|Caught in the act? Our class officers were merely posing, of course.
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While it’s hard to believe that 35 years have passed by, our Senior Year at GCHS was filled with history-making moments.
Ronald Reagan was elected president, defeating Jimmy Carter, in the first election where many of us could vote.
On the same day as President Reagan’s January 1981 inauguration, 52 hostages were released from Iran after enduring 444 days of captivity.
In 1981, Reagan would name Sandra Day O’Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court – the first woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice. The Court allowed TV cameras in courtrooms for the first time.
Bobby Unser won the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race for the third time, but USAC temporarily stripped him of victory over accusations that he illegally passed other cars under a caution flag. Unser’s win wasn’t reinstated until October of 1981. Of course, there was only one big race a year in Speedway in 1981.
All eyes were on the TV show “Dallas” in November of our Senior Year – with record numbers of people tuning in to find out “who shot J.R.” ? (It was his sister-in-law Kristen who shot J.R. Ewing in a fit of anger.)
“Ordinary People” won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1981, a year that also brought us “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Chariots of Fire.”
Singer Christopher Cross won a Grammy for Record of the Year with “Sailing.” That’s when they gave awards for “record” of the year (instead of download of the year?)
1981 was the year that IBM introduced the first personal computer. The software on board was the Disc Operating System (DOS) from upstart Microsoft. We graduated before the cell phone and the iPod – and even before the Compact Disc, which didn’t reach stores until 1983.
A first class stamp went up to eighteen cents in March of 1981. Unemployment reached a high of 7.1% in 1981.
The average new home was $83,000 and the median household income didn’t break $20,000. A dozen eggs were less than a dollar in 1981. A gallon of milk was $2.22. A gallon of regular gas was was $1.38 – but if you adjust for inflation, that same gallon would cost $3.09 in today’s money (about the same as what we’re paying at the pump right now!)
A few weeks before we graduated, NASA launched the first space shuttle (Columbia) from Cape Canaveral. And a couple of months after graduation, the very first videos played on MTV – which is also celebrating its silver anniversary in 2006.
Doctors noted the first cases of AIDS in 1981.
And born during our Senior Year were Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, singer Justin Timberlake, and celebrity Paris Hilton.