BROWSE DECADES
   
 

1990's

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Events of the Decade:

Iraq invasion of Kuwait leads to war; U.S. bombs Iraq; Iraq bombs Israel; Iraq defeated in operation Desert Storm
East and West Germany officially reunited
Civil War in Yugoslavia; Serbs massacre/rape Croats in Bosnia in "ethnic cleansing"
NATO bombs Serbia to try to stop Serbs killing ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. 500,000 displaced refugees flee.
40% of the world's population lives in cities
Czechoslovakia splits into Czech Republic and Slovakia
U.S. Population 1990: 249,632,692, 10.2% rise since 1980 (note probable 5 million undercount)
Race riots in Los Angeles cause $200 million damage
Disasters in Philippines-7.7 Earthquake in 1990, Eruption of Mount Pinatubo 1991, Typhoon floodwaters wipe out central villages; Imelda Marcos returns home
Genocide in Rwanda. Wars wipe out half of population.

NEWS STORIES OF THE CENTURY:
Sinking of Lusitania
End for WW1
Wright Brothers
Reichstag fire
Pearl Harbor
Hiroshima
Assassination of Kennedy
Man on the Moon
Watergate
Fall of Berlin Wall

NEWS OF BRITAIN
Death of Queen Victoria
Sinking of Titanic
End of WW1
Abdication of Edward VIII
Battle of Britain
Suez crisis
Charles/Diana wedding
Falklands war
Dunblane massacre
Death of Princess Diana

OTHER MAJOR STORIES:
Wall Street Crash
Death of FDR
Creation of Israel
Death of Stalin
Sputnik
Rise of Castro
Sharpeville Massacre
Assassination Martin Luther King
Vietnam War
Relief of Mafeking
Gallipoli fiasco
General Strike
Abdication of Edward VIII
India independence
Conquest of Everest
Profumo affair
Zeebrugge
Hillsborough
Holocaust
Apartheid
Killing fields of Cambodia
Queen's coronation
Churchill's funeral
Fall of Berlin Wall
Release of Mandela
Gulf War
President Bill Clinton almost brought down by sex scandal

Who's 'In':

Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton
Diana, Princess of Wales
Monica Lewinsky
Boxers Mike Tyson, James "Buster" Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe
British PM's: Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair
U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf
Ross Perot
Nelson Mandela
Bill Gates
Sen. Majority Leader/candidate Bob Dole
Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin
Chancellor Helmut Kohl of a united Germany
François Mitterand of France
Madonna
Supermodels Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer
Kevin Costner
Julia Roberts
Dr. Andrew Weil
Cameron Diaz
Tom Hanks

Who Died:

100,000 Iraqi soldiers in Persian Gulf War (US "official" estimates; no estimate for civilian dead)
The Soviet Union
China's last eunuch
Pan American World Airways
Diana, Princess of Wales, 36
(4 days younger than Marilyn Monroe)
Sammy Davis Jr., 75
Pearl Bailey, 72
Sarah Vaughan, 66
Frank Capra, 94
Robert Motherwell, 76
Greta Garbo, 85
Ava Gardner, 68
Paulette Goddard, 85
Rex Harrison, 82
Lee Remick, 56
Armand Hammer, 92
Aaron Copland, 90
Leonard Bernstein, 68
Soviet Communist Party's power monopoly after 70 years
Halston, 58
Erté, 98
"A Chorus Line" closes after 6,137 performance run
Jim Henson, 54
Rocky Graziano, 68
29,000 in earthquake in Northern Iran
1,000+ Muslim pilgrims crushed to death in stampede in tunnel leading to Mecca
Isaac Bashevis Singer, 87
Ginger Rogers, 83

Bad Guys:

Saddam Hussein of Iraq
Osama bin Ladin and Al Qaeda
Mullah Omar of the Taliban
Mohammad Farah Aidid of Somalia
Abdullah Ocalan, Kurdish dissident leader in Turkey
Drunken French chauffeur Henri Paul who drove Diana, Princess of Wales & Dodi Fayed to their deaths
D.C. Mayor Marian Barry
Serbian Radical leader Vojislav Seselj
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
Bosnian Serb Politician Radovan Karadzic
Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, killer of Muslims
Plus Markovic, Stoliljkovic, Sainovic, Ojdanic and Pavkovik, Serb generals and politicians.
Mexican mass murderer Jose Leonardo Castillo Pomb
Michael Milken
Mafia Don John Gotti
John Sununu
Jesse Helms
Child molester, mass murderer, decapitator Jeffrey L. Dahmer
Texas mass murderer George J. Hennard, Jr.
Russian mass murderer and cannibal (52 victims) Andrei Chikatilo
Another Russian serial killer with also 52 victims Anatoly (The Terminator) Onoprienko.
Mexican mass murderer Fernando Hernandez Leyva (100+ victims)
Serial killers Henry Lous Wallace and Ricardo Silvio Caputo
Haitian Lieut. Gen. Raoul Cédras
Lyle and Eric Menendez
O.J. Simpson
Tasmanian killer Martin Bryant guns down 34
Terrorist Abu Nidal
Superterrorist Osama bin Laden
Other terrorists Carlos the Jackal (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) George Habash, Ahmed Jibril, Abul Abbas, Yassir Arafat
Still in exile: Idi Amin in Saudi Arabia, Suharto i, Baby Document Duvalier in France, Laurent Kabila,

What's 'In':

World Wide Web on the Internet
Viagra
In profession: Chef
Generation X
Theme restaurants: Planet Hollywood, et al
Capitalism in Russia
Rollerblades
Pets - Wheaton Terriers
Honda NSX Sports car
Microsoft Windows
Inexpensive new Macintosh computers
Barney the Dinosaur
Dry beer
3-D video games, Compact Disk based Interactive video games and movies; the launch of 3DO, Sega 32 bit, Nintendo/Silicon Graphics machines
Things hypoallergenic and biodegradable
Fly fishing
Caller ID on phones
Caribbean foods
CD-ROM computer games and reference programs
Home Shopping TV Networks
Awareness of sexual harassment
Riverboat gambling
MUDding (multi-user dungeons) on on-line bulletin boards
DVD players

Entertainment:

Multi-media and merchandising: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Films and TV based on books by Jane Austin
Musicals:
Miss Saigon
Grand Hotel
City of Angels
Sunset Blvd.
Rent

Oscar Winning Films:
"Dances With Wolves"
"The Silence of the Lambs"
"Unforgiven"
"Schindler's List"
"Forrest Gump"
"Braveheart"
"The English Patient"
"Titanic"
"Shakespeare in Love"
"American Beauty"

Also:
"The Godfather, Part III"
"Ghost"
"Pretty Woman"
"Home Alone" and "Home Alone 2"
"Basic Instinct"
"Apollo 13"
"The Sixth Sense"
"Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
"Men in Black"
"Armageddon"
"Mrs. Doubtfire"
"The Matrix"
"Tarzan"
"The Fugitive"
"Toy Story"
"Golden Eye"
"The Mummy"
"Forrest Gump"
"The Lion King," "Little Mermaid," "Beauty & the Beast" from Disney
"Jurassic Park"
"Babe"
"Saving Private Ryan"
"Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace"
"Independence Day"

Television:
Seinfeld
"The Civil War" PBS documentary
The Simpsons
Friends
Roseanne
60 Minutes
Home Improvement
Mad About You

Music:

Music on trial: Judas Priest and Ozzie Osborne did not kill youths with music; 2 Live Crew first group to be found obscene by court of law.
Grunge Music - the Northwest US scene especially Seattle
Hot: Hootie and the Blowfish, Alanis Morrisette, Janet Jackson, Spice Girls, U2, Oasis, Sinead O"Connor
3 Tenors: Pavarotti, Domingo, and Carreras

Literature:

Julia Phillips" "You"ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again"
A.S. Byatt "Possession"
Norman Mailer's "Harlot's Ghost"
"The Runaway Soul" by Harold Brodkey

Art:

Christo's Umbrellas: Joint Project for Japan and U.S.A., 1991 kills a person in each country
Serrano's "Piss Christ"
Robert Motherwell photographs provoke First Amendment controversy
Madonna's book of photos "Sex"
Art stolen from Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in Boston: "The Concert" by Vermeer, "The Storm of the Sea of Galilee" by Rembrandt, "La Sortie du Pesage" by Degas, "A Lady and Gentleman in Black" Rembrandt, "Landscape With an Obelisk" Flinck "Program for Artistic Soirée" Degas, "Self Portrait" Rembrandt, "Chez Tortoni" by Manet

Fashion & Beauty:

Fedoras
Motorcycle jackets
Plaid
Wild ties
Zubaz pants
Long black provocatively unzipped skirts
Ripped jeans
The Grunge Look - like a bum
Velvet
Isaac Mizrahi designs
Georgio Armani tailored suits
Hot models:
Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Fabio

Media:

Spin Magazine
Wigwag Magazine
Victoria Magazine
Buzz Magazine
L.A. Style
Dallas Times Herald goes under
DirectTV and PrimeStar, satellite delivered television happening

Money:

World recession begins
Bankrupt: Pan Am, Macy's (inc. I. Magnin and Bullocks), Federated Department Stores (Bloomingdales) Allied Stores, Carter Hawley Stores, Orion Pictures, TWA, 47th Street Photo
Minimum wage raised to $3.80, then $4.25
Disneyland Tickets Adult $27.50, Child $22.50
Matsushita buys MCA for $6.6 billion; Italian Pathé buys MGM/UA for $1.36 billion then loses it to Credit Lyonnaise; Sony buys Columbia for $5 billion. Foreign interests now control Hollywood and music industry
Atlantic Bell buys Telecommunications for 33 billion.
Paramount Communications in play; Viacom offers $8.2 billion, QVC 9.6 billion
Greta Garbo's Art collection:
Renoir's "Edmond" $7 million
"Léontine and Coco Reading" $5.7 million, Monet's "Water Lilies $9.5 million, Magritte's "Philosophy of the Boudoir" 1.9 million
Record price for drawing-Van Gogh's "Garden of Flowers" $8.4 million
Van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sold at Christies NY for record $82.5 million to Tokyo Gallery
Renoir's 1876 painting "At the Moulin de la Galette" sold for $78.1 million
Top 5 American painters
John Singer Sargent
Cashmere 11.1m 1996
The Garden Corfu $8.3 m 1997
Spanish Dancer $7.6m 1994
Frederic Edwin Church
Home by the Lake $8.2m 1989
Childe Hassam
Room of Flowers $5.5m 1993
16 page music manuscript by Ludwig van Beethoven of Sonata sold for record $892,000 in London
1990 Advertising expenditures:
Budweiser $100.9 million
IBM $101 million
Apple Macintosh $30 million
Cheerios $67 million
Tylenol $75 million
AT&T $353.9 million
Nintendo $75 million
Campbell's Soup $24 million
McDonalds $1.1 billion
Burger King $170 million
American Express $165 mill.
Largest bank mergers in American history: Chemical and Manufactures Hanover; Bank of America and Security Pacific
1990 - 44,000 businesses go under - 15% over 1989
Financials in 1992:
Dow Jones 30 Industrials 3,707.64 (420% up on 1962)
Platinum $359.50 per oz (339% up on 1962)
Silver 3.77 per oz. (214% up on 1962)
1962 Jaguar XKE bought for $4,500 now worth $35,000
Consumer Price Index 139.78 (372% up on 1962)

Religion:

Roman Catholics - 880 million
Protestants - 455.5 million
Eastern Orthodox-130.8 mil.
Jews-17.8 million
Buddhists-295 million
Hindus- 650 million
Islam- 817 million
Confucianism 5.9 million
Entire Jewish population of Ethiopia (14,500) airlifted to Israel

Science:

The Hubble space telescope goes into orbit; has troubles
Molecular biology - first human studies of drugs to attack enzymes unique to cancer cells
DNA as evidence in legal cases - especially OJ Simpson trial
Genetic engineering in plants
Robot population of America = 69,000

New Slang Words:

Get a life...
To "dis" someone as in disrespect. Dissing
To be bummed out
Moshing - a violent dance done in the mosh pit
"Thing" as in "Let's do the lunch thing," or "I think it may be the love thing"
To have an "attitude" changes to just "tude."
The mother of all... (movies, TV shows, wars, etc.)
An action that "sends a message..." to an individual or group
Joe jobs (ordinary jobs)
To flame someone (insult, on the Internet)
Phat
New words added to Collins Dictionary:
Crop circle
Ethnic cleansing
Clone
Information superhighway
National Lottery
Road rage
Alcopop
Blairite

 

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An introduction to History by Decades by Larry Belling. More...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
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