Blasting Back in Time to 1983

In this Dec. 1, 1984, file photo, pop artist Michael Jackson, center, is shown onstage at opening night of his Victory Tour at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. CBS/ AP

Fashion turned to big hair, the final trilogy film of "Star Wars" was released in theaters, chicken mcnuggets were introduced, and the first U.S. cell phone system was up and running. Do you know in what year that all happened?

In "The Early Show"'s "Time Machine" series, we "traveled" back in time to 1983.

Blast to the Past, 1983, with "The Early Show"
Photos: Back to 1983!
1983: Year of Toys
Cool Gear of 1983
"Knots Landing" Cast Reunion
Pointer Sisters Push Forward
The year was different from others, especially in style. Over-the-top fashion statements were the norm.

"Early Show" weather anchor and features reporter Dave Price said it seemed like Halloween lasted the entire year in 1983.

He said, "You had these like -- I wouldn't call them hair-dos -- they were basically follicle explosions."

The year 1983 was of The Reagan Era and The Cold War.

"Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez said, "It was us versus the Soviets."

President Ronald Reagan was quoted as saying to an evangelical group at Orlando, Fla., that the Soviets were "the focus of evil in the modern world."

"Early Show" news anchor Russ Mitchell said he remembers the "Star Wars" trilogy ending, as "The Return of the Jedi" is released in theaters.

He said, "Just those two words, 'Star Wars' made people think that, 'Oh, my gosh, you know, what's going to happen,' that the world is going to end."

However, the U.S. was shaken in reality when the Marine barracks in Beirut were bombed.

CBS News former anchor Dan Rather reported the bombing had the heaviest U.S. casualties since Vietnam.

Price said, "How could anyone have gotten to the point where they could cause such damage on our own military?"

Remembering 1990
Reflections on 1979

Another landmark of 1983 was the first flight of Sally Ride, the first female astronaut in space.

"Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith said, "It was this incredible acceleration through the '70s and into the '80s of women finally getting their due in certain fields. Sally Ride going into space was certainly part of that."

In entertainment, films such as "Flashdance," made an impact on America's youth.

Rodriguez said she had "major 'Flashdance' fever."

"Of course, I had the cut-up sweatshirt that would reveal one shoulder," she said. "And I never took that thing off. And I think I knew that movie by heart."

The year also marked the end of the television series, "M.A.S.H."

Price recalled, "In M.A.S.H.'s finale where Hawkeye is flying out of the 4077th and you see the writing in stone -- on the base -- it was television at its best."

Michael Jackson's "moonwalking" performances of "Billie Jean," a No. 1 hit that year, were also a milestone in music.

Mitchell said, "I remember going home one night and watching on my little, bitty 13-inch television, and seeing Michael Jackson do this incredible dance that defied physics."

In 1983, President Reagan also signed a bill marking the third Monday of every January as Martin Luther King Jr. Day to honor the civil rights leader.

Mitchell said the day was aside to honor "not only this incredible man, but everybody who fought for justice in this country and beyond."

Pope John Paul II also visited his would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Ağca in prison to forgive him.

Smith remarked this kind of behavior is what made the Pope great.

"This is a guy who tried to kill him, and he goes to see him in prison," Smith said. "That's something Jesus would have done."
  • CBSNews

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.