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.
07 – British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Hurd signs the Maastricht Treaty in the Netherlands, creating the pillar structure of the European Union and the eventual Euro currency.
13 – Actor Dirk Bogarde is knighted at Buckingham Palace.
01 – Bosnian Serbs begin sniping in Sarajevo after Bosnian Croats and Muslims vote for Bosnian independence.
06 – The computer virus ‘Michelangelo’ begins popping up.
18 – White South Africans vote for constitutional reforms that give legal equality to blacks.
20 – Janice Pennington is awarded $1.3 million for an accident on the set of US TV show The Price Is Right when she was knocked into Contestant’s Row by a wayward camera. She received over 100 stitches on her right shoulder, resulting in it being on inch shorter than the other.
02 – John Gotti – known to the media as the ‘Teflon Don’ – is found guilty of the death of Mafia boss Paul Castellano.
06 – The Siege of Sarajevo begins.
09- Conservative John Major is elected UK prime minister.
12 – The Euro-Disney theme park opens 25 miles east of Paris, France.
29 – Rioting breaks out in Los Angeles following an all-white jury’s acquittal of the four LA policemen who were videotaped beating Rodney King. Three days of violence leaves 51 people dead, 1,800 injured and 3,767 buildings in ashes. LAPD chief Daryl Gates is forced to retire in June, in part for withdrawing his men from LA’s poorer neighbourhoods at the start of the riots
06 – Marlene Dietrich dies in Paris. She is laid to rest in Berlin, where she was born 93 years earlier. The screen legend had not left her apartment since 1980.
23 – With the USSR dissolved, President Bush signs an agreement with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to abide by the nuclear arms reduction treaty signed between the US and USSR in 1991.
26 – Charles Geschke, president of software giants Adobe Systems, is kidnapped from the company car park in Mountain View, California. His family and business receive a ransom demand for $650,000 but the kidnappers are apprehended as they attempt to collect the ransom. Geschke is freed soon after.
01 – Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (known as Carlos the Jackal) – for a long time the world’s most wanted man – is sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in France.
06 – David Bowie marries Somalian model Iman Abdulmajid in a church in Florence, Italy. They already had a civil ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland, in April.
10 – A judge in Los Angeles throws out a $25 million palimony suit brought by Kelly Emberg against Rod Stewart.
12 – In a letter to the US Senate, Russian leader Boris Yeltsin admits that in the early 1950s the Soviet Union shot down nine US planes and held 12 American survivors.
14 – A total of 178 countries attend the UN conference on the environment in Rio, Brazil. All agree on a 27-point declaration to limit damage to the natural world.
15 – US Vice President Dan Quayle instructs a student to spell potato by adding an ‘e’ to the end during a spelling bee arranged as a photo opportunity.
22 – In the wake of the Los Angeles riots, President Bush signs a bill providing $1.3 billion for relief to LA, which will appropriate funds for a summer employment program in 75 cities
23 – John Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family, is sentenced to life in prison for 13 charges of murder, conspiracy, tax fraud and obstruction of justice
24 – The US Supreme Court rules that warning labels on cigarette packages do not protect tobacco companies from damage claims. The court also reaffirms its stance that state-sponsored prayer in public schools is unconstitutional
29 – The US Supreme Court upholds women’s constitutional right to abortion by a 5-4 vote, although the court does permit individual states to impose some restrictions
10 – A Federal judge in Miami sentences former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega to 40 years in prison on drug and racketeering charges.
14 – Olivia Newton-John announces that she has breast cancer but that her doctors expect a full recovery.
15/16 – The Democratic National Convention nominates Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Tennessee Senator Al Gore for president and vice-president.
03 – The US Senate votes to restrict – and eventually end – the testing of nuclear weapons.
05 – Federal civil rights charges are filed against the four Los Angeles police officers who assaulted Rodney King. Two of the officers previously acquitted on California State charges are later convicted and jailed.
11 – The Mall of America – the largest in the USA – opens in Bloomington, Minnesota.
12 – The US, Canada and Mexico announce the North American Free Trade Agreement.
17 – The FBI begins the Siege of Ruby Ridge when 400 armed Federal agents descend on the Weaver family’s Idaho mountain home, ultimately killing Randy Weaver’s son, wife and dog. The Justice Department later recommends prosecuting the agents, and the surviving Weavers win $3.1 million in civil damages.
18 – Woody Allen admits to being romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his partner Mia Farrow.
22 – Sting marries Trudie Styler at his country home in Wiltshire. The Police reform for one night only.
23 – US Secretary of State James Baker resigns his post in order to take over Bush‘s re-election campaign, which is widely seen to be in serious trouble
24 – Hurricane Andrew hits Southern Florida. The 150 mph winds kill 38, destroy 85,000 homes and leave 250,000 people homeless
06 – A 35-year-old man dies 71 days after receiving a transplanted baboon’s liver. The liver is still working, but the patient suffers a brain haemorrhage.
12 – Dr Mae Carol Jemison becomes the first African-American woman in space. Also on the same mission is the first Japanese astronaut (Mamoru Mohri) and the first married couple in space.
12 – Psycho (1960) star Anthony Perkins dies in Hollywood, CA.
12 – The Grateful Dead cancel their autumn tour as Jerry Garcia has lung disease. “Thirty years of smoking Camel Straights leaves its mark,” says a band spokesman.
22 – US Vice President Dan Quayle blames 2-Pac’s 2Pacalypse Now album for the fatal shooting of a Texas state trooper after it is revealed that the shooter, 19-year-old Ronald Ray Howard, had been listening to the LP.
24 – Following an inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment at the US Navy’s 1991 Tailhook Convention in Las Vegas, two Navy admirals are forced to retire and a third is reassigned
01 – The Cartoon Network is launched by Ted Turner (who already owns CNN and drama channel TNT), initially as a showcase for the Hanna-Barbera cartoons he has acquired.
06 – Veteran actor Denholm Elliott dies in Spain.
13 – A commercial flight record is set by an Air France Concorde which circles the Earth in 32 hours and 49 minutes.
25 – Singer/Songwriter Roger Miller dies of cancer, aged 56.
31 – Five American nuns are killed near Monrovia in Liberia. Rebels loyal to Charles Taylor are blamed for the murders. Taylor will later become the country’s president.
03 – Democrat Bill Clinton is elected US president by a margin of 5 million votes. Third-party candidate H Ross Perot logs a surprising 19 per cent of the vote
11 – The Church of England votes for the ordination of women.
20 – Massive fire destroys part of Windsor Castle.
04 – US troops land in Somalia, Africa, to protect food shipments from warring factions.
20 – The Folies Bergere music hall in Paris closes down having been open since 1869.
24 – Outgoing President Bush pardons six former federal officials, including former secretary of defence Caspar Weinberger and former national security advisor Robert McFarlane, for their roles in the Iran-Contra scandal
Also This Year . . .
- XXV Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain
- XVI Winter Olympics in Albertville, France
- Civil war breaks out in Bosnia
- Screen hard-men Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis come together to launch the restaurant and movie shrine Planet Hollywood chain