The Miracle On Ice and Why It Mattered

It may be the greatest underdog story ever told. On February 22, 1980, at the Lake Placid Olympics, the United States ice hockey team scored an all-but impossible victory over the USSR team. They then went on to beat Czechoslovakia to win the gold medal. That single game against the Soviets had a profound effect on American patriotism at a time when it was badly needed. The unlikely victory would have far-reaching political implications for the US and possibly for the USSR as well.

Life on the Halfpipe: How Skateboarding Became an Anti-Establishment Subculture

As countercultures go, the ‘80s were no ‘60s. There was no flower power, no free love, no Woodstock. But there was skateboarding. Skateboarding was not invented in the ‘80s. In fact, it wasn’t even most popular during the ‘80s. But it was in the ‘80s that skateboarders themselves began to see their favorite activity as more than just a sport. It became a cultural phenomenon with its own fashion, art, music, movies, and lifestyle.

23 Life Lessons from The Princess Bride

The movie “The Princess Bride” is a cult classic made in 1987 and directed by Rob Reiner. It was arguably one of the best movies of the year, and some would say of the entire decade. Who could forget Mandy Patinkin—in his self-professed favorite role of his entire career—as Inigo Montoya? Or Andre the Giant as the gentle thug Fezzik? Or Billy Crystal as Max the Miracle Man?

Live Aid: A New Kind of Compassionate Giving

In 1984, an Irishman named Bob Geldof, a musician with a group called the Boomtown Rats, traveled to Ethiopia. What he saw there changed his life. Due to a combination of natural causes and man-made events, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians were dead from famine, and millions more were endangered. Geldof had to do something to help.

Jane Fonda: An '80s Icon Who Still Looks Great in Leotard (at 81!)

There are few personalities who have made as much of an impact on their world as Jane Fonda. She has had a rich life and has reinvented herself more than once. She has been a fashion model, a film star, a political activist, and a philanthropist. Jane has found success in all of these roles. But it was her creation of a single VHS videotape in 1982 that helped to define a decade.

The Who Declares Smallpox Eradicated

In September 11, 1978, in Birmingham, England, a woman named Janet Parker died from a disease she had apparently caught at work. She was a photographer at the University of Birmingham who worked directly above the university’s microbiology lab where the smallpox virus was being studied. Janet would turn out to be the last person ever to die from that virus.

How John Hughes and the Brat Pack Helped a Generation Get Through High School

Who doesn’t remember the ending scene of “The Breakfast Club”? And who wasn’t disappointed that Duckie didn’t get the girl in “Pretty in Pink”? Those of us “of a certain age” don’t have to ask what those movies were about or who was in them. They were so much a part of our culture—our lives—that even 30 years later, they’re almost a part of us. But why did they mean so much to us? Why weren’t they “just entertainment,” like most of the other films of the decade, even the most memorable ones? And how did writer/director John Hughes know so much about teen angst?