1989 World History

Ret. Gen. Colin Powell
General Colin Powell
(1937– )
U.S. Army Photos
Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama
(1935– )
Priscilla Lee
Mikhail S. Gorbachev
Mikhail S. Gorbachev
(1931– )
Novosti Photos
George Bush, Sr.
George Bush
(1924– )
The Republican National Committee


U.S. planes shoot down two Libyan fighters over international waters in Mediterranean (Jan. 4). Emperor Hirohito of Japan dead at 87 (Jan. 7). George Herbert Walker Bush inaugurated as 41st U.S. president (Jan. 20). Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini declares author Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses offensive and sentences him to death (Feb. 14). Ruptured tanker Exxon Valdez sends 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound (March 24). Tens of thousands of Chinese students take over Beijing's Tiananmen Square in rally for democracy (April 19 et seq.). U.S. jury convicts Oliver North in Iran-Contra affair (May 4). More than one million in Beijing demonstrate for democracy; chaos spreads across nation (mid-May et seq.). Mikhail S. Gorbachev named Soviet president (May 25). Thousands killed in Tiananmen Square as Chinese leaders take hard line toward demonstrators (June 4 et seq.). Army general Colin R. Powell is first black chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff (Aug. 9). P. W. Botha quits as South Africa's president (Aug. 14). Voyager 2 spacecraft speeds by Neptune after making startling discoveries about the planet and its moons (Aug. 29). Deng Xiaoping resigns from China's leadership (Nov. 9). After 28 years, Berlin Wall is open to West (Nov. 11). Czech Parliament ends Communists' dominant role (Nov. 30). Romanian uprising overthrows Communist government (Dec. 15 et seq.); President Ceausescu and wife executed (Dec. 25). U.S. troops invade Panama, seeking capture of Gen. Manuel Noriega (Dec. 20); resistance to U.S. collapses (Dec. 24). Dalai Lama wins Nobel Peace Prize.