Are you an '80s whiz kid?

By: Maria Trimarchi

When what fell, so did most of the communist governments in Eastern Europe?

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 is a moment the world watched, including American kids. For three decades it remained a symbol of the Cold War, but on November 9, 1989, that changed when the head of the East German Communist Party announced citizens of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) could cross freely.

In 1981, what 24/7 cable entertainment channel launched with the video of The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star"?

A rocket ship took off. And then a voice announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll!" And as Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn and J.J. Jackson were introduced at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 1981, the video for The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" began to play. And immediately, every American wanted their MTV.

Who did Charles the Prince of Wales marry in 1981?

Lady Diana Spencer and Charles the Prince of Wales were married in what was dubbed the "Wedding of the Century" on July 29, 1981, at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. As many as 750 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the broadcast.

Booster engine failure caused which shuttle to disintegrate just 73 seconds after it launched, on January 28, 1986, from the Kennedy Space Center?

On January 28, 1986, Americans watched as the NASA space shuttle Challenger launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. But just 73 seconds into its flight, it exploded, killing all seven on board, including Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Christa McAuliffe.

In 1986, there was a catastrophic nuclear accident at what nuclear power plant?

On April 26, 1986, the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, then a part of the former Soviet Union. Today, scientists have estimated that as much as 60 percent of the radioactive debris fell on the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

For most of January 1986, what comet was visible in the western sky, after sunset?

Back in 1705 astronomer Edmond Halley predicted this comet would return, about every 76 years. He was right. Halley's comet, named for him, did just that. In early 1986, Halley's comet was visible low in our planet's western sky, just after sunset, and came closest to the Earth on April 10 that same year.

What was the name of the first popular portable audio cassette player?

When the Sony Walkman was introduced in the U.S., it came with the tag line, "There's A Revolution In The Streets." And there was. The Walkman was a success, but it had competition from Toshiba's "Walky," Aiwa's "CassetteBoy," and the Panasonic "MiJockey."

Which was not a popular hairstyle in the '80s?

The bigger the better, in the '80s. Big hair, permed hair, Jheri curl hair and the high-top fade were all popular styles.

When did Michael Jackson introduce the world to his moonwalk?

While we know now he wasn't the first to moonwalk, the first time we saw Michael Jackson do it, to "Billie Jean," was at the "Motown 25" TV special, in 1983.

Which computer was the most popular among home users in the early '80s?

Computers moved from the workplace into our houses in the '80s. Although it may not have been the preferred PC among professional users, it was the Commodore, first introduced in 1982, that was the most popular with home users.

What was first lady Nancy Reagan's campaign, which was part of the "War on Drugs"?

In 1986, in an effort to keeps kids from trying drugs, the first lady introduced America to her "Just Say No" campaign, which dovetailed with the "War on Drugs."

What role-playing game was fingered as being the work of the devil in the early '80s?

In the early 1980s it was dangerous to play D&D. Some religious groups were convinced it was a representation of the occult. And believe it or not, in 1983 a group of parents started "BADD," which stood for "Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons."

Excuse me, are those ____ jeans you're wearing?

In the late '80s, Bugle Boy commercials featured model Annabel Schofield asking men if those were, in fact, Bugle Boy jeans he was wearing -- before moving on.

The bobsled team from which country surprised everyone at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary?

It was the unexpected combination of bobsledding and Jamaica that caught the world off guard. After all, it doesn't snow in the Caribbean island. And their story led to the Disney movie "Cool Runnings" in the '90s.

Which was not a popular '80s arcade game?

"Street Fighter" came out in 1987, but the more-popular "Street Fighter II – The World Warrior" is a 1991 arcade game.

Which was the first NASA space shuttle to have a successful first flight into space?

On April 12, 1981, the Columbia space shuttle launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with two crew members and a pilot. After orbiting the Earth 36 times over 54 hours, the shuttle landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

What did the artists who recorded "We Are the World" to raise money to help alleviate famine in Ethiopia call themselves?

On January 28, 1985, 46 vocalists got together to form the super-group USA for Africa and recorded what would become the award-winning song, "We Are the World."

Although McDonald's executive chef René Arend created the recipe in 1979, what item didn't get on the menu until 1983?

In 1983, the McDonald's Chicken McNugget was born. Originally conceived and created in the late '70s, McDonald's couldn't supply enough to its franchises. So, after delay, McNuggets became available across the U.S. Did you know they come in discreet shapes? There are four, including a ball, a bell, a boot and a bowtie.

Not to be confused with harem or "Hammer" pants, what's a characteristic of parachute pants?

Parachute pants of the early '80s were unisex fashion. They were made of the same nylon material as parachutes, hence the name, and usually were styled with many zippers.

The "Brat Pack" was the name given to a group of actors who often appeared together in teen movies in the '80s. Who's not one of this group?

The "Brat Pack" is generally considered to be Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwal and Ally Sheedy. But Charlie Sheen, who doesn't appear in the same films as these actors, isn't part of the "pack."

"New Coke," as it was unofficially known, hit U.S. stores in April 1985. And Americans hated it. How long did it take until original Coke returned?

Just three months after it introduced the "new taste of Coca-Cola," the Coca-Cola Company rebranded it as "Coke II" and put its original formula back on the shelves as "Coca-Cola Classic." And in epic form, "General Hospital" was interrupted so TV news anchor Peter Jennings could announce it to the country.

Where did the Exxon Valdez oil spill happen?

On March 24, 1989, an oil tanker named the Exxon Valdez, bound for California, ran aground and spilled 10.8 million gallons of crude oil -- that's 240,000 barrels -- into Prince William Sound.

Who was the U.S. men's ice hockey team up against in the 1980 Winter Olympics when they pulled off the "Miracle on Ice"?

It was the U.S. versus the defending gold medalists, the USSR -- and it was assumed the win would go to the Soviets. But on February 22, 1980, at Lake Placid, New York, the U.S. men's hockey team stunned the world when they won, 4-3.

On May 13, 1981, there was an assassination attempt on which pope's life?

Pope John Paul II, the pontif from 1978 until his death in 2005, was shot four times by a Turkish man named Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. Although it's still unclear to the public why Agca attempted to assassinate him, the pope went on to forgive Agca.

Which now-obsolete format won the videotape format war?

Just as Blu-ray and HD-DVD had to battle it out, so did videotape formats back in the '80s. Ultimately, it was VHS that won.

Of the five James Bond films released in the '80s, which does not star Roger Moore as Bond?

Roger Moore was the Bond with the most Bond films in the '80s, starring as the MI6 agent in "A View to a Kill," "For Your Eyes Only" and "Octopussy." Timothy Dalton starred as Bond in the remaining two, which came out in 1987 and 1989: "The Living Daylights" and "Licence to Kill."

Who shot J.R.?

In the final scene of the season, J.R. Ewing walks out of his office to investigate a noise in the hallway and is shot twice. By whom? It was the question everyone had between March, when the season ended, and November, when it started back up after an actor's strike. Was it his wife, Sue Ellen? It turns out, it was Kristin Shepard, who was Sue Ellen's sister and, also, J.R.'s mistress.

Which was the first computer to introduce a mouse?

When the first Apple Macintosh computer was introduced in January 1984, it had a 9-inch black-and-white display, a graphical user interface and a mouse. It also cost $2,500.

Elizabeth Jordan Carr, born on December 28, 1981, was the first baby in the U.S. born via which fertility treatment?

More than 1.5 percent of babies born in 2013 were IVF babies. But the very first baby born via in-vitro fertilization in the U.S. was Elizabeth Jordan Carr, on December 28, 1981, at 7:46 a.m., and the 15th IVF baby in the world. The first gestational surrogacy also happened in the '80s, as did the first American "designer baby" using the controversial assisted reproductive technology procedure, preimplantation genetic diagnosis. (Using PGD, parents used sex-selected embryos.)

What does "yuppie" stand for?

In the early '80s, affluent and well-educated young professionals working in cities were nicknamed "yuppies," which stands for young urban professionals. In 1991, Time magazine published the obituary for the term.

Who tells us in the 1987 film "Wall Street" that "greed ... is good"?

It's Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, in the 1987 film "Wall Street," who tells us in his speech to Teldar Paper that "greed, for lack of a better word, is good."

Which was not a popular game on Nintendo?

Games like "Super Mario Bros.," "Super Mario Bros. 2," "The Legend of Zelda" and the "Mega Man" series were all popular games on the Nintendo console.

Which story was both a top-grossing film and top-selling novel in 1983?

"Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" and "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – The Storybook Based on the Movie" were both tops in 1983.

Who was the first American woman in space?

While she was preceded by two Soviet women, Valentina Tereshkova (in 1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (in 1982), physicist and astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman -- and the youngest astronaut -- in space as part of 1983's Challenger mission.

What expression replaced "um," and was used generously in conversation?

Like, "um" is totally over, and, like, "like" is totally tubular.

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About This Quiz

You remember when President Reagan was shot. And when John Lennon was assassinated. When fights broke out over Cabbage Patch Kids and when the Chicago Bears did the Super Bowl Shuffle. See if you're an '80s expert.

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