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Ronald Reagan is re-elected President.


Bayard Rustin is arrested for his participation in a labor strike at Yale.

First-ever GALA advertisement in the Yale Alumni Magazine causes alumni outcry.


Scientists determine that AIDS is caused by a previously unknown retrovirus, later named the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Writing for the National Review, William F. Buckley, Jr. (YC ’50) states, “Everyone detected with AIDS should be tattooed on the upper forearm, to protect common needle-users, and on the buttocks to prevent the victimization of other homosexuals.”

Municipal authorities in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York order the closing of bathhouses as venues for high-risk sexual activity.

In conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) host the first international conference on AIDS in Atlanta, Georgia.

By year’s end, a total of 7,239 cases and 5,596 deaths have been reported in the United States.