Developing countries across the world faced economic and social difficulties as they suffered from multiple debt crises in the 1980s, requiring many of these countries to apply for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Ethiopia witnessed widespread famine in the mid-1980s during the corrupt rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam, resulting in the country having to depend on foreign aid to provide food to its population and worldwide efforts to address and raise money to help Ethiopians, such as the famous Live Aid concert in 1985.
Television viewing became commonplace in the Third World, with the number of TV sets in China and India increasing 15 and 10 fold respectively. The number of televisions in the world nearly doubled over the course of the decade from only 561 million in 1980 to 910 million in 1987 and around a billion by 1989.
The 1980s saw the development of the modern Internet, starting with the specification of File Transfer Protocol in 1980 and ARPANET's move to TCP/IP around 1982-83. Approximately 1.1 million people (86% of them in the United States) were using the Internet at the end of the 1980s.Tim Berners Lee created a hypertext system called ENQUIRE in 1980 and began his work on the World Wide Web in March 1989; after its first demonstration at the end of 1990 it was released to the public in July 1991 and by approximately 1995 became widely known, beginning the ongoing worldwide boom of Internet use.
People born in the 1980s are usually classified along with those born in the 1990s as part of the Millennial generation.
Air India Flight 182 was destroyed on June 23, 1985, by Sikh-Canadian militants. It was the biggest mass murder involving Canadians in history.
On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over the village of Lockerbie, Scotland, while en route from London's Heathrow Airport to New York's JFK. The bombing killed all 243 passengers, 16 crew members and 11 people on the ground, totaling 270 fatalities who were citizens of 21 nationalities. The bombing was and remains the worst terrorist attack on UK soil.
Salvadoran Civil War (1980–1992) – part of the cold war conflicts, reached its peak in the 1980s, 70,000 Salvadorans died.
Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands (or Islas Malvinas, as they are known in Spanish-speaking countries), sparking the Falklands War. It occurred from 2 April to 14 July 1982 between the United Kingdom and Argentina as British forces fought to recover the islands. Britain emerged victorious and its stance in international affairs and its long decaying reputation as a colonial power received an unexpected boost. The military junta of Argentina, on the other hand, was left humiliated by the defeat; and its leader Leopoldo Galtieri was deposed three days after the end of the war. A military investigation known as the Rattenbach report even recommended his execution.
1982 Lebanon War – the Government of Israel ordered the invasion as a response to the assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, by the Abu Nidal Organization and due to the constant terror attacks on northern Israel made by the terrorist organizations which resided in Lebanon. After attacking the PLO, as well as Syrian, leftist and MuslimLebanese forces, Israel occupied southern Lebanon and eventually surrounded the PLO in west Beirut and subjected to heavy bombardment, they negotiated passage from Lebanon.
The Iran–Iraq war took place from 1980 to 1988. Iraq was accused of using illegal chemical weapons to kill Iranian forces and against its own dissident Kurdish populations. Both sides suffered enormous casualties, but the poorly equipped Iranian armies suffered worse for it, being forced to use soldiers as young as 15 in human-wave attacks. Iran finally agreed to an armistice in 1988.
The United States launched an aerial bombardment of Libya in 1986 in retaliation for Libyan support of terrorism and attacks on US personnel in Germany and Turkey.
The United States engaged in significant direct and indirect conflict in the decade via alliances with various groups in a number of Central and South American countries claiming that the U.S. was acting to oppose the spread of communism and end illicit drug trade. The U.S. government supported the government of Colombia's attempts to destroy its large illicit cocaine-trafficking industry and provided support for right-wing military government in the Salvadoran civil war which became controversial after the El Mozote massacre on December 11, 1981, in which U.S.-trained Salvadoran paramilitaries killed 1000 Salvadoran civilians. The United States, along with members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, invadedGrenada in 1983. The Iran–Contra affair erupted which involved U.S. interventionism in Nicaragua, resulting in members of the U.S. government being indicted in 1986. U.S. military action began against Panama in December 1989 to overthrow its dictator, Manuel Noriega resulting in 3,500 civilian casualties and the restoration of democratic rule.
The most notable Internal conflicts of the decade include:
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 occurred in the People's Republic of China in 1989, in which pro-democracy protestors demanded political reform. The protests were crushed by the People's Liberation Army.
The First Intifada (First Uprising) in the Gaza Strip and West Bank began in 1987 when Palestinian Arabs mounted large-scale protests against the Israeli military presence in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, which the Palestinians claim as their own. The Intifada soon became violent as the Israeli army and Palestinian militants fought for control over the occupied territories.  The First Intifada would continue until peace negotiations began between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government in 1993.
Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) - Throughout the decade, Lebanon was engulfed in civil war between Islamic and Christian factions.
President Reagan's decision to station intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe provoked mass protests involving more than one million people.
Decolonization and independence
Canada gained official independence from the United Kingdom with a new Constitution on 17 April 1982, authorized by the signature by Elizabeth II. This act severed all political dependencies of the United Kingdom in Canada (although the Queen remained the titular head of state).
In 1986, Australia and the United Kingdom fully separated Australia's governments from the influence of the British Parliament, resulting in Australia's full independence that had been granted a century before.
In 1986, New Zealand and the United Kingdom fully separated New Zealand's governments from the influence of the British Parliament, resulting in New Zealand's full independence with the Constitution Act 1986 which also reorganised the government of New Zealand.
Independence was granted to Vanuatu from the British/French condonimum (1980), Kiribati from joint US-British government (1981) and Palau from the United States (1986).
Zimbabwe becomes independent from official colonial rule of the United Kingdom in 1980.
U.S. President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty, 1987.
Ronald Reagan was elected U.S. President in 1980. In international affairs, Reagan pursued a hardline policy towards preventing the spread of communism, initiating a considerable buildup of U.S. military power to challenge the Soviet Union. He further directly challenges the Iron Curtain by demanding that the Soviet Union dismantle the Berlin Wall.
The Reagan Administration accelerated the War on Drugs, publicized through anti-drug campaigns including the Just Say No campaign of First Lady Nancy Reagan. Drugs became a serious problem in the '80s. Cocaine was popular among celebrities and the young, sophisticated "yuppies", while crack, a cheaper and more potent offshoot of the drug, turned the inner cities into war zones.
Political unrest in the province of Quebec, which, due to the many differences between the dominant francophone population and the anglophone minority, and also to francophone rights in the predominantly English-speaking Canada, came to a head in 1980 when the provincial government called a public referendum on partial separation from the rest of Canada. The referendum ended with the "no" side winning majority (59.56% no, 40.44% yes).
Significant political reforms occurred in a number of communist countries in eastern Europe as the populations of these countries grew increasingly hostile and politically active in opposing communist governments. These reforms included attempts to increase individual liberties and market liberalization, and promises of democratic renewal. The collapse of communism in eastern Europe was generally peaceful, the exception being Romania, who's leader Nicolae Ceaucescu tried to keep the people isolated from the events happening outside the country. While making a speech in Bucharest in December 1989, he was booed and shouted down by the crowd, and then tried to flee the city with his wife Elena. Two days later, they were captured, charged with genocide, and shot on Christmas.
There was continuing civil strife in Northern Ireland, including the adoption of hunger strikes by Irish Republican Army prisoners seeking the reintroduction of political status.
Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, and initiated major reforms to the Soviet Union's government through increasing the rights of expressing political dissent and opening elections to opposition candidates (while maintaining legal dominance of the Communist Party). Gorbachev pursued negotiation with the United States to decrease tensions and eventually end the Cold War.
At the end of the decade, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 would be followed in 1990 by the German reunification. During the course of 1989, most of the communist governments in Eastern Europe collapsed.
In November 1982, Leonid Brezhnev, who had led the Soviet Union since 1964, died. He was followed in quick succession by Yuri Andropov, the former KGB chief, and Konstantin Chernenko, both of whom were in poor health during their short tenures in office.
South Korean president Chun Doo Hwan came to power at the end of 1979 and ruled as a dictator until his presidential term expired in 1987. He was responsible for the Kwangju Massacre in May 1980 when police and soldiers battled armed protesters. Relations with North Korea showed little sign of improvement during the 1980s. In 1983, when Chun was in Burma, a bomb apparently planted by North Korean agents killed a number of South Korean government officials. After leaving office, he was succeeded by Roh Tae Woo, the first democratic ruler of the country, which saw its international prestige greatly rise with hosting the Olympics in 1988. Roh pursued a policy of normalizing relations with China and the Soviet Union, but had to face militant left-wing student groups who demanded reunification with North Korea and the withdrawal of US troops.
In the Philippines, after almost 20 years of dictatorship, Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos left the presidency and was replaced by Corazon Aquino through the "People Power Revolution" from February 22 to 26, 1986. This has been considered by some a peaceful revolution despite the fact that the Armed Forces of the Philippines issued an order to disperse the crowds on EDSA (the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila).
On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area during Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, gaining worldwide attention. Sixty-five people were killed and thousands injured, with major structural damage on freeways and buildings and broken gas-line fires in San Francisco, California. The cost of the damage totaled $13 billion (1989 USD).
The US Drought of 1988 decimated the US with many parts of the country affected. This was the worst drought to hit the United States in many years. The drought caused $60 billion in damage (between $80 billion and $120 billion for 2008 USD). The concurrent heat waves killed 5,800 to 17,000 people in the United States.
On August 19, 1980, Saudia Flight 163 caught fire moments after takeoff from the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. The flight quickly returned to the airport, but evacuation of the plane was delayed and all 301 people aboard died.
On July 9, 1982, Pan Am Flight 759 was forced down by a wind shear microburst, killing 153 people.
Japan Airlines Flight 123, carrying 524 people, crashed on August 12, 1985 while on a flight from Tokyo to Osaka killing 520 of the people on board. This was, and still is, the worst single-plane crash ever.
On January 28, 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle Challengerdisintegrated 73 seconds after launch, killing all of the crew on board. This was the first disaster involving the destruction of a NASA space shuttle. A faulty O-ring was the cause of the accident.
On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl disaster, a large-scale nuclear meltdown in the Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, spread a large amount of radioactive material across Europe, killing 47 people, dooming countless others to future radiation-related cancer, and causing the displacement of 300,000 people.
On November 28, 1987, a fire broke out on South African Airways Flight 295, eventually causing the aircraft to crash into the Indian Ocean. All 159 aboard were killed.
On December 7, 1987, 43 people were killed when an irate former USAir employee went on a rampage aboard PSA Flight 1771.
On December 20, 1987, the Philippine passenger ferry MV Doña Paz burned and sank after colliding with the oil tanker MT Vector. With an estimated death toll of over 4,000, this was and remains the world's deadliest peacetime maritime disaster.
On July 3, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down by the U.S. missile cruiser USS Vincennes over the Strait of Hormuz, killing all 290 people on the plane. The event is one of the most controversial aviation occurrences of all time, with the true cause disputed between the Americans and the Iranians.
On March 24, 1989, the oil tankerExxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound spilling an estimated equivalent of 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil. Although not among the largest oil spills in history, its remote and sensitive location made it one of the most devastating ecological disasters ever. The after effects of the spill continue to be felt to this day.
On July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232, carrying 296 people, suffered an in-flight engine failure and was forced to crash-land at Sioux City, Iowa. 185 survived, while 111 were killed when the plane burst into flames upon touchdown.
Ronald Reagan was shot in Washington, D.C. on March 30, 1981 by John Hinckley, a mentally disturbed young man who also stalked actress Jodie Foster. Reagan's press secretary James Brady was also shot, along with a police officer and a U.S. Secret Service agent. The latter two recovered, along with Reagan himself, but Brady used a wheelchair as a result of brain damage thereafter and would become an advocate of gun control.
In May 1981, there was an assassination attempt on PopeJohn Paul II in Saint Peter's Square. The would-be assassin was a Turkish man named Mehmet Ali Agca, who was subsequently sentenced to life in prison, but would be pardoned in 2000. At the time, it was widely believed that he was an agent of the Soviet Union or Bulgaria, due to the Pope's vocal anti-communist stance. Agca himself told dozens of conflicting stories over the years, and his motive remains unclear.
Egyptian president Anwar Sadat was assassinated at a military parade in Cairo on October 6, 1981.
Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by her own bodyguards in response to the Indian Army's attack on Golden Temple to destroy Sikh Militant stronghold in Amritsar earlier in the decade.
Arcade games and video games had been growing in popularity since the late 1970s, and by 1982 were a major industry. But a variety of factors, including a glut of low-quality games and the rise of home computers, caused a tremendous crash in late 1983. For the next three years, the video game market practically ceased to exist in the US. But in the second half of the decade, it would be revived by Nintendo, whose Famicom console and mascot Mario had been enjoying considerable success in Japan since 1983. Renamed the Nintendo Entertainment System, it would claim 90% of the American video game market by 1989.
Personal computers experienced explosive growth in the '80s, going from being a toy for electronics hobbyists to a full-fledged industry. The IBM PC, launched in 1981, became the dominant computer for professional users. Commodore created the most popular home computers of both 8-bit and 16-bit generations. MSX standard was the dominant computer platform in Japan. Apple phased out it's Apple II and Lisa models, and introduced the first Macintosh computer in 1984. It was the first commercially successful personal computer to use a graphical user interface and mouse, which started to become general features in computers after the middle of the decade.
IBM 5150, the first model of the IBM PC, was released in 1981. The IBM PCs and compatible models from other vendors would become the most widely used computer systems in the world.
Commodore 64, with sales estimated at more than 17 million units in 1982–1994 became the best-selling computer model of all time.
The Macintosh 128K, the first commercially successful personal computer to use a graphical user interface, was introduced to the public in 1984.
Walkman and Boomboxes, introduced during the late 1970s, became very popular and had a profound impact on the Music industry and youth culture. Consumer VCRs and video rental stores became commonplace as VHS won out over the competing betamax standard. In addition, in the early 1980s various companies began selling compact, modestly priced synthesizers to the public. This, along with the development of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), made it easier to integrate and synchronize synthesizers and other electronic instruments, like drum machines, for use in musical composition.
High definition television (HDTV) of both the analog and digital variety were first developed in the 1980s though their use did not become widespread until the mid 2000s.
American interplanetary probes continued in the '80s, the Voyager duo being the most famous. After making a flyby of Jupiter in 1979, they visited Saturn in 1980–1981. Voyager 2 reached Uranus in 1986 (just a few days before the Challenger disaster), and Neptune in 1989 before the probes exited the solar system.
No American probes were launched to Mars in the 1980s, and the Viking probes, launched there in 1975, completed their operations by 1982. The Soviets launched two Mars probes in 1988, but they failed.
The arrival of Halley's Comet in 1986 was met by a series of American, Soviet, Japanese, and ESA probes.
After a five-year hiatus, manned American space flights resumed with the launch of the space shuttle Columbia in April 1981. The shuttle program progressed smoothly from there, with three more orbiters entering service in 1983–1985. But that all came to an end with the tragic loss of the Challenger on January 28, 1986, taking with it seven astronauts, including Christia McAuliffe, who was to have been the first teacher in space. In full view of the world, a faulty O-ring on the right solid rocket booster allowed hot gases to burn through the external fuel tank and cause it to explode, destroying the shuttle in the process. Extensive efforts were made to improve NASA's increasingly careless management practices, and to make the shuttle safer. Flights resumed with the launch of Discovery in September 1988.
The Soviet manned program went well during the decade, experiencing only minor setbacks. The Salyut 6 space station, launched in 1977, was replaced by Salyut 7 in 1982. Then came Mir in 1986, which ended up operating for more than a decade, and was destined to be the last in the line of Soviet space stations that had begun in 1971. One of the Soviet Union's last "superprojects" was the Buran space shuttle; it was only used once, in 1988.
The American auto industry began the 1980s in a thoroughly grim situation, faced with poor quality control, rising import competition, and a severe economic downturn. Chrysler and American Motors (AMC) were near bankruptcy, and Ford was little better off. Only GM continued with business as usual. But the auto makers recovered with the economy by 1983, and in 1985 auto sales in the United States hit a new record. However, the Japanese were now a major presence, and would begin manufacturing cars in the US to get around tariffs. In 1986, Hyundai became the first Korean auto maker to enter the American market. In the same year, the Yugoslavian-built Yugo was brought to the US, but the car was so small and cheap, that it became the subject of countless jokes. It was sold up to 1991, when economic sanctions against Yugoslavia forced its withdrawal from the American market.
As the decade progressed, cars became smaller and more efficient in design. In 1983, Ford design teams began revolutionizing existing automobiles with a new philosophy which was called "Aero". The idea was to design cars to incorporate pro-aerodynamic round styling to increase airflow and decrease drag while in motion. The Thunderbird was one of the first cars to receive these design changes and it was an instant hit. Later, in 1985, Ford released the Taurus which was considered a dramatic step in automobile design; its aerodynamic style was so popular and revolutionary at the time that other manufacturers scrambled to emulate it. This eventually caused a design revolution which is still evident to the present.
GM began suffering significant losses in the late-1980s, partially the result of chairman Roger Smith's restructuring attempts, and partially because of increasingly stale and unappealing cars. For example, "yuppies" increasingly favored European luxury cars to Cadillac. In 1985, GM started Saturn (the first new American make since the Edsel), with the goal of producing high-quality import fighters. Production would not begin until 1990, however.
Chrysler introduced its new compact, front-wheel drive K-cars in 1981. Under the leadership of Lee Iacocca, the company turned a profit again the following year, and by 1983 paid off its government loans. A seemingly endless succession of K-cars followed. But the biggest success was the arrival of the minivans in 1984. These proved a huge hit, and despite competition, they would dominate the van market for more than a decade. And in 1987, Chrysler purchased the Italian makes of Lamborghini and Maserati. In the same year, Chrysler bought AMC from Renault laying to rest the last significant independent U.S. automaker, but acquiring the hugely profitable Jeep line and continuing the Eagle brand until the late 1990s.
The DeLorean DMC-12 was the brainchild of John DeLorean, a flamboyant former GM executive. Production of the gull-winged sports car began in Northern Ireland in 1981. John DeLorean was arrested in October 1982 in a sting operation where he was attempting to sell cocaine to save his struggling company. He was acquitted of all charges in 1984, but too late for the DeLorean Motor Company, which closed down in 1983. The DMC-12 gained renewed fame afterward as the time machine in the Back to the Future motion picture trilogy.
Porsche introduced the 959 sports car in 1986, the fastest car in the world back then, which had the ability to reach a top speed of more than 200 mph (320 km/h). Never before car manufacturers managed to exceed the 200 mph barrier. Just one year later, Porsche's rival Ferrari startled the world introducing the F40, at that point the fastest car in the world, even faster than the 959 from Porsche.
The imposition of CAFE fuel-mileage standards in 1979 spelled the end of big-block engines, but performance cars and convertibles reemerged in the 1980s. Turbochargers were widely used to boost the performance of small cars, and technology from fuel injection began to take over from the widely used application of carburetors by the late 1980s. Front-wheel drive also became dominant.
The eighties marked the decline of European brands in North America by the end of the decade. Renault, Citroen, and Peugeot ceased importation by the end of the decade. Alfa Romeo would continue until 1993. Fiat also ceased imports to North America in the eighties.
The early 1980s was marked by a severe global economic recession that affected much of the developed world.
Revival of laissez faire/neoliberal economics in the developed world led by the UK and US governments emphasising reduced government intervention, lower taxes and deregulation of the stock markets leading to an economic revival in the mid- to late 80s. Consumers became more sophisticated in their tastes (a trend begun in the 1960s), and things such as European cars and designer clothing became fashionable in the US.
Mexico suffers from a debt crisis starting in 1982. Economic problems worsened in 1985 by resignation of most officials of the Mexican government after a failed response of emergency aid in the Mexico City earthquake (September 19) just after the 175th anniversary of Independence holiday (September 16). In 1988, Carlos Salinas de Gortari won a controversial presidential election amid charges of voter fraud, bribery, corruption and other abuses of power.
The Solidarity movement began in Poland in 1980, involving workers demanding political liberalization and democracy in Poland. Attempts by the Communist government to prevent the rise the Solidarity movement failed and negotiations between the movement and the government took place. Solidarity would be instrumental in encouraging people in other communist states to demand political reform.
The financial world and the stock market were glamorized in a way they had not been since the 1920s, and figures like Donald Trump and Michael Milken were widely seen as symbols of the decade. Widespread fear of Japanese economic strength would grip the United States in the '80s.
During the 1980s, for the first time in world history, transpacific trade (with East Asia, such as China, and Latin America, primarily with Mexico) equaled that of transatlantic trade (with Western Europe or with neighboring Canada), solidifying American economic power.
The 1980s was also an era of tremendous population growth around the world, surpassing even the 1970s and 1990s, thus arguably being the largest in human history. Population growth was particularly rapid in a number of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian countries during this decade, with rates of natural increase close to or exceeding 4% annually.
The most prominent events and trends in popular culture of the decade include:
Stage view of Live Aid concert at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium in the United States in 1985. The concert was a major global international effort by musicians and activists to sponsor action to send aid to the people of Ethiopia who were suffering from a major famine.
In the United States, MTV was launched and music videos began to have a larger effect on the record industry. Pop artists such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Duran Duran, Prince, Madonna, and Queen mastered the format and helped turn this new product into a profitable business. New Wave and Synthpop were developed by many British and American artists, and became popular phenomena throughout the decade, especially in the early and mid-eighties. Music grew fragmented and combined into subgenres such as house, goth, and rap metal.
Madonna and Whitney Houston were regarded as the most ground breaking female artists of the decade. The keyboard synthesizer and drum machine were among the most popular instruments in music during the 1980s, especially in New Wave music. After the 1980s electronic instruments were no longer popular in rock but continued to be the main component of mainstream pop.
Country music came to the forefront with youth appeal and record breaking marks with groundbreaking artists, such as Alabama and Hank Williams Jr. to achieved multiple platinum and award status.
The Techno style of electronic dance music emerged in Detroit, Michigan during the mid- to late 1980s. The House music style, another form of electronic dance music, emerged in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino and gay communities, first in Chicago, then in New York City and Detroit. It eventually reached Europe before becoming infused in mainstream pop and dance music worldwide.
This was the period when the 'high concept' films were introduced. The movies were supposed to be easily marketable and understandable, and, therefore, they had short cinematic plots that could be summarized in one or two sentences. The modern Hollywood blockbuster is the most popular film format from the 1980s. Producer Don Simpson is usually credited with the creation of the high-concept picture of the modern Hollywood blockbuster.
The 1980s was the decade of transformation in television. Cable television became more accessible and therefore, more popular. By the middle of the decade, almost 70% of the American population had cable television and over 85% were paying for cable services such as HBO or Showtime.
The 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles were boycotted by the Soviet Union and most of the communist world (China, Romania, and Yugoslavia participated in the games) in retaliation for the boycott of the 1980 Games in Moscow.
The 1988 Summer Olympics were held in Seoul, South Korea. Attempts to include North Korea in the games were unsuccessful and it boycotted along with six other countries, but with 160 nations participating, it had the highest attendance of any Olympics to date.
FIA bans Group Brallying after a series of deaths and injuries take place in the 1986 season.
American basketball player Michael Jordan burst onto the scene in the NBA during the 1980s, bringing a surge in popularity for the sport and becoming one of the most beloved sports icons in the United States.
On March 29, 1987 WrestleMania III had a record attendance of 93,173; the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America until 2010.
West Germany won the 1980 UEFA championship.
Italy won the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain.
France hosted and won the 1984 UEFA championship.
Argentina won the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.
The Netherlands won the 1988 UEFA championship.
Hawthorn Football Club dominated Australian football, reaching seven successive VFL Grand Finals and winning the premiership in 1983, 1986, 1988, and 1989
Liverpool FC were the most successful club side of the era, becoming English champions on six occasions (1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1988) and winning two European Cups (1981, 1984). They also won the FA Cup in 1986, completing the first double in their history, and four consecutive League Cup titles from 1981 to 1984.
Other highly successful club sides of the 1980s include Juventus (7 major honours won), Real Madrid (10 major honors won), Bayern Munich (9 titles won) PSV Eindhoven (4 times Dutch champions and European Cup winners in 1988), and Flamengo (4 times Brazilian champions, South American and International Cup winners in 1981).
The beginning of the decade was marked by the New Romantic movement and later by fashion inspired by heavy metal bands, including teased hair, ripped jeans, and neon clothing. Some clothing and men's hairstyles had influences from the 1950s, especially in the first part of the decade.