1989 - What Shaped Us

We were the last graduating class of the 1980s, on the cusp of a new decade. And a lot took place when we were in high school.

As freshmen, we were stunned and saddened by the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Our sophomore year brought Black Monday, as stock markets around the world crashed, and the Dow Jones had its largest one-day drop to date.

On the positive side, our high school years brought the launch of the Human Genome Project, the end of the Iran-Iraq War, the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, and a federal smoking ban for domestic flights lasting two hours or less (it was a start!). And advances were being made in the world of forensics as well, as the first criminal was convicted using DNA evidence.

The year 1989 was an eventful one. Halfway around the world, tragic events unfolded at Tiananmen Square after student-led protests demanding greater political freedom. Toward the end of the year, the Berlin Wall finally came crumbling down, and Mikhail Gorbachev and President Bush declared an official end to the Cold War. In the U.S., the Exxon Valdez ran aground off the shore of Alaska, resulting in a massive oil spill – and one of the worst human-caused environmental disasters in history. And notorious serial killer Ted Bundy was executed.

In pop culture, the Nintendo Game Boy first went on sale in 1989. And some of the big movies that opened during our graduation year were: Dead Poets Society, Field of Dreams, When Harry Met Sally…, Do the Right Thing, Batman (starring Michael Keaton), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Heathers.

Popular Grad Names for 1989

Boys:

John
James
Jason
Brian
Matthew

Girls:

Melissa
Julie
Susan
Heather
Nicole

Boys:

John
James
Jason
Brian
Matthew

Girls:

Melissa
Julie
Susan
Heather
Nicole

Movies and TV

Oscar for Best Picture:

Rain Man

Oscar for Best Actor:

Dustin Hoffman

Oscar for Best Actress:

Jodie Foster

Top-rated TV shows:

The Cosby Show
Roseanne
A Different World

Oscar for Best Picture:

Rain Man

Oscar for Best Actor:

Dustin Hoffman

Oscar for Best Actress:

Jodie Foster

Top-rated TV shows:

The Cosby Show
Roseanne
A Different World

Cost of Living Stats for 1989

Average new house:

$120,000

Average annual income:

$27,450

Gallon of gas:

97 cents

Average new house:

$120,000

Average annual income:

$27,450

Gallon of gas:

97 cents

Celebrities Born in 1989

 

Celebrities Who Graduated in 1989

 
 
 
 

Grammy Awards

Album of the Year:

Faith
(George Michael)

Song of the Year:

"Don’t Worry, Be Happy"
(Bobby McFerrin)

Album of the Year:

Faith
(George Michael)

Song of the Year:

"Don’t Worry, Be Happy"
(Bobby McFerrin)

Billboard Chart-Toppers

Year-end #1 pop single:

"Look Away"
(Chicago)

Year-end #1 pop album:

Don’t Be Cruel
(Bobby Brown)

Year-end #1 R&B single:

"Superwoman"
(Karyn White)

Year-end #1 R&B album:

Guy
(Guy)

Year-end #1 pop single:

"Look Away"
(Chicago)

Year-end #1 pop album:

Don’t Be Cruel
(Bobby Brown)

Year-end #1 R&B single:

"Superwoman"
(Karyn White)

Year-end #1 R&B album:

Guy
(Guy)

1989 Super Bowl

San Francisco 49ers

20

Cincinnati Bengals

16

San Francisco 49ers

20

Cincinnati Bengals

16

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