THE 80’s
The 1980s was the decade spanning from Jan. 1, 1980 to Dec. 31, 1989. The decade saw social, economic and general upheaval as wealth, production and western culture migrated to new industrializing economies. The American led global war on drugs began, and US automakers continued market losses to Japan and other countries. Chasing cheap labor, a lot of global manufacturing relocated into Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, China and Eastern Europe, away from traditional manufacturing strongholds. New middle class economies were beginning to emerge in the old Soviet bloc countries and other parts of the world, and Islamic fundamentalism began to assert itself in the Middle East.
In the United States, the early 1980s were characterized by a religious revival (see Moral Majority) and conservative revival (known as the "Reagan revolution"). The New Right succeeded in building a policy approach and electoral apparatus that propelled Ronald Reagan into the White House in the 1980 presidential election.
The era was characterized by the blend of conservative family values alongside a period of increased telecommunications, a shift towards neoliberal market economies and the new openness of perestroika and glasnost in the USSR. This transitional period also saw massive democratic revolutions such as the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in China, the Czechoslovak velvet revolution, and the overthrow of the dictatorial regime in Romania and other communist Warsaw Pact states in Central and Eastern Europe. It came to be called as the late 1980s purple passage of the autumn of nations. These changes continued to be felt in the 1990s and into the 21st century.

The 1980s was also an era of tremendous population growth around the world, surpassing even the 1970s and 1990s for arguably being the largest in human history. This growth occurred not only in developing regions but also developed western nations, where many newborns were the offspring of Baby Boomers. Population growth was particularly rapid in a number of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian countries during this decade, with rates of natural increase close to or exceeding 4% annually.

The role of women in the workplace increased greatly. Continuing the 1970s' trend, more and more women in the English-speaking world took to calling themselves "Ms.", rather than "Mrs." or "Miss." A similar change occurred in Germany, with women choosing "Frau" instead of "Fräulein" in an effort to disassociate marital status from title. In most western countries, women began to exercise the option of keeping their maiden names after marriage; in Canada, legislation was enacted to end the practice of automatically changing a woman's last name upon marriage.

Social welfare for handicapped children improved in some countries and these
children were no longer ignored or forced into state mental institutions.
National safety campaigns raised awareness of seat belt usage to save lives in
automobile accidents, helping to make the measure mandatory in most countries
and U.S. states by 1990. Similar efforts arose to push child safety seats and bike
helmet use, already mandatory in a number of U.S. states and some countries.
Alcohol education and drug education expanded, bringing about movements such
as M.A.D.D., Nancy Reagan's Just Say No campaign, and D.A.R.E.. By 1990,
every state in the U.S. mandated the drinking age to be 21.
Rejection of smoking, perceived as more unhealthy and deadly than in previous
decades, increased among Americans following a 1984 reconfirmation of earlier
studies into the risks of smoking by the U.S. Surgeon General. "Smoking" and
"non-smoking" sections in American restaurants became common, state efforts to
combat underage smoking (such as banning cigarette sales to minors) intensified,
and acknowledgment of smoking-related birth defects became more common.
Opposition to nuclear power plants grew, especially after the catastrophic 1986
Chernobyl accident.

Environmental concerns intensified. In the United Kingdom, environmentally friendly domestic products surged in popularity. Western European countries adopted "greener" policies to cut back on oil use, recycle most of their nations' waste, and increase focus on water and energy conservation efforts. Similar "Eco-activist" trends appeared in the U.S. in the late 1980s.
The 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow were disrupted by a boycott led by the
United States and 64 other countries in protest of the 1979 Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan. The Soviet Union responded to the actions taken by the United
States and other nations in 1980 by leading Eastern Bloc countries and allies in a
boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The 1988 Summer
Olympics in Seoul were the first not to be affected by major boycotts since 1972,
but were marred by the disqualification of 100m sprint winner Ben Johnson for
failing a drugs test.

In this decade, the West Indies established themselves as the unofficial world champions of cricket, though in a shock upset, they lost the 1983 Cricket World Cup to India. The 1987 Cricket World Cup was won by Australia.

80’s MUSIC

The decade began with a backlash against disco music in the United states, and
a movement away from the orchestral arrangements that had characterized much
of the music of the 1970s. Music in the 1980s was characterized by unheard of
electronic sounds accomplished through the use of synthesizers and keyboards,
along with drum machines. This made a dramatic change in music.
In the United States, MTV was launched and music videos began to have a huge
effect on the record industry. The first video aired was "Video Killed the Radio
Star" by the British band The Buggles, and it proved oddly prophetic. Bands such
as Duran Duran made lavish music videos which made MTV a cultural
phenomenon. Pop artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson mastered the

format and turned it into big business.
New Wave and Synthpop were developed by many British and American artists,
and become popular phenomena throughout the decade, especially in the early
and mid eighties.
Heavy metal, Big Hair Bands and Glam metal, experienced extreme popularity in
1980s, becoming one of the most dominating music genres of the 1980s
(especially in the late 80s) with artists receiving extensive airplay.
The Hip hop scene evolved to become a powerful musical force, bringing with it
several dance styles. As hip hop artists gathered mainstream attention, hip hop's
influence began to spread outside of Los Angeles and New York City, eventually
taking off into America's shores during the 1980s in 1986.
In the U.S., contemporary Christian music gained popularity in the mid-80s.
AC/DC release Back in Black, the second highest selling album world wide after
the death of their legendry lead singer Bon Scott.

New styles of music
Thrash metal appeared and became an underground sensation originating mostly
in the Bay Area (San Francisco), and New York City. A few of these acts
managed to achieve mainstream exposure (especially during the early 1990s),
and were frequently seen as alternatives to the poppier "glam metal" bands of the
Extreme metal began, and gained prominence in the underground.
House music was a new development in dance music mid-way through the decade, growing out of the post-disco scene early in the decade and later developed into acid house, a harder form of dance often associated with the developing late 1980s drug culture.
With increased commercialization of popular music, thousands of new bands from all over the country sprang up in opposition by performing aggressive, stripped-down punk rock with an even larger amount of political and social awareness injected into the lyrics. Known as Hardcore punk, it would go on to influence and create other musical genres well into the 21st century.
El General recorded a first album and reggaeton was born in Panama.

Prince was credited with jump-starting the Minneapolis sound.


Although popularity of video games and arcades began in the mid to late 1970s, it continued throughout the 1980s with rapid growth in video game technology throughout the decade. Space Invaders, developed in Japan in 1978, was first previewed at a UK trade show in 1979, making a huge impact on the early 80s gaming scene. Many other games followed including Pac-Man, creating a Pac Man fever craze early in the decade, especially in 1982 and 1983; Super Mario Bros. games became a highly successful franchise starting in 1985, with its popularity continuing today.
In the 1980s, Atari failed to apply proper quality control to the software development process for its popular Video Computer System game console. The amount of low-quality software caused a massive collapse of the home console industry. The release of Nintendo's Famicom/NES console rectified the problem and revived home gaming by only being able to play games approved by the company. PC Engine and Sega Mega Drive were next generation game consoles that were released during the last years of the decade.

Home computers become popular in the 1980s and during that decade they were used heavily for gaming, especially the ZX Spectrum. The prevailing IBM PC standard was born in 1981 but had a status of a non-entertainment computer throughout the decade. Along with the IBM PC, the Commodore 64 (1982) was the most popular 8-bit home computer and its successor, the Amiga (1985), was the most popular 16-bit home computer.


Bob Hawke was Prime Minister of Australia for most of the 1980s.
Most Australian states decriminalized homosexuality.
In 1983 the states of Victoria and South Australia were hit by the Ash Wednesday
fires. These fast-spreading wildfires claimed the lives of 75 people and left much
of south-eastern Australia (including the cities of Melbourne and Adelaide) under
a layer of ash.

The 1988 World's Fair, Expo '88, was held in Brisbane.

In 1981 there was a assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter's Square. In 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated.
In the European Community, after the first direct elections for the European Parliament in 1979, its enlargement continued with the accession of Greece in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986. At the end of the decade, the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 would be followed in 1990 by the German reunification.

United Kingdom
Margaret Thatcher held the office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from
1979 to 1990.
The Falklands War occurred from 2 April 1982 – 14 July 1982 against the
Argentinians over the Falkland Islands off the East Coast of Argentina.

Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles 1981.
United States
American schoolgirl Samantha Smith visited the Soviet Union after writing to Yuri Andropov and became involved in the growing peace movement between East and West before her death in 1985.
The United States, along with members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean
States, invaded Grenada in 1983. There was also an attack by the US against
Libya in 1986.
John Lennon was assassinated in 1980.
An attempt was made on the life of Ronald Reagan, 1981.
A crack cocaine epidemic occurred in urban areas of the U.S., such that violent
crime and drug trafficking soared to record levels in most large American cities.
Crime and drug use rates began to fall toward the end of the decade.
Riots took place in the poor section of Miami in May 1980 and January 1989.
A poverty rate of 50% African Americans, 30% Hispanic and 10% White.

Unemployment achieved an overall rate of 10%.


In the early 1980s, the first generation of computer, video, and arcade games
produced the popular //Space Invaders// arcade game (first released in 1978),
followed by many others.
Computer technology began to enter mainstream culture and appeared in movies
such as //Tron// (1982) and //WarGames// (1983), using then-state of the art special
effects that would go on to have a major impact on movie making.
Rubik's Cube, Cabbage Patch Kids, "Baby on Board" signs, Teddy Ruxpin, and
Trivial Pursuit fads captured the interest of the American and British public.

Rubik's Cube, often used as the defining symbol of the 1980s

Many cartoon characters appeared in the media and on merchandise, becoming
huge trends of the 1980s.
Martial arts and Ninja mania swept North America due to the popularity of Kung
Fu Theater and ninja movies. //The Karate Kid// became a blockbuster hit film, and
raised interest in karate.
"Raybans" or sunglasses became popular items, as well as sneakers, men's
shorts and other athletic wear such as sweats and jerseys for an active
generation of young people.
Aerobics surged in popularity. The fad reached across exercise videos, fashion,
television, film and music.
MTV, an all-music television station, debuted in the United States in 1981.
*Australian pop culture introduced new trends in the U.S. throughout the 1980s to
enhance the continent's cultural image. Examples include celebrities Olivia
Newton-John, Jacko and Yahoo Serious, musicians INXS, Midnight Oil and Men
at Work, the Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max movies, the Roos shoe brand and
Koala Blue chain within the fashion segment, and tastes such as "shrimp on the
barbie" and Foster's Lager.
Rap music began to break into the mainstream, resulting in a string of
breakdancing movies. Boomboxes became widespread among inner city music
listeners and especially breakdancers, for which the device became a vital
element to the ritual. "Breakdance battles" were a more peaceful alternative to
gang fights and became popular in music videos.

In the U.S., Spanish-language television and radio stations built two major networks to carry
shows and music for the U.S. Latino audience, believed at the time to have
been left out of the mainstream media.

Live Aid was a multi-venue rock music concert held on July 13, 1985. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. Billed as the 'global jukebox', the main sites for the event were Wembley Stadium, London (attended by 82,000 people) and JFK Stadium, Philadelphia (attended by about 99,000 people), with some acts performing at other venues such as Sydney and Moscow. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated 1.5 billion viewers, across 100 countries, watched the live broadcast.
The concert was conceived as a follow-up to another Geldof/Ure project, the successful charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?", performed by a collection of British and Irish music acts billed as 'Band Aid' and released the previous winter.
The concert grew in scope, as more acts were added on both sides of the Atlantic. As a charity fundraiser, the concert far exceeded its goals: on a television programme in 2001, one of the organisers stated that while initially it had been hoped that Live Aid would raise £1 million, the final figure was £150 million (approx. $283.6 million). Partly in recognition of the Live Aid effort, Geldof received an honorary knighthood. Music promoter Harvey Goldsmith was also instrumental in bringing the plans of Geldof and Ure to fruition.

The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier separating West Berlin from East Berlin and the rest of East Germany. The longer '**inner German border**' demarcated the remainder of the East-West German border between the two states. Both borders were part of the Iron Curtain.
The wall separated East Berlin and West Berlin for 28 years, from the day construction began on August 13, 1961 until it was dismantled in 1989, and was considered to be a longtime symbol of the Iron Curtain.[1] During this period, at least 133 people were confirmed killed trying to cross the Wall into West Berlin, according to official figures.[2] However, a prominent victims' group claims that more than 200 people had been killed trying to flee from East to West Berlin.[3] The GDR/East German government gave shooting orders to border guards dealing with defectors; such orders are not the same as shoot to kill orders which GDR officials have denied exist.[4]
When the East German government announced on November 9, 1989, after several weeks of civil unrest, that visits in West Germany and West Berlin would be permitted, crowds of East Germans climbed onto and crossed the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, parts of the wall were chipped away by a euphoric public and by souvenir hunters; industrial equipment was later used to remove almost all of the rest of it.

The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990.

John Winston Lennon, (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English rock musician, singer, songwriter, artist, and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles. As a member of the group, Lennon was one of the lead vocalists and co-wrote the majority of the band's songs with bassist Paul McCartney.
On the night of 8 December 1980, Lennon was shot four times in the back in the entrance hallway of the Dakota by Mark David Chapman. Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman earlier that same night. Chapman pleaded guilty and is currently serving life in Attica prison near New York. Twenty years after his death millions of fans paid tribute to Mr Lennon in his home town of Liverpool and in New York. His widow launched a campaign against gun violence in the United States to mark the anniversary.

An attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II occurred on May 13, 1981. Mehmet Ali Ağca shot and seriously wounded the Pope in the Vatican City's St. Peter's Square. Ağca was convicted for this crime in July 1981, and was deported to Turkey in 2001, after serving 20 years imprisonment. According to Ağca, the plan was for him and the back-up gunman Oral Çelik to open fire in St. Peter's Square and escape to the Bulgarian embassy under the cover of the panic generated by a small explosion. On May 13 they sat in the square, writing postcards waiting for the Pope to arrive. When the Pope passed, Ağca fired several shots and critically wounded him, but was grabbed by a nun and several other spectators and prevented from finishing the assassination or escaping.


The Marriage of the Decade - In 1981, the royal wedding took place at Buckingham Palace in London, England. Prince Charles married a kindergarten teacher named Diana Spencer. The day was declared a national holiday, and so the entire UK ground to a halt as crowds of over half a million people lined the streets of London, and everybody else tuned in on TV to watch the event itself. Estimates suggest that the wedding was watched by more than 750 million people world wide. That’s some viewing figure!
The Wedding took place on 29th July 1981, at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Charles wore the dress uniform of a Naval commander, whilst Diana wore the world famous Emmanuel designed dress, that had a train that stretched 25 feet.
The rest of the country meanwhile carried on their own celebrations, with many attending street parties. Long tables were set up in the roads of housing estates and bunting hung from the lamp posts whilst everyone sat down to have lunch with their neighbours and friends, with everyone chipping in food and drink.
Of course, the wedding day wouldn’t have happened without the initial engagement of the couple, which was formally announced on the 24th February 1981. This is when the famous engagement photo was taken, with Charles in a fairly plain dark grey suit, and Diana wearing a smart blue outfit. This photo got plastered across just about every conceivable piece of merchandise you could ever think of- plates, biscuit tins, T-shirts, mugs etc.