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Fun Facts About 1986

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From Top Gun to Pop Secret, Halley to Zelda, explore the year 1986 with these entertaining pop-culture fun facts about 1986.

Basic Facts About 1986

In 1986 Ronald Reagan was president.

Microsoft went public.

Nancy Reagan reopened the Statue of Liberty after a long-time repair.

The Space Shuttle Challenge disintegrated 73 seconds after takeoff, killing the flight crew.

A Soviet nuclear reactor in Chernobyl exploded, causing widespread devastation.

America celebrates the federal holiday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for the first time.

Now that you know some basic facts about 1986, let’s delve into the fun facts for 1986!

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10 Fun Facts About 1986

Dig into these fun facts about the amazing year of 1986.

Milk was $1.11

Food prices were much cheaper in 1986.

A half gallon of milk cost $1.11.

A dozen eggs were 87 cents.

A gallon of apple juice was 99 cents.

A can of Progresso soup was 69 cents.

Michael and Jessica Were the Top Baby Names

In 1986, Jessica, Ashley, Amanda, Jennifer, and Sarah were the top names for girls.

The most popular boys’ names were Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, and David.

Halley’s Comet Zooms by Earth (and We Get Pictures)

Halley’s comet orbits the Sun, and once every 76 years or so it is visible from Earth.

The most recent sighting was in 1986, and scientists were ready.

Telescopes and interplanetary spacecraft were aimed at the comet.

Because of these images, we now know that Halley’s comet has a nucleus of water, other frozen liquids, rock, and space dust.

The Oprah Winfrey Show Debuts Nationally

Oprah Winfrey, a Chicago area talk show host, goes national in September of 1986.

The show skyrocketed to become the highest-rated TV talk show ever.

In 2008, 46 million people watched her show every week.

The show ran for 25 seasons, making Oprah Winfrey a household name, a media icon, and one of the wealthiest people in the US.

Cameras Became Disposable

Fujifilm developed the disposable camera in 1986.

Prior to that point, cameras were expensive.

The disposable camera had a body made of plastic and cardboard and held 35 mm film.

After you used the film in the camera, you would throw the camera away.

You would soon see disposable cameras at weddings, parties, and the beach!

America’s Top Movie was ‘Top Gun’

The highest grossing movie of 1986 featured aviators Maverick, Ice Man, and Goose.

Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise, dominated the other movies of the year.

Second and third place went to Crocodile Dundee and Karate Kid, Part II.

Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year.

‘That’s What Friends Are For’ Was the Tune of the Year

Dionne Warwick and Friends (Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder) sang the heartfelt hit “That’s What Friends Are For.”

It was the number-one song of 1986.

Other hits from the year were “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Ritchie, “I Miss You” by Klymaxx, and “On My Own” by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald.

Mr. Mister had two hits in the top ten that year: “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie.”

General Mills Releases Pop Secret

In 1986, General Mills released their new brand of microwave popcorn: Pop Secret.

At first, its ad campaign promoted that Pop Secret would pop more kernels per bag than other brands.

It would also work well in microwaves of any wattage.

Pop Secret ultimately found its market with buttery flavors like Extra Butter and Movie Theater Butter.

Pop Secret was not a secret for long. General Mills sold the brand in 2008 for 190 million dollars!

Wayne Gretzky Scores 215 Points

“The Great One” of hockey, Wayne Gretzsky set the record for most points scored during a single season.

In the 1985-86 season, he scored 215 points for the Edmonton Oilers. This record still stands.

He beat his own record of 212 points per season from the 1981-82 season.

He is the only player to ever break the 200 point mark–and he did that four times!

Nintendo Releases ‘The Legend of Zelda’

A legendary videogame had its first installment in 1986: The Legend of Zelda.

The game featured a young man named Link and Princess Zelda, who both fought to save the kingdom from evil Ganon.

The Legend of Zelda featured exploration, puzzles, and battle action.

The franchise would grow to include some of the most beloved video games of all time.

And it all began in 1986.

1986 Fun Facts

1986 was a year of beginnings, from inventions to franchises.

Get to know the year a little better with these pop culture fun facts about 1986.

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