Keeping up with the early part of the 1980s decade, the mid 80s saw its share of advancements.
There were benefit concerts, surprising discoveries, and tons of great music and movies.
Politics in the mid 80s
The middle of the 80s decade brought a new presidential election in which Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate – the first female to potentially become vice president.
Ultimately Reagan won and he started his second term.
The first federally observed Martin Luther King Day was on January 20, 1986, three years after President Reagan signed it into law.
On the lighter side of politics, Vice President George H.W. Bush admitted to the world his dislike for broccoli.
In 1986, the government wanted everyone to get a little greener and made recycling mandatory, starting in Rhode Island.
Space and Technology in the mid 80s
Space exploration continued with three more orbiters launched in the shuttle program, and though the viewing conditions weren’t ideal, the highly anticipated arrival of Halley’s Comet was observed in 1986.
In 1984, Apple released the first MacIntosh computer to compete with IBM and Commodore. Other technological advances include the invention of the CD-ROM, Microsoft’s release of the first version of Windows, and the very first disposable camera from Fuji.
Minivans started taking over the roads, and remained wildly popular for over 10 years. The auto industry saw some major changes; in 1987, Chrysler bought some big brands including Jeep, Lamborghini, and Masarati.
One of the most surprising finds of the decade was when using a high-tech sonar device on a 1985 expedition, Jean-Louis Michel and Dr. Robert Ballard located the wreckage of the Titanic 370 miles from Newfoundland.
Entertainment in the mid 80s
Celebrities used their power for pure good during the mid 80s. A great example of this is the Live Aid Concert held simultaneously in London and Philadelphia to raise money for the famine in Ethiopia.
As its popularity was rapidly increasing, the first all-rap radio station hit the airwaves in Los Angeles in 1984.
Madonna released two great albums – Like a Virgin in 1984 and True Blue in 1986, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller was still a bestseller. Bruce Springsteen had a hit album with Born in the USA, and Whitney Houston’s self-titled album was one of the best selling of 1986.
On television, The Cosby Show became one of the most popular shows. It was the first show that featured a comedian and focused on their stand-up comedy act, paving the way for the genre in general.
Who’s the Boss, Miami Vice, and Murder She Wrote began and Jeopardy returned to television as a daily series. The mid 80s were also the era of Wendy’s Where’s the Beef? commercials, the beginning of Nick at Nite, and MacGyver.
The epic Oprah Winfrey Show began its 25-year run on television, and hosted Liberace in what would be his final public appearance.
Some of the best movies gave us legendary 80s characters; Gizmo was the cutest of the Gremlins, we all shouted Ghostbusters, and went Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox in his awesome DeLorean.
In other entertainment news, some powerful people joined forces and got married. Some notable marriages included Christie Brinkley to Billy Joel and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Maria Shriver. There was also another royal wedding; this time it was Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
The mid 80s continued advancements in everything electronic and high-tech while the economy strengthened. We looked forward while we went back to the future.