It was the year in which Americans said goodbye to `Ma Bell' and hello to Geraldine Ferraro. A presidential year that began with the traveling `cattle show' of Democratic presidential candidates and ended with Ronald Reagan's Nov. 6 landslide, which netted him 525 of the 538 Electoral College votes cast Dec. 17. Edwin Meese, nominated as US attorney general Jan. 23, was still unconfirmed Dec. 31. And the nation hopefully anticipated US-Soviet arms control talks in 1985. JANUARY

1 Breakup of American Telephone & Telegraph Company into eight separate companies becomes effective as required by negotiated settlement of the Justice Department's 1974 antitrust suit.

2 W. Wilson Goode sworn in as Philadelphia's 126th, and first black, mayor.

9 Chinese Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang visits United States.

10 US and Vatican establish full diplomatic relations for the first time in 117 years.

15 Eight major Democratic presidential candidates launch campaigns in debate at Dartmouth College: former Vice-President Walter F. Mondale of Minnesota; Sens. Alan Cranston of California, John Glenn of Ohio, Gary Hart of Colorado, and Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina; former Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota; former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

23 Edwin Meese III nominated to replace resigning Attorney General William French Smith.

29 President Reagan announces he will seek reelection in 1984 with George Bush as his running mate. The New York Times reports that for about a year the Reagan administration has been concealing an unknown number of underground nuclear explosions at a test site in Nevada, breaking a 1975 policy to announce all such tests. FEBRUARY

7 Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker warns House Banking Committee that projected federal budget deficits endanger ``the sustainability of growth.''

15 President Reagan responds, says federal budget deficits do not threaten economic recovery or cause high interest rates. Nevada desert area over nuclear test site caves in. Energy Department says it was caused by unexpected geological conditions.

17 President Reagan asks Congress to increase 1984 military aid to El Salvador to $243.5 million.

20 Walter F. Mondale wins Iowa Democratic caucus.

22 Supreme Court holds that a bankruptcy court may free companies from union contracts without proof that the company would otherwise face imminent failure.

23 Justice Department finds no credible evidence of crime in the transfer of President Carter's secret debate briefing papers to Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign.

28 Sen. Gary Hart wins New Hampshire primary in upset: Hart 41 percent, Mondale 29 percent, Glenn 13 percent. MARCH

1 Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings on Meese nomination. Challenges to his finances, his independence of the White House, his commitment to civil rights. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina and former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew withdraw from race for Democratic presidential nomination.

3 Peter V. Ueberroth, president of the organizing committee for the Los Angeles Olympics, named baseball commissioner.

13 Trial of John Z. Delorean, charged with conspiracy to process and distribute cocaine, begins in federal district court in Los Angeles.

14 Former Sen. George McGovern withdraws from race for Democratic presidential nomination.

15 Senate rejects constitutional amendment allowing silent prayer in public schools.

16 Sen. John Glenn withdraws from race for Democratic presidential nomination.

30 President Reagan orders US forces to withdraw from Lebanon. APRIL

2 Jacob Stein is appointed independent counsel to investigate allegations against Edwin Meese.

7 Reagan administration and congressional sources report that Americans working for the CIA supervised the mining of Nicaraguan harbors.

8 US tells International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it will not accept its jurisdiction over disputes with Central America for the next two years.

9 Nicaragua files suit in the ICJ charging that the US is attempting to overthrow and destabilize its government.

13 Senate votes for $47 billion tax increase to help cut federal deficits. President Reagan, after adjournment of Congress, uses his emergency authority to authorize up to $32 million in military aid for El Salvador.

15 Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan announces plans to resign as vice-chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, protesting CIA's failure to properly inform the committee of the mining of Nicaraguan harbors.

16 Pulitzer Prizes awarded to David Mamet's ``Glengarry Glen Ross'' for Drama, to William Kennedy's ``Ironweed'' for fiction, and two awards each to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe.

25 President Reagan arrives in China for six-day visit.

26 CIA chief Casey apologizes over Senate briefing controversy; Senator Moynihan withdraws his resignation from Intelligence Committee. MAY

10 ICJ rules that US should halt attempts to block or mine Nicaraguan ports. House of Representatives approves more aid to El Salvador and gives the President broad discretion in spending it.

16 House passes compromise proposal keeping MX in arsenal but in smaller and more limited form.

17 House rejects $95 million proposal for nerve-gas weapon.

29 The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, already wearing a mantle of steel scaffolding, is closed to tourists. (Liberty Island and the Museum of Immigration remain open.) Refurbished and holding aloft a new torch, Miss Liberty is scheduled to welcome visitors again July 4, 1986.

30 Nearly total solar eclipse.

31 House approves $207 billion 1985 Pentagon authorization bill. JUNE

1 President Reagan begins 10-day European trip to Ireland, France, and an economic conference in London. Secretary of State George Shultz makes an unexpected visit to Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Civil Aeronautics Board prohibits cigarette smoking on planes carrying 30 or less passengers.

27 Supreme Court ends NCAA's control of televised college football.

29 Congress OKs $53 billion rise in debt ceiling. JULY

2 Anne Burford, forced to resign from the EPA in 1983, is nominated by President Reagan to head the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and the Atmosphere.

4 President Reagan questions the legality of Rev. Jesse Jackson's personal diplomacy trips and cautions him about plans to go to USSR to try to effect the release of Soviet dissident Andrei D. Sakharov.

11 Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole says government will require automobile air bags in all states by 1989 unless states representing two-thirds of the population require seatbelts.

12 Mondale picks Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro of Queens as his running mate; she becomes first woman on a major party presidential ticket.

13 President Reagan says Republican women are achieving prominence ``by merit'' without ``tokenism or cynical symbolism.''

14 Mondale appoints Bert Lance to be his general campaign chairman, asks Charles Manatt to leave the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

15 Mondale decides to keep Manatt.

17 US and USSR agree to upgrade 21-year-old hot line for nuclear crisis communication.

18 Mondale nominated for president by Democratic National Convention.

19 Ferraro nominated for vice-president by Democratic National Convention.

26 Federal government OKs $4.5 billion rescue of failing Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Company of Chicago.

28 Summer Games of XXIII Olympiad open in Los Angeles without the Soviet Union, which withdrew three months earlier. AUGUST

1 Anne Burford asks that President Reagan withdraw her nomination to National Advisory Committee on Oceans and the Atmosphere after Congress requests the nomination be withdrawn.

2 Bert Lance resigns as general chairman of Mondale campaign.

5 Federal government initiates $50 million study of ``nuclear winter,'' atmospheric condition suspected as aftermath of wartime nuclear explosions.

6 Senate passes the Retirement Equity Act of 1984 making it easier for women to receive retirement benefits under employee pension plans.

7 Washington Legal Foundation, a conservative nonprofit group, complains to House Ethics Committee about improprieties in Geraldine Ferraro's financial disclosure to Congress. Ferraro promises to make full disclosure of her own and her husband's financial records, including income tax returns, although this is not required by law.

12 Ferraro says her husband, John A. Zaccaro, will not disclose his income tax returns.,

16 John Z. Delorean acquitted by federal jury on cocaine charges. Jury cited the government's failure to prove its case and the apparent entrapment of Delorean.

18 John Zaccaro decides to release records of his income taxes since 1979.

20 Candidate Ferraro and husband Zaccaro release financial records and tax returns.

21 Ferraro holds two-hour news conference in Queens on financial affairs.

22 Reagan and Bush nominated for second term by the Republican National Convention in Dallas. SEPTEMBER

12 House Ethics Committee votes for a preliminary investigation into charges that Representative Ferraro violated the Ethics in Government Act because she had not disclosed her financial dealings as required.

18 Government Accounting Office aide warns Congress: Navy records indicate that many missiles are termed ``unserviceable'' for combat use.

20 Independent counsel Jacob Stein finds no evidence of criminal action by White House councilor Edwin Meese; does not examine moral or ethical issues.

24 In conciliatory speech to United Nations General Assembly, President Reagan asks for ``a working relationship'' with the Soviet Union.

26 Secretary of State George Shultz talks with Andrei Gromyko in New York.

27 Mondale also meets with Gromyko.

28 Reagan meets with Gromyko at the White House.

29 Gromyko meets with Secretary of State Shultz. Agreement announced to arrange for further talks. OCTOBER

7 Reagan and Mondale in first presidential debate -- Louisville, Ky.

9 Trial of Gen. William Westmoreland's libel suit against CBS opens in New York federal district court.

11 Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, America's second woman to go into outer space, becomes the first woman to take a ``space walk,'' spending three hours, with fellow astronaut David C. Leestma, testing a system for refueling satellites in orbit. Defense Department agrees to take selected press pool on surprise military operations, revising routine followed in October 1983 Grenada invasion. Congress adjourns after approving $470 million spending bill, raising limits on US debt to $1,824 billion.

12 President Reagan signs anticrime legislation into law. Toughens federal provisions for bail, parole, and sentencing.

14 Ford and UAW agree on contract providing $300 million fund to protect job security. It becomes public that CIA booklet on ``Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare'' was used to advise Nicaraguan rebels on insurgency tactics.

17 Dr. Carlo Rubbia of Harvard University shares Nobel Prize in physics. Dr. Bruce R. Merrifield of Rockefeller University wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

21 Reagan and Mondale in second presidential debate in Kansas City, Mo.

25 Secretary of State Shultz says US should use military force against terrorists even if it causes harm to US servicemen and innocent people. NOVEMBER

6 Reagan wins second term in landslide: carries 49 states (all but Minnesota and the District of Columbia) and 59 percent of votes.

8 Education Secretary Terrel H. Bell announces his resignation effective Dec. 1.

12 Space shuttle Discovery accomplishes breakthrough rescue of stranded satellite.

13 Trial of former Israeli Defense Secretary Ariel Sharon's libel suit against Time Inc. opens in New York federal district court.

21 Protesters picket South African Embassy in Washington over jailing in South Africa of black labor leaders.

22 Meeting of Secretary of State George Shultz and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko announced. Will discuss agenda for later arms control talks in Geneva on Jan. 7-8, 1985.

26 The ICJ rules it has jurisdiction to decide Nicaragua's lawsuit against the United States. Treasury Secretary Regan announces tax reform plan to lower most individual income taxes and increase many corporate taxes.

28 Sen. Robert Dole chosen to be Senate majority leader. Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger says US will not be gradually drawn into combat in Central America. Says there must be consensus at home for overseas military action.

28 William D. Ruckleshaus resigns as EPA administrator, effective Jan. 5.

29 Lee M. Thomas named to succeed Ruckleshaus. Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar assumes chairmanship of Foreign Relations Committee. DECEMBER

3 Chicago public school teachers and other workers go on strike; 430,000 pupils get unscheduled vacation. Agriculture Secretary John R. Block says legislation proposed by Reagan administration sharply cuts farmer's price supports. Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. elected to fifth term as Speaker of the House.

4 House Ethics Committee finds that Geraldine A. Ferraro unintentionally violated the Ethics in Government Act. No sanctions called for.

5 Yale office workers return to work after 10-week strike.

12 Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia reelected US Senate minority leader by Democratic caucus, handily turning back challenge by Sen. Lawton Chiles of Florida. First-class postage going up to 22 cents in February.

16 Chicago public school strike settled; new, one-year contract provides 4.5 percent salary increase and one-time, 2.5 percent bonus.

17 Reagan and Vice-President George Bush sew up their landslide reelection as 538 members of the Electoral College cast their votes in the 50 state capitals. Reagan receives a record 525 votes, two more than Franklin D. Roosevelt won in 1936.

18 Stock market, responding to dropping prime interest rates, surges upward by 34.78 points, the largest advance since Aug. 3, when the Dow Jones industrial average rose by 36 points. Common Cause chairman Archibald Cox launches bid to block Senate confirmation of Edwin Meese as US attorney general.

20 Federal Communications Commission approves, 5 to 0, a $1 residential telephone rate increase -- an ``access charge'' for connections to AT&T and other long-distance networks, effective June 1, 1985. Another $1 charge will be imposed in June 1986.

22 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, after meeting with Reagan in Washington, says they have ``no differences'' over the President's proposed ``star wars'' missile defense system. But she specifies that Britain supports only ``research'' on the strategic defense initiative.

27 First artificial comet is produced by release of barium vapor in atmosphere. Comet sighted at locations in Western US.

31 Civil Aeronautics Board is abolished at midnight, as required by 1978 airline deregulation legislation. Board was formed in 1938.

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