Portal:1980s
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Portal:1980s


The 1980s Portal

From left, clockwise: The first Space Shuttle, Columbia, lifts off in 1981; American president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev eases 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 is 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.

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

Selected article

John Lennon's Apartment in New York
John Lennon was an English musician who gained worldwide fame as one of the members of the Beatles, for his subsequent solo career, and for his political activism and pacifism. He was shot by Mark David Chapman in the archway of the building where he lived, The Dakota, in New York City on 8 December 1980. Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono.

After sustaining four major gunshot wounds, Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital. He was 40 years old. At the hospital, it was stated that nobody could have lived for more than a few minutes after sustaining such injuries. Shortly after local news stations reported Lennon's death, crowds gathered at Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota. Lennon was cremated on December 10, 1980 at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York; the ashes were given to Ono, who chose not to hold a funeral for him. The first media report of Lennon's death to a US national audience was announced by Howard Cosell, on ABC's Monday Night Football.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz went to the Lennons' apartment to do a photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine. Leibovitz promised Lennon that a photo with Ono would make the front cover of the magazine, even though she initially tried to get a picture with Lennon by himself. Lennon insisted that both he and his wife be on the cover, and after taking the pictures, Leibovitz left their apartment at 3:30 p.m. After the photo shoot, Lennon gave what would be his last interview, to San Francisco DJ Dave Sholin, for a music show to be broadcast on the RKO Radio Network. At 5:40 p.m., Lennon and Ono, delayed by a late limousine, left their apartment to mix the song "Walking on Thin Ice" (an Ono song featuring Lennon on lead guitar) at the Record Plant Studio.

Selected image

An HP 2647A graphics display terminal
Credit: Autopilot

An HP 2647A graphics display terminal connected to a HP 1000 E-Series minicomputer.

Selected biography

Steven Spielberg at the Cannes Film Festival
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE OMRI (born December 18, 1946) is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Spielberg is considered as one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era, as well as being viewed as one of the most popular directors and producers in film history. He is one of the co-founders of DreamWorks Studios.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust (in Schindler's List), the transatlantic slave trade (in Amistad), war (in Empire of the Sun, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse and Bridge of Spies) and terrorism (in Munich). His other films include Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones film series, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Three of Spielberg's films--Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993)--achieved box office records, originated and came to epitomize the blockbuster film. The unadjusted gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $9 billion worldwide, making him the highest-grossing director in history. His personal net worth is estimated to be more than $3 billion. He has been associated with composer John Williams since 1974, who composed music for all save five of Spielberg's feature films.


Did you know...

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

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