80s Extravaganza: 41 Unforgettable Facts About the 1980s

- Sponsored Links -

1UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs

UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs

In 1986, students at University of California, Santa Cruz voted to make the school’s official mascot the Banana Slug. The chancellor refused to honor the result, instead polling just student-athletes on the question, who also voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Banana Slug.

2. In 1989, Bill Gates answered a Microsoft tech support call, and identified himself only as "William", then solved the issue. The customer called back later specifically requesting him.

3. Technically, the longest war in recorded history lasted for 335 years and 19 days, between the Dutch and the Isles of Scilly. There were no casualties. The Dutch actually forgot about the conflict until a Scilly historian named Roy Duncan contacted them about it in 1985. A treaty was signed between them in 1986.

4. On April Fools Day in 1989, billionaire Richard Branson designed a hot air balloon to look like a UFO, and hired a dwarf in an E.T. costume to come out and scare whoever was near it when it landed.

5. In 1985, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore held a youth rap contest. The winner was a 14-year-old boy named Tupac Shakur.

Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

6Robert Muldoon

Robert Muldoon

In 1984, the New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon got drunk and decided to spontaneously call a general election, which he lost.

7. When President Ronald Reagan was 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.”

8. During the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, education about the disease was limited for political reasons. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop ended up infuriating members of both parties after he ordered that every home in America be mailed a letter explaining what AIDS was and how to protect themselves from it.

9. American photographer Robert Landsburg while filming Mount St. Helens volcano eruption in 1980 realized that he wouldn’t 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.

10. In the 1980s, Domino’s Pizza ran a campaign centered around a cartoon character named “The Noid.” It was discontinued in 1989 after a mentally ill man named Kenneth Noid took employees of an Atlanta Domino's restaurant hostage after he thought the ads were a personal attack on him.

- Sponsored Links -

11Arthur Shawcross

Arthur Shawcross

In 1987, a man named Arthur Shawcross, who was convicted of raping and murdering both a 10-year-boy, and an 8-year-old girl, was released from prison after only 12 years served for “good behavior.” He went on to commit 12 more murders.

12. In 1985, Burger King launched a viral ad campaign featuring 'Herb the Nerd', a mysterious man who had never eaten a Whopper in his life. People could get a 99 cent Whopper by saying "I'm Not Herb", or if their name was Herb, "I'm not the Herb you're looking for."

13. In 1984, a young boy named Andy Smith wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan asking for federal funds to clean his bedroom after his mother called it a "disaster area."

14. 1983 blockbuster movie WarGames (featuring Matthew Broderick) caused President Reagan to ask national security officials if this type of “hacking” was possible to which General Vessey replied “The problem is much worse than you think.” This influenced national security policy, ARPAnet, and ultimately the modern Internet.

15. In 1986, Scott Weiland met bassist Robert DeLeo at a Black Flag concert in Long Beach, California. Two of them were discussing their love interests, when they realized they were both dating the same girl. They developed a bond over the incident, and ended up forming their rock band ‘Stone Temple Pilots.’

- Sponsored Links -

16Roger Fischer

Roger Fischer

In 1981, Harvard professor Roger Fisher proposed implanting nuclear launch codes in a volunteer so that the President would have to kill an innocent person before starting the impersonal killing of millions. The Pentagon rejected the idea fearing the President would not go through with it even if it was necessary.

17. In the 1980s, the Naval Investigative Service undertook a massive and futile search for a woman named “Dorothy” in the Chicago area, after hearing gay men refer to themselves as “friends of Dorothy.” They believed that she was at the center of a ring of gay military personnel.

18. During the 1988 purges in Iran, women were lashed for missing their daily prayers. When one woman died after 22 days and 550 lashes, the authorities certified her death as suicide because it was 'she who had made the decision not to pray'.

19. In 1987, there were only 22 California Condors left on the planet. All of them were caught to help preserve the species. As of December 2016, there were 446 condors living in wild or in captivity.

20. In 1987, an American actress named Jamie Lee Curtis invented and patented a diaper modification, which had a moisture proof pocket containing wipes for easy access. She refused to allow it to be marketed until companies started selling biodegradable diapers. The patent expired in 2007 and it is now in the public domain.

21Balloonfest 1986

Balloonfest 1986

In 1986, the United Way released 1.5 million balloons in Cleveland as a publicity stunt. It clogged the land and waterways of North East Ohio, shut down an airport runway, and forced the Coast Guard to suspend a search and rescue of 2 men who ended up drowning.

22. In 1985, Edward Johnson programmed his computer to call Jerry Falwell's (American Pastor) toll-free number every 30 seconds and then hang up. In total, he charged over $500,000 in phone bills to Falwell's organization.

23. On 23 August 1989, around 2 million people joined hands in a human chain that stretched 600 kilometres across the 3 Baltic countries, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. They did this to protest their countries’ forced inclusion in the Soviet Union.

24. In 1981, Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers after they refused to end their strike and subsequently banned them from federal service for life.

25. 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."

- Sponsored Links -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here