Sale into the 90s--a 1980s/1990s history Tumblr

A tumblr about 1980s and 1990s history, and I use the term "history" very loosely.

The 1980s | The 1990s

My Retail History Blog | My Portfolio | The Zine

122. Larry Bird’s mustache

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Often parodied, never duplicated. Often scared me when seeing old basketball clips on TV. 

120. Blondie, February 3, 1989

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aw, hard crime even hit the towns of Blondie

119. The Oregonian’s Tonya Harding photo essay

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She only ranked at #22 on Sports Illustrated’s end of century list of the greatest Oregon sports figures, but Tonya Harding is with little doubt the state’s most widely known athlete. Twenty years after the attack on fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, we look at the arc of Harding’s career and the media frenzy that followed her, ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (now Stone) and other co-conspirators in the scandal.

  (67 total photos)

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Here on Tumblr, we always joke that certain celebrities are our “queens”. Well, Tonya is my ~~**Queen of the 1990s**~~. 

116. Nissan Van (sent to the automobile crusher, 1994)

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(do you like my drawing?)

The largest ever vehicle recall buyback in the United States was in 1994 when Nissan offered to buy back and destroy around 33,000 of their minivans made between 1987 and 1990. 1 The reason for the large recall was that the larger American engines and air conditioning installed in the Japanese styled van would overheat and sometimes catch on fire. 2 

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(it even had a little hot/cold snack box that you could put sunny d in!)

The smoke and fires began in 1987, the year the van came out. By 1994, there was 153 fires reported.  From 1987 to 1994 there were five recalls about problems related to the engine compartment fires.

Once the owner of the van returned the Van to a Nissan dealership, they were offered a buyback:

The action could cost Nissan more than $200 million. Nissan said it expects to pay $5,000 to $7,000, depending on age and mileage of the vehicle. The move underscores the ever-greater lengths that auto makers must go to to maintain their image with increasingly demanding customers.

"We’re paying higher than you’ll ever get as a used car or a trade-in," a Nissan spokesman said. The company’s vice president and general manager, Earl Hesterberg, said, "This program is designed to satisfy our customers."

[…]

Under the buyback program, the company is offering to purchase all the Passenger Van XEs and GXEs at current retail value. The company will also provide all the minivan owners a $500 coupon toward the purchase of any new or used Nissan vehicle. 1

While most Nissan Vans made it to the crusher, there are a few still lingering around. 

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Look at the roomy interior of this one sitting in a junk yard in North Carolina in 2011. 2 

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Look at this beaut in Oregon back in 2011, and here is this silver one that came from space and landed in Southern California 

1. Nauss, Donald. ”Nissan to Buy Back 33,000 Defective Minivans : Autos: All owners will receive up to $7,000. The action on the fire-prone vehicle could cost more than $200 million..” Los Angeles Times, February 4, 1994. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-02-04/business/fi-19061_1_minivan-owners (accessed February 17, 2014).

2."For $1,200, get fired up over this Nissan Van." jalopnik (blog), April 11, 2011. http://jalopnik.com/5791884/for-1200-get-fired-up-over-this-nissan-van (accessed February 17, 2014).

Related Links:

More junkyard beauties

even more

115. Corky’s “Corky” Mug

114. Beech Nut’s no apple juice apple juice

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The combination of babies, apple juice and a well-known name like Beech-Nut makes for a potent symbol. In fact, apple juice is not especially nutritious (bottlers often fortify it with extra vitamin C), but babies love it and find it easy to digest. Parents are pleased to buy a product that says ”no sugar added” and ”100% fruit juice” - as Beech-Nut advertised - and seem to regard it as almost as pure and natural as mother’s milk. That, of course, was the sacred trust Beech-Nut broke, and is now struggling to repair.  2

[…]

It said that the product that Beech-Nut had been marketing as 100 percent apple juice was actually made from beet sugar, cane sugar syrup, corn syrup and other ingredients, with little if any apple juice in the mixture. 3

Remember a few years ago when Dr. Oz tried to scare us into thinking dangerous levels of arsenic was in our apple juice?

Nothing beats sugar water masquerading as apple juice, and the sugar water being shipped off overseas to hide evidence: 

By the late summer of 1982, Beech-Nut was racing to unload its stock before regulators initiated a seizure action. On Sept. 1, Hoyvald managed to unload thousands of cases of juice from the Secaucus warehouse to Puerto Rico, despite the fact that the Puerto Rican distributor was already overstocked. Two weeks later, Hoyvald overruled his own lawyers and colleagues, who again suggested a recall, and ordered a feverish ”foreign promotion”; under certain circumstances, American law does not prohibit the selling abroad of products banned at home. Within days, 23,000 cases were trucked at great expense from the company’s San Jose, Calif., plant to Galveston, Tex., where they were off-loaded onto the first boat bound for the Dominican Republic, where they were sold at a 50 percent discount. 2

1. Appleson, Gail. “Beech-Nut reels from juice scandal.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 22, 1988. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19880222&id=6MxRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5G0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6810,5779797 (accessed February 7, 2014).

2. Traub, James. “Into the Mouths of Babes.” New York Times, July 24, 1988. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/24/magazine/into-the-mouths-of-babes.html (accessed February 7, 2014).

3. Burder, Leonard. “Beech-Nut Is Fined $2 Million for Sale Of Fake Apple Juice.” New York Times, November 14, 1987. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/11/14/business/beech-nut-is-fined-2-million-for-sale-of-fake-apple-juice.html (accessed February 7, 2014).

4. Burke, Richard. “Beech-nut: Risking Responsibility And Professional Ethics For Profits.” The Inquirer , May 01, 1988. http://articles.philly.com/1988-05-01/news/26261616_1_beech-nut-phony-juice-niels-l-hoyvald (accessed February 7, 2014).

112. “Man dies inside Murphy Bed” (1982)

I was thinking about Caroline’s Murphy Bed on 2 Broke Girls, and I wound up reading about Murphy Beds on Wikipedia. In 1982, a guy died inside a Murphy Bed:

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1. “Man dies inside Murphy bed.” Star News, June 15, 1982.

111. Absolutely bizarre “Accident or Mistake?” gymnastics segment (1987)

This was a segment shown on TV during the 1987 World Gymnastics Competition. Accident or Mistake? 

(I love this one comment: “that’s like asking would you like some oxygen or air”)

107. Christmas newspaper clippings part 1

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The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980

She looks like the inspiration for Charlene Matlock, either pilot Charlene Matlock, or Linda Purl Charlene Matlock, choose one:

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The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980

Everything for your yuppie kitchen. 

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The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980

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The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980

Aw, nobody likes this candy. Not even in 1980. Also, deadmalls.com dead mall, Northridge Mall. 

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I am so bothered by the Bone Fone, its the definition of ridiculousness. I think this was right before the Walkman hit it big, so these were probably mildly popular for about 2 months. 

The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980

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That is not a Care Bear. 
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Lodi News-Sentinel - Dec 19, 1987
I don’t know too many people who buy their gifts at the auto part store, especially at 11:45 at night on December 23rd. 
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Schenectady Gazette - Dec 12, 1987

EVERY discount store had their own bear back in the 1980s and 1990s. I had one from Kmart that had a little sweater dress from 1990. The reason why I knew it was from 1990 was because it said so on her sweater. 

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Schenectady Gazette - Dec 12, 1987

I didn’t know that people still bought Atari’s in 1987. 

106. “Nightingales” (1989)

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The five students featured on the show, you see, don`t spend much time studying. And they do hang around in their underwear a lot. 1.

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I found parts of the second pilot episode from January 21, 1991, (a failed pilot aired in the Summer of 1988) and the introduction by Suzanne Pleshette:

"you get to meet the girls, to discover their secret pasts, their dreams, their desires, their loves …." 

…sounds more like the back of a softcore vhs box than a NBC pilot on a Saturday night before the Superbowl. 

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This is the first thing you see in the pilot, because you see, one of the girls in the nursing program witnessed a murder and now she’s in the witness protection program, and they make her become a nurse?

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Already at 7:58, it looks like they’re about to shoot a pillow fight scene.

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"YOUR ASSES BELONG TO ME." really, she says that. I’m not joking. 

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Wow. Look how short those uniforms are!

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All the ladies were making googly eyes at this doctor. Did I mention that he walked away from a guy who had just been stabbed to introduce himself to the new students? 

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They go to a club named Panda after studying for 5 minutes…

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…and one of them has the stage all to herself and dances with a cigarette? I think a 12 year old girl wrote this. This is something I would think was cool when I was 12. 

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They focus on her butt a lot too. 

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She’s dancing and grinding on a mannequin. This was all to reveal that she has a life beyond nursing school where she dances at Panda…oh and she abandoned her daughter when she was six months old, and her mother is trying to adopt the little girl now.   

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In the second clip from the pilot, right after a commercial break, there is this long shot of one of the girls bodies while they lounge around on a 90° day. 

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Our little dancer rings water on herself. 

Ok, thats enough. Real nurses who didn’t play ones on tv were PISSED at this show, and the negative articles starting rolling in around March of 1990:

Carol Grimaldi, a spokeswoman for the nurses association, says

“Nightingales“ belittles the profession by portraying the future nurses as “little sex kittens.“ “Why don`t they just go ahead and do a show about lingerie models instead?“ she asks bitterly.

Members are writing to get NBC to cancel the show and most letters probably echo a nursing instructor who said: “We do not want this type of image on TV. You`re reducing nurses to a bunch of sluts.“ 1.

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2.

By May of 1989, bowing to pressure, and advertisers pulling out,  the producers said that if Nightingales was renewed for another season, the show would be “cleaned up”. 3. It was too late, and the show was canned a few days later. 

1. "Sour Notes On `Nightingales`." Chicago Tribune, March 16, 1989. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-03-16/news/8903270408_1_nightingales-carol-grimaldi-american-nurses-association (accessed December 3, 2013).

2. Trafford, Abigal. “Prime-Time Women: Still Skirting Reality.” Anchorage Daily News, March 8, 1989. http://www.truthaboutnursing.org/media/tv/nightingales/anchorage_1989-03-08.pdf (accessed December 7, 2013).

3. “‘Nightingales’ cleaned up.” Kentucky New Era, May 5, 1989. http://www.truthaboutnursing.org/media/tv/nightingales/kentucky_1989-05-05.pdf (accessed December 8, 2013).

Bonus: 

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The clip I used in this entry also had the original commercial breaks. They start here,  here,  here,  here, and here

Bonus II because its December.

In part 3 of the pilot, Santa Claus keels over.