Portal:1980s

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The 1980s Portal

From left, clockwise: The first Space Shuttle, Columbia, lifted off in 1981; American president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev eased tensions between the two superpowers, leading to the end of the Cold War; The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 is considered to be one of the most momentous events of the 1980s; In 1981, the IBM Personal Computer is released; In 1985, the Live Aid concert was held in order to fund relief efforts for the famine in Ethiopia during the time Mengistu Haile Mariam ruled the country; Ukraine and much of the world is filled with radioactive debris from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster; The Iran–Iraq War leads to over one million dead and $1 trillion spent.


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The 1980s (pronounced "nineteen-eighties", commonly shortened as the "'80s", pronounced "eighties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1980, and ended on December 31, 1989.

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Tom Selleck on the red carpet at the 60th Annual Academy Awards, 4/11/88
Magnum, P.I. is an American crime drama television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the American CBS television network.

According to the Nielsen ratings, Magnum, P.I. consistently ranked in the top twenty U.S. television programs during the first five years that the series was originally broadcast in the United States.

Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV, a private investigator, played by Tom Selleck, resides in the guest house of a posh, 200-acre (81 ha) beachfront estate, known as Robin's Nest, in Hawaii, at the invitation of its owner, Robin Masters, the celebrated-but-never-seen author of several dozen lurid novels. Ostensibly this is quid pro quo for Magnum's services based upon Magnum's expertise in security; the pilot and several early episodes suggest Magnum also did Masters a favor of some kind, possibly when Masters hired him for a case. The voice of Robin Masters, heard only a few times per season, was provided by Orson Welles (one last "appearance" was provided by a different actor, Reid Crandell).

With Magnum living a luxurious life on the estate and operating as a P.I. on cases that suit him, the only thorn in the side of this near-perfect lifestyle on the estate is Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, played by John Hillerman, an ex-British Army Sergeant Major, a (on the surface) stern, "by-the-book" ex-soldier, whose strict ways usually conflict with Magnum's much more easy-going methods. He patrols Robin's Nest with his two highly trained "lads", Doberman Pinschers, Zeus and Apollo. Often as a humorous aside during various episodes of the series, Magnum must bargain with Higgins for use of estate amenities other than the guest house and the Ferrari 308 GTS (e.g., tennis courts, wine cellar, expensive cameras).

The relationship between Magnum and Higgins was initially cool but as the series progressed, an unspoken respect and fondness of sorts grew between the pair, and as such, many episodes dedicated more screen time to this "odd couple" pairing after the relationship proved popular with fans. A recurrent theme throughout the last two seasons (starting in the episode "Paper War") involves Magnum's sneaking suspicion that Higgins is actually Robin Masters since he opens Robin's mail, calls Robin's Ferrari "his car", etc. This suspicion is never proved or disproved.

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Oprah Winfrey at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles during one of her 50th birthday celebrations.
Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is now North America's first and only multi-billionaire Black. Several assessments regard her as the most influential woman in the world. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard.

Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication, she is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue, which a Yale study says broke 20th-century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream. By the mid-1990s she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing a confession culture, promoting controversial self-help ideas, and an emotion-centered approach, she is often praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others. From 2006 to 2008, Oprah Winfrey's endorsement of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race.


Did you know...

...that Phillip Glass' Akhnaten had its world premiere on March 24, 1984 ?
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