December 16, 1981

December 16, 1981, was a Wednesday. It was 42 years, 7 months, and 7 days ago. The zodiac star sign for this date is Sagittarius.

On This Day

What happened on this date?

Notable events that occurred on December 16, 1981:

  • Polish troops attempt to quash resistance against martial law by arresting leaders of the Solidarity movement.
Song charts

Top songs

These songs were on top of the music charts in the United States and the United Kingdom on December 16, 1981:

  • United States: "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John
  • United Kingdom: "Don't You Want Me" by Human League

The Billboard Hot 100 on December 16, 1981

These songs were dominating the music charts:

  • Physical - Olivia Newton-John
  • Waiting For A Girl Like You - Foreigner
  • Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police
  • Oh No - Commodores
  • Let's Groove - Earth, Wind & Fire
Play the top songs 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.

Top movie

The movie "Rollover" was at the top of the box office on this day.


This date was 15,561 days ago. Approximately 519 months have passed. It was the 350th day of 1981, in week 51. The decade was the eighties. The end of 1981 was just 15 days away. People born on this day are currently 42 years old and belong to the Millennial generation. We have gone through approximately 173 seasons of weather since this date.

Take me back to December 16, 1981

Let's take a walk down memory lane.

It is Wednesday, December 16, 1981. Babies who are born today will have the star sign Sagittarius. It is "Hump Day", so many are beginning to think about the weekend ahead.

The Christmas season of 1981 is in full swing. People are putting up their decorations and festive songs are playing on the radio. In America, the song "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John is at the top of the singles charts, while "Don't You Want Me" by Human League is the number-one song in the UK. Ronald Reagan is the President of the United States, and the movie Rollover is at the top of the box office.

Margaret Thatcher is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In fashion, women are 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 1970s 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 John Belushi, Ayn Rand, Peter Maivia, and Grace Kelly would all still be alive. On TV, people are watching popular shows such as "The Two Ronnies", "Last of the Summer Wine", "Dallas", and "Hart to Hart". Meanwhile, gamers are playing titles such as "Breakout", "Space Invaders", "Asteroids", and "Pac-Man".

Children and teenagers are watching television shows such as "The Bugs Bunny Show", "Sesame Street", "Thundarr the Barbarian", and "The Smurfs". Popular toys at the moment include VertiBird (toy helicopter), Speak & Spell, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Rubik's Cube.


News, nostalgia, and fads

These are news stories, trending topics, and fads that were popular on December 16, 1981.

  • Christmas 1981.

    Christmas 1981

    The Christmas period of 1981 was in full swing by this stage. The decorations were up, festive music was playing on the radio, people were feeling stressed, retail stores were filled with shoppers, and everyone was making plans for the big day.
  • 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

    The Rubik's Cube became a craze in 1981 and 1982. 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.
  • Best soccer players.

    Best soccer players

    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 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 1980s 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. The colors during the early 1980s were subdued, quiet, and basic. Varying shades of brown, tan, and orange were in fashion.
  • Computers are replacing typewriters.

    Computers are replacing typewriters

    Desktop computers were beginning to replace typewriters in offices.
  • TV remotes.

    TV remotes

    Although TV remotes existed, many homes didn't have one. Infrared technology was still relatively new.
  • The Atari 2600.

    The Atari 2600

    The Atari 2600 was the dominant video game system.
  • The Walkman.

    The Walkman

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


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

Personality traits

Check out our personality summary for people who were born on December 16, 1981.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

View Personality Summary


What happened around this time?

Notable events that happened close to December 16, 1981.

  • November 16, 1981: Millions of people tune in to watch Luke and Laura marry on the American soap opera General Hospital.
  • November 27, 1981: The single "Don't You Want Me" is released by The Human League.
  • November 29, 1981: Actress Natalie Woods drowns during a boat trip to Santa Catalina Island off California.
  • December 1, 1981: 180 people are killed when Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308 crashes on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.
  • December 3, 1981: Boxing legend "Smokin' Joe" Frazier has his last ever fight.
  • December 4, 1981:
    • The movie On Golden Pond (1981) is released.
    • The first episode of the soap drama "Falcon Crest" is aired on television.
  • December 10, 1981: The BBC reports that an unknown "mystery disease" is killing homosexuals.
  • December 11, 1981: Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has his last ever fight against Trevor Berbick.
  • December 12, 1981: The first case of AIDS is reported in the United Kingdom.
  • December 13, 1981: Martial law is declared in Poland in response to the Solidarity movement.
  • December 15, 1981: The Soviet Union states that it is willing to send troops into Poland to help quash the Solidarity movement.
  • This date: December 16, 1981
  • December 19, 1981: Penlee lifeboat disaster: 16 people die after the Solomon Browne lifeboat attempts to rescue a vessel in heavy seas.
  • December 24, 1981: Mad Max 2 (1981) is released.
  • January 6, 1982:
    • The trial of serial killer Wayne Williams begins in Fulton County, Georgia.
    • William Bonin is convicted of being the Freeway Killer in California.
  • January 7, 1982: The Commodore 64 8-bit home computer is released.
  • January 12, 1982: Margaret Thatcher's son Mark Thatcher goes missing in the Sahara desert.
  • January 13, 1982: Air Florida Flight 90 crashes in Washington, killing 78 people.
Zodiac info


Zodiac, birthstone, and birth flower information.

Personality summary image

  • Zodiac Sign (Astrology): Anyone born on December 16, 1981, will have the star sign Sagittarius.
  • Zodiac Element: Fire.
  • Chinese Zodiac Animal: In the Chinese Zodiac, 1981 was the year of the Rooster (Yin Water).
  • The Life Path Number for this date is 11.
  • Native American Zodiac: December 16, 1981 falls under the Owl.
  • Birthstone: A person during the month of December will have the birthstones Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise.
  • Birth flower (December): The Narcissus and the Holly.

Early 1980s fashion

Photographs of early 1980s fashion and hairstyles.

Early 1980s fashion

Television shows

TV series on December 16, 1981

TV audiences were watching the following shows on December 16, 1981:

TV shows from December 1981.

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Only Fools and Horses
Only Fools and Horses
The Greatest American Hero
The Greatest American Hero
Hill Street Blues
Hill Street Blues
Magnum, P.I.
Magnum, P.I.
Knots Landing
Knots Landing
Archie Bunker's Place
Archie Bunker's Place
Trapper John, M.D.
Trapper John, M.D.
Hart to Hart
Hart to Hart
The Facts of Life
The Facts of Life
The Dukes of Hazzard
The Dukes of Hazzard

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.

Children TV shows

Kids TV shows on December 16, 1981

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

Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds
Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds
Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse
Postman Pat
Postman Pat

The Smurfs
The Smurfs
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

Popular toys and games in 1981

Toys and games that were popular in 1981:

Fisher-Price Little People (Farm)
Fisher-Price Little People (Farm)
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
The Big Wheel (tricycle)
The Big Wheel (tricycle)
Intellivision (games console)
Intellivision (games console)
The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
Screwball Scramble
Screwball Scramble
Cabbage Patch Kids
Cabbage Patch Kids
Speak & Spell
Speak & Spell
Video games

Video games

Popular video games that people were playing in December 1981.

Donkey Kong 1981
Donkey Kong
Missile Command 1980
Missile Command
Pac-Man 1980
Galaxian 1980
Asteroids 1979
Lunar Lander 1979
Lunar Lander
Space Invaders 1978
Space Invaders
Breakout 1976

Were you born on December 16, 1981?

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 of their early childhood.

If you are looking for some childhood nostalgia, then you should check out December 16, 1987, instead.

Celebrity birthdays

Celebrity birthdays

Celebrities, historical figures, and other notable people who were born on December 16.

Xander Berkeley

Xander Berkeley

Born on December 16, 1955
He turned 26 on this day in 1981.

Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks

Stand-up comedian Deceased
Born on December 16, 1961
He turned 20 on this day in 1981.

Michael McCary

Michael McCary

Boyz II Men
Born on December 16, 1971
He turned 10 on this day in 1981.

Brodie Lee

Brodie Lee

Wrestler Deceased
Born on December 16, 1979
He turned 2 on this day in 1981.

Mats Hummels

Mats Hummels

German soccer player
Born on December 16, 1988
He was born exactly 7 years after this date.

Kai Cenat

Kai Cenat

Born on December 16, 2001
He was born exactly 20 years after this date.


US President

Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States on December 16, 1981.


UK Prime Minister

Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


Irish Taoiseach

Garret FitzGerald was the Taoiseach of Ireland.


Conception dates

Conception estimates for this date.

  • A baby that was born on December 16, 1981 was most likely conceived around March 25, 1981.
  • The due date for a baby that was conceived on December 16, 1981 is close to September 8, 1982.

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Stats for December 16, 1981


Here are some interesting statistics about December 16, 1981:

  • 15,561 days have passed since this date.
  • 2,223 weeks have passed.
  • 1,344,466,800 seconds have passed since December 16, 1981.
  • If you were born on this day, your heart has beat approximately 1,568,544,600 times.
  • Since then, the Earth has traveled approximately 693,744,868,800 miles through space.
  • If you were born on this day, your eyes have blinked approximately 224,077,800 times.
  • You have taken approximately 115,624,145 steps. That's roughly 51,389 miles.
  • 16,133,602 meteors have entered the Earth's atmosphere.
  • How many years ago was 1981?


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