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Back to The 80s Fashion Food Education Music Sports Way we Lived Foreign Affairs Film & Theatre

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Education Fashion Film and Theatre Food Culture Sports Music Way We Lived Politics Law and Justice Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Domestic Affairs Domestic Affairs Book Review Games Celebrity Gossip Citations Citations

Education of the 80s By: Carson Haggard

The Education in the 80s is similar to previous decades but Public Schools became increasingly overcrowded, class sizing increased and there were serious safety concerns/violence. In Public Schools disciplinary became a huge problems. Many kids began to cut class, start fights, set off fire alarms, and threaten other students. As a result of these issues many students opted to attend private schools or religious schools. In the 80s the average Public School class size rose to between 35 and 40 students. Also many school districts reduced funding in for the public schools so they had to rely on donations from parents and teachers. Many schools could not even afford to pay their teachers which resulted in less teachers. This caused the decline in the public schools.

Fashion of the 80’s By: Carson Haggard The 80’s was a decade of bold fashion, style, and colors. This decade had trends of ripped tights, leather oversized blazers, and many power dressers. This decade brought out many power dressers but they also brought out punks. Punks were a loud, fast-moving, and aggressive form of rock music, popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This decade brought out many different style’s with not only clothes but also with the hair. This hairstyle for this decade varied from bold curly hair, side ponies, to even man ponies. Parents from that era are still scrubbing hair spray from the 80’s. The women in this decade hair varied from left to right, up to down, and even on the side. The hair style was bold curly hair that varied from anywhere on the head. Even some men had man ponies. This decade brought hair that no one has seen. The fashion of the 80s was the most insane of all the decades. The fashion consisted of ripped tights, leather oversized blazers, and many power dressers. The 80s fashion brought out many power dressers including Madonna and Tina Turner. These dressers inspired people to dress more freely and to become more like the power dressers.

Film and Theatre Lukas Schoenwald

The 80s was a decade with some of the most popular movies and theatre ever. Some of the most popular films were E.T., Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Back to the Future, and the Breakfast club. Some popular Broadway shows of the 80s were the Phantom of the opera, Into the Woods, and Les MisĂŠrables.

Food of the 80’s By: Carson Haggard The 80s brought out many foods and drinks that are still incredibly popular today. This decade brought out Cool Ranch Doritos, Diet Coke, Fruit Roll Ups, and Jello Pudding Pops. Some very popular dinners in the 80s were Sloppy Joes, Sushi, and fast foods. Fast Food chains became very popular in the 80s because there were lots of moms who had started working. These moms did not have time to cook so fast foods stepped in and they were very affordable.

Also in the 80s many popular food commercials started to reach the television world. Some very popular commercials were the Dancing California Raisins, Michael Jackson Hawking Pepsi, and “Where’s the beef? lady?” which was a very popular Wendy’s Commercial.

The 80s brought out many popular products and food that is still a factor in the common US life now. Cool Ranch Doritos are still a very popular chip bag that is consumed daily by millions of people. Most fast food chains started to become very popular in the 80s. Some of the biggest fast food chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King gained most of their popularity in the 80s. This era started the fast food chain’s and made them popular even in the 21st century.


The Culture of the 80s was very diverse to other decades in the United States. The fashion and Visual culture also varied to all the other decades in the U.S. To begin, the Culture was very like the Culture after the Vietnam war, there were many drug addicts and hippies, yet also very civilized communities, almost alike to today. Also, many comics and fantasies were popular during this time period.

Sports of the 80s By: Nicolas Puttre

The 80s were filled with many of history’s best sports moments ever. From the Miracle on Ice, which is considered by some to be the best moment in sports history, to Michael Jordan’s legendary free throw line dunk, many iconic moments happened in that decade, and here’s some of the main ones. The Miracle on Ice was an event that seemed almost too good to be true. A few US college kids reached the hockey finals of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, United States, and they were up against 4 time gold medal defending champions. None other than the Soviet Union. In the middle of the Cold War, it was perhaps one of the most important events for both countries that year. In a shocking manner, the US college kids beat the Soviet professionals and took home the gold medals, as well as represented capitalism’s fight against communism. In the peak of legendary Quarterback Joe Theismann’s career, him and his Washington Redskins would be matched up against the New York Giants. In this game, legendary linebacker Lawrence Taylor would sack Theismann and effectively end his career forever. This specific tackle and many other events in Taylor’s career are what now make defensive ends the second most paid players on Football teams behind only quarterbacks, the people they are paid to protect. One of the most recognizable logos today is the image of Michael Jordan’s famous free throw line dunk in the 1988 dunk contest. After his opponent received all 50 points for his dunk, Michael Jordan walked all the way to the back of one end of the court, waited for a few seconds, and then ran at the other side’s basket. He jumped at the free throw line, and in the middle of the jump made his now famous pose, and dunked the ball. He would go on to win the contest that year.

Music of the 80s By: Nicolas Puttre

The 80s was an extremely revolutionary decade for music, with many of the biggest bands ever formed then, some of the best albums ever released, and some of the most famous iconic and famous songs released then as well. U2, lead by the richest musician ever, Bono, is one of the biggest and most recognized bands in all of history. Throughout the 80s, they released many of their biggest albums in the 80s, the main one being “The Joshua Tree” in 1987. Some other albums they released in that decade were “War” in 1983, and “Rattle and Hum” in 1988. Guns N’ Roses is one of the most known rock bands because of their famous print and logos, but also because of their hard rock, and they were one of the biggest bands of the 80s. In 1985, they were formed, and 2 years later they released their debut album “Appetite for Destruction”, an album considered to be one of the greatest ever. This album contained the breakthrough hit “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. Perhaps the biggest musician of the 80s, and one of the biggest of all time, was Michael Jackson, who experienced his prime in the 80s. In this decade he released his album “Thriller”, which, since then, has been one of the world’s top selling album ever, with an estimated 29 million copies in the US and about 66 million worldwide. Another major musical event of the 80s was what is considered to be the biggest one-hit-wonder ever. The song “Take On Me” by Norwegian band a-ha was released in 1985, and although nowadays it has become a joke, it used to be one of the most popular songs of its time.

Way We Lived in the 80s By: Carson Haggard

In the 80s life was a little different. Many families had 2 parents working for the first time because of the increase in cost of living. The 80s brought the beginning of cable TV. MTV and music videos were very popular in the 80s. Also ESPN began in the 80s which allowed for sports to play throughout the day. CNN began in 1980 which allowed for 24 hour news access. In the 80s there were no mobile phones which made it very difficult for children to communicate with their friends. Instead of cell phones beepers and pagers were used to communicate and became very popular. Gas prices in the 80s rose from 36 cents in 1970 to $1.19 in 1980. Many space shuttle missions began in the 1980s. Overall the 80s was a decade that saw many new advancements and changes from decades past.

Politics of the 80s By: Nicolas Puttre

There were many major political events in the 1980s, many of them being centered around the bringing down of the Soviet Union. These events were overlooked by the 3 United States presidents in office during the 80s, Jimmy Carter for one year, Ronald Reagan for 8, and George H. W. Bush for one. Early on in his presidency, Ronald Reagan was shot at when getting back into his limousine with three others. This was on the 30th of March, 1981, and the culprit was a man named John Hinckley. Reagan was shot in the chest, and had slightly severe damage for the placement of the gunshot, but he recovered quickly. On the bottom left is a picture of Reagan waving just before he gets shot by Hinckley. In September of the same year, the first woman Supreme court justice was elected, a woman by the name of Sandra Day O’Connor. She had previously been a two time Arizona state senator, but she was nominated for the Supreme Court by Reagan, and she was unanimously voted in, which shocked some people across the country. In 1983, an island in the Caribbean called Grenada had a Marxist coup that overthrew the government. The United States was quick to react, and didn’t want the island to fall to communism, so the Invasion of Grenada began. In a mere 3 months, the US beat out the communist government and completed the invasion of the small island.

Law And Justice of the 80s By: Carson Haggard

In the 1980s 2 major riots occurred in Miami, Florida. In 1980 the McDuffie riot took place after police officers were acquitted in the shooting of Arthur McDuffie. After this trial the riots lasted three days in the Overtown area. Arthur McDuffie was killed by 4 white police officers from injuries sustained during an arrest. Another significant event were the 1989 riots that occured after a Hispanic police officer shot a African American male fleeing from another officer. After this event there were 4 days of rioting in Overtown and Liberty City. The significant Supreme Court cases in the 1980s were related to discrimination: race, employment, and sexual harassment. Overall in the 1980s you saw a shift towards creating equality amongst races, genders, and the disabled in work places and throughout the society.

Foreign Affairs

The U.S. took part in many foreign affairs in the 1980s. Reagan sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union, and also had treaties with the leader of the Soviet Union, stopping them from having nuclear bombing access in the U.S. Secondly, the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein in the Iran Iraq war, yet he also angered the U.S. His invasion of Kuwait was a turning point in who America truly supported while they still kept bombing Iraq, and supporting the Iranian military. Lastly, the Lebanon War (1982) started when the Israel invaded Lebanon. Also, the Syrians launched missiles into Lebanon and the U.S. sent Marines to evacuate many Lebanese citizens.

Foreign Affairs

Continuing from before, the Iranians caused trouble with the U.S. The U.S. had leaked information that they had officially sold Contraband items to Iran in an effort to free hostages in Lebanon. Also, Chernobyl, a nuclear power plant in Ukraine, had a flawed reactor that caused the plant to get destroyed, and many civilians in Ukraine and Europe were affected with cancers and other diseases. Additionally, Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and forced the Soviet Union to take down the Berlin Wall for good. Lastly, an Iraqi war plane killed 37 sailors, yet Iraq denied this being their fault, and saying it was a sheer accident.

Domestic Affairs of the 80s - Economics By: Nicolas Puttre

The 80s Reagan era introduced a new economic plan with many new policies, and it was nicknamed Reaganomics. At the beginning, they hadn’t worked so well, and not many improvements seemed to have been made, but as time went on, the situation had gotten a bit better. The idea was to balance out the US government’s spending, especially that of military spending, as in the early 80s the Pentagon was at one point using $34 million dollars an hour, and it was not even offset by anything else. It got so bad the in 1982, the US was experiencing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Businesses were lost, shops were closed, farmers lost land, and millions of families were homeless and tons more people were unemployed. By late 1987, the policies actually balanced out the economy and Reagan was able to make things work after 6 years. Reaganomics then became very popular once again, something they hadn't been for years. Although Reaganomics are often looked as very beneficial for the people of the US, but they had created more debt than any other presidency in all of US history. In 1988, when Reagan left office, he had the highest approval rating since FDR, the man considered to be the best US president ever, with competition from only the man who banned slavery in the US, Abraham Lincoln. This led to his vice-president George H. W. Bush to be elected president by a landslide.

Domestic Affairs of the 80s - Culture By: Nicolas Puttre

The 80s was a decade of much patriotism, but also a culture that was never before seen, and will likely never be seen again. Bright neon colors combined weirdly, disco music, and hair bands came into the mainstream, and pop culture shifted to a wild and wacky form. In home computers started being developed, which lead to the beginning of video games and similar things. MTV, a sort of phenomenon at the time, took over people’s lives and influenced how they lived, dressed, and for once, made popular songs way more popular as they were played over and over again. The Soviet Union began to fall, and the Berlin wall did fall, and even though that is outside of the US, it sent this sense of pride and patriotism throughout the country in people of all ages, but especially in the older people. It showed that not only had capitalism prevailed over communism, but that the US was now the sole superpower in the world. Through neon clothes, disco music, long hair, and self-esteem restored in the country, the US would forever be changed by the 80s and all the events that happened within the 80s.

Book Review

Many famous novels and book were written in the 1980s, and some amazing authors reached their high point by writing some of the greatest literary works in the century. Some of these include Stephen King Misery, Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale, and many others


The 1980s was one of the most popular decades for board games and also a revolution for video games. The 1980s had some famous video game series such as Mario Bros., Pac Man, and Donkey Kong. Also some of the most popular board games originated from the 1980s, games such as Scrabble, Connect Four, Monopoly and Hungry Hungry Hippo. These games were popular because they required strategy, yet were still enjoyable among many in the 80s

Celebrity Gossip During the 80s By: Nicolas Puttre

The 80s were plagued with celebrity gossip, as there was MTV for the first time, which not only encouraged it, but broadcasted it to make money. Some of the most famous celebrity scandals happened during this infamous decade, and here are some of the main ones I have chosen. Rob Lowe had been a pretty famous actor and had started to make a lot of money, and by the time he was 22, he was already very well off professionally and economically. However, in an Atlanta bar, he managed to pick up two women, and after taking them back to his hotel room and taping them having sexual intercourse with him, he went to the bathroom and came back to find the tape and all his money gone. One of the girls was 16 as well, so he was criminally charged with 20 hours of community service. His career, however, would not end there, and he grew as an actor. Although Pete Rose had already retired from baseball, he bet on games played by his former team to make a little more money. He was known for all the records he had earned, but he truly became infamous in all households when he was banned from ever playing baseball again for betting on games. His ban shaped the way gambling on sports has been dealt with and looked at ever since. Marvin Gaye had become a huge musician, and like many that have sudden explosions of success, he couldn’t handle the pressure very well. He was prone to substance abuse in the 80s, and when he moved to his parent’s house, he constantly fought with his parents, and the arguments usually got violent. On April 1st, 1984, one of these arguments escalated quickly and Gaye was shot twice by his father, who was then convicted for manslaughter.

Citations Pt. 1 By: Nicolas Puttre Bolton, L. (2002). The everything classical mythology book: Greek and Roman gods, goddesses, heroes, and monsters from Ares to Zeus. Avon, MA: Adams Media.

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Citations Pt. 2 By: Nicolas Puttre McQuade, Dan. “Phillies Won't Honor Pete Rose After Statutory-Rape Accusation.” Deadspin,, 2 Aug. 2017, “Michael Jordan Famous Foul Line Dunk Vintage Sports (Basketball) Poster Print (35in x 23.5in): Posters & Prints.” Amazon, Amazon, OMG Views. “80s Fashion Trends...OMG, Did We Wear That!” OMG Views, 30 Apr. 2016, “Reaganomics.”, Independence Hall Association, RhinoEntertainment. “a-Ha - Take On Me (Official Video).” YouTube, YouTube, 6 Jan. 2010, “Shows.” MMVAs, Snyder, Deb. “U2 - My All-Time Favorite Band.” Pinterest, 19 Sept. 2015, “USA ANTHEM VERSUS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF THE SOVIET UNION.” YouTube, YouTube, 10 Apr. 2016, Miami Herald. “The Day Miami Was Rocked by Riot after Cops Cleared in McDuffie Beating.” “Supreme Court in the 1980s.” Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination: Questions And Answers, McG, Ross. “Growing up in the 80s Was Tough: 17 Things Kids Today Couldn't Handle.”Metro,, 14 Feb. 2015 Gilliam, Dorothy. “Public Education in the '80s: A Sense of Deepening Crisis.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 7 Jan. 1980, DeLeon, Jian. “The Greatest 80s Fashion Trends.” Complex, Complex, 3 Jan. 2018

80s presentation  
80s presentation