Toastmasters: 1980's facts

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Facts about the 1980's

Submitted: October 20, 2011

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Submitted: October 20, 2011

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I am going to tell you some interesting facts and history about the 1980’s and some information comparing the 80’s to now. Ronald Reagan was our 40th president and in my opinion one of the greatest president of our time. He was a great communicator. His speeches were filled with optimism comfort and patriotism. He made us feel proud about being Americans and confident in our nation’s future. He took a strong stand against Communism and challenged Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin wall. He is remembered for this famous quote: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” President Reagan was responsible for the break up of what was the USSR. Also in the 80’s Christa McAuliffe was the first civilian to be selected to go into space. This was an exciding event for America. Because she was a teacher, many people and students tuned in to watch the Challenger launch into space. To everyone’s shock and horror The Challenger exploded over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida 73 seconds into its flight. There were no survivors, seven astronauts died that day. Technology really took off in the 1980’s. It is remembered as the start of the “computer age” with the birth of the IBM personal computer; a computer that could be carried back and forth from work. Before then computers were huge machines that had to be housed in their own air conditioned rooms. Along with the Hardware and Software changes for the PC, new technology was evolving starting as Bulletin Boards later to become what we now know as the Internet and the beginnings of the World Wide Web or WWW for short. This was also the decade of the Post-it note which came from a glue invented accidentally in 1968 while 3M was trying to discover a stronger glue for its product line. The 1980’s also gave us the video games in arcades and Game Machines. The most popular games for these machines were: Space Invaders and Pac Man. Another technology that was just starting was Cellular mobile phones. They were big and heavy and hit or miss with reception, but as with the internet, would greatly change our lives. We were also starting to take more notice of the impact we were having on our planet so more research was being done on the effects of Global Warming through population growth, clearing of the rainforest and increased use of fossil fuels. Cable Networks were coming on the scene. Did you know that Fox Network was started in the 1980’s as a challenge to the three major networks of the time NBC, ABC, and CBS? People scoffed at the idea of Fox being a major competitor but look at it now, its pretty popular huh? Now I am going to tell you a bit about toys. It was in the 80’s that we saw the first mass explosion of hysteria for new toys with the winter shortage of the Cabbage Patch Doll. They were created by Xavier Roberts and he began to produce his dolls through Babyland General Hospital, an old clinic he converted into a “hospital”. The people that worked there dressed and acted as doctors and nurses caring for the dolls. Customers could visit the hospital to “adopt” their new babies. You had to name your dolls and register the adoption with the hospital. Cabbage patch dolls were one of the biggest pop culture crazes of its time. They were actually featured on the cover of Newsweek in December of 1983. Every child wanted one and it seems every mom and dad in the U.S. spent frantic days searching for the dolls to put under the Christmas tree. Another toy you probably all know, Trivial Pursuit, appeared in the 1980’s along with electronic toys of all kinds. Toys that could talk, move about, and imitate favorite cartoon characters. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers were big. Nintendo kicked off the home video game console era, can you believe it was 1989 when Game Boy was released and toys became not only complex but incredibly expensive. How did people pay for them when the average income was just $19,000 compared to the average income of 46,000 dollars today? The average home price was about 70,000 dollars compared 130,000 today. A gallon of gas cost a dollar and 20 cents, today its almost 4 dollars. When you went to buy a new car it only cost around 7,000 dollars now the average is 28,000. A gallon of milk was a dollar and 70 cents today we pay between 3-4 dollars. A hands free operating car phone ran around 800 dollars and cell phones today are free with phone plans. A loaf of bread back then cost 50 cents and now it is somewhere around $2.00. We have seen a lot of changes some good and some not so good since the 1980’s. I wonder what the next thirty years have in store for us.


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