• The ‘80s is not about nostalgia; it is about
a decade of people, decisions and
inventions that changed our future, told
from the perspective of unknowing
history makers who lived these iconic
moments. It was 10 years of nonstop
glamour, unchecked excess, ruthless
ambition and explosive technological
innovation that combined to produce the
historic changes and global events that
made us who and what we are today.
• The history of the United States from 1980
until 1991 includes the last year of the Jimmy
Carter presidency, eight years of the Ronald
Reagan administration, and the first two years
of the George H. W. Bush presidency, up to the
collapse of the Soviet Union.
• John Lennon Assassinated
• Pac-Man Video Game Released
• Rubik's Cube Becomes Popular
• Ted Turner Establishes CNN
1981 Humber Bridge opens, the
longest single-span bridge in the
The Humber Bridge was built between 1972
and 1980. At the time, it was the longest single-span
bridge in the world at nearly 2,200m.
In the U.K.
• The best thing to
happen to '80s hair
along with the perm,
Sun-In turned your
barnet blonde (or
more likely, orange)
in an instant.
PEZ sweet dispensers
• Dispensing little tiny fizzy sweets was never so
• In the '80s, British children liked nothing more
than coming home from school to watch a
show about children at school. Which was
perfectly understandable, because that show
was 'Grange Hill'.
• "Britain's answer to The Jackson Five" weren't
really that. But they were fine purveyors of
kid-friendly bubblegum pop and shoulder
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" sells 20
million albums to become the largest
selling record ever.
• In August 1981 the first 24-hour music
• Twenty-year-old Diana became Princess of
Wales when she married the Prince of Wales
on 29 July 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral.
• Mobile phones
are launched in
• The American
Brodsky won the
Nobel prize in
• President Jimmy
embargo on sale
of grain and high
the Soviet Union
due to the Soviet
• "Just Say No" is the
new tool to combat
growing drug use in
• Advertising campaign,
part of the U.S. "War
on Drugs", prevalent
during the 1980s and
• First Woman Appointed to the U.S. Supreme
• Personal Computers (PC) Introduced.
• Tax cut legislation proposed by President
Ronald Reagan, the largest in history, is passed
by both houses of the U.S. Congress. It would
reduce taxes by $750 billion over the next five
• In 1984 Reagan makes famous joke: "My
fellow Americans, I've signed legislation that
will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing
in five minutes." He supposedly didn't know
the mic was on.
• America celebrates national holiday Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. day for the first time.
• Fox Network starts in America
• November 5, 1982 - The highest
unemployment rate since 1940 is recorded at
10.4%. By the end of November, over eleven
million people would be unemployed.
November 13, 1982 - The Vietnam Veterans
Memorial is dedicated inWashington, D.C.,
holding the names of the more than 58,000
killed or missing in action during the conflict.
• Cabbage Patch Kids Are Popular
• Sally Ride Becomes the First American Woman
• Vance vs. Judas Priest: Parents of two
teenaged Judas Priest fans who attempted
suicide in December 1985 sue the band,
claiming that a subliminal message in the song
"Better by You, Better than Me" influenced
• British astronomer Edmund Halley was the
first to calculate the orbit of a comet. So
Halley's comet, which happens every 76 years,
bears his name. The last time this comet
passed was in 1986.
George Bush as the new president in
Republican President Ronald Reagan's vice-president
George H. W. Bush ascended to the
presidency, defeating Democratic Massachusetts
governor Michael Dukakis by an electoral
landslide in the 1988 election. The campaign
was marked by numerous blunders by Dukakis,
including most famously a campaign ad
featuring Dukakis in an M1 Abrams tank