1980 Fun Facts, Trivia, and History

Updated on September 4, 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 1980.
This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1980.

History Facts From the Year 1980

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1980? For openers, the United States experienced the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression, America’s student loan debt crisis began, and President Carter signed the controversial Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act into law. The prime rate reached a record high of 21.50%, inflation hovered between 6.51% and 13.91%, and gold was an all-time high of $850 per ounce.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected President, Voyager I reached Saturn, and Mount St. Helens erupted in the state of Washington. The Pittsburgh Steelers became the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowls, the Philadelphia Phillies won their first World Series, and the Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New York.

Back in 1980, CNN began broadcasting 24-hour news, the 3M Company began selling Post-It Notes, and the first Applebee’s restaurant opened in Atlanta. The Rubik’s Cube became an icon, the arcade game Pac-Man was released, and the first Whole Foods store opened in Austin, Texas.

In 1980, the unemployment rate hovered between 7% and 8%, the average annual income was $19,500.00, and the median home value was $47,200. A gallon of gas cost $1.19, the minimum wage was $3.10, and the Dow closed at 963 at year end. A gallon of milk cost $2.16, Eight O’Clock Coffee was $1.99 for a one-pound bag, and eggs were 83 cents a dozen.

Back in 1980, the musical 42nd Street opened on Broadway, the sitcom Taxi won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Gloria Gaynor won a Grammy for Best Disco Recording. Sloppy Joes and pasta salad were crowd-pleasers, parachute pants and fingerless gloves were all the rage, and Michael and Jessica were top baby names.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan was Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year,” the computer modem was invented, and McDonald's began to test market Chicken McNuggets. Film director Alfred Hitchcock passed away, tennis player Venus Williams was born, and actress Raquel Welch and producer André Weinfeld tied the knot.

Here are some more fast history facts from 1980: the cost of a Super Bowl ad was $222,000, ExxonMobil was America’s biggest company, and the average life expectancy in the U.S. was 70 years. Kramer vs. Kramer won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Leading Actor (Dustin Hoffman), and Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep).

On the international stage, British steelworkers went on a national strike, the Summer Olympics were held in Moscow, and the 10.14-mile St. Gotthard Tunnel opened in Switzerland. Pierre Trudeau was elected Prime Minister of Canada, the World Health Organization announced that smallpox has been eradicated, and O Canada officially became the national anthem of Canada.

Famous people in the news back in 1980 included Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Pierre Trudeau, Indira Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Mailer, William Safire, John Wayne Gacy, Pink Floyd, Dustin Hoffman, Sally Field, Billy Joel, Burt Reynolds, Jane Fonda, Paul and Linda McCartney, David Letterman, and Calvin Klein.

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 1980. 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

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

  1. Retail Prices in the Year 1980
  2. History Facts From the USA

  3. International News
  4. Random Sports Facts
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Bestselling Books
  7. Ten Most Popular Movies
  8. 1980/1981’s Most Popular Television Shows (According to Nielsen)
  9. Cool Pop Music Artists
  10. Number One Music Hits for the Year
  11. Famous People Who Were Born in 1980
  12. Well-Known People Who Died
  13. Popular Foods and Beverages
  14. America’s Biggest Companies
  15. Retailers and Brands from 1980 That No Longer Exist
  16. Companies Established

Sloppy Joes were a crowd-pleaser in 1980.
Sloppy Joes were a crowd-pleaser in 1980.

1. Retail Prices in the Year 1980

These facts from the American retail industry have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Library in Whippany, NJ:

Automobiles (new)

  1. Buick Regal: $8,085.00
  2. Buick Grand Prix: $7,727.00
  3. Plymouth Volare: $5,888.00

Automobiles (used)

  1. 1975 Ford Pinto Squire: $1,995.00
  2. 1974 Chevy Malibu Classic: $1,575.00
  3. 1973 Pontiac Firebird: $2,495.00

Clothing

  1. Men’s cowboy boots: $29.99-$40.00 per pair
  2. Men’s Levi’s jeans: $13.30-$27.00 per pair
  3. Men’s Resillo neckties: $7.50-$15.00 each
  4. Men’s Hahn dress shirt: $13.50-$18.50 apiece
  5. Men’s worsted wool suit: $425.00 each
  6. Misses’ Mandee velour blouse: $8.99-$13.98 apiece
  7. Women’s full-length dress coat: $80.00-$220.00 each
  8. Women’s fake fur jacket: $39.99 apiece
  9. Women’s acrylic pants: $6.99-$9.99 per pair
  10. Women’s corduroy pants: $15.00-$23.00 per pair
  11. Women’s Oxford blouse: $11.00-$15.00 each

Food & beverages

  1. Apples (Red Delicious): 59 cents per pound
  2. Bacon (Armour): $1.39 per half pound
  3. Bananas (Dole): Three pounds for $1.00
  4. Beef (top sirloin): $2.79 per pound
  5. Bread (pumpernickel): Two 16-ounce loaves for $1.00
  6. Butter (Land O’Lakes): $1.99 per pound
  7. Cake mix (Betty Crocker): 18.5-ounce box for 69 cents
  8. Cereal (Post Raisin Bran): 20-ounce box for $1.19
  9. Cheese (Borden American singles): $1.59 per one-pound package
  10. Cocoa (Nestle’s): 14-ounce package for $1.59
  11. Coffee (Eight O’Clock): $1.99 per pound
  12. Cookies (Nabisco Nutter Butter): 13.5-ounce package for 89 cents
  13. Crackers (Nabisco Ritz): 16-ounce package for 99 cents
  14. Eggs (Cumberland Farms): 83 cents per dozen
  15. Fish (Chicken of the Sea solid white tuna): Seven-ounce can for 99 cents
  16. Fish (Gorton’s frozen fish sticks): 12-ounce box for $1.69
  17. Flour (Pillsbury): Five-pound bag for 89 cents
  18. Grapes (sweet Tokay): 59 cents per pound
  19. Jelly (Smuckers): Three-pound jar for 99 cents
  20. Juice (Minute Maid frozen orange): Two-ounce can for 79 cents
  21. Ketchup (Heinz): Two-pound bottle for 89 cents
  22. Margarine (Parkay): 39 cents per pound
  23. Onions (yellow): Five-pound bag for 79 cents
  24. Oranges (large Sunkist): Eight for $1.00
  25. Pickles (Vlasic Polish Spears): 24-ounce jar for 99 cents
  26. Pizza (Elio’s frozen): 12-ounce package for 69 cents
  27. Potato chips (Lay’s): 16-ounce bag for $1.49
  28. Potatoes (white): Ten-pound bag for $1.49
  29. Salad dressing (Pfeiffer): Eight-ounce bottle for 49 cents
  30. Soup (Nestle Souptime dry mix): Four-pack for 49 cents
  31. Tea (Tetley): 125-count package for $1.69
  32. Yogurt (La Yogurt): Three six-ounce containers for $1.00

Furniture

  1. Bed (twin): $169.88 each
  2. Bedroom set (maple, two pieces): $229.00
  3. Chair (wicker “peacock” style): $49.99-$79.99 each
  4. Dinette (modern, seven-piece): $812.00 per set
  5. Dining room set (“Mediterranean” five-piece): $399.99-$499.99
  6. Dresser (colonial-style, maple): $159.99-$179.99 each
  7. Mattress (twin, firm): $65.00 each
  8. Rug (Oriental design, 8′ x 12′): $199.00-$399.00 each
  9. Sofa (contemporary): $299.99-$449.99 each
  10. Table (Parson’s): $75.00 each

Household & seasonal goods

  1. Blanket (electric, full-size, single-control): $29.99-$50.00 each
  2. Carpet (Sears): $9.99 per square yard
  3. Chrysanthemums: $1.89 per pot
  4. Clothes dryer (Kenmore, electric): $229.00 each
  5. Coffee maker (Mr. Coffee, 12-cup): $29.97-$39.95 each
  6. Detergent (Ajax): $1.99 for a five-pound, four-ounce box
  7. Disinfectant spray (Lysol): 18-ounce container for $1.99
  8. Fireplace logs (A&P brand): Six-log case for $6.96
  9. Garage door opener: $159.95 each
  10. Laundry detergent (Tide): 49-ounce box for $1.89
  11. Lawn tractor (10 HP): $899.00 each
  12. Microwave oven (Sharp, 1.53 cubic feet): $499.00-$575.00 each
  13. Rake (bamboo, 30″): $4.99-$6.99 each
  14. Range (Kenmore, electric): $299.95 each
  15. Refrigerator (Kenmore, 17 cubic feet): $449.95-$639.95 each
  16. Sewing machine (Kenmore): $159.95 each
  17. Toilet (water saver): $49.99 each
  18. Towels (terry bath): $2.99 each
  19. Vacuum cleaner (Hoover Deluxe Dial-a-Matic): $89.99 each
  20. Washing machine (Kenmore, large capacity): $289.00 each

Personal care & health

  1. Antacid (Maalox liquid): $1.89 for a 12-ounce bottle
  2. Aspirin (Bayer): $1.49 for a 100-count bottle
  3. Cold medicine (Contac): 99 cents for an 18-count package
  4. Contact lenses (Bausch & Lomb, “Ultrathin Soflens”): $39.00 per pair
  5. Curling iron (Gillette): $7.99-$9.99 each
  6. Denture cleaner (Efferdent tablets): $2.29 for a 96-count bottle
  7. Deodorant (Sure solid): $1.79 for a two-ounce container
  8. Hair dryer (Sunbeam, 1200 watt): $9.97-$12.99 each
  9. Mouthwash (Signal): $1.00 for an 18-ounce bottle
  10. Shampoo (Faberge Organics): 99 cents for a 15-ounce bottle
  11. Toilet paper (Charmin): $1.09 for a four-roll package
  12. Toothbrush (Pepsodent): 99 cents for three brushes
  13. Toothpaste (Aim): $1.00 for a 6.4-ounce tube

Recreation & amusements

  1. Basketball: $9.99
  2. Basketball backboard: $29.99
  3. Bicycle (Saxon Gemini, 10 speed, 26″): $69.99
  4. Game (Milton Bradley, Hangman): $6.97
  5. Movie ticket: $1.25 each
  6. Record album (music): $4.49 each
  7. Television (color, 19″): $379.95
  8. Toy (Etch-a-Sketch): $4.97 each
  9. Toy (Lego, Duplo Village): $17.43-$21.79 each
  10. Toy (Rubik’s Cube puzzle): $9.99 each
  11. Toy (Tonka truck, “Mighty Dump”): $10.38-$12.97 each

In 1980, CNN began broadcasting 24-hour news.
In 1980, CNN began broadcasting 24-hour news.

2. History Facts From the USA

  1. In 1980, Jimmy Carter was President of the United States and Walter Mondale was Vice-President.
  2. On the last day of trading for the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 963.
  3. The average annual income was $19,500.00.
  4. The minimum wage was $3.10 per hour.
  5. The average cost of a new home was $68,700.00, and the median home value was $47,200.
  6. The average monthly rent was $300.00.
  7. The price of a new car averaged $7,200.00.
  8. A gallon of gas cost $1.19.

  9. Here are the sticker prices for three best-selling 1980 cars: a Buick Regal cost $8,085.00, a Buick Grand Prix was $7,727.00, and a Plymouth Volare cost $5,888.00.
  10. In January, the U.S. entered the biggest recession since the 1930s. The prime rate reached a record high of 21.50%, inflation hovered between 6.51% and 13.91%, and the unemployment rate teetered between 7% and 8%. Berkeley.edu tells us that “One of the causes of the early 1980s recession was the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which sparked a second large round of oil price increases. More important, however, were Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker’s efforts to tame inflation through restrictive monetary policy, which had the expected effect of dampening economic growth.”
  11. In January, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowls.
  12. On January 7, President Jimmy Carter signed the contentious Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act into law. Library.CQPress.com explains that “The bill approved by Congress authorized $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees to Chrysler, provided the company came up with a matching $2 billion in help from such parties as workers, dealers, and creditors.” ThoughtCo.com adds that “In 1983, Chrysler paid off the loans that had been guaranteed by US taxpayers. The Treasury was also $350 million richer.”
  13. In February, the U.S. men’s hockey team beat the Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. (The Olympic Village at Lake Placid has since become a functioning prison.)
  14. On February 1, CBS aired the final episode of the soap Love of Life. WeLoveSoaps.net remarks that “After a run of more than 29 years, CBS aired the final episode daytime soap opera Love of Life, created by Roy Winsor in 1951. The original story was the tale of two sisters, Vanessa Dale (Peggy McCay) and Meg Dale (Jean McBride). Audrey Peters played the role of Van during the show's final 21 years.”
  15. On February 2 and 3, the New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot took place, killing 33 inmates and injuring more than 100.
  16. On February 4, Studio 54 in New York held its grand closing party. The New York Daily News reports that “Diana Ross sang, but it wasn't the blues. Richard Gere, Andy Warhol, Lorna Luft, David Brenner and Reggie Jackson (complete with fur coat and cowboy hat) brave the crush. And the more than 2,000 persons who showed up to say goodbye cheered their ‘heroes’ in the wee hours at the going-away party for Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager at Studio 54.”
  17. On March 1, snow fell in Florida.
  18. In April, the United States broke diplomatic ties with Iran. According to TheCrimson.com, “Carter acted hours after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ruled that the 50 American hostages must remain in the hands of the militants occupying the U.S. Embassy in Tehran until the new Iranian Parliament decides their fate. The hostages have been held 157 days. Carter also cut off virtually all remaining trade between the two countries, prohibiting further exports to Iran, with the exception of food and drugs.”
  19. In May, Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupted. TheAtlantic.com tells us that “On May 18, 1980, an earthquake struck below the north face of Mount St. Helens in Washington state, triggering the largest landslide in recorded history and a major volcanic eruption that scattered ash across a dozen states. The sudden lateral blast--heard hundreds of miles away--removed 1,300 feet off the top of the volcano, sending shockwaves and pyroclastic flows across the surrounding landscape, flattening forests, melting snow and ice, and generating massive mudflows.”
  20. Beginning in June and stretching until mid-September, a massive heat wave in the U.S. wreaked havoc on the Midwest and Southern Plains and caused nearly $44 billion in agricultural damage. MIHP.org confirms that “The heat wave began in June when a strong high pressure ridge began to build in the central and southern United States allowing temperatures to soar to 90°F almost every day from June to September. The high pressure system also acted as a cap on the atmosphere inhibiting the development of thunderstorm activity leading to exceptionally severe drought conditions.”
  21. In October, the Philadelphia Phillies won their first World Series by beating the Kansas City Royals 4-1 in game six.
  22. In November, Voyager I reached Saturn and returned data on its 14 moons and over 1,000 rings.
  23. In October, Congress passed the Staggers Rail Act was passed. According to Brookings.edu, “The Staggers Rail Act of 1980 marked a dramatic change in the evolution of the U.S. railroad industry by eliminating or greatly reducing federal regulatory control over virtually every aspect of rail freight operations.”
  24. On November 4, Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States.
  25. On December 19, the prime rate reached a record high of 21.50%. (By contrast, the prime rate was 1.75% on December 1, 1947.)

3. International News

  1. On January 1, Sweden became the first country to adopt “absolute primogeniture.” HelloMagazine.com explains that “With the exception of two queens--Kristina in the 17th century, and Ulrika Eleonora, in the 18th--the Swedish throne has always passed to the firstborn male. But on January 1, 1980, this all changed when the 1979 Act of Succession came into effect. Amendments to the constitution made the firstborn the heir, regardless of whether they are male or female.”

  2. On January 2, British steel workers went on a national strike.

  3. On February 18, Pierre Trudeau was elected Prime Minister of Canada. The CanadianEncyclopedia.ca tells us that “In May 1979, Trudeau and the Liberals lost the federal election to the Progressive Conservatives under Joe Clark. A few months later, on 21 November, Trudeau announced his resignation as leader of the Liberal Party. However, three weeks after this announcement, the Progressive Conservative government was defeated in the Commons and a new general election was called. Trudeau was persuaded by the Liberal caucus to return as leader, and on 18 February 1980--three months after his retirement--he was returned once again as prime minister with a parliamentary majority.”

  4. On May 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that smallpox has been eradicated worldwide.

  5. In July, the Alexandra Palace in London was partially destroyed by fire. CinemaTreasures.org reports that the fire “destroyed the Great Hall and other sections on the western side of the complex, but the theatre and BBC studios section were saved.”

  6. On June 27, O Canada was officially adopted as Canada’s national anthem.

  7. Between July 19 and August 3, the Summer Olympics were held in Moscow. The United States led a boycott of the games to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

  8. On September 5, the St. Gotthard Tunnel opened in Switzerland and stretched from Goschenen to Airolo. At 10.14 miles, it was the world’s longest highway tunnel.

  9. On November 23, a series of devastating earthquakes struck southern Italy, killing nearly 5,000.

  10. On December 5, the Bank of Canada’s Canadian Currency Museum opened.

4. Random Sports Facts

This information has been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us.

  1. World Series Champions: Philadelphia Phillies
  2. Superbowl XIV Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
  4. Stanley Cup Champs: New York Islanders
  5. U.S. Open Golf: Jack Nicklaus
  6. U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): John McEnroe/Chris Evert Lloyd
  7. Wimbledon (Men/Women): Bjorn Borg/Evonne Cawley
  8. NCAA Football Champions: Georgia
  9. NCAA Basketball Champions: Louisville
  10. Kentucky Derby: Genuine Risk

In 1980, the 3D Rubik’s Cube became an icon.
In 1980, the 3D Rubik’s Cube became an icon.

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

  1. In 1980, popular baby names were Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, Jessica, Jennifer, Amanda, and Ashley.

  2. The cost of a Super Bowl ad was $222,000.

  3. Time Magazine’s "Man of the Year" was Ronald Reagan.

  4. Cheryl Prewitt (Mississippi) was crowned Miss America.

  5. Shawn Weatherly (South Carolina) and Jineane Ford (Arizona) shared the Miss USA title.

  6. Al Kaline, Duke Snider, Chuck Klein, and Tom Yawkey were all inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  7. The Rubik’s Cube became an icon and retailed for $9.99. Jennifer Rosenberg tells us that “The Rubik's Cube is a cube-shaped puzzle that has nine, smaller squares on each side. When taken out of the box, each side of the cube has all the squares the same color. The goal of the puzzle is to return each side to a solid color after you have turned it a few times.” METV.com adds that the Hungarian puzzle “was developed by Ernő Rubik in the mid-1970s and presented at toy fairs at the dawn of the decade. It would go on to become the best-selling toy of all time, shipping a third of a billion units.” The Rubik’s Cube was also the top-selling Christmas gift for 1980.

  8. Here are some examples of 1980s lingo: dork (someone who is not cool), dude (someone who is cool), geek (a person who is not hip), nerd (someone who is smart but socially unacceptable), preppie (a person who dresses in expensive clothes and acts snobbish toward others), and yuppie (a professional person who flaunts expensive possessions).

  9. 3M Company began selling Post-It Notes. According to Wonderopolis.com, “No one set out to invent sticky notes. Instead, in 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver, a chemist at 3M Company, invented a unique, low-tack adhesive that would stick to things but also could be repositioned multiple times. He was trying to invent a super-strong adhesive, but he came up with a super-weak one instead.”

  10. Ground beef was $1.39 a pound, a gallon of milk cost $2.16, and a five-pound bag of Pillsbury flour was 89 cents. A 16-ounce bag of Lay’s Potato Chips cost $1.49, Eight O’Clock Coffee was $1.99 for a one-pound bag, and eggs were 83 cents a dozen.

  11. Whole Foods opened its first store in Austin, Texas.

  12. Because of record high sugar prices, Coca-Cola began to substitute high fructose corn syrup for half of the sucrose that was used in Coca-Cola.

  13. McDonald's began to test market Chicken McNuggets in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  14. On November 19, Bill and T.J. Palmer opened the first Applebee's restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia.

  15. Kramer vs. Kramer won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Leading Actor (Dustin Hoffman), and Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep). The film received nine nominations.

  16. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was the highest-grossing movie of the year, raking in over $290 million.

  17. CNN began broadcasting from Atlanta, Georgia. It was the first all-news channel in the United States and the first network in television history to broadcast 24-hour news.

  18. American character actor Victor Sen Yung passed away. He was best known for his role as the cook Hop Sing on the TV show Bonanza.

  19. English film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock and four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens also died.

  20. American cardiologist Herman Tarnower passed away. He authored the bestselling book The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet.

  21. The musical 42nd Street opened on Broadway on August 25, 1980 and closed on January 8, 1989.

  22. The musical Grease closed its run of 3,388 performances, making it the longest running Broadway show up until that time.

  23. The top song was Lady by Kenny Rogers.

  24. Gloria Gaynor won the Grammy for Best Disco Recording.

  25. The computer modem was invented.

  26. The first Tandy Color Computer entered the marketplace and was sold exclusively by Radio Shack.

  27. The programming language Fortran 77 was created.

  28. The computer companies Iomega, Microcom, Micro Solutions, Microtek, Quantum, The Learning Company, and Trigem were all launched in 1980.

  29. The Dish Network (also known as Dish) was launched by Charlie Ergen, Jim DeFranco, and Candy Ergen. According to ComputerHope.com, Dish is a subscription satellite services provider that provides satellite television, interactive television, Internet, and audio programming to over 14 million customers in the United States.

  30. Namco launched Pac-Man, the best-selling video arcade game of all time.

In 1980, "The Empire Strikes Back" was the most popular film.
In 1980, "The Empire Strikes Back" was the most popular film.

6. Bestselling Books

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

  1. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

  2. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

  3. Congo by Michael Crichton

  4. Cosmos by Carl Sagan

  5. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

  6. Firestarter by Stephen King

  7. God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert

  8. Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut

  9. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

  10. Princess Daisy by Judith Krantz

  11. Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon

  12. Random Winds by Belva Plain

  13. Smiley’s People by John le Carre

  14. The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1) by Robert Ludlum

  15. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

  16. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1) by Jean Auel

  17. The Covenant by James A. Michener

  18. The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth

  19. The Fifth Horseman by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre

  20. The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett

7. Ten Most Popular Movies

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

  1. The Empire Strikes Back

  2. 9 to 5

  3. Stir Crazy

  4. Airplane!

  5. Any Which Way You Can

  6. Private Benjamin

  7. Coal Miner's Daughter

  8. Smokey and the Bandit II

  9. The Blue Lagoon

  10. The Blues Brothers

In November 1980, Bill and T.J. Palmer opened the first Applebee's restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia.
In November 1980, Bill and T.J. Palmer opened the first Applebee's restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia.

8. 1980/1981’s Most Popular Television Shows (According to Nielsen)

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

  1. Dallas (CBS)
  2. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS)
  3. 60 Minutes (CBS)
  4. M*A*S*H (CBS)
  5. The Love Boat (ABC)
  6. The Jeffersons (CBS)
  7. Alice (CBS)
  8. House Calls (CBS)
  9. Three's Company (ABC)
  10. Little House on the Prairie (NBC)

9. Cool Pop Music Artists

These fun facts and trivia from 1980 have been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us.

Air Supply, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, Blondie, Boz Scaggs, The Brothers Johnson, Christopher Cross, Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Dr. Hook, Earth, Wind & Fire, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), George Benson, Jermaine Jackson, John Lennon, KC & the Sunshine Band, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, Kool & the Gang, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Olivia Newton-John, Prince, Queen, Shalamar, The Spinners, S.O.S. Band, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergrass, and The Whispers.

10. Number One Music Hits for the Year

This information has been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us.

  • December 22, 1979 - January 4, 1980: Rupert Holmes - Escape (The Piña Colada Song)
  • January 5 - January 18: KC and the Sunshine Band - Please Don't Go
  • January 19 - February 15: Michael Jackson - Rock with You
  • February 16 - February 22: Captain & Tennille - Do That to Me One More Time
  • February 23 - March 21: Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • March 22 - April 18: Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall
  • April 19 - May 30: Blondie - Call Me
  • May 31 - June 27: Lipps Inc. - Funkytown
  • June 28 - July 18: Paul McCartney - Coming Up
  • July 19 - August 1: Billy Joel - It's Still Rock and Roll to Me
  • August 2 - August 29: Olivia Newton-John - Magic
  • August 30 - September 5: Christopher Cross - Sailing
  • September 6 - October 3: Diana Ross - Upside Down
  • October 4 - October 24: Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
  • October 25 - November 14: Barbra Streisand - Woman in Love
  • November 15 - December 26: Kenny Rogers - Lady
  • December 27, 1980 - January 30, 1981: John Lennon - (Just Like) Starting Over

In 1980, "Dallas" was the most popular television show.
In 1980, "Dallas" was the most popular television show.

11. Famous People Who Were Born in 1980

  1. Abby Wambach - soccer player

  2. Christina Aguilera - pop singer

  3. Jessica Simpson - pop singer

  4. Kim Kardashian - reality star

  5. Matt Yoakum - YouTube star

  6. Mikey Way - bassist

  7. Nick Cannon - TV actor

  8. Terra Jole - reality star

  9. Tony Romo - football player

  10. Venus Williams - tennis player

12. Well-Known People Who Died

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

  1. Arthur Nielsen - American market analyst

  2. Colonel Harland Sanders - American founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken

  3. Dorothy Day - American journalist and social activist

  4. George Tobias - Actor

  5. Hans Asperger - Austrian pediatrician for whom a from of autism is named

  6. Jean-Paul Sartre - French existentialist philosopher and writer

  7. Jerry Fielding - Composer

  8. Jesse Owens - American athlete

  9. John Lennon - British musician, pop star, and member of The Beatles

  10. Lillian Roth - Actress

  11. Mae West - Actress

  12. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi - Last Shah of Iran

  13. Otto Frank - Father of Anne Frank

  14. Peter Sellers - English actor and comedian

  15. Steve McQueen - American actor

  16. Strother Martin - American actor

  17. Willie Sutton - American bank robber

In 1980, Namco launched "Pac-Man," the best-selling video arcade game of all time.
In 1980, Namco launched "Pac-Man," the best-selling video arcade game of all time.

13. Popular Foods and Beverages

These fun facts and trivia from 1980 have been made available courtesy of TheKitchn.com.

  1. California raisins
  2. Capri Sun
  3. Cool Ranch Doritos
  4. Equal
  5. Frozen yogurt
  6. Fruit Roll-Ups
  7. Fruit by the Foot
  8. Gushers
  9. Jawbreakers
  10. Jello Pudding Pops
  11. Lean Cuisine
  12. Orange Julius
  13. Pesto on everything
  14. Potato skins
  15. Ranch dressing dip
  16. Sloppy Joes
  17. Sushi
  18. Tab
  19. Tri-color pasta salad
  20. Wine coolers

14. America’s Biggest Companies

  1. Exxon Mobil

  2. General Motors

  3. Mobil

  4. Ford Motor

  5. Texaco

  6. ChevronTexaco

  7. Gulf Oil

  8. IBM

  9. General Electric

  10. Amoco

  11. ITT Industries

  12. Atlantic Richfield

  13. Shell Oil

  14. U.S. Steel

  15. Conoco

  16. DuPont

  17. Chrysler

  18. Tenneco Automotive

  19. AT&T Technologies

  20. Sunoco

  21. Occidental Petroleum

  22. ConocoPhillips

  23. Procter & Gamble

  24. Dow Chemical

  25. Union Carbide

15. Retailers and Brands From 1980 That No Longer Exist

  1. Arthur Andersen

  2. Borders

  3. Circuit City

  4. E.F. Hutton

  5. Eastern Airlines

  6. General Foods Corporation

  7. PaineWebber

  8. Pan Am

  9. Polaroid

  10. Ritz Camera Centers

  11. TWA

  12. Texaco

  13. The Sharper Image

  14. Tower Records

  15. Woolworth’s

16. Companies Established

  1. Applebee’s International, Inc.

  2. CNN

  3. Fuddruckers

  4. Grant Thornton International

  5. Herbalife

  6. HobbyTown USA

  7. Mail Boxes Etc.

  8. Scottrade

  9. The Learning Annex

  10. Valu-mart

In 1980, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowls.
In 1980, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowls.

© 2018 Gregory DeVictor

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