Summer rewind: Looking back at 1984

Story highlights

  • Summer of 1984 was a far cry from the dystopian landscape of George Orwell's novel
  • Neon hues, bodacious hair and breakdance backspins ruled the season
  • In films like "Ghostbusters" and "Revenge of the Nerds," geeks ruled while jerks drooled
  • Prince, Tina Turner and movie soundtracks provided hits for the summer
In George Orwell's 1949 dystopian novel, "Nineteen Eighty-Four," the world is engaged in perpetual war, and citizens are under constant surveillance by a totalitarian dictator called Big Brother.
That's, like, grody to the max, dude.
In the summer of 1984, American pop culture was at a neon-hued, hair-teasing, ghostbusting fever pitch.
In the latest entry in our Summer List series, we're taking a look back at what made the summer 30 years ago stand out: from movie soundtracks to athletic feats to a political climate dogged by the specter of nuclear conflict.
Politics: 'Morning in America,' Mondale in mourning
The summer of 1984 fell smack dab in the middle of the Ronald Reagan era. With oil prices at a low and interest rates inching upward, the so-called Teflon President seemed virtually assured re-election over Democratic opponent Walter Mondale that November. Americans had been reeling from the loss of 241 Marines after an attack in Beirut, Lebanon, the previous fall, but the swiftly executed invasion of Grenada had reaffirmed the public's faith in Reagan's leadership.