Updated: Apr 4, 2022
By Paula Green
Severe recession begins in the United States. In September 1982, Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide killed seven in Chicago. Ninety-nine year-old phone company AT&T (Ma Bell) agreed to break up into seven smaller regional companies (Baby Bells).
Average: The average income was $23,430.00. Cost of a new home $82,200. The average cost of a new car is $7,983. Gasoline was $1.19 per gallon. A loaf of sliced white bread was 60 cents. A pound of tomatoes cost 39 cents. The price of a first-class stamp was 20 cents. A pound of coffee sold for $2.09. A gallon of milk sold for $1.79. A dozen eggs were 79 cents. Price for a movie ticket was $3.00.
Firsts: A permanent artificial heart is implanted in a human for the first time. The space shuttle Columbia made its first mission. Adobe was founded, and so was Electronic Arts. (Paul) Newman’s Own opened for business. Sally Ride became the first woman in space. The first documented use of emoticons :-) and :-( was founded at Carnegie Mellon University.
U.S. Events: Henry Fonda died at his Los Angeles home from heart disease. John Belushi died from a drug overdose. A tragic accident took the lives of Vic Morrow and two child actors, on the set of The Twilight Zone: The Movie. Graceland, the home of the late Elvis Presley, opened to the public. On November 13, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC was dedicated.
World News: Princess Grace, 52, of Monaco died of injuries when her car plunged off a mountain road. The world’s first compact disc player was introduced in Japan. The world’s largest oil rig, The Ocean Ranger, sinks in Canadian waters in the Atlantic. Ingrid Bergman died from cancer on August 29, on her 67th birthday in London, England. Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet leader died at 75.
Entertainment: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial lands in movie theatres. The big movies included Tootsie, Officer and a Gentleman, Rocky III, Porky’s, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 48 HRS, Poltergeist, The World According to Garp, Gandhi, Sophie’s Choice and Annie. Cats opens on Broadway.
Television: The Weather Channel airs on cable television for the first time. The Late Night with David Letterman debuted on NBC. Popular TV shows: 60 Minutes, Dallas, M*A*S*H*, Hillstreet Blues, Magnum, P.I., Dynasty, Three’s Company, Simon & Simon, Falcon Crest, The Love Boat and The A-Team.
Top Songs: Hit songs: I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, I Can’t Go for That, Centerfold, Chariots of Fire, Ebony & Ivory, Don’t You Want Me, Eye of the Tiger, Abracadabra, Hard to Say I’m Sorry, Jack and Diane, and Physical. Michael Jackson releases his second solo album Thriller.
Publishing: Popular books: Schindler’s List, The Color Purple, ET: The Extraterrestrial Storybook, Space, The Parsifal Mosaic, Master of the Game, and Mistral’s Daughter. The first USA Today newspaper is published.
Sports: Super Bowl Champs: San Francisco 49ers; World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals; Stanley Cup Champs: New York Islanders; NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers. NCAA Football Champions: Penn State, Pitt Panthers win the Sugar Bowl, Herschel Walker, running back from the University of Georgia wins the Heisman Trophy.
Politics: President: Ronald W. Reagan, Vice President: George H. W. Bush. Alexander M. Haig Jr. resigns as Secretary of State. Equal Rights Amendment fails ratification.
Quotes: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” ~ Spock (Leonard Nimoy) – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan “They’re Here!” ~ Carol Ann Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) – Poltergeist
“E.T. phone home.” – E.T. in E.T.
“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” – Fed Ex
Sources: https://www.infoplease.com/year/1982, https://pop-culture.us/Annual/1982.html, https://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1982.html, https://www.historycentral.com/20th/1982.html