Back to the past
The man, the decade
Reaganomics
Wall Street glitz
The Cold War and the Soviet Union
Three letters that changed movies
8-bit fun
Pac-Man Fever
Personal Computer
Keep on walkin'
We will rock you!
The King of Pop
Like a virgin
Some kid from Minnesota
Between masculine and femenine
Sweet dreams are made of this...
Gothic
Hair metal
The Boss himself
Who are you gonna call?
Phone home!
Where we're going we don't need roads
Professor of Archaeology, expert on the occult, obtainer of rare antiquities
Tears in the rain
Hasta la vista, baby
The need for speed
A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal
The rich and infamous
Our favorite visitor from Melmac
The Super Bowl Shuffle
1980 Olympic Games
1984 Olympic Games
Miracle on Ice
Air Jordan
The rise and fall of Pete Rose
Taking off the rose-tinted glasses
A silent pandemic
A space tragedy
The Iran-Contra Affair
A new decade
Blast from the past: 40 pictures from America in the 1980s
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Back to the past

Remember the 80s? The clothes, the music, the looks, the movies. Truly, there won't be another decade like that. Here are 40 images to make you feel like you went to high school with Molly Ringwald.

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The man, the decade

Ronald Reagan became President of the United States in 1980, getting reelected in 1984. The Gipper, as he was nicknamed, set the tone for the decade with his old-fashioned values packaged in a personable all-American style and can-do attitude.

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Reaganomics

One of the biggest tenets of the Reagan administration was trickle-down economics, or 'Reaganomics'. This was around the same time that similar policies arose in the UK and elsewhere.

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Wall Street glitz

The world and culture revolved around the New York stock market and its location: Wall Street. The gray financial sphere suddenly became one where dreams and glamour converged.

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The Cold War and the Soviet Union

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, which Reagan dubbed 'The Evil Empire', raged on till the end of the decade. With both superpowers going head-to-head with their nuclear arsenal, every moment felt like a countdown to doomsday.

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Three letters that changed movies

Decades before Netflix, VHS allowed people to watch movies at home whenever they wanted to. Introduced to the market in 1976, the videotape really took off in the 1980s and changed home entertainment forever.

Image: Josh Chiodo / Unsplash

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8-bit fun

Movies weren't the only thing people could now enjoy from home. Video game consoles such as the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo Entertainment System allowed playing games on your TV set in all of its 8-bit glory.

Image: Jason Leung / Unsplash

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Pac-Man Fever

Only a few could afford to play Pac-Man from home, though. For everyone else, there was the arcade, with hours and hours of fun a quarter at a time.

Image: Kyle Nieber / Unsplash

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Personal Computer

Until the 1980s, having a computer in your own home seemed like something out of science fiction. Personal computers such as the Macintosh, which was introduced in 1984, changed our relationship with technology forever.

Image: Jack Guo / Unsplash

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Keep on walkin'

The Walkman, released in 1979, gave people the freedom of listening to their own music while on the go, or just whenever and wherever they wanted!

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We will rock you!

And what music there was! From some of the greatest rock and pop singles to the beginning of rap, hip hop, and techno. 80s music had it all.

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The King of Pop

Michael Jackson grew from the Jackson 5 to become one of the indisputable icons of the decade. Singles like 'Billie Jean', 'Beat it' and 'Thriller' are songs that remain popular today.

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Like a virgin

Where there's a king, there's a queen, and Madonna ruled as 'The Queen of Pop' through the 1980s with a mix of raw, unashamed eroticism and songs like 'Vogue' and 'Material girl'.

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Some kid from Minnesota

The musical aristocracy didn't end there. A young musician from Minnesota by the name of Prince made the world funkier with his flamboyant, gender-bending style and albums like 'Purple Rain'.

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Between masculine and femenine

Speaking of gender-bending, artists like Boy George were blurring the lines of masculine and feminine before Millennials were even born!

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Sweet dreams are made of this...

On the other end of the spectrum, you had the androgynous Annie Lennox from the band The Eurythmics.

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Gothic

The 1980s also saw the evolution of new subcultures among young people, such as the goths. One of the most memorable examples of this trend is the band The Cure and its frontman Robert Smith.

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Hair metal

Though arguably, the most popular rock music came from hair metal bands such as Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.

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The Boss himself

And of course, one can't talk about music in the 1980s without mentioning The Boss himself, Mr. Bruce Springsteen.

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Who are you gonna call?

Blockbusters! The 1980s was just not a time of big music stars, but also of big movies and the rise of the summer blockbuster. Many of these motion pictures have become indisputable classics that live on in our hearts.

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Phone home!

The top-grossing movie in the 1980s was 'E. T. The Extraterrestrial', the story of a little boy who meets a strange alien trying to find his way back home.

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Where we're going we don't need roads

'Back to the Future' offered us an adventure through different periods, filled with 1950s nostalgia through a 1980s soul. Who wouldn't want to go back in time?

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Professor of Archaeology, expert on the occult, obtainer of rare antiquities

Before DC or Marvel superhero movies were a thing, the original Indiana Jones trilogy gave an entire generation thrill after thrill with colorful characters and exotic adventures.

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Tears in the rain

Of course, Harrison Ford was more than Indy. Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner' managed to elevate science fiction to new heights while offering a different, grimmer vision of the future.

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Hasta la vista, baby

'The Terminator', a science fiction movie very different from 'Blade Runner', introduced to the world a then-unknown Austrian bodybuilder by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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The need for speed

The 1980s also introduced to the world a whole new generation of new stars. Some like Tom Cruise, seen here in 'Top Gun', continue to shine today.

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A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal

However, cinema in the 1980s was not solely a manly man's realm. Movies like 'The breakfast club' gave us a new perspective on being a teenager with the likes of Molly Ringwald, Michael Anthony Hall, and Emilo Estévez.

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The rich and infamous

Of course, you could stay home and enjoy all the glamour and backstabbing of shows like 'Dallas' (pictured), 'Dynasty' and 'Falcon Crest'.

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Our favorite visitor from Melmac

There were also sitcoms full of family fun and imagination, such as 'ALF' and 'Small Wonder'.

Pictured: The cast of 'ALF'

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The Super Bowl Shuffle

The 1980s also brought some memorable sporting moments. Just ask the 1985 Chicago Bears, who won the Super Bowl that year with a nearly loss-free season and snatched a Grammy nomination for their single 'The Super Bowl Shuffle'.

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1980 Olympic Games

Politics got tangled with sports, which was inevitable in the middle of the Cold War. The United States and its allies boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

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1984 Olympic Games

As a retaliation, the URSS and other socialist countries declined to participate in the 1984 Olympic Games, which took place in Los Angeles

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Miracle on Ice

However, probably the most memorable moment of the Cold War in sports during this decade was the victory of the US national hockey team against the URSS, which was the favorite, during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

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Air Jordan

Meanwhile, a young, promising basketball player by the name of Michael Jordan began making a name for himself. Many agree that Jordan is one of the best basketball players in the history of the NBA.

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The rise and fall of Pete Rose

Baseball player Pete Rose started out the decade as an important part of the Cincinnati Reds, led them as manager for three years, and was unceremoniously banned from the Major Leagues after a gambling scandal in 1989.

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Taking off the rose-tinted glasses

Nonetheless, although we might recall the good things about the 1980s, not everything was so peachy back then.

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A silent pandemic

The outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s was met with prejudice from government authorities, resulting in a lack of swift, concise action. Celebrities like Freddy Mercury and Rock Hudson were among the thousands who were victims of the disease.

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A space tragedy

On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle 'Challenger' exploded a few seconds after taking off. The seven members of the crew perished.

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The Iran-Contra Affair

Amidst the Cold War, the Reagan administration supported some shady actions to keep its allies and influence in the Western hemisphere. Probably the most infamous of these was the Iran-Contra Affair.

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A new decade

Ronald Reagan left the White House in 1988. One year later, in November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, and in just a few years the Soviet Union dissolved. It was truly the end of an era.

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