Frank’s retirement brings back early-’80s memories

After more than 30 years in Congress, Rep. Barney Frank announced on Monday that he’s retiring.

The Massachusetts Democrat assumed office on Jan. 3, 1981, so ITK felt that in honor of the outspoken congressman, who was still in the closet that year (he revealed his sexual orientation a few years later), it was only appropriate to name the other significant things that came out of Frank’s first year on Capitol Hill.


• MTV — Before Snooki and teen moms took over, the then-fledgling music channel made its debut by airing the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

• Test-tube baby — Now, this will make you feel old. America’s first test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, turns the big three-oh next month. Carr was the first baby born in the U.S. through in-vitro fertilization.

• The Care Bears — The cute, cuddly, colorful characters were originally created to go on greeting cards. The ’80s craze made a comeback in the 21st century, with the bears even appearing in their own video game in 2008.

• Future singer baby boom — 1981 was a good year for music (or maybe a bad one, depending on your taste). Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Pitbull, Kelly Rowland, Josh Groban, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson and Natasha Bedingfield were all born the same year that Frank took office.