1985 Fun Facts, Trivia, and History

Updated on October 30, 2019
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Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1985.
This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1985.

Quick History Facts From 1985

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1985? For openers, President Reagan’s second inauguration was held privately, Mitch McConnell began serving his first term as senator of Kentucky, and Michael Harrison made Britain’s first mobile phone call. Howard Stern was fired from his radio talk show, Robert Ballard discovered the remains of the Titanic, and Margaret Thatcher was denied an honorary degree from Oxford.

In 1985, extremely low temperatures affected every state east of the Rockies, Phoenix received three inches of snow, and 41 tornadoes hit Ohio; Pennsylvania; New York; and Ontario, Canada all in the same day. Microsoft released Windows 1.0, the first domain name was registered, and Steve Jobs resigned as chairman of Apple Computer.

Back in 1985, the San Francisco 49ers were the Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, and the Edmonton Oilers clinched the Stanley Cup. Michael Jordan was named the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year,” MLB player Roger Maris retired from the New York Yankees, and Lynette Woodward became the first woman to play with the Harlem Globetrotters.

In 1985, inflation was 3.56%, a new Pontiac Sunbird cost $8,676, and unemployment was 7.30% on New Year's Day. The prime rate hovered around 10.00%, an ounce of gold was $327.00, and the retail price for a gallon of gas averaged $1.20. A gallon of milk cost $2.20, bacon was $1.89 a pound, and a dozen eggs were 80 cents.

Back in 1985, the EPA set new limits on the amount of lead used in gasoline, New York’s seat belt law went into effect, and the DEA banned the recreational drug ecstasy. Coca-Cola announced that it was changing its century-old secret formula, Blockbuster and Quicken Loans were founded, and Walt Disney World received its 200-millionth guest.

In 1985, The Cosby Show (NBC) was the most popular TV show, A Handmaid’s Tale was the best-selling book, and Back to the Future was the highest-grossing film. Michael and Jessica were favorite baby names, shoulder pads and parachute pants were fashion trends, and chocolate mousse and sushi were crowd-pleasers.

What else happened in 1985? Danny Sullivan won the 69th Indianapolis 500, Bernard Hinault won the Tour de France, and WrestleMania debuted at Madison Square Garden. The Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the U.S., the atomic bombing of Hiroshima turned 40, and the historic Route 66 was decommissioned. Actor Rock Hudson passed away, swimmer Michael Phelps was born, and Mike Pence and Karen Batten tied the knot.

Here are some more fast history facts from 1985: The honey bee became the official state insect of Missouri, the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood closed after 57 years, and there were over 400,000 American millionaires. New York City’s subway fare was 90 cents, Strawberry Fields in Central Park was dedicated to John Lennon, and the song "New York, New York" became the Big Apple’s anthem.

Famous people in the news in 1985 included Ronald Reagan, Andy North, Ed Koch, Howard Stern, John Lennon, Lynette Woodward, Madonna, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Harrison, Milos Forman, Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch McConnell, Pete Rose, Peter Ueberroth, Robert Ballard, Roger Maris, and Steve Jobs.

Whether you’re a millennial, a 50-something, or a baby boomer, this article teaches you fun facts, cool trivia, and history from the year 1985. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, cars, interesting foods, sports facts, fashion fads, and other pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1980s-themed trivia quiz.

Table of Contents

What happened in the year 1985? For your convenience, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1985
  2. Fast Facts About the U.S. Economy and Consumer Spending
  3. History Facts From the USA and World
  4. Famous People in the News
  5. Sports Facts
  6. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  7. Nobel Prize Winners
  8. Best-Selling Books
  9. Most Popular Television Shows for 1985-1986
  10. Most Popular Movies
  11. Interesting Horror Movies From 1985
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. The Top 100 Songs From 1985
  14. Favorite Video Games
  15. Popular Foods and Beverages
  16. Weddings and Divorces
  17. Famous People Who Died in the Year 1985
  18. America’s Largest Corporations
  19. Companies and Brands That Were Launched

In 1985, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins to win their second Super Bowl.
In 1985, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins to win their second Super Bowl.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1985

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

  1. Apples (Red Delicious): 59 cents a pound

  2. Bacon: $1.89 per pound

  3. Bananas: Three pounds for 99 cents

  4. Beef (ground): $1.47 a pound

  5. Beef (sirloin steak): $2.17 per pound

  6. Candy (Hershey’s Kisses): $2.39 for a 14-ounce bag

  7. Cereal (Kellogg’s Corn Flakes): $1.00 for an 18-ounce box

  8. Cheese (Kraft American Singles): 99 cents for a six-ounce package

  9. Chicken (Perdue, thighs): 89 cents a pound

  10. Cocoa (Swiss Miss): 99 cents for a nine-ounce package

  11. Coffee (Savarin): $1.99 for a one-pound can

  12. Cookies (Burry’s Scooter Pies): $1.19 for a 12-ounce package

  13. Crackers (Nabisco Ritz): $1.39 for a one-pound box

  14. Drake’s Devil Dogs (family pack): 99 cents for a 12- ounce box

  15. Duck: 99 cents a pound

  16. Flour (Pillsbury): 69 cents for a five-pound bag

  17. Hot dogs (Hebrew National): $2.29 for a 12-ounce package

  18. Juice (Seneca, apple): 99 cents for a half-gallon jug

  19. Juice (Tropicana, orange): Two 64-ounce containers for $3.00

  20. Ketchup (Heinz): $1.59 for a 28-ounce bottle

  21. Macaroni (San Giorgio): 79 cents for two one-pound boxes

  22. Margarine (Fleischmann’s): 99 cents for a one-pound package

  23. Onions (yellow): 79 cents for a three-pound bag

  24. Oranges (navel): $1.69 for a four-pound bag

  25. Peanut butter (Skippy): $1.49 for an 18-ounce jar

  26. Pineapples (Dole, whole): $1.79 apiece

  27. Potatoes: 99 cents for a five-pound bag

  28. Soda (Pepsi): 89 cents for a two-liter bottle

  29. Soup (Campbell’s): 99 cents for three 10-ounce cans

  30. Tea bags (Lipton): $1.99 for a 100-count box

  31. Tomatoes (Progresso): Three 18-ounce cans for $2.00

  32. Tuna (Chicken of the Sea): 59 cents for a 6.5-ounce can

  33. Valentine’s candy (Brach’s, heart box): $9.99 for a two-pound box

2. Fast Facts About the U.S. Economy and Consumer Spending

U.S. Economy:

  1. The consumer price index (CPI) was 107.6.

  2. Federal spending was $946.39 billion, and the federal debt was $1,817.5 billion.

  3. On January 1, unemployment was 7.30%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that "Employment continued to increase in 1985, as the economy completed its third year of recovery from the 1981-82 recession. Construction, as well as most industries in the service-producing sector, showed robust job gains throughout the year. In contrast, manufacturing employment, which had rebounded during 1983 and most of 1984, decreased in 1985-especially in the durable goods industries."

  4. The rate of inflation was 3.56%. According to In2013Dollars.com, “today's prices in 2019 are 138.44% higher than average prices throughout 1985. In other words, $100 in 1985 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $238.44 in 2019, a difference of $138.44 over 34 years.”

  5. 1985 was only the second full year of economic expansion following the recession of the early 1980s.

  6. Economic growth was 4.2%.

  7. About 175,000 private sector jobs were created each month.

  8. Oil prices were unchanged for the year, before plunging to a 25-year low of $9.75 a barrel on April 1, 1986.

  9. Exports accounted for only 6% of GDP.

  10. As far as the federal deficit was concerned, ValueWalk.com tells us that “The federal budget deficit, which ballooned to 6% of GDP in the aftermath of the severe 1981 – 82 recession, improved to 5% of GDP in 1985, on its way to an eight-year low of 2.7% in 1989.”

  11. The median household income was $23,618. Census.gov confirms that “The 1985 median income was $24,910 for White households, $14,820 for Black households, and $17,470 for Hispanic households.”

  12. The federal minimum wage was $3.35.

  13. The prime rate hovered around 10.00%, and an ounce of gold was $327.00.

  14. On December 31, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 1,546.67. (The high for the year was 1,553 and the low was 1,184.)

  15. The average cost of a new home was $100,800.

Consumer Spending:

  1. In 1985, a gallon of milk cost $2.20, bacon was $1.89 a pound, and a dozen eggs were 80 cents. Three pounds of bananas cost $1.00, potatoes were 89 cents for a five-pound bag, and Heinz Ketchup was $1.59 for a 28-ounce bottle.

  2. The sticker price on a 1985 Buick Skyhawk was $8,999, and a new Pontiac Sunbird cost $8,676.

  3. A pair of Men’s oxfords cost $39.99, women’s leather handbags were $13.59-$38.00 apiece, and girl’s sweaters cost $8.99-$25.00 each.

  4. A metal ironing board was $10.99, snow shovels were $6.39-$17.49 apiece, and Wisk laundry detergent cost $2.49 for a half-gallon jug.

  5. Conair curling irons were $9.99-$17.99 each, Noxzema skin cream was $2.19 for a 10-ounce jar, and Q-Tips cotton swabs cost $1.29 for a 170-count box.

  6. Cabbage Patch dolls were $49.95 apiece, record albums cost $5.96 each, and a bargain-matinee movie ticket was $2.00.

  7. The average price for a gallon of gas was $1.20.

  8. A first-class stamp cost 22 cents.

In 1985, chocolate mousse was a real crowd-pleaser.
In 1985, chocolate mousse was a real crowd-pleaser.

3. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. In 1985, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, and George H. W. Bush was Vice President.

  2. On January 1, New York became the first state to require that all front-seat auto occupants wear seat belts, or face a $50 fine.

  3. On January 1, Michael Harrison made Britain’s first mobile phone call on the newly-launched Vodafone network.

  4. On January 3, Mitch McConnell began serving his first term as Senator of Kentucky. A Republican, McConnell served as majority whip (2003–07), minority leader (2007–15), and then became the Senate’s majority leader in 2015.

  5. From January 18-22, extremely low temperatures affected every state east of the Rockies, “with three new state record lows established: -34° at Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina, -19° at Caesar's Head, South Carolina, and -30° at Mountain Lake, Virginia.” Weather.gov tells us that “The inauguration parade for President Reagan's second term was canceled with wind chills in Washington DC colder than -10° F. Florida's Secretary of Agriculture termed this the ‘freeze of the century’ with the state's citrus industry suffering $2.5 billion in losses.”

  6. On January 29, Oxford University’s governing assembly refused to grant Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Prime Minister, an honorary degree.

  7. On February 7, New York City Mayor Ed Koch announced that the song New York, New York would become the Big Apple's official anthem.

  8. On February 17, the price of a first-class stamp increased to 22 cents.

  9. On March 4, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set new limits on the permissible amount of lead used in gasoline. According to Archive.EPA.gov, Administrator Lee M. Thomas established standards that would cut the amount of lead used in gasoline by 90 percent starting January 1, 1986. The new EPA standard would limit the lead content of gasoline to 0.10 grams per gallon. (The current standard allowed 1.10 grams per leaded gallon.) The Administrator also set an interim standard of 0.50 grams per leaded gallon, effective July 1, 1985.”

  10. On March 15, the dot-com revolution began when Symbolics.com became the first Internet domain name to be registered. Wired.com reveals that “In those early days, even before AOL, the internet was a noncommercial medium that only eggheads and propellerheads used. It was more of a military and academic tool than today's vast playground.”

  11. On March 18, Capital Cities Communications Inc agreed to purchase ABC for $3.5 billion, which was the first ownership transfer of a television network.

  12. On May 20, the Dow closed above 1,300 for the first time.

  13. On May 27, Britain agreed to return Hong Kong to China in 1997, “in return for terms guaranteeing a 50-year extension of its capitalist system.” History.com explains that Hong Kong–a small peninsula and group of islands jutting out from China’s Kwangtung province–was leased by China to Great Britain in 1898 for 99 years.”

  14. On May 31, nearly 100 people died when 41 tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, Canada.

  15. On May 31, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that they were taking emergency action to ban the recreational drug Ecstasy. The official ban of Ecstasy, formally known as MDBA, would take place on July 1.

  16. In June, the historic Route 66 was decommissioned by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). History.com reports that “Measuring some 2,200 miles in its heyday, Route 66 stretched from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, passing through eight states. The diagonal course of Route 66 linked hundreds of mostly rural communities to the cities along its route, allowing farmers to more easily transport grain and other types of produce for distribution. The highway was also a lifeline for the long-distance trucking industry, which by 1930 was competing with the railroad for dominance in the shipping market.”

  17. On June 10, Coca-Cola announced that it was changing its century-old secret formula. According to CBSNews.com “The new Coke would have a smoother, sweeter taste -- similar to Diet Coke, but sweetened with corn syrup.” After its launch, the new Coke was only around for 79 days, and was regarded by many to have been one of the biggest-ever marketing mishaps. For example, a CBS poll showed that only 13 percent of soda drinkers liked the new beverage.

  18. On July 11, Coca-Cola agreed to start selling old Coke again. According to Donald Keough, the President of Coca-Cola: "We're bringing it back, the original taste of Coca-Cola returns as Coca-Cola Classic and soon America will have a real choice: the new taste of Coke or the original taste of Coca-Cola Classic." Keough added: "The simple fact is that all of the time and money and skill poured into consumer research on a new Coca-Cola could not measure or reveal the depth and abiding emotional attachment to the original Coca-Cola felt by so many people,"

  19. On July 13, “Live Aid” concerts in both London and Philadelphia raised $70 million for the “devastating strife and starvation occurring in Africa, particularly Ethiopia, and brought worldwide attention to the issue.”

  20. On August 10, the King of Pop Michael Jackson bought ATV Music, the Beatles’ publishing company, for $47.5 million.

  21. On August 21, three lucky ticket holders won $13.7 apiece in the New York Lottery.

  22. On September 20, Walt Disney World received its 200-millionth guest.

  23. On September 22, the Plaza Accord was signed by the finance ministers of the G5 nations—the United States, United Kingdom, West Germany, France, and Japan. MarketBusinessNews.com reports that under the agreement, the U.S. promised to reduce its federal deficit, Japan pledged to establish a looser monetary policy, Germany said that it would implement a series of tax cuts, and all nations wanted to see a better balance between Japan’s imports and exports.

  24. On September 30, Howard Stern was fired from WNBC (AM) in New York City. On November 17, he began broadcasting his radio talk show from WXRK (FM) in New York.

  25. On October 2, President Reagan banned imports of South African Krugerrands into the U.S. (The restriction took effect on October 11.)

  26. On November 19, President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland.

  27. On November 20, Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released. EDN.com tells us that “The OS had been codenamed ‘Interface Manager’ but was finally dubbed ‘Windows’ to describe the computing window boxes that popped up on the user's screen. Drop-down menus, scroll bars, icons, and dialog boxes made programs easy to learn and use. Windows 1.0 shipped with several programs, including MS DOS file management, Paint, Windows Writer, Notepad, Calculator, Calendar, Card File, a clock, and the game Reversi.”

  28. On December 9, Phoenix received three inches of snow.

  29. On December 10, Congress passed a bill to balance the federal budget.

  30. On December 11, the Dow closed above 1,500 for the first time.

  31. On December 11, General Electric purchased RCA and its subsidiary NBC.

In 1985, Back to the Future was the highest-grossing film.
In 1985, Back to the Future was the highest-grossing film.

4. Famous People in the News

  1. Ronald Reagan: 40th U.S. President

  2. Andy North: Professional golfer

  3. Darryl Strawberry: MLB player

  4. Ed Koch: Former Mayor of New York City

  5. George Foreman: Professional boxer

  6. Howard Stern: Radio talk show host

  7. Janet Jackson: American singer

  8. John Lennon: Singer and songwriter

  9. Lynette Woodward: American basketball player

  10. Madonna: Pop music artist

  11. Margaret Atwood: Best-selling author

  12. Margaret Thatcher: Former British Prime Minister

  13. Michael Harrison: He made Britain’s first mobile phone call on the newly-launched Vodafone network.

  14. Mike Pence: Vice-President of the United States

  15. Milos Forman: Film director

  16. Michael Jackson: King of Pop

  17. Michael Jordan: Basketball legend

  18. Mikhail Gorbachev: Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

  19. Mitch McConnell: American politician

  20. Pete Rose: Baseball legend

  21. Peter Ueberroth: The Commissioner of Baseball from 1984 to 1989

  22. Robert Ballard: Oceanographer

  23. Roger Maris: Baseball legend

  24. Steve Jobs: Founder of Apple Computer

  25. Whitney Houston: American singer

5. Sports Facts

This information has been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us. Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. In January, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins to win their second Super Bowl.

  2. On January 1, Washington defeated Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl before a crowd of 56,294.

  3. On January 1, USC beat Ohio State in the Rose Bowl before 102,594 spectators.

  4. On January 1, Nebraska defeated LSU in the Sugar Bowl before a crowd of 75,608.

  5. In April, Villanova University won their first NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament by defeating Georgetown in the final game.

  6. In May, the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in their third consecutive Finals appearance.

  7. In May, Spend A Buck won the 111th running of the Kentucky Derby.

  8. On May 16, Michael Jordan was named the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year.”

  9. In June, Andy North won his second U.S. Open title at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

  10. On July 13, MLB player Roger Maris retired from the New York Yankees.

  11. On September 8, Pete Rose tied Ty Cobb’s major league career record of 4,191 base hits.

  12. On October 2, Mayor Richard Caliguiri of Pittsburgh established a coalition to keep the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team in town for five more years.

  13. In October, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series by upsetting the heavily-favored St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

  14. On October 7, Lynette Woodward became the first woman to play with the Harlem Globetrotters.

  15. On December 20, sportscaster Howard Coswell retired from television sports after 20 years with ABC.

  16. NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers

  17. NCAA Football Champs: Oklahoma

  18. U.S. Open Golf: Andy North

  19. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Ivan Lendl/Hana Mandlikova

  20. Wimbledon (men/women): Boris Becker/Martina Navratilova

In 1985, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series by upsetting the heavily-favored St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
In 1985, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series by upsetting the heavily-favored St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

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

  1. In 1985, popular baby names were Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, Jessica, Ashley, Jennifer, and Amanda.
  2. The average life expectancy in the United States was 74.7 years.
  3. The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $525,000.
  4. Popular Halloween costumes included Hulk Hogan, Elvira, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.
  5. Favorite holiday gifts were Care Bears, Teddy Ruxpin Talking Bears, Pound Puppies, the Wheel of Fortune game, and the Super Mario Bros. video game.
  6. Fashion trends in 1985 included shoulder pads, mini skirts, leg warmers, huge earrings, fingerless gloves, parachute pants, members only jackets, stirrup pants, and oversized tops.
  7. Heartthrobs and fashion icons for the year were Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Diahann Carroll, Joan Collins, Elvira, Linda Evans, Morgan Fairchild, Melanie Griffith, Kathy Ireland, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Dolly Parton, Princess Diana, Brooke Shields, Jewel Shepard, Helen Slater, Suzanne Somers, and Heather Thomas.
  8. Hunks included Harrison Ford, Mick Jagger, John Travolta, and Robert Redford.
  9. Sharlene Wells (Utah) won the Miss America crown.
  10. Laura Martinez-Herring (Texas) became Miss USA.
  11. Top-grossing Broadway shows were Cats, La Cage aux Folles, The King and I, A Chorus Line, Biloxi Blues, Singin’ in the Rain, Dreamgirls, Sunday in the Park with George, The Tap Dance Kid, and Brighton Beach Memoirs.
  12. Broadway shows that opened in 1985 included Aren't We All?, Arms and the Man, As Is, Babes in Arms, Big River, Biloxi Blues, Benefactors, Blood Knot, Dancing in the End Zone, Doubles, Grind, Hay Fever, Jerry’s Girls, Leader of the Pack, Mayor, Pack of Lies, Singin’ in the Rain, Strange Interlude, The Iceman Cometh, The King and I, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Odd Couple.
  13. Five Broadway shows that closed on opening night were Glory Days, Take Me Along, Dance a Little Closer, Cleavage, and Play Me a Country Song.
  14. At the 57th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1984, Amadeus won an Oscar for Best Picture, Milos Forman (Amadeus) won an Oscar for Best Director, F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Sally Field (Places in the Heart) won an Oscar for Best Actress.
  15. At the 37th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Cosby Show (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Cagney & Lacey (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Likewise, Robert Guillaume (Benson) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
  16. Peter Ueberroth, the Commissioner of Baseball from 1984 to 1989, was Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
  17. The IRS reported that there were over 400,000 American millionaires and 13 billionaires.
  18. Perrier introduced Perrier with “a twist of lemon,” its first new product in over 125 years.
  19. Cherry Coke was also launched.
  20. The Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood closed after 57 years. HollywoodReporter.com explains that “The original Brown Derby, located at 3427 Wilshire Blvd. in what is now Koreatown, was partially incorporated into a shopping center in 1980. The restaurant was shaped like a man's derby hat and featured a sign that beckoned passersby to ‘Eat In The Hat.’”
  21. The first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Iowa also became the first fast food museum.
  22. The wreckage of the British luxury liner “Titanic” was discovered by oceanographer Robert Ballard 73 years after it sank. NationalGeographic.com reports that “The 1985 discovery of the Titanic stemmed from a secret United States Navy investigation of two wrecked nuclear submarines.”
  23. Strawberry Fields, a 2½ acre garden in New York City's Central Park, was dedicated to John Lennon.
  24. On January 3, opera soprano Leontyne Price made her farewell operatic appearance in a televised performance of Verdi’s Aida. Price was the first Black international opera star.
  25. On July 3, the honey bee became the official state insect of Missouri.

In 1985, Coca-Cola announced that it was changing its century-old secret formula. “New Coke” was met with negative feedback from consumers as well as flat sales of the product.
In 1985, Coca-Cola announced that it was changing its century-old secret formula. “New Coke” was met with negative feedback from consumers as well as flat sales of the product.

7. 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 1985 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  1. Chemistry: Jerome Karle and Herbert A. Hauptman

  2. Economics: Franco Modigliani

  3. Literature: Claude Simon

  4. Peace: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

  5. Physics: Klaus von Klitzing

  6. Physiology or medicine: Joseph L. Goldstein and Michael Stuart Brown

8. Best-Selling Books

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

  1. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  2. Baby’s First Words by Lars Wik
  3. Chapterhouse: Dune by Frank Herbert
  4. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
  5. The Class by Erich Segal
  6. Contact by Carl Sagan
  7. Family Album by Danielle Steel
  8. Hold The Dream by Barbara Taylor Bradford
  9. If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon
  10. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  11. Jubal Sackett by Louis L’Amour
  12. Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
  13. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  14. Lucky by Jackie Collins
  15. The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel
  16. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  17. Secrets by Danielle Steel
  18. Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
  19. The Sicilian by Mario Puzo
  20. Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
  21. The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
  22. Texas by James A. Michener
  23. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
  24. White Noise by Don DeLillo

In 1985, Family Ties (NBC) was a popular television show.
In 1985, Family Ties (NBC) was a popular television show.

9. Most Popular Television Shows for 1985-1986

This cool TV trivia has been made available courtesy of Nielsen Media Research. How many of these shows do you remember?

  1. The Cosby Show (NBC)

  2. Family Ties (NBC)

  3. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)

  4. 60 Minutes (CBS)

  5. Cheers (NBC)

  6. Dallas (CBS)

  7. Dynasty (ABC)

  8. The Golden Girls (NBC)

  9. Miami Vice (NBC)

  10. Who’s the Boss? (ABC)

  11. Night Court (NBC)

  12. CBS Sunday Night Movie (CBS)

  13. Highway to Heaven (NBC)

  14. Kate & Allie (CBS)

  15. Monday Night Football (ABC)

  16. Newhart (CBS)

  17. Knots Landing (CBS)

  18. Growing Pains (CBS)

  19. You Again (NBC)

  20. 227 (NBC)

  21. NBC Sunday Night Movie (NBC)

  22. Hotel (ABC)

  23. NBC Monday Night Movie (NBC)

  24. Moonlighting (ABC)

  25. Falcon Crest (CBS)

10. Most Popular Movies

These film facts have been made available courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.com.

  1. Back To The Future

  2. Rambo: First Blood Part II

  3. Rocky IV

  4. The Color Purple

  5. Out Of Africa

  6. Cocoon

  7. The Jewel of the Nile

  8. Witness

  9. The Goonies

  10. Spies Like Us

Other notable films from 1985 include Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, Fletch, A View to Kill, Eiropean Vacation, Mask, The Breakfast Club, White Knights, Pale Rider, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and Brewster’s Millions.

11. Interesting Horror Movies From 1985

Horror films for the year included After Darkness, Appointment with Fear, The Bad Seed, Biohazard, Blood Cult, The Bride, Bridge Across, Cat’s Eye, Confessions of a Serial Killer, Creature, Daemon, Day of the Dead, Deadly Intruder, Demons, Force of Darkness, Formula for a Murder, Fright Night, Fright Show, Horror House on Highway Five, Joey, The Midnight Hour, Night Train to Terror, A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy’s Revenge, Once Bitten, The Return of the Living Dead, Satan’s Blade, Vampire Hunter, and Warning Sign.

In the 1985 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, Villanova University won their first title by defeating Georgetown in the final game.
In the 1985 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, Villanova University won their first title by defeating Georgetown in the final game.

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

This information has been made available courtesy of Billboard.com.

Popular music artists in 1985 included Aretha Franklin, Billy Ocean, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Cameo, Chaka Kahn, Daryl Hall & John Oates, DeBarge, Duran Duran, Foreigner, Eddie Murphy, Freddie Jackson, Huey Lewis & the News, Julian Lennon, Klymaxx, Kool & the Gang, Lionel Richie, Madonna, Mary Jane Girls, Mr. Mister, New Edition, Paul Young, Phil Collins, Pointer Sisters, Prince, Rene & Angela, REO Speedwagon, Sade, Sheila E, Starship, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Tears for Fears, Tina Turner, and Whitney Houston.

13. The Top 100 Songs From 1985

This pop music trivia has been made available courtesy of MusicOutfitters.com. How many of these songs do you remember?

1. Careless Whisper: Wham!

2. Like a Virgin: Madonna

3. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go: Wham!

4. I Want to Know What Love Is: Foreigner

5. I Feel for You: Chaka Khan

6. Out of Touch: Daryl Hall and John Oates

7. Everybody Wants to Rule the World: Tears For Fears

8. Money for Nothing: Dire Straits

9. Crazy for You: Madonna

10. Take On Me: A-Ha

11. Everytime You Go Away: Paul Young

12. Easy Lover: Phil Collins and Philip Bailey

13. Can't Fight This Feeling: REO Speedwagon

14. We Built This City: Starship

15. The Power of Love: Huey Lewis and The News

16. Don't You (Forget About Me): Simple Minds

17. Cherish: Kool and The Gang

18. St. Elmos Fire (Man In Motion): John Parr

19. The Heat Is On: Glenn Frey

20. We Are the World: U.S.A. For Africa

21. Shout: Tears For Fears

22. Part-Time Lover: Stevie Wonder

23. Saving All My Love for You: Whitney Houston

24. Heaven: Bryan Adams

25. Everything She Wants: Wham!

26. Cool It Now: New Edition

27. Miami Vice Theme: Jan Hammer

28. Loverboy: Billy Ocean

29. Lovergirl: Teena Marie

30. You Belong to the City: Glenn Frey

31. Oh Sheila: Ready For The World

32. Rhythm of the Night: Debarge

33. One More Night: Phil Collins

34. Sea of Love: The Honeydrippers

35. A View to a Kill: Duran Duran

36. The Wild Boys: Duran Duran

37. You're the Inspiration: Chicago

38. Neutron Dance: The Pointer Sisters

39. We Belong: Pat Benatar

40. Nightshift: The Commodores

41. Things Can Only Get Better: Howard Jones

42. All I Need: Jack Wagner

43. Freeway of Love: Aretha Franklin

44. Never Surrender: Corey Hart

45. Sussudio: Phil Collins

46. Strut: Sheena Easton

47. You Give Good Love: Whitney Houston

48. The Search Is Over: Survivor

49. Missing You: Diana Ross

50. Separate Lives: Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin

51. Raspberry Beret: Prince and The Revolution

52. Suddenly: Billy Ocean

53. The Boys of Summer: Don Henley

54. One Night In Bangkok: Murray Head

55. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free: Sting

56. Obsession: Animotion

57. We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome): Tina Turner

58. Material Girl: Madonna

59. Better Be Good to Me: Tina Turner

60. Head Over Heels: Tears For Fears

61. Axel F: Harold Faltermeyer

62. Smooth Operator: Sade

63. In My House: Mary Jane Girls

64. Don't Lose My Number: Phil Collins

65. All Through the Night: Cyndi Lauper

66. Run to You: Bryan Adams

67. Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen

68. Voices Carry: 'Til Tuesday

69. Misled: Kool and The Gang

70. Would I Lie to You?: The Eurythmics

71. Be Near Me: ABC

72. No More Lonely Nights: Paul McCartney

73. I Can't Hold Back: Survivor

74. Summer Of '69: Bryan Adams

75. Walking On Sunshine: Katrina and The Waves

76. Freedom: Wham!

77. Too Late for Goodbyes: Julian Lennon

78. Valotte: Julian Lennon

79. Some Like It Hot: The Power Station

80. Solid: Ashford and Simpson

81. Angel: Madonna

82. I'm On Fire: Bruce Springsteen

83. Method of Modern Love: Daryl Hall and John Oates

84. Lay Your Hands On Me: The Thompson Twins

85. Who's Holding Donna Now?: Debarge

86. Lonely Ol' Night: John Cougar Mellencamp

87. What About Love: Heart

88. California Girls: David Lee Roth

89. Fresh: Kool and The Gang

90. Do What You Do: Jermaine Jackson

91. Jungle Love: The Time

92. Born In the U.S.A.: Bruce Springsteen

93. Private Dancer: Tina Turner

94. Who's Zoomin' Who?: Aretha Franklin

95. Fortress Around Your Heart: Sting

96. Penny Lover: Lionel Richie

97. All She Wants to Do Is Dance: Don Henley

98. Dress You Up: Madonna

99. Sentimental Street: Night Ranger

100. Sugar Walls: Sheena Easton

In 1985, sushi was a popular food trend.
In 1985, sushi was a popular food trend.

14. Favorite Video Games

Popular video games in 1985 included Gauntlet, Super Mario Bros., Gradius, Space Harrier, Ghosts 'n Goblins, Commando, Hang-On, Paperboy, Yie Ar Kung-Fu, Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, The Bard’s Tale, Gun.Smoke, City Connection, Sky Kid, Baraduke, Battle City, Ring King, Mach Rider, Wrecking Crew, The Way of the Exploding Fist, Dragon Buster, Gridiron Fight, A Mind Forever Voyaging, Tehkan World Cup, Mercenary, Motos, Gyromite, Monty on the Run, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Little Computer People.

15. Popular Foods and Beverages

These food facts have been made available courtesy of Mirror80.com.

  1. Ample sauces and garnishes

  2. Angel hair pasta

  3. Berry tarts

  4. Blackened meat

  5. Chicken and veal marsala

  6. Chocolate mousse

  7. Foams

  8. French onion soup

  9. Goat cheese

  10. Lobster bisque

  11. Pasta primavera and pasta salad

  12. Pesto

  13. Pink peppercorns

  14. Quiche

  15. Specialty salad dressings, such as raspberry vinaigrette

  16. Sun-dried tomatoes

  17. Sushi

16. Weddings and Divorces

This celebrity news from 1985 has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

Marriages:

  1. On January 5, baseball player Darryl Strawberry married Lisa Andrews.

  2. On January 5, NFL player Reggie White wed Sara Copeland.

  3. On January 30, NFL quarterback Dan Marino married Claire Veazey.

  4. On February 2, NFL player O. J. Simpson wed Nicole Brown. (Brown was murdered in 1994.)

  5. On February 8, director Martin Scorsese married producer Barbara De Fina.

  6. On February 24, NFL quarterback Joe Montana wed actress and model Jennifer Wallace.

  7. On March 23, musician Billy Joel married supermodel Christie Brinkley.

  8. On March 25, professional boxer George Foreman wed Mary Martelly.

  9. On June 8, Vice President Mike Pence married Karen Batten.

  10. On August 16, singer Madonna wed actor Sean Penn.

  11. On October 9, NBA guard George Gervin married Joyce King.

  12. On December 15, actor Sylvester Stallone wed Rocky IV actress Brigitte Nielsen.

Divorces:

  1. On January 7, singer Janet Jackson divorced R&B singer James DeBarge.

  2. On February 4, professional boxer George Foreman divorced Andrea Skeete.

In 1985, Quicken Loans, the mortgage lending company, was founded.
In 1985, Quicken Loans, the mortgage lending company, was founded.

17. Famous People Who Died in the Year 1985

These celebrity facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. February 8: William Lyons (British automobile manufacturer)

  2. February 27: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (American politician)

  3. March 7: Robert W. Woodruff (CEO of Coca-Cola)

  4. March 7: Victor Farris (inventor of the paper milk carton)

  5. March 12: Eugene Ormandy (Hungarian-American conductor)

  6. March 16: Eddie Shore (Canadian ice hockey player)

  7. March 28: Marc Chagall (French painter)

  8. May 16: Margaret Hamilton (American actress)

  9. July 9: Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

  10. September 6: Johnny Desmond (singer)

  11. September 17: Laura Ashley (Welsh fashion designer and co-founder of Laura Ashley)

  12. September 30: Simone Signoret (German-French actress)

  13. October 1: E. B. White (American author)

  14. October 2: Rock Hudson (American actor)

  15. October 6: Nelson Riddle (American bandleader and orchestrator for Capital Records)

  16. October 10: Orson Welles (American actor and director)

  17. October 10: Yul Brynner (Russian-Swiss actor)

  18. November 1: Phil Silvers (American actor)

  19. November 6: Joel Crothers (American actor)

  20. December 14: Roger Maris (MLB right fielder)

18. America’s Largest Corporations

This information has been made available courtesy of Fortune.com.

  1. Exxon Mobil

  2. General Motors

  3. Mobil

  4. Ford Motor

  5. Texaco

  6. IBM

  7. DuPont

  8. AT&T

  9. General Electric

  10. Amoco

  11. ChevronTexaco

  12. Atlantic Richfield

  13. Shell Oil

  14. Chrysler

  15. Marathon Oil

  16. United Technologies

  17. ConocoPhillips

  18. Occidental Petroleum

  19. Tenneco Automotive

  20. Sunoco

  21. ITT Industries

  22. Procter & Gamble

  23. Nabisco

  24. BP America

  25. Dow Chemical

19. Companies and Brands That Were Launched

These history facts have been made available courtesy of Ranker.com.

  1. A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc.: Arts and crafts retail chain

  2. American Megatrends: Computer hardware

  3. Andy Petree Racing: Former NASCAR team

  4. AOL: Mass media and telecommunications

  5. AutoTester Computer: Ranker.com tells us that “The company claims to have produced the first commercial test tool for the PC.”

  6. Blockbuster: Home movie and video game rental chain

  7. Burger Street: Fast food chain

  8. California Pizza Kitchen: Restaurant chain

  9. Dakota Style: Snack food company

  10. Fry’s Electronics: Consumer electronics

  11. DirecTV: Media and telecommunications

  12. MAC Cosmetics: Cosmetics manufacturer

  13. Melaleuca: Health and wellness products

  14. Metro Newspapers: Alternative newspaper publisher

  15. Papa John’s Pizza: Restaurant chain

  16. Penn Station: Restaurant chain

  17. Plextor: Optical disc recorders

  18. Quicken Loans: Mortgage lending company

  19. Sager Notebook Computers: Laptop computer manufacturer

  20. Samuel Adams: Malt beverages

  21. Scientific Ecology Group: Ranker.com reveals that the company “quickly grew to become the leading radioactive waste processor in the United States.”

  22. Sitel: Telemarketing company

  23. Steve & Barry’s: Retail clothing chain

  24. SuperValu Pharmacies: Pharmacy chain that operates pharmacies in 950 grocery stores, including ones in Shop 'n Save, Hornbacher's, Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy, and Cub Foods.

  25. Westwood Studios: Video game developer

In 1985, Blockbuster, the home movie and video game rental chain, was launched.
In 1985, Blockbuster, the home movie and video game rental chain, was launched.

© 2019 Gregory DeVictor

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • Gregory DeVictor profile imageAUTHOR

    Gregory DeVictor 

    2 months ago from Pittsburgh, PA

    Liz, thank you for the comment. What I don’t remember is the Coke fiasco, probably because I’ve never been much of a soda drinker. It’s too bad that Margaret Thatcher was denied an honorary degree from Oxford.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    2 months ago from UK

    Another fascinating list of facts. I remember Live Aid. I was surprised to see John Lennon still on the list by then for famous people.

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