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DECADES PROJECT (1980s). By Chris Caldwell Period 4. Ronald Reagan 40 th US President.

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Decades project 1980s



Chris Caldwell

Period 4

Key political figures

Ronald Reagan was born on February 6,1911 in Tampico, Illinois. Before becoming the 40th US president Ronald Reagan had a 7-year acting contract with warner brother and appeared in over 50 films (Ronald). Reagan took office in the year 1981 winning the campaign race against Jimmy Carter 489 electoral votes to 49. Shortly after his election, Reagan was shot by what appeared to be an assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr. After being shot the president did not die and resumed his term in that later year. President Reagan was mostly known for redefining the purpose of government and pressuring the Soviet Union to end the Cold War.

Key Political Figures

Fads and trends

In the 1980s the fads and trends all revolved around two things, video games and fashion. The major video games console were the Nintendo and Atari. Both consoles were hand held, but what set the Nintendo apart from the Atari was the fact it came with came cartridges and not preset games on it. The major fashion statements revolved around bright and vibrant colors, for women the wore “shoulder pads”, leg warmers and mini skirts. For guys it consisted of loose baggy clothing, Parachute pants and hoop `aqs`1 usually worn on the right ear lobe.

Fads and Trends

Quotes and famous speeches

The most important speeches was the speech Reagan Speech where he used the famous quote “Tear Down the Wall” where Reagan had referred to the Berlin wall and not having the boundaries. This speech led to the end of the Cold War and all the missile threats that had been going around.

Quotes and Famous Speeches


Mr. T was on the television show the A team where he was known as being the big enforces with his gold chains and

hoop earings. The body guard was know for the saying “I

pitty the fool”.

Billy Cosby the loving father or an African American house

hold in the hit serious The Cosby Show. Bill was the Doctor father who always had advice for everything and used his amazing humor to show why his advice was correct instead of punishment.

Denzel Washington, one of the greatest actors of all timestarted the prime of his career in the 80s with star movies such as Glory, Cry Freedom, and License to Kill here he showed the acting world he was more than a simple actor and could play multiple roles but is mostly known for that “serious” appeal



Eddie Murphy was known for being the comedian type of actor known as being the big enforces with his gold chains and

Could always keep the audience laughing is what he was best at. In the 80s the movies he was known for were Beverly hills cop, and Coming to America.

Steven Spielberg was one of the greatest directs of all time making magical movies such as Indiana Jones, The Color Purple, and most of all E.T where he shows how love can over power anything else even having a great friendship with an alien.

Al Pacino was famously know for Scarface where

he played the role of a powerful drug lord who

cant trust anyone and ends up killing everybody

who he believes betrayed him



NWA ( known as being the big enforces with his gold chains and Niggaz with attitude) was a group that had lyrics that expoided women refered to drugs and told a story about life in the “hood” how they had to express themselves to survive this treacherous lifestyle and with these powerful lyrics they were banned from the radio, but also called one of the best rap groups of all time.

Run DMC was the group known for their hot instrumental beats behind the lyrics in which they used a lot of metaphors related to how much they loved their group, family, and simply rap in general. Changing the rap game with their positive lyrics they also branded the clothing Adidas with the jumpsuits, shoes, and hats.

Michael Jackson, the king of pop had the best dance moves of all singers in the day and age and the creator of the world famous “moon walk”. He had the voice of an angel and was one of the very few men who could hit notes as high as he could. Simply a legend and will always be the kind of pop.



The 1980s game of basketball was changed when the Los Angeles Lakers drafted a 6”9 point guard with the first overall pick and this was unheard of before the time. It was the beginning of a dynasty. Magic Johnson lead the Lakers to 5 NBA championships in 10 years breaking may records such as triple doubles, rebounds for a point guard, and most points in a game for a point guard.

The greatest player of all time Michael Jordan Began his career in the 80s where he become known as the best to ever pick up a ball. A miracle story as how he didn’t even make his high school basketball team but practiced hard and made it further than anyone else breaking multiple scoring record and winning 6 NBA championship rings (most ever). Winning NBA dunk competitions as well and being the first to jump from the free-throw line “he really believes he can fly”.



Jerry Rice and Joe Montana were the duo of the decade winning 4 super bowl championships out of 6 appearances these guys were more then friends on and off the field there was a connection with them that no corner back or safety in the NFL could withstand and hold. Breaking records together such as most touchdowns, most yards, most completions, and completion yards. Every team that faced the 49s knew there was a threat that couldn’t be stopped and they kept that going until retirement.


Scientists inventors

Breakthroughs in medicine and technology occurred in the 80’s, including some of the most popular consumer products today. Baruch Blumberg was the scientist who discovered the vaccination for hepatitis-B in 1980, saving many from this deadly disease. Other breakthroughs in medicine include the invention of synthetic skin by G. Gregory Gallico, III in 1986, and the invention of Prozac (an anti-depressant) at the Eli Lilly Company by Ray Fuller in 1988. Along with medical inventions of the 80’s include the great inventions in technology. In 1981, the first demonstration of High-Definition Television occurred.. Then in 1984, the “Apple Lisa”, a personal computer, was invented by Apple who later invented the “Apple Macintosh” in 1984. Microsoft produced the first line of Windows products in 1985, and in 1988, digital cell phones were invented. (Bellis)

Scientists & Inventors

Artists movements

The song, “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was first prominent hip-hop song to provide a lyrical social commentary. It is a social narrative that details the struggles and difficulties due to living in poverty in the inner-city. In addition, it embodies the distress, anger, and sadness an individual has towards society. Songs like “The Message” inspired street art like graffiti, ultimately becoming more common in cities. The art form of graffiti in the 80’s represented political expression and how citizens felt towards the government and society. Famous graffiti artists of the time include figures such as Dondi who influenced the future of graffiti writers. (Arhontidis)

Artists & movements

Significant books

Popular books of the decade included Furious Five was first prominent hip-hop song to provide a lyrical The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (1980), The Scarman Report – The Brixton Disorders by Lord Scarman (1981), and The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982). The Restaurant at the End of the Universe was the talk of the beginning of the decade because it was the second book in the series of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which included some social satire. The Scarman Report – The Brixton Disorders is based off of Scarman’s investigation as to why Brixton went up in flames one weekend in April of 1981, and it depicts a vivid image of a new community coming into existence . The Color Purple ended up becoming a very significant book of its time due to the controversial topics of domestic violence, how oppressed individuals can unite as one to overcome their oppressors, and the idea of feminism and how a women should value what she can become. (McSmith)

Significant books

Historical events

The 1980s came with major wins and losses over the decade. The eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 was the worst volcanic disaster in the history of the United States. On December 8, 1980, musical legend John Lennon was shot and killed outside of his home in New York City by Mark David Chapman. The first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court was Sandra Day O’Connor on July 7, 1981. Michael Jackson’s acclaimed album Thriller was released on November 6, 1982. Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space in 1983. On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle’s Challenger exploded 73 seconds after take-off, killing all 7 passengers on board. At 1:23 am on April 26th, 1986, the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant occurred, killing 31 at the time. On onDecember 21, 1988 at 7:03 pm, Pan Am Flight 103, a London to New York flight, exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing a total of 270 people. In the evening of November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall finally fell, making Germany into a whole country again. (Rosenberg)

Historical events

Military conflicts

On April 26, 1980, American troops gave an unsuccessful attempt to rescue over 60 American hostages being held in Tehran. After this failed attempt and Ronald Reagan took office, Reagan launched the largest peacetime defense build-up in the United State’s history. During the early 1980s, the United States deployed troops twice to Lebanon to deal with the fall-out from the Israeli invasion. On October 23, 1983, a truck bomb exploded at the vulnerable marine headquarters, killing 241 marines -the largest loss of life in a military operation since Vietnam. The invasion of Panama in December 1989 involved 27, 000 U.S. troops, the largest American military operation since Vietnam. Named, “Operation Just Cause”, U.S. troops goal was to protect the Panama canal and the lives of 35,000 Americans in Panama. The surprise attack on Panama overwhelmed the Panamanian defense forces, and resulted in the capture of their leader, Manuel Noriega. (PBS)

Military conflicts