1986 Fun Facts and Trivia

Updated on July 5, 2020
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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 historical events from the year 1986.
This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1986.

Interesting Facts From 1986

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1986?

  1. President Reagan signed the Goldwater-Nichols Act into law. The bill made “the most sweeping changes to the United States Department of Defense since the department was established in the National Security Act of 1947 by reworking the command structure of the United States military.”

  2. Crude oil prices hit a 25-year low, and New York City’s subway fare increased from 90 cents to $1.00.

  3. The U.S. launched the Polar Bear satellite, and the Soviets launched the space station Mir.

  4. The Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after liftoff.

  5. The Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate during the midterm elections.

  6. During the year 1986, Rupert Murdoch launched the Fox Broadcasting Company. Britannica.com explains that “the network began with 79 affiliate stations that reached 80 percent of homes in the United States.”

  7. Employment gains in the U.S. took place primarily in the service-producing sector, with particularly large gains occurring in finance, insurance, and real estate.

  8. Halley’s Comet appeared in the night sky, as it also did back in 1682, 1758, 1835, and 1910. Halley’s Comet orbits the sun every 75-76 years, and will not be seen again until 2062.

  9. The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War—which began in 1651—finally came to an end. The longest war in history was “a bloodless conflict” between the Netherlands and the tiny Isles of Scilly, which are located off the southwest coast of England.

  10. About 62% of Americans were homeowners, and 60% of them carried a mortgage.

  11. Kodak left the instant camera business, and Microsoft went public.

  12. The Statue of Liberty was reopened to visitors after an extensive refurbishing.

  13. Michael and Jennifer were favorite baby names, angel hair pasta and chocolate mousse were food trends, and perms and denim were all the rage.

  14. The Cosby Show (NBC) was the most popular TV series, Top Gun was the highest-grossing film, and That's What Friends Are For was the top song on the charts.

  15. Out of Africa won an Oscar for Best Picture, The Golden Girls (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and We Are the World won four Grammy Awards.

  16. Inflation was 1.86%, a new Ford Mustang cost $8,479, and unemployment averaged 7.00%.

  17. The prime rate hovered around 10.00%, an ounce of gold was $390.90, and the retail price for a gallon of gas averaged 93 cents.

  18. A gallon of milk cost $2.22, bacon was $1.69 a pound, and a dozen eggs were 87 cents.

  19. The Chicago Bears were the Super Bowl champs, the New York Mets won the World Series, and the Montreal Canadiens clinched the Stanley Cup.

  20. Mike Tyson won his first world boxing title, Ferdinand won the Kentucky Derby, and Argentina won the World Cup.

Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1986-87:

  1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
  2. Family Ties (NBC)
  3. Cheers (NBC)
  4. Murder, She Wrote (NBC)
  5. The Golden Girls (NBC)

Here are ten food and beverage trends for the year:

  1. Angel hair pasta
  2. Chicken and veal marsala
  3. Chocolate mousse
  4. Crystal Light
  5. French onion soup
  6. Lobster bisque
  7. Pasta primavera and pasta salad
  8. Pesto
  9. Quiche
  10. Sushi

Whether you’re a millennial, a 50-something, or a baby boomer, this article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1986. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, famous authors and novels, cool sports facts, and other interesting pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1980s-themed trivia quiz.

Table of Contents

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

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1986
  2. The U.S. Economy and Consumer Spending in 1986
  3. History Facts From the USA and World
  4. Sports Trivia
  5. Entertainment Trivia
  6. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  7. Nobel Prize Winners

  8. Best-Selling Books
  9. Most Popular Television Shows From 1986-87
  10. Highest-Grossing Films
  11. Horror Movies From 1986
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. Top 40 Songs for the Year
  14. Favorite Video Games
  15. Food and Beverage Trivia
  16. Weddings and Divorces
  17. Famous People Who Died in 1986
  18. America’s Largest Corporations
  19. Companies and Brands That Were Launched

In 1986, the Ford Motor Company was one of America’s largest corporations.
In 1986, the Ford Motor Company was one of America’s largest corporations.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1986

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

  1. Apples (Red Delicious): 69 cents a pound

  2. Bacon (Armour): $1.69 for a one-pound package

  3. Beef (ribs): $1.89 per pound

  4. Bread (ShopRite, white): Two 20-ounce loaves for 99 cents

  5. Cheese (ShopRite, American): $1.99 a pound

  6. Chocolate chips (Nestle): $1.79 for a 12-ounce bag

  7. Coffee (Maxwell House Master Blend): $1.00 for a 13-ounce can

  8. Crackers (Town House): $1.49 for a one-pound package

  9. Fish (rainbow trout, fresh filets): $2.99 a pound

  10. Ice cream (Breyers): $2.49 for a half-gallon carton

  11. Juice (ShopRite, apple): 99 cents for a one-gallon jug

  12. Juice (Hawaiian Punch): 69 cents for a 28-ounce can

  13. Juice (Minute Maid, frozen, orange): 59 cents for a six-ounce can

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

  15. Mayonnaise (ShopRite): 99 cents for a one-quart jar

  16. Milk (1%): $1.69 for a half-gallon

  17. Oil (Puritan, olive): $1.99 for a one-liter bottle

  18. Oranges (Sunkist, navel): $1.69 for a four-pound bag

  19. Pasta (Prince): Two 16-ounce boxes for 89 cents

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

  21. Pickles (Vlasic): $1.19 for a 16-ounce jar

  22. Pineapples: $1.69 apiece

  23. Pistachios (California): $3.99 a pound

  24. Soup (Progresso): 69 cents for a 19-ounce can

  25. Squash (yellow): 59 cents a pound

  26. Tea (Tetley): $1.49 for 48 bags

  27. Tuna (StarKist, chunk white): 99 cents for a 6.5-ounce can

  28. Yogurt (La Yogurt, plain): 99 cents for a 16-ounce container

In 1986, SPAM with 25% less sodium was introduced into the marketplace.
In 1986, SPAM with 25% less sodium was introduced into the marketplace.

2. The U.S. Economy and Consumer Spending in 1986

U.S. Economy:

  1. In 1986, the housing boom of the early 1980s was slowing down.

  2. The consumer price index (CPI) was 109.6.

  3. Federal spending was $990.34 billion, and the federal debt was $2,120.6 billion.

  4. Unemployment averaged 7.00%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Moderate employment gains continued in 1986, as the U.S. economy completed its fourth year of expansion following the deep 1981-82 recession. Unemployment declined slightly during the year, repeating the pattern of slow improvement evident in 1985. For all of 1986, the civilian unemployment rate averaged 7.0 percent-down from 7.2 percent in 1985 and 7.5 percent in 1984.”

  5. In 1986, employment gains took place primarily in the service-producing sector, with particularly large gains occurring in finance, insurance, and real estate.

  6. The rate of inflation was 1.86%. In2013Dollars.com reports that “$100 in 1986 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $229.11 in 2018, a difference of $129.11 over 32 years.”

  7. The federal minimum wage was $3.35.

  8. The prime rate hovered around 10.00%, and an ounce of gold was $390.90.

  9. On the last day of trading for the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 1,895. (The high for the year was 1,955 and the low was 1,502.)

  10. The median household income was $24,897.

  11. The average cost of a new home was $111,900, and the median price for an existing home was $80,300.

  12. The average monthly rent was $385.00.

Consumer Spending:

  1. About 62% of Americans were homeowners, and 60% of them carried a mortgage.

  2. Homeowners who carried a mortgage paid an average of $3,889 on mortgage interest and charges. (In 2019 dollars, that’s equivalent to $9,103.60.)

  3. On average, homeowners spent $28,172 ($65,946.64 in 2019 dollars) for all expenditures. Renters, on the other hand, spent $16,850 ($39,443.45 in 2019 dollars) for all expenses.

  4. In 1986, a gallon of milk cost $2.22, bacon was $1.69 a pound, and a dozen eggs were 87 cents. An 18-ounce jar of Skippy Peanut Butter cost $1.49, potatoes were $1.00 for a five-pound bag, and Fleischmann’s Margarine was 99 cents for a one-pound package.

  5. The sticker price on a 1986 Ford Mustang was $8,479, and a new Dodge D-50 pickup truck cost $5,595.

  6. Women’s wool suits cost $49.99 each, and a pair of men’s Timberland boots were $69.95-$79.95.

  7. Light bulbs were 25 cents each, and garbage bags cost 99 cents for a 20-count box.

  8. A four-pack of AA batteries cost $3.38, and Tylenol was $5.29 for a 100-count bottle.

  9. A General Electric clothes washer cost $349.00, and a GE refrigerator was $699.00.

  10. A Tandy 600 computer cost $1,599.00, and a Casio television was $249.99.

  11. Security guards earned $5.56 an hour, and newspaper delivery drivers made about $100.00 a week.

  12. The average price for a gallon of gas was 93 cents.

  13. A first-class stamp cost 22 cents.

3. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. In 1986, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, and George H. W. Bush was Vice President.

  2. The violent crime rate in America was 54.8 per 100,000 residents. On the other hand, about 49 of every 100,000 Americans were victims of property crime.

  3. On January 1, New York City’s subway fare increased from 90 cents to $1.00.

  4. On January 1, Spain and Portugal joined the European Union (EU).

  5. On January 9, Kodak left the instant camera business after Polaroid defeated them in a patent battle. Camerapedia.Fandom.com explains that “The Polaroid Corporation was founded in 1937 by Edwin H. Land. It is most famous for its instant film cameras, which reached the market in 1948, and continued to be the company's flagship product line.”

  6. On January 20, President Reagan signed a bill making Martin Luther King Day a national holiday.

  7. On January 21, the United Kingdom and France announced plans to build the Channel Tunnel. Wikipedia teaches us that the Channel Tunnel is a 31.35 mile rail tunnel beneath the English Channel that links Folkestone, Kent, in England, with Coquelles, in northern France. It is the only fixed link between the island of Great Britain and the European mainland.

  8. On January 28, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members aboard. History.com confirms that “A seal in the shuttle’s right solid-fuel rocket booster designed to prevent leaks from the fuel tank during liftoff weakened in the frigid temperatures and failed, and hot gas began pouring through the leak. The fuel tank itself collapsed and tore apart, and the resulting flood of liquid oxygen and hydrogen created the huge fireball believed by many to be an explosion.”

  9. On February 5, Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino, the 10th and 11th Presidents of the Philippines, appeared on ABC’s Nightline.

  10. On February 7, in a snap election, Corazon Aquino defeated incumbent Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose regime was marked by corruption and brutality. However, fraudulent returns gave the election to Marcos. During the nonviolent People Power Revolution of February 22-25, Ferdinand Marcos was ousted from office and replaced by Aquino.

  11. On February 7, Haiti's President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier fled to France, and Henri Namphy became Haiti’s new leader.

  12. On February 9, Halley’s Comet appeared in the night sky, as it also did back in 1682, 1758, 1835, and 1910. Halley’s Comet orbits the sun every 75-76 years, and will not be seen again until 2062.

  13. On February 17, Johnson & Johnson announced that they would no longer produce over-the-counter medication in capsules. The announcement came nine days after cyanide-contaminated Tylenol capsules killed a woman in suburban New York City, and more than three years after tainted capsules killed seven people in Illinois.

  14. On February 20, just three weeks after the Challenger disaster, the Russian space station Mir was launched. Mir was the first space station to be assembled in orbit.

  15. On March 13, Microsoft went public. Biography.com tells us that Bill Gates “took Microsoft public with an initial public offering (IPO) of $21 per share, making him an instant millionaire at age 31. Gates held 45 percent of the company's 24.7 million shares, making his stake at that time $234 million of Microsoft's $520 million.”

  16. On April 1, crude oil prices hit $9.75 a barrel, which was a 25-year low.

  17. On April 17, the Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War, which began 1651, came to an end. The longest war in history was “a bloodless conflict” between the Netherlands and the tiny Isles of Scilly, which are off the southwest coast of England. WarHistoryOnline.com reports that “The 335 Years’ War was an offshoot of the English Civil War, which raged through England, Scotland and Ireland from 1642 to 1651.”

  18. On April 26, the worst nuclear power plant accident in history occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Soviet Union. History.com reveals that “Thirty-two people died and dozens more suffered radiation burns in the opening days of the crisis, but only after Swedish authorities reported the fallout did Soviet authorities reluctantly admit that an accident had occurred.”

  19. On April 29, a fire at the Los Angeles Public Library destroyed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. It was the largest library fire ever in the United States.

  20. On May 14, the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) published the complete works of Anne Frank's diaries.

  21. On October 4, President Reagan signed the Goldwater-Nichols Act into law, which was “the largest reorganization of the United States Department of Defense since the Air Force was made a separate branch of service in 1947.”

  22. On October 9, the Fox Broadcasting Company was founded by media magnate Rupert Murdoch. Britannica.com explains that “the network began with 79 affiliate stations that reached 80 percent of homes in the United States. Its first broadcast, a late-night talk show hosted by comedian Joan Rivers, aired on October 9, 1986. The following March, the network expanded into prime-time programming on Saturday and Sunday nights.”

  23. On November 5, the Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate for the first time in six years.

  24. On November 14, after eight years as a “museum piece” and two launch delays, the Polar BEAR satellite was successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

  25. On December 17, British Surgeons performed the world’s first triple transplant (heart, lung and liver).

In 1986, angel hair pasta was all the rage.
In 1986, angel hair pasta was all the rage.

4. Sports Trivia

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

  1. On January 1, Oklahoma defeated Penn State in the Orange Bowl.

  2. On January 1, UCLA beat Iowa in the Rose Bowl.

  3. On January 1, Tennessee defeated Miami in the Sugar Bowl.

  4. On January 2, New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy scored his 499th and 500th career goals. (Bossy also became the 11th player in NHL history to score 500 goals.)

  5. On January 26, the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl by defeating the New England Patriots, 46-10, and win their first championship since 1963.

  6. In May, the Montreal Canadiens clinched their 23rd Stanley Cup by defeating the Calgary Flames.

  7. In May, Bobby Rahal won the 70th Indianapolis 500.

  8. On May 3, Ferdinand won the 112th running of the Kentucky Derby.

  9. On May 14, MLB player Reggie Jackson hit his 537th home run. He passed Mickey Mantle, who hit 536 HRs during his career, and moved into 6th place on the all-time list.

  10. In June, Argentina beat West Germany to win the FIFA World Cup.

  11. In July, Greg LeMond (USA) won the 73rd Tour de France.

  12. In October, the New York Mets won the 83rd World Series by defeating the Boston Red Sox in seven games.

  13. In November, Mike Tyson won his first world boxing title in Las Vegas by defeating Trevor Berbick.

  14. NBA Champions: Boston Celtics

  15. NCAA Basketball Champions: Louisville

  16. NCAA Football Champs: Penn State

  17. U.S. Open Golf: Ray Floyd

  18. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Ivan Lendl/Martina Navratilova

5. Entertainment Trivia

  1. Heartthrobs and fashion icons for the year were Kim Basinger, Diahann Carroll, Cher, Elvira, Linda Evangelista, Morgan Fairchild, Melanie Griffith, Rachel Hunter, Kathy Ireland, Janet Jackson, Audrey Landers, Kelly LeBrock, Heather Locklear, Traci Lords, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Dolly Parton, Princess Diana, Victoria Principal, Jewel Shepard, Brooke Shields, and Heather Thomas.
  2. Susan Akin (Mississippi) won the Miss America crown.
  3. Christy Fichtner (Texas) became Miss USA.
  4. Top-grossing Broadway shows were Cats, La Cage aux Folles, Drood, Sweet Charity, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Me and My Girl, Song and Dance, Search for Signs, Social Security, Singin’ in the Rain, House of Blue Leaves, Benefactors, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Biloxi Blues.
  5. Broadway shows that opened in 1986 included Arsenic and Old Lace, As You Like It, Corpse!, Honky Tonk Nights, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Macbeth, Me and My Girl, Raggedy Ann, Romeo and Juliet, Smile, Social Security, Sweet Charity, The Boys in Autumn, The Front Page, and The House of Blue Leaves.
  6. At the 58th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1985, Out of Africa won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Geraldine Page (The Trip to Bountiful) won an Oscar for Best Actress. Finally, Don Ameche (Cocoon) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and Anjelica Huston (Prizzi’s Honor) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
  7. At the 38th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Golden Girls (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Cagney & Lacey (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Likewise, Michael J. Fox (Family Ties) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Betty White (The Golden Girls) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Finally, Peter the Great (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Miniseries, and Love Is Never Silent (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special.
  8. Actress Donna Reed and actor Cary Grant both passed away.
  9. On January 23, the pop music pioneers Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and The Everly Brothers were all inducted into the first class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The historic jam session took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, nine years before the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum opened in Cleveland, Ohio.
  10. On February 21, The Legend of Zelda, a fantasy action-adventure video game, was released by Nintendo.
  11. On March 5, the national tabloid newspaper Today was launched in the United Kingdom.
  12. On April 8, with 72.5% of the vote, actor Clint Eastwood became the mayor of Carmel, California.
  13. On September 8, The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered on national television, making Oprah “the first Black woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show." Ebony.com tells us that “The Oprah Winfrey Show covered a vast array of topics, from people’s love lives to struggles with weight loss and dieting (In one episode, Winfrey revealed she lost 67 pounds and wheeled out a wagon with that much fat in it.) After 47 Daytime Emmy Awards and 25 years on the air, Winfrey ended the show in 2011. It’s still the highest-rated talk show in history and while others have tried to duplicate her success, very few have come close.”

  14. On October 9, The Late Show, a late night talk show hosted by Joan Rivers, premiered on Fox. The show only lasted for two seasons.
  15. Famous people born in 1986 include Lady Gaga.

In 1986, the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl by defeating the New England Patriots.
In 1986, the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl by defeating the New England Patriots.

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

  1. In 1986, popular baby names were Christopher, Joshua, Matthew, Michael, Amanda, Ashley, Jennifer, and Jessica.

  2. The average life expectancy in the United States was 74.61 years. (Comparably, the average expectancy was 76.44 years in Canada and 74.93 years in the UK.)

  3. The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $550,000.

  4. Favorite holiday gifts included the Atari 7800, Real Ghostbusters action figures, My Pet Monster, Panini football stickers, and camcorders.

  5. Fashion trends in 1986 included shoulder pads, mini skirts, leg warmers, huge earrings, fingerless gloves, parachute pants, stirrup pants, and oversized tops.

  6. Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” was Corazon Aquino, who was the former President of the Philippines.

  7. In 1986, there were over 30 million computers in use in the United States.

  8. On February 3, Philip Elmer-DeWitt first used the term “vaporware” in a Time Magazine article. ComputerHope.com clarifies that vaporware is “used to describe software that is announced by a company, but not yet released. Software commonly gets this name after not being released several months or years after the official announced release date.”

  9. On March 19, the domain name IBM.com came online. (Author’s note: Wired.com reminds us 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.”)

  10. Apple introduced the Mac Plus. The computer had one megabyte of RAM and a keyboard that had cursors and a numeric keypad. It sold for $2,600, which is equal to $5,976.27 in 2019.

  11. In 1986, General Mills launched Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn.

  12. SPAM with 25% less sodium also appeared on grocery store shelves for the first time.

  13. Back in 1967, Doritos were first sold as basic corn tortilla chips. The nacho cheese variety was introduced in 1972, and the cool ranch flavor first appeared in 1986.

  14. Raymond Loewy, who designed the Coca-Cola bottle, passed away.

  15. The Statue of Liberty was reopened to visitors after an extensive refurbishing.

  16. The word “walkman” was entered into the Oxford English Dictionary.

  17. Spy Magazine (1986-98) began publishing.

  18. On April 11, Kellogg’s stopped giving tours of their breakfast cereal plant in Battle Creek, Michigan because they feared that “industrial spies would obtain company secrets.”

  19. On May 25, Hands Across America took place from New York City to Long Beach, California. During the charity event, five million people formed a human chain across America to raise money to fight hunger and homelessness.

  20. On July 23, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey in London.

  21. In November, a dozen jurors in Florida who were on their way to hear a lawsuit against the Otis Elevator Company got stuck in the courthouse elevator for 20 minutes.

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 1986 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  1. Chemistry: Yuan T. Lee, Dudley R. Herschbach, and John Polanyi

  2. Economics: James M. Buchanan

  3. Literature: Wole Soyinka

  4. Peace: Elie Wiesel

  5. Physics: Ernst Ruska, Heinrich Rohrer, and Gerd Binnig

  6. Physiology or medicine: Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen

In 1986, the television shopping channel QVC was launched.
In 1986, the television shopping channel QVC was launched.

8. Best-Selling Books

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

  1. A Perfect Spy by John le Carre

  2. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson

  3. The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum

  4. Hollywood Husbands by Jackie Collins

  5. I’ll Take Manhattan by Judith Krantz

  6. It by Stephen King

  7. Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor

  8. Last of the Breed by Louis L’Amour

  9. Lie Down with Lions by Ken Folett

  10. The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Aue

9. Most Popular Television Shows From 1986-87

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. Cheers (NBC)
  4. Murder, She Wrote (NBC)
  5. The Golden Girls (NBC)
  6. 60 Minutes (CBS)
  7. Night Court (NBC)
  8. Growing Pains (ABC)
  9. Moonlighting (ABC)
  10. Who's the Boss? (ABC)

In 1986, the New York Mets won the World Series by defeating the Boston Red Sox in seven games.
In 1986, the New York Mets won the World Series by defeating the Boston Red Sox in seven games.

10. Highest-Grossing Films

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

  1. Top Gun

  2. Crocodile Dundee

  3. Platoon

  4. The Karate Kid Part II

  5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

  6. Back to School

  7. Aliens

  8. The Golden Child

  9. Ruthless People

  10. Ferris Bueller’s Pay Off

11. Horror Movies From 1986

Horror films for the year included Aliens, April Fool’s Day, Chopping Mall, Critters, Dark Age, Deadly Friend, Deadtime Stories, Demons 2, Escapes, Evil Eye, The Fly, Invader from Mars, Killer Party, Killer Workout, Little Shop of Horrors, Monster Dog, Mountaintop Motel Massacre, Poltergeist II: The Other Side, Psycho III, Screamtime, Sorority House Massacre, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Trick or Treat, Troll, Truth or Dare?, and Zombie Nightmare.

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

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

Popular music artists in 1986 included Anita Baker, Atlantic Starr, Billy Ocean, Bob Seger, Bon Jovi, Boston, Cameo, Cyndi Lauper, Freddie Jackson, Genesis, Huey Lewis & the News, Janet Jackson, The Jets, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Madonna, Miami Sound Machine, Micheal McDonald, New Edition, Patti LaBelle, Pet Shop Boys, Prince, Ready for the World, Robert Palmer, Starship, Stephanie Mills, Steve Winwood, Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Van Halen, Wham! featuring George Michael, and Whitney Houston.

In 1986, quiche was a popular food trend.
In 1986, quiche was a popular food trend.

13. Top 40 Songs for the Year

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

1. That's What Friends Are For: Dionne Warwick & Friends

2. Walk Like An Egyptian: The Bangles

3. On My Own: Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald

4. Greatest Love of All: Whitney Houston

5. Stuck With You: Huey Lewis & The News

6. Rock Me Amadeus: Falco

7. Kyrie: Mr. Mister

8. Kiss: Prince

9. Papa Don't Preach: Madonna

10. How Will I Know: Whitney Houston

11. Glory of Love: Peter Cetera

12. When I Think of You: Janet Jackson

13. True Colors: Cyndi Lauper

14. Amanda: Boston

15. The Way It Is: Bruce Hornsby and the Range

16. Human: Human League

17. Addicted To Love: Robert Palmer

18. There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry): Billy Ocean

19. Sledgehammer: Peter Gabriel

20. West End Girls: Pet Shop Boys

21. Take My Breath Away: Berlin

22. Sara: Starship

23. Venus: Bananarama

24. The Next Time I Fall: Peter Cetera with Amy Grant

25. You Give Love a Bad Name: Bon Jovi

26. Holding Back The Years: Simply Red

27. Higher Love: Steve Winwood

28. These Dreams: Heart

29. Live To Tell: Madonna

30. Invisible Touch: Genesis

31. Typical Male: Tina Turner

32. Dancing on the Ceiling: Lionel Richie

33. Everybody Have Fun Tonight: Wang Chung

34. Friends and Lovers: Gloria Loring & Carl Anderson

35. Burning Heart: Survivor

36. Danger Zone: Kenny Loggins

37. Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone): Glass Tiger

38. When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going: Billy Ocean

39. Manic Monday: The Bangles

40. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On: Robert Palmer

In 1986, The Golden Girls (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
In 1986, The Golden Girls (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.

14. Favorite Video Games

Popular video games in 1986 included The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, Bubble Bobble, Dragon Quest, Kid Icarus, Out Run, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Wonder Boy, Defender of the Crown, Fantasy Zone, The Return of Ishtar, Hyper Dyne Side Arms, Rolling Thunder, Labyrinth: The Computer Game, Legendary Wings, Howard the Duck, Genpei Tōma Den, Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back, Dark Castle, The Great Escape, and Batman.

15. Food and Beverage Trivia

Here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1986:

  1. Ample sauces and garnishes

  2. Angel hair pasta

  3. Bagel Bites

  4. Berry tarts

  5. Big League Chew

  6. Blackened everything: GrubStreet.com tells us that “Paul Prudhomme touched down in NYC in 1985 with his signature redfish recipe, which involved a coating of ground spices and a rest in a red-hot cast-iron pan. The technique led to ‘blackened everything.’”

  7. Capri Sun

  8. Chicken and veal marsala

  9. Chocolate mousse

  10. Cool Ranch Doritos

  11. Crystal Light

  12. Four-bean salad

  13. French onion soup

  14. Fruit Wrinkles

  15. General Mills Pac-Man Cereal

  16. Goat cheese

  17. Hi-C Ecto Cooler

  18. Jell-O Pudding Pops

  19. Lobster bisque

  20. Mr. T Cereal

  21. Nages (bone broth)

  22. Pasta primavera and pasta salad

  23. Pesto

  24. Pink peppercorns

  25. Post Smurf-Berry Crunch Cereal

  26. Push Pop Candy

  27. Quaker Quisp Cereal

  28. Quiche

  29. Reese’s Pieces

  30. Specialty salad dressings, such as raspberry vinaigrette

  31. Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine

  32. SuperPretzel

  33. Sushi

  34. Swordfish: GrubStreet.com confirms that “Bronx-born chef John Clancy popularized kebabs of swordfish, as well as the mesquite it was grilled over, beginning in 1981 at his namesake Greenwich Village restaurant.”

  35. TCBY Yogurt

In 1986, the Montreal Canadiens clinched their 23rd Stanley Cup by defeating the Calgary Flames.
In 1986, the Montreal Canadiens clinched their 23rd Stanley Cup by defeating the Calgary Flames.

16. Weddings and Divorces

This celebrity news from 1986 has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

Marriages:

  1. On January 3, British golfer Nick Faldo married Gill Bennett.

  2. On April 12, author Arianna Huffington wed politician Michael Huffington.

  3. On April 26, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger married newscaster Maria Shriver.

  4. On May 24, country singer Garth Brooks wed songwriter Sandy Mahl.

  5. On June 4, singer and songwriter Bob Dylan married Carolyn Dennis, his backup singer.

  6. On June 28, CBS news correspondent Mike Wallace wed Mary Yates.

  7. On September 1, actress Whoopi Goldberg married cinematographer David Claessen.

  8. On September 26, fashion designer Calvin Klein wed Kelly Rector, his assistant.

  9. On November 1, MLB player Kirby Puckett married Tonya Hudson.

  10. On November 15, golfer Byron Nelson wed advertising copywriter Peggy Simmons.

  11. On November 19, boxing champ Muhammad Ali married Yolanda Williams.

  12. On November 20, actor and comedian Steve Martin wed actress Victoria Tennant.

Divorce:

  • On March 7, actor Johnny Depp and his spouse Lori were divorced.

17. Famous People Who Died in 1986

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

  1. January 24: Ron Hubbard (American science fiction writer and founder of Scientology)

  2. February 24: Tommy Douglas (Canadian politician and "Father of Medicare")

  3. February 27: Jacques Plante (Canadian ice hockey goalie who was the first to wear a goaltender mask)

  4. March 4: Elizabeth Smart (Canadian author)

  5. March 6: Georgia O'Keeffe (American painter and sculptor)

  6. March 10: Ray Milland (Welsh actor)

  7. March 30: James Cagney (American actor)

  8. April 14: Simone de Beauvoir (French author and feminist)

  9. April 23: Otto Preminger (Austrian director and producer)

  10. April 24: Wallis Simpson (the Duchess of Windsor)

  11. April 26: Broderick Crawford (American actor who played in the film All the King's Men and on the television series Highway Patrol)

  12. September 4: Hank Greenberg (MLB player and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee)

  13. November 29: Cary Grant: (American actor)

  14. December 2: Desi Arnaz (Cuban-American actor)

  15. December 29: Harold Macmillan (Conservative British politician and Prime Minister of the UK from 1957-1963)

In 1986, Michael J. Fox (Family Ties) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
In 1986, Michael J. Fox (Family Ties) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

18. America’s Largest Corporations

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

  1. General Motors

  2. ExxonMobil

  3. Exxon

  4. Ford Motor

  5. IBM

  6. Texaco

  7. ChevronTexaco

  8. AT&T

  9. DuPont

  10. General Electric

19. Companies and Brands That Were Launched

  1. 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks: The production company of Spike Lee
  2. ACD: Telecommunications company
  3. AMCON Distributing Company: “One of the largest wholesale distributors in the United States, serving approximately 4,000 retail outlets including convenience stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, drug stores, and tobacco shops.”
  4. B.U.M. Equipment: Clothing company
  5. Charleys Philly Steaks: Restaurant chain
  6. Coca-Cola Enterprises: A marketer, producer, and distributor of Coca-Cola products
  7. Delta Shuttle: Delta Airlines shuttle service
  8. Fishs Eddy: Dinnerware retailer
  9. Fox Television Stations: A group of television stations owned and operated by the Fox Broadcasting company
  10. Goldman Sachs Capital Partners: The private equity arm of Goldman Sachs
  11. Mossimo: Clothing company
  12. Nautilus, Inc.: Fitness equipment
  13. Party City: Party-supply retail chain
  14. QVC: Television shopping channel
  15. Talley Vineyards: Winery

In 1986, Out of Africa won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa) won an Oscar for Best Director.
In 1986, Out of Africa won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa) won an Oscar for Best Director.

© 2019 Gregory DeVictor

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