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May 21st, 1981.

May 21st, 1981, was a Thursday. It was day 141 of 1981. The decade was the 1980s.

40 years, 6 months and 7 days have passed since May 21st, 1981.

The zodiac star sign for this date is Gemini.

On this day.

What happened on May 21st, 1981?

  • The state funeral of reggae singer Bob Marley takes place in Jamaica.

Music charts.

Songs that were on top of the music singles charts in the USA and the United Kingdom on May 21st, 1981.

  • United States: Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
  • United Kingdom: Stand And Deliver - Adam & Ants

The Billboard Hot 100 on May 21st, 1981.

The top five songs from the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  • Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
  • Just The Two Of Us - Grover Washington, Jr. (With Bill Withers)
  • Being With You - Smokey Robinson
  • Angel Of The Morning - Juice Newton
  • Morning Train (Nine To Five) - Sheena Easton
Play the top hits from 1981.
A Spotify playlist of songs from 1981. Let us take you back to the peak days of Kim Wilde, Lionel Richie, Phil Collins and The Police.
Happy Birthday to Me

Top movie at the Box Office.

The movie "Happy Birthday to Me" was at the top of the box office on May 21st, 1981.

Take me back to May 21st, 1981!

Let's take a stroll down memory lane!

The date is May 21st, 1981 and it's a Thursday. Anyone born today will have the star sign Gemini. The summer of 1981 has finally arrived. The weather has warmed up and the evenings are brighter than usual.

In America, the song Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes is on top of the singles charts. Over in the UK, Stand And Deliver by Adam & Ants is the number one hit song. Ronald Reagan is currently the President of the United States and the movie Happy Birthday to Me is at the top of the Box Office.

In the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher is the current Prime Minister. In fashion, women are currently wearing jelly shoes, turtleneck sweaters, loose high-waist pants, crop tops and puffer jackets lined with fur. Meanwhile, men have been ditching the disco look of the 70s in favor of athletic clothing such as tracksuits and sports jerseys. The "preppy" look has also been making a comeback. Because it's 1981, the radio stations are being dominated by artists such as Kim Carnes, Soft Cell, Phil Collins, John Lennon, Stars On 45, Diana Ross and Olivia Newton-John.

If you were to travel back to this day, notable figures such as Bill Shankly, William Holden, Natalie Wood and John Belushi would all be still alive. On TV, people are watching popular shows such as "Laverne & Shirley", "Dallas", "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Magnum, P.I.". Meanwhile, gamers are playing titles such as "Breakout", "Space Invaders", "Asteroids" and "Missile Command".

Kids and teenagers are watching TV shows such as "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", "The All New Popeye Hour", "The New Adventures of Flash Gordon" and "Thundarr the Barbarian". If you're a kid or a teenager, then you're probably playing with toys such as Speak & Spell, Cabbage Patch Kids, Intellivision (games console) and Space Lego.

News topics, fads & culture.

Trending news stories and fads that were prevalent at this time. These are news stories and events that would have been in the media on May 21st, 1981.

  • 1981 in music.

    1981 in music.

    Popular music artists in 1981 included Kim Carnes, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Rick Springfield, Kool & the Gang, Hall & Oates, Eddie Rabbitt, Dolly Parton and REO Speedwagon.

  • The Rubik's Cube.

    The Rubik's Cube.

    During 1981 and 1982, the Rubik's Cube became a craze. The toy was so popular that books on how to solve it regularly made it into the top ten selling books list.

  • Who were the best NBA players in 1981?

    Who were the best NBA players in 1981?

    The best NBA players in 1981 were Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Gervin and Dennis Johnson.

  • 1981 in movies.

    1981 in movies.

    Movies released in 1981 included Raiders of the Lost Ark, On Golden Pond, Superman II, Arthur, Stripes, The Cannonball Run, Chariots of Fire, For Your Eyes Only, The Four Seasons, Escape from New York, The Evil Dead, Mad Max 2, An American Werewolf in London and Time Bandits.

  • Who were the best football players in 1981?

    Who were the best football players in 1981?

    In 1981, the best soccer players were Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Paul Breitner, Bernd Schuster, Michel Platini, Oleg Blokhin, Dino Zoff, Ramaz Shengelia, Alexsandr Chivadze, Liam Brady and John Wark.

  • Chariots of Fire.

    Chariots of Fire.

    "Chariots of Fire" won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1981.

  • Lech Walesa.

    Lech Walesa.

    The architect of the Gdansk Agreement, Lech Walesa, was named as the Time Person of the Year in 1981.

  • Kim Carnes - "Bette Davis Eyes"

    Kim Carnes - "Bette Davis Eyes"

    "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes won a Grammy for 1981's Song of the Year.

  • Iran-Iraq War.

    Iran-Iraq War.

    Between September, 1980 and August, 1988, an armed conflict was being fought between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iraqi Republic.

  • Early 1980s fashion.

    Early 1980s fashion.

    The early 80s saw a minimalist approach to fashion, with some trends carrying over from the late 1970s. Sweaters, fur-lined puffer jackets, tunics, ripped jeans, leotards, velour tracksuits, tube tops, knee-length skirts, high-waisted pants and embroidered jeans were all popular during this period. The colors during the early 1980s were subdued, quiet and basic. Varying shades of brown, tan, and orange were in fashion.

  • The Atari 2600.

    The Atari 2600.

    During this period, the Atari 2600 was the dominant game system.

  • The Atlanta murders of 1979 - 1981.

    The Atlanta murders of 1979 - 1981.

    During this time, the Atlanta murders of 1979 - 1981 were taking place. At least 28 children and young adults were murdered before Wayne Williams was eventually arrested and convicted.

  • The Walkman.

    The Walkman.

    In the late 1970s and 1980s, portable cassette players such as the "Sony Walkman" were becoming more and more common.

  • People are using wallpaper to decorate their homes.

    People are using wallpaper to decorate their homes.

    Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, wallpaper was extremely common in people's homes. It wasn't until the mid-late 1980s that "modernism" started to creep in.

Basic facts.

Basic facts and information about this date.

  • 40 years, 6 months and 7 days have passed since May 21st, 1981.
  • Week Number: This date occurred during Week 21 of 1981.
  • Leap Year: 1981 was NOT a leap year.
  • Age: Anyone born on May 21st, 1981, will be 40 years of age.
  • Generation: People born in 1981 belong to the Generation Y (Millennial) generation.
  • Unix Timestamp: The Unix Timestamp for this date is 359247600.

Around this time.

Notable events that occurred around May 21st, 1981.

  • April 27th, 1981: The first PC with a computer mouse is released by Xerox.
  • May 1st, 1981: The horror movie Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) is released.
  • May 5th, 1981: Provisional IRA member Bobby Sands dies while on hunger strike in prison.
  • May 11th, 1981: Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley dies from cancer at the age of 38.
  • May 12th, 1981: Provisional IRA hunger striker Francis Hughes dies in prison.
  • May 13th, 1981: A man attempts to assassinate Pope John Paul II.
  • May 14th, 1981: FA Cup Final 1981: Tottenham Hotspur defeat Manchester City 3-2 in a replay.
  • May 14th, 1981: The Boston Celtics win the 1981 NBA Finals after they defeat the Houston Rockets 4-2.
  • May 15th, 1981: American serial killer Lemuel Smith murders a female correctional officer by the name of Donna Payant.
  • This date: May 21st, 1981
  • May 22nd, 1981: Peter Sutcliffe is found guilty of being the Yorkshire Ripper.
  • May 27th, 1981: Football: Liverpool win the European Cup after defeating Real Madrid 1-0.
  • May 30th, 1981: Bangladeshi president Ziaur Rahman is assassinated by a group of army officers in Chittagong.
  • June 4th, 1981: The final episode of The Waltons is aired on television.
  • June 5th, 1981: News of AIDS begins to spread, as the CDC issues a report about a rare case of "pneumonia" that has been found in five homosexual men.
  • June 7th, 1981: Israel carries out an airstrike on an Iraqi nuclear reactor.
  • June 9th, 1981: Soccer: Ron Atkinson becomes the new manager of Manchester United.
  • June 10th, 1981: IRA member Joe Doherty and seven other prisoners escape from Crumlin Road Jail in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
  • June 13th, 1981: A 17-year-old man is arrested after he fires six blank cartridges at Queen Elizabeth in London.
  • June 18th, 1981: US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart announces that he will be retiring in July.
  • June 19th, 1981: The Cannonball Run (1981) is released.

Personality traits.

Check out our personality summary for people who were born on this date.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

View Personality Summary

Horoscope, birthstone & birth flower information.

Zodiac & Birthstone information.

NEW! Check out our personality summary image for this birth date.

  • Zodiac Sign (Astrology): Anyone born on May 21st, 1981, will have the star sign Gemini.
  • However, if you are going by the new star sign system that was discovered in 2020, then the sign for this date is actually Taurus.
  • Zodiac Element: Air.
  • Chinese Zodiac Animal: In the Chinese Zodiac, 1981 was the year of the Rooster (Yin Water).
  • The Life Path Number for this date is 9.
  • Native American Zodiac: May 21st, 1981 falls under the Deer.
  • Birthstone: Anyone born during the month of May will have the birthstone Emerald.
  • Birth flower (May): The Lily of the Valley and the Hawthorn.

Photos of early 1980s fashion.

Photographs of early 1980s fashion and hairstyles.

Photos of early 1980s fashion.

TV shows.

Television shows that people were watching on this date.

TV shows from May, 1981.

The Greatest American Hero
The Greatest American Hero
Comedy-drama superhero series starring William Katt as Ralph Hinkley.

Magnum, P.I.
Magnum, P.I.
Starring Tom Selleck as Private Investigator Thomas Magnum.

Knots Landing
Knots Landing
American soap opera.

Archie Bunker's Place
Archie Bunker's Place
Sitcom starring Carroll O'Connor.

Trapper John, M.D.
Trapper John, M.D.
Medical drama.

Hart to Hart
Hart to Hart
TV show about a couple who moonlight as detectives.

The Facts of Life
The Facts of Life
Sitcom about a girls boarding school in Peekskill, New York. Starring Charlotte Rae as housemother Edna Garrett.

The Dukes of Hazzard
The Dukes of Hazzard
American television series.

WKRP in Cincinnati
WKRP in Cincinnati
Sitcom about staff members who work at a radio station in Cincinnati.

Taxi
Taxi
American sitcom starring Andy Kaufman and Danny DeVito.

Dallas
Dallas
Soap opera.

The Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk
Starring Lou Ferrigno.

The Love Boat
The Love Boat
Television series that was set on a cruise ship. Starring Gavin MacLeod as Captain Merrill Stubing.

Chips
Chips
TV show about two California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers called Jon Baker and Frank "Ponch" Poncherello.

Eight Is Enough
Eight Is Enough
Television series about the "Bradford brood" and their father.

Three's Company
Three's Company
Sitcom about two girls and their male room mate.

Quincy, M.E.
Quincy, M.E.
TV show about a Los Angeles County medical examiner called Dr. Quincy.

Charlie's Angels
Charlie's Angels
TV show about three female police academy-trained private detectives.

Laverne & Shirley
Laverne & Shirley
Series about two roommates called Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney.

Barney Miller
Barney Miller
Sitcom about a police station in New York City. Starring Hal Linden as Captain Bernard "Barney" Miller.

The Jeffersons
The Jeffersons
TV show about an African- American couple that have moved into an upscale high-rise building.

Little House on the Prairie
Little House on the Prairie
TV show that was set in the 1870s.

Happy Days
Happy Days
TV show that is set in the 1950s / 1960s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Last of the Summer Wine
Last of the Summer Wine
British sitcom about three senior citizens in the Yorkshire Dales.

M*A*S*H
M*A*S*H
TV series about an American military medical unit during the Korean War.

The Waltons
The Waltons
TV series about a family living in rural Virginia during the Great Depression.

The Two Ronnies
The Two Ronnies
British comedy sketch show starring Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett.

Cars in 1981.

1981 saw the introduction of cars such as the Chevrolet Cavalier, the DMC DeLorean, the Honda City, the Nissan Maxima, the BMW 5 Series (E28) and the Chevrolet Camaro (third generation).

Cars in 1981.

Kids' TV shows on May 21st, 1981.

Cartoons and TV shows that children and teenagers were watching on this day in 1981.

Thundarr the Barbarian
Thundarr the Barbarian

Cockleshell Bay
Cockleshell Bay

The New Adventures of Flash Gordon
The New Adventures of Flash Gordon

Diff'rent Strokes
Diff'rent Strokes

Mork & Mindy
Mork & Mindy

Battle of the Planets
Battle of the Planets

The All New Popeye Hour
The All New Popeye Hour

Happy Days
Happy Days

Schoolhouse Rock!
Schoolhouse Rock!

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

Sesame Street
Sesame Street

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

The Bugs Bunny Show
The Bugs Bunny Show

Captain Kangaroo
Captain Kangaroo

Popular toys and games in 1981.

Toys and games that were popular on this date in 1981.

Space Lego
Space Lego

Fischer Price cassette player
Fischer Price cassette player

Monchhichi / Chicaboo
Monchhichi / Chicaboo

Rubik's Cube
Rubik's Cube

Strawberry Shortcake dolls
Strawberry Shortcake dolls

Big wheel (tricycle)
Big wheel (tricycle)

Intellivision (games console)
Intellivision (games console)

Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine

Screwball Scramble
Screwball Scramble

Cabbage Patch Kids
Cabbage Patch Kids

Speak & Spell
Speak & Spell

Simon (memory game)
Simon (memory game)

Hungry Hungry Hippos
Hungry Hungry Hippos

Water Ring Toss
Water Ring Toss

The Atari 2600
The Atari 2600

Star Wars action figures
Star Wars action figures

Lego Technic
Lego Technic

Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons

Magna Doodle
Magna Doodle

Big Jim (action figure)
Big Jim (action figure)

VertiBird (toy helicopter)
VertiBird (toy helicopter)

Lite-Brite
Lite-Brite

Operation
Operation

The Easy-Bake Oven
The Easy-Bake Oven

Video games.

Popular video games that people were playing on this date.

Missile Command 1980
Missile Command
Arcade game developed by Atari.

Pac-Man 1980
Pac-Man
Maze arcade game.

Galaxian 1980
Galaxian
Fixed shooter arcade game.

Asteroids 1979
Asteroids
Space-themed shooter arcade game.

Lunar Lander 1979
Lunar Lander
In which the player controls a lunar landing module.

Space Invaders 1978
Space Invaders
Shooter arcade game.

Breakout 1976
Breakout
Arcade game published by Atari.

Were you born on this date?

If you were born on this date, then it is unlikely that you will remember anything from the year 1981.

This is because humans find it difficult to retrieve memories from their early childhood.

If you are looking for some childhood nostalgia, then check out May 21st, 1987 instead.

Celebrity birthdays.

Celebrities, historical figures and other notable people who were born on May 21st.

Mr. T

Actor.
Born on May 21st, 1952
He turned 29 on this day in 1981.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Serial killer. Deceased
Born on May 21st, 1960
He turned 21 on this day in 1981.

Chris Benoit

Wrestler. Deceased
Born on May 21st, 1967
He turned 14 on this day in 1981.

The Notorious B.I.G

Rapper. Deceased
Born on May 21st, 1972
He turned 9 on this day in 1981.

Noel Fielding

English comedian.
Born on May 21st, 1973
He turned 8 on this day in 1981.

Kayla Itsines

Internet personality.
Born on May 21st, 1991
She was born exactly 10 years after this date.

Tom Daley

English diver.
Born on May 21st, 1994
He was born exactly 13 years after this date.

US President.

Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States on May 21st, 1981.

UK Prime Minister.

Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on May 21st, 1981.

Irish Taoiseach.

Charles Haughey was the Taoiseach of Ireland.

Conception dates.

Conception estimates for this date.

  • A baby that was born on May 21st, 1981 was most likely conceived around August 28th, 1980.
  • The due date for a baby that was conceived on May 21st, 1981 is close to February 11th, 1982.

How old was I?

Enter your date of birth below to find out how old you were on May 21st, 1981.

Time difference & statistics.

Here are some fun statistics about May 21st, 1981.

  • A total of 14,801 days have passed since this date.
  • 2,114 weeks have passed.
  • 1,278,810,000 seconds have passed since the May 21st, 1981.
  • If you were born on this day, your heart has beated approximately 1,491,945,000 times.
  • Since May 21st, 1981, the earth has travelled approximately 659,865,960,000 miles through space.
  • If you were born on this day, your eyes have blinked approximately 213,135,000 times.
  • If you were born on this day, you have taken approximately 109,977,660 steps. That's about 48,879 miles!
  • Since this date, 15,345,720 meteors have entered the earth's atmosphere!

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