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1982 Major News Events in History

  1. Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking album “Thriller” was released
  2. The break-up of the AT&T monopoly was ordered
  3. Argentina invades the Falkland Islands / Malvinas
  4. The first episode of Late Night with David Letterman debuts on NBC
  5. The popular science fiction film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” debuts during June
  6. Disney Futuristic Park EPCOT ( Experimental Community Of Tomorrow )is opened
  7. Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide kill 7 in Chicago
  8. The Mary Rose, flagship of Henry VIII of England is raised in the Solent
  9. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC is dedicated
  10. The First Commercial use of Genetic Engineering is Launched when human insulin produced by bacteria is marketed

More Detailed Information on each Event and those not included can be found below

What Happened in 1982 Major Events, Popular Culture, Prices, Born This Year

What happened in 1981 Major News Stories include Michael Jackson releases Thriller Album, First CD player sold in Japan, Dutch Elm Disease destorys millions of Elm Trees, Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide kill 7 in Chicago, Times man of The Year is THE COMPUTER, Disney Futuristic Park EPCOT opens, Recession starts in the United States, The Mary Rose, flagship of Henry VIII raised in the Solent. New technology continues to change our buying habits with smaller and cheaper electronic gadgets appearing including and a new industry is just beginning with the use of Genetic Engineering human insulin produced by bacteria is sold for the first time. On the world stage Argentina invades the Falkland Islands and Argentina and the UK go to war over a small island thousands of miles away. After many reports of Whales becoming and endangered species the International Whaling Commission decides to end commercial whaling, and a major recession hits the United States.

Cost of Living 1982 - How Much things cost

Yearly Inflation Rate USA 6.16 %

Year End Close Dow Jones 1046

Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 11.50%

Average Cost of new house $82,200

Median Price Of and Existing Home - $67,800 -

Average Income per year $21,050.00

Average Monthly Rent $320.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas 91 cents

New Car Average price $7,983.00

US Postage Stamp 20 cents

Tomatoes Lb 39 cents

Bag Cheese Puffs 89 cents

Loaf White Sliced bread 50 cents

Comodore Vic 20 $299.95

Satellite Receiver $245.95

Walking / Jogging Machine $199.95

GMC 1500 Pickup $5,400

Sony 19 inch Color TV $499

Outdoor Gas Grill $199.95

A few UK Examples in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 23,644

Gallon of Petrol 1.59

BOE Interest Rates Year End 10.00%

Yearly Inflation Rate UK 8.6%

United States - Michael Jackson's Thriller

Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking album “Thriller” was released during November News Events. The King of Pop’s nine song album was produced by legendary musician Quincy Jones and was Jackson’s sixth studio album. It featured hit songs like Billie Jean, Beat It, Human Nature, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, and the eponymous Thriller. It was also known for the 14-minute long horror-themed music video with memorable choreography that took MTV by storm. Since its release it has become the one of the highest-selling albums of all time.

United States -- AT&T Ordered to Break Up

1. The break-up of the AT&T monopoly was ordered during January of 1982.

2. The US government’s deal with the AT&T Corporation stated that AT&T would give up control of the Bell System (colloquially called Ma Bell) that had owned most of the telephone services in the United States and Canada since the 1940s.

3. The agreement came as the result of an anti-trust case brought against the company in 1974 by the US Department of Justice.

4. The break-up of the Bell System officially became effective two years later in 1984 when it was split into seven different independent Regional Bell operating Companies, informally known as “Baby Bells."

Canada -- Proclamation of the Constitution Act

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau signed the Proclamation of the Constitution Act in Canada during April. The Canada Act, as it was also known, finalized the patriation process that had been ongoing in Canada for years, resulting in the establishment of full sovereignty and independence of the nation. The proclamation also included the Canadian Carter of Rights and Freedoms which outlined 34 basic rights that would be guaranteed in the country.

Argentina invades the Falkland Islands / Malvinas

Argentina invades the Falkland Islands / Malvinas on March 19th , and the UK sends the Royal Navy, RAF and the Army and retakes possession of the Falkland Islands during the conflict Argentine Exocet missile sinks HMS Sheffield on May 4 and the Nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano. Argentina surrenders on June 14th

NASA STS-3 Mission

NASA’s STS-3 mission launched on March 22nd. This was the third mission for the Space Shuttle Columbia and it launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The commander of the mission was Jack R. Lousma and the pilot was C. Gordon Fullerton. Sally Ride, who would become the first American woman in space the following year, was a member of the support crew. The two-man crew completed their mission objectives and several experiments during orbit. STS-3 successfully landed at the White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico after eight days on March 30.

United States - Late Night Show

1. The first episode of Late Night with David Letterman debuts on NBC during February of 1982.

2. The show aired after Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and was directed by Hal Gurney.

3. The show’s first guests were Bill Murray and Don Herbert.

4. It soon gained a reputation for its innovative offbeat humor and quirkiness.

5. The show aired for over a decade with Letterman as the host until Letterman moved to CBS to host the Late Show in 1993.

6. It has since continued with other hosts including Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers.

United States - E.T. Film Debuts

The popular science fiction film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” debuts during June. It was written by Melissa Mathison and produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. The story revolves around a young boy named Elliott and his younger sister (played by 6-year-old Drew Barrymore in one of her first major roles) and their quest to help a lost alien (E.T.) return to its home planet. At the time of its release it was an immediate hit, surpassing Star Wars as the highest-grossing film of all-time, a title which it held until 1993. The film was considered one of the most popular of the decade and won 4 of its 9 Academy Award nominations.

From our 1982 Toys Page

Fisher Price Tape Recorder From The 1980s Fisher Price Tape Recorder
Manufacturer: Fisher Price
Price: $44.99

Has built-in microphone, large carrying handle, and a special activity tape is included.

From our 1980s Furniture Page

1981 Bean Bag Chairs

1981 Bean Bag Chairs

Price: $19.99 - $39.99

Shiny vinyl bean bags. Embossed vinyl is fabric supported for durability; double-stitched seams, double zippers. Filled with expanded polystyrene beads. Choose from several colors like Federal Blue, Fiesta Red, Jungle Green, Chestnut, Strawberry Pink, or Ebony.

1980s Ladies Dresses

1982 Sailor Dress

From 1982 Sailor Dress

Price: $28.00

Description : Sailor dress has a middy collar with a detachable white tie. Dress has an elastic waist and knife pleating. There is white trim around the hem and collar and a narrow patent-vinyl belt cinches the waistline.

1980s Home Electrical

1986 Commodore Computer System

1986 Commodore Computer System

Price: $399.98

RGB composite color monitor has a sharp 13-inch diagonal measure picture. The Commodore 64 computer has 64K RAM. The 16-color selection reproduces games with close to arcade quality. 66-character keyboard includes upper and lower case letters along with four programmable function keys.

More News and Key Events From 1982

Carlos the Jackal

Wave of Terrorist attacks in France by Carlos the Jackal

Record low temperatures

All time record lows in dozens of cities throughout the Midwestern United States.


Israeli forces invade Lebanon

Thousands of palestinian refugees in refugee camps in West Beirut murdered by Lebanese militia


Israeli returns Sinai to Egypt

$9,800,000 is stolen

The largest cash robbery in History occurs in New York when $9,800,000 is stolen from an armored car

USA Today

The First Issue of USA Today is published


Disney Futuristic Park EPCOT ( Experimental Community Of Tomorrow )is opened

IRA bombing campaign in London

The Provisional IRA continues it's bombing campaign in London and Mainland Britain

Laker Airways

Laker Airways the first of the low cost airlines operating out of the UK Folds

Demonstrations New York

Around 700,000 demonstrators gathered in New York City's Central Park protesting the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Michael Fagan

Michael Fagan Brakes Into The Queens Bedroom in Buckingham Palace

International Whaling Commission

The International Whaling Commission decides to end commercial whaling

Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide

Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide kill 7 in Chicago September 29th

The Mary Rose

The Mary Rose, flagship of Henry VIII of England is raised in the Solent on October 11th and taken to Portsmouth Dockyard where it is preserved and on show to the public

Channel 4

Channel 4 is launched in UK

Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa, leader of the outlawed Solidarity movement is released after 11 months in jail

Yassar Arafat elected

Yassar Arafat elected the President of the Palestinian National Council

First artificial heart US

Doctors performed the first implant of a permanent artificial heart designed by Robert Jarvik

Severe recession begins in the United States

Severe recession begins in the United States.

The Ocean Ranger

The world's largest oil rig ( The Ocean Ranger ) sinks in the north Atlantic

Clifford Robert Olson

The Serial killer Clifford Robert Olson is covicted and given 11 concurrent life sentences for the murder of 11 children in Canada

Italy Wins World Cup

Italy Wins 1982 World Cup in Spain

Leonid Brezhnev

Leonid Brezhnev the General Secretary of the Communist Party dies of a heart attack while in office.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC is dedicated


Gates connecting Gibraltar are opened after 13 years to allow pedestrian access to and from Spain

El Chichon Earthquake

Earthquake and a volcanic eruption at El Chichon in southern Mexico kills thousands

Popular Culture 1982


1982 was the year a computer scientist ( Scott Fahlman ) from Carnegie Mellon University first suggested the use of Smiley or emoticon as a way of expressing emotion in an email :-)

Freeware first used by Andrew Flueleman and Jim Knopf to distribute their application which allowed programs to be copied, in 1984 the distribution of this type of software changed from freeware to Shareware ( name thought up by Bob Wallace )

Michael Jackson releases his second adult solo album, Thriller.

Graceland the home of Elvis Presley opens to the public

The screen legend Grace Kelly / Princess Grace of Monaco dies on September 14th in car crash

Popular Films

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Rocky III,

On Golden Pond


An Officer and a Gentleman

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan



Chariots of Fire


Popular Musicians

Human League with " Don't You Want Me "

Bucks Fizz

The Jam

Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder with " Ebony and Ivory "

Olivia Newton-John


Steve Miller band With " Abracadabra "

Survivor with " Eye of The Tiger "

Chicago with " Hard to Say I'm Sorry "

Lionel Richie

Popular TV Programmes

Magnum, P.I.

The Other Arf (UK)


Falcon Crest

Hill Street Blues

Only Fools and Horses (UK)

Knight Rider

Born This Year in 1982

Andy Roddick

Born: August 30th, Omaha, NE

LeAnn Rimes

Born: August 28th, Jackson, MS

Kelly Clarkson

Born: April 24th, Fort Worth, TX

Nicki Minaj

Born: December 8th, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Lil Wayne

Born: September 27th, New Orleans, LA

Prince William

Born: June 21th, London, United Kingdom

Priyanka Chopra

Born: July 18th, Jamshedpur, India


First CD player sold in Japan

The Weather Channel airs on cable television for the first time.

The Soviet Spaceship Vanera 13 lands on Venus and sends back color Photographs

20 million Elm Trees die in the UK through Dutch Elm Disease

The First Commercial use of Genetic Engineering is Launched when human insulin produced by bacteria is marketed

Times man of The Year is THE COMPUTER

Calendar For The Year 1982

1982 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser

Brazil President João Figueiredo

Canada Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Post Abolished

France President François Mitterrand

Germany Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Till 1 October

Germany Chancellor Helmut Kohl From 1 October

India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

Italy Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini Till 1 December

Italy Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani From 1 December

Japan Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki Till 27 November

Japan Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone From 27 November

Mexico President José López Portillo Till 30 November

Mexico President Miguel de la Madrid From 30 November

Russia / Soviet Union

Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars Leonid Brezhnev

South Africa Prime Minister Pieter Willem Botha

United States President Ronald Reagan

United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher