30 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1986

Three decades ago, the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger was one of the biggest stories of the year. But that year also saw hearings in the Iran-Contra affair, the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty after a long renovation, the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, and the crash of Aeromexico Flight 498 above Los Angeles. Photographers were also busy documenting the lives of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joan Jett, Spike Lee, Halle Berry, Mike Tyson, and many others. Take a step into a visual time capsule now, for a brief look at the year 1986.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Joan Mateu Parra / AP

    Photos of the Week: Lightning Rod, Crown Fountain, Lunar Transit

    Surfing at a water park in Italy, Ivan Kupala day in Russia, a robotic rover on Mount Etna, a Pride parade in Mexico City, National Paddy Day in Nepal, and much more

  • NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

    The Dust Devils of Mars

    Beautiful images from another world, of a delicate, ephemeral phenomenon

  • Leon Neal / Getty

    Scenes From Glastonbury 2022

    Images from this year’s Glastonbury Festival—back after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus

  • Peter Zay / Anadolu Agency / Getty

    Photos: Protests Against the Overturning of Roe

    Images of protest from Houston, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Raleigh, St. Louis, Portland, New York, Nashville, and many other locations