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1981 History, Trivia and Fun Facts
1981 History Snapshot
World Series Champions
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
Superbowl XV Champions
National Basketball Association Champions
NHL Stanley Cup Champions
|New York Islanders|
US Open Golf
US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)
|John McEnroe/Tracy Austin|
|John McEnroe/Chris Evert|
NCAA Football Champions
NCAA Basketball Champions
|Orange Bowl: January 1, 1981 - Oklahoma over
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1981 - Michigan over Washington
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1981 - Georgia over Notre Dame
Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog
|Dhandy's Favorite Woodcheck|
Time Magazine's Man of the Year
|Susan Powell (Elk City, OK)|
|Kim Seelbrede (Ohio)|
Fashion Icons and Movie Stars
|Kim Alexis, Carol Alt, Loni Anderson, Barbara Bach, Catherine Bach, Kim Basinger, Valerie Bertinelli, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Charo, Joan Collins, Lydia Cornell, Bo Derek, Janice Dickinson, Linda Evans, Morgan Fairchild, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Jane Fonda, Karen Graham, Erin Gray, Shelley Hack, Debbie Harry, Goldie Hawn, Marilu Henner, Lauren Hutton, Kathy Ireland, Grace Jones, Nastassja Kinski, Audrey Landers, Jessica Lange, Heather Locklear, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Markie Post, Princess Diana, Victoria Principal, Tanya Roberts, Diana Ross, Brooke Shields, Jacquelyn Smith, Suzanne Somers, Donna Summer, Heather Thomas, Cheryl Tiegs, Charlene Tilton|
|"You can tell a lot about a fellow's character
by his way of eating jellybeans. "
- President Ronald Reagan
"Betcha canít eat just one"
-Lay's Potato Chips
"No wire hangers, ever!"
- Faye Dunaway, in Mommie Dearest
"Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!"
- Katharine Hepburn, in On Golden Pond.
"We bring good things to life"
-General Electric (GE)
"Be all that you can be"
- United States Army ad
Bob Marley's final words to his son Ziggy were, "Money can't buy life."
When President Ronald Reagan has been admitted to a hospital in 1981 due to being shot by John Hinckley Jr., he joked "Please tell me you're all Republicans." To which a surgeon who was a liberal democrat himself replied, "We're all Republicans today."
1981 Pop Culture History
|Code of the Secret Service was a movie which
lead actor Ronald Reagan called "the worst picture I ever made."
The film inspired a man named Jerry Sparr to join the Secret Service,
who in 1981, saved President Ronald Reagan from an assassination attempt.
The rolling boulder scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark was stolen from a 1955 Uncle Scrooge comic.
In 1931 when future President Ronald Reagan played on the football team for Eureka College, he took in two rival team black players in his personal home, because they were denied admission into a hotel when they were going to play against Eureka. He remained friends with one of the men until they died in 1981
1981's Frogger has the most ways to die in any arcade game. The frog may be killed in nine different ways as he crosses streets and rivers on his way home, including alligators, cars, snakes, and water.
Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong from the 1981 arcade game and that the current modern Donkey Kong was meant to be his son, Donkey Kong Jr.
The Go-Go's were the first, and to date only, all-female band that wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to have an album reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart with their 1981 debut album Beauty and a Beat.
George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers went on their 50/50 tour where they played in all 50 states in just 50 days
PBS painter Bob Ross served as a Master Sergeant in the USAF, one of many positions that he said required him to be "tough" and "mean." After leaving in 1981, he said that he had promised himself that if he ever left the military, he would never scream again.
MTV began on August 1st. The first video, all vidNerds know was 'Video Killed The Radio Star' by the Buggles. The second was Pat Benatar's 'You Better Run.'
Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female US Supreme Court Justice.
After the 1928 classic The Passion of Joan of Arc was panned by the French government that commissioned it and a fire destroyed the negative, the original cut of the movie was thought to be lost forever. That was until a copy was found in a closet in an Oslo mental institution in 1981.
"Bulimia" was the new word du jour.
In 1968 the Beatles formed Apple Corps Ltd (informally known as Apple). In 1981 a suit was settled with Apple Computer with the payment of $80,000 to Apple Corps. As a condition of the settlement, Apple Computer agreed to stay out of the music business.
President Ronald Reagan started a program of giving "government surplus" cheese to the poor and unemployed Rust Bowl families. The cheese had been stockpiled to keep dairy prices up.
The practice of presidents returning a salute from members of the military started in 1981 by Ronald Reagan.
An LP titled The Wit & Wisdom of Ronald Reagan was released in the UK, the joke being that the record was completely silent on both sides. It sold over 30,000 copies.
Only 9 US military officers have held the 5-star rank. It was created during WW2 because US officers were often commanding allied officers of higher rank. A 5-star officer cannot retire and remains on active duty for life. It was retired in 1981 on the death of General Omar Bradley.
"Weird" Al Yankovic received a Bachelor's degree in Architecture at California Polytechnic State University,in 1981. He also served as valedictorian of his high school at age 16.
The Smurfs, created in 1958, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series brought them into American pop culture. Athough many fans think Smurfette was the only female Smurf, there were actually two more - Nanny Smurf and Sassette Smurf. There was no Smurfina.
Due to the limitations of arcade hardware in 1981, Mario was clothed in red overalls and blue shirt to contrast his arms, body, and background. The cap was added to avoid drawing his hairstyle, forehead, and eyebrows. The large nose and mustache avoided the need to draw a mouth and expressions
Prince Charles married Lady Diana on July 29, 1981. It was on TV and in all the newspapers.
Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Wall, got a "B" in her architecture class for her design from her professor who also submitted a design for the wall, losing to his student.
Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1981: $275,000
The cost of a gigabite of data storage was $300,000.
RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke made up a story about an 8-year-old herion addict named Jimmy. He didn't exist, but her pleas that he could have existed didn't stop her from getting in trouble.
Although similar stories were told over a century before, the 1981
publication of Jan Harold Brunvand's book, The Vanishing Hitchhiker,
brought the 'Vanishing Hitchhiker' urban myth into mainstream Popular
Konrad Kujau sold the fraudulent Hitler Diaries to a West
German newsmagazine for $3.2 million in 1981.
Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts
Woman's World began publication
|Still working on last year's fad, The Rubik's Cube,
Donkey Kong, Frogger (arcade), playing withHe-Man and the Masters
of the Universe action figures
Reading Noble House by James Clavell
Reading Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
1981/82 Biggest Television Shows
|(according to Nielsen
1. Dallas (CBS)
2. 60 Minutes (CBS)
3. The Jeffersons (CBS)
4. Three's Company (ABC)
5. Alice (CBS)
6. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS)
7. Too Close For Comfort (ABC)
8. ABC Monday Night Movie (ABC)
9. M*A*S*H (CBS)
10. One Day at a Time (CBS)
Popular Music Artists
|The Biggest Pop Artists of 1981 include
Air Supply, Barbra Streisand, Blondie, Chaka Kahn, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Diana Ross, Earth, Wind & Fire, Eddie Rabbit, Evelyn 'Champagne' King, Foreignor, The Gap Band, George Benson, Grover Washington Jr., John Lennon, Journey, Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, Kool & the Gang, Lakeside, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, Phil Collins, The Police, Prince, Ray Parker Jr & Raydio, REO Speedwagon, Rick James, Rick Springfield, Roger, Shalamar, Sheena Easton, Smokey Robinson, Styx, Sugarhill Gang, Teddy Pendergrass
(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 1981
|December 27, 1980 - January 30, 1981: John Lennon
- (Just Like) Starting Over
January 31, 1981 - February 6, 1981: Blondie - The Tide Is High
February 7, 1981 - February 20, 1981: Kool & the Gang - Celebration
February 21, 1981 - February 27, 1981: Dolly Parton - 9 to 5
February 28, 1981 - March 20, 1981: Eddie Rabbitt - I Love a Rainy Night
March 21, 1981 - March 27, 1981: REO Speedwagon - Keep On Loving You
March 28, 1981 - April 10, 1981: Blondie - Rapture
April 11, 1981 - May 1, 1981: Daryl Hall and John Oates - Kiss on My List
May 2, 1981 - May 15, 1981: Sheena Easton - Morning Train (Nine to Five)
May 16, 1981 - June 19, 1981: Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes
June 20, 1981 - July 24, 1981: Stars on 45 - Medley: Intro Venus / Sugar Sugar / No Reply / I'll Be Back / Drive My Car / Do You Want to Know a Secret / We Can Work It Out / I Should Have Known Better / Nowhere Man / You're Going to Lose That Girl / Stars on 45
July 25, 1981 - July 31, 1981: Air Supply - The One That You Love
August 1, 1981 - August 14, 1981: Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
August 15, 1981 - October 16, 1981: Diana Ross and Lionel Richie - Endless Love
October 17, 1981 - November 6, 1981: Christopher Cross - Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)
November 7, 1981 - November 20, 1981: Daryl Hall and John Oates - Private Eyes
November 21, 1981 - January 29, 1982: Olivia Newton-John - Physical
(according to boxofficemojo)
Absence of Malice, An American Werewolf in London, Arthur, Bustin Loose, The Cannonball Run, Chariots of Fire, Clash of the Titans, Endless Love, The Evil Dead, Excalibur, For Your Eyes Only, The Four Seasons, The Fox and the Hound, The Great Muppet Caper, History of the World Part I, Mad Max II: The Road WArrior, Mommie Dearest, Neighbors, On Golden Pond, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reds, Scanners, Sharkey's Machine, Stripes, Superman II, Taps, Tarzan, the Ape Man, Time Bandits
More Pop Culture History Resources
|Popular Music in 1981
# 1 Hits of 1981
|Pop Culture News|
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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.
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