OPENED: Environmental artist Christo opened 1,760 giant yellow umbrellas on the tan slopes of the Tejon Pass in one of the largest undertakings in modern art history. More than 1 million spectators drove past and flew over the whimsical display, twinned with a project in Japan. Tragedy beset the display when a violent windstorm uprooted one of the 488-pound umbrellas and crushed an admirer, prompting an early dismantling.
CLOSED: The four-stage Los Angeles Theater Center was padlocked after the innovative company was declared hopelessly insolvent. The theater featured 91 plays in six years and had annually attracted about 250,000 people, many of them minorities whose whose playwrights and actors were given opportunities by the company. However, the center could not develop a roster of patrons and contributors to make it a financial success. It closed $1 million in debt.
UNFURLED: In a move that shook the universe of biblical studies, the Huntington Library in San Marino released a complete photographic set of the Dead Sea Scrolls, breaking a monopoly held by a select group of scholars. The release outraged the official scrolls' translators, who have been accused of delaying publication of their work.
DEDICATED: In a ceremony that drew an unprecedented outpouring of American royalty, five American presidents gathered on a wind-swept hilltop in Simi Valley to dedicate the Ronald Reagan presidential library. Built on 100 acres of rural land, the 153,000-square-foot library cost $56.8 million, making it the largest and most expensive of the nine presidential libraries.