Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.
A Quick Look Back at 1985
What are some fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1985? What were the top news stories in the U.S. and around the world? What happened in the business and financial sectors, in science, technology, sports, the entertainment industry, and in everyday life?
- President Reagan’s second inauguration was held privately.
- 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.
- The EPA established standards that would cut the amount of lead used in gasoline by 90 percent starting January 1, 1986.
- In 1985, New York became the first state to require that all front-seat auto occupants wear seat belts, or face a $50 fine.
- Britain agreed to return Hong Kong to China in 1997, “in return for terms guaranteeing a 50-year extension of its capitalist system.”
- Microsoft released Windows 1.0, the first domain name was registered, and Steve Jobs resigned as chairman of Apple Computer.
- 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.”
- Blockbuster, Quicken Loans, Papa John’s Pizza, Penn Station, and Samuel Adams were all founded.
- Back in the year 1985, Walt Disney World received its 200-millionth guest.
- Michael and Jessica were favorite baby names, shoulder pads and parachute pants were fashion trends, and chocolate mousse and sushi were crowd-pleasers.
- The honey bee became the official state insect of Missouri.
- The Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood closed after 57 years.
- 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.
- The song New York, New York became the Big Apple’s anthem.
- 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.
- During the year 1985, 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.
- Danny Sullivan won the 69th Indianapolis 500, Bernard Hinault won the Tour de France, and WrestleMania debuted at Madison Square Garden.
- 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.
Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1985-86:
- The Cosby Show (NBC)
- Family Ties (NBC)
- Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
- 60 Minutes (CBS)
- Cheers (NBC)
Here are ten cool food trends for the year:
- Angel hair pasta
- Chicken and veal marsala
- Chocolate mousse
- French onion soup
- Lobster bisque
- Pasta primavera and pasta salad
- Sun-dried tomatoes
This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1985. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, and other cool pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1980s-themed trivia quiz.
Table of Contents
For easier reading and referencing, I have divided this article into the following categories:
- Grocery Prices in the Year 1985
- The U.S. Economy and Consumer Spending in 1985
- History Facts From the USA and World
- Sports Trivia
- Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
- Nobel Prize Winners
- Best-Selling Books
- Most Popular Television Shows From 1985-86
- Highest-Grossing Films
- Horror Movies From 1985
- Biggest Pop Music Artists
- Top 100 Songs for the Year
- Favorite Video Games
- Food and Beverage Trivia
- Weddings and Divorces
- Famous People Who Died in 1985
- America’s Largest Corporations
- Companies and Brands That Were Launched
1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1985
These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.
- Apples (Red Delicious): 59 cents a pound
- Bacon: $1.89 per pound
- Bananas: Three pounds for 99 cents
- Beef (ground): $1.47 a pound
- Beef (sirloin steak): $2.17 per pound
- Candy (Hershey’s Kisses): $2.39 for a 14-ounce bag
- Cereal (Kellogg’s Corn Flakes): $1.00 for an 18-ounce box
- Cheese (Kraft American Singles): 99 cents for a six-ounce package
- Chicken (Perdue, thighs): 89 cents a pound
- Cocoa (Swiss Miss): 99 cents for a nine-ounce package
- Coffee (Savarin): $1.99 for a one-pound can
- Cookies (Burry’s Scooter Pies): $1.19 for a 12-ounce package
- Crackers (Nabisco Ritz): $1.39 for a one-pound box
- Drake’s Devil Dogs (family pack): 99 cents for a 12- ounce box
- Duck: 99 cents a pound
- Flour (Pillsbury): 69 cents for a five-pound bag
- Hot dogs (Hebrew National): $2.29 for a 12-ounce package
- Juice (Seneca, apple): 99 cents for a half-gallon jug
- Juice (Tropicana, orange): Two 64-ounce containers for $3.00
- Ketchup (Heinz): $1.59 for a 28-ounce bottle
- Macaroni (San Giorgio): 79 cents for two one-pound boxes
- Margarine (Fleischmann’s): 99 cents for a one-pound package
- Onions (yellow): 79 cents for a three-pound bag
- Oranges (navel): $1.69 for a four-pound bag
- Peanut butter (Skippy): $1.49 for an 18-ounce jar
- Pineapples (Dole, whole): $1.79 apiece
- Potatoes: 99 cents for a five-pound bag
- Soda (Pepsi): 89 cents for a two-liter bottle
- Soup (Campbell’s): 99 cents for three 10-ounce cans
- Tea bags (Lipton): $1.99 for a 100-count box
- Tomatoes (Progresso): Three 18-ounce cans for $2.00
- Tuna (Chicken of the Sea): 59 cents for a 6.5-ounce can
- Valentine’s candy (Brach’s, heart box): $9.99 for a two-pound box
2. The U.S. Economy and Consumer Spending in 1985
- The consumer price index (CPI) was 107.6.
- Federal spending was $946.39 billion, and the federal debt was $1,817.5 billion.
- 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."
- 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.”
- 1985 was only the second full year of economic expansion following the recession of the early 1980s.
- Economic growth was 4.2%.
- About 175,000 private sector jobs were created each month.
- Oil prices were unchanged for the year, before plunging to a 25-year low of $9.75 a barrel on April 1, 1986.
- Exports accounted for only 6% of GDP.
- 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.”
- 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.”
- The federal minimum wage was $3.35.
- The prime rate hovered around 10.00%, and an ounce of gold was $327.00.
- 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.)
- The average cost of a new home was $100,800.
- 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.
- The sticker price on a 1985 Buick Skyhawk was $8,999, and a new Pontiac Sunbird cost $8,676.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cabbage Patch dolls were $49.95 apiece, record albums cost $5.96 each, and a bargain-matinee movie ticket was $2.00.
- The average price for a gallon of gas was $1.20.
- A first-class stamp cost 22 cents.
3. History Facts From the USA and World
- In 1985, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, and George H. W. Bush was Vice President.
- 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.
- On January 1, Michael Harrison made Britain’s first mobile phone call on the newly-launched Vodafone network.
- 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.
- 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.”
- On January 29, Oxford University’s governing assembly refused to grant Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Prime Minister, an honorary degree.
- 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.
- On February 17, the price of a first-class stamp increased to 22 cents.
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.
- On May 20, the Dow closed above 1,300 for the first time.
- 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.”
- On May 31, nearly 100 people died when 41 tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, Canada.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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,"
- 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.”
- On August 10, the King of Pop Michael Jackson bought ATV Music, the Beatles’ publishing company, for $47.5 million.
- On August 21, three lucky ticket holders won $13.7 apiece in the New York Lottery.
- On September 20, Walt Disney World received its 200-millionth guest.
- 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.
- 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.
- On October 2, President Reagan banned imports of South African Krugerrands into the U.S. (The restriction took effect on October 11.)
- On November 19, President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland.
- 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.”
- On December 9, Phoenix received three inches of snow.
- On December 10, Congress passed a bill to balance the federal budget.
- On December 11, the Dow closed above 1,500 for the first time.
- On December 11, General Electric purchased RCA and its subsidiary NBC.
4. Sports Trivia
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.
- In January, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins to win their second Super Bowl.
- On January 1, Washington defeated Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl before a crowd of 56,294.
- On January 1, USC beat Ohio State in the Rose Bowl before 102,594 spectators.
- On January 1, Nebraska defeated LSU in the Sugar Bowl before a crowd of 75,608.
- In April, Villanova University won their first NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament by defeating Georgetown in the final game.
- In May, the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in their third consecutive Finals appearance.
- In May, Spend A Buck won the 111th running of the Kentucky Derby.
- On May 16, Michael Jordan was named the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year.”
- In June, Andy North won his second U.S. Open title at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
- On July 13, MLB player Roger Maris retired from the New York Yankees.
- On September 8, Pete Rose tied Ty Cobb’s major league career record of 4,191 base hits.
- 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.
- In October, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series by upsetting the heavily-favored St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
- On October 7, Lynette Woodward became the first woman to play with the Harlem Globetrotters.
- On December 20, sportscaster Howard Coswell retired from television sports after 20 years with ABC.
- NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
- NCAA Football Champs: Oklahoma
- U.S. Open Golf: Andy North
- U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Ivan Lendl/Hana Mandlikova
- Wimbledon (men/women): Boris Becker/Martina Navratilova
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.
- In 1985, popular baby names were Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, Jessica, Ashley, Jennifer, and Amanda.
- The average life expectancy at birth in the United States was 74.7 years.
- The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $525,000.
- Popular Halloween costumes included Hulk Hogan, Elvira, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.
- Favorite holiday gifts were Care Bears, Teddy Ruxpin Talking Bears, Pound Puppies, the Wheel of Fortune game, and the Super Mario Bros. video game.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hunks included Harrison Ford, Mick Jagger, John Travolta, and Robert Redford.
- Sharlene Wells (Utah) won the Miss America crown.
- Laura Martinez-Herring (Texas) became Miss USA.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Peter Ueberroth, the Commissioner of Baseball from 1984 to 1989, was Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
- The IRS reported that there were over 400,000 American millionaires and 13 billionaires.
- Perrier introduced Perrier with “a twist of lemon,” its first new product in over 125 years.
- Cherry Coke was also launched.
- 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.’”
- The first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Iowa also became the first fast food museum.
- 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.”
- Strawberry Fields, a 2½ acre garden in New York City's Central Park, was dedicated to John Lennon.
- 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.
- On July 3, the honey bee became the official state insect of Missouri.
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 1985 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.
- Chemistry: Jerome Karle and Herbert A. Hauptman
- Economics: Franco Modigliani
- Literature: Claude Simon
- Peace: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
- Physics: Klaus von Klitzing
- Physiology or medicine: Joseph L. Goldstein and Michael Stuart Brown
7. Best-Selling Books
This book trivia has been made available courtesy of PopCultureMadness.com.
- A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Baby’s First Words by Lars Wik
- Chapterhouse: Dune by Frank Herbert
- The Cider House Rules by John Irving
- The Class by Erich Segal
- Contact by Carl Sagan
- Family Album by Danielle Steel
- Hold The Dream by Barbara Taylor Bradford
- If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1985-86
This cool TV trivia has been made available courtesy of Nielsen Media Research. How many of these shows do you remember?
- The Cosby Show (NBC)
- Family Ties (NBC)
- Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
- 60 Minutes (CBS)
- Cheers (NBC)
- Dallas (CBS)
- Dynasty (ABC)
- The Golden Girls (NBC)
- Miami Vice (NBC)
- Who’s the Boss? (ABC)
9. Highest-Grossing Films
These film facts have been made available courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.com.
- Back To The Future
- Rambo: First Blood Part II
- Rocky IV
- The Color Purple
- Out Of Africa
- The Jewel of the Nile
- The Goonies
- 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.
10. Horror Movies From 1985
Horror films for the year included Appointment with Fear, 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.
11. 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.
12. Top 100 Songs for the Year
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
13. Favorite Video Games
Popular video games in 1985 included Gauntlet, Super Mario Bros., Space Harrier, Ghosts 'n Goblins, Commando, Hang-On, Paperboy, Yie Ar Kung-Fu, Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, 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.
14. Food and Beverage Trivia
Here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1985:
- Ample sauces and garnishes
- Angel hair pasta
- Berry tarts
- Blackened meat
- Chicken and veal marsala
- Chocolate mousse
- French onion soup
- Goat cheese
- Lobster bisque
- Pasta primavera and pasta salad
- Pink peppercorns
- Specialty salad dressings, such as raspberry vinaigrette
- Sun-dried tomatoes
15. Weddings and Divorces
This celebrity news from 1985 has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.
- On January 5, baseball player Darryl Strawberry married Lisa Andrews.
- On January 5, NFL player Reggie White wed Sara Copeland.
- On January 30, NFL quarterback Dan Marino married Claire Veazey.
- On February 2, NFL player O. J. Simpson wed Nicole Brown. (Brown was murdered in 1994.)
- On February 8, director Martin Scorsese married producer Barbara De Fina.
- On February 24, NFL quarterback Joe Montana wed actress and model Jennifer Wallace.
- On March 23, musician Billy Joel married supermodel Christie Brinkley.
- On March 25, professional boxer George Foreman wed Mary Martelly.
- On June 8, Vice President Mike Pence married Karen Batten.
- On August 16, singer Madonna wed actor Sean Penn.
- On October 9, NBA guard George Gervin married Joyce King.
- On December 15, actor Sylvester Stallone wed Rocky IV actress Brigitte Nielsen.
- On January 7, singer Janet Jackson divorced R&B singer James DeBarge.
- On February 4, professional boxer George Foreman divorced Andrea Skeete.
16. Famous People Who Died in 1985
These celebrity facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.
- February 8: William Lyons (British automobile manufacturer)
- February 27: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (American politician)
- March 7: Robert W. Woodruff (CEO of Coca-Cola)
- March 7: Victor Farris (inventor of the paper milk carton)
- March 12: Eugene Ormandy (Hungarian-American conductor)
- March 16: Eddie Shore (Canadian ice hockey player)
- March 28: Marc Chagall (French painter)
- May 16: Margaret Hamilton (American actress)
- July 9: Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
- September 6: Johnny Desmond (singer)
- September 17: Laura Ashley (Welsh fashion designer and co-founder of Laura Ashley)
- September 30: Simone Signoret (German-French actress)
- October 1: E. B. White (American author)
- October 2: Rock Hudson (American actor)
- October 6: Nelson Riddle (American bandleader and orchestrator for Capital Records)
- October 10: Orson Welles (American actor and director)
- October 10: Yul Brynner (Russian-Swiss actor)
- November 1: Phil Silvers (American actor)
- November 6: Joel Crothers (American actor)
- December 14: Roger Maris (MLB right fielder)
17. America’s Largest Corporations
This information has been made available courtesy of Fortune.com.
- Exxon Mobil
- General Motors
- Ford Motor
- General Electric
18. Companies and Brands That Were Launched
These history facts have been made available courtesy of Ranker.com.
- A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc.: Arts and crafts retail chain
- American Megatrends: Computer hardware
- Andy Petree Racing: Former NASCAR team
- AOL: Mass media and telecommunications
- AutoTester Computer: Ranker.com tells us that “The company claims to have produced the first commercial test tool for the PC.”
- Blockbuster: Home movie and video game rental chain
- Burger Street: Fast food chain
- California Pizza Kitchen: Restaurant chain
- Dakota Style: Snack food company
- Fry’s Electronics: Consumer electronics
- DirecTV: Media and telecommunications
- MAC Cosmetics: Cosmetics manufacturer
- Melaleuca: Health and wellness products
- Metro Newspapers: Alternative newspaper publisher
- Papa John’s Pizza: Restaurant chain
- Penn Station: Restaurant chain
- Plextor: Optical disc recorders
- Quicken Loans: Mortgage lending company
- Sager Notebook Computers: Laptop computer manufacturer
- Samuel Adams: Malt beverages
- Scientific Ecology Group: Ranker.com reveals that the company “quickly grew to become the leading radioactive waste processor in the United States.”
- Sitel: Telemarketing company
- Steve & Barry’s: Retail clothing chain
- 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.
- Westwood Studios: Video game developer
- Coca-Cola's PR disaster, 30 years later - CBS News
"Pepsi and Coke, have been going at it eyeball to eyeball, and in my view the other guy just blinked," said the president of rival Pepsi in 1985
- Top Grossing Broadway Shows of 1985
Check out the Top Grossing Broadway Shows of 1985
- 22 Broadway Musicals That Closed on Opening Night | Playbill
From a show called Cleavage to A Broadway Musical, Playbill digs into musicals that played one official performance and the reasons for their short shelf lives.
- Food Timeline: 1981 to 1985 - Food History Events
1981 to 1985 Food Timeline - Events in the History of Food: Inventions, Creations, Births and Deaths, Discoveries, Restaurants, etc
Top 100 songs for the year 1985 from the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 charts.
- 1985 - Famous Weddings & Divorces - On This Day
Famous weddings and divorces in 1985. See which famous celebrities and historical figures married and divorced in 1985.
- Top Rated Programs - 1985-1990
- 1985 | Morris County Library
Historic prices in Morristown, as printed in the Daily Record, for the year 1985.
- 1985 Yearly Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo
Yearly box office results for 1985.
- '80s Restaurant Food Trends... | Mirror80
There's nothing like the junk food kids had at their fingertips during the Decade of Decadence, but there's something extra special about the high-end dining experience created by chefs experimenting with beautiful presentation. Learn about '80s rest
- 1985 History, Trivia and Fun Facts
1985 History, Pop Culture, Trivia and Fun Facts.
- FORTUNE 500: 1985 Archive Full List 1-100
List of the top or longest running businesses/companies/firms founded, started or launched in 1985; incl. corporations and public/private enterprises. Alphabetical. sortable by column.
© 2019 Gregory DeVictor
Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on September 15, 2019:
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.
Liz Westwood from UK on September 15, 2019:
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.