1980s America & Blood Donation

Paul Ramey July 20, 2021

Throughout 2021, we're taking you on a journey of donating through the decades. As we leave behind the political and cultural upheaval of the 1970s, we continue into the tech-driven, new wave 1980s.


Blood Collection

In 1985, the first HIV blood-screening test was licensed and implemented by blood banks. Concerns over HIV also led to a new level of overall vigilance regarding the tracing and tracking of transfusion-related events.

New Waves in History

The 1980s saw a political re-set in the United States. Former movie actor, Ronald Reagan, was elected president, and by the end of the decade, the Communist-led Soviet Union had (at least temporarily) fallen, along with the Berlin Wall.

The long-running Cold War appeared to be ending as glasnost (freedom) and progressive Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev pointed toward a hopeful future.

Movie Raves

Many popular stand-alone movies such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Rambo, Back to the Future, and Superman launched into the world of expansive franchises, spawning numerous sequels.

Meanwhile, the small screen tried to keep up as TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Mork & Mindy, and The Incredible Hulk kept kids riveted. By the end of the decade, the cutting sarcastic humor of The Simpsons had arrived, and it was a whole new game.

Music Culture

Traditional vinyl record albums and cassette tapes tapered off as digital compact discs took over on the music front. Thanks to the arrival of MTV and the music video, music artists found a necessary new focus on visual style.

Visually stunning, all bright and neon became an attention-grabbing movement. Splashy, quirky new wavers such as Culture Club, Cindi Lauper, Duran Duran, The Eurythmics, The B-52s, and The Police ruled much of the decade.

Hip hop and rap groups such as Run-DMC arrived on the scene as well, introducing new styles of rhythmic speech and revolutionary instrumental techniques, such as scratching.

The 1980s also saw musicians focused on ending global starvation, as fundraising projects such as USA for Africa and Band-Aid, and the historic Live Aid 1985 global concert, proved that music had a conscience.


Here are some interesting facts about life in America during the '80s from the US Census Bureau:

  • The United States Olympic Committee voted to boycott the Summer Olympics in Moscow in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • John Lennon is murdered outside the Dakota Hotel in New York City
  • Prince Charles and Lady Diana marry at Westminister Abbey
  • The musical Cats debuts on Broadway and held the record for most performances (7,484) until surpassed by The Phantom of the Opera in 2006.
  • Apple Computer® launches its Macintosh computer
  • Video games became popular in American homes


If you're ready to celebrate the 80s and save lives, now is the time to come in and donate. Give blood in July & August and you will get some of the grooviest swag around, including a righteous OneBlood Beach Towel! alt text

Don’t have a cow, man! Make an appointment to donate blood today. Click now to find a OneBlood Donor Center or Big Red Bus near you. 

Want a sneak peek at more donor gifts for 2021? Check this out.

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Paul Ramey

Paul Ramey is a OneBlood Graphic Designer, as well as a published author (Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire) and music recording artist (Nothing On Earth). Paul is very proud to be part of OneBlood’s lifesaving team.

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