1989 In Technology the 486 series of microprocessor is released by Intel opening the way for the next generation of much more powerful PC's and Microsoft releases it's Office Suite including Spreadsheet, Word Processor, Database and Presentation Software which today still dominates in office applications. Following Massive protests against the Berlin Wall bringing about the collapse of The Berlin Wall and the East German Government both are dismantled which leads after many years to the reunification of East and West Germany. In China Pro democracy protesters clash with Chinese Security Forces in Tiananmen Square on June 4th and the pictures of a man taking on a tank are seen on TV news throughout the world.
What Events Happened in 1989
Iran -- Ayatollah Khomeini DiesAyatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, died at the age of 86 on June 3rd. Khomeini was the leader of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 which overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and established Iran as the first Islamic Republic. Khomeini was an influential figure in international politics and was responsible for the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis during which American hostages were held by Iranian students for over a year. He was a vocal critic of the United States, Soviet Union, and the Western world, and was immensely popular within Iran despite numerous human rights violations against political prisoners.
Czechoslovakia - Velvet Revolution1. One of the factors that contributed to the start of the Velvet Revolution was a student-led peaceful protest in Prague on November 16th. The protest was broken up violently by police and over one-hundred people were hospitalized due to injury.
2. The Velvet Revolution began the next day on November 17th as a series of peaceful protests erupted throughout Czechoslovakia. The protesters were demonstrating against the oppressive Communist leadership in the country that had been punishing dissidents. During the protests several towns went on strike throughout the country, and many student movements led the charge.
3. Crowds demanding the fall of the Communist government were estimated at between 200,000 and 500,000, with some estimates stating up to 750,000 people may have joined the demonstrations in Prague during the Velvet Revolution.
4. By November 24th, most of the top Communist leadership resigned from their positions and the Communist party fully let go of control of the government on November 28th.
5. On December 10th President Gustav Husak resigned.
6. On December 28th Alexander Dubcek was elected as the Speaker of Parliament in Czechoslovakia and on December 29th Vaclav Havel was appointed as the President of Czechoslovakia.
7. By June of 1990, Czechoslovakia held their first democratic elections since 1946. Vaclav Havel was elected as the president and he remained in that position until 2003.
8. On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia was peacefully separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
United Kingdom - Hillsborough Disaster1. On April 15th, the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, turned to tragedy when 96 people were crushed to death, many of them teenagers and children. Estimates stated over 700 people were injured in the event.
2. The problems were caused by too many Liverpool fans being allowed in to the back of an already full stand at the Leppings Lane end of the ground, as more fans were allowed in those already there were pushed forward and crushed against the high, wired-topped safety fences.
3. The Taylor Report was published in 1990 to determine causes. 4. The Hillsborough Independent Panel was created in 2009 to re-examine causes. 5. After investigations concluded, it was determined that a poor police planning, a slow emergency response, and inherent design issues in the stadium were major contributing factors to the disaster. It was also determined that the fans were not at fault for the tragedy.
6. In June of 2017, David Duckenfield (the former Chief Superintendent and Match Commander at the time of the disaster) and five others were charged in relation to the deaths. Duckenfield faced 95 charges of manslaughter as the 96th victim died several years after the event.
Comment From Neil, a man who lived through the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster: "The Liverpool fans were not as you reported allowed in the ground they were forced into an overfilled section of leppings lane, sadly I As one of many that got out of the death pen now relive that day over and over it ruined my life. Now after all the years not a single Liverpool fan has been charged with an offence regarding the death or the 96 in the ground and have probably never heard about the 97th victims who died in a coma later, nor will you have reported or the terror and guilt of those of us that escaped that day"
- USSR pulls out of Afghanistan
- PLO and Israel begin preliminary talks
- Pro democracy protesters clash with Chinese Security Forces
- Tokyo Stock Market Crash ends Japans long period of high Economic Growth
- The Registered Partnership law is passed in Denmark which grants same sex couples many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage
- Violence in black townships worsen with over 2,500 killed
- New Prime Minister in South Africa F.W. de Klerk starts to dismantle apartheid
- Free Elections in Poland bring Solidarity to power
- 200,000 protesters in Prague, Czechoslovakia call for the resignation of the country's communist government in the "Velvet Revolution".
- Following the protests free elections are held in Czechoslovakia
- The Galileo Spacecraft is launched by NASA on October 18th
More Information for the Galileo Spacecraft
On October 18th, 1989 NASA launched the Galileo spacecraft. The Galileo spacecraft’s mission was to probe Jupiter’s atmosphere and study the largest planet and its moons for two years. The spacecraft was purposefully plunged into Jupiter’s atmosphere on September 21st, 2003 to take some final measurements and be destroyed. On its way to Jupiter, Galileo spent time studying Earth, Venus, the Moon, and two asteroids. It orbited Jupiter for two years and observed the surrounding satellites, collecting amazing photos of the planet and identifying evidence that there was possibly liquid water under the surface of Europa, a moon of Jupiter. The Galileo Spacecraft was hugely successful in its missions and made several new and exciting discoveries.
- After 30 years the Cold War between East and West ends following the Malta conference and the Berlin Wall comes down
More Information and Timeline for the Malta Summit
United States President George Bush and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev meet to discuss the end of the Cold War on December 2nd and 3rd of 1989. They held their Summit in Malta not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Soviet Union was beginning its break down at the time of the meeting and signaled an easing of tensions between the two world powers. Bush and Gorbachev declared an end to the Cold War principles and a continued commitment to reducing arms and cooperating. At the end of the two day meeting they effectively declared an end to the Cold War, an ideological and tension conflict stemming from the end of World War II.
- Partial elections in USSR
- Massive protests and either side of the Berlin Wall bring about the collapse of the East German Government and the Berlin Wall is breached and eventually dismantled and The Brandenburg Gate opened
- Thousands of Students occupy Tiananmen Square in Beijing China protesting for democracy, Chinese Government Declares martial law and Hundreds of Demonstrators are killed
- Following the Tiananmen Square incident the US and other countries around the world place sanctions on China
- George Bush Snr becomes president of the United States
- The United States Supreme Court ruled on June 21st that flag burning as a form of political protest is an act of protected speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution.
- The Phillips 66 Chemical Complex in Houston, Texas has a series of explosions and fires killing 23 employees.
- One of the deadliest tornadoes in modern times strikes Saturia, Bangladesh Tornado killing as many as 1,300
- Toyota launches it's luxury brand the Lexus
- Serial killer Ted Bundy is executed in Florida's electric chair
- The Mirage Hotel and Casino opens in Las Vegas as the first huge resort hotel
- 12 European Community nations agree to ban the production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end century
- United States provide assistance to Columbia Government to Battle Drug Lords
- In Egypt, a 4,400-year-old mummy is found in the Great Pyramid of Giza
- A UK 737 crashes on the M1 Motorway
- Sky TV Launched In UK
- In Alaska's Prince William Sound the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels (11 million gallons) of oil after running aground
More Information and Timeline for Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
The Exxon Valdez oil tanker becomes grounded in Alaska’s Prince William Sound on March 24th, 1989. The tanker’s hull ruptures and around eleven million gallons of crude oil begins spilling into the ocean. The oil spill turned into a huge ecological disaster and thousands of wildlife were harmed or died as a result. About ten thousand people were involved in the clean-up and there was millions of dollars of damage done to the environment. The local economies that relied on fishing and tourism also suffered as a result of the oil spill, losing millions of dollars in the following years. Over 1,000 miles of coastline was damaged by the spill and 25 years later some areas and wildlife are still being negatively impacted.
- Nintendo releases the Game Boy in Japan in April and in North America interrupted in July
More Information and Timeline for Nintendo Game Boy Release
Nintendo releases the Game Boy handheld gaming system in North America on July 31st, 1989. The Game Boy was the first 8-bit handheld system that used different cartridges that could be interchanged to play different games. It had already been released in Japan in April of 1989 and was later released in Europe in September of 1990. It was created by Nintendo employee Gunpei Yokoi who worked in the research and development department. Gunpei Yokoi’ s other notable creation other than the Game Boy was the Metroid video game series.
- Hillsborough disaster occurred on April 15th, 1989, at Hillsborough, a football stadium in Sheffield, England, resulting in the loss of 96 lives.
- British police arrest 250 for celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge
- Leona Helmsley the billionaire hotel operator is convicted on Tax Fraud Charges
- The Serial Killer Ted Bundy is executed in Florida
- Marchioness pleasure boat collides with a barge on the River Thames adjacent to Southwark Bridge and 51 die.
- The Loma Prieta earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, strikes San Francisco Bay Area in California, killing 63
- The Savings and Loan Crisis leads to nearly 1/4 of all savings and loan associations requiring bailout dur to poor real estate lending practices and an easing of regulatory oversight.
- The Baltic Way peaceful protest is held on August 23rd, 1989.
On August 23rd, the "Baltic Way" peaceful protest was held. During this protest an estimated two million people joined hands to form a human chain that spanned over three-hundred and seventy miles across the Baltic region.
The chain went through Soviet-controlled Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The protest was organized by pro-independence groups and was meant to showcase solidarity between the nations in Baltic region, highlighting their desire for independence from the USSR.
The protest was held on the 50th anniversary of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres and allowed for the occupation of the Baltic region by the USSR in 1940. All three countries were independent from the Soviet Union by 1991.
- Marc Lépine shoots and kills 14 women students at École Polytechnique in Montreal
- The Montreal Protocol to end ozone depletion enters into force
- Hurricane Hugo ( Category 5 ) strikes Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, South Carolina and North Carolina, the hurricane claimed over 80 lives and in 1989 was the costliest hurricane in financial terms up the that date.
- Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issues a ( FATWA ) death sentence on British writer Salman Rushdie for the Satanic Verses
- Yugo Cars go bankrupt
- Ford buys Jaguar
- Civil War in Lebanon increases between Christian and Islamic Fundamentalists
- The US Government provides a 0 billion bail out for hundreds of saving and loan associations
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