Top 20 Things That Happened In 1981

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Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Today’s Flasback ’80s Song of The Day in honor of  Jack FM’s Flashback Prom with A Flock Of Seagulls is “The Look of Love” by ABC.

The song came out in 1981, the year the writer was conceived, which makes it a disturbingly important year.

Do you remember what you were doing in 1981? Here’s twenty facts to stir your memory.

  • MTV was launched in August of 1981. Remember when it was only music television? Those were the days. MTV should have stayed in the ’80s.
  • The first recognized cases of AIDS were found in Los Angeles.
  • Also in Los Angeles, four people in the Wonderland Gang, the infamous drug ring located mostly at Wonderland Drive in Laurel Canyon, were murdered.

    Photo by Frank Micelotta//Getty Images

    Photo by Frank Micelotta//Getty Images

  • Ronald Reagan, a Californian, becomes president.
  • That same year, Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded.
  • But later he nominates Judge Sandra Day O’Connor as the first woman on US Supreme Court.
  • Lady Di marries Prince Charles. It is still the most talked about wedding in the last 30-something years.

    Photo by Getty Images

    Photo by Getty Images

  • The wreck of the Titanic is found. Celine Dion starts plotting her ear-shattering take-over of our fragile souls.
  • Iran releases over 50 American hostages after holding them for 444 days.
  • “Sailing” by Christopher Cross won a Grammy for Song of the Year while Chariots of Fire received the Academy Award for Best Picture.
  • IBM releases its first PC; it went on to dominate the computer industry.

    Photo by Getty Images

    Photo by Getty Images

  • Artificial sweetener, aspartame, is approved by the FDA. It just goes to show that it’s true that liberal use of white powder in the ’80s is what led to the downfall of humanity.
  • Out of the crap economy, all sorts of “new” musical styles like hip-hop, new wave, and independent punk rock started to develop. Some choice artists popular that year include Depeche Mode, New Order, Prince, Sugar Hill, and Blondie.
  • Speaking of music, remember when Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a dove at that press thing? Yep, that was in 1981.

    Photo by Tim Whitby//Getty Images

    Photo by Tim Whitby//Getty Images

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark is the top grossing film raking in about $209,562,121.
  • It’s a good year for medical progress. The first combined heart-lung transplant is performed and the first American test-tube baby is born.
  • The Oakland Raiders  are first wild card playoff team to ever win a Super Bowl.
  • Bob Marley and Natalie Wood die. Pop John Paul almost dies after getting shot.

    Photo by Jason Kempin//Getty Images

    Photo by Jason Kempin//Getty Images

  • Which is sad, but luckily three of the world’s hottest women currently are born: Jessica Alba, Natalie Portman, and Beyonce Knowles. But so was Paris Hilton. There’s that.


–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles

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