In 1980, representatives of the communist government of Poland agree to the demands of striking shipyard workers in the city of Gdansk. Former electrician Lech Walesa led the striking workers, who went on to form Solidarity, the first independent labor union to develop in a Soviet bloc nation.
In 1985, Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits started a nine-week run at No.1 on the US album charts. The album also topped the charts in 25 other countries and went on to sell over 20 million worldwide.
In 1987, the largest pre-order of albums in the history of CBS Records occurred as 2.25 million copies of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ album were shipped to record stores in the US. The LP followed the Jackson album, Thriller the biggest Jackson-seller of all time (over 35 million copies sold). ‘Bad’ went on to sell over 13 million copies.
In 1994, the Irish Republican Army declared a cease-fire.
In 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales—affectionately known as “the People’s Princess”—dies in a car crash in Paris. She was 36. Her boyfriend, the Egyptian-born socialite Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the car, Henri Paul, died as well.
In 2010, President Barack Obama ended the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, declaring no victory after seven years of bloodshed. and telling those divided: “It is time to turn the page.”
In 2018, Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” was laid to rest after an eight-hour funeral at a Detroit church.