Back to the Future Day … Going Back to 1985!

In celebration of Back to the Future Day, we take a look back at what was happening in 1985.

  • 8767687_f520Ronald Reagan is sworn in for a second term as U.S. President.
  • In Hollywood, California, the charity single “We Are the World” is recorded by USA for Africa.
  • William J. Schroeder becomes the first artificial heart patient to leave the hospital.
  • The FDA approves a blood test for AIDS, used since then to screen all blood donations in the United States.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev becomes the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and de facto leader of the Soviet Union.
  • Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. (The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market in less than 3 months.)
  • LiveAidlogoLive Aid pop concerts in Philadelphia and London on July 13 raise over £50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.
  • The Nintendo Entertainment System is released in the U.S. It was first released in Japan in 1983.
  • Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0.
  • The first .com domain name,, is registered by the Symbolics corporation.
  • Compact Discs are introduced to American Consumers.
  • British Scientists discover a hole in the Earth’s ozone layer.
  • The first Blockbuster video-rental store opens in Dallas, TX

a-ha_takeBillboard’s Number 1 song the week of October 21:
Take On Me – A-Ha

Also playing on the radio in 1985:

  • Rock Me Amadeus – Falco
  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
  • One Night in Bangkok – Murray Head
  • Careless Whisper – Wham!
  • Like A Virgin – Madonna
  • I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  • Shout – Tears for Fears
  • Heat Is On – Glenn Frey
  • Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer
  • Power of Love – Huey Lewis & the News
  • Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon
  • St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) – John Parr
  • Axl F (Theme to Beverly Hills Cop) – Harold Faltermeyer

backtothefutureThe movie Back to the Future opens in July and becomes the highest grossing film of the year in the United States.

Popular films: The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, The Color Purple, and Rocky IV
Popular TV Shows: The Cosby Show, Family Ties, 60 Minutes, Cheers and Dallas
Academy Award for Best Picture: Amadeus
Grammy for Record of the Year/Song of the Year: “What’s Love Got to Do With It”

Economy in 1985:

  • Average cost of new house: $89,330
  • Average annual income: $22,100
  • Average monthly rent: $375
  • Average new car: $9,005
  • Gas: $1.09 per gallon
  • Movie ticket: $2.75
  • U.S. postage stamp: 22 cents
  • Eggs: $0.80/dozen
  • Milk: $2.26 per gallon
  • Population: 237,923,795
  • Life expectancy: 74.7 years
  • Dow-Jones: High – 1,553; Low – 1,184

Welcome to the Future, Marty McFly!