1980 was all about change. For me, for everyone. I started first grade at Claiborne Elementary Fundamental Magnet School and the country elected Ronald Reagan. John Lennon was murdered. My sister refused to wear her Halloween costume as a costume, so she was Princess Dallas Cowboy, I guess?
Here are the facts:
- January 7 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs legislation approving $1.5 billion in loan guarantees to bail out the Chrysler Corporation.\
- January 31 – The Spanish Embassy in Guatemala is invaded and set on fire, killing 36 people. It is called “Spain’s own Tehran”, similar to the 1979–80 Iran American hostage crisis.
- February 22 – The United States Olympic Hockey Team defeats the Soviet Union in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics, in the Miracle on Ice.
- March 8 – The Soviet Union‘s first rock music festival starts.
- March 21 — U.S. President Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.
- March 22 – The Georgia Guidestones are erected in Elbert County, Georgia.
- April 1 — The 1980 United States Census begins. There are 226,545,805 United States residents on this day.
- April 7 – The United States severs diplomatic relations with Iran and imposes economic sanctions, following the taking of American hostages on November 4, 1979.
- May 11 – Mobster Henry Hill is arrested for drug possession.
- May 18 — Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 and causing US$3 billion in damage.
- Ian Curtis, singer/songwriter of acclaimed post punk band Joy Division, is found hanged.
- May 21 – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is released.
- June 1 – The first 24 hour news channel Cable News Network (CNN) is launched
- June 9 – In Los Angeles, comedian Richard Pryor is badly burned trying to freebase cocaine.
- November 4 – United States presidential election, 1980: Republican challenger and former Governor Ronald Reagan of California defeats incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter, exactly 1 year after the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis.
- December 8 – John Lennon is shot dead outside his apartment in New York City by Mark David Chapman.
Not exactly an uplifting year. And Music in 1980 was this bizarre mesh of disco, country/pop, R&B, punk, new wave, heavy metal, and soft rock all over the radio. Everything from Diana Ross to Kenny Rogers to AC/DC were being played and there was even Ska and Rockabilly, which makes 1980 the most unique year maybe in modern music history. It reflected what was going on in the world — uncertainty and change. My song for 1980 is “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division, not just because it was their biggest song, not because it was the year Ian Curtis committed suicide, but because it has the haunting sense of “what’s next?” that the year had.
Film in 1980? This is all that matters. 9 to 5. I apologize for the crappy video, but this IS the best scene.