E.J. Cooper High School
Class of 1981












Who will ever forget these timeless news events?

( I did. )

  • Politics

    • Ronald Reagan was elected as President in late 1980

    • George Herbert Walker was Vice President


      • Nov. 4:Ronald Reagan is elected 40th president of the United States. Reagan earned 51 percent of the vote and 489 electoral votes. Carter received 41 percent of the vote.   The Republicans also gained control of the Senate. After taking office, the devoutly conservative Reagan proceeds to cut taxes and government spending,  but also beefs up the defense budget. During the beginning of Reagan's presidency, inflation eases to just below the double digits, and interest rates soar to new highs by the middle of 1981. (The prime interest rate climbs to more than 20 percent.) Unemployment jumps to more than 8 percent.

    • President Carter gave his Farewell Address to the Nation

    • President Reagan gave his first inaugural address

      • Jan. 20: Minutes after Reagan's presidential inauguration, the 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran by Muslim fundamentalists are flown to freedom following an agreement in which the United States agrees to return to Iran $8 billion in frozen assets.

    • Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first female Supreme Court Justice

    • President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.

      • March 30:President Reagan is shot in the chest by a would-be assassin outside the Washington Hilton as he walked to his limousine following an AFL-CIO address. The 70-year-old president recovers after surgery to remove a bullet from his left lung. John Hinckley Jr., 25, the son of a Denver-area oil tycoon is arrested. In a series of letters to teen actress Jodie Foster, Hinckley said his unrequited love for her might lead him to do something that would make him famous.

    • A First Class stamp was $0.15 ($0.18 as of 3/22/81; $0.20 as of 11/1/81)

    • Unemployment was 7.1%

    • Median household income $19,074

    • Government debt: $994.8 billion

    • Lech Walesa Voted Time's Man of the Year

    • Anwar Sadat (Egyptian President) was assassinated

    • France officially abolishes the death penalty and with it the guillotine

  • Science & Health

    • BMW develop first in car computer, to monitor engine performance

    • The 236-m.p.h. TGV, Europe's first high-speed passenger train, begins operating out of Lyons, France.

    • Walter Cronkite's last day as principal anchorman of The CBS Evening News was March 6, 1981. He continues to work for CBS in other news and information assignments. Days later, Dan Rather becomes his replacement.

    • AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is first diagnosed

      • March: AIDS virus surfaces and identified in the United States. A drug technician for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notices an unusually high number of requests for the drug pentamidine used in the treatment of pneumocystis carinii pneumonis (PCP). This led to a scientific report of PCP occurring in five gay Los Angeles men. Later in the year, the first cases of PCP appear in drug addicts. Clinical investigators also observe an alarming rate of rare cancer, Kaposi's Sarcoma, in otherwise healthy gay men. The disease is first called "gay cancer" but renamed GRID-"gay-related immune deficiency." The CDC commissions first AIDS task force in June. In July, the first press reports appears on the syndrome in the New York Times.

    • The US Agriculture Department trys making ketchup a school lunch vegetable.

    • The FDA approves the use of the artificial sweetener aspartame (Nutrasweet).

    • Space Shuttle Columbia was the first shuttle to be launched.

      • April 12: The 75-ton U.S. space shuttle Columbia, the world's first reusable spacecraft, launches from Florida into space. The Columbia completes is 54-hour mission and lands in the Mojave Desert in California.

    • Pope John Paul is shot outside St. Peter's Square

      • May 13: While greeting pilgrims from his jeep in St. Peter's Square in Rome, Pope John Paul II is shot in the stomach. Two bystanders also are wounded. The 61-year-old pope survives a 4 ½ hour operation. Would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca, an escaped Turkish murderer, claimed his actions were in protest of the imperialism of the Soviet Union and United States.

    • Great Britain celebrates a national holiday to mark the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

    • About 12,000 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization walk off the job in dispute over pay and working conditions. President Reagan gives them one day to return to work. When they don't, Reagan fires them all.

    • IBM PC's are released

      • Aug. 13: IBM announces the IBM 5150 PC personal computer in New York. The computer is perhaps the first to wear the PC label, but there is debate to when the first personal computer was introduced. Was it the IBM PC? "Simon" made by Berkeley Enterprises in 1950? Or the Altair 8800 from 1984?

      Notable Deaths-


      • Aug. 1: Character actor Strother Martin dies of a heart attack at 61. Martin acted in such films as "The Wild Bunch" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," but was best known for his role as the sadistic warden in the 1967 chain gang prison flick "Cool Hand Luke" starring Paul Newman. Martin's character declared the famous line, "What we've got here is failure to communicate."

      • Sept. 15: Jazz pianist Bill Evans, 51, dies in New York.

      • Sept. 18: American author Katherine Anne Porter, best known for her novel
        "Ship of Fools," dies at 90.

      • Sept. 25: Led Zeppelin drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham, 32, dies from asphyxiation by his own vomit during a coma induced by some 40 measures of vodka. Heavy metal pioneers Led Zeppelin disbands soon after.

      • Oct. 10: William "Buckwheat" Thomas, famed child actor in the Our Gang film series, dies at 49. Thomas was the most durable of the Little Rascals, with his pigtails, patched gingham clothing and name after a breakfast food. Comedian Eddie Murphy gained fame portraying "Buckwheat" on Saturday Night Live.

      • Nov. 7: Film star Steve McQueen dies of heart attack at 50 while undergoing controversial treatment for lung cancer

      • Nov. 22: Actress, comedienne and sex goddess Mae West dies at 88. With a film career that peaked in the 1930s, West was viewed as too risqué and independent for the time. Her famous quotes include "Come up and see me sometime," and "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?"

      • Dec. 8: Former Beatle John Lennon, 40, is shot and killed outside his apartment in New York City. Assassin Mark David Chapman admits to firing five .38 bullets into Lennon.

      • Dec. 16: Col. Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, dies from leukemia at 90. An American fast food pioneer, Sanders perfected his "finger lickin' good" recipe that was said to contain 11 herbs and spices. Millions of his buckets of chicken have been sold, but lab results of his chicken disclosed only the seasonings of salt, pepper and monosodium glutamate.


      • Jan. 8: Matthew "Stymie" Beard Jr., famed child actor in the Our Gang film series, dies at 56. At age five, Beard began acting in the series later dubbed "The Little Rascals." The derby-hatted, bald-headed "Stymie" often outwitted the adult protagonists in the series.

      • Jan. 23: American composer Samuel Barber, 70, dies. Barber is best known for his piece "Adagio for Strings," which was later featured prominently in the 1986 film "Platoon."

      • Feb. 9: Musician Bill Haley, 56, dies in Texas. Haley boosted the rock 'n' roll craze with the hit "Rock Around the Clock" in the 1955.

      • April 8: Gen. Omar Bradley, the five-star general who commanded the U.S. 12th Army Group in Europe during World War II, dies at 88. Bradley's troops broke out of the Normandy beachhead and liberated Paris.

      • April 12: Former heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis, 66, dies of a heart attack in Las Vegas. Known as "The Brown Bomber," Louis held the title from 1937-49.

      • May 11: Musician Bob Marley, 36, Jamaican folk hero and reggae champ dies
        from cancer in Miami.

      • June 5:  Over 600 Cooper High School students from New Hope, MN hold commencement exercises at Mielke Field in Robbinsdale, MN. Immediately thereafter, several students are overheard saying "hey, where's the kegger?"

      • July 16: Musician Harry Chapin, 38, is killed in Long Island when his car collides with a truck. His songs included "Cat's in the Cradle" and "Taxi."

      Notable Births-
      These newsmakers of today were born during the 1980-81 school year.


      • Aug. 26: Actor and misguided Macaulay Culkin, who shot to fame with the 1990 film "Home Alone," about a resourceful youth who gets left behind when his family takes a European vacation.

      • Sept. 30: The world's top-ranked female tennis player, Martina Hingis, who lives in Switzerland.

      • Nov. 17: Isaac Hanson, guitarist and eldest brother of the all-sibling pop group Hanson, best known for the annoying song, "Mmm-Bop."

      • Dec. 18: American teen pop star Christina Aguilera.



      • Feb. 17: Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, best known for his role as a mature alien passing as a human teen-ager on NBC's "3rd Rock from the Sun."

      • June 7: Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova. The young Kournikova has received more attention for her looks rather than her tennis abilities.

      • June 9: Actress Natalie Portman, who gained fame as Queen Amidala in the 1999 Star Wars prequel known as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

  • Movies & TV

    • Birth of MTV ("Video Killed the Radio Star")

    • Dynasty Premieres

    • Hill Street Blues premieres

    • Luke and Laura's wedding (General Hospital)

    • Private satelite dishes are given the ok by the FCC

    • Some Popular Movies:

      • American Werewolf in London

      • Arthur

      • Chariots of Fire (Academy Awards' Best Picture)

      • Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams

      • Elephant Man

      • For Your Eyes Only

      • Mommie Dearest

      • On Golden Pond

      • Ordinary People

      • Raiders of the Lost Ark

      • Stripes

  • Sports

    • Super Bowl - Oakland def. Philadelphia (27-10)

    • World Series - Dodgers def. Yankees (4-2)

    • NBA Championship - Boston def. Houston (4-2)

    • Stanley Cup - Islanders def. Minnesota (4-1)

    • NCAA Basketball - Indian def. North Carolina (63-50)

    • NCAA Football - Clemson (12-0-0)


    • Wimbledon

      • Women: Chris Evert Lloyd d. H. Mandlikova (6-2 6-2)

      • Men: John McEnroe d. B. Borg (4-6 7-6 7-6 6-4)

  • Music World

    • Album of the Year "Christopher Cross" Christopher Cross

    • Best New Artist - Sheena Easton

Top singles of 1981
Ask your kids if they recognize any of these tunes...then ask if they know what a "Phonograph" is. Sit back and watch their heads spin.

* = Song went #1

*1... BETTE DAVIS EYES, Kim Carnes (#1, May)
*2... ENDLESS LOVE, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (#1, Aug)
*3... LADY, Kenny Rogers (#1, Nov 1980)
*4... (Just Like) STARTING OVER, John Lennon (#1, Dec 1980)
*5... JESSIE'S GIRL, Rick Springfield (#1, Aug)
*6... CELEBRATION, Kool and the Gang (#1, Feb)
*7... KISS ON MY LIST, Daryl Hall and John Oates (#1, April)
*8... I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT, Eddie Rabbitt (#1, Feb)
*9... 9 TO 5, Dolly Parton (#1, Feb)
*10.. KEEP ON LOVING YOU, REO Speedwagon (#1, March)
11.. THE THEME FROM "GREATEST AMERICAN HERO" (Believe It Or Not), Joey Scarbury (#2, Aug)
*12.. MORNING TRAIN (Nine To Five), Sheena Easton (#1, May)
13.. BEING WITH YOU, Smokey Robinson (#2, May)
14 ..QUEEN OF HEARTS, Juice Newton (#2, pt)
*15.. RAPTURE, Blondie (#1, March)
16.. A WOMAN NEEDS LOVE (Just Like You Do), Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio (#4, June)
*17.. THE TIDE IS HIGH, Blondie (#1, Jan)
18.. JUST THE TWO OF US, Grover Wasington Jr. (with Bill Withers) (#2, May)
19.. SLOW HAND, The Pointer Sisters (#2, Aug)
20.. I LOVE YOU, The Climax Blues Band (#12, June)
21.. WOMAN, John Lennon (#2, March)
22.. SUKIYAKI, A Taste of Honey (#3, June)
23.. THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL, Abba (#8, March)
*24.. MEDLEY (Intro Venus/Sugar, Sugar/No Reply/I'll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want To Know a Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/Nowhere Man/You're Going To Lose That Girl/Stars On 45), The Stars on 45 (#1, June)
25.. ANGEL OF THE MORNING, Juice Newton (#4, May)
26.. LOVE ON THE ROCKS, Neil Diamond (#2, Jan)
27.. EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD, Air Supply (#5, Jan)
*28.. THE ONE THAT YOU LOVE, Air Supply (#1, July)
29.. GUILTY, Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb (#3, Jan)
30.. THE BEST OF TIMES, Styx (#3, March)
31.. ELVIRA, The Oak Ridge Boys (#5, July)
32.. TAKE IT ON THE RUN, REO Speedwagon (#5, May)
33.. (There's) NO GETTIN' OVER ME, Ronnie Milsap (#5, Sept)
34.. LIVING INSIDE MYSELF, Gino Vanelli (#6, May)
*35.. WOMAN IN LOVE, Barbra Streisand (#1, Oct 1980)
36.. BOY FROM NEW YORK CITY, The Manhattan Transfer (#7, Aug)
37.. URGENT, Foreigner (#4, Sept)
38.. PASSION, Rod Stewart (#5, Feb)
39.. LADY (You Bring Me Up), The Commodores (#8, Sept)
40.. CRYING, Don McLean (#5, March)
41.. HEARTS, Marty Balin (#8, Aug)
42.. IT'S MY TURN, Diana Ross (#9, Jan)
43.. YOU MAKE MY DREAMS, Daryl Hall and John Oates (#5, July)
44.. I DON'T NEED YOU, Kenny Rogers (#3, Aug)
45.. HOW 'BOUT US, Champaign (#12, June)
46.. HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT, Pat Benatar (#9, Dec 1980)
47.. THE BREAKUP SONG (They Don't Write 'Em), The Greg Kihn Band (#15, Sept)
48.. TIME, The Alan Parsons Project (#15, Aug)
49.. HUNGRY HEART, Bruce Springsteen (#5, Dec 1980)
50.. SWEETHEART, Frankie and the Knockouts (#10, June)
51.. SOMEBODY'S KNOCKIN', Terry Gibbs (#13, April)
52.. MORE THAN I CAN SAY, Leo Sayer (#2, Dec 1980)
53.. TOGETHER, Tierra (#18, Feb)
54.. TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS, Styx (#9, May)
55.. WHAT ARE WE DOIN' IN LOVE, Dottie West (with Kenny Rogers) (#14, June)
56.. WHO'S CRYING NOW, Journey (#4, Oct)
57.. DE DO DO DO, DE DA DA DA, The Police (#10, Jan)
58.. THIS LITTLE GIRL, Gary U.S. Bonds (#11, June)
59.. STOP DRAGGIN' MY HEART AROUND, Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (#3, Sept)
60.. GIVING IT UP FOR YOUR LOVE, Delbert McClinton (#8, Feb)
61.. A LITTLE IN LOVE, Cliff Richard (#17, March)
62.. AMERICA, Neil Diamond (#8, June)
63.. AIN'T EVEN DONE WITH THE NIGHT, John Cougar (Mellencamp) (#17, May)
64.. ARTHUR'S THEME (Best That You Can Do), Christopher Cross (#1, Oct)
65.. ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST, Queen (#1, Oct 1980)
66.. GAMES PEOPLE PLAY, The Alan Parson Project (#16, March)
67.. I CAN'T STAND IT, Eric Clapton and His Band (#10, May)
68.. WHILE YOU SEE A CHANCE, Steve Winwood (#7, April)
69.. MASTER BLASTER (Jammin'), Stevie Wonder (#5, Dec 1980)
70.. HELLO AGAIN, Neil Diamond (#6, March)
71.. DON'T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME, The Police (#10, April)
72.. HEY NINETEEN, Steely Dan (#10, Feb)
73.. I AIN'T GONNA STAND FOR IT, Stevie Wonder (#11, March)
74.. ALL THOSE YEARS AGO, George Harrison (#2, July)
75.. STEP BY STEP, Eddie Rabbitt (#5, Oct)
76.. THE STROKE, Billy Squier (#17, Aug)
77.. FEELS SO RIGHT, Alabama (#20, Sept)
78.. SWEET BABY, Stanley Clarke/George Duke (#19, Aug)
79.. SAME OLD LANG SYNE, Dan Fogelberg (#9, Feb)
80.. COOL LOVE, Pablo Cruise (#13, Sept)
81.. HOLD ON TIGHT, ELO (The Electric Light Orchestra) (#10, Oct)
82.. IT'S NOW OR NEVER, John Schneider (#14, Aug)
83.. TREAT ME RIGHT, Pat Benatar (#18, March)
84.. WINNING, Santana (#17, July)
85.. WHAT KIND OF FOOL, Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb (#10, March)
86.. WATCHING THE WHEELS, John Lennon (#10, May)
87.. TELL IT LIKE IT IS, Heart (#8, Jan)
88.. SMOKEY MOUNTAIN RAIN, Ronnie Milsap (#24, Feb)
89.. I MADE IT THROUGH THE RAIN, Barry Manilow (#10, Jan)
90.. YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELIN', Daryl Hall and John Oates (#12, Nov 1980)
91.. SUDDENLY, Olivia Newton-John/Cliff Richard (#20, Jan)
92.. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, Sheena Easton (#4, Oct)
93.. THE BEACH BOYS MEDLEY, The Beach Boys (#12, Oct)
94.. WHIP IT, Devo (#14, Nov 1980)
95.. MODERN GIRL, Sheena Easton (#18, July)
96.. REALLY WANT TO KNOW YOU, Gary Wright (#16, Sept)
97.. SEVEN YEAR ACHE, Rosanne Cash (#22, July)
98.. I'M COMING OUT, Diana Ross (#5, Nov 1979)
99.. MISS SUN, Boz Scaggs (#14, Feb)
100.. TIME IS TIME, Andy Gibb (#15, Jan)

I Can't believe I've squandered over an hour reading all of this useless crap.
Take me back to the TOP OF THE PAGE