Are You a Baby Boomer? (80s)

Welcome, Baby Boomer!  Did you know that baby boomers are retiring later in life?  And we are traveling a lot once we are retired.  Did you know we spend the most money, in almost all areas of life?  Baby boomers tend to be more educated, smart, and very driven-especially in the workforce.

So let’s take a walk down memory.  This decade boomers, around my age-57, went to college, started a career, got married, and had children.  Some even divorced and started all over again.  I read somewhere that the 80s was known as the decade of greed.  I had never heard of that till now.


What it Cost to Live in the 1980s

1980-1989 prices from all around the United States (prices vary from year to year as well as what state you lived in)

  • Minimum Wage $3.10-$3.80
  • Average household income: $12,512 – $20,100
  • Rent $305 to $599
  • New car $4,132 – $12.695
  • Gas per gallon $1.12
  • Postage stamp .22 cents
  • Cigarettes .66 cents – $1.81 per pack

Groceries:

  • 2% milk $1.59 per gallon
  • Apples .39 cents a lb.
  • Bacon $1.69 per lb.
  • Bananas .12 cents per lb.
  • Blue Bonet Margarine .50 cents per lb.
  • Bratwurst $1.69 a lb.
  • Bread .50 cents a loaf
  • Broccoli .39 cents a lb.
  • Corn $1.18 for 12 ears
  • Dozen of eggs $1.00
  • Flour .99 cents for a 5 lb. bag
  • Grapefruit .33 cents
  • Ground beef $1.39 per lb.
  • Heinz Ketchup .99 cents
  • Ivory dish soap .79 cents
  • Kraft Single Cheese $1.47 (12 slices)
  • Leg of Lamb $2.19 per lb.
  • Miracle Whip $1.27
  • Pork Chops $2.49 per lb.
  • Pot roast $1.49 per lb.
  • Potatoes 1.00 for 5 lbs.
  • Ribeye Steak $3.89 per lb.
  • Skippy Peanut Butter $1.49 jar
  • Whole Milk 1/2 gallon $1.09

Appliances & Furniture

  • 5 pc. bedroom set $288.00
  • Bean Bag Chair $19.99 – $39.99
  • Brass Finish Ceiling Fan $199.00
  • CD Cassette Boom Box $288.88
  • Cherry Table $148.00
  • Coffee Maker $34.99 (Mr. Coffee)
  • Computer desk $299.00
  • Clock Radio TV $79.95
  • Craft Toaster $19.99
  • Decorative Fireplace $299.97
  • Dinette Set $549.95
  • Dishwasher $249.95 (under the counter)
  • Fake Walnut Bar $299.97 (laminate)
  • Full-size bed $88.00 each piece
  • Leather Lounger $399.99
  • Microwave $579.99 (Space Saver)
  • Outdoor Gas Grill $199.95
  • Oven Range $899.98 (with built-in microwave)
  • Portable camcorder $699.99
  • Refrigerator with ice maker $1060.00
  • Rectangle Hassock $399.99 (recliner)
  • Sofa, Love seat, & Lounge chair $348.00 (3 pc. living room set)
  • Solar Power Lamp $29.99
  • Table Lamps $99.99 – $119.99
  • Television $589.95 (in color, 19″)
  • Touch Lamp $59.99
  • Video Storage Cabinet $79.99

Toys

  • Rubiks Cube $1.99Do you remember the rubiks cube? Do you remember the cost of living in the 80s, a car, a home, minimum wage, tv, music
  • My Little Pony $4.99
  • CHiPs Moped $11.99
  • Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head $4.77
  • Star Wars Figure Set $29.99
  • Pound Puppies $17.99
  • Lego Airport $39.99
  • Barbie TV Game Show set $11.99
  • Dukes of Hazzard set $5.99
  • Talking Alf $69.99
  • Weebles House at Pooh Corners $13.99
  • Glo Warm $9.99
  • Rainbow Brite Color Kids $9.99
  • Transformers – Optimus Prime $26.99
  • Barbie’s Dancetime Shop $24.98
  • Matchbox Car Sets $9.99
  • Karate Kid Action Figures $11.99

TV Shows

  • 21 Jump Street
  • A Different World
  • Airwolf
  • ALF
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos
  • America’s Most Wanted
  • Bosom Buddies
  • Cagney & Lacey
  • Charles in Charge
  • Cheers

 

  • China Beach
  • Coach
  • Crime Story
  • Dallas
  • Designing Women
  • Doogie Howser M.D.
  • Dynasty
  • Family Matters
  • Family Ties
  • Fragile Rock
  • Full House

 

  • Garfield and Friends
  • Gimme a Break
  • Growing Pains
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
  • Head of the Class
  • Highway to Heaven
  • Hill Street Blues
  • Inspector Gadget
  • It’s Garry Shandling’s Show
  • Kate & Allie
  • Knight Rider

 

  • L.A. Law
  • Magnum P.I.
  • Married…with Children
  • MacGyver
  • Mama’s Family
  • Matlock
  • Max Headroom
  • Miami Vice
  • Moonlighting
  • Murder She Wrote
  • Murphy Brown
  • Newhart
  • Night Court

 

  • Night Flight
  • Pee-Wee’s Playhouse
  • Perfect Strangers
  • Punky Brewster
  • Roseanne
  • Quantum Leap
  • Remington Steele
  • Saved by the Bell
  • Scarecrow and Mrs. King
  • Silver Spoons
  • Small Wonder
  • St. Elsewhere
  • Star Trek – The Next Generation

 

  • T.J. Hooker
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • The A-Team
  • The Cosby Show
  • The Dukes of Hazzard
  • The Equalizer
  • The Facts of Life
  • The Fall Guy
  • The Golden Girls
  • The Greatest American Hero
  • The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show
  • The Simpsons
  • The Smurfs

 

  • The Tracy Ullman Show
  • The Wonder Years
  • The Young Ones
  • Thirtysomething
  • Unsolved Mysteries
  • Who’s the Boss?
  • Wiseguy




Events in the 1980s

1980

  • Ronald Reagan is elected US President, defeating Jimmy Carter
  • World Health Organization declares the eradication of  smallpox
  • The USA boycotts the summer Olympics held in Moscow
  • Sadam Hussein declares war on Iraq, which lasted over ten years, for oil rights.
  • Mark David Chapman kills John Lennon
  • The US hockey team beats Russia for the gold in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics, held in Lake Placid NY
  • Clinical trials begin on genetic engineering on insulin
  • “The Empire Strikes Back” opens in movie theaters
  • Rubik’s Cube debuts at ITF
  • Post-It Notes released by 3M
  • Pac Man video game is released
  • Setting a new record, 350 million viewers, worldwide, tuned in to watch “Dallas” to see who shot JR
  • While freebasing cocaine, Richard Pryor sets himself on fire
  • Ted Turner establishes CNN
  • CNN airs, being the first all-news network
  • Poland legalizes unions after massive strikes by employees
  • Japan surpasses the USA as the worlds largest automobile makers

Do you remember the John Lennons assassination? Do you remember the cost of living in the 80s, a car, a home, minimum wage, tv, music

1981

  • After 444 days, Iran releases the 52 U.S. hostages held in Tehran
  • Prince Charles marries Diana Spencer, a royal wedding, that was televised live. worldwide
  • America’s first test-tube baby is born, Elizabeth Jordan Carr (December 28th–she just turned 40 in 2018!)
  • The attempted assassination on President Reagan’s life, by John Hinkley Jr.
  • The Space Shuttle Columbia is launched for the first time
  • The Church of England votes, allowing women to serve as priests
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes AIDS
  • Reagan fires the striking air traffic controllers and breaks up their union
  • Sandra Day O’Connor is the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Justice
  • In Cairo, Anwar Sadat was assassinated
  • MTV airs, becoming the first 24-hour cable network dedicated to airing music videos
  • MS-DOS is released
  • The first IBM PC is released
  • ‘Dynasty’ debuts

Epcot Center Florida, Do you remember the cost of living in the 80s, a car, a home, minimum wage, tv, music

1982

  • The first artificial heart transplant was performed on Barney Clark
  • War erupted, after months of tension between Argentina and Great Britain over the tiny Falkland Islands
  • The Vietnam War Memorial opens in Washington, D.C
  • The Epcot Center, in Florida, is opened by Walt Disney World
  • The Commodore 64 personal computer is unveiled at CES held in Las Vegas
  • ‘Thriller” by Michael Jackson, releases
  • “E.T.”, the movie, opens in movie theaters
  • The first nationwide newspaper was released, “USA Today.”

1983

  • The first American woman Sally Ride goes into outer space, on the space shuttle Challenger
  • US embassy in Beirut is bombed, killing 63 people, 17 of them being Americans
  • United States troops invade that Carribean Island of Grenada
  • The Soviet Union shot down a Korean airliner, killing all those onboard
  • In Lebanon, 241 US Marines, are killed by a suicide bomb
  • Hawaii’s Mt. Kilauea erupts
  • Commodore 64 personal computer is unveiled at the CES in Las Vegas
  • Watched by more than 100 million US viewers, “M*A*S*H” goes off the air, after 251 episodes
  • “Return of the Jedi” opens in movie theaters
  • The first commercial cell phone call is made
  • Signing it into legislation, President Reagan makes Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday
  • Chrysler reveals its minivans
  • Cabbage Patch dolls were the hot ticket toys in the stores that Christmas

MacIntosh computer, Do you remember the cost of living in the 80s, a car, a home, minimum wage, tv, music

1984

  • Ronald Reagan defeats Walter Mondale and is elected to a second term as the US President
  • Indian’s first woman prime minister,  Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by two of her own bodyguards
  • Steve Job introduces the first MacIntosh computer
  • In Bhopal, tens of thousands are injured or killed, by a poisonous gas leak at a chemical plant
  • Bishop Desmond Tutu receives the Nobel Peace Prize
  • China gets control over Hong Kong, from Great Britain
  • The first PG-13 movies were shown in movie theaters
  • Bruce Springsteen releases his “Born in the USA” album
  • “The Cosby Show” debuts
  • The very first MTV Music Awards airs, with Madonna performing her hit “Like a Virgin.”
  • Michael Jackson moonwalks for the first time, on MTV Music Awards

We are the world, Africa, hunger, Are you a baby boomer?, 80s, 1980s, the senior life, 50 and beyond

1985

  • Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union, as well as the last
  • Killing all onboard (329 people), Air India Flight 182 is destroyed by a terrorist bomb off of the Irish coast
  • The USDA approves the first blood test to detect the virus that causes AIDS
  • Nintendo Entertainment System debuts in the United States
  • A hole in the ozone was reported, for the first time
  • What later became a hit single, “We are the World” is recorded in LA, and raised millions of dollars to feed the hungry in Africa
  • Willie Nelson and John ‘Cougar’ Mellencamp organize the first “Farm Aid” concert,  in efforts to raise money for the family of farmers facing financial hardships
  • Bob Ballard discovers the Titanic wreckage
  • “Back to the Future”, starring Michael J. Fox, opens in theaters
  • Steve Jobs leaves Apple computers
  • Microsoft introduces Windows
  • The New Coke comes out and does not do well at all with the public

1986

  • The Space Shuttle, Challenger explodes after liftoff, killing all seven crew members onboard
  • After extensive renovations, the Statue of Liberty celebrates its centennial
  • Chernobyl nuclear meltdown occurs, scattering radioactive materials all across Europe
  • Iran-Contra scandal breaks out
  • The USSR launches Mir Space Station
  • Tax Reform Act of 1986
  • Hands Across America attempts to form a human chain from New York to California to raise money to fight hunger and homelessness
  • President Ferdinand Marcos, of the Philippines, is forced into exile, after 20 years in office
  • Hailey’s Comet passed in the sky in February for the first time since 1910
  • ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ airs on tv for the first time

microsoft windows, Are you a baby boomer?, 80s, 1980s, the senior life, 50 and beyond

1987

  • A former Nazi official, Nikolaus Barbie, was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to life in prison
  • DNA for the first time was used to convict criminals & exonerate innocent prisoners on death row
  • Taiwan ends 38 years of martial law
  • US Stock Market plunges on Black Friday
  • Canada and the USA sign the Free Trade Agreement
  • The drug company, Eli Lily, gets final approval to market Prozac
  • A new TV show called ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ airs
  • ‘Faith’ by George Michael is released
  • U2 releases their ‘Joshua Tree’ album
  • “Headbangers Ball” debuts on MTV
  • Motivational speaker Tony Robbins publishes his first book, “Unlimited Power.”

cds, outsell, albums, cassettes, tape, vinyl records, Are you a baby boomer?, 80s, 1980s, the senior life, 50 and beyond

1988

  • George Bush Sr. became elected as  US President
  • Osama bin Laden forms AlQaeda
  • Soviet troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan
  • The Iran-Iraq War ends after eight years and more than a million dead
  • Pan Am Flight 103 is destroyed by a terrorist bomb,  over Lockerbie, Scotland
  • The USS Vincennes shoots down Iranian Airlines Flight 655, killing all on board
  • The annual World AIDS Day is held for the first time
  • “The Phantom of the Opera” opened in New York City
  • CDs outsell Vinyl records and cassette tapes, for the first time

1989

  • George Bush becomes the 41st US President, with Dan Quayle as his Vice President
  • President Bush declares war on Drugs
  • The Berlin Wall falls and was transmitted live, worldwide, on TV
  • Millions of gallons of oil spill into the Alaskan Coastline, when the Exxon Valdez tanker ran ashore
  • Hurricane Hugo terrorizes the east coast,  causing over 7 billion dollars in damages
  • 63 die during the Loma Prieta earthquake San Francisco Bay area
  • Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist, invents the World Wide Web
  • Being the first African American to hold this position,  Gen Colin Powell is nominated to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • “Bay Watch” debuts
  • “The Simpsons” debuts
  • Game Boy is released
  • Sega Genesis were released in the U.S.

Popular Music

This decade had several popular genres of music, such as hair metal, hip hop/rap, new wave, and pop.

Click here for the page with the below list and videos.

  • AC/DC
  • Aerosmith*
  • Anthrax
  • Beastie Boys
  • Billy Idol*
  • Blondie
  • Bon Jovi*
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Cinderella
  • Culture Club*
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • David Bowie
  • Def Leppard*
  • Depeche Mode
  • Devo
  • Duran Duran
  • Europe*
  • George Michael
  • Guns N’ Roses
  • Hall & Oates*
  • Ice T
  • Iron Maiden
  • Janet Jackson
  • John (Cougar) Mellencamp*
  • Lionel Richie
  • LL Cool J
  • Madonna
  • Metallica*
  • Michael Jackson
  • Motley Crue
  • Pantera
  • Pat Benatar*
  • Poison
  • Prince
  • Public Enemy
  • Quiet Riot
  • Ratt*
  • REO Speedwagon
  • Run DMC
  • Salt-N-Pepa
  • Skid Row
  • Styx*
  • Talking Heads
  • The B-52s
  • The Cars*
  • The Clash
  • The Cure*
  • The Go Go’s
  • The Police
  • The Pretenders
  • Twisted Sister*
  • Van Halen
  • Warrant
  • Whitesnake
  • Whitney Houston*




You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake. –Bob Hope

12 thoughts on “Are You a Baby Boomer? (80s)”

  1. Thank you Laura for taking me down memory lane. I was actually born in 1981. with that said you can now understand how much i value your post. I wouldn’t know if things were cheaper then than now because it has to be relative to the GDP of those years you reviewed. But as I perceive each age has their low and high moments. thank you again Laura.

    Reply
  2. This is lovely and highly insightful, i have always been following your blog because of the relevant article i normally read and i have to say this is not an exception.

    Everything has changed recently, we cant compare valuables in the olden days with this present time including events and music. This article is an eye opener for me. 

    Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Hi Ola,

      And welcome back.  Great to hear you have me bookmarked, I just love it.  And thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot.

      I would have to say that is the only downside to writing these types of articles, for me that is, I tend to compare it to today, and I get to really missing the ‘old days.’  The old days were simpler, but I was a kid, without all the responsibilities of an adult.  =)

      So glad you stopped by,
      Laura

      Reply
  3. Nice article there on a baby boomer. I find it so educative and informative in all areas of life on the event that has happened in the past.

    one of the advantage of baby boomer is that they have Strong work ethic. Baby boomers aren’t afraid to put in a hard day of work and this  generation is independent and self-assured.but gradually technology move those age’s aways

    Reply
    • Hi,

      I’m glad you liked my article.  And technology isn’t chasing this baby boomer away.  LOL  I guess you either embrace it or you don’t.  And if you don’t, you’ll be left behind.  Me, I’m a boomer geek!  LOL 

      Be sure to read, Baby Boomers and Technology.

      So glad you stopped by,
      Laura

      Reply
  4. Hi there, really good research and work u have done here. this is just so amazing for taking us memory back to those life in the 80s, learning about their minimum wages, shows, popular music’s, toys, events, TV shows, furniture and appliances and also cost of their living, it’s so so amazing reading all these

    Reply
  5. Hi! Wao! You have really made us travel back in time. I’m impressed with all the details you have mentioned in your list. And while reading them some evoke powerful memories. Time flies.

    This is the first time I hear that the 80’s was the decade of greed. It gives this decade kinda sad note. But thank you very much for refreshing our memory with all these facts.

    Reply
    • I really enjoyed writing this series.  Especially when I got to add the tv and music videos of the decade.  Now that’s REALLY a walk down memory lane for me.  

      Glad you liked it, and yes, time flies–way too fast!!

      Thank you for stopping by, Henry,
      Laura

      Reply
  6. Hello, Laura and “Thanks For The Memories” (Bob Hope).  I wasn’t born in the ’80s but I certainly remember a lot of these moments in 80’s history.

    I was actually born in the very late ’40s, right at the beginning of the “Baby Boomer” era.  

    Seeing this list takes me back to times that were way different than they are now.  Cell phones have come a long way.

    I’ll definitely have to check out your other two posts and I will anticipate one on the first decade of the baby boomer era.  I’d be interested in seeing what you came up with and what I remember.

    Good job on this one.  I really enjoyed taking a trip back in time with you.

    All the best,

    Wayne66

    Reply
    • Hi Wayne,

      So glad you liked my article.  I don’t know why I didn’t think about the 50s.  I mean, duh.  LOL  Thank you for the idea.  I got my next article to write.

      I’m 1961, so I’m on the tail end of the baby boomers.  I miss the old days though.  Much simpler back then.

      I hope you read my other 2 articles and thanks for stopping,
      Laura

      Reply

Leave a Comment