Here is what was happening in 1980, the year we graduated from high school.


As the continued miniaturization continues, new technology allows for new consumer products that could never have existed including domestic camcorders and fax machines. One other notable is the release of the Pac-Man arcade game. Politics enters the Olympic games with the boycott by the US of the Moscow Olympics and war breaks out between Iraq and Iran. This was also a bad year for natural disasters including the eruption of Mount St. Helens and a major heat wave in the US. The world tunes in to the answer of Who Shot JR? on the popular soap Dallas.




Yearly inflation rate 13.58%

Year end close Dow Jones Industrial Average 963

Interest rates year end Federal Reserve 21.50%

Average cost of new house $68,700

Average income per year $19,500

Average monthly rent $300

Cost of a gallon of gas $1.19

Average cost new car $7,200

Men’s casual shirt $14

How long did you wait?
How long did you wait?



  • Iran and Iraq begin a war that lasts 8 years
  • Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) gains independence
  • Solidarity Trade Union Formed in Poland and shipyard workers go on strike
  • Failed operation by US to free hostages in Iran
  • Yassar Arafat is elected the President of the Palestinian National Council
  • Ronald Reagan Elected President of the USA
  • Terrorists seize Iran embassy and hostages in London leading to the British SAS storming embassy and releasing hostages
  • Japan becomes the world’s largest auto producing country
  • US leads boycott of Moscow Olympics in protest at Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
  • Mariel boat lift mass exodus of political refugees from Cuba to the United States
  • Spain and United Kingdom agree to reopen the border between Gibraltar and Spain, closed since 1969
  • Latest Census reveals US Population is 226,504,825
  • Severe summer heat wave in southern US causes 1,117 deaths in 20 states
  • Mini Gold Rush in Australian outback after gold is discovered.
  • US passes "Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act" to tax high profits by oil companies
  • The Killer Clown ( John Wayne Gacy Jr ) sentenced to death for the murder of 33 boys and young men.
  • Rioting LibertyCity, Miami leaving 18 dead
  • The Winter Olympic Games are held in Lake Placid, New York, United States



  • First available domestic camcorders available in Japan
  • First available fax machines in Japan
  • 30% of US car sales are imports
  • In Mexico, first ever natural birth in captivity of a Giant panda
  • Voyager 1 probe sends the first high resolution images of Saturn back to scientists and confirms the existence of Janus, a moon of Saturn.
  • Release of Pac-Man arcade game
  • CNN becomes the first 24hrs News Station
  • Digital Equipment Corporation, Intel and Xerox introduce the DIX standard for Ethernet





  • Millions of viewers tune into the TV soap opera Dallas to learn who shot lead character J.R. Ewing
  • John Lennon is shot outside his New York apartment



  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Superman II
  • Nine to Five
  • Raging Bull
  • Coal Miner's Daughter




  • ABBA
  • AC/DC
  • Adam and the Ants
  • Black Sabbath
  • Blondie with “Call Me”
  • David Bowie
  • The Cars
  • Eric Clapton
  • Alice Cooper
  • Elvis Costello
  • KC and The Sunshine Band
  • Michael Jackson
  • Queen with “Another One Bites the Dust”
  • Pink Floyd
  • Diana Ross “Upside Down
  • Paul McCartney
  • Olivia Newton-John with “Magic
  • Electric Light Orchestra
  • The Police


BORN in 1980


  • Jessica Simpson – July 10
  • Macaulay Culkin – August 26