In terms of iconic cultural moments an awful lot has happened in the last five decades. Back in 1972 London's first ever Gay Pride march took place, and David Bowie introduced the world to Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars. Meanwhile in Japan, Honda was launching the first generation of a small hatchback car called the Civic.
Ziggy Stardust may have left the building, but the Honda Civic is still going strong 50 years later.
To mark the birthday, Honda looked for some of the most iconic cultural movements of the past five decades since the Civic first went on sale. The list was commissioned by Honda and Dr Ruth Adams, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Creative Industries at King’s College London, to celebrate the anniversary of the Civic, which launched on July 12, 1972. Coincidentally, order books for the 11th generation Honda Civic hybrid model also opened on July 12th, so you can also celebrate its golden jubilee by leasing the brand-new version.
Gay Pride and the David Bowie were the first items on the list but what else was considered noteworthy over the last 50 years?
The 1980s boasted the greatest number of cultural highs – 14, including Torvill and Dean’s perfect score at the Winter Olympics, the launch of satellite TV and the debut episode of a new TV show called EastEnders. The 1990s brought the opening of the Channel Tunnel, the Queen opened up Buckingham Palace to the public, someone called Banksy painted their first mural, and the world first learned of a bespectacled kid by the name of Harry Potter. The 2000s brought us into the modern age with the launch of the first broadband service in Basildon, which soon led to the creation of YouTube and a whole social network explosion. Cars and major events seem to be inexplicably linked in our brains. A separate survey of 2,000 adults who drive regularly also found that many of us associate cars with our major milestones. Obviously, passing your driving test and buying your first car will feature quite highly for everyone. People were also asked which life events they associated with the car they had at the time, with first jobs (22%), being on holiday (20%) and having a child (19%) emerging top.
In addition, almost half of us go for a drive to process a big piece of news and around 30% of people say they were in the car listening to the radio when a major world event happened.
Originally launched as a car for the world, the Civic seems to have fulfilled that brief and served as a marker of life’s milestones for millions of people.
Building on 50 years of heritage, the latest Civic combines strong performance and efficiency with improved levels of interior comfort, visual appeal and overall usability. As part of the brand’s 2022 ‘Electric Vision’ commitment to electrify all mainstream models, the new Civic also features the most advanced iteration of Honda’s award-winning e:HEV full-hybrid powertrain system as standard.
And as you’re no doubt all dying to know, the new Honda Civic is available to lease right now…….and while you’re deciding which colour to choose, here’s the rest of the list of cultural highlights according to Honda.
Honda’s 50 Iconic Cultural Movements
1973 - Slade's ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ takes the Christmas No.1 slot for the first time
1974 - ABBA wins Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Waterloo’ at the Brighton Dome
1975 - The Sex Pistols play their first ever live show
1977 - Saturday Night Fever brings disco to the cinema
1977 - Star Wars takes UK cinemas by storm
1979 - The UK elects the first ever female Prime Minister
1980 - The Rubiks Cube launches in the UK
1980 - PacMan computer game is released
1981 - MTV launches with the first video being ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’
1981 - The first London Marathon and Great North Run take place
1982 - Channel 4 launches on 2nd November
1983 - Breakfast TV launches on BBC1 at 06:30 on 17 January
1984 - London Fashion Week launches at Olympia
1984 - Torvill and Dean make history with their ice-skating at the Winter Olympics
1984 - Satellite TV launches in the UK
1984 - Band Aid is formed and releases ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas’
1985 - The first episode of Eastenders airs on BBC One
1985 - The original Live Aid event is held at Wembley Stadium
1987 - Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue) marry in ‘Neighbours’
1988 - Acid House scene erupts across the UK, leading to the birth of rave culture
1991 - Linda McCartney launches the first meat-free food range in UK supermarkets
1993 – The Queen announces the opening of Buckingham Palace to the public
1994 - The Channel Tunnel opens, connecting the UK to mainland Europe by road
1994 - First television broadcast of Glastonbury Festival
1995 - Damien Hirst wins The Turner Prize
1996 - Girl Power movement begins with the arrival of The Spice Girls
1996 - England hosts and reaches semi-finals of Euro 96, with ‘Three Lions’ becoming the unofficial national anthem
1997 - The first Harry Potter book, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ is published, introducing a new generation to reading
1997 - New Labour comes to power, with D:Reem’s ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ as the theme tune
1997 - Banksy's first mural appears in Bristol
2000 - The first series of Big Brother launches in the UK
2000 - the first home broadband service is installed in Basildon
2000 - Tate Modern opens in London, attracting over 40 million visitors since launch
2002 - The first season of Pop Idol airs, with Will Young declared the winner
2003 - England wins the Rugby World Cup
2004 - The first season of Strictly Come Dancing airs, won by Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole
2005 - YouTube launches, changing the way videos are shared and watched
2010 - The first episode of The Great British Bake Off is aired on BBC Two
2011 - 50 Shades of Grey is released and becomes the best-selling British book of all time
2011 - Prince William marries Kate Middleton
2012 - London bathes in the glory of the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
2013 - Disney's 'Frozen' inspires kids worldwide… cue the singing of ‘Let it Go’
2014 - Everyone (it seemed!) did the Ice Bucket Challenge
2014 - The first same-sex marriages take place in the UK
2017 - TikTok launches, bringing dance routines to social media
2020 - Sir Captain Tom Moore achieves a UK no.1 cover with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ alongside Michael Ball
2021 - England hosts, and reaches the final of the Euros
2022 - ‘Stranger Things’ sends Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ to No.1 37 years since it launched
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