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1982 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1981

1982 History Snapshot

  • Economics: 99 year-old phone company AT&T (Ma Bell) agreed to break up into 7 smaller regional companies (Baby Bells).
  • The Top Song was I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  • The Big Movies included E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Tootsie and An Officer and a Gentleman
  • Price of Lincoln Towncar in 1982: $13,491.00
    Choc Full O'Nuts: $2.09/pound
    Price of a movie ticket: $3.00
    Sony Walkman: $129.00
  • The World Population was ~ 4,556,000,000
  • Illuminati (card game) was introduced
  • Trivial Pursuit was released in 1982.
  • And... Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace twice. During the second break-in, he made it into Queen Elizabeth's bedroom.

World Series Champions

St. Louis Cardinals

Superbowl XVI Champions

San Fransisco 49ers

National Basketball Association Champions

Los Angeles Lakers

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

New York Islanders

US Open Golf

Tom Watson

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Jimmy Connors/Chris Evert Lloyd

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Jimmy Connors/Martina Navratilova

FIFA World Cup Soccer


NCAA Football Champions

Penn State

NCAA Basketball Champions

North Carolina

Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1982 - Clemson over Nebraska
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1982 - Washington over Iowa
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1982 - Pittsburgh over Georgia

Kentucky Derby

Gato Del Sol

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Saint Aubry Draogora of Elsdon

Time Magazine's Magazine of the Year

The Computer

Miss America

Elizabeth Ward (Russellville, AR)

Miss USA

Terri Utley (Arkansas)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Kim Alexis, Carol Alt, Loni Anderson, Carol Alt, Barbara Bach, Catherine Bach, Kim Basinger, Christie Brinkley, Phoebe Cates, Joan Collins, Lydia Cornell, Janice Dickinson, Linda Evans, Morgan Fairchild, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Jane Fonda, Daryl Hannah, Debbie Harry, Marilu Henner, Shelley Hack, Goldie Hawn, Lauren Hutton, Kathy Ireland, Grace Jones, Nastassja Kinski, Diane Lane, Audrey Landers, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Markie Post, Princess Diana, Victoria Principal, Tanya Roberts, Betsy Russell, Brooke Shields, Suzanne Somers, Heather Thomas, Cheryl Tiegs, Debra Winger

"The Quotes"

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" is not a quote from some ancient philosopher or legal code.
It is a quote from the 1982 Star Trek film The Wrath of Khan.

"E.T. phone home"
- E.T. in E.T.

"They're Here"
- Heather O'Rourke in Poltergeist

"RAID kills bugs dead"

"When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight"
- FedEx

Larry Walters, the man that flew 15,000 feet above LA in a lawn chair carried by weather balloons in 1982, said to the press after he landed- "It was something I had to do. I had this dream for twenty years, and if I hadn't done it, I think I would have ended up in the funny farm."

1982 Pop Culture History

The screenplay for John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing was based on a 1938 science-fiction novella entitled Who Goes There?. The character names and main plot points are almost identical, and the creature is referred to as "the Thing" within the story.

The 2020 Olympics take place in Tokyo, as predicted in the manga Akira in 1982.

A Los Angeles man named Larry Walters used a lawn chair and weather balloons to ascend to 15,000ft above ground. On the way up, he lost both his glasses and his bb gun, which he planned to use to shoot balloons to descend. While kanding, he caused a power outage, and was fined $1500.

Disneyland dropped their individual ride tickets and went to a flat entrance fee.

The Man in the High Castle, Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, The Adjustment Bureau, Screamers and Paycheck (among others) are all based on short stories by author Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982).

An ATARI game was released starring the band Journey, called Journey Escape. The game failed and caused the company, Data Age, to go under.

By 1982, Space Invaders had grossed $2 billion. 8 billion quarters!

Joe Strummer (frontman of The Clash) was pressured by his manager to go into hiding in Texas as a publicity stunt for the band's upcoming tour. Strummer instead decided to genuinely disappear to France for months, where he ran the Paris Marathon.

Charanjit Singh made an album in what we now call the Acid House genre, in 1982. Some music commentators credit him as the pioneer of Acid House music.

Universal Studios sued Nintendo over alleged similarities between King Kong and Donkey Kong. Not only did they lose, but the court found a King Kong game that Universal licensed was actually in violation of Nintendo's copyrights.

In 1982 Susan Glines was the last telephone switchboard operator for a hand-crank phone. The town in which she worked, Bryant Pond, Maine, converted to non hand-cranked phones.

(Paul) Newman's Own opened for business, making a profit from year one, and donating all profits to charity.

Jackie Chan's movie, 'Dragon Lord' (1982), set a World Record for most takes for a single scene totaling 2,900 before Jackie Chan got it right in his eyes

Lowest PGA score of 63 played by Ray Floyd.

On SNL, Eddie Murphy held Larry, a live lobster, aloft and declared that the show's audience would determine whether he lived or died and that this is where Larry the Lobster from Spongebob got his name. Although he was initially saved in the telephone vote, Eddie ate the cooked Larry the following week.

A Hollywood screenwriter, Chuck Ross, retyped the script to Casablanca, and submitted it to 217 agencies, with the title Everybody Comes To Rick's. Dozens of agencies rejected it as not being good enough to turn into a movie.

In 1982 Byron Preiss released the book The Secret: A Treasure Hunt (out of print last we checked) that contained 12 cryptic puzzles. If you solved the puzzle you received a gem worth about $1000 . As of 2017, only 2 had been solved.

Canaan Banana, the first president of Zimbabwe, passed a law in 1982 outlawing jokes about his name.

Wes Craven choose to make Freddy Krueger's sweater colors that of red and green, after reading an article in Scientific American in 1982 that said the two most clashing colors to the human retina were this particular combination.

The spikes at the end of Stegosaurus's tail are called "thagomizers" because of a Far Side comic, published in 1982, that featured a cave man pointing to a diagram of a Stegosaurus tail with the caption "Now this end is called the Thagomizer- after the late Thag Simmons."

In honor of a 1982 The Far Side comic, the spiked end of a stegosaurus's tail is referred to by paleontologists as the "Thagomizer".

The 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville turned a profit of only $57.

The King of Swaziland, King Sobhuza II, married 70 wives, who gave him 210 children between 1920 and 1970. At his death in 1982 he had more than 1000 grandchildren.

The 1982 film Tron wasn't nominated for an Academy Award for visual effects because the use of computers was considered "cheating."

Atlanta Braves pitcher Pascual Perez, who just got his drivers license, got lost on Interstate 285 (a loop), while driving to a game he was scheduled to start. He could not find his exit, and circled the city several times, before eventually running out of gas and missing the game.

Michael Jackson's Thriller album was released on November 30th. Depending on who you talk to, up to 110,000,000 copies were sold.

Adobe was founded in California by Chuck Geschke and John Warnock in 1982.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1982: $324,000

The Place To Be

The San Fernando Valley
Home of the Valley Girls - from the neighborhoods of San Fernando Valley- they made valspeak the colloquial language of the day - Films like Valley Girl, and Frank (and Moon Unit) Zappa's hit Valley Girl.

It brought the following terms (Valspeak) into the American lexicon:

Like - Used as an interjection: "That was, like, the worst thing ever!" or to indicate speech: "And she was like 'Get out of my way!'"

As if - lit. "yeah, right" or "as if" except it does not use a subject; expresses disbelief.

Bitchin' - adj. slang for excellent; first-rate. Though a derivative of "bitch", bitchin' is sometimes not considered profane.

Whatever! - short for "whatever you say"; sarcastic interjection often emphasizing the final syllable.

Fer shur - lit. "For sure", often used in agreement.

Totally -"I agree" or "completely."

Oh my God (later OMG!) - can be used many ways; expresses shock.

Tre - A synonym for "very" (derived from French "très")

So - Very; used frequently and said with strong emphasis.

Seriously - Frequent interjection of approval.

Gnarly - expression of seriousness. can be a word for very intense or very pleasing

Are you serious?- expression of surprise.

Anyways... - Substitute for the grammatically correct "Anyway..."

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

An onset accident took the lives of Vic Morrow and two child actors, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, on the set of The Twilight Zone: The Movie.

[SPOILER ALERT] was used as early as 1982, and it concerned the plot of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

The movie Poltergeist used actual human remains as props due to them being cheaper than the plastic alternative.

There is a 1982 Barbie commercial that ends with the line "Better make Ken a sandwich!"

John DeLorean, best known for developing the DeLorean DMC-12, also developed the Pontiac GTO, Firebird, Grand Prix, and Chevy Vega. He was arrested for drug trafficking in 1982 trying to raise money for his failing company and successfully defended himself proving entrapment by federal agents.

The subject of The Kinks 1982 hit Come Dancing, Ray Davies' sister Rene died of a heart attack while dancing at a ballroom on his 13th birthday.

The 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, TN made a total profit of $57- the city was left with $46M debt.

Madison Square Garden has not paid property taxes since 1982 because a 10 year tax abatement was inadvertently made perpetual due to a clerical error. This has cost New York City (and saved MSG) about $200M.

Someone laced Tylenol capsules on store shelves across the Chicago area with cyanide, killing seven. While the perpetrator of this crime was never found, it did usher in the development of tamper-proof packaging for over-the-counter drugs, which is now an industry standard.

The MPAA tried to outlaw VCRs (unsuccessfully) in 1982.

Press sensationalism influenced the 1982 conviction of an Australian woman for murdering her baby, and after 6 years in prison she was totally exonerated, yet her plaintive "a dingo ate my baby" became joke fodder among American comedians.

While wearing his future wife Sharon's dress, Ozzy Osbourne drunkenly urinated on a cenotaph erected in honour of those who died at the Alamo in Texas. He was arrested and subsequently banned from the city of San Antonio for 10 years.

Movie Star Death: John Belushi (heroin & cocaine overdose)

Airplane Celebrity Death: Randy Rhodes

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Arcadia 2001 Game Console, Colecovision, Vectrex Video Console, Atari 5200 SuperSystem, Coleco's Gemini Console, Strawberry Shortcake, Smurfs, My Little Pony, BMX Bikes, Trivial Pursuit, Sequence

EA (Electronic Arts) was founded.

1982 was the year Kenneth Cole launched his shoe company.

GM introduced the General Motors' Saturn car company.

The first documented use of the emoticons :-) and :-( was in September 1982 at Carnegie Mellon University.

NASCAR Illustrated Magazine (1982-2016)

PC Magazine (1982-2009)

Details Magazine (1982-2015)

Comics Scene Magazine (1982-2000)

The Habits

Listening to Michael Jackson's Thriller album, playing video games Ms. Pacman and Q*bert , Break dancing, Moon Walking, watching the film E.T. , watching, and sometimes excerising with Jane Fonda' Woerkout video tape, wearing Deely Bobbers, playing with Strawberry Shortcake dolls.

Reading E.T. the Extraterrestrial Storybook by William Kotzwinkle

1982/83 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. 60 Minutes (CBS)
2. Dallas (CBS)
3. M*A*S*H (CBS)
4. Magnum, P.I. (CBS)
5. Dynasty (ABC)
6. Three's Company (ABC)
7. Simon & Simon (CBS)
8. Falcon Crest (CBS)
9. The Love Boat (ABC)
10. The A-Team ( NBC)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1982 include
Air Supply, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Dan Fogelberg, Dazz Band, Deniece Williams, Donna Summer, Evelyn 'Champagne' King, The Gap Band, J. Geils Band, The Go-Gos, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, John Cougar (Melloncamp), Journey, Juice Newton, Lionel Richie, Men at Work, Micheal Jackson, Neil Diamond, Patrice Rushen, Paul Davis, Paul McCartney, Ray Parker Jr, Prince, Quarterflash, Queen, Sheena Easton, Skyy, Steve Miller Band, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Survivor, Toto

(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 1982

November 21, 1981 - January 29, 1982: Olivia Newton-John - Physical

January 30, 1982 - February 5, 1982: Daryl Hall and John Oates - I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)

February 6, 1982 - March 19, 1982: The J. Geils Band - Centerfold

March 20, 1982 - May 7, 1982: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - I Love Rock 'n' Roll

May 8, 1982 - May 14, 1982: Vangelis - Chariots of Fire

May 15, 1982 - July 2, 1982: Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder - Ebony and Ivory

July 3, 1982 - July 23, 1982: The Human League - Don't You Want Me

July 24, 1982 - September 3, 1982: Survivor - Eye of the Tiger

September 4, 1982 - September 10, 1982: Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra

September 11, 1982 - October 1, 1982: Chicago - Hard to Say I'm Sorry

October 2, 1982 - October 29, 1982: John Cougar - Jack and Diane

October 30, 1982 - November 5, 1982: Men at Work - Who Can It Be Now

November 6, 1982 - November 26, 1982: Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes - Up Where We Belong

November 27, 1982 - December 10, 1982: Lionel Richie - Truly

December 11, 1982 - December 17, 1982: Toni Basil - Mickey

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

Popular Movies

(according to boxofficemojo)
1. E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial
2. Tootsie
3. An Officer And A Gentleman
4. Rocky III
5. Porky's
6. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Kahn
7. 48 HRS
8. Poltergeist
9. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
10. Annie

48 HRS., An Officer and a Gentleman, Annie, The Beastmaster, Best Friends, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Blade Runner, Conan the Barbarian, The Dark Crystal, Diner, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Firefox, First Blood, Friday the 13th Part III, Gandhi, Poltergeist, Porky's, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, The Road Warrior, Rocky III, The Secret of NIMH, Smokey and the Bandit Part III, Sophie's Choice, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Tootsie, The Toy, Tron, The World According to Garp, The Verdict, Victor/Victoria, Young Doctor's In Love

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1982
# 1 Hits of 1982
Pop Culture News

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