The People History

What Happened in 1983 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture

What happened in 1983 Major News Stories include IBM releases the IBM PC XT, Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Proposed, Harrods Bombing, Space Shuttle Challenger is launched Maiden Flight, . The worlds most popular word processing programme is launched Microsoft Word. Following on from the start of the recession in the US Unemployment Rises to 12 million. In Ethiopia following the worst drought in history the death toll reaches a staggering 4 million. The US starts deploying Cruise Missiles and Pershing Missiles in Europe at the Greenham Common Air Force Base in England and West Germany amid mass protest

Jump To 1983 Fashion -- World Leaders -- 1983 Calendar -- 1983 Technology -- Cost Of Living -- Popular Culture -- Toys

Cost of Living 1983

How Much things cost in 1983
Yearly Inflation Rate USA3.22%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 1258
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 11.00%
Average Cost of new house $82,600
Median Price Of and Existing Home $70,300
Average Income per year $21,070.00
Average Monthly Rent $335.00
Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 34,795
Gallon of Petrol 1.25
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 4.6%
Interest Rates Year End Bank of England 9.06%
More Prices From 1983
Dodge RAM 50 Truck $5665.00
Volkswagen Rabbit $6,994.00
Ford Mustang $6,572.00
Timex Sinclair Color Computer $179.99
Milk 2% Gallon $1.35
Kraft Singles Cheese (12) $1.49
Mens Leather Shoes $39.99

Chicago, Illinois
Townhouse 2 bed 1 bath $47,000


Hurricane Alicia

  • Hurricane Alicia hits the Texas coast, killing 21.
More Information for Hurricane Alicia.
Hurricane Alicia hits the Texas coast during August of 1983 causing billions of dollars worth of damage to the region. The category 3 storm directly hit Galveston and Houston on the Gulf Coast and was the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States in 3 years. Hurricane Alicia had wind gusts of up to 127 mph and storm surges of up to 12 feet in height ravaged coastal neighborhoods. As a result of the storm 21 people were killed and about 3,000 homes were severely damaged.


United States invades Grenada

More Information and Timeline for the U.S. invasion of Grenada
1. The United States invades Grenada on October 25th of 1983.
2. Over 5,000 Marines were sent to the island after the government was overthrown in a bloody coup by a Cuban trained military force.
3. At the time, there were about 1,000 United States civilians in the country, most of them medical students.
4. President Reagan ordered the invasion citing the need to protect the American citizens in the country but also using it as an excuse to stem the tide of Communism in the Caribbean.
5. Overall, the U.S. invasion was a success despite encountering resistance. The U.S. civilians were rescued, the Cuban troops surrendered, and there were only 19 U.S. troop casualties in total.


Space -- NASA's STS-7 Mission

NASA’s STS-7 mission was completed successfully during June. The mission carried five astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on a 6 day flight. The crew carried out several experiments and deployed two satellites. This mission was notable in that it was Sally Ride’s first space flight, making her the first American woman in space. Twenty years earlier, the Soviet Union had already sent the first woman to space with Valentina Tereshkova aboard Vostok 6 in 1963.

1960 Back In Time Gifts

Strategic Defense Initiative SDI

  • President Ronald Reagan proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
More Information for the Strategic Defense Initiative
1. U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) during a televised address in March of 1983.
2. The proposed defense system was a highly advanced system that would rely on technology that had not yet been developed to intercept and prevent a nuclear missile attack on the U.S. by the Soviet Union.
3. The plan was called “Star Wars” by many critics who thought it impossible to create with the restrictions of the current capabilities of technology during the decade.
4. SDI began development in the following year under the Department of Defense but its funding ended after the Cold War ended and before anything could be completed.

Mario Bros. Game Debuts

The video game Mario Bros. was first released as a Nintendo arcade game in Japan during July. The game was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto (who also designed the Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong) and Gunpei Yokoi (who also created Metroid and the Game Boy) and was a platform style game with phases. The Mario Bros. game featured the now iconic characters of Mario and his brother Luigi, two plumbers who battled sewer creatures in New York. The game was not initially successful as at the time of its release the video game industry was going through a crash, but it became a successful series of games after the release of Super Mario Bros. in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) gaming console.


NASA’s STS-8 Mission

NASA’s STS-8 mission comes to an end during September. The Space Shuttle Challenger launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida carrying a crew of five including Guion Bluford who became the first African-American astronaut to fly in space. The mission’s objectives focused on studying the physiological effects of space on the human body, specifically Space Adaptation Syndrome (space sickness). STS-8 successfully returned to Earth after six days and landed at the Edwards Air Force Base in California.


Fraggle Rock

  • The children's show "Fraggle Rock" debuts on HBO as one of the premium cable network's first original programs.
More Information and Timeline for Fraggle Rock.
1. Fraggle Rock premieres during January of 1983 on HBO.
2. The show was one of HBO’s first original programs and was created and produced by Jim Henson.
3. Fraggle Rock focused on the interactions between a group of muppets called Fraggles and other groups within their world.
4. Many of the episodes featured stories that revolved around conflicts between the Fraggles and the other groups despite the fact that they all depended on each other to survive.
5. Fraggle Rock had a total of 96 episodes and ran until 1987.
6. The show’s creators had hoped it would promote concepts of world peace and it was shown around the world, in nearly one hundred different countries.

1983 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

Part of our Collection of Clothing From The1980's
Fashion Clothing From 1983

Calendar For The Year 1983

1983 Calendar

Part of our toy collection From The 1980's

Toys From The Year 1983

Kids Toys From 82


More News and Key Events From 1983

  • The Worlds Population is estimated at 4.72 billion
  • China's Population reaches 1 billion

Rhodesia / Zimbabwe
  • Civil War breaks out in Zimbabwe

Earthquake New York
  • A 5.2 earthquake hits Central New York

Richard Noble land speed record
  • Richard Noble sets a new land speed record of 633.468 mph, driving Thrust 2 at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

Cruise Missiles
  • The US deploys Cruise Missiles in Europe at the Greenham Common Air Force Base in England and Deploys Pershing Missiles in West Germany
  • Due to the deployment of Cruise Missiles in the UK CND organises marches and rallies with over 200,000 attending.

Brinks Mat robbery
  • Brinks Mat warehouse robbery at Heathrow Airport making off with three tons of gold bars valued at $37.5 million

Maze High Security Prison
  • Mass prisoner breakout from Maze High Security Prison near Lisburn, Northern Ireland

UK Seatbelt Law
  • Seatbelt use for drivers and front seat passengers becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom.

U.S Embassy is bombed in Beirut
  • A Terrorist attack by a suicide bomber on the U.S Embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people

U.S. Unemployment
  • Unemployment Rises in the US to 12 million the highest figure since 1941

Harrods Bombing
  • IRA Bomb Exploded outside Harrods on December 17th during the pre Christmas Shopping Season

Ethiopia Famine
  • Ethiopia Appeals for world Aid for when the death toll reaches4 million

  • The Philippines opposition leader, Benigno Aquino, assassinated

First mobile phones
  • The first mobile phones, are introduced to the public by the Motorola Company.

Breakfast TV
  • Breakfast TV starts in UK with the BBC Breakfast Time and TV-am

Sally Ride
  • Sally Ride on June 18th becomes first American woman in space on the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Margaret Thatcher
  • Margaret Thatcher wins landslide victory in General Elections in the UK


  • Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín wins democratic elections to become the President of Argentina

Popular Culture 1983

  • Final Episode of M*A*S*H airs record 125 million watch
  • Cabbage Patch Dolls are sold in shops and become a success
  • West German news magazine Stern publish the Hitler Diaries which turn out to be Forgeries

Popular Films

  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Tootsie
  • Trading Places
  • WarGames
  • Superman III
  • Flashdance
  • Staying Alive
  • Octopussy
  • National Lampoon's Vacation
  • Never Say Never Again
  • Terms of Endearment
  • Yentl
  • Educating Rita

Popular Musicians

  • Phil Collins
  • The Police with " Every Breath that you take "
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Big Country
  • Black Sabbath
  • David Bowie
  • Johnny Cash
  • Culture Club
  • Duran Duran
  • Elton John
  • Pink Floyd
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Lionel Richie with " All Night Long "
  • Rod Stewart
  • Michael Jackson with " Beat It and Billy Jean "
  • The Moody Blues
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers

Born This Year

Born This Year 1983



  • ARPANET officially changes to use the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.
  • Lotus 1-2-3 is released
  • IBM releases the IBM PC XT
  • US Space Shuttle Challenger is launched on it's maiden flight
  • Microsoft Word is first released
  • The First Person to Receive an Artificial Heart Barney Clark US dies after 112 days
  • Swatch introduce their first watches

Major World Political Leaders

Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser Till 11 March
Australia Prime Minister Bob Hawke From 11 March
Brazil President João Figueiredo Canada Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Li Xiannian

France President François Mitterrand

Germany Chancellor Helmut Kohl
India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

Italy Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani Till 4 August
Italy Prime Minister Bettino Craxi From 4 August

Japan Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone Mexico President Miguel de la Madrid Russia / Soviet Union
Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars Yuri Andropov South Africa Prime Minister Pieter Willem Botha United States President Ronald Reagan United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Political Elections 1983

British General Election 1983 Margaret Thatcher ( Conservative ) defeats Michael Foot ( Labour ) and David Steel ( Liberal ) and Roy Jenkins (SDP)