• 1980s Culture

    The 1960s were about peace, love, and rebellion against authority. The 1970s were a period of rapid social change as minority groups, women, and others asked for equal treatment. During the 1980s, the culture shifted again. Life became more fast-paced as people built careers and focused on technology.

    Fun Facts:

    • The personal computer, microwave, cell phone, wireless phone, VCR, and fax machine appeared, along with ATM machines and overnight package delivery. It’s hard to imagine a time without these inventions, some of which have already been replaced by newer technologies.
    • Businesses grew during the 1980s as entrepreneurs took more risk. Many Americans were driven by success, status, and wealth. Real estate developers, such as Donald Trump, became wealthy investing in real estate. A recession in the late 1980s caused the real estate market to crash.
    • People panicked about AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), a new disease that killed more than 450,000 Americans by the year, 2000. Since then, we’ve learned much about how to prevent and treat the disease.
    • The baby boomers – the generation born after World War II – were in the prime of their careers and earning a lot of money. They spent their money on nice cars, large houses, and entertainment. They were sometimes called yuppies.
    • Not everyone enjoyed the prosperity of the 1980s. The gap between those who earned the least amount of money and those who earned the most grew – a problem that continues today. Homelessness rates grew in some cities.
    • Due partly to increased television coverage, people became more aware of suffering around the world. Celebrities performed benefit concerts to raise money for many causes, such as famine victims in Ethiopia.
    • A fitness craze hit the nation with exercise videos, gyms, and classes springing up.


    1. Baby boomer: someone born during the prosperous period after World War II, from 1945 to 1965
    2. Entrepreneur: someone who starts a business

    Questions and Answers

    Question: Who developed the new technologies?

    Answer: In many cases, individuals and small businesses worked on new technologies. For example, college drop-out Bill Gates invented the personal computer. Government agencies continued to work on larger technologies, including the space program.

    The space program was temporarily shut down after the Challenger space shuttle exploded just seconds after lift-off on January 28, 1986. The explosion was caused by a faulty O-ring seal. All seven crew members, including school teacher, Christa McAuliffe, were killed.

    Learn More

    Visit NASA to learn more about the Challenger disaster.


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Declan, Tobin. " American Culture in The 1980's - Educational Facts ." American History for Kids, Jul 2022. Web. 28 Jul 2022. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/1980s-culture/ >.

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Tobin, Declan. (2022). American Culture in The 1980's - Educational Facts. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/1980s-culture/

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