supporters of Ali Nasir Muhammad and Abdul Fattah Ismail, resulting in thousands of casualties
Jan 16 First meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force
Jan 19 The first IBM PC computer virus is released into the wild. A boot sector virus dubbed (c)Brain, it was created by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in Lahore, Pakistan, reportedly to deter piracy of the software they had written
Jan 20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time
Jan 23 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley
Jan 24 Voyager 2 passes within 81,500 kilometres (50,600 mi) of Uranus
Jan 25 The National Resistance Movement topples the government of Tito Okello in Uganda
Jan 26 The Ugandan government of Tito Okello is overthrown by the National Resistance Army, led by Yoweri Museveni
Jan 28 Space Shuttle program: STS-51-L mission – Space Shuttle Challenger explodes after liftoff killing all seven astronauts on board
Feb 7 Twenty-eight years of one-family rule end in Haiti, when President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees the Caribbean nation
Feb 8 The Hinton train collision: 23 people are killed when a VIA Rail passenger train collides with a 118-car Canadian National freight train near the town of Hinton, Alberta, west of Edmonton. It is the worst rail accident in Canada until the Lac-Mégantic, Quebec derailment in 2013 which killed forty-seven people
Feb 9 Halley's Comet last appeared in the inner Solar System
Feb 16 The Soviet liner MS Mikhail Lermontov runs aground in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Feb 19 Akkaraipattu massacre: the Sri Lankan Army massacres 80 Tamil farm workers the eastern province of Sri Lanka
Feb 20 The Soviet Union launches its Mir spacecraft. Remaining in orbit for 15 years, it is occupied for 10 of those years
Feb 21 The Legend of Zelda, the first game of The Legend of Zelda series, was released in Japan on the Famicom Disk System
Feb 22 Start of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines
Feb 25 People Power Revolution: President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos flees the nation after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino becomes the Philippines' first woman president
Feb 27 The United States Senate allows its debates to be televised on a trial basis
Feb 28 Olof Palme, prime minister of Sweden, is assassinated in Stockholm
Mar 4 The Soviet Vega 1 begins returning images of Halley's Comet and the first images of its nucleus
Mar 7 Challenger Disaster: Divers from the USS Preserver locate the crew cabin of Challenger on the ocean floor
Mar 15 Hotel New World Disaster: Thirty-three people die when the Hotel New World in Singapore collapses
Mar 21 Debi Thomas became the first African-American to win the World Figure Skating Championship
Mar 24 The Loscoe gas explosion leads to new UK laws on landfill gas migration and gas protection on landfill sites
Mar 27 A car bomb explodes at Russell Street Police HQ in Melbourne, killing one police officer and injuring 21 people
Mar 31 Six metropolitan county councils are abolished in England
Apr 1 Sector Kanda: Communist Party of Nepal (Mashal) cadres attacks a number of police stations in Kathmandu, seeking to incite a popular rebellion
Apr 2 Alabama governor George Wallace, a former segregationist most widely known for the "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door", announces that he will not seek a fifth four-year term and will retire from public life upon the end of his term in January 1987
Apr 5 Three people are killed in the bombing of the La Belle Discothèque in West Berlin, Germany
Apr 14 In retaliation for the April 5 bombing in West Berlin that killed two U.S. servicemen, U.S. president Ronald Reagan orders major bombing raids against Libya, killing 60 people
Apr 14 The heaviest hailstones ever recorded (1 kilogram (2.2 lb)) fall on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92
Apr 15 The United States launches Operation El Dorado Canyon, its bombing raids against Libyan targets in response to a bombing in West Germany that killed two U.S. servicemen
Apr 17 Nezar Hindawi's attempt to detonate a bomb aboard an El Al flight from London to Tel Aviv is thwarted
Apr 17 The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ends
Apr 20 Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performs in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years
Apr 25 Mswati III is crowned King of Swaziland, succeeding his father Sobhuza II
Apr 26 A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world's worst nuclear disaster. Reactor No. 4 with its enclosing sarcophagus
Apr 27 The City of Prypiat as well as the surrounding areas are evacuated due to Chernobyl Disaster
Apr 28 High levels of radiation resulting from the Chernobyl disaster are detected at a nuclear power plant in Sweden, leading Soviet authorities to publicly announce the accident
Apr 28 The United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise becomes the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, navigating from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the USS Coral Sea
Apr 29 The Chernobyl Disaster: American and European Spy Satellites capture the ruins of the 4th Reactor at the Chernobyl Power Plant
Apr 29 A fire at the Central library of the City of Los Angeles Public Library damages or destroys 400,000 books and other items
May 2 The Chernobyl Disaster: The City of Chernobyl is evacuated six days after the disaster
May 3 Twenty-one people are killed and forty-one are injured after a bomb explodes in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colombo airport in Sri Lanka
May 7 Canadian Patrick Morrow becomes the first person to climb each of the Seven Summits
May 12 NBC debuts the current well-known peacock as seen in the NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration