Portal:1980s

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1980s

The 1980s, spoken as "the Nineteen Eighties" or abbreviated as "the Eighties" or "the '80s", was the decade that began on January 1, 1980, and ended on December 31, 1989. This was the ninth decade of the 20th century.

The time period saw great social, economic, and general change as wealth and production migrated to newly industrializing economies. As economic liberalization increased in the developed world, multiple multinational corporations associated with the manufacturing industry relocated to Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China. Developed countries such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and West Germany continued to enjoy rapid economic growth during the decade. Glasnost and Perestroika in the Soviet Union, and the fall of the Berlin Wall, paved the way for its dissolution in the early 1990s, and transition from the bipolar world of the Cold War.

The 80s also represented a significant technological and cultural transition, as computing expanded from a primarily business and academic phenomenon into the home with the advent of the personal computer, accompanied by the growth of the software industry, ultimately paving the way for the World Wide Web on the Internet.

Selected article

Food Supply (Energy base).
A widespread famine affected the inhabitants of today's Eritrea and Ethiopia from 1983 to 1985. The worst famine to hit the country in a century, in northern Ethiopia it led to more than 400,000 deaths, but more than half this mortality can be attributed to human rights abuses that caused the famine to come earlier, strike harder, and extend further than would otherwise have been the case. Other areas of Ethiopia experienced famine for similar reasons, resulting in tens of thousands of additional deaths. The tragedy as a whole took place within the context of more than two decades of insurgency and civil war.

The famine of 1983–85 is often ascribed to drought. While climatic causes and consequences certainly played a part in the tragedy, it has been suggested that widespread drought occurred only some months after the famine was under way. The famines that struck Ethiopia between 1961 and 1985, and in particular the one of 1983–5, were in large part created by government policies, specifically the set of counter-insurgency strategies employed and so-called "social transformation" in non-insurgent areas.

Selected picture

ShowBiz Pizza Place
Credit: Ray Schumin

A child speaks to Billy Bob, mascot of ShowBiz Pizza Place in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Selected biography

Flash at the wheels of steel
Joseph Saddler (born January 1, 1958), better known as Grandmaster Flash, is an American hip hop recording artist and DJ. He is considered to be one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, becoming the first hip hop act to be so honored.

Joseph Saddler's family migrated to the United States from Barbados, in the Caribbean, and he grew up in The Bronx, New York. He attended Samuel Gompers High School, a public vocational school, where he learned how to repair electronic equipment. Saddler's parents played an important role in his interest in music. His parents came from Barbados and his father was a big fan of Caribbean and black American records. As a child, Saddler was fascinated by his father's record collection. In an interview, he reflected: "My father was a very heavy record collector. He still thinks that he has the stronger collection. I used to open his closets and just watch all the records he had. I used to get into trouble for touching his records, but I'd go right back and bother them." Saddler's early interest in DJing came from this fascination with his father's record collection as well as his mother's desire for him to educate himself in electronics. After high school, he became involved in the earliest New York DJ scene, attending parties set up by early luminaries.


Did you know...

...that the first Laser tag arena opened in 1984?
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