First off, yes, there was a recent thread also dealing with the 1980s in America, but it didn't go the direction I need now. So. I just got the first (and last) comments back on my WIP from my latest, now-ex beta reader. My novel takes place in 1981 - 1982, and I head each part of the story with the date stamp of the month and the year. Even so, the beta kept forgetting the story isn't set today, and questioned why my characters weren't using the Internet, didn't call Homeland Security when they suspected terrorism, etc. I thought I'd salted in plenty of references to show that it was an earlier time, but clearly, they aren't enough. Or they're so esoteric that no one who wasn't an adult then would pick them up. So for the younger members of the forums especially, what would say "early 1980s" to you? I can't go too heavily on pop music and TV, since my main characters are two workaholics who don't watch much television and are into classical music, not pop. But maybe inserting a few song and TV show titles, called out as new, would work? What about clothes and fashion? I thought I had enough of that in, but I guess not enough. Or models of cars? And what about mentioning politicians and office holders of the day? My MMC refers obliquely to President Reagan a time or two, but only as "the president." To my perception, most people either love him or hate him, and I don't want to distract from my story by raising unnecessary issues. Am I being too cautious? Would the name of Ronald Reagan be a sure-fire (and non-distracting) marker to the period we're in? Any other ideas? This beta is the first one who's been confused to this degree as to the setting date, but if she was, others could be, too.