For many people born after about 1975, the 80’s was a time of adventure and rebirth from the gas shortages and economic downturn of the decade before. The first space shuttle, Columbia made its maiden flight in 1981; movie goers could take in everything from Terms of Endearment to Friday the 13th; and the geek in us could spazz out over the first personal computer launched by IBM in 1981 or the release of the megahit video game Pacman in 1980 and later Nintendo gaming system. But a dark cloud, left over from the end of World War II, hung over the 80’s as well. Ever since their troops first met and shook hands at the Elbe River crossing, all but signaling the end of the European theater of war, tensions had run high between the Soviet Union and the superpowers of the West.
The building of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and defectors dominated the news. But things weren’t always so direct. Both behind the scenes and center stage, the West and the Soviets played a cat and mouse game of proxy war (read: Korea, Vietnam, Africa, etc.) and the proxies paid the price. Many innocent lives were loss, and one of the most infamous examples of this took place on 01 September 1983 over the skies of the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan when a Soviet interceptor aircraft shot down Korean Airlines (KAL) Flight 007, killing all 269 passengers and flight crew.
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