1988 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 1988.
This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1988.

Quick History Facts From 1988

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1988? For openers, the U.S. and Canada reached a free trade agreement, the Supreme Court ruled that trash placed at the curbside is unprotected by the Fourth Amendment, and Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century. The first Walmart Supercenter opened, The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards, and just one day after 8/8/88, New York’s daily number was 888.

In 1988, Vice-President George H. W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis in the presidential race, a riot broke out in Tompkins Square Park in New York City, and Ted Turner launched Turner Network Television. NYC's Rockefeller Center became a national landmark, Doppler radar was invented, and pubs in the UK were allowed to stay open for 12 hours a day—except on Sundays.

Back in 1988, McDonald’s opened its 10000th restaurant, Microsoft sold its one-millionth mouse, and there were about 45 million PCs in use in the U.S. About 50 of every 100,000 Americans were victims of property crime, MLB legend Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 1000th consecutive game, and a big screen television cost about $3,000.

In 1988, inflation was 4.7%, a new Buick Skylark cost $11,306, and unemployment averaged 6.2%. The prime rate hovered around 10%, the price of a movie ticket was $4.11, and the retail price for a gallon of gas averaged $1.08. A gallon of milk cost $2.30, a loaf of white bread was 60 cents, and a dozen eggs were 89 cents.

Back in 1988, popular baby names were Joshua and Jennifer, fashion trends included blue eye shadow and leg warmers, and Cool Ranch Doritos and pasta salad were all the rage. The USPS issued a stamp commemorating Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne, and 98% of U.S. households had at least one television set.

In 1988, the Winter Olympics took place in Calgary, Canada, The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway, and five mile-long banana split was created in Pennsylvania. The news magazine 48 Hours premiered on CBS, author Toni Morrison received a Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved, and Rush Limbaugh began his conservative talk radio show.

What else happened in 1988? The Cosby Show (NBC) was the most popular TV series, Rain Man was the highest-grossing film, and Faith was the top song on the charts. The Washington Redskins were the Super Bowl champs, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, and the Edmonton Oilers clinched the Stanley Cup.

Famous people in the news back in 1988 were Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Anthony M. Kennedy, Bea Arthur, Cal Ripken Jr., Cher, Christian Andreas Doppler, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Douglas, Michael Dukakis, Michael J. Fox, Mike Schmidt, Olympia Dukakis, Pete Rose, Queen Elizabeth II, Sean Connery, Stevie Wonder, Ted Turner, Toni Morrison, and Vigdis Finnbogadóttir.

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 1988. 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 1988? For your convenience, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1988
  2. History Facts From the USA

  3. International News
  4. Sports Trivia
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Computer News
  7. Nobel Prize Winners
  8. Best-Selling Books
  9. Most Popular Television Shows for 1988-1989
  10. Most Popular Movies
  11. Interesting Horror Movies From 1988
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. The Top 40 Songs From 1988
  14. Favorite Video Games
  15. Popular Foods and Beverages
  16. Weddings and Divorces
  17. Famous People Who Died in the Year 1988
  18. Famous People in the News
  19. America’s Largest Corporations
  20. Brands and Retailers From 1988 That No Longer Exist

In 1988, the musical The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway.
In 1988, the musical The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1988

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. Beef (sirloin steak): $2.99 per pound

  3. Blueberries (fresh): $1.19 a pint

  4. Cereal (Post Grape Nuts): $1.99 for a 24-ounce box

  5. Cheese (Borden, American singles): $1.39 for a 12-ounce package

  6. Coffee (Folger’s): $1.49 for an 11.5-ounce can

  7. Corn (ShopRite, frozen): 69 cents for a 24-ounce package

  8. Fish (halibut, fresh): $4.99 a pound

  9. Frankfurters (Hygrade): 69 cents for a 16-ounce package

  10. Ice cream (Klondike Bars): $1.99 for a six-count package

  11. Ice cream (Turkey Hill): $1.99 for a half gallon

  12. Juice (apple, Lucky Leaf): 99 cents for a half gallon

  13. Juice (orange): $1.59 for a half gallon

  14. Ketchup (ShopRite): 69 cents for a 24-ounce bottle

  15. Lamb (whole leg): $1.99 a pound

  16. Lettuce (Iceberg): 49 cents for one head

  17. Mangoes: $1.29 each

  18. Onions (yellow): $1.20 for a three-pound bag

  19. Oranges (Valencia): $1.89 for a four-pound bag

  20. Peaches: 49 cents a pound

  21. Peanuts (Planter’s): $1.99 for a 16-ounce jar

  22. Pizza (Totino, frozen): 99 cents for an 11.9-ounce package

  23. Plums (black): 79 cents a pound

  24. Pork & beans (Van Camp’s): Three 16-ounce cans for $1.00

  25. Potatoes: $1.39 for a five-pound bag

  26. Rolls (hamburger or hot dog): 79 cents for a 12-count package

  27. Salad dressing (Wishbone): 69 cents for an eight-ounce bottle

  28. Soda (Coca-Cola): $1.79 for six 12-ounce cans

  29. Tea bags (Tetley): $1.29 for a 100-count box

  30. Tomatoes (Jersey, fresh): 69 cents a pound

  31. Watermelon: 19 cents a pound

  32. Yogurt (Light N’ Lively): 87 cents for three cups

In 1988, Microsoft sold its one-millionth computer mouse.
In 1988, Microsoft sold its one-millionth computer mouse.

2. History Facts From the USA

  1. In 1988, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, and George H. W. Bush was Vice President.

  2. The U.S. unemployment rate averaged 6.2%.

  3. The inflation rate was 4.7%. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, “$100 in 1988 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $207.20 in 2017, a difference of $107.20 over 29 years.”

  4. In 1988, a loaf of white bread cost 60 cents, potatoes were $1.39 for a five-pound bag, and one pound of sirloin steak was $2.99. Six 12-ounce cans of Coke cost $1.79, eggs were 89 cents a dozen, and a gallon of milk was $2.30.

  5. Since 1988, the prices of both PCs and big screen televisions have gone down, and the quality of both items has increased significantly. In 1988, a personal computer cost around $1,400, and today you can buy a much better model for about $500. Back in 1988, a big screen TV cost around $3,000, and today you can have a much better television for about $700.

  6. Here were the sticker prices for two best-selling 1988 cars: a Buick Skylark cost $11,306, and a Nissan Sentra was $7,866.

  7. The average price for a gallon of gas was $1.08.

  8. A first-class stamp cost 25 cents.

  9. Median household income was $27,225, and the cost of a new home was $138,300.

  10. The federal minimum wage was $3.35.

  11. The prime rate was 10% on August 11, and an ounce of gold was $448.65 on May 12.

  12. In 1988, the violent crime rate in America was 56.6 per 100,000 residents. On the other hand, about 50 of every 100,000 Americans were victims of property crime.

  13. On January 8, Hewlett-Packard released the HP-28S Advanced Scientific Calculator, just a year after the company launched its HP-28C model. Compared to its predecessor, the HP-28S handheld graphing device had “a larger memory, operated more rapidly, and had a subdirectory structure for variables.”

  14. On January 25, Vice-President George H. W. Bush and news anchor Dan Rather clashed on the CBS Evening News over Bush’s role in the Iran-Contra affair.

  15. On February 4, the Senate confirmed Judge Anthony M. Kennedy as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

  16. On February 4, Panamanian General Manuel Noriega was indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami for violating U.S. racketeering and drug laws.

  17. On March 1, GM's Pontiac car brand announced that it would stop production of the fire-plagued Fiero. AutoNews.com tells us that “The Fiero, introduced in September 1983 as a 1984 model, was the first car from GM with the engine mounted behind the driver since the Chevrolet Corvair, and the only mass-produced mid-engine car made by a U.S. automaker.”

  18. On March 9, the USPS issued a stamp that commemorated Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne.

  19. On April 3, the USPS raised the cost of a first-class stamp to 25 cents.

  20. On April 23, President Reagan signed a bill that banned smoking on all domestic flights that had a duration of two hours or less.

  21. On May 17, the Supreme Court ruled that trash placed at the curbside is unprotected by the Fourth Amendment.

  22. On June 2, the publisher of Consumer Reports asked the federal government to recall the Suzuki Samurai, a four-wheel drive vehicle that the magazine had given an “unacceptable” rating to during a review. AutoTrader remarks that by late 1988, sales of the Samurai “had plummeted by 70 percent compared to a year earlier.”

  23. On June 25, the thermometer reached 104°F in Cleveland, which was the highest temperature ever recorded there during the month of June.

  24. On July 18, the thermometer reached 103°F in San Francisco, which was the highest temperature ever recorded in the city up until then.

  25. On July 21, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis accepted the Democratic nomination for president.

  26. On August 4, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act into law. NPR.org explains that the legislation compensated over 100,000 Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. It offered a formal apology and paid out $20,000 in compensation to each surviving victim.

  27. On August 6-7, a riot broke out in Tompkins Square Park in New York City. Groups of "drug pushers, homeless people, and young people known as squatters and punks," who had taken over the park, protested against a newly-imposed 1:00 AM curfew in the previously 24-hour park. NYUJournalism.org remarks that “The park had become the embodiment of New York City’s socioeconomic problems and the widening class gap.”

  28. On August 9, just one day after 8/8/88, New York’s daily number was 888.

  29. On September 26, New York's Rockefeller Center became a national landmark.

  30. On October 31, the thermometer hit 19°F in Cleveland, which was the lowest temperature ever recorded in the city during the month of October.

  31. On November 3, President Reagan signed the Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act of 1988 into law. GovTrack.us reports that the bill provided for a “more detailed and uniform disclosure by credit card issuers with respect to information on interest rates and other fees which may be incurred by consumers through the use of any credit card.”

  32. On November 8, Vice-President George H. W. Bush became the 41st U.S. president by defeating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis—the Democratic candidate. The Republicans swept 40 states in the election.

3. International News

  1. In 1988, nurses across the UK staged protests for better pay for themselves and more funding for the National Health Service (NHS).

  2. Austrian physicist Christian Andreas Doppler invented Doppler radar. How is Doppler radar different from regular radar? NSF.gov explains that “Conventional radar provides information about the location and intensity of precipitation associated with a storm, while Doppler radar adds the capability to discern air motions within a storm. Doppler radar helps scientists and meteorologists see or detect near-ground wind shears, which are dangerous to aircraft.”

  3. Beginning in 1988, pubs in the UK were allowed to stay open for 12 hours a day—except on Sundays.

  4. On January 2, President Reagan and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada signed the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

  5. On January 3, Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century.

  6. The 1988 Winter Olympics took place in Calgary, Canada from February 13-28. A total of 1,423 athletes from 47 countries participated 46 events. Olympic.org points out that “For the first time, the Winter Games extended to 16 days, including three weekends.”

  7. During the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada became the first host country not to win a single gold medal. During the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada did not win a gold medal for a second time when it was the host country.

  8. On March 11, the Bank of England’s £1 note, which had not been issued since the end of 1984, was removed from circulation.

  9. On May 8, Francois Mitterrand became the 21st president of France.

  10. On May 9, Queen Elizabeth II opened Australia’s new Parliament House in Canberra, the country’s capital.

  11. On June 25, President Vigdis Finnbogadóttir of Iceland was reelected for a third term.

  12. On July 24, Pedro Delgado of Spain won the 75th Tour de France.

  13. On September 22, Canada’s Royal Mint began issuing Platinum Maple Leaf coins.

  14. The 1988 Summer Olympics were held in Seoul, South Korea from September 17-October 7. A total of 8,391 athletes from 159 countries participated 237 events. Olympic.org reveals that “Awarding the Summer Games to South Korea provided the impetus for the country to embrace democracy. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) boycotted, and was joined by Cuba, Ethiopia and Nicaragua.”

  15. On November 16, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was President Reagan's last foreign visitor to the White House, just as she had been among the first.

In 1988, Rain Man was the most popular film.
In 1988, Rain Man was the most popular film.

4. Sports Trivia

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

  1. Kentucky Derby: Winning Colors

  2. NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers

  3. NCAA Basketball Champions: Kansas

  4. NCAA Football Champs: Notre Dame

  5. Orange Bowl: Miami

  6. Rose Bowl: Michigan State

  7. Stanley Cup Champs: Edmonton Oilers

  8. Sugar Bowl: Syracuse

  9. Super Bowl Champs: Washington Redskins

  10. U.S. Open Golf: Curtis Strange

  11. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Mats Wilander/Steffi Graf

  12. Wimbledon (men/women): Stefan Edberg/Steffi Graf

  13. World Series Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers

  14. Beginning in 1935 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, night baseball had become a fixture in the Major Leagues. On August 8, 1988, the lights went on for the first time at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, which had been the only MLB park up until then where night games were not played. MLB.com tells us that that Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams threw out the first pitch, the Chicago Symphony performed, and the Cubs' broadcasters even wore tuxedos.

  15. On May 2, Cincinnati Reds Manager Pete Rose was suspended for 30 days following a “volatile dispute” with an umpire.

  16. On May 20, MLB player Mike Schmidt hit his 535th career HR, and moved into 8th place on the all-time list. (On July 14, 1988, Schmidt hit his 537th career HR, and passed Mickey Mantle, who hit 536 HRs during his career.)

  17. On June 25, MLB legend Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 1000th consecutive game.

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

  1. In 1988, popular baby names were Andrew, Joshua, Matthew, Michael, Amanda, Ashley, Jennifer, and Jessica.

  2. The average life expectancy in the United States was 74.77 years. (Comparably, the average life expectancy was 76.81 years in Canada and 75.38 years in the UK.)

  3. The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $645,000.

  4. Favorite holiday gifts included Koosh Balls and Ghostbuster toys.

  5. Fashion trends in 1988 were blue eye shadow, candy-colored makeup, leg warmers, chunky jewelry, stirrup pants, and oversized tops.

  6. Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” was the Endangered Earth.

  7. Heartthrobs and fashion icons in 1988 included Christina Applegate, Candice Bergen, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Elvira, Linda Evangelista, Debbie Gibson, Melanie Griffith, Kathy Ireland, Audrey Landers, Heather Locklear, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Princess Diana, Stephanie Seymour, Brooke Shields, Heather Thomas, and Tiffany.

  8. Kaye Lani Rae Rafko (Michigan) won the Miss America crown.

  9. Courtney Gibbs (Texas) became Miss USA.

  10. Top-grossing Broadway shows were Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Me and My Girl, Cats, Starlight Express, Anything Goes, Into the Woods, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Sarafina!, Cabaret, Speed-the-Plow, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Burn This, and Fences.

  11. Broadway shows that opened in 1988 included A Streetcar Named Desire, A Walk in the Woods, Ah, Wilderness!, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Carrie, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Macbeth, Our Town, Sarafina!, Serious Money, Speed-the-Plow, Sweet Sue, and The Phantom of the Opera.

  12. At the 60th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1987, The Last Emperor won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, Michael Douglas (Wall Street) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Cher (Moonstruck) won an Oscar for Best Actress. Finally, Sean Connery (The Untouchables) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

  13. At the 40th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Wonder Years (ABC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Thirtysomething (ABC) 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 Bea Arthur (The Golden Girls) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Finally, The Murder of Mary Phagan (NBC) won an Emmy for Best Miniseries, and Inherit the Wind (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special.

  14. In 1988, sales of CDs surpassed sales of vinyl records for the first time. RetroManufacturing reports that “The compact disc was introduced in 1982 and heralded as the first commercially available prerecorded digital audio format. Initially, sales were slow, but by 1985 sales started to grow rapidly. In 1988 CD sales surpassed vinyl LPs, and by 1989 they outsold prerecorded music cassette tapes for the first time ever—thus becoming the most popular audio format. CD sales continued to grow until they peaked in 2002.”

  15. Snapple lemon-flavored ice tea first appeared on grocery store shelves.

  16. Table tennis (ping pong) became an Olympic sport.

  17. The price of a movie ticket was $4.11.

  18. A 4.55-mile banana split was made in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. According to FoodReference.com, the sweet treat had 33,000 bananas, 2,500 gallons of ice cream, 600 pounds of chopped nuts, and 450 gallons of topping.

  19. Pillsbury was purchased by Grand Metropolitan, a British company that sold brand-name food and alcohol products.

  20. Low fat dairy products were gaining widespread acceptance. For the first time, combined low fat and skim milk sales exceeded whole milk ones.

  21. McDonald’s opened its 10000th restaurant in Dale City, Virginia. The fast food giant also announced that it would open 20 restaurants in Moscow.

  22. The first Walmart Supercenter opened in Wheeler, Oklahoma.

  23. On January 19, 48 Hours, a television news magazine that investigates crime and justice cases, premiered on CBS.

  24. On March 31, author Toni Morrison received a Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved.

  25. On June 30, Brooklyn named a bus depot after the comic Jackie Gleason.

  26. On July 8, singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder announced that he would run for mayor of Detroit in 1992.

  27. On July 31, the last Playboy Club closed in Lansing, Michigan.

  28. On August 1, Rush Limbaugh began his conservative talk radio show.

  29. On August 7, a five-month strike by 9,000 movie and television writers ended.

  30. On October 9, the musical The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway. (Did you know that The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running Broadway show of all time, and celebrated its 10000th Broadway performance on February 11, 2012?)

  31. On October 18, the TV comedy Roseanne, starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, premiered on ABC.

  32. On November 14, the TV sitcom Murphy Brown debuted on CBS.

In 1988, French onion soup was all the rage.
In 1988, French onion soup was all the rage.

6. Computer News

This cool trivia from 1988 has been made available courtesy of ComputerHope.com.

  1. There were about 45 million PCs in use in the United States. PCWorld.com tells us that by 1988, “personal computers had found their way into about 15 percent of U.S. households. PCs dominated, but other home systems were popular as well--among them the Apple II, Macintosh, Commodore 64, Atari ST, and Amiga 2000.”

  2. In 1988, Microsoft sold its one-millionth mouse.

  3. Apple sued both Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard for copyright infringement.

  4. Microsoft had 2,793 employees and revenues of $590,827,000. International operations were responsible for 48% of Microsoft’s sales.

  5. Morphing, a “method of animation that transforms one image into another,” was first seen in the movie Willow.

  6. Here is a partial list of computer companies that were launched in 1988: APS Tech, ARCHOS, AXLE, Compro, F-Secure, Promise, Quanta Computer, SanDisk, Trend Micro, and Xircom.

  7. On August 1, Microsoft released Microsoft Office, a software suite “that is widely used in business and educational environments to create, view, and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.” Today. the standard Office package includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

  8. Steve Jobs, who was forced out of Apple in 1985, started a new computer company called NeXT. On October 12, Jobs unveiled the NeXT computer, an all-black cube with “three Motorola microprocessors and 8 MB of RAM. Its base price was $6,500.”

  9. In November, MS-DOS 4.01 was released.

  10. In November, Robert T. Morris, a 23-year-old graduate student at Cornell, created a virus that infected more than 6,000 computers nationwide.

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 1988 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  1. Chemistry: Johann Deisenhofer, Hartmut Michel, and Robert Huber

  2. Economics: Maurice Allais

  3. Literature: Naguib Mahfouz

  4. Peace: United Nations Peacekeeping Forces

  5. Physics: Jack Steinberger, Leon M. Lederman, and Melvin Schwartz

  6. Physiology or medicine: George H. Hitchings, James Black, and Gertrude B. Elion

In 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series.
In 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series.

8. Best-Selling Books

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

  1. Alaska by James A. Michener

  2. Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill

  3. Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland

  4. Matilda by Roald Dahl

  5. Mitla Pass by Leon Uris

  6. One by Richard Bach

  7. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

  8. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  9. The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tim Wolfe

  10. The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy

  11. The Icarus Agenda by Robert Ludlum

  12. The Magic Locket by Elizabeth Koda-Callan

  13. The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

  14. The Sands of Time by Sidney Sheldon

  15. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

  16. The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

  17. Till We Meet Again by Judith Krantz

  18. To Be the Best by Barbara Taylor Bradford

  19. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

  20. Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson

  21. Zoya by Danielle Steel

9. Most Popular Television Shows for 1988-1989

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. A Different World (NBC)

  3. Cheers (NBC)

  4. The Golden Girls (NBC)

  5. Growing Pains (ABC)

  6. Who’s the Boss? (ABC)

  7. Night Court (NBC)

  8. 60 Minutes (CBS)

  9. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)

  10. Alf (NBC)

In 1988, Thirtysomething (ABC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.
In 1988, Thirtysomething (ABC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

10. Most Popular Movies

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

  1. Rain Man

  2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  3. Coming To America

  4. Big

  5. Twins

  6. Crocodile Dundee II

  7. Die Hard

  8. The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad

  9. Cocktail

  10. Beetlejuice

  11. Working Girl

  12. A Fish Called Wanda

  13. Scrooged

  14. Willow

  15. Beaches

  16. Rambo III

  17. Oliver & Company

  18. Bill Durham

  19. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

  20. The Land Before Time

  21. Colors

  22. Young Guns

  23. Biloxi Blues

  24. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

  25. The Great Outdoors

11. Interesting Horror Movies From 1988

Horror films for the year included Child's Play, Pumpkinhead, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Night of the Demons, The Blob, Waxwork, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Monkey Shines, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Return Of The Living Dead 2, Maniac Cop, Phantasm 2, Lair of the White Worm, Sleepaway Camp 2, Brain Damage, Scarecrows, The Unnamable, Dead Heat, Pulse, The Unholy, and 976-EVIL.

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

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

Popular music artists in 1988 included Anita Baker, Billy Ocean, Bobby McFerrin, Breathe, Cheap Trick, Cherrelle, Chicago, Debbie Gibson, Elton John, George Harrison, George Michael, Gloria Estefan, Karyn White, Keith Sweat, Luther Vandross, Miami Sound Machine, Micheal Jackson, New Edition, Paula Abdul, Pebbles, Phil Collins, Prince, Rick Astley, Sade, Stephanie Mills, Steve Winwood, Surface, Taylor Dayne, Tiffany, Van Halen, and Whitney Houston.

In 1988, McDonald’s opened  its 10000th restaurant in Dale City, Virginia.
In 1988, McDonald’s opened its 10000th restaurant in Dale City, Virginia.

13. The Top 40 Songs From 1988

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

1. Faith: George Michael

2. Need You Tonight: INXS

3. Got My Mind Set On You: George Harrison

4. Never Gonna Give You Up: Rick Astley

5. Sweet Child O' Mine: Guns N' Roses

6. So Emotional: Whitney Houston

7. Heaven is a Place on Earth: Belinda Carlisle

8. Could've Been: Tiffany

9. Hands to Heaven: Breathe

10. Roll With It: Steve Winwood

11. One More Try: George Michael

12. Wishing Well: Terence Trent d'Arby

13. Anything for You: Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine

14. The Flame: Cheap Trick

15. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car: Billy Ocean

16. Seasons Change: Expose

17. Is This Love: Whitesnake

18. Wild, Wild West: Escape Club

19. Pour Some Sugar On Me: Def Leppard

20. I'll Always Love You: Taylor Dayne

21. Man In the Mirror: Michael Jackson

22. Shake Your Love: Debbie Gibson

23. Simply Irresistible: Robert Palmer

24. Hold On to the Nights: Richard Marx

25. Hungry Eyes: Eric Carmen

26. Shattered Dreams: Johnny Hates Jazz

27. Father Figure: George Michael

28. Naughty Girls (Need Love Too): Samantha Fox

29. A Groovy Kind of Love: Phil Collins

30. Love Bites: Def Leppard

31. Endless Summer Nights: Richard Marx

32. Foolish Beat: Debbie Gibson

33. Where Do Broken Hearts Go: Whitney Houston

34. Angel: Aerosmith

35. Hazy Shade of Winter: The Bangles

36. The Way You Make Me Feel: Michael Jackson

37. Don't Worry, Be Happy: Bobby McFerrin

38. Make Me Lose Control: Eric Carmen

39. Red, Red Wine: UB40

40. She's Like the Wind: Patrick Swayze

In 1988, Cool Ranch Doritos were a real crowd-pleaser.
In 1988, Cool Ranch Doritos were a real crowd-pleaser.

14. Favorite Video Games

Popular video games in 1988 included Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Bros. 2, Mega Man 2, Dragon Quest III, Final Fantasy II, Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Altered Beast, John Madden Football, The Guardian Legend, R.C. Pro-Am, Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja, Splatterhouse, Pool of Radiance, Battle Chess, Super Contra, Chase H.Q., Blaster Master, Forgotten Worlds, Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Bionic Commando, Battle of Olympus, Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, The Adventures of Bayou Billy, and RoboCop.

15. Popular Foods and Beverages

These food facts have been made available courtesy of GrubStreet.com and Redtri.com.

  1. Ample sauces and garnishes

  2. Angel hair pasta

  3. Bagel Bites

  4. 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.’”

  5. Capri Sun

  6. Chicken and veal marsala

  7. Chocolate mousse

  8. Cool Ranch Doritos

  9. Crystal Light

  10. Four-bean salad

  11. French onion soup

  12. General Mills Pac-Man Cereal

  13. Goat cheese

  14. Jell-O Pudding Pops

  15. Mr. T Cereal

  16. Pasta primavera and pasta salad

  17. Pesto

  18. Post Smurf-Berry Crunch Cereal

  19. Quaker Quisp Cereal

  20. Quiche: GrubStreet.com points out that this “majestic pastry, with its elegant fluted edges and yellow eggy filling, crested in the 1970s and peaked in the early ‘80s with the shame-inducing best seller Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.”

  21. Reese’s Pieces

  22. Specialty salad dressings, such as raspberry vinaigrette

  23. Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine

  24. SuperPretzel

  25. Sushi

In 1988, pasta salad was a popular food trend.
In 1988, pasta salad was a popular food trend.

16. Weddings and Divorces

This celebrity news from 1988 has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

Marriages:

  1. On January 17, publisher Bob Guccione married actress Katherine Keeton.

  2. On February 7, heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson wed actress Robin Givens. (The marriage lasted eight months.)

  3. On February 21, actor Dudley Moore married actress Brogan Lane.

  4. On April 29, actor Burt Reynolds wed Loni Anderson.

  5. On April 30, actor Tom Hanks married actress Rita Wilson.

  6. On May 28, journalist Harry Reasoner wed Lois Harriett Weber.

  7. On May 28, Senator Bernie Sanders married social worker Jane O'Meara.

  8. On July 16, actor Michael J. Fox wed Family Ties actress Tracy Pollan.

  9. On July 17, NHL star player Wayne Gretzky married actress Janet Jones.

  10. On August 12, country singer John Denver wed actress Cassandra Delaney.

  11. On October 3, "Princess of Rock and Roll" Lisa Marie Presley married musician Danny Keough.

  12. On November 1, actor Jeff Goldblum wed Geena Davis.

Divorces:

  1. On June 17, singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen and Julianne Phillips separated.

  2. On July 25, heiress Julia Stimson Thorne divorced politician John Kerry.

  3. On December 6, actor and comedian Robin Williams Valerie Velardi parted ways.

17. Famous People Who Died in the Year 1988

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

  1. January 5: Pete Maravich (American basketball player)

  2. January 15: Seán MacBride (Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army and founder of Amnesty International)

  3. January 20: Baron Philippe de Rothschild (member of the legendary Bordeaux wine growing family)

  4. January 23: Charles Glen King (American biochemist who discovered vitamin C)

  5. March 10: Andy Gibb (British singer and songwriter)

  6. March 12: Billie Rhodes (American silent film actress)

  7. April 12: Alan Paton (South African author who wrote Cry, The Beloved Country)

  8. July 12: Joshua Logan (Broadway producer)

  9. August 14: Enzo Ferrari (Italian sports car manufacturer)

  10. August 14: Roy Buchanan (American blues guitarist)

  11. August 18: Frederick Ashton (British choreographer)

  12. October 3: Generoso Pope Jr. (Former owner of the National Enquirer)

  13. October 20: Sheila Scott (British aviator who broke over 100 aviation records)

  14. November 17: Sheilah Graham (Gossip columnist)

  15. December 20: Max Robinson (First African-American anchor on network television)

In 1988, the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl.
In 1988, the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl.

18. Famous People in the News

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

  2. George H. W. Bush: 41st U.S. President

  3. Anthony M. Kennedy: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

  4. Bea Arthur: American actress

  5. Bernardo Bertolucci: Film director

  6. Brian Mulroney: Prime Minister of Canada

  7. Cal Ripken Jr.: MLB legend

  8. Cher: American singer

  9. Christian Andreas Doppler: Austrian physicist

  10. Francois Mitterrand: 21st President of France

  11. Margaret Thatcher: Former British Prime Minister

  12. Michael Douglas: American actor

  13. Michael Dukakis: Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate

  14. Michael J. Fox: American actor

  15. Mike Schmidt: MLB legend

  16. Olympia Dukakis: American actress

  17. Pedro Delgado: Winner of the 75th Tour de France

  18. Pete Rose: Former manager of the Cincinnati Reds

  19. Queen Elizabeth II: Queen of the United Kingdom

  20. Roseanne Barr: American actress

  21. Rush Limbaugh: Talk show host

  22. Sean Connery: American actor

  23. Stevie Wonder: Singer and songwriter

  24. Toni Morrison: American novelist

  25. Vigdis Finnbogadóttir: Former President of Iceland

19. America’s Largest Corporations

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

  1. General Motors

  2. Exxon Mobil

  3. Ford Motor

  4. IBM

  5. Mobil

  6. General Electric

  7. Texaco

  8. AT&T

  9. DuPont

  10. Chrysler

  11. ChevronTexaco

  12. Altria Group

  13. Shell Oil

  14. Amoco

  15. United Technologies

  16. Occidental Petroleum

  17. Procter & Gamble

  18. Atlantic Richfield

  19. Nabisco

  20. Boeing

20. Brands and Retailers From 1988 That No Longer Exist

This retailing trivia has been made available courtesy of GoodHousekeeping.com and ShoeMoney.com.

  1. A&P (grocery store chain)
  2. B. Dalton Bookstore (book retailer)
  3. Bally Fitness (chain of fitness clubs)
  4. Blockbuster (video rental store)
  5. Bonwit Teller (department store)
  6. Borders (book retailer)
  7. Cala Foods (grocery store chain)
  8. Chi-Chi’s (restaurant chain)
  9. Circuit City (electronics chain)
  10. Coleco Industries (the manufacturer of Cabbage Patch Kids and video game consoles)
  11. Compaq (computer company)
  12. Dominicks (grocery store chain)
  13. Drexel Burnham Lambert (investment banking firm)
  14. F. W. Woolworth Company (five-and-dime retailer)
  15. Farmer Jack (grocery store chain)
  16. Fotomat (photo-developing chain)
  17. Gadzooks (tee-shirt retailer)
  18. Giant Markets (grocery store chain)
  19. Hecht’s (department store)
  20. Hhgregg (electronics and appliance retailer)
  21. Hills Department Store (discount store chain)
  22. Horn & Hardart (chain of automats, which means that food and beverages were sold by vending machines)
  23. Howard Johnson's Restaurants
  24. Jordache (popular jeans brand)
  25. KB Toys (epic toy store chain)
  26. Kaufmann’s (department store)
  27. Kinney Shoes (shoe retailer)
  28. Levitz Furniture
  29. Linens ‘n Things (homeware and home accessories chain)
  30. Magnavox (VHS recorders)
  31. Marshall Field’s (department store)
  32. Mervyn’s (mid-price chain)
  33. Montgomery Ward & Company (department store)
  34. National Record Mart (music store chain)
  35. National Tea (grocery store chain)
  36. Oldsmobile (car brand)
  37. Pan American (airline)
  38. Pathmark (grocery store chain)
  39. Penn Traffic (grocery store chain)
  40. Petrini’s (grocery store chain)
  41. QFI (grocery store chain)
  42. Radio Shack (electronics retailer)
  43. Service Merchandise (catalog showroom that specialized in jewelry and household items)
  44. Sharper Image (electronics store)
  45. Sleepy’s (bedding retailer)
  46. Sport Chalet (sporting goods chain)
  47. Steve & Barry’s (sporting goods chain)
  48. Super Duper (grocery store chain)
  49. The Limited (clothing retailer that focused on young women)
  50. Tower Records (retailer that sold records, tapes, and CDs)
  51. Toys “R” Us (epic toy and baby products chain)
  52. Tweeter (high-end electronics chain)
  53. Waldbaum’s (grocery store chain)
  54. Wet Seal (clothing store similar to The Limited)
  55. Zany Brainy (educational toy company)

 In 1988, the TV sitcom Murphy Brown premiered on CBS.
In 1988, the TV sitcom Murphy Brown premiered on CBS.

© 2019 Gregory DeVictor

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • Gregory DeVictor profile imageAUTHOR

    Gregory DeVictor 

    4 weeks ago from Pittsburgh, PA

    Liz, thank you for the comment. Yes, the list of grocery store chains that are no longer around really surprises me.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    4 weeks ago from UK

    Amazing to think that this was over 30 years ago. What shocked me most was the list of brands that no longer exist.

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