1978 - What Shaped Us

Those of us who graduated in 1978 began our high school years in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, a period in which much of the country shared feelings of cynicism toward the government as well as despondency over the war itself. The United States marked its bicentennial in 1976, but the nation was not quite in the mood to celebrate.

We were ready for diversion, however, and we had lots of entertainment options. Saturday Night Live, which often served up political commentary along with its humor, was developing a cult following – and helped to launch Steve Martin’s very successful comedy career (do you remember “King Tut”?). On the heels of Star Wars, our graduation year brought Grease, Animal House, The Deer Hunter, Halloween, and Superman to the big screen. It also brought the debuts of Dallas, Mork & Mindy, Fantasy Island, and Diff’rent Strokes. This was an interesting time for music as well, with a growing disco trend sweeping the nation. The soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever stayed at number one for 24 long weeks (longer if you weren’t a disco fan).

Our high school years also saw the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, the death of Elvis Presley, the formation of Apple, and the construction of New York’s World Trade Center. And 1978 ushered in the birth of the first test tube baby, the launch of Space Invaders, the installation of the first computers in the White House, and the signing of the historic Camp David Peace Accords.

Popular Grad Names for 1978

Boys:

Jason
Brian
Anthony
Jeff
Joe

Girls:

Melissa
Angela
Stephanie
Laura
Karen

Boys:

Jason
Brian
Anthony
Jeff
Joe

Girls:

Melissa
Angela
Stephanie
Laura
Karen

Movies and TV

Oscar for Best Picture:

Annie Hall

Oscar for Best Actor:

Richard Dreyfuss

Oscar for Best Actress:

Diane Keaton

Top-rated TV shows:

Laverne & Shirley
Happy Days
Three’s Company

Oscar for Best Picture:

Annie Hall

Oscar for Best Actor:

Richard Dreyfuss

Oscar for Best Actress:

Diane Keaton

Top-rated TV shows:

Laverne & Shirley
Happy Days
Three’s Company

Cost of Living Stats for 1978

Average new house:

$54,800

Average annual income:

$17,000

Gallon of gas:

63 cents

Average new house:

$54,800

Average annual income:

$17,000

Gallon of gas:

63 cents

Celebrities Born in 1978

 
 

Celebrities Who Graduated in 1978

 
 
 
 

Grammy Awards

Album of the Year:

Rumours
(Fleetwood Mac)

Song of the Year:

"Love Theme From A Star Is Born (Evergreen) | You Light Up My Life"
(Barbra Streisand | Debby Boone)

Album of the Year:

Rumours
(Fleetwood Mac)

Song of the Year:

"Love Theme From A Star Is Born (Evergreen) | You Light Up My Life"
(Barbra Streisand | Debby Boone)

Billboard Chart-Toppers

Year-end #1 pop single:

"Shadow Dancing"
(Andy Gibb)

Year-end #1 pop album:

Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
(various artists)

Year-end #1 R&B single:

"Serpentine Fire"
(Earth, Wind & Fire)

Year-end #1 R&B album:

All ‘N All
(Earth, Wind & Fire)

Year-end #1 pop single:

"Shadow Dancing"
(Andy Gibb)

Year-end #1 pop album:

Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
(various artists)

Year-end #1 R&B single:

"Serpentine Fire"
(Earth, Wind & Fire)

Year-end #1 R&B album:

All ‘N All
(Earth, Wind & Fire)

1978 Super Bowl

Dallas Cowboys

27

Denver Broncos

10

Dallas Cowboys

27

Denver Broncos

10

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