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Fast Facts

POP Culture: 1980

ICONS: Ronald Reagan, Space Shuttle, Personal Computing
Ronald and Nancy Reagan Space Shuttle Personal Computer

  • On April 12, 1980, the United States Olympic Committee voted to boycott the Summer Olympics in Moscow in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • Mark David Chapman murders John Lennon outside the Dakota Hotel in New York City, NY, the evening of December 8, 1980.
  • Prince Charles and Lady Diana marry at Westminister Abbey on July 29, 1981.
  • The musical Cats debuts on Broadway, October 8, 1982. It would hold the record for most performances (7,484) until surpassed by The Phantom of the Opera in January 2006.
  • Apple Computer® launches its Macintosh computer in 1984.
  • The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes 74 seconds after liftoff on January 28, 1986.
  • Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express wins the 1986 Caldecott Award.
  • The stock market loses 22.6 percent of its value on "Black Monday," October 19, 1987.
  • Sylvester Stallone stars in 1988's Rambo III following the success with Rambo: First Blood (1982) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985).
  • Best selling author Tom Clancy concludes a successful decade with the publication of Clear and Present Danger in 1989. The book follows previous bestsellers The Hunt for Red October (1984), Red Storm Rising (1986), Patriot Games (1987), and The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988).

The 1980 Census


10 Largest Urban Places

U.S. Resident Population: 226,542,199 Rank Place Population
Population per square mile of land area: 64.0 1 New York City, NY 7,071,639
Percent increase of population from 1970 to 1980: 11.4 2 Chicago, IL 3,005,072
Official Enumeration Date: April 1 3 Los Angeles, CA 2,966,850
Number of States: 50 4 Philadelphia, PA 1,688,210
Cost: 1.1 billion 5 Houston, TX 1,595,138
Cost per Capita (cents): 486.5 6 Detroit, MI 1,203,339
Total Pages in Published Reports: 300,000 7 Dallas, TX 904,078
Number of Enumerators: 458,523 8 San Diego, CA 875,538
Census Bureau Director: Vincent Barabba 9 Phoenix, AZ 789,704
Number of Questions on the Short Form: 19 10 Baltimore, MD 786,775
Number of Questions on the Long Form: 52

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: December 05, 2022