Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!

January Trivia
February Trivia
March Trivia
April Trivia
May Trivia
June Trivia
July Trivia
August Trivia
September Trivia
October Trivia
November Trivia
December Trivia
US Patents 1790-1836
2016 Trivia & History
2015 Trivia & History
2014 Trivia & History
2013 Trivia & History
2012 Trivia & History
2011 Trivia & History
2010 Trivia & History
2009 Trivia & History
2008 Trivia & History
2007 Trivia & History
2006 Trivia & History
2005 Trivia & History
2004 Trivia & History
2003 Trivia & History
2002 Trivia & History
2001 Trivia & History
2000 Trivia & History
1999 Trivia & History
1998 Trivia & History
1997 Trivia & History
1996 Trivia & History
1995 Trivia & History
1994 Trivia & History
1993 Trivia & History
1992 Trivia & History
1991 Trivia & History
1990 Trivia & History
1989 Trivia & History
1988 Trivia & History
1987 Trivia & History
1986 Trivia & History
1985 Trivia & History
1984 Trivia & History
1983 Trivia & History
1982 Trivia & History
1981 Trivia & History
1980 Trivia & History
1979 Trivia & History
1978 Trivia & History
1977 Trivia & History
1976 Trivia & History
1975 Trivia & History
1974 Trivia & History
1973 Trivia & History
1972 Trivia & History
1971 Trivia & History
1970 Trivia & History
1969 Trivia & History
1968 Trivia & History
1967 Trivia & History
1966 Trivia & History
1965 Trivia & History
1964 Trivia & History
1963 Trivia & History
1962 Trivia & History
1961 Trivia & History
1960 Trivia & History
1959 Trivia & History
1958 Trivia & History
1957 Trivia & History
1956 Trivia & History
1955 Trivia & History
1954 Trivia & History
1953 Trivia & History
1952 Trivia & History
1951 Trivia & History
1950 Trivia & History
1949 Trivia & History
1948 Trivia & History
1947 Trivia & History
1946 Trivia & History
1945 Trivia & History
1944 Trivia & History
1943 Trivia & History
1942 Trivia & History
1941 Trivia & History
1940 Trivia & History
1939 Trivia & History
1938 Trivia & History
1937 Trivia & History
1936 Trivia & History
1935 Trivia & History
1934 Trivia & History
1933 Trivia & History
1932 Trivia & History
1931 Trivia & History
1930 Trivia & History
1929 Trivia & History
1928 Trivia & History
1927 Trivia & History
1926 Trivia & History
1925 Trivia & History
1924 Trivia & History
1923 Trivia & History
1922 Trivia & History
1921 Trivia & History
1920 Trivia & History

1980 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1979

1980 40 Years Ago | History Snapshot

  • Politics: President Jimmy Carter signed the (very controverial) Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act, granting a $1.5 billion loan from the government to the car company.
  • The Supreme Court allowed gene patenting. Companies could 'own' genetically altered life forms and DNA.
  • The Top Song was Lady by Kenny Rogers
  • The Big Movies included The Empire Strikes Back, 9 to 5 and Stir Crazy
  • Lay's Potato Chips, 16 oz: $1.49
    Rubick's Cube: $9.99
    Minimum Wage in 1980: $3.10 per hour
  • The World Population was ~ 4,392,000,000
  • The Rubic's Cube was introduced in 1980.The sides are white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow.
  • And... L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, has called the 1980 film The Blues Brothers a "Catholic classic"and called it "recommended viewing for Catholics everywhere."

World Series Champions

Philadelphia Phillies

Superbowl XIV Champions

Pittsburgh Steelers

National Basketball Association Champions

Los Angeles Lakers

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

New York Islanders

US Open Golf

Jack Nicklaus

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

John McEnroe/Chris Evert Lloyd

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Bjorn Borg/Evonne Cawley

NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1980 - Oklahoma over Florida State
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1980 - USC over Ohio State
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1980 - Alabama over Arkansas

Kentucky Derby

Genuine Risk

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Innisfree's Sierra Cinnar

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Ronald Reagan

Miss America

Cheryl Prewitt (Ackerman, MS)

Miss USA

Shawn Weatherly (South Carolina) /Jineane Ford (Arizona)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Kim Alexis, Carol Alt, Loni Anderson, Susan Anton, Barbara Bach, Catherine Bach, Kim Basinger, Valerie Bertinelli, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Gia Carangi, Lynda Carter, Charo, Lydia Cornell, Bo Derek, Janice Dickinson, Morgan Fairchild, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Jane Fonda, Karen Graham, Erin Gray, Shelly Hack, Debbie Harry, Goldie Hawn, Marilu Henner, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Cheryl Ladd, Audrey Landers, Judy Landers, Jessica Lange, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Bernadette Peters, Victoria Principal, Tanya Roberts, Diana Ross, Jane Seymour, Brooke Shields, Jacquelyn Smith, Suzanne Somers, Donna Summer, Cheryl Tiegs, Charlene Tilton, Mary Woronov

"The Quotes"

"Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon? "
-Grey Poupon

"Who Shot JR?"
- Fans of CBS's Dallas television series

"Here's Johnny!"
- Jack Nicholson, in The Shining

"You dipstick"
- Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard

Striker: "Surely you can't be serious?!"
Rumack: "I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
- Robert Hays and Leslie Nielsen, in Airplane!

"No, I am your father" (NOT Luke, I am your father)
-Darth Vader, to a surprised Luke Skywalker

"Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a miracle...It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!"
- Bill Murray, in Caddyshack

CNN's founder Ted Turner, at the launch of the channel in 1980, promised: "We won't be signing off until the world ends... We'll be... covering it live... when the end of the world comes, we'll play Nearer My God to Thee before we sign off."

1980 Pop Culture History

The 1980 comedy Airplane! is largely based on the 1957 drama Zero Hour! It follows the same plot, uses the same character name for the hero passenger, and parodies numerous scenes using the same dialog word for word.

The first rap single to reach #1 in the US was Ice Ice Baby in 1990. The first rap single to reach #1 in Canada was Rapper's Delight in 1980.

After being convicted of second-degree murder in 1911, 17 year old Geidel served 68 years and 245 days in the New York prison system. He was released on May 7, 1980, at the age of 86. Granted parole in 1974, at 80, he did not want to leave prison. He died at 93 in a nursing home.

There has been some debate about 3M's Post-it notes. The product was used in a marketing campaign in 1978 as 'Post N Peel' , and sold nationally in 1980 as 'Post-it Notes.' New products are in 'test mode' all the time. We say 1980.

Gloria Gaynor won the Grammy for Best Disco Recording at the 22nd awards in 1980 (for 1979 songs), then the category was discontinued.

The Trix rabbit has actually eaten the cereal twice: in 1976 and 1980.

James Earl Jones declined to have his name appear on the credits of both Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), claiming that he felt his contribution wasn't significant enough to warrant a credit.

The term Cyberpunk was coined by Bruce Bethke in 1980.

Since 1980 about 40% of the top honours in men's long distance international athletics have gone to Kenyans from a single tribe, the Kalenjin.

William Bergstrom arrived at Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada with two suitcases: one containing $777,000 in cash, the other empty. He placed the full amount on a single bet of dice which he won and packed the winnings in the empty suitcase.

Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White was discovered on The Price Is Right in 1980. She was one of the first four contestants and never made it on stage.

In 1980, the first 1 GB hard drive cost $40,000 and weighed over 500 pounds.

John Belushi disappeared off the set of The Blues Brothers one night. On a hunch, Dan Aykroyd went to the nearest house with lights on; "Belushi? He came in here an hour ago and raided my fridge. He's asleep on my couch," the confused homeowner informed him.

In 1980 Saddam Hussein received the key to Detroit.

Four FBI agents went to the Census Bureau's Colorado Springs office with warrants but were forced to leave. Courts upheld that no agency, including the FBI, has access to Census data."

In 1970 America had over 50,000 pay toilets. By 1980, there were almost none.

While viewing 1980's The Blue Lagoon, John Gibbons, a herpetologist (reptile scientist), noticed iguanas in the background with characteristics unseen in documented species. He then traveled to Fiji, tracked & named the Fiji Crested Iguana.

The Roswell UFO incident was almost immediately dismissed and forgotten until The National Enquirer ran a story on it in 1980.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1980: $222,000

The Rhinoceros Party of Canada, a satirical, but registered political party in Canada, received 1.01% of the popular vote in the 1980 election campaigning to repeal the law of gravity and provide higher education by building taller schools.

Even under a worst-case scenario, no Rubik's Cube is farther than 20 moves from being solved.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Robert Landsburg, while filming Mount St. Helens volcano eruption in 1980 realized he could not survive it, so he rewound the film back into its case, put his camera in his backpack, and then lay himself on top of the backpack to protect the film for future researchers.

The declared winner of the 1980 Boston Marathon, Rosie Ruiz, was later stripped of her title after it was discovered that she snuck into the race a half-mile before the finish line.

Arcade game Pac-Man was originally named "Puck-Man". The name was changed to prevent vandals from changing the "P" to an "F".

Maureen Wilcox played the RI and the MA lotteries at the same time and hit the correct numbers for both. Unfortunately, she picked all the correct MA numbers on her RI ticket and all the right RI numbers on her MA ticket.

After customs found 8 ounces of cannabis in his luggage, Paul McCartney sat in jail for 10 days before eventually being released without charges.

Saddam Hussein donated $450,000 to a Chaldean church in Detroit, earning himself the key to the city.

The Olympic Village used at Lake Placid 1980 Olympics became, and is, a functioning prison.

Convicted murderer Jack Abbot wrote Norman Mailer about his experiences behind bars. Impressed with his writing, Mailer helped get Abbot's book published and spearheaded Abbot's successful parole in 1980. 6 weeks after being released, Abbot stabbed another man to death in New York City.

The mother of a 9-week-old child, Azaria Chamberlain, that went missing in 1980 insisted that a dingo took her baby. Six years after being convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, the child's jacket was found in a dingo lair. In 2012, it was officially ruled that a dingo had taken and killed the child.

Saudia Flight 163 made a successful emergency landing after the plane caught fire, but all 301 people on board died because the captain did not immediately order an emergency evacuation.

During the filming of Caligula, in Rome, Malcolm McDowell took the entire production crew out to dinner to celebrate an English football win against Italy. At the end of the expensive meal, he claimed to not have enough money, and stuck the film's choreographer with the bill.

Cannibal Holocaust - a movie was made in 1980 that was so graphic and realistic that the director, Ruggero Deodato, was arrested on charges of making a snuff film.

A Washington Post reporter named Janet Cooke fabricated a story about an 8-year-old heroin addict in 1980. The story, Jimmy's World, won a Pulitzer Prize, which she returned once the editors outed her.

In 2010, Japanese welfare officials went to check on a 111-year old man, the family refused to let them see him. Returning with police, they found his mummified corpse still wearing pajamas. The man had died in 1980, but the family hid his death so they could continue to collect his pension.

Upon arrival in Tokyo for Wings' highly anticipated 1980 sold out tour, Paul McCartney was arrested at the airport after a search of his luggage revealed 219 grams of marijuana. The tour was cancelled and McCartney spent nine days in jail.

Rock Star Murder: John Lennon was shot and killed by a "fan" - Mark David Chapman.

Rock Star Deaths: John Bonham (alcohol poisoning), Bon Scott (drunk, choked on own vomit)

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Nintendo's Game & Watch, Rubik's Cube, Magna Doodle

Whole Foods was founded in Austin, Texas.

Computer modem was invented.

CNN began broadcasting from Atlanta, Georgia.

The Habits

Playing with a Rubik's Cube
Pac-Man, Centipede (arcade)

Reading The Official Preppy Handbook

Guessing 'who shot J.R.?' (it was Kristin Shepard, played by Mary Crosby)

Reading The Covenant by James A. Michener

United States 1980 Census

Total US Population: 226,542,199
1. New York, New York - 7,071,639
2. Chicago, Illinois - 3,005,072
3. Los Angeles, California - 2,966,850
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 1,688,210
5. Houston, Texas - 1,595,138
6. Detroit, Michigan - 1,203,339
7. Dallas, Texas - 904,078
8. San Diego, California - 875,538
9. Phoenix, Arizona - 789,704
10. Baltimore, Maryland - 786,775

1980/81 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Dallas (CBS)
2. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS)
3. 60 Minutes (CBS)
4. M*A*S*H (CBS)
5. The Love Boat (ABC)
6. The Jeffersons (CBS)
7. Alice (CBS)
8. House Calls (CBS)
9. Three's Company (ABC)
10. Little House on the Prairie (NBC)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1980 include
Air Supply, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, Blondie, Boz Scaggs, The Brothers Johnson, Christopher Cross, Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Dr. Hook, Earth, Wind & Fire, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), George Benson, Jermaine Jackson, John Lennon, KC & the Sunshine Band, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, Kool & the Gang, Micheal Jackson, Pat Benatar, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Olivia Newton-John, Prince, Queen, Ray Parker Jr & Raydio, Shalamar, The Spinners, S.O.S. Band, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergrass, The Whispers

(Data is complied from various 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 1980

December 22, 1979 - January 4, 1980: Rupert Holmes - Escape (The Piņa Colada Song)

January 5, 1980 - January 18, 1980: KC and the Sunshine Band - Please Don't Go

January 19, 1980 - February 15, 1980: Michael Jackson - Rock with You

February 16, 1980 - February 22, 1980: Captain & Tennille - Do That to Me One More Time

February 23, 1980 - March 21, 1980: Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love

March 22, 1980 - April 18, 1980: Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall

April 19, 1980 - May 30, 1980: Blondie - Call Me

May 31, 1980 - June 27, 1980: Lipps Inc - Funkytown

June 28, 1980 - July 18, 1980: Paul McCartney - Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)

July 19, 1980 - August 1, 1980: Billy Joel - It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

August 2, 1980 - August 29, 1980: Olivia Newton-John - Magic

August 30, 1980 - September 5, 1980: Christopher Cross - Sailing

September 6, 1980 - October 3, 1980: Diana Ross - Upside Down

October 4, 1980 - October 24, 1980: Queen - Another One Bites the Dust

October 25, 1980 - November 14, 1980: Barbra Streisand - Woman in Love

November 15, 1980 - December 26, 1980: Kenny Rogers - Lady

December 27, 1980 - January 30, 1981: John Lennon - (Just Like) Starting Over

Popular Movies

(according to boxofficemojo)
1. The Empire Strikes Back
2. 9 to 5
3. Stir Crazy
4. Airplane!
5. Any Which Way You can
6. Private Benjamin
7. Coal Miner's Daughter
8. Smokey and the Bandit II
9. The Blue Lagoon
10. The Blues Brothers

9 to 5, Airplane!, Any Which Way You Can, The Blue Lagoon, The Blues Brothers, Brubaker, Caddyshack, Cheech and Chong's Next Movie, Coal Miner's Daughter, Dressed To Kill, Fame, Flash Gordon, Friday the 13th, Herbie Goes Bananas, The Jazz Singer, Little Darlings, Ordinary People, Popeye, Private Benjamin, Seems Like Old Times, The Shining, Smokey and the Bandit II, Stir Crazy, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Urban Cowboy

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1980
# 1 Hits of 1980
Pop Culture News

Pop-Culture.us is part of the Pop Culture Madness network - your complete Trivia and entertaining news resource.
Our motto: "All The Pop Culture News That Fits, We Print!"

The facts listed are true to the best of our knowledge and should be considered by readers to be a starting point to learn more about American Popular Culture. Please send and additions or corrections to Editor @popculturemadness.com.
Everything else © copyright 1999-2020 Pop Culture Madness, unless stated otherwise.

By the way, PCM does NOT allow frequent Pop up ads, Pop under ads, or sneaky spyware. Nor do we link to sites that have excessive Pop-ups, spyware or inappropriate (all ages) material. If you find one, please let us know and they are toast!
Also, since we don't "sell out" to those Pop-up advertisers, and we're too proud (so far) to ask for donations, we'd like to proudly point out some of our carefully chosen advertisers throughout the site. They have some cool stuff that should be sitting in your room, or wrapped like a present for a friend.
Please check 'em out!

pop, as in 'popular' :(adjective) Pertaining to the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class.
Having characteristics attributed to the common people and intended for or suited to ordinary people.

culture:(noun) That which is excellent in the arts.
A particular stage of civilization. The behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.

madness: (noun) The state of being mad. insanity, senseless folly, intense excitement or enthusiasm.
Privacy Statement/Contact
TL;DR - Privacy Statement: We will not sell, give or share any personal information, including e-mail addresses, of any of our visitors to anyone outside of Pop Culture Madness. com or our affiliated network sites. We do not accept any stealth or spyware advertisers or third party sponsors of such programs. Pop Culture Madness. com and affiliated sites do not send spam, offer get-rich-quick schemes, offer or suggest "enhancement" devices or medications via e-mail.

For purposes of Review, we often (usually) get samples, press access and other 'inside information.'
Take that into account when you read a positive (or negative) Review, on PCM or anywhere on the internet.
PCM does use third-party advertising companies, such as google, to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies,
click here.