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1986: Sports; social issues and crime; folkways; fashion; holidays.

Drug use by professional athletes became an issue this year following 1985 courtroom revelations by baseball players concerning cocaine use in the major leagues. In February Michael Ray Richardson of the New York Nets basketball team was banned from playing in the NBA after his third drug violation, and John Lucas of the Houston Rockets was released after he failed a drug test. On June 19 Len Bias, a University of Maryland basketball star, died of cocaine poisoning, and on June 27 Don Rogers of the Cleveland Browns football team also died after using cocaine. In football, the major television networks announced they were dropping one- third of the 18 scheduled college bowl game broadcasts for lack of advertising support. This year marked the hundredth anniversary of the tuxedo, first worn by Griswold Lorillard to a ball in Tuxedo Park, N.Y., in the fall of 1886. A rise in tux sales and rentals this year was fueled, no doubt, by the growing popularity of weekend weddings, three-day affairs including dinners, brunches, barbecues, sports activities and, of course, the wedding ceremony itself. The Statue of Liberty also turned 100 this year. Its centennial celebration in New York City in July included a breathtaking parade of tall ships from around the world. Texas celebrated the 150th anniversary of its independence from Mexico with 10,000 different events, including the "World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup." The Oreo cookie marked its 75th anniversary this year. The ever-popular Popsicle underwent a change, as the manufacturer announced the frozen treat in future would sport only one stick. The company, which began manufacturing Popsicles more than 50 years ago, reported annual sales of 100,000,000 dozen. Vanilla was reported to be the nation's favorite flavor of ice cream. Bloomingdale's, the trendy New York City department store, offered eight rules on how to eat caviar properly (it should be eaten with a fork, and never put lemon on it. The Census Bureau reported there were 2,220,000 unwed couples in the U.S., compared with 523,000 in 1970. In fashion, dress design was more relaxed in comparison with the spare style of 1985. The lean silhouette was in. Notables who died this year included James H. "Jim" Crowley, last surviving member of the so-called Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, the backfield that made football history in the 1920s under coach Knute Rockne, Jan. 15, at 83; Vincent Paul "Vince" DiMaggio, oldest of the three DiMaggio brothers in major league baseball, who played ten seasons in the NL, Oct. 3, at 74; Henry "Hank" Greenberg, slugging first baseman for the Detroit Tigers and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Sept. 4, at 75; William "Billy" Haughton, top harness racing driver, after a racing accident, July 15, at 62; Robert L. "Bobby" Layne, star quarterback of the Detroit Lions and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Dec. 1, at 59; Theodore H. "Tedd" Lyons, pitcher for 21 years for the Chicago White Sox and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, July 25, 85; and William "Bill" Veeck, the maverick baseball team owner known as the "Barnum of Baseball," Jan. 1, at 71.

Jan. 1

In college football bowl games, the results were Texas A&M 36, Auburn 16 in the Cotton Bowl; Oklahoma 25, Penn State 10 in the Orange Bowl; UCLA 45, Iowa 28 in the Rose Bowl; and Tennessee 35, Miami 7 in the Sugar Bowl. This season both the AP and UPI polls selected Oklahoma the national collegiate champions of 1985.

Jan. 8

The Baseball Hall of Fame elected first baseman and slugger Willie McCovey in his first year of eligibility. On Mar. 10 second baseman Bobby Doerr and catcher Ernie "Schnozz" Lombardi were also voted into the Hall of Fame.

Jan. 17

The WBA heavyweight boxing championship was won by Tim Witherspoon in a 15-round decision over Tony Tubbs in Atlanta, Ga.

Jan. 26

Super Bowl XX was won by the Chicago Bears (NFC), who defeated the New England Patriots (AFC) 46-10. The Bears had beaten the Los Angeles Rams 24-0 for the NFC title on Jan. 11. On the next day the Patriots had defeated the Miami Dolphins 31-14 for the AFC title.

Feb. 6-8

U.S. figure skating championships were won in Uniondale, N.Y., by Brian Boitano, men's singles; Debi Thomas, women's singles; Gillian Wachsman and Todd Waggoner, pairs; Renee Roca and Donald Adair, dance. Thomas was the first black to win the singles championship.

Mar. 22

The WBC heavyweight boxing championship was won by Trevor Berbick in a 12-round decision over Pinklon Thomas in Las Vegas, Nev.

Mar. 30

The NCAA women's basketball championship was won by Texas, defeating USC 97-81.

Mar. 31

The NCAA men's basketball championship was won by Louisville, defeating Duke 72-69.

Apr. 2

The three-point field goal in men's basketball, made from a minimum distance of 16 ft., 9 in. from the basket, was adopted by the NCAA. The association also approved use of instant TV replays to check scoring and timing decisions.

Apr. 11

A new sailing record for a solo nonstop circumnavigation of the globe was set by Dodge Morgan, 54, who arrived in St. George, Bermuda, aboard his 60-foot sloop American Promise. Morgan, the first American to complete such a voyage, had left Bermuda on Nov. 12, 1985, and had sailed 27,000 miles in 150 days. The previous record had been 292 days.

Apr. 13

The Masters golf tournament was won for a record sixth time by Jack Nicklaus, who at 46 also became the oldest golfer to win the Masters.

Apr. 21

The 90th Boston Marathon was won by Bob de Castella of Australia, with a time of 2 hrs., 7 min., 51 sec. The winner in the women's division was Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway, with a time of 2 hrs., 24 min., 55 sec.

May 2

An expedition to the North Pole was completed by six U.S. and Canadian adventurers, the first expedition since 1909 to reach the pole assisted only by dogs. They made the 500-mile trek from Ward Hunt Island, Canada, in 56 days and returned from the pole by airplane.

May 3

The 112th Kentucky Derby was won by Ferdinand, with a time of 2:02 4/5. The jockey was Willie Shoemaker, 54, who picked up his fourth Derby win and became the oldest jockey to win the annual racing classic.

May 16-24

The NHL Stanley Cup championship was won by the Montreal Canadiens, who beat the Calgary Flames four games to one.

May 17

The 111th Preakness Stakes was won by Snow Chief, with a time of 1:54 4/5. The jockey was Alex Solis.

May 25

In an event called Hands Across America, nearly 6,000,000 people linked hands in a chain that stretched 4150 miles from New York City to Long Beach, Calif., broken only along a few desert stretches. Sponsors hoped to raise $50,000,000 to aid the hungry and homeless in the U.S.

May 26-June 8

The NBA basketball championship was won by the Boston Celtics, beating the Houston Rockets four games to two for their 16th NBA title.

May 31

The 70th Indianapolis 500 auto race was won by Bobby Rahal, completing the 500-mile course in 2 hrs., 55 min., 43.48 sec., with an average speed of 170.722 mph. It was the first time the race was run in under three hours. Originally scheduled for May 25, the race had been postponed because of rain, the first postponement since 1915.

June 1

The LPGA golf tournament was won by Pat Bradley, who became the first to win all four of the top women's tournaments: the LPGA, the U.S. Women's Open, the du Maurier Classic, and the Nabisco Dinah Shore. On May 18 she had become the first woman to exceed $2,000,000 in career earnings.

June 7

The 118th Belmont Stakes was won by Danzig Connection, with a time of 2:29 4/5, the slowest time since 1980. The jockey was Chris McCarron. It was trainer Woody Stephens' fifth straight Belmont victory.

June 8

In the longest nine-inning game in American League baseball history, the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 18-9 at Yankee Stadium in 4 hrs., 16 min.

June 15

The U.S. Open golf tournament was won by Raymond Floyd, 43, who beat Chip Beck and Lanny Wadkins by two strokes to become the oldest golfer to win the championship.

July 3-6

Liberty Weekend, a gala national celebration, capped a three- year, $70,000,000 restoration of the Statue of Liberty. On July 3 Pres. Reagan [TEXT MISSING IN ORIGINAL PUBLICATION] Shriver to win the women's doubles. Ken Flach and Kathy Jordan won the mixed doubles.

July 14

The U.S. Women's Open golf tournament was won by Jane Geddes in an 18-hole playoff with Sally Little.

July 15

The baseball All-Star Game was won by the American League over the National League, 3-2.

July 27

Greg LeMond became the first American to win the Tour de France, the best-known bicycle racing event in the world. LeMond covered the 2500-mile over-the-road route in 119 hrs., 35 min., 19 sec., beating his nearest competitor by 3 min., 10 sec. The race began on July 4.

Aug. 11

The PGA golf tournament was won by Bob Tway, who sank a spectacular bunker shot on the final hole to edge out Greg Norman.

Aug. 20

The third worst mass murder in U.S. history to date took place in Edmond, Okla. Patrick Henry Sherrill, described as always lonely and who had lost his post-office job for lack of competence, shot and killed 14 of his former co-workers, wounded 6 others, and then killed himself.

Sept. 7

The U.S. Open tennis singles championships were won by Martina Navratilova over Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia in the women's division and by Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia over his countryman, Miloslav Mecir, in the men's division.

Sept. 17

The Miss America title was won by Kellye Cash, 21, of Memphis, Tenn., at the annual pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.

Sept. 23

Congress voted to make the rose the official national flower of the U.S. The subject had been debated off and on for about 100 years.

Oct. 18-27

The World Series was won by the New York Mets (NL), who defeated the Boston Red Sox (AL) four games to three. New York lost the first two games at home, and the Sox lost the next two in Boston before winning game five to take a three games to two advantage. The sixth game, played in New York, went to the Mets 6-5 in the tenth.

Nov. 2

The 17th New York City Marathon was won in the men's division by Gianni Poli of Italy in a time of 2 hrs., 11 min., 6 sec. The women's division was won for the eighth time by Grete Waitz of Norway with a time of 2 hrs., 28 min., 6 sec.

Nov. 14

In one of the nation's biggest financial scandals, Ivan F. Boesky agreed to pay the government $100,000,000 as a penalty for illegal insider trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Boesky was barred for life from participating in the securities business, but he was allowed to liquidate stocks in order to pay off $1,400,000,000 of debt owed by his firm. On Apr. 23, 1987, he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to file false documents with the federal government; on Dec. 18 he was sentenced to three years in prison; and on Mar. 24, 1988, he began to serve his sentence.

Nov. 22

The WBC heavyweight boxing championship was won by Mike Tyson, who knocked out Trevor Berbick in the second round at Las Vegas, Nev. Tyson, 20 years old, became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history.

Dec. 12

The WBA heavyweight boxing championship was won by James "Bonecrusher" Smith, who knocked out Tim Witherspoon in the first round of a bout in New York City.
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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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