Are you an '80s expert?

Maria Trimarchi

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

And the word of the day is, 80s! You know that the hard-shelled candy that won the heart of E.T. was Reese's Pieces, not M&Ms -- and knowing is half the battle (you learned that from G.I. Joe). Whether you were an '80s kid or you wished you had been, see how much you know about the decade of decadence.

What was the name of the dance move Michael Jackson debuted when he performed "Billie Jean" on "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever"?

On March 25, 1983, everyone who'd tuned in to the TV special, "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever" saw Michael Jackson's inaugural performance of what would become a signature move for the "King of Pop," the Moonwalk.

A large-scale nuclear meltdown at what Soviet power plant spread radioactive material across Europe, killing 47 people?

On April 26, 1986, there was a large-scale nuclear meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. As many as 300,000 people were displaced, countless were exposed to radiation and 47 people died.

Which of these arcade games, introduced in 1980, is now one of the highest-grossing video games of all time?

"Pac-Man," which was released in the U.S. in October 1980, is considered one of the heavyweights of the golden age of video games. Between 1980 and 2016, its estimated gross revenue was $7.27 billion. Only "Space Invaders," which was introduced in the U.S. in 1978, has a greater estimated gross revenue, at $9.92 billion.

In 1980, 57 people were killed when Mount St. Helens erupted. Where is Mount St. Helens located?

Mount St. Helens is considered an active stratovolcano. When it erupted on May 18, 1980, in Skamania County, Washington, it left behind losses of near $3 billion, and caused the deaths of 57 people. Mount St. Helens is part of the 160-plus active volcanoes that make up the Pacific Ring of Fire.

What was the name of the first NASA space shuttle to be launched into space?

The space shuttle orbiter called the Columbia was the first in NASA's space shuttle fleet to be launched into space. Its first flight, and the first flight in the agency's STS program (its full name is Space Transportation System), took place on April 12, 1981, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After 27 missions over 22 years, the Columbia disintegrated during re-entry in 2003, tragically killing all crew members.

What do we call the day of the stock market crash of 1987?

On October 19, 1987, stock markets around the world crashed, beginning in Hong Kong. "Black Monday," as it's called, was caused by a few things, including international disagreement about foreign exchange and interest rates, as well as fears over inflation.

What was the name of the anti-drug campaign that first lady Nancy Reagan introduced as part of the Reagan administration's "War on Drugs"?

When President Ronald Reagan pledged to reinvigorate the country's "War on Drugs," first lady Nancy Reagan got involved, too. The first lady got involved with the anti-drug campaign "Just Say No," which aimed to teach kids to just say no if they're offered drugs.

Who did Prince Charles marry at Westminster Abbey, on July 29, 1981?

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married on July 29, 1981. In addition to the 3,500 invited guests, an estimated 750 million people worldwide watched the TV broadcast. They were divorced in 1996, a year before Diana's fatal car crash. Prince Charles remarried, to Camilla Parker-Bowles, in April 2005.

Who did the U.S. men's ice hockey team beat during the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics, held at Lake Placid?

The Soviet Union's men's Olympic ice hockey team hadn't lost a game since 1968 and was considered not only the favorite to win, but the finest in the world. But on February 22, 1980, the U.S. team, with just five seconds remaining, scored the winning goal. It's known as the "Miracle on Ice."

Who shot J.R.?

Because of a strike by the Writers Guild of America, viewers waited eight months to find out the answer to the cliffhanger-ending of the third season. Finally, the fourth season began with an episode called, "Who Done It," on November 21, 1980. And it was, spoiler alert, Kristin Shepard, who was J.R.'s mistress and sister of J.R.’s wife, Sue Ellen. Kristin ended up first trying to frame her sister for the murder, an accusation that didn't stick.

There was an assassination attempt on which U.S. president in 1981?

President Ronald Reagan and his press secretary James Brady were both shot outside the Washington Hilton, in Northwest Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1981.

Which Olympic Games did the U.S. boycott early in the decade?

On March 21, 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced the U.S. would be boycotting that year's Summer Olympic Games, to be held in Moscow, in protest of the Soviet Union. The problem? In late 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and then failed to withdraw its troops by Carter's deadline.

There are 43 quintillion ways to scramble what toy?

Originally, it was a concept of an architecture professor looking to explain spatial relationships to his students. Today more than 350 million Rubik's Cubes have been sold since they were introduced in 1980.

Which of these movies is not directed by John Hughes?

"The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Sixteen Candles" are all part of the coming-of-age movies we know and love from John Hughes. But "Say Anything"? It's not part of his work. "Say Anything" is the directorial debut of Cameron Crowe.

Which was not a popular brand of jeans in the '80s?

Gloria Vanderbilts "fit like the skin of a grape" and who didn't want "the Jordache look"? They, along with "Ooh, la la, Sasson" jeans, were three of the top most-wanted jeans in the 1980s. True Religion, though, wasn't established until 2002.

What style of men's facial hair was popularized by actor Don Johnson in "Miami Vice"?

The designer stubble look, which you may also know as the 5 o'clock shadow, became popular in the '80s after it was worn by both "Miami Vice" actor Don Johnson and pop singer George Michael in the '80s.

Who was the first American woman to travel into space?

Physicist Sally Ride became the third woman in the world and first American woman to travel into space when she was part of the space shuttle Challenger crew on June 18, 1983.

Where did WWF debut the first WrestleMania event, on March 31, 1985?

More than 19,000 people attended the first WWF event on March 31, 1985, held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

If you rented a movie in 1988, what device would you have watched it on?

The 16 mm or 8 mm film projectors were history by the late '80s, but neither DVD nor Blue-ray had been invented yet. You'd watch your movie rental on your VCR -- and don't forget: be kind, rewind!

Which artist did not take part in the supergroup U.S.A for Africa's recording of "We Are the World"?

More than 40 artists, calling themselves U.S.A. for Africa, gathered at the A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood in January 1985. Together, they recorded "We Are the World," written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson in an effort to raise awareness of widespread poverty in Africa.

What was Ronald Reagan's nickname?

"Win one for the Gipper," was used as a slogan in Ronald Reagan's political campaign. Reagan, an actor before he became a politician, was affectionately called "the Gipper," in reference to his 1940 film role of a college football player named George Gipp.

What was the first video played on the first 24/7 cable music channel, MTV?

When MTV debuted on August 1, 1981, it did so with The Buggles and their song "Video Killed the Radio Star." By the end of the decade, as many as 60 percent of U.S. households had cable service.

The musicians of Live Aid were raising money to fund relief efforts in what country?

In 1985, a dual-venue concert called Live Aid was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London and in Philadelphia. The event was held to raise funds for relief efforts for the severe famine that was happening in Ethiopia, under Mengistu Haile Mariam's rule.

Who was the youngest of the Cosby kids on "The Cosby Show"?

Cliff and Clair Huxtable have five children. In chronological order, their children are: Sondra, Denise, Theodore (Theo), Vanessa and Rudy. Rudy, the youngest in the family, is only 5 years old in Season 1.

Which NASA space shuttle broke apart just 73 seconds after it lifted off, when a booster engine failed?

On January 28, 1986, the NASA space shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after launch, killing all of the crew on board.

Which article of clothing was banned from Detroit's Mumford High School, after related violence led to beatings, robberies and shootings?

Air Jordan, a brand of footwear produced by Nike and endorsed by Michael Jordan, were included in early dress codes implemented in schools around the country, spurred by violence against those in possession of certain items of clothing.

A Turkish man named Mehmet Ali-Agca shot which pope, in May 1981?

In St. Peter's Square at Vatican City, on May 13, 1981, a Turkish man, Mehmet Ali Ağca, attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II. The pope's would-be assassin was sentenced to life in prison. In 2000, he was pardoned.

The first 'designer babies,' twin girls, were created in a laboratory in late 1989 using what new, highly controversial, technology?

The first designer babies were sex-selected via the controversial procedure known as assisted reproductive technology, ART, with preimplantation genetic diagnosis in late 1989. Two baby girls were born in July 1990.

IBM introduced its first personal computer, the 5150, in 1981. When did Apple debut the first Macintosh?

On August 12, 1981, the IBM personal computer ("PC") was introduced. Known as the 5150 , it sold for $1,565. But it wasn't until ‎January 24, 1984, that Steve Jobs introduced Apple's first personal computer, the Apple Macintosh, which came with a price tag of $2,495.

What was the name of the oil tanker that ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989?

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil (an estimated equivalent of 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil) when it tore its hull running aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound.

What was the name of the 18-month-old baby who fell into a well in October 1987?

On October 14, 1987, 18-month-old Jessica "Baby Jessica" McClure was rescued after falling into her aunt's backyard well in Midland, Texas. She was trapped for almost 60 hours.

Which "Baywatch" star sang "Looking for Freedom" during celebrations over the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany?

It was "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff who performed the song "Looking for Freedom" on New Year's Eve 1989, while riding in a bucket crane above the pro-German reunification crowd celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The June 1981 edition of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's publication, "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," contained the first official report on what disease?

On June 5, 1981, the CDC published its first descriptions of what would become known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

On the evening of December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman killed who outside The Dakota in New York City?

On the evening of Monday, December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon four times, killing the popular musician.

Who was the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court?

On September 21, 1981, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved, 99 to 0, the appointment of Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court, making her the first female associate justice in American history.

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