1983 Annual History Facts

1983 Annual History Facts

  • Sports Record: The most points scored in an NBA game is 186 by the Detroit Pistons against the Denver Nuggets. The second most is 184 by the Denver Nuggets, in the same game on Dec 13, 1983.
  • The Top Song was Every Breath You Take by The Police
  • The Big Movies included Return of the Jedi, Terms of Endearment, and Flashdance
  • Price of Chevrolet Chevette in 1983: $7,287.00
    Bananas: 33 cents/pound
    32 oz Listerine: $2.49
  • The World Population was ~ 4,640,000,000
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 71.0 years, Females: 78.1 years
  • Jenga was introduced at the London Toy Fair in January 1983.
  • Since 1983, the distance light defines the length of the meter travels in 1/299,792,458 of a second.
  • And… Mr. Rogers Neighborhood aired a five-episode arc about nuclear war titled Conflict in November 1983. The episodes have not aired in reruns since.

World Series Champions

Baltimore Orioles

Superbowl XVII Champions

Washington Redskins

National Basketball Association Champions

Philadelphia 76ers

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

New York Islanders

US Open Golf

Larry Nelson

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Jimmy Connors/Martina Navratilova

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

John McEnroe/Martina Naratilova

NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions

North Carolina State

Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1983 – Nebraska over LSU
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1983 – UCLA over Michigan
Sugar Bowl: January 1, 1983 – Penn State over Georgia

Kentucky Derby

Sunny’s Halo

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Kabiks the Challenger

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

Ronald Reagan
Yuri Andetopov

Miss America

Debra Maffett (Anaheim, CA)

Miss USA

Julie Hayek (California)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Carol Alt, Loni Anderson, Catherine Bach, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Anne Carlisle, Phoebe Cates, Joan Collins, Lydia Cornell, Rebecca DeMornay, Janice Dickinson, Linda Evans, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Deborah Foreman, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Kathy Ireland, Grace Jones, Nastassja Kinski, Tawny Kitaen, Diane Lane, Audrey Landers, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Paulina Porizkova, Markie Post, Princess Diana, Victoria Principal, Betsy Russell, Brooke Shields, Suzanne Somers, Cheryl Tiegs, Heather Thomas

“The Quotes”

“Go ahead, make my day.”
– Clint Eastwood in Sudden Impact

“Say hello to my little friend!”
– Tony Montana in Scarface

“Would you like to play a game?”
– NORAD W.O.P.R. in WarGames

George Lucas approached Mark Hamill in 1983 and asked him if he’d like to play an elderly, mentoring Luke to hand the story to the next generation. When Hamill asked, “When?”, Lucas replied, “Oh, around 2011.”

1983 Pop Culture History

Someone born in 1983 is a member of three different “generations” – Generation X, Generation Y, and Millennials.

As of 2017, of the top 20 most watched TV broadcasts in the United States, 19 were Super Bowls, and the other was the 1983 finale of television’s M*A*S*H.

Naloxone (Narcan) has become a mainstay of hospital emergency rooms and medical wards. It can be injected or sprayed up the nose and can stop/reverse a heroin overdose in under two minutes. It’s so vital the World Health Organization placed the drug on its list of essential medications in 1983.

One hundred twenty-five million people watched the series finale of M*A*S*H. The U.S. population that year was approx. 203 million people.

The 1983 Atlantic hurricane season was the least active in 53 years; only four tropical storms formed. The season officially began on June 1, 1983, and lasted until November 30, 1983.

New York City’s sewer system experienced a 6.7 million gallon hike after the series finale of M*A*S*H. An estimated one million citizens held it until the end.

MTV would reputedly have folded in 1983 if Mick Jagger hadn’t agreed to say, “I Want My MTV” in front of a camera and allowed it to be used in MTV’s iconic “I Want My MTV” ad campaign. That ad campaign saved the network from ruin.

In 1983, 90% of US media was controlled by fifty companies; today, 90% is controlled by just six companies.

On November 6th, 1983, Will Byers disappeared.

In their 1983 film Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, the Pythons defined the meaning of life as “Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book now and then, get some walking in, and try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.”

Cliff Young, a 61-year-old potato farmer, won a 544-mile endurance race because he ran all night while the younger ‘professional’ athletes slept.

Papa John Schnatter sold his car in 1983 to help start his pizza company. He later located and bought the car in 2009, for $250,000.

An Air Canada flight ran out of fuel mid-flight, but the crew glided the 767 to a nearby airport. The plane turned out to have only been filled with half the fuel it needed due to a miscalculation because Canada was converting to the metric system.

The Pittsburgh Penguins purposefully finished last in the 1983-84 season to secure the 1984 draft pick of current owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux.

Not only was Return of the Jedi 1983’s top-grossing film but also its novelization was the year’s top-selling book.

John Lasseter was fired from Disney 1983 for pushing too hard for computer animation. When Disney bought Pixar in 2006, Lasseter was given a $5 million signing bonus, a $2.5 million salary, and control of all Disney’s animation projects.

Red Red Wine was written by Neil Diamond in ’67. The band UB40 covered it in ’83 in a light reggae style, reaching #1 on the Billboard 100. Diamond has stated that it is one of his favorite covers, and he often performs the song in the UB40 style instead of the original version.

Musician Frank Zappa had an idea in 1983 that mapped out a sophisticated filesharing system meant to bypass record companies.

Actor Kevin Costner was ‘the dead guy’ in the opening of the film The Big Chill, but we never saw his face.

Every new issue of the adult magazine Hustler has been sent to all 535 Members of Congress since 1983 by owner Larry Flynt. Congress has tried to stop the deliveries, but the U.S. District Court has ruled that the delivery cannot be stopped under the First Amendment.

Sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov contracted HIV from a blood transfusion received during his bypass operation in 1983. His physicians advised him against going public, warning that the anti-AIDS prejudice would likely extend to his family members. He died from HIV complications in 1992.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1983: $400,000

The unScandals

Jim Thorpe regained his 1912 decathlon and pentathlon Olympic Gold Medals, 30 years after his death. They were originally taken from him because it was revealed that he played professional minor-league baseball for a season in 1908.

After Michael Jackson’s hair was accidentally set on fire during the shooting of a Pepsi commercial in 1983, he chose not to sue but instead asked Pepsi to fund the creation of a burn center.

Captain Bob Pearson landed Flight 143, piloting an Air Canada Boeing 767, at the RCAF Station Gimli, a closed air force base, with several mechanical failures and NO FUEL.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

While on duty at a Soviet nuclear attack warning station in 1983, Stanislav Petrov’s computer indicated the US had fired several missiles. He decided his computer was faulty and urged against a launch. He was right, averting nuclear war, but was not rewarded and was reprimanded by his superiors.

Korean airliner (Flight 007) was shot down by a Russian jet, killing 269 people. The Russian government did not acknowledge the incident for five days.

Germany’s Der Stern magazine obtained Adolf Hitler’s secret diaries. After announcing them, and showing them to the world, it was discovered that they were fake.

Thistle, Utah, was destroyed by a landslide and the resulting flood. The disaster was the costliest landslide in United States history.

When Sally Ride was preparing to launch as the first US woman in space in 1983, reporters asked, “Do you cry when things go wrong on the job?” and “Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?”

Rock star Dave Navarro’s mother was murdered in 1983. In 1991, Navarro appeared on America’s Most Wanted, and thanks to a viewer tip, the killer was caught.

Pop Star Death: Karen Carpenter (eating disorder) The word ‘anorexia’ entered the American vocabulary.

A preserved head was discovered at a bog in Lindow Moss. Believing the remains to be his former wife, Peter Reyn-Bardt confessed to murdering her in 1960. When testing later found the head was from 250 AD, Reyn-Bardt tried to revoke his confession but was still convicted of her murder.

Steven Seagal accidentally broke Sean Connery’s wrist while filming Never Say Never Again in 1983.

Thomas Silverstein is a convict who’s been held in solitary confinement at a Supermax prison since 1983. Considered one of the most dangerous inmates in the U.S., he’s committed multiple murders in jail. He’s held in a specially designed cell called Range 13 and has no human contact

An Alabama school tried to ban The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank in 1983 because, according to the board’s records, it was “a real downer.”

Korean Air flight 007 was shot down over Soviet airspace without warning.

Iqbal Masih (1983-1995) was a Pakistani child who, at age four, was sold into bondage by his family, escaped after years of hardship, and helped thousands of children flee bondage labor through his international activism. He was assassinated at age 12.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Compuvision Console by Bently, DMS’s Telesports Mini, My Little Pony, Care Bears, WereBears stuffed bears, and Cabbage Patch Kids were the must-have Christmas toy.

The computer mouse was invented.

Sally Ride became the first woman in Space.

In 1966 Dick Shulze founded his stereo store, ‘The Sound of Music.’ In 1983, he renamed it “Best Buy” and started the current chain of home electronics stores.

J. Crew began selling through a mail-order catalog.

Bop Magazine (1983-2014)

Vanity Fair began publication

The Habits

Showing off your Swatch Watches, and showing off your Break Dancing moves.
Wacky Wallwalkers were octo-shaped sticky toys that could be tossed against a wall, then slowly ‘slime’ their way down.
Reading Return of the Jedi Storybook by Joan D. Vinge
Reading Ironweed by William Kennedy

1983/84 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Dallas (CBS)
2. 60 Minutes (CBS)
3. Dynasty (ABC)
4. The A-Team (NBC)
5. Simon & Simon (CBS)
6. Magnum, P.I. (CBS)
7. Falcon Crest (CBS)
8. Kate & Allie (CBS)
9. Hotel (ABC)
10. Cagney & Lacey (CBS)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1983 include
Daryl Hall & John Oates, Angela Bofill, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, Bonnie Tyler, Culture Club, Daryl Hall & John Oates, David Bowie, DeBarge, Don Henley, Donna Summer, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, George Clinton, James Ingram, Irene Cara, Journey, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Men at Work, Micheal Jackson, Naked Eyes, New Edition, Patti Austin, Patrice Rushen, Paul McCartney, The Police, Ray Parker Jr, Prince, Rick James, Rufus, Stray Cats, Styx, Toto

(Data is compiled from charts including Billboard’s Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance, and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 1983

December 18, 1982 – January 14, 1983: Daryl Hall and John Oates – Maneater

January 15, 1983 – February 4, 1983: Men at Work – Down Under

February 5, 1983 – February 18, 1983: Toto – Africa

February 19, 1983 – March 4, 1983: Patti Austin and James Ingram – Baby, Come to Me

March 5, 1983 – April 22, 1983: Michael Jackson – Billie Jean

April 23, 1983 – April 29, 1983: Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

April 30, 1983 – May 20, 1983: Michael Jackson – Beat It

May 21, 1983 – May 27, 1983: David Bowie – Let’s Dance

May 28, 1983 – July 8, 1983: Irene Cara – Flashdance… What a Feeling

July 9, 1983 – September 2, 1983: The Police – Every Breath You Take

September 3, 1983 – September 9, 1983: Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

September 10, 1983 – September 23, 1983: Michael Sembello – Maniac

September 24, 1983 – September 30, 1983: Billy Joel – Tell Her About It

October 1, 1983 – October 28, 1983: Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart

October 29, 1983 – November 11, 1983: Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream

November 12, 1983 – December 9, 1983: Lionel Richie – All Night Long (All Night)

December 10, 1983 – January 20, 1984: Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson – Say, Say, Say

Popular Movies

(according to boxofficemojo)
1. Return Of The Jedi
2. Terms of Endearment
3. Flashdance
4. Trading Places
5. WarGames
6. Octopussy
7. Sudden Impact
8. Staying Alive
9. Mr. Mom
10. Risky Business

The Big Chill, Blue Thunder, Flashdance, Jaws 3-D, The Man With Two Brains, Mr. Mom, Never Cry Wolf, Never Say Never Again, Night of the Comet, Octopussy, The Outsiders, Porky’s II: The Next Day, Psycho II, Risky Business, Scarface, Silkwood, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (re-release), Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Staying Alive, Sudden Impact, Superman III, Terms of Endearment, Trading Places, Twilight Zone: The MovieUncommon Valor, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Valley Girl, Videodrome, WarGames, Yentyl

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