What Happened in 1982 – Trivia, Movies, Songs, TV Shows, Born In

Trivia, Movies, Songs, Sports, Celebrities Born In 1982, News, Fun Facts and more.

Ever wonder, “What Happened in 1982?”

Well if you if you are planning a birthday party for friends or family, 1980s trivia game night, wedding anniversary event, class reunion or just interested in 1982 movies, music, tv, famous people born, trivia and fun facts; well you are in luck. Party Game Ideas has pulled together a list of news and interesting facts that happened in 1982, so you can create trivia games or activities based on 1982 facts. If you need games for a 1982 birthday party, check out our Born in 1982 – Birthday Party Game Pack.

1982 Items – Page Topics Listed in Order
1982 History & News, 1982 Fun Facts
1982 Top Movies, Notable Quotes, Top 40 Songs of 1982, Sports
Celebrities Born in 1982, Top TV Shows of 1982, Saturday Morning Cartoons
What Did Things Cost in 1982, and a handy Calendar at the bottom of the page.

1982 History & News

  • Falklands War: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands.
  • A rally against nuclear weapons draws 750,000 people in NYC’s Central Park.
  • Brutal January cold wave kills 261 people in the U.S.
  • President Ronald Reagan becomes the first US President to address a joint session of the British Parliament.
  • Permanent artificial heart is implanted in a human for the first time at the University of Utah Medical Center.
  • John Belushi dies of a drug overdose at the age of 33.
  • Air Florida’s Flight 90 crashed into the ice-clogged  Potomac River in Washington D.C.
  • The unemployment rate reached 10.8 percent by the end of 1982, the highest rate in post-World War II history.
  • Tylenol scare after 7 people die in the Chicago area after ingesting potassium cyanide laced capsules.
  • Lech Walesa was released from Polish jail after 11 months. He would later become the President of Poland.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • Time Machine of the Year: The Computer (Replaces Man of the Year)

Interesting Trivia & Fun Facts about 1982

  • Michael Jackson Thriller album is released November 30th and becomes the biggest selling album of all time. Seven songs from the album would become Top 10 hits.
  • Prince William is born on June at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London.
  • Reverend Sun Myung Moon weds 2,075 couples of the Unification Church in Madison Square Garden.
  • On March 10th, all 9 planets (now officially 8) align on the same side of the sun.
  • Late Night with David Letterman premiers on NBC in February of 1982.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee was the host of the 1982 World’s Fair
  • Calvin Klein introduces designer underwear.
  • Jane Fonda releases her first exercise video and aerobics, leotards and leg warmers became fashionable and big business.
  • The Weather Channel (US) debuts on cable tv.
  • Adobe Systems is founded in the United States.
  • The copper penny was replaced with a lighter copper-plated zinc version.
  • Epcot opens at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
  • A man in a lawn chair, “Lawnchair Larry” flies more than 16,000 feet above Long Beach, CA with weather balloons attached to his chair.
  • Frank Zappa releases “Valley Girls” single and Southern California valspeak became an 80s staple. “Like, for shur he was totally tubular.”
  • Sony launches the first compact disc (CD) player for consumers.
  • Miguel Vasquez performs the first quadruple somersault on the trapeze.
  • Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche – becomes a success as it tackles man stereotypes in a satirical way.
  • Deely Bobbers were the irrelevant fad of the year, doing $30 million in sales and then slowly bobbing away.
  • Diet Coke and Bud Lite are introduced during 1982.
  • USA Today launches at newsstands in Baltimore and Washington DC.

World Population – 4,592,000,000

Top Movies 1982 – US Box Office in millions

This list represents the earnings of movies that were released in 1982. We feature the top grossing movies of 1982 and other movies that were very memorable or are now notable decades after they first hit the big screen.

1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial $359.2
2. Tootsie $177.2
3. An Officer and a Gentleman $129.8
4. Rocky III $124.1
5. Porky’s $105.5
6. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan $78.9
7. 48 Hrs. $78.9
8. Poltergeist $76.6
9. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas $69.7
10. Annie $57.1
11. The Verdict $54
12. Gandhi $52.8
13. First Blood $47.2
14. The Toy $47.1
15. Firefox $46.7

Other notable 1982 movies:
Conan the Barbarian, TRON, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, & Creepshow

  • 1982 Academy Award for Best Picture – Chariots of Fire
  • 1982 Best Actor – Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond
  • 1982 Best Actress – Katherine Hepburn for On Golden Pond

Since the Academy Awards honors films from the past year, rather than the current year we include who won the Oscars in 1983 on our 1982 trivia page as well. This way you know if any of the big movies of 82 won any awards.

  • 1983 Academy Award for Best Picture – Gandhi
  • 1983 Best Actor – Ben Kingsley for Gandhi
  • 1983 Best Actress – Meryl Streep for Sophie’s Choice

Notable Quotes from 1982

“There heeeeere”
– Carol Anne Freeling, in Poltergeist

“E.T. phone home.”
– E.T., in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

Birthday Party Games Born in 1982 Celebrate Trivia Fun Facts 40th Birthday
Take 1982 Trivia to the Party! See how well guests can remember tv, fads, movies and events from the 80s and 90s.

Top Songs of 1982

Ratings are based on Hot 100 Charts from Nov. 1, 1981 – Oct. 31, 1982 ranking by Billboard

No. 1. Song of 1982 – “Physical” Olivia Newton-John
2. “Eye of the Tiger” Survivor
3. “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
4. “Ebony and Ivory” Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
5. “Centerfold” The J. Geils Band
6. “Don’t You Want Me” The Human League
7. “Jack & Diane” John Cougar
8. “Hurts So Good” John Cougar
9. “Abracadabra” Steve Miller Band
10. “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” Chicago
11. “Tainted Love” Soft Cell
12. “Chariots of Fire” Vangelis
13. “Harden My Heart” Quarterflash
14. “Rosanna” Toto
15. “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” Hall & Oates
16. “867-5309/Jenny” Tommy Tutone
17. “Key Largo” Bertie Higgins
18. “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” Melissa Manchester
19. “Waiting for a Girl Like You” Foreigner
20. “Don’t Talk to Strangers” Rick Springfield
21. “The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known)” Juice Newton
22. “Always on My Mind” Willie Nelson
23. “Shake It Up” The Cars
24. “Let It Whip” Dazz Band
25. “We Got the Beat” The Go-Go’s
26. “The Other Woman” Ray Parker Jr.
27. “Turn Your Love Around” George Benson
28. “Sweet Dreams” Air Supply
29. “Only the Lonely” The Motels
30. “Who Can It Be Now?” Men at Work
31. “Hold Me” Fleetwood Mac
32. “Eye in the Sky” The Alan Parsons Project
33. “Let’s Groove” Earth, Wind & Fire
34. “Open Arms” Journey
35. “Leader of the Band” Dan Fogelberg
36. “Leather and Lace” Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
37. “Even the Nights Are Better” Air Supply
38. “I’ve Never Been to Me” Charlene
39. “’65 Love Affair” Paul Davis
40. “Heat of the Moment” Asia

Interesting Facts:
Olivia Newton-John’s song Physical was released in 1981 and hit No. 1 in November of 1981. However the year end song ranking data was already finalized for 1981, so Physical did not rank in the Top 100 for 1981. However, it would become the No. 1 song of 1982.

Tainted Love by Soft Cell spent a record 43 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song charted in January at 90, rose to 64 and then fell to number 100 on February 27th & March 5th. From there it started a slow climb and 19 weeks to crack the Top 40 and finally in the summer of 1982 it peaked at number 8.

Toni Basil’s “Mickey” single was released in the fall of 1982, but didn’t do that much until her music video started playing on MTV. The video of the energetic cheerleader singing “Mickey” helped propel the song up the charts and it hit #1 in December of 1982 and came in at #36 on Billboard’s 1983 Top 100.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was releases November 30th, 1982. Videos and songs from the album would dominate the charts for all of 1983 and part of 1984.

Other notable songs that came out in 1982 include:
“Pac-Man Fever” #42 by Buckner & Garcia, “Freeze-Frame” #49 by The J. Geils Band, “Our Lips are Sealed” #63 by The Go-Gos, “Don’t Stop Believin” #73 by Journey, “Kids in America” #91 by Kim Wilde, and “Working for the Weekend” #96 by Loverboy.

Need 1980s Music for a birthday party or event. Check out 80s Forever playlist on Spotify with around 300 hit songs from the 80s!

80s Forever 80s Music Playlist

1982 – What Happened in Sports

  • Football – Super Bowl XVI – San Francisco 49ers defeated Cincinnati Bengals 26-21
  • Horse Racing – Kentucky Derby – Gato Del Sol
  • Ice Hockey – Stanley Cup – New York Islanders defeated Vancouver Canucks
  • Wayne Gretzky sets the NHL record with the most goals in a single season with 92 in just 80 games. (The record still stands.)
  • NBA Finals – Los Angeles Lakers defeated Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 2 games
  • Golf – U.S. Open – Tom Watson
  • Tennis
    Wimbledon Championships – Men’s Jimmy Connors, Women’s Martina Navratilova
    US Open – Men’s Jimmy Connors, Women’s Chris Evert
  • Baseball – World Series – St. Louis Cardinals defeated Milwaukee Brewers 4 games to 3 games.
  • Rickey Henderson sets the MLB record for the most stolen bases in the modern era with 130. (The record still stands.)
  • World Cup – Italy wins the 1982 World Cup in Spain


  • Football
    Orange Bowl: January 1, 1982 – Clemson defeated Nebraska (22-15)
    Rose Bowl: January 1, 1982 – Washington defeated Iowa
    Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1982 – Pittsburgh defeated Georgia
    Cotton Bowl : January 1, 1982 – Texas defeated Alabama
  • Men’s Division 1 Basketball – North Carolina defeats Georgetown 63 – 62

Celebrities Born in 1982

What Happened in 1982? These celebrities and famous people were born! you’ll be surprised at how many household names were born at the beginning of the 80s.

What year was Kelly Clarkson born? 1982
Kelly Clarkson

When was Sebastian Stan born? Answer in 1982
Sebastian Stan

When was Lil Wayne born? Answer 1982
Lil Wayne

Priyanka Chopra born in 1982
Priyanka Chopra

When was Anne Hathaway born? In19 82
Anne Hathaway

Prince William born in 1982
Prince William

More Celebrities and Famous People Born in 1982

  • Jessica Biel
  • Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead)
  • Kirsten Dunst
  • Anne Hathaway
  • Colin Jost (Comedian, SNL)
  • Adam Lambert
  • Kate Middleton
  • Nicki Minaj
  • John Mulaney (Comedian)
  • Apolo Anton Ohno
  • Danica Patrick (Racecar Driver)
  • LeAnn Rimes
  • Andy Roddick (Tennis Player)
  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Seth Rogan
  • Matt Smith (Doctor Who)
  • Cobie Smulders
  • Dwyane Wade (Basketball Player)
  • Paul Wesley (The Vampire Dairies)

Top Baby Names of 1982

  • Girls Names – Jennifer, Jessica, Amanda, Sarah, Melissa
  • Boys Names – Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Jason, David

Hosting a Baby Shower? Consider some of our unique baby shower games including Bad Baby Advice, 100 of Baby Name Trivia and Baby Shower Taboo.

Most Popular US TV Shows of 1982

We include the US Top 20 TV shows for two seasons, since they are different. Interesting to see the shows shift in popularity over the course of one year. The number after the show is the number of average viewers per week in millions. Numbers based on Neilson Media.

Top TV Shows of 1981 – 1982 Season
1. Dallas CBS Rating 28.4
2. 60 Minutes CBS 27.7
3. The Jeffersons CBS 23.4
4. Three’s Company ABC 23.3
5. Alice CBS 22.7
T6. The Dukes of Hazzard 22.6
T6. Too Close for Comfort ABC
8. Monday Night Movie ABC 22.5
9. M*A*S*H CBS 22.3
10. One Day at a Time CBS 22.0
11. Monday Night Football ABC 21.8
12. Archie Bunker’s Place CBS 21.6
13. Falcon Crest 21.4
14. The Love Boat ABC 21.2
T15. Hart to Hart 21.1
T15. Trapper John, M.D. CBS
17. Magnum, P.I. 20.9
18. Happy Days ABC 20.6
19. Dynasty 20.2
20. Laverne & Shirley 19.9

The big surprise is that the TV series Dynasty ratings were average in the first year. It wasn’t until Joan Collins arrival in 1982, that this trend setting tv series started to take off and become 1980s tv hit and pop culture influencer.

Cheers premiered on NBC in September of 1982, but this show did not even crack the top 20 in it’s first year. However, it would gain steam over the next few years to become a top ten show.

Top TV Shows of 1982 – 1983 Season
1. 60 Minutes CBS 25.5
2. Dallas CBS 24.6
T3. M*A*S*H CBS 22.6
T3. Magnum, P.I. CBS
5. Dynasty ABC 22.4
6. Three’s Company ABC 21.2
7. Simon & Simon CBS 21.0
8. Falcon Crest CBS 20.7
9. The Love Boat ABC 20.3
T10. The A-Team NBC 20.1
T10. Monday Night Football ABC
T12. The Jeffersons CBS 20.0
T12. Newhart CBS
14. The Fall Guy ABC 19.4
15. 9 to 5 ABC 19.3
16. One Day at a Time CBS 19.1
17. Hart to Hart ABC 18.9
T18. Gloria CBS 18.7
T18. Trapper John, M.D. CBS
20. Knots Landing CBS 18.6

Popular Saturday Morning Cartoons in 1982

  • Super Friends
  • The Smurfs
  • Scooby and Scrappy Doo
  • Richie Rich
  • Bugs Bunny & Road Runner
  • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
  • Flintstone Funnies
  • Fonz Hour

Notable Arcade Video Games of 1982

The video arcade was a hang out spot for kids in the 80s. Here is a list of new and notable video arcade games gobbling up quarters in 1982.

  • Dig Dug
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Popeye
  • Joust
  • BurgerTime
  • Q*bert
  • Mr. Do!
  • Robotron: 2084
  • Pole Position
  • Time Pilot
  • Pitfall

While these newcomers generated excitement in the video arcade Pac-Man was again the highest grossing video game of 1982. The best selling home game system of 1982 was the Atari 2600.

What did things cost in 1982

Check out this 1982 prices for food, gas, and even gold. Keep in mind that these tend to be average prices for an item in the US during the year. Things like bacon, gas, eggs and milk often fluctuate during the year by as much as 10-20%, so we average out the price. For gold we use the end of year price. When possible we used US Govt. Economic data.

  • Stamp $0.20
  • Loaf of bread $0.60
  • Dozen Eggs $0.86
  • Skippy Peanut Butter 28 oz. jar $1.49
  • Sliced Bacon 1 lb. $2.05
  • Gallon of Milk $2.24
  • Gallon of Gas $1.29
  • Movie Ticket $2.94
  • Minimum Wage $3.35
  • Sony Walkman $129
  • Ounce of Gold $447
  • New Car $9,903
  • Cost of a 30 second Super Bowl ad in 1982 $324,300
  • Cost of a gigabyte of data storage $270,000

Most likely if you are searching for fun facts, trivia, and What Happened in 1982, you are getting ready to plan a big event like a birthday celebration for a spouse or close friend. We hope that our 1982 trivia, fun facts, top movies, top 40 songs of 1982 and other information was helpful and interesting.

If you find yourself short on time, then be sure to check out our Born in 1982 Party Pack Games. The perfect addition to any 40th Birthday Party celebration. We include fun party activities that will have guests talking about the 80s and 90s, while celebrating the birthday honoree.

If you are hosting a birthday party for someone Born in 1982, be sure to check out these party decorations that will help make your event extra special.

Party Game Ideas may receive compensation if featured items are purchased from linked web sites.

1982 Calendar

Want to know on what day of the week someone was born, an anniversary or just need to check out a specific date from 1982? Then check out our 12 month 1982 calendar.

1982 calendar 12 month day calendar

Thanks for visiting our What Happened in 1982 Trivia page. We hope you had fun reliving the movies, top songs & music, tv shows, actors born in 1982, fun facts and other items from 1982. We created a graphic so you can save this page on Pinterest.

What Happened in 1982 Top Songs Born in 82 TV Movies Trivia