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Full Episode Summary

While 1980 kicked off a brand new decade, 1981 was truly the year of birth. Everything from a new presidency to music television took shape within the twelve months that made 1981 a year featuring romance, transition, and a White House full of jellybeans.

The year began with the birth of a new presidential campaign, which suffered a scare at the hands of an obsessed Jody Foster fan. John Hinkley's assassination attempt was soon followed by one against the Pope, giving birth to one of the great vehicles of the 20th Century, the Pope-Mobile. Speaking of babies in the vehicular maternity ward, the Delorean was also born in 1981, and would eventually take Marty McFly back in time several years later in "Back to the Future."

1981 was also the year two major marriages were born, one fictitious and one royal. Luke and Laura tied the knot on a very special episode of General Hospital, and Prince Charles took Lady Diana as his bride in a beautiful ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

And what would a year be like without music? MTV, the first ever 24-hour music television channel came screaming out of the proverbial womb in August, launching countless careers and hairstyles, and leaving camera-unfriendly artists in the dust.

1981 also gave us the birth of an anchor, as Walter Cronkite's retirement paved the way for a changing of the guard, and thus the Dan Rather era was born. And as the American public was introduced to Rather as the face of news, a new comedy would drag our attention to the birth of arguably the greatest actor of our time: Bosom Buddies introduced us to Tom Hanks, not to mention his feminine side.

1981 was also the year of the birth of a multitude of electronics with the launch of the PC's and of course on a lighter note the explosions of video games. Among those video games, which will drive us crazy for the rest of the decade, are Donkey Kong, centipede and of course Pac Man, all part of the great Atari system.... And for those who aren't that computer savvy, a certain Dr. Rubik came out with his famous cube.

And where would we be today without the megastars that were actually born in 1981? Alicia Keys, Beyonce Knowles, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Natalie Portman, the names go on and on. 1981 was a year of birth, and 21 years later the events of that year remain relevant to this day.