1984 in history

1984 in history

Here are some light-hearted facts about 1984, designed to serve as a prep sheet for a radio feature on 1984.

I created this page because when I needed some notes to create a few talking points about 1984 in Ireland I couldn't find any suitable sources, so I thought I'd share what I did find. It applies to 1984 in Britain too.

You can also look at years other than 1984:

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1984

  • Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is shown on children's TV for the first time. It was narrated by Ringo Starr, the first episode was known as 'Thomas Gets Tricked' - good for audio

  • 'Murder, She Wrote', 'Spitting Image', 'Miami Vice', 'The Cosby Show' and 'Kate and Allie' were shown on TV for the first time.

  • The first Police Academy was released and Ghostbusters was the year's top grossing film, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver - good for audio

  • Coverage of the Miners Strike dominated British news throughout the year.

  • Michael Dell started selling Dell Computers, targeting small businesses and households instead of the high-end consumers like his competitors

  • A conferencing company called "Technology, Entertainment, Design" was launched. It still works today under the name TED Talks. The first conference featured demonstrations of the compact disc.

  • Colonel Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to complete a solo transatlantic flight in a helium balloon.

  • 5% of the British adult population bought shares in British Telecom when they went up for sale.

  • Cirque du Soleil was founded as a Canadian entertainment company.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was launched as comic book characters.

  • Tetris was released in this year.

  • Richard Branson suffered a delayed flight - so in this year he launched Virgin Atlantic.

  • The Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles.

  • This was the year comedian Tommy Cooper collapsed and died live on stage, having suffered a heart attack. The audience thought it was part of the show: some laughed and others were confused. He was lying on stage for well over a minute before the TV credits rolled

  • The Dublin telephone system collapsed due to network overload as a result of a phone-in competition on an illegal radio station.

  • Ronald Reagan visited Ireland. 10,000 people protested against the visit in Dublin.

  • The DART from Howth to Bray was opened in this year. Many critics said it was going to make a loss and be a white elephant.


While these facts about 1984 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.