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1983 Fun Facts and Trivia

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

A Quick Look Back at 1983

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1983?

  1. From July 1983 to November 1982, the U.S. economy experienced one of the longest and deepest recessions since the Great Depression. By 1983, the economy had rebounded and the United States entered into one of the longest periods of sustained economic growth since World War II.
  2. Reacting to the worst auto sales in two decades, General Motors announced that it would lower or freeze the prices of half its 1983-model cars.
  3. President Reagan proposed a “Star Wars” missile defense system that was “decades away from reality.”
  4. Elizabeth Dole became the first woman to serve as the secretary of transportation, and NASA astronaut Sally K. Ride became the first American woman in space.
  5. OPEC cut oil prices for the first time in 23 years.
  6. Six robbers broke into the Brink's-Mat warehouse near Heathrow Airport and stole £25 million worth of gold bullion, diamonds, and cash. The heist was described by some as “the crime of the century.”
  7. New York City had the biggest snowfall ever—18 inches.
  8. The world's lowest-ever natural temperature, −128.6 °F, was recorded in Antarctica.
  9. The most costly landslide in U.S. history destroyed the tiny town of Thistle, Utah.
  10. Hurricane Alicia ripped through the Texas coast and ended the three-year and eight-day “hurricane drought” for the continental United States.
  11. In December 1983, the unemployment rate was 8.0%, down from 10.8% a year earlier. Inflation was 3.21%, down from the 1980 inflation rate of 13.50%.
  12. In 1983, Kellogg’s corn flakes cost $1.19 for an 18-ounce box, blueberries were 89 cents a pint, and bacon was 99 cents for a one-pound package. Pepsi cost 89 cents for a two-liter bottle, chicken legs were 49 cents a pound, and Hellman’s mayonnaise was 99 cents for a 16-ounce jar.
  13. The Washington Redskins were the Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Orioles won the World Series, and the New York Islanders clinched the Stanley Cup.
  14. Brooks Robinson, Juan Marichal, Walter Alston, and George Kell were all inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  15. Blake Giddens won the 56th National Spelling Bee by spelling the word “Purim.”
  16. Maytag built its last wringer-washing machine, and the last hand-cranked telephones in the U.S. were taken out of service, when “440 telephone customers in Bryant Pond, Maine were switched over to direct dial service.”
  17. More than 10 million computers were being used in the U.S., and the first-ever version of Microsoft Word was released.
  18. On February 28, the TV series M*A*S*H (CBS) ended after 11 years and 251 episodes. The series finale—Goodbye, Farewell and Amen—was watched by 77 percent of the television viewing audience.
  19. Gandhi won an Academy Award for Best Picture, and Cheers (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
  20. In 1983, Brueggers, Costco, J. Crew, LensCrafters, Sam's Club, Verizon Communications, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company were all founded.

Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1983-84:

  1. Dallas (CBS)
  2. 60 Minutes (CBS)
  3. Dynasty (ABC)
  4. The A-Team (NBC)
  5. Simon & Simon (CBS)

Here are ten food and beverage trends for the year:

  1. Chicken and veal marsala
  2. Chocolate mousse
  3. French onion soup
  4. Frozen yogurt
  5. Jell-O Pudding Pops
  6. Pasta primavera and pasta salad
  7. Quiche
  8. Sloppy Joes
  9. Snapple Tru root beer
  10. Totino’s Pizza Rolls

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1983. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, and other pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1980s-themed trivia quiz.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1983.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1983.

Table of Contents

For easier reading, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1983
  2. What Was the U.S. Economy Like in 1983?
  3. History Facts From the USA and World
  4. Sports Trivia
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Nobel Prize Winners
  7. Best-Selling Fiction Books
  8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1983-84
  9. Highest-Grossing Films
  10. Horror Movies From 1983
  11. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  12. Top 25 Songs for the Year
  13. Favorite Video Games
  14. Food and Beverage Trivia
  15. Famous Weddings and Divorces
  16. Well-Known People Who Died in 1983
  17. The Fastest Accelerating Cars of the Year
  18. America’s Largest Corporations
  19. Companies and Brands Launched in 1983
In 1983, the Ford Motor Company was one of America’s largest corporations.

In 1983, the Ford Motor Company was one of America’s largest corporations.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1983

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.

  1. Bacon (Armour): 99 cents for a one-pound package
  2. Beef (sirloin steak): $2.19 a pound
  3. Blueberries: 89 cents a pint
  4. Cake mix (Betty Crocker, assorted varieties): 89 cents for an 18-ounce box
  5. Cereal (Kellogg’s, corn flakes): $1.19 for an 18-ounce box
  6. Cheese (Kraft, singles): 69 cents for a six-ounce package
  7. Cherries (Bing): 88 cents a pound
  8. Chicken legs: 49 cents a pound
  9. Coffee (Martinson): $1.99 for a one-pound can
  10. Cookies (PathMark, chocolate chip): 85 cents for a one-pound package
  11. Corn on the cob: Seven ears for 99 cents
  12. Crackers (Keebler Townhouse): 89 cents for a 12-ounce box
  13. Cucumbers: Four for $1.00
  14. Duck: 99 cents a pound
  15. Grapes (seedless): 99 cents a pound
  16. Ham (Oscar Mayer, chopped): $1.59 for an eight-ounce package
  17. Ice cream (Dolly Madison creamsicles or fudgesicles): 99 cents for a package of six
  18. Juice (Sealtest, orange): 99 cents a one-gallon jug
  19. Lettuce (iceberg): 59 cents for a large head
  20. Margarine (Parkay): 39 cents for a one-pound package
  21. Mayonnaise (Hellman’s): 99 cents for a 16-ounce jar
  22. Onions (Spanish): 39 cents a pound
  23. Peanut butter (Jif): 69 cents for a 12-ounce jar
  24. Pepsi: 89 cents for a two-liter bottle
  25. Pepsi: $1.89 for six 12-ounce cans
  26. Potatoes (white): $1.29 for a five-pound bag
  27. Salad dressing (Seven Seas): 79 cents for a 16-ounce bottle
  28. Spaghetti (Muellers): 39 cents for a one-pound box
  29. Strawberries: $1.50 per quart
  30. Tea (Tetley, iced tea mix): $1.99 for a 32-ounce container
  31. Watermelon: 17 cents a pound
  32. Yogurt (Light 'n Lively): $1.00 three eight-ounce cups
In 1983, the Baltimore Orioles won the World Series.

In 1983, the Baltimore Orioles won the World Series.

2. What Was the U.S. Economy Like in 1983?

  1. From July 1981 to November 1982, the U.S. economy experienced the most significant recession since the Great Depression. FederalReserveHistory.org reports that “The economy officially entered a recession in the third quarter of 1981, as high interest rates put pressure on sectors of the economy reliant on borrowing, like manufacturing and construction. Unemployment grew from 7.4 percent at the start of the recession to nearly 10 percent a year later.”
  2. What caused the recession? Berkeley.edu explains that “One of the causes of the early 1980s recession was the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which sparked a second large round of oil price increases. More important, however, were Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker’s efforts to tame inflation through restrictive monetary policy, which had the expected effect of dampening economic growth. The American economy experienced a modest recovery beginning in the summer of 1980 but declined again from July 1981 to November 1982.”
  3. By 1983, the economy had rebounded and the United States entered into one of the longest periods of sustained economic growth since World War II.
  4. In December 1982, the unemployment rate was 10.8%. By December 1983, however, the unemployment rate had fallen to 8.0%. According to the BLS, “During 1983, the United States recovered from one of the longest and deepest recessions since World War 11. At the end of 1982, employment had reached its recession low and the civilian worker unemployment rate had climbed 2.2 percentage points over the year. In marked contrast, data for 1983 document one of the most dramatic recoveries since employment and unemployment statistics have been collected, as the national civilian unemployment rate fell 2.5 percentage points during the year to 8.0 percent in December.”
  5. GDP growth for the year was 4.6%.
  6. The inflation rate was 3.21%. In2013Dollars.com explains that “Purchasing power decreased by 3.21% in 1983 compared to 1982. On average, you would have to spend 3.21% more money in 1983 than in 1982 for the same item. In other words, $1 in 1982 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.03 in 1983.”
  7. The average annual income was $21,070.
  8. A gallon of gas averaged $1.16.
  9. In 1983, Kellogg’s corn flakes cost $1.19 for an 18-ounce box, blueberries were 89 cents a pint, and bacon was 99 cents for a one-pound package. Pepsi cost 89 cents for a two-liter bottle, Spanish onions were 39 cents a pound, and Hellman’s mayonnaise was 99 cents for a 16-ounce jar.
  10. The average price for a new house was $82,600, and the median price for an existing home was $70,300.
  11. In April, the average 30-year mortgage rate was 12.78%; by May, the rate was 12.63%. (For the week ending April 30, 2020, mortgage rates reached a historic low of 3.23%.)
  12. A new car cost $10,607. The New York Times reports that “Reacting to the worst auto sales in two decades, the General Motors Corporation announced . . . that it would lower or freeze the prices of half its 1983-model cars. The price reductions, ranging from $250 to $500, are concentrated on G.M.'s newest lines of front-wheel-drive compact and midsized cars.”
  13. On August 8, the prime rate was 11.00%.
  14. On the last day of trading for the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 1,258.64.
  15. In 1981, the average credit card interest rate was 1,878%.
In 1983, Costco, a chain of membership-only warehouse stores, was founded. The first Costco store opened in Seattle.

In 1983, Costco, a chain of membership-only warehouse stores, was founded. The first Costco store opened in Seattle.

3. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. On January 17, George Wallace became Alabama’s governor for the fourth time.
  2. On January 31, a new law in the UK required drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seatbelts.
  3. On February 7, Elizabeth Dole became the first woman to serve as the secretary of transportation.
  4. On February 11, New York City had the biggest snowfall ever—18 inches.
  5. On February 17, the Netherlands adopted a constitution.
  6. On February 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 1,100 for the first time; on April 26, the Dow broke the 1,200 threshold.
  7. On March 14, OPEC cut oil prices for the first time in 23 years. The New York Times reports that the agreement included “setting a ceiling on average production for the rest of this year of 17.5 million barrels a day, which is 1 million below the current ceiling but at least 3.5 million more than current output. The NYT adds that “Production quotas were set for each OPEC member except Saudi Arabia, which agreed formally for the first time to vary its output with market conditions.”
  8. On March 23, President Reagan proposed a “Star Wars” missile defense system. The New York Times reports that “in a nationally televised address on national security, President Ronald Reagan proposed the development of the technology to intercept enemy nuclear missiles. The plan, called the Strategic Defense Initiative, or S.D.I., was dubbed ‘Star Wars’ by its critics.” The NYT adds that “White House officials said the new program might involve lasers, microwave devices, particle beams and projectile beams. These devices, most of which are in a very early stage of development, in theory could be directed from satellites, airplanes or land-based installations to shoot down missiles in the air.”
  9. On March 30, the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) began trading crude oil futures.
  10. In April, a giant landslide destroyed the tiny town of Thistle, Utah. UtahHumanities.org explains that “the most costly landslide in U.S. history swept down on the tiny town of Thistle, damming up the Spanish Fork River, and severing the rail line that connects Salt Lake City with Denver.”
  11. On April 12, Harold Washington became Chicago's first black mayor.
  12. On April 14, President Reagan signed a $165 billion Social Security rescue plan.
  13. On June 9, the UK’s 1983 general election took place, and gave “the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher the most decisive election victory since that of the Labour Party in 1945.”
  14. On June 9, Blake Giddens won the 56th National Spelling Bee by spelling the word “Purim.”
  15. On June 18, NASA astronaut Sally K. Ride became the “first American woman in space, when she launched with her four crewmates aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-7.”
  16. On May 15, the Madison Hotel in Boston was imploded to make way for the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Federal Building. The Madison operated from 1930 to 1976 and was attached to North Station and the Boston Garden.
  17. On June 13, NASA's Pioneer 10 “crossed the orbit of Neptune, the second outermost planet, and so became the first human-made object to leave the proximity of the major planets of the Solar System.”
  18. On July 21, the world's lowest-ever natural temperature, −128.6 °F, was recorded in Antarctica.
  19. On August 17-18, Hurricane Alicia ripped through the Texas coast and ended the three-year and eight-day “hurricane drought” for the continental United States. ABC13.com tells us that "The hurricane began as a front in the central Gulf of Mexico on August 15, 1983, and quickly strengthened until landfall three days later. The storm was small and compact, producing between 5-10 inches of rain, but it also spawned 23 tornadoes as it surged from the Gulf Coast to east Texas."
  20. On September 1, Korean Air Lines Flight 007, en route from New York City to Seoul, was shot down by Soviet jet fighters, killing 269 passengers and crew members. History.com reports that “The incident dramatically increased tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. Despite the heated public rhetoric, many Soviets and American officials and analysts privately agreed that the incident was simply a tragic misunderstanding.
  21. In October 1983, the first-ever version of Microsoft Word was introduced.
  22. On October 25, the United States invaded Grenada, “a Caribbean country comprising a main island, also called Grenada, and smaller surrounding islands.” President Reagan ordered the invasion, “citing the need to protect the American citizens in the country but also using it to stem the tide of Communism in the Caribbean.”
  23. On November 2, President Reagan signed a bill establishing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday.
  24. On November 8, Wilson Goode (D) became the first black mayor of Philadelphia.
  25. On November 26, six robbers broke into the Brink's-Mat warehouse near Heathrow Airport and stole £25 million worth of gold bullion, diamonds, and cash. Home.BT.com points out that “The robbers were expecting to find £3 million in cash; instead, they discovered 6,800 gold ingots the size of chocolate bars, weighing over three tonnes, plus a consignment of diamonds and paper currency."
In 1983, the first-ever version of Microsoft Word was introduced.

In 1983, the first-ever version of Microsoft Word was introduced.

4. Sports Trivia

Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. Indianapolis 500: Tom Sneva
  2. Kentucky Derby: Sunny's Halo
  3. NBA Champions: Philadelphia 76ers
  4. NCAA Basketball Champions: North Carolina State
  5. NCAA Football Champs: Miami
  6. Orange Bowl: Nebraska over LSU
  7. Rose Bowl: UCLA over Michigan
  8. Stanley Cup Champs: New York Islanders
  9. Sugar Bowl: Penn State over Georgia
  10. Super Bowl XVII Champions: Washington Redskins
  11. Tour de France: Laurent Fignon
  12. U.S. Open Golf: Larry Nelson
  13. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Jimmy Connors/Martina Navratilova
  14. Wimbledon (men/women): John McEnroe/Martina Naratilova
  15. World Series: Baltimore Orioles
In 1983, chicken marsala was all the rage.

In 1983, chicken marsala was all the rage.

5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends

PBS.org explains that pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time. In the 1980s, radio, film, television, and books defined the essence of American pop culture.

  1. In 1983, popular baby names were Christopher, David, Matthew, Michael, Amanda, Ashley, Jennifer, and Jessica.
  2. The average life expectancy at birth in the United States was 71.0 years for men and 78.1 years for women.
  3. In the U.S., there were 10,850,500 property crimes, 19,310 murders, 506,570 robberies, 3,129,900 burglaries, and 1,007,900 vehicle thefts.
  4. The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $400,000.
  5. Popular Halloween costumes included Alex Owens (Flashdance), a 1980s Madonna, Prince, an 1980s prom queen, and Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark).
  6. Must-have back-to-school supplies were Casio wrist calculators, pencil cases, up-to-the-knee gym socks, square metal lunch boxes, and Mead Composition notebooks.
  7. Fashion trends in 1983 included off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, members-only jackets, Hawaiian shirts, big shoulders, popped collars, baracuta jackets, Guess jeans, parachute pants, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Calvin Klein underwear, and Kangol hats.
  8. Heartthrobs and fashion icons for the year included Carol Alt, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jacqueline Bisset, Joan Collins, Farrah Fawcett, Goldie Hawn, Kathy Ireland, Grace Jones, Audrey Landers, Jessica Lange, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Princess Diana, Victoria Principal, Brooke Shields, and Suzanne Somers.
  9. Debra Maffett (Anaheim, CA) won the Miss America crown.
  10. Julie Hayek (California) became Miss USA.
  11. Time magazine’s “Men of the Year” were Ronald Reagan and Yuri Andetopov.
  12. At the 55th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1982, Gandhi won an Oscar for Best Picture, Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) won an Oscar for Best Director, Ben Kingsley (Gandhi) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Meryl Steep (Sophie’s Choice) won an Oscar for Best Actress.
  13. At the 35th Primetime Emmy Awards, Cheers (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Hill Street Blues (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Likewise, Judd Hirsch (Taxi) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Shelley Long (Cheers) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
  14. On February 28, the TV series M*A*S*H (CBS) ended after 11 years and 251 episodes. The series finale—Goodbye, Farewell and Amen—became the highest-watched show in television history.
  15. On January 2, the Broadway musical Annie closed after 2,377 performances.
  16. On September 5, Tom Brokaw became the solo anchor of the NBC Nightly News. (His final broadcast was on December 1, 2004.)
  17. On January 22, the sitcom Mama’s Family premiered. The show starred Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry, Dorothy Lyman, Eric Brown, and Rue McClanahan. According to LikeTotally80s.com, “Thelma Harper and her spinster sister Fran open their home to Thelma’s recently divorced son Vinton and his teenage son and daughter. It’s quite an adjustment for everyone, especially the cranky, argumentative Thelma.”
  18. McDonald’s introduced chicken McNuggets, and the bite-size chicken pieces soon became a global phenomenon.
  19. Wendy's added baked potatoes with toppings to its menu. FoxNews.com remarks that “The ‘side’ can get hefty enough to count as a meal of its own—each potato is about 11.5 ounces before adding toppings.”
  20. French's introduced Dijon mustard to its condiment line.
  21. J. Crew began selling apparel through a mail-order catalogue.
  22. Vanity Fair began publication, and Bop magazine (1983-2014) also appeared on newsstands for the first time.
  23. In 1983, Brueggers, Costco, J. Crew, LensCrafters, Sam's Club, Verizon Communications, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company were all founded.
  24. Maytag built its last wringer-washing machine—a Model E.
  25. The last hand-cranked telephones in the U.S. were taken out of service, when “440 telephone customers in Bryant Pond, Maine were switched over to direct dial service.”
  26. Rolla Harger passed away. He was a biochemist who invented the Drunkometer, the first successful test machine for blood alcohol content (BAC).
  27. Earl Silas Tupper died. He was best known as the inventor of Tupperware—an airtight plastic container used to store food.
  28. Between 1983 and 1985, there was a 97% drop in video game sales.
  29. In 1983, Fred Cohen coined the term “virus,” described as "a computer program that can affect other computer programs by modifying them in such a way as to include a copy of itself."
  30. More than 10 million computers were being used in the U.S.
  31. The first-ever version of Microsoft Word, Word 1.0, was introduced.
  32. Lotus 1-2-3—a now defunct spreadsheet program that was similar to Microsoft Excel—was released for the IBM PC.
  33. In March, the first edition of PC World Magazine appeared on newsstands.
  34. On July 15, Nintendo released the Famicom home computer and video game console.
  35. How much did a computer cost in 1983? AppleMuseum.bott.org explains that the Apple IIe is probably the most successful computer that Apple ever produced. The IIe was introduced in January 1983, and originally sold for $1,395. It included the same 1.02 MHz 6502 processor as the Apple I and II. The main goal of the IIe was to succeed where the Apple III had failed, and to create a professional computer for use in business. It served its purpose well, and was popular in both homes and schools.
In 1983, Snapple Tru root beer was a popular beverage.

In 1983, Snapple Tru root beer was a popular beverage.

6. Nobel Prize Winners

Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.

This Nobel Prize information from 1983 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  1. Chemistry: Henry Taube
  2. Economics: Gérard Debreu
  3. Literature: William Golding
  4. Peace: Lech Wałęsa
  5. Physics: William Alfred Fowler and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
  6. Physiology or medicine: Barbara McClintock

7. Best-Selling Fiction Books

This book trivia has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

1. Return of the Jedi Storybook. adapted by Joan D. Vinge

2. Poland by James A. Michener

3. Pet Sematary by Stephen King

4. The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carr

5. Christine by Stephen King

6. Changes by Danielle Steel

7. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

8. White Gold Wielder: Book Three of The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson

9. Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins

10. The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour

8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1983-84

This TV trivia has been made available courtesy of Nielsen TV Research.

  1. Dallas (CBS)
  2. 60 Minutes (CBS)
  3. Dynasty (ABC)
  4. The A-Team (NBC)
  5. Simon & Simon (CBS)
  6. Magnum, P.I. (CBS)
  7. Falcon Crest (CBS)
  8. Kate & Allie (CBS)
  9. Hotel (ABC)
  10. Cagney & Lacey (CBS)
In 1983, the TV series M*A*S*H (CBS) ended after 11 years and 251 episodes. The series finale—Goodbye, Farewell and Amen—became the highest-watched show in television history.

In 1983, the TV series M*A*S*H (CBS) ended after 11 years and 251 episodes. The series finale—Goodbye, Farewell and Amen—became the highest-watched show in television history.

9. Highest-Grossing Films

This movie trivia has been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.

  1. Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi
  2. Tootsie
  3. Flashdance
  4. Trading Places
  5. War Games
  6. Octopussy
  7. Mr. Mom
  8. Staying Alive
  9. Risky Business
  10. National Lampoon’s Vacation

10. Horror Movies From 1983

Horror films for the year included The Alchemist, American Nightmare, Amityville 3-D, Angst, A Blade in the Dark, Bloody Flesh, The Boxer's Omen, Bloody Flesh, The Dead Zone, Deadly Lessons, Eyes of Fire, The Final Terror, Frightmare, The House, House of the Long Shadows, Jaws 3-D, Madman, Mortuary, A Night to Dismember, Nightmares, One Dark Night, Psycho II, Satan’s Baby Doll, Skullduggery, Sledgehammer, and Twilight Zone: The Movie.

11. Biggest Pop Music Artists

Popular music artists from the year 1983 include Billy Joel, Culture Club, Daryl Hall & John Oates, David Bowie, Donna Summer, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, James Ingram, Irene Cara, Journey, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Men at Work, Micheal Jackson, Naked Eyes, Patti Austin, Paric Rushen, Paul McCartney, The Police, Ray Parker Jr, Prince, Rick James, Styx, and Toto.

In 1983, J. Crew began selling apparel through a mail order catalogue.

In 1983, J. Crew began selling apparel through a mail order catalogue.

12. Top 25 Songs for the Year

This music trivia from 1983 has been made available courtesy of MusicOutfitters.com.

1. Every Breath You Take: The Police

2. Billie Jean: Michael Jackson

3. Flashdance...What A Feeling: Irene Cara

4. Down Under: Men At Work

5. Beat It: Michael Jackson

6. Total Eclipse of the Heart: Bonnie Tyler

7. Maneater: Daryl Hall and John Oates

8. Baby, Come to Me: Patti Austin and James Ingram

9. Maniac: Michael Sembello

10. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This): The Eurythmics

11. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me: Culture Club

12. You and I: Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle

13. Come on Eileen: Dexy's Midnight Runners

14. Shame On the Moon: Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

15. She Works Hard for the Money: Donna Summer

16. Never Gonna Let You Go: Sergio Mendes

17. Hungry Like the Wolf: Duran Duran

18. Let's Dance: David Bowie

19. Twilight Zone: Golden Earring

20. I Know There's Something Going On: Frida

21. Jeopardy: Greg Kihn Band

22. Electric Avenue: Eddy Grant

23. She Blinded Me With Science: Thomas Dolby

24. Africa: Toto

25. Little Red Corvette: Prince

13. Favorite Video Games

Popular video games in 1983 were 3-Demon, 3D Crazy Coaster, 10-Yard Fight, A.D. 2083, Alpha Blaster, Antarctic Adventure, Baseball, Beach Head, Bonka, Champion Baseball, Chariot Race, Dandy, Domino Man, Flip and Flop, Ice Cold Beer, Kool-Aid Man, Mad Planets, Mario Bros, MotoRace USA, Nuts & Milk, Oil’s Well, Pac & Pal, Pepsi Invaders, Robot Tank, Save New York, Solo Flight, Space Cowboy, Star Fox, and Streets of London.

Bruegger’s, a restaurant chain that produces over 70 million bagels annually, was founded. The first store opened in Troy, New York.

Bruegger’s, a restaurant chain that produces over 70 million bagels annually, was founded. The first store opened in Troy, New York.

14. Food and Beverage Trivia

Here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1983:

  1. Angel hair pasta
  2. Chicken and veal marsala
  3. Chocolate mousse
  4. French onion soup
  5. Frozen yogurt
  6. Jell-O Pudding Pops
  7. Lean Cuisine frozen dinners
  8. McDonald’s Happy Meals
  9. Pasta primavera and pasta salad
  10. Pesto
  11. Quiche
  12. Sloppy Joes
  13. Snapple Tru root beer
  14. Sushi
  15. Totino’s Pizza Rolls

15. Famous Weddings and Divorces

Weddings of interest:

  1. On February 13, Jerry Lewis married dancer SanDee Pitnick.
  2. On March 4, actor Harrison Ford wed screenwriter Melissa Mathison.
  3. On June 17, singer and actor Glenn Frey married Janie Beggs.
  4. On June 25, actor Denzel Washington wed actress Pauletta Pearson.
  5. On June 29, producer Dick Wolf married Christine Marburg.
  6. On July 28, Russian president Vladimir Putin wed flight attendant Lyudmila Shkrebneva.
  7. On August 16, musician Paul Simon married actress and writer Carrie Fisher.
  8. On November 6, businessman Vidal Sassoon wed athlete and fashion model Jeanette Hartford-Davis.
  9. On November 23, actress Mary Tyler Moore married Dr. Robert Levine.
  10. On December 24, actor Johnny Depp wed Lori Anne Allison.

Divorces:

  1. On March 16, producer Dick Wolf divorced Susan Scranton.
  2. On September 20, actor James Woods divorced costume designer Kathryn Morrison.
  3. On November 14, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber divorced Sarah Hugill.
In 1983, chocolate mousse was a real crowd-pleaser.

In 1983, chocolate mousse was a real crowd-pleaser.

16. Well-Known People Who Died in 1983

  1. January 24: George Cukor (an American film director who directed My Fair Lady and The Wizard of Oz)
  2. February 4: Karen Carpenter (an American singer and ½ of the Carpenters)
  3. February 25: Tennessee Williams (an American playwright who wrote A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, and The Night of the Iguana)
  4. March 3: Hergé (a Belgian comic book creator who created The Adventures of Tintin)
  5. April 4: Gloria Swanson (an American actress and producer who played in Airport 1975 and Sunset Boulevard)
  6. April 30: Muddy Waters (an American blues singer and guitarist)
  7. May 14: Roger J. Traynor (the 23rd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California)
  8. May 31: Jack Dempsey (an American boxer and the world heavyweight champion from 1919-26)
  9. June 12: Norma Shearer (an American actress who played in The Divorcee and Romeo & Juliet)
  10. July 20: Frank Reynolds (an American journalist for CBS and NBC)
  11. July 29: David Niven (a British actor who played in Around the World in 80 Days)
  12. August 3: Carolyn Jones (an American actress best known as Morticia Addams on the TV series The Addams Family)
  13. August 17: Ira Gershwin (an American lyricist)
  14. October 8: Joan Hackett (an American actress who won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in Only When I Laugh)
  15. October 10: Sir Ralph Richardson (an English actor who played in Richard III)
  16. October 28: Otto Messmer (an American animator who created Felix the Cat)
  17. October 31: George Halas (an American NFL coach and owner of the Chicago Bears)
  18. November 8: Betty Nuthall (an English tennis player)
  19. December 8: Slim Pickens (an American rodeo performer who played in Dr. Strangelove)
  20. December 28: Dennis Wilson (an American musician who was a founding member of The Beach Boys)

17. The Fastest Accelerating Cars of the Year

Here are the fastest accelerating cars of 1983, as tested by Consumer Guide. Like in 1981, you will see that not a lot of American brands made their way onto the list, primarily because “European brands, being early adopters of fuel injection and turbocharging, found themselves among the acceleration leaders of the era.” Credit must also be given to “the lighter weight of most German and Swedish cars” in comparison to their American counterparts.

Consumer Guide’s blog tells us that “of the dozen fastest vehicles tested by our editors back in 1983, only three were packing V8 engines under the hood. Of the rest, there were five 6-cylinder engines, two 4-cylinders, one 5-cylinder, and one rotary.”

Fastest accelerating cars:

  1. Porsche 911 SC Cabriolet: 7.0 seconds
  2. Mercury Capri RS: 8.0 seconds
  3. Audi Quattro: 8.0 seconds
  4. Ford Mustang GT Convertible: 8.2 seconds
  5. Datsun 280ZX Turbo: 8.5 seconds
  6. Porsche 944: 9.2 seconds
  7. Mazda RX-7: 9.4 seconds
  8. Buick Regal T-Type: 9.5 seconds
  9. Toyota Celica Supra: 9.8 seconds
  10. Plymouth Turismo: 10.2 seconds
  11. BMW 528e: 10.5 seconds
  12. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am: 10.8 seconds
In 1983, the Broadway musical Annie closed after 2,377 performances.

In 1983, the Broadway musical Annie closed after 2,377 performances.

18. America’s Largest Corporations

These FORTUNE 500 facts have been made available courtesy of Money.CNN.com. Money.CNN tells us that “Since 1955, when the first FORTUNE 500 was created, more than 1,800 companies have appeared on the list. Many of these companies have changed names over this period, owing to mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies. Other companies have gone private, or simply changed their names.”

  1. Exxon Mobil
  2. General Motors
  3. Mobil
  4. Texaco
  5. Ford Motor Company
  6. IBM
  7. ChevronTexaco
  8. DuPont
  9. Gulf Oil
  10. Amoco

19. Companies and Brands Launched in 1983

  1. 24 Hour Fitness: A fitness center chain
  2. AT&T: The world’s largest telecommunications company
  3. Belkin: A consumer electronics manufacturer
  4. Bruegger’s: A restaurant chain that produces over 70 million bagels annually
  5. Costco: A chain of membership-only warehouse stores
  6. J. Crew: A specialty retailer that offers “an assortment of women's, men's, and children's apparel and accessories.”
  7. LensCrafters: A prescription eyewear retailer
  8. Moneytree, Inc.: A financial services provider
  9. Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company: A luxury hotel chain
  10. Sam’s Club: A chain of membership-only warehouse stores
  11. Showtime Networks: An entertainment company that oversees its flagship service Showtime.
  12. Verizon Communications: A telecommunications conglomerate
  13. Vermont Teddy Bear Company: “One of the largest producers of teddy bears and the largest seller of teddy bears by mail order and Internet.”
  14. Walt Disney Television: A production company
  15. West Coast Video: A chain of video rental stores
In 1983, the movie Flashdance was one of the most popular films. The song—Flashdance...What A Feeling—won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In 1983, the movie Flashdance was one of the most popular films. The song—Flashdance...What A Feeling—won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

References

In 1983, the TV sitcom Mama’s Family premiered.  The show starred Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry, Dorothy Lyman, Eric Brown, and Rue McClanahan.

In 1983, the TV sitcom Mama’s Family premiered. The show starred Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry, Dorothy Lyman, Eric Brown, and Rue McClanahan.

© 2020 Gregory DeVictor