1986 Facts, Fun Trivia and History
Quick Facts from 1986:
|Top Ten Baby Names of 1986:
Jessica, Ashley, Amanda, Jennifer, Sarah, Michael, Chris, Topher, Matthew, Joshua, David
|Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols:
Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson
|Leading Men and Hollywood Hunks:
Tom Cruise, Michael Hutchence, Mickey Rourke, Paul Newman
“I feel the need… the need for speed!”
“Pork. The other white meat”
“Yeah… That’s The Ticket”
“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV”
|Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Susan Akin (Meridian, MS)
Christy Fichtner (Texas)
|The Little Recognized Invention:
Jim Moylan invented the gas tank indicator arrow (the little triangle on your gas gauge indicating which side your gas tank is one) in 1986 and was introduced in select Ford models in 1989. He chose not to patent it and other manufacturers soon copied his idea in their vehicles.
The hijackers were unable to decipher the American passengers from non-American passengers the situation escalated as the hijackers began shooting and detonating explosives. Bhanot deployed the emergency escape doors and began frantically guiding passengers out of the plane. One of the last to remain, a hijacker grabbed her by her ponytail and shot her point-blank while she was shielding three American children from gunfire. She died two days before her 22nd birthday. She saved the majority of the passengers and the flight crew.
During one of the strangest natural disasters in history, Lake Nyos suffocated over 1,700 people in one night with CO2.
Iran-Contra: Several members of the Reagan Administration helped sell arms to Iran, a known enemy of the United States, and used the proceeds to fund the Contras, an anti-communist guerrilla organization in Nicaragua.
The USSR’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant reactor # 4 had a mishap, giving radiation poisoning to an estimated 500,000 to 6,000,000 people. The remaining three reactors continued to operate until 1991, 1996 and 2000 respectively. The USSR created and distributed a forged letter that “exposed” the US government “conspiracy” to overstate the seriousness of Chernobyl meltdown
Cleveland, Ohio’ Balloonfest released 1.5 million balloons in the air in order to break a Guinness World Record. The event was never recognized by Guinness.
Tonight Show host Johnny Carson’s good friend and occasional guest Tonight Show host, Joan Rivers, started a late night talk show on FOX. He never spoke to her again.
Bobby Ewing came out of the shower, alive. The prior season of Dallas had been a dream.
12 members of a Florida jury got stuck in the courthouse elevator for 20 minutes. The jurors were hearing a case against the Otis elevator company.
Pop Culture Facts & History:
Released in 1979, in 1986, the word “Walkman” entered the Oxford English Dictionary.
Teacher Pleasant Rowland created the first ‘American Girl’ dolls. Mattel bought the product line in 1998.
Burning Man, in the Black Rock Desert of northwest Nevada, started in 1986 with 35 attendees and free admission.
The phrase “Be afraid. Be very afraid” was first spoken (in Pop Culture) by Geena Davis in the 1986 film The Fly.
James Cameron got the approval to make Aliens by writing the word ‘Alien’ on a board, then adding an ‘s’ and turning it into a dollar sign.
Pixar started as a computer division of Lucasfilm in 1979. Then, George Lucas sold the company to Steve Jobs and renamed it to “Pixar” in 1986. Now, both Lucasfilm and Pixar are the sister companies and a part of The Walt Disney Company.
Andy Warhol’s final work before his death was the cover of Aretha Franklin’s 1986 album Aretha.
Hosted by Geraldo Rivera, The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults was the most-watched live television special of 1986 with an audience of 30 million. The vault was hidden under the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, where the Prohibition-era gangster Capone ran his criminal operations until his arrest in 1931.
A Food Packing Plant owner in California came up with the baby carrot as a way of not wasting misshapen carrots.
Camcorders started to become a regular household item.
While working as a marine biology teacher in 1986, Stephen Hillenburg was asked to create an educational comic about anthropomorphized sea life. He later adapted the characters within it, such as “Bob the Sponge”, into one of the most popular and longest-running children’s series of all time. #spongebob
Aerosmith and Run DMC mixed rock and hip hop with Walk This Way.
Two unknown men attacked CBS broadcaster Dan Rather in 1986 New York while repeating “Kenneth, what is the frequency?” R.E.M turned the phrase into the song What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? and it was the first song to debut at number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart.
Peter Gabriel’s stop-motion music video for Sledgehammer raised the bar for video production.
Harrods, a small restaurant in the town of Otorohanga, New Zealand, was threatened with a lawsuit by the famous department store of the same name. In response, the town changed its name to Harrodsville and renamed all of its businesses ‘Harrods’.
Orson Welles gave his voice in the 1986 animated adaptation of The Transformers. This was his last role before his death.
Mets fan Mike Sergio parachuted on to the Shea Stadium field during the 1986 World Series. Although he was jailed for 21 days and given 500 hours of community service, he refused to reveal the pilot’s name. #notarat
In 1986 Danny Heep became the first player in a World Series to be a designated hitter (DH) with the initials “D.H.”
Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise, inspired Navy recruitment to go up 500%.
Five-year-old Levan Merritt fell into the gorilla enclosure and lost consciousness. Jambo, a gorilla, stood guard over the boy, even petting him, while the boy was unconscious, placing himself between the boy and other gorillas in what ethologists analyze as a protective gesture.
Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1986: $550,000.
King County, the largest county in Washington state, was named after slave owner (and former US Vice President) William Rufus King. In 1986, the county council voted to retroactively change the namesake without having to change names – King County is now officially named in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
Finding out that last year’s Dallas TV show entire season was just Bobby Ewing’s (Patrick Duffy) dream
Participating with ‘Hands Across America’ on Sunday, May 25, 1986. Over six million people participated and at 3:00 EST, radio stations across America played the song Hands Across America.
|1st Appearances & 1986’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents:
Real Ghostbusters action figures, My Pet Monster, Panini Football stickers, Outburst, Balderdash
|Popular and Best-selling Books From 1986:
A Perfect Spy by John le Carre
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum
Hollywood Husbands by Jackie Collins
I’ll Take Manhattan by Judith Krantz
It by Stephen King
Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
Last of the Breed by Louis L’Amour
Lie Down with Lions by Ken Follett
The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy
Wanderlust by Danielle Steel
Whirlwind by James Clavell
Me and My Girl (Musical) Opened on August 10, 1986, and closed on December 31, 1989
|East End Show:|
The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) Opened on October 9, 1986
|Best Film Oscar Winner:|
Out of Africa (presented in 1986)
|The Big Movies: (according to boxofficemojo)|
1. Top Gun
2. Crocodile Dundee
4. The Karate Kid Part II
5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
6. Back To School
8. The Golden Child
9. Ruthless People
10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
|1986 Most Popular TV shows:|
1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. Family Ties (NBC)
3. Cheers (NBC)
4. Murder She Wrote (NBC)
5. The Golden Girls (NBC)
6. 60 Minutes (CBS)
7. Night Court (NBC)
8. Growing Pains (ABC)
9. Moonlighting (ABC)
10. Who’s the Boss? ( ABC)
January 18 – February 14:
March 22 – March 28:
May 17 – June 6:
World Series Champions: New York Mets
Superbowl XX Champions: Chicago Bears
NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadians
U.S. Open Golf Ray Floyd
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Ivan Lendl/Martina Navratilova
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Boris Becker/Marina Navratilova
NCAA Football Champions: Penn State
NCAA Basketball Champions: Louisville
Kentucky Derby: Ferdinand
World Cup (Soccer): Argentina