1980 in history

1980 in history

Here are some light-hearted facts about 1980, designed to serve as a prep sheet for a radio feature on 1980.

I created this page because when I needed some notes to create a few talking points about 1980 in Ireland I couldn't find any suitable sources, so I thought I'd share what I did find. It applies to 1980 in Britain too.

You can also look at years other than 1980:

1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1985 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008


1980

  • Airplane and The Shining (first epic horror film) were released. The Empire Strikes Back was also released and gave us one of the most mis-quoted lines in movie history: "No, I am your father" - good for audio

  • Play Your Cards Right was launched with Bruce Forsyth - good for audio

  • Yes Minister, Hi-de-Hi (set in Maplins) and Magnum P.I. all aired for the first time.

  • The Nintendo "Game & Watch" was launched. It had a screen which could either show you a game, or a clock.

  • The Rubiks Cube was introduced to the shops. Even under a worst-case scenario, no Rubik's Cube is further than 20 moves from being solved.

  • Post-It Notes were officially sold for the first time.

  • Radio Caroline, the pirate radio station, is forced to cease transmission when MV Mi Amigo, the ship on which it is based, runs aground and sinks off the Thames Estuary.

  • Pac-Man, the best-selling arcade game of all time, was released.

  • The Ford Escort and Austin Metro were launched.

  • Hercules - the famous bear which appeared on a number of TV programmes - went missing for a few days after filming a Kleenex advert in Scotland.

  • There was no chart between February and October due to a strike involving the Musician's Union.

  • Fax machines were made available on the market.

  • The sixpence coin is withdrawn from circulation in Britain.

  • Margaret Thatcher made her "this lady's not for turning" speech. It was in response to concerns that her policies were responsible for the recession - good for audio

  • The Sony Walkman was introduced to the market.

  • John Lennon was shot dead in New York. Thousands attended a 10-minute vigil in Liverpool.

  • Cable News Network (CNN) was the world's first 24-hour news channel.

  • Angie Bowie divorced David Bowie after 9 years of marriage.

  • It was the "Who shot J.R." episode of Dallas.

  • Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the US presidential election.

  • The Olympic Games were held in Moscow.

  • The Irish children's show 'Anything Goes' made its debut.

  • The Bank of Ireland introduced the "pass machine", which was able to provide basic services - it was Ireland's first ATM.

  • Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with the song What's Another Year.


While these facts about 1980 have been checked against third-party sources (and have been used on air before!), they are provided in good faith to inspire your research and no guarantee is made about their accuracy or their uniqueness.

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Tedious about the author bit

I write about media, exploring, heavy machinery and lists. I produce radio with an attitude accurately described as "amusingly surly".

I don't pretend to be anything close to a big player in the media industry. I'd like to think that's an advantage. Instead I try to remain well-read and approach things from a considered viewpoint, even if I absolutely hate the way the industry is going.

Legally bland

Any similarities with real-life events or wealthy international firms is probably coincidental. No products endorsed. I'm powered by Monster Munch.

© 2019 Johnathan Randall.