Portal:1980s

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1980s

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.

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.

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Chicago's 16th Annual Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade, June 1985.
Boombox is a common term for a portable cassette and AM/FM radio (and, beginning in the 1990s, a CD player) with an amplifier, two or more loudspeakers and a carrying handle. A boombox is a device typically capable of receiving radio stations and playing recorded music (usually cassettes or CDs, usually at a high volume). Many models are also capable of recording onto cassette tapes from radio and other sources. Designed for portability, boomboxes can be powered by batteries as well as by line current. The boombox was introduced to the American market during the mid-1970s. The desire for louder and heavier bass led to bigger and heavier boxes; by the 1980s, some boomboxes had reached the size of a suitcase. Most boomboxes were battery-operated, leading to extremely heavy, bulky boxes.

The boombox quickly became associated with urban society, particularly African American and Hispanic youth. The wide use of boomboxes in urban communities led to the boombox being coined a "ghetto blaster", a pejorative nickname which was soon used as part of a backlash against the boombox and hip hop culture. Cities began banning boomboxes from public places, and they became less acceptable on city streets as time progressed. The boombox became closely linked to hip hop culture and was instrumental in the rise of hip hop music.

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Mrs. Reagan sitting on Mr. T's lap after
Mr. T (born Lawrence Tureaud; May 21, 1952) is an American actor known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, for his appearances as a professional wrestler, and for being a rapper. Mr. T is known for his trademark African Mandinka warrior hairstyle, his gold jewelry, and his tough-guy image. In 2006 he starred in the reality show I Pity the Fool, shown on TV Land, the title of which comes from the catchphrase of his Lang character.

Mr. T was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest son in a family with twelve children. His father, Nathaniel Tureaud, Sr., was a minister. Tureaud, with his four sisters and seven brothers, grew up in a three-room apartment in one of the city's housing projects, the Robert Taylor Homes, in a poorly constructed building, in an area with high levels of environmental pollutants and the largest concentration of poverty in America. While growing up, Tureaud regularly witnessed murder, rape, and other crimes, but attributes his survival and later success to his will to do well and his mother's love.

Tureaud attended Dunbar Vocational High School, where he played football, wrestled, and studied martial arts. While at Dunbar he became the city-wide wrestling champion two years in a row. He won a football scholarship to Prairie View A&M University, where he majored in mathematics, but was expelled after his first year.

He then enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Military Police Corps. In November 1975, Tureaud was awarded a letter of recommendation by his drill sergeant, and in a cycle of six thousand troops Tureaud was elected "Top Trainee of the Cycle" and was also promoted to squad leader. In July 1976, Tureaud's platoon sergeant punished him by giving him the detail of chopping down trees during training camp at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, but did not tell him how many trees, so Tureaud single-handedly chopped down over 70 trees from 6:30–10:00 a.m., when a shocked major superseded the sergeant's orders.


Did you know...

that John Moschitta, Jr. is best known as "The Micro Machines Man"?
...that John Moschitta is best known as "The Micro Machines Man"?

(Pictured left: Galoob Micro Machines ladder truck.

Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

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