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A Year in the 80’s – Some 1981 History

January 20
Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th president of the United States. At the moment he completes his inaugural address…

The Iranian hostage crisis ends with the release of 52 Americans in exchange for the return of $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets. 66 hostages had been taken captive after a group of Iranian students took over the US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. 13 people were released in November of that year, with a 14th later released due to illness. These remaining 52 hostages were in captivity for 444 days.

March 30
John Hinkley attempts to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who is shot in the chest as he’s walking to his limousine in Washington, D.C.. Also shot are press secretary James Brady, a police officer and a Secret Service agent. All recovered except Brady, who was confined to a wheelchair as a result of brain damage.

April 12
The space shuttle Columbia launches from Cape Canaveral, and manned American space flights resume after a 5-year hiatus. The Space Shuttle is the first reusable spacecraft flown in orbit. Columbia flew 28 flights (125,204,911 miles in total), spent 300.74 days in space, and completed 4,808 orbits. On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry after it’s 28th mission, killing all crew members aboard.

May 13
An assassination is attempted on Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Square. Thought the Pope is shot, he recovers from his wounds, and would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca is sentenced to life in prison. (He is pardoned in 2000.) It is widely believe at the time that Agca is an agent of the Soviet Union or Bulgaria, due to the Pope’s anti-communist stance.

June 5
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release a report “describing cases of a rare lung infection in five young, previously healthy, gay men in Los Angeles. All the men have other unusual infections as well, indicating that their immune systems are not working. This marks the first official reporting of what will become known as the AIDS epidemic.
Within days, doctors from across the U.S. flood CDC with reports of similar cases.” (aids.gov)

July 29
Prince Charles and Lady Di are married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. 3,500 guests are in attendance, and an estimated 750 million additional people watch the wedding procession and ceremony, which are televised world-wide. In the United Kingdom, the day is considered a national holiday to mark the wedding. Which is why everyone’s home to watch it on the telly.

August 1
MTV launches at 12:01 EST with
The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”. The “Music Television” channel plays back-to-back music videos and features “video jockeys”. MTV’s effect is immediate in areas where it’s available, with record stores selling music that local stations are not playing. MTV also sparks the Second British Invasion, with British acts already accustomed to making music videos.

August 12
IBM introduces the IBM PC personal computer, IBM 5150. It sells for $1565.

September 21
Sandra Day O’Conner becomes the first Woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, approved unanimously 99-0 by the U.S. Senate.

October 6
Egyptian president Anwar Sadat is assassinated at the annual victory parade in Cairo. Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli leads an assassination squad riding in a troop truck, and when the truck stops, Sadat believes it to be part of the parade. As he stands to receive his salute, Islambouli attacks. Additional assassins rise from the truck, indiscriminately firing AK-47 assault rifles into the stands. In an attack that lasts about two minutes, Sadat and eleven others are killed and 28 are wounded.

December 11
After 20 years as a professional boxer, Muhammad Ali fights his last bout, losing a ten-round decision against Trevor Berbick.


So there’s a little history from 1981!
Do you remember any of that?

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A Year in the 80’s – 1981 No. 1’s

A Quick Look Back

Population: 229,465,714
Life expectancy: 74.1 years
New Home: $68,900
New Car: $7,500
Median Income: $13,773
Stamp: $ .18
Regular Gas: $1.13
Bread: $ .54
Gal of Milk: $1.69

 And here are the Number One’s for 1981!

Movies

Oscars
Best Picture: Chariots of Fire
Best Director: Warren Beatty, Reds
Best Actor: Henry Fonda, On Golden Pond
Best Actress: Katharine Hepburn, On Golden Pond

Highest Grossing Films
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark ($212,222,025)
2.  On Golden Pond ($119,285,432)
3.  Superman II ($108,185,706)
4.  Arthur ($95,461,682)
5.  Stripes ($85,297,000)

Remember These Movies?
Taps
The Cannonball Run
Continental Divide
Endless Love
The Fan
The Four Seasons
The Howling
Absence of Malice
Sharky’s Machine
Pennies from Heaven

Music

Grammy Awards:
Album of the Year: Christopher Cross for Christopher Cross
Record of the Year: Christopher Cross for Sailing
Best New Artist: Christopher Cross
*The only Artist (so far) to sweep all categories in the same year

Pop Female Vocal: Bette Midler for The Rose
Pop Male Vocal: Kenny Loggins for This Is It
Pop Duo/Group: Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb for Guilty

Rock Female Vocal: Pat Benatar for Crimes of Passion
Rock Male Vocal: Billy Joel for Glass Houses
Rock Duo/Group: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band for Against the Wind

Country Female Vocal: Anne Murray for Could I Have This Dance?
Country Male Vocal: George Jones for He Stopped Loving Her Today
Country Duo/Group: Emmylou Harris & Roy Orbison for That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again

Billboard Top Singles
1.  Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
2.  Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
3.  Lady – Kenny Rogers
4.  (Just Like) Starting Over – John Lennon
5.  Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield

Remember These Songs?
Morning Train (Nine to Five) by Sheena Easton
Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton
Elvira by The Oak Ridge Boys
Passion by Rod Stewart
Somebody’s Knockin by Terri Gibbs
America by Neil Diamond
Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
Don’t Stand So Close to Me by The Police
Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen

Television

Emmy Awards
Outstanding Drama: Hill Street Blues (NBC)
Best Actor, Drama: Daniel J. Travanti as Captain Frank Furillo, Hill Street Blues (NBC)
Best Actress, Drama: Barbara Babcock as Grace Gardner, Hill Street Blues (NBC)

Outstanding Comedy: Taxi, (ABC)
Best Actor, Comedy: Judd Hirsch as Alex Reiger, Taxi (ABC)
Best Actress, Comedy: Isabel Sanford as Louise Jefferson, The Jeffersons (CBS)

Top Shows
1981 – 1982    (Households with TV: 81,500,000)

1. Dallas (CBS) 23,146,000
2. 60 Minutes (CBS) 22,575,500
3. The Jeffersons (CBS) 19,071,000
4. Three’s Company (ABC) 18,989,500
5. Alice (CBS) 18,500,500
6. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS) 18,419,000
7. Too Close for Comfort (ABC) 18,419,000
8. ABC Monday Night Movie (ABC) 18,337,500
9. M*A*S*H (CBS) 18,174,500
10. One Day at a Time (CBS) 17,930,000

Remember These Shows?
Lewis & Clark (81 – 82)
The Two of Us (81 – 82)
Father Murphy (81- 83)
Bret Maverick (81 – 82)
Flamingo Road (81 – 82)
Harper Valley P.T.A. (81 – 82)
Strike Force (81 – 82)
McClain’s Law (81 – 82)
Private Benjamin (81 – 83)
Walt Disney (81 – 83)
Greatest American Hero (81 – 83)
Fall Guy (81 – 86)
Gimme a Break (81- 87)
Simon and Simon (81 – 95)

What else do you remember from 1981?

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

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A Year in the 80’s – Fashion Statements

So when I think of 1980’s fashion, a few things come directly to mind. Chief among those are big hair, big earrings, big shoulder pads and Madonna wearing her underwear as clothing.

But really, 10 years is a long time…

80's fashion got around some!

80’s fashion got around some!

…and that bigger is best fad isn’t the only thing that was going on.

Here’s a little retrospective of some of the fashion you may have been sporting if you grew up in the 80’s!

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Recognize any of those looks?

Still got any of it in your closet? 😉

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.

Jan/Feb
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?

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