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1983: Sports; social issues and crime; folkways; fashion; holidays.

Baseball was the top spectator sport in 1983, drawing 78,051,343 fans and dropping horse racing, with 75,784,430 fans, to second place. In golf the year's top money winners were Hal Sutton, $426,668, and JoAnne Carner, $291,404. In fashion the key words were clean lines and classic shapes. Black was the favorite color, but winter brought a craze for brightly colored leg warmers. This year's top craze, however, was the Cabbage Patch doll, a soft cloth doll made by hand, so no two were exactly alike. The supply was nowhere near the demand, and by Christmas many a parent could not find one for sale at any price. Price was no object for some furniture buyers this year. A Rhode Island Chippendale dining table brought $687,000 at auction in 1983, a new record for American furniture. Notables who died this year included Paul "Bear" Bryant of the University of Alabama, the winningest football coach in history, Jan. 26, at 69; Jack Dempsey, world heavyweight boxing champion from 1919 to 1926, May 31, at 86; George Halas, longtime coach of the Chicago Bears, Oct. 31, at 88; and Meyer Lansky, reputed to have been for 40 years the top boss of organized crime, Jan. 15, at 80.

Jan. 1

In college football bowl games, the results were SMU 7, Pittsburgh 3 in the Cotton Bowl; Nebraska 21, Louisiana State 17 in the Orange Bowl; UCLA 24, Michigan 14 in the Rose Bowl; and Penn State 27, Georgia 23 in the Sugar Bowl. This season the AP and UPI polls picked Penn State the national collegiate champions of 1982.

Jan. 30

Super Bowl XVII was won by the Washington Redskins (NFC), defeating the Miami Dolphins (AFC) 27-17. On Jan. 22 the Redskins had beaten the Dallas Cowboys 31-17 for the NFC championship and the Dolphins had shut out the New York Jets 14-0 for the AFC title.

Feb. 3-4

U.S. figure skating championships were won in Pittsburgh, Pa., by Scott Hamilton, men's singles; Rosalynn Sumners, women's singles; Kitty and Peter Carruthers, pairs; Judy Blumberg and Michael Seibert, dance.

Mar. 6

The new United States Football League (USFL) began its first season, with five games nationwide. The new league had 12 teams and was scheduled to play an 18-game spring schedule.

Mar. 10-11

At the world figure skating championships in Helsinki, Finland, Scott Hamilton won the men's singles title and Rosalynn Sumners won the women's singles title.

Apr. 2

The NCAA women's basketball championship was won by Southern California, which defeated Louisiana Tech 69-67.

Apr. 4

The NCAA men's basketball championship was won by North Carolina State, defeating the University of Houston 54-52.

Apr. 11

The Masters golf tournament was won by Severiano "Seve" Ballesteros of Spain, beating Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw by four strokes.

Apr. 18

The 87th Boston Marathon was won by Greg Meyer of Wellesley, Mass., with a time of 2 hrs., 9 min. The first woman to finish was Joan Benoit of Boston, with a women's record time of 2 hrs., 22 min., 42 sec.

May 7

The 109th Kentucky Derby was won by Sunny's Halo, with a time of 2:02 1/5. The jockey was Eddie Delahoussaye.

May 10-17

The NHL Stanley Cup was won by the New York Islanders, who defeated the Edmonton Oilers in four straight games.

May 21

The 108th Preakness Stakes was won by Deputed Testamony, with a time of 1:55 2/5. The jockey was Donald Miller.

May 22-31

The NBA basketball championship was won by the Philadelphia 76ers, who swept the Los Angeles Lakers in four straight games.

May 29

The 67th Indianapolis 500 was won by Tom Sneva, in 3 hrs., 5 min., 3.066 sec., with an average speed of 162.117 mph.

June 11

The 115th Belmont Stakes was won by Caveat, with a time of 2:27 4/5. The jockey was Laffit Pincay Jr.

June 12

The LPGA golf tournament was won by Patty Sheehan, beating Sandra Haynie by two strokes.

June 20

The U.S. Open golf tournament was won by Larry Nelson, who beat Tom Watson by one stroke.

July 2-3

At the Wimbledon tennis championships in England, John McEnroe won the men's singles title and Martina Navratilova won the women's singles. McEnroe teamed with Peter Fleming to win the men's doubles, and Navratilova teamed with Pam Shriver to win the women's doubles.

July 6

The baseball All-Star Game was won by the American League, stampeding the National League 13-3 for its first all-star win since 1971. Fred Lynn of the California Angels hit the first grand slam home run in the 50-year history of the All-Star Game.

July 17

The first USFL championship was won by the Michigan Panthers, defeating the Philadelphia Stars 24-22.

July 31

The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted four new members: Walter Alston, former manager of the Brooklyn (and later Los Angeles) Dodgers (NL); George Kell, former third baseman; Juan Marichal, who pitched for the San Francisco Giants from 1960 to 1973; and Brooks Robinson, star third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles (AL) for 19 years.

July 31

The U.S. Women's Open golf tournament was won by Jan Stephenson of Australia, beating JoAnne Carner and Patty Sheehan by one stroke.

Aug. 7

The PGA golf tournament was won by Hal Sutton, beating Jack Nicklaus by one stroke.

Aug. 14-18

At the Pan-American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, the U.S. won 137 gold medals and finished first in unofficial team standings.

Sept. 11

The U.S. Open tennis singles championships were won by Jimmy Connors in the men's division, and by Martina Navratilova in the women's division.

Sept. 14-26

The America's Cup was lost by the U.S. for the first time in the yachting classic's 132-year history. The Australian challenger Australia II defeated the U.S. yacht Liberty four races to three.

Sept. 17

The Miss America title was won by Vanessa Williams, 20, from Millwood, N.Y., at the annual pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. She was the first black to win the title.

Sept. 23

The World Boxing Association heavyweight boxing championship was won by Gerrie Coatzee of South Africa, who knocked out Michael Dokes in ten rounds at Richfield, Ohio.

Oct. 1

The North American Soccer League championship was won by the Tulsa Roughnecks, defeating the Toronto Blizzard 2-0.

Oct. 11-16

The World Series was won by the Baltimore Orioles (AL), defeating the Philadelphia Phillies (NL) four games to one. On Oct. 8 the Orioles won the American League pennant over the Chicago White Sox, three games to one, and the Phillies won the National League pennant from the Los Angeles Dodgers, three games to one.

Oct. 23

The 14th New York City Marathon was won by Rod Dixon of New Zealand with a time of 2 hrs., 8 min., 59 sec. The first woman to finish was Grete Waitz of Norway, with a time of 2 hrs., 27 min.

Nov. 2

A federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the slain civil rights leader, was designated for observance on the third Monday of January in a bill signed by Pres. Reagan. King was the first person honored with a federal holiday since George Washington's birthday was so named.

Dec. 8

The contract of Bowie Kuhn as commissioner of baseball was extended to Mar. 1, 1984, by the major league team owners. They had voted in 1982 not to renew his contract.
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Author:Carruth, Gorton
Publication:Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates, 9th ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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