We progressed through high school right in the middle of the 1980s. President Reagan was in his second term, but things weren’t going completely smoothly. In 1987, we became more and more familiar with something that came to be known as the Iran-Contra Affair. This wasn’t the only major news event of our high school years, however. We had watched in shock as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded moments after launching. That same year had also brought the Chernobyl disaster and the identification of Mad Cow Disease. Advances in science led to the first use of DNA evidence in convicting a criminal. And in our graduation year, President Reagan challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall (although this event wouldn’t happen right away).
We witnessed the arrival of the first Macintosh personal computer, the launch of Windows 1.0, and the FDA’s approval of the anti-AIDS drug AZT. On the music and entertainment front, Live Aid had dominated MTV’s airwaves in the summer of 1985, and Aretha Franklin became the first female to join the Rock & Roll Hall of fame in 1987. And a now-famous TV family made an inconspicuous debut in the spring of our graduation year: The Simpsons first appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show.