March: Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev makes statements that seem to indicate the official repudiation of the Brezhnev Doctrine, leading the way to political liberalization and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.
March 2: British Liberal Party membership votes to merge with the British Social Democratic Party, 46,376 (87.9%) in support and 6,365 (12.1%) opposed. The turnout is only 52.3%.
March 29: ANC activist Dulcie Evonne September is assassinated in Paris.
April 4: Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale and Timothy Leary speak at Vanderbilt University.
April 12: Abbie Hoffman commits suicide in Solebury, Pennsylvania with an overdose of phenobarbital.
May: Amal and Hezbollah militias fight for control of Western Beirut.
August 18: During his acceptance speech at the Republican Convention, George H.W. Bush utters the phrase "Read my lips: no new taxes." Bush would later break this promise.
August 17: Pakistani military dictator Gen. Zia ul-Haq and I.S.I. (secret police) Gen. Akhtar Abdul Rahman are killed in a mysterious plane crash.
August 20: Ceasefire is declared in the Iran-Iraq war.