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.