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A Year in the 80’s – Some 1980 History

January 27
Six American diplomats, who had evaded capture during the seizure of the US embassy, successfully board a Swissair flight to Zurich and escape from Iran. Popularly called the “Canadian Caper”, this was a covert operation by the Canadian government and the CIA, in which the diplomats and agents pretended to be part of a fake film crew scouting locations for a science fiction movie called Argo.

Rubik’s Cube makes its debut at international toy fairs in London, Paris, Nuremberg and New York. It’s a hit.

Feb 13 – 24
Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York
– One of the most thrilling moments include the “Miracle on Ice” when a team of U.S. amateur ice hockey players defeated the vaunted Soviet Union professional all-star team in the semi-final game, then won the gold medal over Finland.
– U.S. speed skater Eric Heiden also concluded one of the most amazing feats in sports history when he won all five speed skating medals from the sprint at 500 meters to the marathon 10,000 meter event. (America’s Best History) 

March 27
Mt. St. Helens begins venting steam, becoming active for the first time in 123 years. This event occurs after the mountain experienced a 4.2 magnitude earthquake on the 20th. By the end of April, the north side of the mountain has begun to bulge.

May 18
Mount St. Helens erupts. It is the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in US history, killing 57 people and destroying 250 homes. Also destroyed are 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway.

April 6
Post-It Notes debuts in US stores.

April 12
At the request of President Carter, the US Olympic Committee votes to boycott the Moscow Summer Olympics. This due to the Soviet Union’s continued involvement in Afghanistan.

April 24 & 25
Operation Eagle Claw, an attempt to rescue American hostages who had been captured in the US Embassy in Iran, is aborted because three of the eight helicopters sent in have been damaged. As they leave, a helicopter crashes into a transport aircraft, killing eight US servicemen and wounding five. Many believe that a failure to free the hostages cost Carter the re-election.

May 8
The World Health Organization declares the global eradication of smallpox, “which was a most devastating disease sweeping in epidemic form through many countries since earliest time, leaving death, blindness and disfigurement in its wake”.

May 22
Pac-Man arcade game is first released in Japan by Namco. Released in the US in October, Pac-Man quickly overtakes Asteroids as the most played arcade game in North America, grossing over one billion dollars (in quarters!) within a decade.

June 1
The Cable News Network (CNN) launches at 5pm EST, becoming the first 24-hour news channel (and first all-news channel in the US).

July 31 through August 11th
Hurricane Allen hits the Caribbean, eastern and northern Mexico and southern Texas, killing 270 people. The first hurricane of the 1980 Atlantic season, it is also one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history. Allen is one of the few hurricanes to reach Category 5 status and spent more time as a Category 5 than any other Atlantic hurricane. It is the second of only two hurricanes in the recorded history of the Atlantic basin to achieve sustained winds of 190 mph.

September 22
Iran-Iraq war begins. Known as the First Persian Gulf War, it lasts from September 1980 to August of 1988.

September 23
Bob Marley performs his last concert this night, at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He will succumb to cancer eight months later, at the age of 36.

November 4
Ronald Reagan wins election to the US Presidency in a landslide victory over Jimmy Carter, with 489 to 49 votes in the Electoral College and an 8 million vote margin in the popular vote.

November 12
Voyager 1 space probe reaches its closest approach to Saturn, coming within 77,000 miles of Saturn’s cloud-tops. Its cameras capture the first high-resolution pictures of Saturn, detecting complex structures in Saturn’s rings.

November 21
An estimated 83 million people tune in to find out who shot J.R. on CBS’s prime-time soap, Dallas. It becomes the highest rated television episode in US history, and is only second now to the final episode of M*A*S*H.

December 8
John Lennon is shot and killed outside his home by Mark Chapman.

So there’s a little history from 1980!
Do you remember any of that?


A Year in the 80’s – 1980 No. 1’s

A Quick Look Back

Population: 227,224,681
Life expectancy:  73.7 years
New Home: $64,600
New Car: $7,200
Median Income: $ 12,513
Stamp: $ .15
Regular Gas: $ 1.25
Bread: $ .48
Gal of Milk: $ 1.60

And here are the Number One’s for 1980!


Best Picture: Ordinary People
Best Director: Robert Redford for Ordinary People
Best Actor: Robert De Niro for Raging Bull
Best Actress: Sissy Spacek for Coal Miner’s Daughter

Highest Grossing Films
1.  The Empire Strikes Back ($209,398,025)
2.  9 to 5 ($103,290,500)
3.  Stir Crazy ($101,300,000)
4.  Airplane! ($83,453,539)
5.  Any Which Way You Can ($70,687,344)

Remember These Movies?
Little Darlings
My Bodyguard
Private Benjamin
The Blues Brothers
The Jazz Singer
American Gigolo
The Fog
Altered States
Stardust Memories


Grammy Awards:
Album of the Year: Billy Joel for 52nd Street
Record of the Year: The Doobie Brothers for What a Fool Believes
Best New Artist: Rickie Lee Jones

Pop Female Vocal: Dionne Warwick for I’ll Never Love This Way Again
Pop Male Vocal: Billy Joel for 52nd Street
Pop Duo/Group: The Doobie Brothers for Minute by Minute

Rock Female Vocal: Donna Summer for Hot Stuff
Rock Male Vocal: Bob Dylan for Gotta Serve Somebody
Rock Duo/Group: The Eagles for Heartache Tonight

Country Female Vocal: Emmylou Harris for Blue Kentucky Girl
Country Male Vocal: Kenny Rogers for The Gambler
Country Duo/Group: The Charlie Daniels Band for The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Billboard Top Singles
1.  Call Me – Blondie
2.  Another Brick in the Wall, Part II – Pink Floyd
3.  Magic – Olivia Newton-John
4.  Rock with You – Michael Jackson
5. Do That to Me One More Time – Captain & Tennille

Remember These Songs?
Funkytown by Lipps Inc.
Steal Away by Robbie Dupree
Biggest Part of Me by Ambrosia
Ladies’ Night by Kool & the Gang
Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders
On the Radio by Donna Summer
Fame by Irene Cara
Take the Long Way Home by Supertramp
Sara by Fleetwood Mac
Rapper’s Delight by Sugarhill Gang


Emmy Awards
Outstanding Drama: Lou Grant (CBS)
Best Actor, Drama: Edward Asner as Lou Grant, Lou Grant (CBS)
Best Actress, Drama: Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie Ewing, Dallas (CBS)

Outstanding Comedy: Taxi (ABC)
Best Actor, Comedy: Richard Mulligan as Burt Campbell, Soap (ABC)
Best Actress, Comedy: Cathryn Damon as Mary Campbell, Soap, (ABC)

Top Shows
1980 – 1981    (Households with TV: 79,900,000)

1. Dallas (CBS) 27,565,500
2. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS) 21,812,700
3. 60 Minutes (CBS) 21,573,000
4. M*A*S*H (CBS) 20,534,300
5. The Love Boat (ABC) 19,415,700
6. The Jeffersons (CBS) 18,776,500
7. Alice (CBS) 18,297,100
8. House Calls (CBS) 17,897,600
9. Three’s Company (ABC) 17,897,600
10. Little House on the Prairie (NBC) 17,657,900

Remember These Shows?
That’s Incredible (80 – 84)
Too Close For Comfort (80 – 86)
Magnum P.I. (80 – 88)
Bosom Buddies (80- 82)
Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters (80 – 82)
Facts of Life (79 – 88)
Trapper John, M.D. (79 – 86)
Real People (79 – 84)
Benson (79 – 86)

What else do you remember from 1980?


Music Outfitters
The Cost of Living
1980’s Flashback
In the 80’s
Classic TV Hits


A Year in the 80’s – People of Influence

So I  totally copied and pasted a lot of this information. These are very time consuming, so if I could find all I wanted in one place, I just copied it. But I linked all the sources.

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)
RR photoUS President from ’81-’89. During the eight years of his presidency, he reshaped national politics and carried out his campaign promises to cut taxes and increase the defense budget, using the latter as leverage to negotiate significant arms control agreements with the Soviet Union. Despite some setbacks, including notable budget deficits, Reagan left office in 1989 with strong approval ratings. MillerCenter.Org


Reagan is credited with bringing a quicker end to the Cold War, along with this man:

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 – )
mgThe general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991 and president of the Soviet Union in 1990–91. His efforts to democratize his country’s political system and decentralize its economy led to the downfall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. In part because he ended the Soviet Union’s postwar domination of eastern Europe, Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1990.


Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013)
MTIn 1979, Thatcher was elected British Prime Minister, the first and only woman to hold that position, and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century. Called the “Iron Lady” by a Soviet journalist, that nickname became associated with her leadership style and politics. During her three terms, from 1979 to 1990, Thatcher worked to cut welfare programs, reduce trade union power and influence, and privatize state-owned companies. The policies she implemented have become known as Thatcherism, and continue to have influence today.


Sandra Day O’Connor (1930 – )
SDOIn 1981, Ronald Reagan nominated O’Connor as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and she received unanimous Senate approval. O’Connor made history as the first woman justice to serve on the Supreme Court. As a justice, O’Connor was a key swing vote in many important cases, including the upholding of Roe v. Wade. She often focused on the letter of law, not the clamoring of politicians, and voted for what she believed best fit the intentions of the U.S. Constitution. She retired in 2006, after serving for 24 years.


Bill Gates (1955 – )
BGIn 1975, Gates co-founded Microsoft. In 1980, he partnered with IBM, adapting an operating system (86-DOS) for their new personal computer. Microsoft retained the copyright for the operating system, and went on to become a major name in the computer industry with sales of MS-DOS, which was released in 1982. Microsoft Windows was launched in 1985, which went on to become an industry standard. “His Microsoft software shaped the way millions use the technology that has transformed communications and commerce.” – USA Today


Hiroshi Yamauchi (1927 – 2013)
HYYamauchi transformed his grandfather’s playing card company into one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Nintendo’s Famicom (The Family Computer) launched in 1983 and became a must-have product in Japan. Against the advice of many experts in the US toy industry, and despite the fact that the North American market was still reeling from the video game crash of 1983, Nintendo launched the Famicom in the United States as the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.  And the rest is history.


Stephen Hawking (1942 – )
SHCosmologist Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein. His work on the origins and structure of the universe, from the Big Bang to black holes, has revolutionized the field, while his best-selling books have appealed to readers who may not have Hawking’s scientific background. His first book,”A Brief History of Time,” was published in 1988 and became an international best seller.


Ryan White (1971 – 1990)
RWRyan White and his mom courageously fought AIDS-related discrimination and helped educate the Nation about his disease. Diagnosed with AIDS at age 13, he and his mother fought for his right to attend school, gaining international attention as a voice of reason about HIV/AIDS. At the age of 18, Ryan died just months before Congress passed the AIDS bill that bears his name – the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act, now called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. HSRA


Princess Diana (1961 – 1997)
PDPrincess Diana, the wife of British Prince Charles, endeared herself to the public through her warmth and caring. From her picture-perfect wedding to her untimely death in a car accident, Princess Diana was in the spotlight nearly at all times. Despite problems with so much attention, Princess Diana tried to use this publicity to bring attention to worthy causes such as the elimination of AIDS and landmines. She also became truly a princess of the people when she publicly shared her struggles with depression and bulimia, becoming a role model for those who suffer from those ailments.


Wayne Gretzky (1961 – )
WGConsidered by many as the greatest hockey player of all time, “The Great One” helped the NHL gain popularity in the US. At the end of his 1980 rookie year, he was MVP and tied for first in scoring. By the end of his second year, he had broken two major records, for points and assists in a season. Gretzky has won or shares 61 NHL records (one of his records is for breaking the most records). In his first nine years in major league hockey, he won eight consecutive MVP’s, four Stanley Cups and seven Art Ross Trophies (award for most points). His #99 jersey has been retired by every NHL team.


Michael Jordan (1963 – )
MJo2By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. As a phenomenal athlete with a unique combination of fundamental soundness, grace, speed, power, artistry, improvisational ability and an unquenchable competitive desire, Jordan single-handedly redefined the NBA superstar. A listing of his top accomplishments include: Rookie of the Year, Five-time NBA MVP, Six-time NBA champion, Six-time NBA Finals MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, 14-time NBA All-Star, Three-time NBA All-Star MVP, Ten scoring titles (an NBA record), Retired with the NBA’s highest scoring average, Hall of Fame inductee.


Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009)
MJTAt approx. 65 million copies sold, “The King of Pop’s” 1982 Thriller  remains the best-selling album of all time worldwide. The 14 minute music video was so popular that MTV played it twice an hour to meet demand. Jackson had nine #1 singles throughout the 80’s, more than any other musician, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He is only person from pop and rock music to ever be inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame. Jackson has 13 Grammy Awards, the Grammy Legend Award, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist), including “Artist of the Century” and “Artist of the 1980’s”. Jackson is the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music, and posthumously became the most downloaded artist of all time.


Madonna (1958 – )
291863aMadonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. She attained immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream pop music and imagery in her videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Critics have praised her diverse musical productions which have also been known to induce controversy. Her music and style has influenced numerous artists around the world. Madonna is considered by Forbes as a cultural icon and she is often referred to by the international media as the “Queen of Pop”. Wikipedia


Russell Simmons (1957 – )
RSRussell Simmons is the most important businessman in the history of rap music. As co-founder of the Def Jam label in 1984, his street-friendly taste and marketing savvy helped bring hip-hop into the mainstream of American culture and mass media. Simmons ensured his artists remained as uncompromisingly rebellious as possible, an attitude that made hip-hop a music of choice for a generation of multi-cultural teenagers simply by staying true to its roots. Simmons shepherded rap music into big business, gradually building his own communications company into the largest black-owned enterprise in the industry.


Steven Spielberg (1946 – )
SSIn the ’80s, this director was basically an unstoppable blockbuster machine. Virtually everything he made was huge — all three Indiana Jones  films, E.T., Back to the Future I  and IIGremlinsPoltergeistThe Goonies — and he perfected the difficult mix between family accessible adventure and enormously successful moneymakers. He’s inarguably one of the most influential people in film, and from Raiders of the Lost Ark  onward, all his work in the ’80s became pop culture gold.


Whoopi Goldberg (1955 – )
WGbIn 1985, Goldberg won a Grammy for skits taken from her one-woman show, which addressed the issue of race in America. She also starred in The Color Purple, for which she received an Oscar nomination and her first Golden Globe Award. She won her second Golden Globe for her role in 1990’s Ghost, and became the first African-American actress to win the Academy Award for best supporting actress since 1940 (and only the second to win an Oscar for acting). That same year, the NAACP named her the Black Entertainer of the Year, and she also collected an Excellence Award at the Women in Film Festival.


Tom Cruise (1962 – )
TCThomas Cruise Mapother IV always thought he would be a priest. But he ditched that idea in high school, and focused on becoming an actor. He made his 1981 début in Endless Love, and quickly shot to stardom. Within five years, Tom became the highest grossing actor in the market, starring in hits like Top GunRisky Business, and Rain Man. Tom became a big supporter of The Church Of Scientology in 1990, claiming that the teachings cured him of the dyslexia that he’d had all of his life.


Oprah Winfrey (1954 – )
OWIn 1984, Oprah moved to Chicago to host a faltering half-hour morning program, which she turned into the hottest show in town. In 1986, it was broadcast nationally, and quickly became the number one talk show. In 1987, it received three Daytime Emmy Awards, and in 1988, Oprah herself received the International Radio and Television Society’s “Broadcaster of the Year” Award; the youngest person ever to receive the honor.  “She pioneered a form of intimate public discourse that brought taboo subjects into the open and sparked a confessional, self-help culture.” – USA Today


So there you have it. No matter what you think of their politics, opinions or careers, they were all people of influence, in one way or another.

Obviously, these are not the only people who were influential in the 1980’s (and beyond).

Who’d I leave off this list?


Movie Quote Monday – her

Her is a love story.

It’s about a lonely man, Theodore, who falls in love with his computer operating system, Samantha. Just to be clear, he isn’t simply infatuated with the voice of his smartphone. Samantha is not just an OS, she’s a learning, evolving artificial intelligence, a consciousness. She is her own person, she just isn’t human.

Samantha comes into Theodore’s life a year into his separation, when he knows he needs to sign the divorce papers, but still isn’t ready to let go. She breaths new life into Theodore just by the nature of her own newness. She tells him, “I want to learn everything about everything, I want to discover myself,” and he’s swept up in her enthusiasm and in experiencing the world through her fresh eyes. She’s excited about living, and he’s excited to be with someone who is excited about living.

That feeling of renewal we get when we embark on a new relationship is only one of the topics in this movie that I could explore. I love a movie with many layers, that makes me think, especially about my own life and how I’m living it. Can we discover new things about ourselves well into adulthood? Do we need a body to be considered a “real” person and have relationships with others? Are our emotions real? Can we learn from the mistakes of past relationships and move forward? Can a relationship survive when one person is going places the other can’t follow? The advertising for these artificially intelligent operating systems asks: “Who are you? What can you be? Where are you going? What are the possiblities?” These are all threads that weave themselves through the film.

Her asks lots of questions, but in the end it’s a love story.

Love can open us up and expand our souls and take us places we never even dreamed existed. And it can chew us up and crunch our bones in its teeth. You can say we do these things to each other, and that’s true. But without love, the pain and joy we feel wouldn’t reach such depths and heights in the first place.

All relationships are complicated. All relationships have their difficulties. Some will thrive and prosper, and some will shrivel and die. This movie is the study of one relationship. Will it work or not? It’s a movie about how wonderful and scary and frustrating and complicated and exhilarating love can be. Falling in love, the possibilities of love.

So, my favorite line:

Theodore: “Will you come with me?”

He asks this of his friend Amy, and she doesn’t ask where, or why, or do I need a jacket. She just nods her head and follows him out the door.

That’s the only thing we absolutely know we can control, is our willingness to open ourselves up to the possibilities of love or friendship. To be vulnerable enough, daring enough, hopeful enough to ask that question. Will you come with me?

And when someone asks us, to be vulnerable enough, daring enough, hopeful enough to go.