80’s Pop Culture – 1980

March 27
124 killed when North Sea oil rig off the coast of Norway collapses.

May 5
Hostages freed after SAS raid on terrorist-occupied Iranian Embassy in London.

May 19
Huge eruption of Mount St. Helen’s volcano in Washington State.

June 30
Deaths from famine in East Africa are estimated at more than 10 million.


“Old” Reagan to be new president

President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan reaches out during during his 1980 campaign for the presidency.

November 4, Ronald Reagan the challenger has defeated President Jimmy Carter in the election by a landslide.

Japan builds more cars than the US

1980 Toyota Corola

December 31, Japan is now the world’s largest car maker. This year the Japanese produced 12.7 million vehicles, out of a world total of 48 million.

War breaks out between Iran and Iraq

Iran and Iraq map.
Iran and Iraq map.

September 22 Iraqi forces today struck across the border into Iran, destroying the oil refinery at Abadan and advancing several miles at different points.

Drought/Heat Wave in Central and the east
June-September 1980. Central and Eastern U.S.; estimated $20.0 billion damage/costs; estimated 10,000 deaths (includes heat stress-related).

Millions of Plants and Animals face Extinction
So the environmentalists say in the report of the UN’s World Conservation Strategy in March of 1980. This is the result of three years’ of international research. The reason being is that because of human activities are threatening vital sources of food and medicine. Tropical rain forests are being destroyed, contributing to global warming. If present trends continue, the environmental damage will be irreversible in 20 years’ time. The report asks every country to make conservation plans. The US already has a plan, which was initiated by President Carter in 1977.

“Personal” stereos for public listening

Personal stereo called a 'Walkman' by SONY.
Personal stereo called a 'Walkman' by SONY.

The days of the “ghettoblaster” and the “boom box” may be numbered. The Japanese electronics firm Sony is now marketing its “Walkman”, a new type of portable, shockproof stereophonic radio-cassette player. It is small enough to be carried in a pocket and the sound is listened to through tiny earphones.

World Health Organization puts smallpox in the past
May 8, according to the World Health Organization, the disease of smallpox has been destroyed forever.

Post-It-Notes are invented

Post-It® brand logo.
Post-It® brand logo.

How did we ever get along without them? Did you know the Post-It note was a technological invention that was invented by accident?

Brody’s new look magazine
Within days of publication of its first issue, a new British magazine is arousing international media interest. The Face is another magazine devoted to art, design, music and fashion, but does not look like any other style magazine. Radical graphic designer Neville Brody has introduced a new approach to fashion photography in which atmosphere, attitude, and lifestyle are the focus. The face is London-based and is set to become the most influential magazine of the decade.

Rubik Cube Fever!

Animated Rubik's Cube showing original colors (white, red, green orange and blue).
Animated Rubik's Cube showing original colors (white, red, green orange and blue).

The colorful puzzle invented by Hungarian Erno Rubik is driving people crazy! It is a handheld cube made up of interlocking smaller cubes, exposing nine squares, marked in different colors on each face. The object is to manipulate the small cubes to get nine identical squares on each face. Some people do the Rubik Cube in a few minutes, but most people can’t do it at all.

John Lennon Assassinated

John Lennon 1980.
John Lennon 1980.

December 8, 1980 John Lennon, the former Beatle, was shot dead last night outside the Dakota, the New York apartment building where he lived with his wife, Yoko Ono. His killer, Mark Chapman, had recently flown in from Hawaii, where he bought the revolver with which he shot Lennon five times at point-blank range. He had been stalking Lennon for several days and was photographed earlier in the day while getting the star’s autograph. So far, his motive is a mystery.

CNN is born

CNN Center - Atlanta, GA.
CNN Center - Atlanta, GA.

All news, 24 hours-a-day. Visit www.cnn.com.

Western boycott of Moscow Olympics

Bob Sledding - Winter Olympics 1980.
Bob Sledding - Winter Olympics 1980.

August 3 The international spirit of this year’s Olympic Games in Moscow was flawed by the absence of 65 countries including the US, West Germany and Kenya.

Bjorn Borg wins fifth Wimbledon title
Swedish tennis star Bjorn Borg entered the sports record books on July 5th when he won his fifth successive Wimbledon men’s tennis championship.

On The Charts in 1980

Another One Bites the Dust – Queen

Call Me – Blondie

Do That To Me One More Time – Captain & Tennille

Lady – Kenny Rogers

Upside Down – Diana Ross

80s Pop Culture 1981 >>

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