RT Cunningham


1980 - The First Year of the Crazy Eighties - My Memories and More

1980 - crazy eighties I turned 20 while I was serving as a U.S. Marine at MCRD San Diego, California in 1980. While I don’t remember the daily events (no one can), some things are clearly etched in my memory.

I’m cheating a bit, using the year’s Wikipedia page to refresh my memories. I won’t mention anything I didn’t experience at the time or haven’t experienced since.

Happenings in 1980

I don’t know what else to call the things that pertain to various aspects of the federal and state governments. At the beginning of 1980, Americans were still being held hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Iran. They weren’t released until 1981, minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States.

Movies Released in 1980

I watched a lot of movies in and around San Diego, California. Always in theaters and always on Friday and Saturday nights, when I knew I didn’t have to work the next day. I didn’t own a car until late in the year, so I had to rely on buses to get around. If I missed the late bus, I had to walk between four and five miles to get back to the base.

These are the movies I watched in theaters in 1980, or watched on one of the movie channels within a year or so:

I remember all of them, but not necessarily from when they were in the theaters. I remember watching them on cable movie channels, but I can’t tell you when.


I didn’t watch much television until after I moved out of the barracks in 1980. We had a single TV in the barracks. Even then, I didn’t have a whole lot of time during the week to do anything but work.

Because of my work hours and other military commitments, I rarely watched all of them every week.

Music Released in 1980

I didn’t listen to a lot of music in 1980. I had albums on cassette tapes but I don’t remember which ones I had in which year. These are the songs I remember hearing on one radio or another.

There were obviously many more, but I don’t remember hearing them when they were released.


John Lennon, a former member of The Beatles, was murdered outside his home in New York. Sure, other celebrities passed away, but they didn’t have the same impact.

The Eighties is My Favorite Decade in History

Although it wasn’t all lollipops and rainbows, it was the best decade I can remember so far. We didn’t have to deal with cell phones, the internet or social justice warriors. Those things didn’t start happening until the 1990s.

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By RT Cunningham
July 25, 2019
United States