1982 in history

1982 in history

Here are some light-hearted facts about 1982, designed to serve as a prep sheet for a radio feature on 1982.

I created this page because when I needed some notes to create a few talking points about 1982 in Ireland I couldn't find any suitable sources, so I thought I'd share what I did find. It applies to 1982 in Britain too.

You can also look at years other than 1982:

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1982

  • Brookside and Countdown form part of the opening night for Channel 4 - good for audio

  • BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo, Cheers, Family Ties, The Young Ones and Knight Rider aired for the first time - good for audio

  • It was The Big Snow; the worst winter for 50 years. The lowest ever UK temperature of −27.2 oC is recorded at Braemar, in Scotland.

  • The longest lunar eclipse in the 20th Century occurred, lasting 106 minutes.

  • The first recorded digital emoticons were used by Scott Fahlman to distinguish between jokes and facts. ☺ ☻ ☹

  • Electronic Arts – EA Games – was founded. Their first game was Archon, a chess-like strategy and action game featuring fighting fantasy figures.

  • The Commodore 64 home-use computer was released. It went on to sell 20 million units.

  • The Sony CPD-101 was the first commercially available CD player. It had a tray that popped out and a display with a track number and playing time. The first commercial compact disk (CD) was produced in this year too.

  • The Ford Sierra and Vauxhall (Opel) Nova were launched.

  • The UK Inland Telegram service closed after well over 100 years. Less than 3 million telegrams had been sent the previous year.

  • E.T., Tootsie, Annie, Rocky III and An Officer and a Gentleman were among the highest-grossing films.

  • Surround Sound was introduced for home use by Dolby.

  • Michael Jackson's Thriller album was released in this year. Up to 110 million copies were sold.

  • Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace and entered Queen Elizabeth II's bedroom. It was reported that she sat up and offered him a cup of tea, but Fagan denied this.

  • Ciabatta bread was invented by a baker in Italy.

  • Elvis Presley's home, Graceland, was opened to the public.

  • The Smiths were formed in Manchester.

  • Pope John Paul II visited the UK and met the Queen.

  • Cats opened in Broadway - the soundtrack was a massive success.

  • TIME Magazine gave Man of the Year to 'the computer'.

  • Coca-Cola unveiled a new product called "Diet Coke".

  • Ferrero Rocher was launched.

  • Viennetta ice cream was introduced.

  • Trivial Pursuit was released.

  • ABBA made their last ever public performance on British TV.

  • Prince William was born in June of this year in London. Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs and the Taoiseach's office became embroiled in a row over whether or not to send of message of congratulations.

  • The Eurovision Song Contest came from Harrogate in Yorkshire, presented by Jan Leeming.

1982 in Ireland

  • Charles Haughey replaced Garret FitzGerald as an Taoiseach for this year only. Charlie Creevy was expelled from Fianna Fáil for citicising him.

  • Dublin's Grafton Street was formally pedestrianised. It gave way to a debate about busking, which was illegal at the time.

  • Corporal punishment was banned in Irish schools. A leaflet was issued to teachers telling them to treat pupils with "kindness combined with firmness", while avoiding "ridicule and sarcasm".

  • The Rolling Stones played at Slane Castle.

  • Ireland's first crematorium was opened at Glasnevin.


While these facts about 1982 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.