Top News Stories from 1991

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.378 billion
population by decade
Nobel Peace Prize: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma)
More World Statistics...

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

President: George Bush
Vice President: J. Danforth Quayle
Population: 252,127,402
Life expectancy: 75.5 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 59.0
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) 51.4
More U.S. Statistics...
  • US Supreme Court limits death row appeals (April 16).
  • William H. Webster retires as Director of CIA; Robert H. Gates succeeds him (May 14).
  • Professor Anita Hill accuses Judge Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment (Oct. 6); Senate, 52-48, confirms Thomas for US Supreme Court after stormy hearings (Oct. 15).


US GDP (1998 dollars): $5,916.70 billion
Federal spending: $1323.63 billion
Federal debt $3598.5 billion
Consumer Price Index: $136.2
Unemployment: 6.8%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.25 ($0.29 as of 2/3/91)


Super Bowl
NY Giants d. Buffalo
World Series
Minnesota d. Atlanta Braves (4-3)
NBA Championship
Chicago d. LA Lakers
Stanley Cup
Pittsburgh d. Minnesota
Women: Steffi Graf d. G. Sabatini (6-4 3-6 8-6)
Men: Michael Stich d. B. Becker (6-4 7-6 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
Strike the Gold
NCAA Basketball Championship
Duke d. Kansas
NCAA Football Champions
Miami-FL (AP) (12-0-0) & Washington (USA, FW, NFF) (12-0-0)


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes

Rabbit at Rest, John Updike

Music: Symphony, Shulamit Ran
Drama: Lost in Yonkers, Neil Simon
Academy Award, Best Picture: Dances With Wolves, Jim Wilson and Kevin Costner, producers (Orion)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)
Record of the Year: "Another Day in Paradise," Phil Collins
Album of the Year: Back on the Block, Quincy Jones (Qwest/Warner Bros.)
Song of the Year: "From a Distance," Julie Gold, songwriter
Miss America: Marjorie Judith Vincent (IL)
More Entertainment Awards...


  • Fox Broadcasting is the first network to permit condom advertising on television.
  • Seattle band Nirvana releases the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on the LP Nevermind and enjoys national success. With Nirvana's hit comes the grunge movement, which is characterized by distorted guitars, dispirited vocals and lots of flannel.
  • Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman) is arrested in a Florida movie theater for indecent exposure.


  • The Silence of the Lambs, Beauty and the Beast, JFK, Thelma & Louise


  • Nirvana, Nevermind


  • Ben Okri, The Famished Road
  • Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres


Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Richard R. Ernst (Switzerland), for refinements he developed in nuclear magnetic-resonance spectroscopy
Physics: Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (France), for his discoveries about the ordering of molecules in substances ranging from "super" glue to an exotic form of liquid helium
Physiology or Medicine: Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann (both Germany), for their research, particularly for the development of a technique called patch clamp
More Nobel Prizes in 1998...
  • The FDA approves the use of Bristol-Meyers' ddI (didanosine) in the treatment of AIDS.
  • Gopher, the first user-friendly internet interface, is created at the University of Minnesota and named after the school mascot. Gopher becomes the most popular interface for several years. Background: Computers and Internet
  • In Japan's worst nuclear accident to date, a leak of radioactive water causes a nuclear plant 220 miles west of Tokyo to release about 8% of the plant's annual radioactive emissions in a single day (Feb. 9). Background: nuclear energy
  • First transpacific hot-air balloon flight. Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand flew about 6,700 mi. from Miyakonyo, Japan, to 150 mi. west of Yellowknife, Canada (Jan. 15–17). Background: Computers and Internet
  • The first cholera epidemic in a century sickens 100,000 and kills more than 700 in South America.


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