• Manuel Noriega surrenders to U.S. forces after
acting as dictator of Panama for 5
• Time Inc and Warner Communications, two of the
largest media companies in the world
merge to create giant Time Warner.
• Flamboyant political figure and mayor of
Washington D.C. Marion Barry is arrested for
possession of crack cocaine in an F.B.I. sting
set up in a D.C. hotel room.
• South African freedom fighter and political
leader Nelson Mandela is released from
prison after being kept
behind bars for 27 due to his tireless work to end apartheid.
• East and West Germany end decades of political separation when
they are finally
reunified and Germany is once again a whole
• Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the president of the Soviet Union,
ushering in an era of
change that would see the end of Communist
Party rule. Gorbachev would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize later
• The Hubble Space Telescope, an orbital
observatory capable of peering into the
farthest reaches of space, is launched aboard the
space shuttle Discovery and begins operation.
• The nation of Iraq invades Kuwait, setting off the events that
will culminate in the first
Gulf War. The United States is quick to
respond, leading a U.N. coalition force into the region and
defeating Iraq to end the occupation.
• Controversial British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigns.
She is replaced by
Conservative leader John Major, who would lead
the country for the next 7 years.
• The World Wide Web is created, along with the first ever web page
and web browser.
• The Chunnel, a tunnel linking the island of Great Britain to
mainland France, completes
its initial construction phase, with
workers from each country meeting underneath the English Channel for
the first time.
• Notorious leader of the Gambino crime family John Gotti is
arrested and charged with
racketeering, murder and a host of other
• An enormous earthquake, measuring 7.7 on the
Richter Scale hits the Philippines,
killing 1,600 people.
• The first McDonald's restaurant opens in Moscow, becoming for many
a symbol of the
nation's new progressive free market ideology.