Below you will find the list I compiled of major events, trends, world leaders, cost of living, and popular culture for the year 1982. I hope this helps you with the baby book, time capsule, or commemorative project you’re working on. The blog post is fairly long, so if you don’t feel like writing down all the information check out the printable options.
Affiliate links have been incorporated into this post to provide you with further information about trends and popular items during this period of time.
Printables for 1982:
1982 Newspaper / 1982 In Pictures / 1982 World Around Me / 1982 Full Blog Post PDF
1982 Cost of Things (U.S. Averages):
Federal Minimum Wage~ $3.32 (dol.gov)
Gallon of Milk (whole)~ $2.24 (bls.gov)
Dozen Eggs(Large, Grade A)~ 87 cents (bls.gov)
Loaf of bread (1lb)~ 50 cents (bls.gov)
U.S. Postage Stamp~ 20 cents (Wikipedia)
New Car Price~ $9,370 (New York Times)
Regular Unleaded Gallon of Gas~ $1.30 (bls.gov)
Movie Ticket~ $2.94 (Boxofficemojo.com)
Median sales price of new house(June)~ $69,300 (Census.gov)
Median Household Income~ $21,120 (Census.gov)
1982 World Leaders:
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States
Haig then Shultz, United States Secretary of State
Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Deng Xiaoping, President of China
Hirohito, Emperor of Japan
Karl Carstens, President of Germany
Brezhnev then Andropov, President of Russia
Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Pope John Paul II of Vatican City
François Mitterrand, President of France
Reddy then Singh, President of India
Yitzhak Navon, President of Israel
Waldheim then Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General of the United Nations
1982 Top Televisions:
19-inch Zenith color television model S1942W
Sony KV-1515 Big 15″ Trinitron Color TV
1982 Top Cell phones:
Motorolla DynaTac 8000X
Nokia Mobira Senator
1982 Top Wearable Technology:
Motorola BPR2000 Pager
1982 Top Computer Desktops, & Laptops:
The Commodore 64
IBM 5150 PC
Epson HX-20 notebook-sized portable computer
1982 Top Online Social Communities:
1982 Top Gaming systems:
1982 Top Tech Gadgets:
Phillips D6620 Tape Recorder
Panasonic RX-5150 Boombox
Sharp GF-9696 Ghettoblaster
Sony Cassette Walkman MDR-E252 (first in-ear headphones)
Commercial release of the Compact Disc Digital Audio (CD-DA)
VCR (Video Cassette Recorder)
VHS (Video Home System) Cassette video recording media
JVC Handheld Camcorder Mini VHS recorder VHS-C
Sony Handheld Betamovie Beta Camcorder
1982 Top Automobiles:
Toyota Pickup Truck (2-wheel drive, gasoline)
Mercedes Benz 300D
Toyota Corolla SR-5
1982 Top Celebrities:
Princess Grace Kelly
James Earl Jones
1982 Top Athletes:
Joe Montana -NFL
Ken Anderson -NFL
Bobby Allison -NASCAR
Craig Stadler -PGA
Jan Stephenson -LPGA
Jimmy Connors -Tennis
Martina Navratilova -Tennis
Chris Evert -Tennis
Larry Holmes -WBA, Heavyweight Boxing
Bernard Hinault -Cyclist
Gato Del Sol & jockey Eddie Delahoussaye -Horse Racing
1982 Top Sporting Events:
Super Bowl XVI – San Francisco 49ers won 26-21 over the Cincinnati Bengals
Daytona 500: Bobby Allison
The Kentucky Derby: Gato Del Sol under jockey Eddie Delahoussaye
The Masters: Craig Stadler
Stanley Cup: New York Islanders win 4-0 over the Vancouver Canucks
NBA Championship: Los Angeles Lakers won 4 games to 2 over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Wimbledon: Men’s singles: Jimmy Connors
Wimbledon: Women’s singles: Martina Navratilova
FIFA World Cup: Italy beats West Germany 3-1 for their third title.
World Series: St. Louis Cardinals won game series 4-3 over the Milwaukee Brewers to claim their first World Championship since 1967.
Olympics: Next Olympic Games in 1984 (Los Angeles & Sarajevo)
1982 Top Songs:
(Billboard.com Hot 100)
Physical ~ Olivia Newton John –number 1 in January
Centerfold ~ The J. Geils Band —number 1 in February
Centerfold ~ The J. Geils Band —number 1 in March
I Love Rock ‘N Roll ~ Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – number 1 in April
I Love Rock ‘N Roll ~ Joan Jett & The Blackhearts —number 1 in May
Ebony & Ivory ~ Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder —number 1 in June
Don’t You Want Me ~ The Human League —number 1 in July
Eye of the Tiger ~ Survivor —number 1 in August
Abracadabra ~ The Steve Miller Band —number 1 in September
Jack & Diane ~ John Cougar —number 1 in October
Up Where We Belong ~ Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes —number 1 in November
Truly ~ Lionel Richie – number 1 in December
Other Popular Songs in 1982:
Waiting for a Girl Like You ~ Foreigner
Let’s Groove ~ Earth, Wind, & Fire
I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) ~ Daryl Hall & John Oats
Open Arms ~ Journey
That Girl ~ Stevie Wonder
Sweet Dreams ~ Air Supply
Chariots of Fire ~ Vangelis
Do You Believe In Love ~ Huey Lewis & The News
We Got the Beat ~ Go-Go’s
Africa ~ Toto
You Were Always On My Mind ~ Willie Nelson
Hard To Say I’m Sorry ~ Chicago
Hold Me ~ Fleetwood Mac
Hurts So Good ~ John Cougar
Even The Nights Are Better ~ Air Supply
Eye In The Sky ~ The Alan Parson’s Project
Who Can It Be Now ~ Men At Work
Heartlight ~ Neil Diamond
I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) ~ Michael McDonald
You Can Do Magic ~ America
Mickey ~ Toni Basil
Gloria ~ Laura Branigan
Maneater ~ Daryl Hall & John Oats
The Girl Is Mine ~ Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney
Sexual Healing ~ Marvin Gaye
Dirty Laundry ~ Don Henley
Down Under ~ Stray Cats
1982 Top Television Shows:
Simon & Simon
The Love Boat
The Fall Guy
9 to 5
One Day At A Time
Hart to Hart
Trapper John M.D.
Hill Street Blues
Archie Bunker’s Place
Laverne & Shirley
Little House: A New Beginning
Dukes of Hazzard
1982 Top Movies:
On The Golden Pond
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Conan the Barbarian
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Other popular movies in 1982:
An Officer and a Gentleman
Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
1982 Top Books:
An Indecent Obsession ~Colleen McCullough
The Hotel New Hampshire ~John Irving
North and South ~John Jakes
The Parsifal Mosiac ~Robert Ludlum
The Man from St. Petersburg ~Ken Follett
The Prodigal Daughter ~Jeffrey Archer
Different Seasons ~Stephen King
Master of the Game ~Sidney Sheldon
Space ~James Michener
The Color Purple ~Alice Walker
The Gunslinger (The Darktower, #1) ~Stephen King
The House of the Spirits ~Isabel Allende
The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1) ~Marion Zimmer Bradley
Schindler’s List ~Thomas Keneally
Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, #3) ~Douglas Adams
A is for Alabi (Kinsey Millhone, #1) ~Sue Grafton
The Toa of Pooh ~Benjamin Hoff
1982 Top Children’s Books:
The BFG ~Roald Dahl
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? ~Bill Martin Jr.
Moo, Baa, La La La! ~Sandra Boynton
The Going To Bed Book ~Sandra Boynton
Dear Zoo: A Lift—the-Flap Book
Jamberry ~Bruce Degen
1982 Top Fashion and Trends:
High waisted jeans
Leg warmers (footless socks)
Ankle socks with ‘cotton ball’ on back
Oversized blouses worn with a belt
Shoulder pads in blazers and shirts
Short-punk hair on women (High bangs)
Head and wrist bands
Skinny tie with a blazer rolled up at sleeves
Plaid dress pants
1982 World Population:
4,617,386,542 and counting…
1982 Top News and Major Events:
January 1 – New British (Independent Television) ITV franchises are launched; Central, TSW and TVS.
January 11 – British Prime Minister’s son, Mark Thatcher, disappears in the Sahara desert during the Dakar Rally. He is later rescued on January 14.
January 11–17 – Temperatures dive to record lows in many cities throughout the Midwestern United States.
January 13 – Air Florida Flight 90 crashes into Washington, D.C.’s 14th Street Bridge, just after takeoff, then falls into the Potomac River killing 78 passengers.
March 26 – In Washington, D.C. a ground-breaking ceremony is held for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
April 2 – The Falklands War begins: Argentina invades and occupies the Falkland Islands.
April 17 – By Proclamation of the Queen of Canada on Parliament Hill, Canada patriates its constitution, gaining full political independence from the United Kingdom; included is the country’s first entrenched bill of rights.
May 5 – A Unabomber bomb explodes in the computer science department at Vanderbilt University.
May 12 – Spanish priest Juan María Fernández y Krohn tries to stab Pope John Paul II with a bayonet during the latter’s pilgrimage to the shrine at Fátima.
May 24 – KGB head Yuri Andropov is appointed to the Secretariat of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
June 13 – Fahd becomes King of Saudi Arabia upon the death of his brother, Khalid.
June 18 – Argentine military dictator Leopoldo Galtieri resigns in the wake of his country’s defeat in the Falklands War.
June 21 – John Hinckley, man who attempted an assassination of President Reagan in 1981, is found not guilty by reason of insanity.
June 30 – The Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, guaranteeing equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex, falls short of the 38 states needed to pass.
July 9 – Intruder Michael Fagan breaches Buckingham Palace security as far as into the bedroom of Elizabeth II.
July 12 – Checker Motors Corporation ceases production of automobiles.
August 12 – Mexico announces it is unable to pay its large foreign debt, triggering a debt crisis that quickly spreads throughout Latin America.
September 1 – The United States Air Force Space Command is founded.
September 25 – 400,000 marchers demand the resignation of Prime Minister Menachem Begin in Israel.
September 29–October 1 – The Chicago Tylenol murders occur when seven people in the Chicago area die after ingesting capsules laced with potassium cyanide.
October 27 – In Canada, Dominion Day is officially renamed Canada Day.
November 3 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average surges 43.41 points, or 4.25%, to close at 1,065.49, its first all-time high in more than 9 years. It last hit a record on January 11, 1973, when the average closed at 1,051.70. The points gain is the biggest ever up to this point.
November 13 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.
November 28 – Representatives from 88 countries gather in Geneva to discuss world trade and ways to work toward aspects of free trade.
December 4 – The People’s Republic of China adopts its current constitution.
December 7 – The first U.S. execution by lethal injection is carried out in Texas.
December 24 – The “Christmas Eve Blizzard of ’82” hits Denver.
1982 Pop Culture:
January 7 – The Commodore 64 8-bit home computer is launched by Commodore International in Las Vegas, it becomes the all-time best-selling single personal computer model.
January 8 – AT&T Corporation agrees to break up and divest itself of 22 subdivisions.
February 28 – Adobe Systems was founded.
March 29 – The 54th Academy Awards, hosted by Johnny Carson, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Chariots of Fire wins Best Picture and 3 other Academy Awards.
April 19 – Sally Ride is named the first American woman astronaut.
May 1 – A crowd of over 100,000 attends the first day of the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, which is kicked off with an address by President Ronald Reagan. Over 11 million people attend during its 6-month run.
May 2 – The Weather Channel airs on cable television for the first time.
May 8 – French-Canadian racing driver Gilles Villeneuve is killed during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
May 30 – Cal Ripken, Jr. plays the first of what eventually becomes his record-breaking streak of 2,632 consecutive Major League Baseball games.
June 11 – E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial is released in the United States; this will become the biggest box-office hit of the rest of the decade.
June 12 – The Nuclear Disarmament Rally, an event against nuclear weapon proliferation, draws 750,000 to New York City’s Central Park. Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Linda Ronstadt attend. An international convocation at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine features prominent peace activists from around the world and afterward participants march on Fifth Avenue to Central Park for the rally.
June 13 – The 1982 FIFA World Cup begins in Spain.
June 21 – Prince William is born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London.
July 2 – Lawnchair Larry flight flies 16,000 feet (4,900 m) above Long Beach, California, in a lawn chair with weather balloons attached.
July 11 – Italy beats West Germany 3–1 to win the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain.
August 17 – The first compact discs (CDs) are produced in Germany.
September 14 – Beloved American actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, dies at age 52 after being injured in a car accident.
September 19 – The first emoticons are posted by Scott Fahlman.
September 21 – The National Football League Players Association calls a strike, the first in-season work stoppage in the National Football League’s 63-year history. The strike lasts for 57 days, reduces the regular season from 16 games to 9, and forces an expanded 16-team playoff tournament.
October 1 – In Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney World opens the second largest theme park, EPCOT Center, to the public for the first time.
October 1 – Sony launches the first consumer compact disc (CD) player (model CDP-101).
November 30 – Michael Jackson releases his sixth studio album, Thriller, in the United States, which will go on to be the greatest selling album of all time at 110 million units sold worldwide.
December 29 – Paul “Bear” Bryant coaches his final college football game, leading Alabama to a 21–15 victory over Illinois in the Liberty Bowl at Memphis, Tennessee. Bryant dies of a massive heart attack four weeks later at age 69.
January 17 – Cold Sunday sweeps over the northern United States.
January 30 – The first computer virus, the Elk Cloner, written by 15-year old Rich Skrenta, is found. It infects Apple II computers via floppy disk.
March 10 – Syzygy: all 9 planets align on the same side of the Sun.
April 19 – USSR Salyut 7 space station put into orbit.
May 7 – IBM releases PC-DOS version 1.1.
June 23 – A temperature of negative 117°F an all-time low at the South Pole.
July 9 – Sci-fi movie Tron is the first feature film to use computer animation extensively.
July 20 – Allen Hill and colleagues at the University of Oxford develop a glucose biosensor.
October 14 – Halley’s Comet: First spotted in the sky after 70 year return.
December 2 – At the University of Utah, 61-year-old retired dentist Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart; he lives for 112 days with the device.