1988 in history

1988 in history

Here are some light-hearted facts about 1988, designed to serve as a prep sheet for a radio feature on 1988.

I created this page because when I needed some notes to create a few talking points about 1988 in Ireland I couldn't find any suitable sources, so I thought I'd share what I did find. It applies to 1988 in Britain too.

You can also look at years other than 1988:

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


1988

  • Die Hard was released - good for audio

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Big, A Fish Called Wanda, Cocktail, Beaches and Beetlejuice were released.

  • Never Going To Give You Up was a big hit - it later gave way to 'Rick Rolling'.

  • Pat Kenny and Michelle Rocca hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin with a then-unknown Celine Dion winning for Switzerland by one point - good for audio

  • Actor Rowan Atkinson launched the new Comic Relief charity appeal. It went on to raise £15,000,000.

  • The Bank of England £1 note ceased to be legal tender.

  • Pubs in England and Wales were allowed to stay open all day thanks to new licensing laws.

  • The Wonder Years, Minder, Garfield, Roseanne, The Wonder Years and Red Dwarf were shown on TV.

  • This Morning was shown for the first time, with Fern Britton and Andy Craig. Critics said it wouldn't last until Christmas.

  • .gb and .uk were supposed to be the country codes for websites registered in Britain, but the British decided to go with things like .co.uk and .org.uk instead. The public weren't allowed to use .uk until 2014; .gb has never been used.

  • Double denim was the fashion trend, with badges sown on jackets.

  • Activists protesting LGBT legislation invaded the BBC News studio, as the evening news was going live. Nicholas Witchell sat on one of the protesters to allow Sue Lawley to read the headlines - good for audio

  • The Sunday Sport published their notorious headline "World War 2 Bomber Found On Moon". A few weeks later they published another one, "World War 2 Bomber Found On Moon Vanishes".

  • The Olympic Games were held in Seoul. Table Tennis was played for the first time.

  • Dublin celebrated its 1,000th birthday as a city. Jonathan Swift's 'Gulliver' visited Dublin for the city's millennium celebrations. The statue of Molly Malone was unveiled in Grafton Street, and special milk bottles were produced.

  • .ie became the country code for Irish websites.

  • Comedy series Nighthawks was first broadcast on the newly-renamed RTÉ Network 2.


While these facts about 1988 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.