January 01 - David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City's first black mayor. 02 - World population passes five billion. In 1960 it was three billion. 03 - Manuel Noriega surrenders to US forces in Panama, ten days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission. 07 - The leaning tower of Pisa(...)


January 08 - Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark dies from a cocktail of drugs and alcohol at his home in Chelsea, London, UK. 15 - The UN-authorised, US-led "Operation Desert Storm" begins in Kuwait with an all-out air attack. Iraq responds by attacking Israel (which had taken no military action against Iraq). 18 - Three(...)


January 13 - Japan apologises for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. 21 - Great Mississippi bluesman Willie Dixon dies aged 76. February 07 - British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Hurd signs the Maastricht Treaty in the Netherlands, creating the pillar structure of(...)


January 01 - Czechoslovakia is peacefully divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 03 - George Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in Moscow, calling for the US and Russia to cut their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds over the next decade 06 - Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev dies in(...)


January 01 - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect. 06 - Champion figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is attacked by a 'mystery assailant' five weeks before the Lillehammer Olympic games. Her skating rival, Tonya Harding, pleads guilty to conspiracy to assault Kerrigan. Though her leg is injured in the attack, she still(...)


January 01 - Fred West, the Gloucestershire builder charged with 12 murders, commits suicide in his prison cell. Prison officers discover the 53-year-old's body hanging from strips of clothing at Winson Green prison near Birmingham. 02 - The most distant galaxy yet discovered is found by scientists using the Keck telescope in Hawaii. It's estimated(...)


January 05 - Yahya Ayyash - thought to be behind a wave of Islamic suicide bombings against Israel - is killed in Gaza by a booby-trapped cellular telephone. 07 - One of the biggest blizzards in US history hits the eastern side of the country causing more than 100 deaths. 08 - Former French president(...)


January 09 - Yachtsman Tony Bullimore is found alive five days after his boat capsized in the freezing Southern Ocean, 2200 km off the coast of Australia. 17 - Comedian Bill Cosby's only son is murdered while changing a flat tyre on his Mercedes convertible in the early hours of the morning. The body of(...)


January 01 - A new law comes into effect in California, prohibiting people from smoking in bars. 05 - Sonny Bono (of Sonny & Cher fame) dies in a skiing accident at South Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Ski Resort after colliding with a tree on an intermediate slope. 07 - Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky(...)


January 01 - 11 European countries replace their national currencies with the newly created Euro, a single European currency. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Ireland and Luxembourg all make the switch. The actual circulation of Euro coins and notes starts on 1 January 2002 when the old currencies become invalid. 07(...)

The 1990s

The recession of 1990, after the boom of the 1980s, provided a rather inauspicious beginning to the new decade. By the end of the year, unemployment was up, sales of new homes were down by a whopping 17.5 per cent, and economists were forecasting more of the same for 1991. New Labour ended 18 years(...)