A dozen Koch officials are exposed for corruption in one of the biggest municipal scandals in New York City history. The key officials include Democratic Party bosses Stanley Friedman, Donald Manes, and Meade Esposito.
Paul Simon’s Graceland was named best album and Run-DMC’s “Walk This Way” was named best single in the Pazz & Jop Music Critic’s poll.
Queens Democratic leader and Borough President Donald Manes is found dead in the kitchen of his Jamaica Estates home from a self-inflicted stab wound to the heart. Manes was facing trial after being linked to the corruption scandal that involved a dozen Koch officials. Court evidence showed Manes sharing in bribery schemes involving the Parking Violations Bureau that totaled $500,000.
Jules Feiffer wins Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.
Robert Friedman, who took over as editor in chief for the Village Voice less than a year ago, is fired from the post. Martin Gottlieb, former reporter on the metropolitan staff of The New York Times, is appointed editor, a position he holds through 1988.
Eric Bogosian wins the Obie Award for best playwriting for Drinking in America.
The Village Voice debuts Vue, a 30-page fashion supplement with 40,000 extra copies placed in clothing shops and clubs.
David Schneiderman announces plans to launch a D.C. version of the Voice, titled The Washington Voice.
Former Jewish Defense League national chairman Chaim Ben Pesach throws a tear gas grenade during a performance of Soviet ballet in the Metropolitan Opera House to protest the Soviet practice of not letting its Jews immigrate to Israel.
New York City opens its first anonymous AIDS testing site. Also this year, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis holds the first AIDS Walk in New York; over 4,500 walkers raise $710,000.
Punk-turned-rap group The Beastie Boys release their first full album, Licensed to Ill. It becomes the best-selling rap album of the 1980s and the first rap album to hit number one on the Billboard album chart.
Howard Beach, Queens, gains national attention over the assault of three African-American men by local teenagers. One of the victims, Michael Griffith, is killed when he is run over by a passing motorist as he tries to flee. The incident triggers a wave of racial tension.