QUIZ: Do You Remember ALL These 31 Iconic Moments Of The 80s

The 80s were an incredible decade, full of advances, discoveries and some of the best music of all time. The teen movie came of age in the 80s, with films such as “Lost Boy,” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” There were the gross-out comedies like Porkies through to John Hughes’ more thoughtful films like Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. 

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giphy QUIZ: Do You Remember ALL These 31 Iconic Moments Of The 80s

Yes, the eighties definitely had a lot going on. From the wedding of Charles and Dianna, to the launching of the MTV Music Awards. It was the decade in which the McNugget was launched and the Titanic wreckage was found. There was definitely plenty that hit the headlines over the ten long period. Here, we count down some of the most iconic moments that happened during the 1980s. How many of these do you remember, and are there any you think should be included on the list? Let us know.

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31. Tiananmen Massacre – 1989

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This is the iconic photo from Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. An unidentified man stands alone on Cangan Boulevard, blocking the advance of military tanks on June 5th, 1989. Hundreds and thousands of peopled died the day before the photo was taken when Chinese troops fired on civilians who are participating in peaceful anti-government protests in the square. It also led to thousands of arrests and several dozen executions. Ironically, Tiananmen means “Gate of Heavenly Peace.”

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30. Mr. T and Hulk Hogan Team Up – 1985

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Mr. T and Hulk Hogan, two massive tough-guy pop culture icons. They joined forces for several projects in the mid 1980’s. In March 1985, they teamed up for the debut of WrestleMania. They also co-hosted an episode of “Saturday Night Live.” With both having big, tough-man personalities and big arms, we can see why this worked so well.

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29. The Recording Of “We Are The World” – 1985

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This is a time when music made a difference. In January 1985, 45 musicians joined forces and got together to record a song for the benefit of African famine relief. The supergroup was made up of superstars such as Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Bob Dylan. The record “We Are The World” went on to sell more than 20 million copies.

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28. The First MTV Music Awards – 1984

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The first ever MTV Music Awards took place on September 14th 1984. It featured the iconic performance of Madonna’s wedding gown-clad performance of “Like a Virgin.” At the awards, Michael Jackson and Herbie Hancock both took home several awards. Cyndi Lauper won “Best Female Video” for her song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

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27. The Afghan Girl – 1985

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This is the haunting image of Sharbat Gula, a 12-year-old Pashtun orphan girl in a refugee camp on the Afghan-Pakistani border. The iconic image appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. It was taken by renowned photographer, Steve McCurry and is considered the magazine’s most successful cover photo it the publication’s history.

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26. Michael Jackson Debuts His Famous Glove – 1984

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During the first show of his Victory Tour on July 7th, 1984, pop star Michael Jackson sported a single white glove. It is described as the ultimate piece of Michael Jackson memorabilia. The glove is the creation of designer Ted Shell and contains 50 tiny lights. It sold for $190,000 in 2010.

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25. Cabbage Patch Fever Takes Hold – 1983

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Xavier Roberts created and designed the Cabbage Patch Kids back when he was an art student in 1977. They were originally called “Little People.” By the end of 1983, full-on hysteria surrounding the dolls had set in. Parents were literally fighting each other in the aisles of stores to obtain them, ready for Christmas.

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24. The Emergence of The Compact Disc – 1982

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The first compact-disc player and the first commercial compact disc, which was Billy Joel’s “52nd Street” debuted on the 1st October 1982. It offered music listeners an alternative to vinyl records and cassette tapes. CD technology resulted from an unprecedented collaboration between Philips and Sony. It didn’t really kick off until several years after, mainly due to its high cost.

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23. The Rubiks Cube Craze – 1980

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The Hungarian architecture professor, Erno Rubik, invented the iconic Rubik’s Cube puzzle in the 1970s. It was originally called the “Magic Cube,” but the toy was renamed in 1980. In 1982, the first international Rubik’s Cube Championships took place. We still can’t figure out how people crack the cube so quickly. We’re flummoxed.

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22. The Falkland’s War – 1982

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The Falklands War lasted for 10 weeks and began in April 1982. It began when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a longtime UK colony. The UK sent a force to defend the islands and hundreds of people lost their lives. This included 655 Argentine servicemen, 255 British servicemen as well as three Falkland Islanders.

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21. The Death Of John Belushi – 1982

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At the age of 33, funnyman and former “Saturday Night Live” star, John Belushi, passed away following a drug overdose at the age of 33. The 33-year-old actor was found by his physical trainer, William Wallace, in a bedroom of a small house Mr. Belushi had rented at the Chateau Marmont Hotel. In the above image, Bill Murray puts a flower on his coffin.

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20. The Assassination of President Anwar Al-Sadat of Egypt – 1981

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In October 1981, military officers open fired on Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat whilst he watched an annual parade in honour of Egypt’s 1973 war with Israel. Al-Sadat won a Nobel Peace Price for a 1979 peace treaty he signed with Israel. He was killed in the shooting along with several other dignitaries.

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19. Debut Of The First Personal Computer – 1981 

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The first personal computer debuted in 1981 by IBM. The company was previously known for manufacturing mainframe computers. The public could buy the 5150 at ComputerLand and Sears, with the base model retailing at $1,565. This is equivalent to nearly £4,000 today. The machine weighed around 25 pounds and was considered compact at the time.

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18. The Reunion Of Simon and Garfunkel – 1981

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On September 21st 1981, about 500,000 fans showed up to watch Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel perform in New York’s Central Park. At the time, it was the largest crowd to ever attend a free concert there. The duo, who are known for such hits as “Mrs. Robinson,” hadn’t performed together for a decade.

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17. Assassination Attempt Of The Pope – 1981 

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Pope John Paul II had to undergo five hours of surgery to save his life after an assassination attempt in 1981. He was shot in the abdomen and hand by Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Pater’s Square. Agca went on to serve 19 years in an Italian prison. The Pope pardoned Agca in 1983 and worked for his eventual release.

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16. The Death of Bob Marley – 1981

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After a four-year battle with skin cancer that started on his toe and spread to his vital organs, legendary Jamaican musician, Bob Marley, died on May 11 1981. He was 36 years old at the time. Marley himself survived an assassination attempt after being shot in the chest following appearances at public rallies in support of them Prime Minister, Michael Manley.

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15. Ronald Reagan is Shot – 1981

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Whilst leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30th, 1981, U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, was shot in the left side. The Secret Service rushed Reagan to George Washington University Hospital were he underwent surgery and recovered. The shooter was later found not guilty by reason of insanity. It only became apparent that the President had been shot as they were in the motorcade on the way to the White House.

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14. The Pac-Man Craze – 1980

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The video game that features a hungry mouth evading ghosts hit American arcades in October 1980 and became an instantaneous hit. Parent company, Bandai Namco Entertainment, sold more than 100,000 arcade units within 15 months. It’s first name, “Puck-man,” came from the Japanese word “paku,” or “to chomp.”

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13. The Gdansk Agreement – 1980

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In August 1980, Lech Walesa led a shipyard strike in Gdansk, Poland. The strike was an effort to improve conditions for the country’s workforce. The series of strikes that followed led to the Gdansk Agreement. This agreement allowed workers the right to strike and organise unions. Lech Walesa was born on September 29, 1943 in Popowo, Poland. After graduating from vocational school, he worked as a car mechanic at a machine center from 1961 to 1965.

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12. Sebastian Coe at the Moscow Olympics – 1980 

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In 1980, the Summer Olympics were held in Moscow. British runner, Sebastian Coe, is seen here crossing the finish line to win the 1,500 meter final. This was considered a huge upset, and was one of the most memorable moments of that year’s Games. Coe later entered the political world and led London’s winning bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.

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11. Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe – 1980 

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It is considered to be one of the greatest tennis matches of all time. Bjorn Borg beat fierce rival and relative newcomer, John McEnroe, to win his fifth straight Wimbledon title in July 1980. McEnroe was hot-tempered and Borg, calm and collected. The were nicknamed Fire and Ice. The following year, Borg retired.

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10. The Death of John Lennon – 1980

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After being shot multiple times in the chest by a man named Mark David Chapman, John Lennon died on December 8th, 1980. Fans gathered to mourn the musician’s death outside of his New York City apartment building where the shooting took place. A teenage girl in Florida and a man of 30 in Utah killed themselves, leaving notes that spoke of depression due to Lennon’s death.

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9. The Birth Of Cable News – 1980

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The first 24-hour television news network was launched on June 1, 1980 on cable channel CNN. The show was anchored by David Walker and Lois Hart, who were husband and wife. 38 years later, 24 hour news channels are everywhere, giving us round the clock updates every hour of every day. That’s a lot of news.

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8. Eruption of Mount St. Helens – 1980

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In the May of 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington state. It lead to the deaths of 57 people. The eruption was triggered by an earthquake. The eruption blasted more than 1000 feet off the top of the volcano. It left a massive crater and spread tons of volcanic ash across several states.

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7. The Launch of The Game Boy – 1989

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Nintendo’s Game Boy launched in Japan on the 21st April, 1989. It instantly revolutionised the gaming world by allowing users to play anywhere. This is as long as they had a pair of AA batteries. The console popularised games such as Tetris, that were once only available on the PC. The device sold out of its initial run and went on to sell more than 118 million units.

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6. The Lockerbie Bombing – 1988

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Whilst en route from London to New York, the Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland on December 21st 1988. An investigation found that the cause of the crash was a bomb planted in a suitcase by Libyan terrorists. All 259 people on board were killed, as well as 11 people on the ground.

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5. Miracle on Ice – 1980 

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On February 22nd, 1980, a U.S. hockey team that was comprised of college players and amateurs, defeated the perennially favoured Soviet Union in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics. It has been recognised as the No. 1 sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. The Americans went on to win gold in front of a home crowd in Lake Placid, New York.

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4. The Chernobyl Meltdown – 1986

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On April 26th, 1986, there were a series of explosions within a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl. It led to a partial meltdown in the Ukrainian town. The accident killed 32 people and the town became inextricably linked to the spectre of nuclear disaster. 2 million people were affected by the radiation produced by the explosion. The explosion was 400 times more powerful than Hiroshima atomic bomb in 1945.

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3. The Explosion Of Challenger – 1986

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After launching from Florida on January 28th 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded. All seven crew members of Challenger were killed. President Ronald Reagan said: “The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling is into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.” After the incident, the result of cold weather and a design flaw, scientists made more than 100 changes to the shuttle to make it safer.

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2. The Discovery Of Titanic – 1985

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On the 2nd September, 1985, a team of American and French researchers discovered the wreckage of the Titanic, south of Newfoundland. It was more than 12,000 feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most famous shipwrecks of all time. The famous vessel sank on April 15th 1912, leading to the deaths of 1,500 people.

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1. The Marriage of Charles and Dianna – 1981

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An estimated audience of 750 million people tuned in to watch Britain’s Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer on July 29th, 1981. The marriage was billed as a “fairytale wedding” and the “wedding of the century.” Events were held around the Commonwealth to mark the wedding. Many street parties were held across the United Kingdom to celebrate the occasion. The couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.

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