Here's an Overview of What Was Going On Around Us When We Were Getting Ready to Venture Out Into Adulthood...


Economy
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-President: James Earl Carter, Jr.
-Vice President: Walter F. Mondale
-U.S. Population: 227,224,681
-Life Expectancy: 73.7 years
-Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average: 963.98
-Federal Spending: $590.95 billion
-Federal Debt: 909.1 billion
-Inflation: 13.5%
-Consumer Price Index: 82.4
-Unemployment: 5.8%




Prices
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-Cost of a new home: $68,700
-Cost of a new car: $7,210
-Median Household Income: $17,710
-Minimum Wage: $3.10
-Cost of a gallon of regular gas: $1.25
-Cost of a dozen eggs: $0.91
-Cost of a gallon of milk: $1.70
-Cost of a loaf of bread: $0.48
-Cost of a first-class postage stamp: $0.15


News Headlines
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-Six U.S. Embassy aids escape from Iran with Canadian help
-The FBI undercover operation ABSCAM implicates public officials
-U.S. (Carter) severs diplomatic relations with Iran; Khomeini militants hold hostages
-U.S. and 57 other countries boycott the Moscow Summer Olympics in protest of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
-Eight U.S. servicemen are killed and five are injured as a helicopter and a cargo plane collide in an attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran
-The Shah of Iran dies
-John Lennon is shot dead in New York City
-Iraq invades Iran; Iraqi troops hold 90 square miles of Iran after invasion
-Jimmy Carter loses to Ronald Reagan in November's Presidential Election
-Chrysler bailed out by Federal Government
-Israel and Egypt establish diplomatic relations
-Mt. St. Helen erupts; 22 die
-MGM Grand Hotel fire kills 88
-125,000 Cuban refugees released by Castro arrive in Miami
-Voyager I, a NASA probe, explores Saturn
-Heat wave claims 1700 lives
-Proclamatioin 4771 - peacetime military draft for 19 & 20 year olds



It Was New Back Then
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-Ted Turner launched CNN, the first all-news network
-Bill Gates licensed MS-DOS
-Intellivision is released
-PacMan is introduced
-Post-It notes were introduced
-Fax machines were introduced
-Domestic camcorders become available in Japan
-The first Black and Hispanic Barbies were sold
-7-Eleven introduced the 'Big Gulp'
-Sony Walkman, invented in Japan in 1979, makes its way to U.S.
-Rubik's Cube hits the market



Sports
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-Superbowl XIV: Pittsburgh Steelers beat L.A. Rams 31-19
-Superbowl MVP: Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh, QB
-NFL MVP: Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns, QB
-Heisman Trophy Winner: George Rogers, South Carolina, RB
-NBA: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers by winning the Series 4-2
-NBA MVP: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles, C
-World Series: Philadelphia Phillies over the Kansas City Royals, 4-2 in the series
-NL MVP: Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia, 3B
-AL MVP: George Brett, Kansas City, 3B
-Stanley Cup: New York Islanders took the series 4-2 over the Philadelphia Flyers
-U.S. Open: Jack Nicklaus; score-272; Course-Baltusrol G.C.; Location-Springfield, NJ
-1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid: 1) Miracle on Ice: Game in which U.S. Hockey Team beat the heavily favored Soviet Union (who had one every gold medal in Olympic hockey except one since 1956); 2) The U.S. went on to beat Finland in the round robin medal round, and won the Gold



Most Popular Books
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Fiction
1. "The Covenant" by James Michener
2. "The Bourne Identity" by Robert Ludlum
3. "Rage of Angels" by Sydney Sheldon
4. "Princess Daisy" by Judith Krantz
5. "Firestarter" by Steven King


Nonfiction
1. "Crisis Investing" by Douglas Casey
2. "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan
3. "Free to Choose" by Milton and Rose Friedman
4. "Anatomy of an Illness" by Norman Cousins
5. "Thy Neighbor's Wife" by Gay Talese


Most Popular TV Shows
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 1. Dallas
 2. The Dukes of Hazzard
 3. 60 Minutes
 4. M*A*S*H
 5. The Love Boat
 6. The Jeffersons
 7. Alice
 8. Housecalls
 9. Three's Company
10. Little House on the Prarie
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Big Events in Television

-Black Entertainment Television debuts as a block of programming on USA Network
-Millions of viewers tune in to find out who shot J.R. Ewing in TV Series Dallas
-CNN (Cable News Network) begins broadcasting
-The David Letterman Show debuts on NBC as a morning show
-Eddie Murphy debuts on Saturday Night Live
-Spin-off of All in the Family, The Jeffersons, ranks in the top 10 TV shows for two seasons in a row (#3 all three years on the Nielsen Ratings): 1979-80, 1980-81


Popular Movies
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  Top Ten Grossing
1. Empire Strikes Back ($290.272 million gross)
 2. Nine to Five ($103.291 m.)
 3. Stir Crazy ($101.500 m.)
 4. Airplane ($83.454 m.)
 5. Any Which Way You Can ($70.687 m.)
 6. Private Benjamin ($69.847 m.)
 7. Coal Miner's Daughter ($67.183 m.)
 8. Smokey & the Bandit II ($66.133 m.)
 9. The Blues Brothers ($57.230 m.)
10. Ordinary People ($54.767 m.)

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Honorable Mentions
-Popeye
-Blue Lagoon
-Urban Cowboy
-Raging Bull
-Caddy Shack
-Superman II
-Fame
-All That Jazz
-Jazz Singer
-The Shining
-Friday the 13th
-The Elephant Man
-American Gigolo
-Heaven's Gate
-Cheech & Chong's Next Movie


Academy Awards
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Best Picture: Ordinary People
Best Director: Robert Redford (Ordinary People)

Best Actor: Robert DiNiro (Raging Bull)
Best Actress: Sissy Spacek (Coal Miner's Daughter)
Supporting Actor: Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People)
Supporting Actress: Mary Steenburgen (Melvin & Howard)


Most Popular Music
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Top 10 Hits of 1980
1. 'Please Don't Go' - K.C. and the Sunshine Band
 2. 'Rock With You' - Michael Jackson
 3. 'Do That To Me One More Time' - The Captain and Tennile
 4. 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' - Queen
 5. 'Another Brick in the Wall' - Pink Floyd
 6. 'Call Me' - Blondie
 7. 'Funkytown' - Lipps, Inc.
 8. 'Coming Up' - Paul McCartney
 9. 'It's Still Rock and Roll To Me' - Billy Joel
10. 'Magic' - Olivia Newton John

Big News in Music

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"Rappers Delight" by Sugarhill Gang
-considered to be the first true hip hop release, comes out in late 1979 and the album follows in 1980. Sales skyrocket with the song selling 50,000 copies a day. The single hits #36 on the pop charts, #4 on the R&B charts, #3 on the UK charts, and #1 on the Canadian charts. The song even inspires Blondie to record 'Rapture' in 1980. In 1980, Sugarhill Gang becomes the first Rap act to have a huge International hit;



In other music news:
  • Eagles disband;
  • Led Zepplin disbands following the death of their drummer, Jon Bonham;
  • Bon Scott, lead singer of AC/DC dies in London;
  • Elvis Presley's doctor is found guilty of overprescribing drugs to Presley;
  • Seals & Crofts disbands;
  • John Lennon is shot and killed at the Dakota in New York on December 8.
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Grammy Awards presented in 1980 (for 1979 accomplishments)
-Record of the Year & Song of the Year: Doobie Brothers ('What A Fool Believes')
-Album of the Year: Billy Joel ('52nd Street')
-Best Disco Song (the only year this grammy was awarded): Gloria Gaynor ('I Will Survive')
-Best R&B Song: Earth, Wind & Fire ('After the Love Has Gone')
-Best Country Song: Kenny Rogers ('You Decorated My Life')


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Grammy Awards for 1980 (awarded in 1981)
-Christopher Cross ('Sailing') sweeps, garnering awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist
-Best Pop Female: Bette Midler
-Best Pop Male: Kenny Loggins
-Best Rock Female: Pat Benatar
-Best Rock Male: Billy Joel
-Best Rock Group: Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band
-Best R&B Female: Stephanie Mills
-Best R&B Male: George Benson
-Best R&B Group: The Manhattans
-Best Country Song: Willie Nelson ('On the Road Again')

Michael Jackson
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In 1980, after the release of his solo album “Off the Wall” in 1979, Michael Jackson won three awards at the American Music Awards for his solo efforts: Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Single (for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough").  That year, he also won Billboard Music Awards for Top Black Artist and Top Black Album and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough").  Despite its commercial success, Jackson felt “Off the Wall” should have made a much bigger impact, and was determined to exceed expectations with his next release.  In particular, Jackson was angry that he had won only a single Grammy Award at the 1980 Grammys, a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough".  Jackson stated that "It was totally unfair that it didn't get Record of the Year and it can never happen again".

After making that statement in 1980, Michael Jackson went on to record his 6th solo album (his 2nd with Quincy Jones, after ‘Off the Wall’) which became the best selling album of all time (last estimate 110 million copies worldwide.)  ‘Thriller’ was released in November 1982 and saw huge success throughout 1983.  At the 1984 Grammy Awards, Jackson was nominated in 12 categories and won a record-breaking 8 Grammy Awards.  (major source for this M.J. info: wikipedia)

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The Top 5 Selling Albums of All Time

(They all happen to be within 'our time'!)

1) Michael Jackson - Thriller
2) AC/DC - Back in Black
3) Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell
4) Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
5) Eagles - Their Greatest Hits



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HOWEVER, the best selling album of 1980?
Pink Floyd - The Wall

...and, in honor of that great album (who DIDN'T have it!?!) here is a little something for your viewing & listening pleasure.  Enjoy!