P-Mag Nostalgia Project: 1983 with Selena

Hop into my TARDIS, dear readers, and let’s go back to 1983, where we can all learn how to do the moonwalk. 

Picture it: Indianapolis, 1983. A young girl, wearing different colored rolled socks underneath her pegged jeans, learns about pop music, computer camp, and boys.

Banner for Persephone Magazine Nostalgia Project 1983


Music for the Masses

First, check out Sara H.’s totally tubular list of great music from 1983.

1983 was a transitional year in music. Disco was really, truly dead, and the British New Wave was on the way in, led by my Goblin King musical chameleon and yours, David Bowie. On my side of the pond, we ate up everything British, from Depeche Mode to The Cure to Best Hair Band Ever, Def Leppard.

To celebrate some of the music from 1983 which may have been forgotten, I made you all a playlist.

Selena’s Totally Rad 1983 Playlist

Join me in a spontaneous ’80s dance party? I’ll totally bring enough jelly bracelets for all of us.

On the Tube

We had satellite TV in 1983, which involved placing an eight foot diameter satellite receiver in our backyard. (It remained until sometime in the late oughts.) Tuning in a channel meant using a giant remote control to input coordinates, which would then turn the giant monstrosity in the yard towards the proper spot in the heavens. Like now, 90% of the programming we got was crap.

Popular network shows which ended in 1983:

Little House on the Prairie



Quincy M.E.

Square Pegs

At the Box Office

1983 was a great year for movies. So many classics premiered in ’83, I won’t even try to list them all, but my personal favorites are:

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  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • The Right Stuff
  • Terms of Endearment – “GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT.”
  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
  • Silkwood
  • Monty Python’s Meaning of Life


Noteworthy News

1983 wasn’t as much of a big news year as 1981, but plenty of things happened.

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  • Benigno Aquino, leader of the opposition movement in the Phillipines, was assassinated when he returned home after a self-imposed exile in the United States.
  • Future cult hero, Ronald Reagan, announces the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
  • U.S. elementary student Samantha Smith gains fame after her 1982 letter to the Soviet Union is replied to by Yuri Andropov, who invites Smith and her family to visit the Soviet Union.
  • Ma Bell was broken up after it was declared a monopoly. New, smaller phone companies were referred to as “Baby Bells.”
  • The growing recession costs many thousands of jobs in the U.S.
  • The IRA bombs Herrod’s department store in London. Nine are killed, seventy-five are injured.
  • Joshua Nkomo, leader of the opposition party in Zimbabwe, flees to London on the brink of a civil war.
  • An earthquake hit New York City and a hurricane hit Texas.
  • The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, is elected British Prime Minister by a landslide.
  • Klaus Barbie, The Butcher of Lyon, is charged with “crimes against humanity.”



By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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