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Late 1970s

As the 70s transitioned into the 80s, things were changing quickly.

Life was becoming more fast-paced, music was different, and politics were changing.

Indeed, the end of the 1970s was markedly different from the beginning.

New technology was taking the world by storm.

Though the floppy disk and several other notable advances in technology came about several years earlier, it wasn’t until the end of the decade that home computers began to appear.

They were quite expensive at this point so it was only the really die-hard techies that bought the first models. By the early 80s, however, they were much more common and less costly.

Video games that you played on your TV, like Atari and Intellivision, were gaining popularity at the end of the decade as well. Intellivision was the first 16-bit game console ever released and it ushered in a whole new era of gaming.

Hospitals were using the latest in technology as well. Besides computers that helped keep records straight and performed other tasks, hospitals were also excited about the arrival of the MRI, which was invented in 1977.

This allowed a much more detailed look at the human body and prompted quicker and more accurate diagnoses. Another medical miracle that happened in the late 70s was the birth of the first so-called “Test Tube Baby”. The baby, was born in England in 1978.

In the world of politics, things were sometimes turbulent. President Jimmy Carter pardoned all the draft dodgers of the Vietnam era, which angered many and may have contributed to his defeat in 1980.

The music world was stunned by the death of Elvis Presley in 1977.

On the other hand, the end of disco was mourned by some but lauded by others. This popular mid 1970s genre began to dwindle in the later years of the decade and it became harder and harder to find a radio station that played this type of music.

Instead, genres like Punk Rock began to hit the airwaves with groups like The Sex Pistols and The Ramones making their mark on rock history.

The first music videos appeared at the end of the decade as well and would really rise to new heights in the early 80s.

On television, the mini-series Roots would appear at the end of 1977 and would become the most watched show in TV history.

Other mini-series would follow and this format would remain popular into the early 1980s.

Other much-loved late 70s shows included Chips, Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Muppet Show, Dallas, Charlie’s Angels, Laverne and Shirley, and Taxi.