Back in the Day: 1982

40 Years in 40 weekends is presented by 

What was happening when T95 turned 3?


  • Smileys 1982 was the year a computer scientist ( Scott Fahlman ) from Carnegie Mellon University first suggested the use of Smiley or emoticon as a way of expressing emotion in an email 🙂
  • World Changing Event: The Commodore 64 became the first popular ‘home use’ computer in many homes.

  • Doctors performed the first implant of a permanent artificial heart designed by Robert Jarvik
  • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC is dedicated
  • First CD player sold in Japan
  • The Weather Channel airs on cable television for the first time.
  • The Soviet Spaceship Vanera 13 lands on Venus and sends back color Photographs
  • 20 million Elm Trees die in the UK through Dutch Elm Disease
  • Times man of The Year is THE COMPUTER
  • Most popular toys: Strawberry Shortcake, Smurfs, My Little Pony, BMX Bikes, Trivial Pursuit, and Sequence


  • Italy Wins 1982 World Cup in Spain
  • NFC Championship game between the 49ers and Dallas Cowboys…. “The Catch”

  • Super Bowl XVI – San Francisco 49ers won 26-21 over the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • The Clemson Tigers won 22-15 over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Orange Bowl to win the college football national championship
  • The 1982 NFL strike lasted for three months and eight weeks, forcing the 1982 season to be shortened to 9 games per team
  • Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles plays the first of what will become a record-breaking 2,632 consecutive games
  • Montreal hosts the first MLB All-Star Game outside the United States. Reds SS Dave Concepción hits a 2-run home run in the 2nd inning to spark the National League to its 11th consecutive win over the American League 4-1. The NL has now won 19 of the last 20 contests. Concepción was named the MVP.
  • Pete Rose sets record with his 13,941st plate appearance.
  • World Series – St. Louis Cardinals won 4 games to 3 over the Milwaukee Brewers to claim their first World Championship since 1967. The Series MVP was Cardinals catcher Darrell Porter.
  • NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship – North Carolina wins 63-62 over Georgetown
  • NBA Finals – Los Angeles Lakers won 4 games to 2 over the Philadelphia 76ers
  • Stanley Cup – New York Islanders win 4-0 over the Vancouver Canucks


  • Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a live bat thrown at him during a performance in Des Moines, Iowa. He thought it was rubber
  • Ozzy Osbourne is arrested after urinating on The Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas.

  • Ozzy Osbourne’s lead guitarist, Randy Rhoads, is killed in a freak accident in Leesburg, Florida when the plane in which he is riding buzzes Osbourne’s tour bus and crashes into a house. The plane’s pilot and a female passenger are also killed.
  • Ozzy Osbourne marries his manager Sharon Arden in Maui, Hawaii.
  • A 300-pound (136 kg) gravestone from the grave of Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant is stolen from an Orange Park, Florida cemetery. Police found the gravestone 2 weeks later in a dry river bed.
  • Comedian and Blues Brother John Belushi is found dead of an apparent drug overdose in the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles.
  • Iron Maiden release The Number of the Beast, the critically acclaimed yet controversial album often hailed as Iron Maiden’s greatest. This was Iron Maiden’s first album to feature singer Bruce Dickinson and their first to hit number one in the UK charts. Also, drummer Clive Burr is fired and replaced by Nicko McBrain formerly of the French band Trust.

  • Johnny Cash hosts Saturday Night Live with Cash and Elton John and his classic band as the musical guests. Cash sings I Walk The LineFolsom Prison BluesRing of Fire and Sunday Morning Coming Down. John sings Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) and Ball and Chain. The latter would not appear on the NBC show again until 2011.
  • Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking album “Thriller” was released in November. The King of Pop’s nine song album was produced by legendary musician Quincy Jones and was Jackson’s sixth studio album.It was also known for the 14-minute long horror-themed music video with memorable choreography that took MTV by storm. Since its release it has become the one of the highest-selling albums of all time.

  • Graceland the home of Elvis Presley opens to the public
  • The screen legend Grace Kelly/Princess Grace of Monaco dies on September 14th in car crash
  • Rod Stewart is mugged in Los Angeles. Stewart loses his $50,000 Porsche to the mugger, but is not hurt. The car is recovered several days later.
  • Joe Strummer vanishes, forcing The Clash to postpone their U.K. tour. Three weeks later, he and his girlfriend are found living in Paris, two days after they ran the Paris Marathon.
  • Influential rock journalist Lester Bangs dies in his New York apartment of an apparent accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
  • The Clash Drummer Topper Headon is fired from the band when his Heroin addiction became too prevalent.
  • Queen release their tenth studio album, Hot Space, to immense critical outcry. The decision to make a dance-pop album with prominent disco influences at the height of American backlash against the latter genre renders the band a pariah in the United States, and their shift from traditional rock alienates their fans in the United Kingdom. Queen would not recover from the resulting backlash in the United Kingdom until after their Live Aid performance in 1985, while they would remain unpopular in the United States until after Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991.
  • Pink Floyd – The Wall, a film adaptation of Pink Floyd’s 1979 album The Wall, premieres at the Cannes Film Festival; the film’s wide release would later begin on July 15.

  • Ronnie James Dio plays his final show with Black Sabbath (until 1992).
  • The first US Festival is held over Labor Day Weekend near Devore, California. The Police, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Fleetwood Mac, Grateful Dead, Talking Headsand The B-52’s are among the many performers.
  • The Who begin their only formally announced “farewell” tour in Washington, D.C.
  • The breakup of the band Blondie is announced publicly.


  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

  • Rocky III,
  • On Golden Pond
  • Porky’s
  • An Officer and a Gentleman
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

  • Poltergeist
  • Annie
  • Chariots of Fire
  • Gandhi


  • Bryant Gumbel begins his 15-year stint as co-anchor of NBC’s Today Show.
  • Late Night with David Letterman debuts on NBC; Letterman’s first guests are Bill Murray (who dances around to the songs “Physical”) and “Mr. Wizard” Don Herbert.
  • The Weather Channel is begun in the U.S.
  • Joseph Billie Gwin, wanting to “prevent World War III”, forces his way into the studios of Phoenix CBS affiliate KOOL-TV, fires a gunshot, takes 4 people hostage (holding one of them, cameraman Louis Villa, at close gunpoint), and demands national broadcasting time. Three hours later, Gwin releases 2 hostages, Jack Webb and Bob Cimino. At 9:30 pm, with Gwin sitting next to him with a gun, KOOL anchor Bill Close reads a 20-minute statement; when finished, Close takes Gwin’s gun and sets it on the table

  • Professional wrestler Jerry Lawler slaps actor Andy Kaufman in the face on the program Late Night with David Letterman; Kaufman responds by throwing coffee and shouting profanities at Lawler. The incident was later revealed to have been staged.

  • After Tom Wopat and John Schneider quit the CBS action series The Dukes of Hazzard as a result of a contract dispute, their characters, Bo and Luke Duke, are written out of the series as joining a NASCAR team and are replaced by cousins Coy and Vance (played respectively by Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer). Bo and Luke—and Wopat and Schneider—would return to the series by season’s end.
  • Queen performs on the eighth-season premiere of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
  • Susan Stafford departs as co-host of the NBC game show Wheel of Fortune to do humanitarian work. Auditions occur for who will replace her, with Vanna White formally replacing Stafford on December 13; White continues on Wheel to this day.
  • At the age of 7, Drew Barrymore becomes the youngest person to ever guest-host Saturday Night Live. It was in this same episode that Andy Kaufman was banned from ever performing on the show again.
  • ESPN broadcasts its first live college football game, simulcasting the Independence Bowl match-up between Kansas State University and the University of Wisconsin.
  • Surround Sound is introduced for home use by Dolby.
  • SHOW PREMIERS: Fame; Late Night with David Letterman (NBC); T.J. Hooker; Joanie Loves Chachi; Cagney & Lacey; The Gary Coleman Show; The Incredible Hulk; Meatballs & Spaghetti; Family Ties; The Little Rascals; Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour; Pac-Man; The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour; Knight Rider; All the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert; Cheers; Voyagers!; CBS Morning News; It Takes Two; Newhart; The New Odd Couple
  • SERIES CANCELLED/FINALES: The Lawrence Welk Show; Spider-Man; Password Plus; WKRP in Cincinnati; Fridays; The Incredible Hulk; Mork & Mindy; The Tom & Jerry Comedy Show; The Flinstone Comedy Show; Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo; The Doctors


  • AT&T Ordered to Break Up
    1. The break-up of the AT&T monopoly was ordered during January of 1982.
    2. The US government’s deal with the AT&T Corporation stated that AT&T would give up control of the Bell System (colloquially called Ma Bell) that had owned most of the telephone services in the United States and Canada since the 1940s.
    3. The agreement came as the result of an anti-trust case brought against the company in 1974 by the US Department of Justice.
    4. The break-up of the Bell System officially became effective two years later in 1984 when it was split into seven different independent Regional Bell operating Companies, informally known as “Baby Bells.”

  • Argentina invades the Falkland Islands / Maldives on March 19th , and the UK sends the Royal Navy, RAF and the Army and retakes possession of the Falkland Islands during the conflict Argentine Exocet missile sinks HMS Sheffield on May 4th and the Nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano. Argentina surrenders on June 14th

  • NASA’s STS-3 mission launched on March 22nd. This was the third mission for the Space Shuttle Columbia and it launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The commander of the mission was Jack R. Lousma and the pilot was C. Gordon Fullerton. Sally Ride, who would become the first American woman in space the following year, was a member of the support crew. The two-man crew completed their mission objectives and several experiments during orbit. STS-3 successfully landed at the White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico after eight days on March 30th.

  • Wave of Terrorist attacks in France by Carlos the Jackal, who is reportedly responsible for the bombing of the ParisToulouse TGV ‘Le Capitole’ train on 29 March 1982 (5 dead, 77 injured); the car-bombing of the newspaper Al-Watan al-Arabi in Paris on April 22, 1982 (1 dead, 63 injured); and continued the following year with the bombing of the Gare Saint-Charles in Marseille on December 31, 1983 (2 dead, 33 injured), and the bombing of the Marseille-Paris TGV train (3 dead, 12 injured) on the same day. In August 1983, he also attacked the Maison de France in West Berlin, killing one man and injuring twenty-two. Within days of the bombings, Carlos sent letters to three separate news agencies claiming responsibility for the bombings as revenge for a French air strike against a PFLP training camp in Lebanon the previous month. Carlos was captured in 1994, and is serving multiple life-sentences in prison.

  • Thousands of Palestinian refugees in refugee camps in West Beirut murdered by Lebanese militia

  • Israel returns Sinai to Egypt

  • The First Issue of USA Today is published

  • The Provisional IRA continues it’s bombing campaign in London and Mainland Britain

  • Around 700,000 demonstrators gathered in New York City’s Central Park protesting the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

  • Michael Fagan Brakes Into The Queens Bedroom in Buckingham Palace

  • Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide kill 7 in Chicago September 29th. The murders led to the change in packaging for medication.

  • Yassar Arafat elected the President of the Palestinian National Council

  • The world’s largest oil rig ( The Ocean Ranger ) sinks in the north Atlantic