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You’re Getting Old – Pop Culture Items That Are Turning 30 This Year

Sometime in the early AM on July 27 in 1983, I was born. With my “Big 3-0″ coming up in a few months, I began to reflect on things in my personal and professional life. It’s more about the journey than anything.

In the process of doing this, I realized thanks to the MentalFloss article “30 Things Turning 30,” there are many other things turning 30 this year as well. Here are 10 memories from the year that gave birth to so many pop culture items, including me!

Flickr: Calgary Reviews
Flickr: Calgary Reviews


Chicken McNugget



Though this delight of chicken was created in 1979, the McNugget never saw a McDonald’s restaurant until 1983. This was because of the chicken product shortage that was caused by the McRib.


Flickr: MATEUS_27:24&25
Flickr: MATEUS_27:24&25


The Internet



Originally known as TCP/IP on AEPANT, “The Internet” was born on January 1st, 1983 when Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) switched their networking technology to TCP/IP. This is what many believe is the creation of the modern internet.


Flickr: Ydolon
Flickr: Ydolon


Super Mario Bros.



The game that would cultivate my childhood love of video games was born the same year as yours truly.

Nintendo released the original game arcade game in 1983. Mario, making his debut as “Jump-man” in 1981’s Donkey Kong, was given his own game with brother Luigi. The rest, they say, is history.


Flickr: Serious Cat
Flickr: Serious Cat


Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi



Originally thought to be the final chapter of the Star Wars saga, Episode IV was unleashed on the fans of the series in 1983. Originally title “Revenge of the Jedi,” the film saw the debut of a second Death Star and the Ewoks.

Hopefully Disney won’t do what George Lucas did with Episodes I & II and screw up my childhood memories by crapping out God awful films.


Flickr:  J.Gusto Foto Streamo
Flickr: J.Gusto Foto Streamo


A Christmas Story



A holiday classic for so many of us now. Hard to believe the movie that was filmed in my old stomping grounds of Cleveland, OH turns 30 this year as well.

You can always guarantee that there will be a 24 hour marathon on Christmas Eve. This year will be something special for sure with the movie having a major birthday this year.


Flickr: quinn.anya
Flickr: quinn.anya


Microsoft Word



The program that, for most, is a standard in the workplace showed up on store shelves in 1983.

Originally called Multi-Tool Word, the word processor ran on Unix systems before it appeared on MS-DOS, Mac, Atari, and eventually Windows. Demos of the program were released with the magazine (remember those?) PC World as a floppy disk.


Flickr: Drug Abuse Resistance Education
Flickr: Drug Abuse Resistance Education





Drug Abuse Resistance Education was established in 1983 to help teach kids to avoid drugs, gangs, and violence.

I remember all the D.A.R.E programs that were ran through my elementary school growing up. Heck, I even had a D.A.R.E shirt and I thought I was bad ass for it


Flickr: Chris Fritz
Flickr: Chris Fritz


Cabbage Patch Kids



The toy had been around since 1978 but no one outside of Cleveland, GA had heard of the line until 1983. Creator Xavier Robert worked with Coleco to mass market the dolls under their new name which showed up on store shelves.

Who didn’t have one of these or the “off brand” version?


Flickr: elycefeliz
Flickr: elycefeliz


The Disney Channel



How weird is this? 30 years ago The Disney Channel was born and I now watch it with my niece while visiting her in Ohio (she’s 4 and my nephew is 2).

The channel debut at 7am on April 18, 1983 with a 30 minute program called “Good Morning Mickey” that showed a collection of Disney shorts and a fitness segment called “Mousercize”.


Flickr: Gage Skidmore
Flickr: Gage Skidmore


Reading Rainbow



“Take a look—it’s in a book!” – The show that introduced so many kids to the joys of reading ran from 1983-2006, with reruns until 2008.

In 2012, host LeVar Burton announced the Reading Rainbow iPad app. It went on to be one of the most downloaded educational apps to date.



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