01 – Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic is renamed the Russian Federation and becomes the successor state to the Soviet Union.
06 – The US Government advises doctors to suspend the use of silicone breast implants pending an investigation into their safety. The move raises fears around the world that silicone breast implants could leak or rupture, causing injury or illness.
13 – Japan apologises for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II.
20 – India is beaten by Australia 2-0, with Australia winning cricket’s World Series Cup. David Boon scores the most runs in the series, ending with 432.
21 – The United Nations orders Libya to surrender intelligence agents accused of the Lockerbie and French airliner bombings.
21 – Great Mississippi bluesman Willie Dixon dies aged 76.
26 – The Washington Redskins win Super Bowl XXVI after defeating the Buffalo Bills 37-24.
07 – British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Hurd and ministers from the other countries of the European Community (EC) sign 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.
03 – 263 people are killed in a gas explosion at a coal mine in Zonguldak, Turkey.
06 – The computer virus ‘Michelangelo’ begins popping up.
13 – In Erzincan, Eastern Turkey, an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale kills over 500.
18 – White South Africans vote overwhelmingly for constitutional reforms to end apartheid and give legal equality to blacks.
19 – Buckingham Palace announces that the Duke and Duchess of York are to separate, ending days of speculation in the media that the couple were facing irreconcilable differences and that divorce proceedings were underway.
20 – Janice Pennington is awarded $1.3 million for an accident on the set of the 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 an inch shorter than the other.
22 – A US Air flight from New York to Cleveland crashes on takeoff at LaGuardia, killing 27 people.
26 – Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson is sentenced to 10 years in prison for the rape of Desiree Washington.
02 – Famed New York Mafia boss 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.
08 – Punch publishes its final issue after 151 years. Circulation has steadily fallen from highs of 175,000 sales in the 1940s to 33,000 in the present day.
09- Conservative John Major is elected UK prime minister after the Conservative Party wins the most votes in electoral history.
12 – The Euro-Disney theme park opens 25 miles east of Paris, France.
13 – Neil Kinnock resigns as Labour leader following the party’s defeat by the Conservatives in the general election three days ago.
20 – A concert in memory of Freddie Mercury is held at Wembley Stadium.
23 – McDonald’s opens its first restaurant in China.
27 – The House of Commons elects a woman to the post of Speaker for the first time in its 700-year history. Betty Boothroyd, the 62-year-old Labour MP for West Bromwich West, wins her historic victory by a decisive 134-vote majority.
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.
09 – Linda Martin wins for Ireland at the 37th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden.
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.
24 – Al Unser Jr wins the Indianapolis 500.
25 – Oscar Luigi Scalfaro is elected as the new President of Italy.
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.
16 – A controversial new book about the Princess of Wales is published. In it, author Andrew Morton claims she attempted suicide on several occasions over the last decade and portrays her as a deeply depressed and unstable character.
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 – New York crime boss John Gotti, the “Teflon Don” and head of the Gambino clan – the city’s largest Mafia family – is sentenced to life in prison for 13 charges of murder, conspiracy, tax fraud and obstruction of justice.
23 – Yitzhak Rabin is elected as Israel’s 5th Prime Minister.
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.
30 – Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher takes her place in the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.
02 – The IRA executes three men in South Armagh who they believed to be informers for MI5 and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Special Branch. The victims were identified as Gregory Burns, 33, John Dignam, 32, and Aidan Starrs, 29.
06 – French Government mobilises the army and police to remove lorries blocking the nation’s major roads which are severely disrupting France’s infrastructure, and delaying British hauliers and holiday-makers. The truck drivers are protesting about new driving licence laws.
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.
22 – Pablo Escobar escapes from prison.
25 – The XXV Olympic Games opens in the Spanish city of Barcelona, with all countries present for the first time in modern history. It is the first Olympiad since 1972 that no country has boycotted the Games, and several long-standing bans have been lifted.
31 – A Thai Airbus crashes into the mountains at Kathmandu, killing 113.
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.
20 – Intimate photographs of the Duchess of York and Texan businessman, John Bryan, are published in the Daily Mirror. The photographs show a topless Duchess of York and Mr Bryan embracing by a swimming pool in the south of France. Other photographs appear to show Mr Bryan kissing the duchess’ foot.
20 – Iraq jails a British man for seven years for “illegal entry” into the country. Paul Ride, a catering manager from east London, was working in Kuwait before he disappeared two months ago. Diplomats believe he may have got lost in the desert and accidentally driven across the Iraqi border.
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 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
02 – 118 people are killed in Nicaragua after earthquakes and floods hit the country.
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.
11 – Hurricane Iniki hits Kauai, Hawaii, killing three and injuring 8,000.
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.
16 – Britain suspends its membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) – a Brussels-imposed condition to joining the Euro (Europe’s single currency).
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
24 – Married Conservative MP David Mellor resigns as Heritage Minister after a constant barrage of stories in the tabloid press about his affair with the actress Antonia de Sancha. There have also been newspaper reports about a free holiday in August 1990 as the guest of a Palestinian Liberation Official’s daughter and another paid for by the ruler of Abu Dhabi.
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.
09 – A meteorite weighing approximately 13kg lands in the drive of the Knapp residence in New York, destroying their 1980 Chevrolet Malibu.
12 – At least 510 are killed when a 5.8 earthquake hits Cairo, Egypt.
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 the 42nd US president by a margin of 5 million votes. Third-party candidate H Ross Perot logs a surprising 19% of the vote
11 – The Church of England votes for the ordination of women. After a five-and-a-half-hour debate the General Synod – the Church of England’s parliament – passes the controversial legislation by a margin of only two votes.
20 – A fierce fire rages through Windsor Castle in Berkshire, threatening one of the world’s greatest art collections. It takes 250 firefighters 15 hours and 1.5 million gallons of water to put the blaze out. One hundred rooms are damaged in the fire, which is thought to have been started by a spotlight shining on a curtain. The £40m restoration takes five years and is completed in November 1997.
03 – Two IRA bombs explode in the centre of Manchester, injuring 64 people. The first device is in a car parked at Parsonage Gardens, the heart of the city’s commercial district. The second, which causes the majority of injuries, is near the city’s Anglican cathedral.
04 – US troops land in Somalia, Africa, to protect food shipments from warring factions.
06 – A mob of Hindu militants tears down a mosque and attacks other Muslim targets in the north Indian town of Ayodhya, in one of India’s worst outbreaks of inter-communal violence.
09 – US Marines land in Somalia to spearhead the arrival of 35,000 troops from a dozen countries as part of a US-led multi-national operation to crack down on looting and extortion that has prevented food from getting through to thousands of starving locals.
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
- Average UK house price is £68,634