Portal:1980s

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1980s

The 1980s, spoken as "the Nineteen Eighties" or abbreviated as "the Eighties" or "the '80s", was the decade that began on January 1, 1980, and ended on December 31, 1989, this was the ninth decade of the 20th century.

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.

Selected article

Larry Hagman attending the "Night of 100 Stars" for the 82nd Academy Awards viewing party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA on March 7, 2010
"Who shot J.R.?" is an advertising catchphrase that American network CBS created in 1980 to promote the television series Dallas. It referred to the mystery surrounding a murder attempt against the character J.R. Ewing in the show's third-season finale, which was not resolved until a fourth-season episode that aired eight months later.

In the final scene of the 1979–80 season, J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) hears a noise outside his office, walks out to the corridor to look, and is shot twice by an unseen assailant. The episode, titled "A House Divided", was broadcast on March 21, 1980 and was written by Loraine Despres and directed by Leonard Katzman. Viewers had to wait all summer to learn whether J.R. would survive, and which of his many enemies was responsible.

Ultimately, the person who pulled the trigger was revealed to be Kristin Shepard (Mary Crosby) in the "Who Done It?" episode which aired on November 21, 1980. Kristin was J.R.'s scheming sister-in-law and mistress, who shot him in a fit of anger. J.R. did not press charges, as Kristin claimed she was pregnant with his child as a result of their affair.

Production for the 1980–81 season began in June 1980, but Hagman—who had begun the show in a secondary role but now was the star—refused to film the show without a raise, he returned to work ten days later with a new contract that paid him $100,000 per episode and royalties from J.R. Ewing merchandise. Viewers had to wait an additional two months to find out the answer to the famous question, however, as a strike by the Writers Guild of America began in July that delayed the production of most new network shows by eight weeks. During the delay, CBS showed early Dallas episodes featuring J.R. Ewing, helping the show's many new fans better understand his character.

Selected picture

Mount St. Helens from the northeast.
Credit: Donald A. Swanson

Mount St. Helens from the northeast.

Selected biography

The Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. Known alternatively in Scotland as Duke of Rothesay and in South West England as Duke of Cornwall, he is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, having held the position since 1952. He is also the oldest person to be next-in-line to the throne since Sophia of Hanover (the heir presumptive to Queen Anne), who died in 1714 at the age of 83.

Charles was born at Buckingham Palace as the first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, he was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun Schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had attended as a child, as well as the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. After earning a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity College, Cambridge, Charles served in the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976.

In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer and they had two sons: Prince William (born 1982) later to become Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry (born 1984). In 1996, the couple divorced, following well-publicised extra-marital affairs. Diana died in a car crash in Paris the following year; in 2005, Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, who uses the title Duchess of Cornwall.


Did you know...

that NetHack was originally released in 1987?
...that NetHack was originally released in 1987?
Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

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