1980s - The Evidence
How do we know what happened in Vermont in the 1980s?
When you are 8 or 9 years old, the 1980s might seem like a long time ago. But your teachers, parents and grandparents might disagree. They might remember what Vermont was like in the 1980s.
One way historians learn about the recent(not very long ago) past is by talking with people who were alive then. Collecting an oral history(history that someone speaks) can be a good way to learn about history. Ask someone what it was like to watch television before cable, satellites or the internet. What did they watch when Vermont had only three or four TV stations? Ask someone when they first used a computer to do work or write a letter. What other questions could you ask to learn about Vermont in the 1980s?
Historians look at newspapers or magazines to learn what people wanted to know about in the past. You can read about Madeleine Kunin’s election campaign in 1984. You can see advertisements for cars or clothes. Look at the pictures and think about how styles have changed.
You can also find information online about Vermont in the 1980s. Learn about the history of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream from the Ben & Jerry’s website. But remember that good historians ask questions about who is telling the story.
Make a list of questions you have about Vermont in the 1980s. Then find an adult to tell you about life in Vermont forty years ago.
Thinking About History
Historians ask questions to think deeply about history.
How long does it take for something to become history? Some historians think it takes 50 years. Other people say yesterday is history. What do you think?
Follow the links below to explore related topics.
Learn about Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream History
Read the article Playing the Odds about the Vermont lottery from Green Mountaineer Magazine
Listen to the program School Consolidation - Farewell to the One-Room Schoolhouse, 1986 from Green Mountain Chronicle
Look at Vermont Life magazines from the 1980s
Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.
Vermont Historical Society. "1980s - The Evidence." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed October 1, 2023. https://vermonthistoryexplorer.org/learning-about-the-1980s