1985 in history

1985 in history

Here are some light-hearted facts about 1985, designed to serve as a prep sheet for a radio feature on 1985.

I created this page because when I needed some notes to create a few talking points about 1985 in Ireland I couldn't find any suitable sources, so I thought I'd share what I did find. It applies to 1985 in Britain too.

You can also look at years other than 1985:

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1985

  • Two iconic movies were released: The Breakfast Club and Back To The Future - good for audio

  • Phil Collins first performed at the Live Aid concert at Wembley (London). Five hours later he joined the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia at the same local time as in London, thanks to the Concorde.

    [Irish] President Hillery presented Bob Geldof with a cheque for £7 million as the Irish contribution to the appeal, making Ireland the highest donor country per capita.

  • After Nintendo won their case against Universal Studios over their game Donkey Kong, they thanked their attorney with a $30,000 sailboat named Donkey Kong and "exclusive worldwide rights to use the name for sailboats".

  • EastEnders aired for the first time on BBC One (with Den Watts), and Golden Girls and MacGyver were shown for the first time.

  • Symbolics.com became the first ever website to have dot com in its name.

  • Casio keyboards were popular Christmas gifts.

  • The "pizza saver" was invented. It’s that little bit of plastic which goes in the middle of a takeaway pizza to stop it hitting the top of the box.

  • New Coke was introduced. It was sweeter than the original Coca-Cola and hugely unpopular; it was quickly changed. It was then re-released in 2019 after being featured in 'Stranger Things'.

  • Aretha Franklin's voice was legally declared one of Michigan's natural resources.

  • The Sinclair C5 was launched.

  • Microsoft launched Windows 1.0.

1985 in Ireland

  • The Ireland national rugby union team won the Triple Crown and Five Nations Championship at Lansdowne Road.

  • The first Croke Park (Dublin) concert took place with U2, Squeeze, REM, The Alarm and In Tua Nua.

  • Thousands travelled to see reports of moving statues in Ballinspittle. There were also reports of Jesus appearing in a knot of wood in a wardrobe in Darndale. Moving statues were reported at 30 other locations.

  • A massive thunderstorm hit Ireland, damaging buildings and killing hundreds of animals.

  • Spike Island Jail in County Cork was left in ruins following a riot by prisoners.

  • The Irish team won the Triple Crown and Five Nations Championship at Lansdowne Road. They beat England 13–10.


While these facts about 1985 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.