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1981 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Loni Anderson, Barbara Bach, Catherine Bach, Kim Basinger, Valerie Bertinelli, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Charo, Joan Collins, Lydia Cornell, Bo Derek, Linda Evans, Morgan Fairchild, Farrah Fawcett, Jane Fonda, Erin Gray, Debbie Harry, Goldie Hawn, Marilu Henner, Lauren Hutton, Grace Jones, Nastassja Kinski, Jessica Lange, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Victoria Principal, Tanya Roberts, Diana Ross, Brooke Shields, Jacquelyn Smith, Suzanne Somers, Donna Summer, Heather Thomas, Cheryl Tiegs, Charlene Tilton, Mary Woronov

Sex Symbols, Leading Men and Hollywood Hunks:
Harrison Ford, Mickey Rourke, Warren Beatty, Burt Reynolds, John Travolta

“The Quotes:”
“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans. ”
– President Ronald Reagan

“Betcha can’t eat just one”
-Lay’s Potato Chips

“No wire hangers, ever!”
– Faye Dunaway, in ‘Mommie Dearest’

“Listen to me, mister. You’re my knight in shining armor. Don’t you forget it. You’re going to get back on that horse, and I’m going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we’re gonna go, go, go!”
– Katharine Hepburn, in ‘On Golden Pond’

“We bring good things to life”
-General Electric (GE)

“Be all that you can be”
– United States Army ad

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Lech Walesa

Miss America:
Susan Powell (Elk City, OK)

Miss USA:
Kim Seelbrede (Ohio)

The Scandals:
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke cooked up a story about an 8-year-old heroin addict named Jimmy. He didn’t exist, but her pleas that he could have existed didn’t stop her from getting in trouble.

Jack Henry Abbott was a felon/murderer/bank robber who wrote In the Belly of the Beast while in prison. Norman Mailer and others vouched for him… he was released and soon stabbed an employee at a restaurant who told him he could not use the employee’s rest room. Back in prison, he killed himself in 2002.

Actress Drowning Death:
Actress Natalie Wood died, apparently falling overboard after a day/night sailing with hubby Robert Wagner and mutual friend Christopher Walken.

Actor Injury Death:
William Holden was drunk, fell and cut his head open. He didn’t realize how injured he was, didn’t call for help, and died from the what should have been a fairly easy stitching. He was also probably the actor Suzanne Vega “never heard of” mentioned in her hit Tom’s Diner.

Pop Star Automobile Death:
Harry Chapin

Nerd News:
MTV began on August 1st. The first video, all vidNerds know was ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by the Buggles. The second was Pat Benatar’s ‘You Better Run.’

Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

“Bulimia” was the new word du jour.

The Smurfs, created in 1958, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series brought them into American pop culture. Though many fans think Smurfette was the only female Smurf, there were actually two more – Nanny Smurf and Sassette Smurf. There was no Smurfina.

Prince Charles married Lady Diana on July 29, 1981. It was on TV and in all the newspapers.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1981: $275,000

The Habit:
Working on the Rubik’s Cube, Donkey Kong, Frogger (arcade), playing with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe action figures.

Best Film Oscar Winner:
Ordinary People (presented in 1981)

The Big Movies: (according to boxofficemojo)
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. On Golden Pond
3. Superman II
4. Arthur
5. Stripes
6. The Cannonball Run
7. Chariots Of Fire
8. For Your Eyes Only
9. The Four Seasons
10. Time Bandits

1981 Most Popular TV shows:
1. Dallas (CBS)
2. 60 Minutes (CBS)
3. The Jeffersons (CBS)
4. Three’s Company (ABC)
5. Alice (CBS)
6. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS)
7. Too Close For Comfort (ABC)
8. ABC Monday Night Movie (ABC)
9. M*A*S*H (CBS)
10. One Day at a Time (CBS)

1981 Billboard Number One Songs:
December 27, 1980 – January 30, 1981:
(Just Like) Starting Over John Lennon

January 31 – February 6:
The Tide Is High Blondie

February 7 – February 20:
Celebration Kool & The Gang

February 21 – March 6:
9 to 5 Dolly Parton

March 7 – March 20:
I Love A Rainy Night Eddie Rabbitt

March 21 – March 27:
Keep On Loving You – REO Speedwagon

March 28 – April 10:
Rapture – Blondie

April 11 – May 1:
Kiss On My List – Hall & Oates

May 2 – May 15:
Morning Train (Nine To Five) – Sheena Easton

May 16 – July 17:
Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

July 18 – July 24:
Medley – Stars on 45

July 25 – July 31:
The One That You Love – Air Supply

August 1 – August 14:
Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield

August 15 – October 16:
Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie

October 17 – November 6:
Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) – Christopher Cross

November 7 – November 20:
Private Eyes – Hall & Oates

November 21, 1981 – January 29, 1982:
Physical – Olivia Newton-John

World Series Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers
Superbowl XV Champions: Oakland Raiders
NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
Stanley Cup Champs: New York Islanders
U.S. Open Golf David Graham
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) John McEnroe/Tracy Austin
Wimbledon (Men/Women): John McEnroe/Chris Evert
NCAA Football Champions: Clemson
NCAA Basketball Champions: Indiana
Kentucky Derby: Pleasant Colony

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