President: Ronald Reagan (R-California)
Vice President: George H. W. Bush (R-Texas)
Chief Justice: Warren E. Burger (Minnesota)
Speaker of the House of Representatives: Tip O'Neill (D-Massachusetts)
Senate Majority Leader: Howard Baker (R-Tennessee)
January 8 – AT&T agrees to divest itself into 22 subdivisions.
January 11–17 – A brutal cold snap sends temperatures to all-time record lows in dozens of cities throughout the Midwestern United States.
January 13 – Shortly after takeoff, Air Florida Flight 90 crashes into Washington, D.C.'s 14th Street Bridge and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78. On the same day, a Washington Metro train derails to the north, killing 3 (the system's first fatal accident).
January 17 – Cold Sunday sweeps over the northern United States.
January 28 – United States Army Brigadier General James L. Dozier is rescued by the Italian anti-terrorism Nucleo Operativo Centrale di Sicurezza (NOCS) force after being held captive for 42 days by the Red Brigades.
February 27 – Atlanta murders of 1979-1981: Wayne Williams is convicted of the murdering two children and is sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
March 10 – The United States places an embargo on Libyan oil imports, alleging Libyan support for terrorist groups.
March 16 – In Newport, Rhode Island, Claus von Bülow is found guilty of the attempted murder of his wife.
March 26 – A ground-breaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is held in Washington, DC.
March 29 – The 54th Academy Awards, hosted by Johnny Carson, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Chariots of Fire wins Best Picture and three other Academy Awards.
April 6 – A blizzard unprecedented in size for April dumps 1–2 feet of snow on the northeastern United States, closing schools and businesses, snarling traffic, and canceling several major league baseball games.
April 21 – Queen Beatrix becomes the first Dutch monarch to address the United States Congress.
April 23 – Dennis Wardlow, mayor of Key West, Florida, declares the independent "Conch Republic" for a day.
May 1 – A crowd of over 100,000 attends the first day of the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. The fair is kicked off with an address by President Ronald Reagan. Over 11 million people attend the fair during its 6-month run.
May 30 – Indianapolis 500: In what Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson and Speedway public address announcer Tom Carnegie later call the greatest moment in the track's history, 1973 winner Gordon Johncock wins his second race over 1979 winner Rick Mears by 0.16 seconds, the closest finish to that date, after Mears draws alongside Johncock with a lap remaining, after erasing a seemingly insurmountable advantage of more than 11 seconds in the final 10 laps.
June 8 – President Ronald Reagan becomes the first American chief executive to address a joint session of the British Parliament.
June 12 – A rally against nuclear weapons draws 750,000 to New York City's Central Park. Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, and Linda Ronstadt attend. An international convocation at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine features prominent peace activists from around the world and afterward participants march on Fifth Avenue to Central Park for the rally.
June 19 – Vincent Chin, a 27 year old Chinese American, was beaten to death by two white auto-workers who thought he was Japanese and the cause of the declining prosperity of the American auto industry.
June 25 – The Institute for Puerto Rican Policy is founded in New York City to research and advocate for Puerto Rican and Latino community issues. In 2006, it changes its name to the National Institute for Latino Policy.
July 2 – Larry Walters, a.k.a. Lawn Chair Larry, flies 16,000 feet above Long Beach, California, in a lawn chair with weather balloons attached.
July 9 – Pan Am Flight 759 (Boeing 727) crashes in Kenner, Louisiana, killing all 146 on board and 8 on the ground.
July 16 – In New York City, The Reverend Sun Myung Moon is sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $25,000 for tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Lebanese Civil War: A multinational force lands in Beirut to oversee the PLO withdrawal from Lebanon. French troops arrive August 21, U.S. Marines August 25.
School teacher Carl Robert Brown murders 8 people inside a welding shop in Miami, Florida, before being shot dead by a passing motorist.
September 3 - Speaker O'Neill and President Reagan settle in one of the most unforgettable deals in the US History (Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act) which would cut the ratio of spendings of three to one and add more taxes.
September 5 – Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch is kidnapped.
September 29 – October 1 – The 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders occur when 7 people in the Chicago area die after ingesting capsules laced with potassium cyanide.
October 1 – In Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney World opens the second largest theme park, EPCOT Center, to the public for the first time.
October 15 – The Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act deregulates the U.S. savings and loan industry.
October 19 – John DeLorean is arrested for selling cocaine to undercover FBI agents (he is later found not guilty due to entrapment).
October 20 – World Series: The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Milwaukee Brewers 6–3 in game 7.
October 30 – The DeLorean Motor Company ceases production.
November – The severe early 1980s recession ends sometime this month.
November – The unemployment rate peaks at 10.8%.
November 2 – United States elections, 1982. The Republican Party loses 27 seats to the majority Democratic Party in the House.
November 3 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average surges 43.41 points, or 4.25%, to close at 1,065.49, its first all-time high in more than 9 years. It last hit a record on January 11, 1973, when the average closed at 1,051.70. The points gain is the biggest ever up to this point.
November 13 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.
November 20 – University of California, Berkeley executes "The Play" in a college football game against Stanford. Completing a wacky 57-yard kickoff return that includes 5 laterals, Kevin Moen runs through Stanford band members who had prematurely come onto the field. His touchdown stands and California wins 25–20.
November 30 – Michael Jackson releases Thriller, the biggest-selling album of all time.
December 2 – At the University of Utah, 61-year-old retired dentist Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart (he lives for 112 days with the device).
December 3 – A final soil sample is taken from the site of Times Beach, Missouri. It is found to contain 300 times the safe level of dioxin.
December 7 – The first U.S. execution by lethal injection is carried out in Texas.
December 23 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends the evacuation of Times Beach, Missouri, due to dangerous levels of dioxin contamination.
A severe recession intensifies in the United States as part of the early 1980s recession.
Seattle is officially dubbed the Emerald City after a contest is held to choose a new city slogan
Cold War (1945–1991)
Early 1980s recession (1981–1982)
January 6 – Gilbert Arenas, basketball player
January 26 – Reggie Hodges, American football player
February 8 – Danny Tamberelli, actor
April 24 – Kelly Clarkson, singer and winner of American Idol (season 1)
April 30 – Kirsten Dunst, actress, singer, and model
Jonathan Jackson, actor, singer, and guitarist (Enation)
Andrew Walter, American football player
June 8 – Josh Pence, actor
June 19 – David Pollack, American football player
Hannah Harper, porn actress and director
Michael Sorrentino, model, actor, and author
July 6 – Tay Zonday, singer, musician, announcer, voice artist, actor, comedian and YouTube personality
July 7 – Nick Karner, actor and director
July 28 – Tom Pelphrey, actor
August 18 – Cullen Finnerty, American football player (d. 2013)
October 12 – Julie Kagawa, author
October 18 – Ne-Yo, singer-songwriter
November 12 – Anne Hathaway, actress
D. J. Fitzpatrick, American football player
Joe Kowalewski, American football player
Lofa Tatupu, American football player
December 8 – Nicki Minaj, singer, rapper
December 21 – Mike Gansey, American basketball player
February 17 – Thelonious Monk, pianist and composer (b. 1917)
1 May — in Provo, Utah William Primrose, Scottish-born violist (born 1904)
July 6 – Bob Johnson, baseball player and manager (b. 1905)
October 18 – Bess Truman, wife of Harry S. Truman, First Lady of the United States, Second Lady of the United States (born 1885)
James Broderick, actor (b. 1927)
King Vidor, film director, producer and screenwriter (b. 1894)
November 16 – Al Haig, pianist (b. 1924)
December 21 – Ants Oras, Estonian-American author and academic (b. 1900)
1982 in the United States Wikipedia
Events from the year 1982 in the United States.