Home » 80s Capsule 1988 – What Happened In 1988?

80s Capsule 1988 – What Happened In 1988?

by Kim

In 1988 the world was a very different place with many significant changes having taken place in the previous decade or so.

Social Politics

The year 1988 was a time of significant political changes across the globe. This was the year that saw the beginning of the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, and this is reflected in the “peaceful” revolutions in Czechoslovakia and Hungary, amongst others. 1988 also saw one of the most controversial elections, which saw George Bush Senior elected as President of The United States.

In January 1988, Iranian dissident Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died at age 86. He had led an Islamic revolution against the Shah of Iran in 1979 and had been living in exile in Paris since 1983. In April 1988, the Communist leader of Poland, Wojciech Jaruzelski, resigned. This followed an internal power struggle between him and the head of the ruling party. In September 1988, a new constitution was adopted for Czechoslovakia . The previous agreement between the two nations had expired on 31 December 1987.


The number one trend from 1988 was cable television. In 1987, it began to be shown on local channels throughout America. This showed people how much fun watching TV could be without having to go out to a movie for entertainment. Cable subscriptions increased in 1988 as well by 2% because more households have begun subscribing to cable services. No matter what you think about cable TV or if you are one who does not have cable at all, cable television did bring an entertainment revolution to homes throughout America.

The number two trend of 1988 was the growing popularity of cartoons, music videos, and home video formats. In 1988, more than half of all movie theater tickets were for movies related to children, which shows how much people enjoyed watching cartoons and music videos. Also viewed on television was a whole new range of benefits that you could get from working at home. As stated above, cable television did bring an entertainment revolution to homes throughout America.

The last trend is the new game technologies. In 1988, there were several brand new game technologies that came out. One of them was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The NES was able to play more than one game at a time and had better graphics than any other video games at the time of its release in 1985. The NES went on to sell more than 30 million units in just three years! This shows how much people enjoy playing video games!


The 1987 Summer Olympics that were held in Seoul, South Korea was a significant event because of its proximity to North Korea who threatened retaliation with artillery fire if their athletes gained any medals; this did not occur however as South Korea topped all other nations in gold medals won at the games, with ten golds and one silver.

Korean People’s Army soldiers on parade during the opening ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Many expected North Korea to take advantage of this lenient stance however they did not attack but instead allowed their athletes to win 23 medals at the games, including 4 golds. In contrast South Korea won more gold medals than any other country in that year with 12 by far outnumbering all others combined; this included 6 gold medals from gymnastics alone which was a surprise as it was thought that no South Korean team would win a single medal in the sport.

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