- General Manuel Noriega surrenders in Panama (Jan. 3).
- Yugoslav Communists end 45-year monopoly of power (Jan. 22).
- Communist Party relinquish sole power in Soviet government (Feb. 7). Background: Dissolution of the USSR
- South Africa frees Nelson Mandela, imprisoned 27½ years (Feb. 11).
- US-Soviet summit reaches accord on armaments (June 1).
- Western Alliance ends Cold War and proposes joint action with Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (July 6).
- Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, setting off the Persian Gulf War (Aug. 2 et seq.). Background: The Persian Gulf War
- East and West Germany reunited (Aug. 31 et seq.).
- Margaret Thatcher resigns as British Prime Minister (Nov. 22); John Major succeeds her (Nov. 28).
- Lech Walesa wins Poland’s runoff Presidential election (Dec. 9).
- US Supreme Court upsets law banning flag burning (June 11).
- US Appeals Court overturns Oliver North’s Iran-Contra conviction (July 20).
- Republicans set back in midterm elections (Nov. 8).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $5,743.80 billion
Federal spending: $1252.52 billion
Federal debt: $3206.6 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $29,943
Consumer Price Index: 130.7
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.25
San Francisco d. Denver (55-10)
Cincinnati d. Oakland A’s (4-0)
Detroit d. Portland (4-1)
Edmonton d. Boston (4-1)
Women: Martina Navratilova d. Z. Garrison (6-4 6-1)
Men: Stefan Edberg d. B. Becker (6-2 6-2 3-6 3-6 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
UNLV d. Duke (103-73)
NCAA Football Champions
Colorado (AP, FW, NFF) (11-1-1) & Georgia Tech (UPI) (11-0-1)
W. Germany d. Argentina (1-0)
- The X rating is replaced by NC-17 (no children under 17).
- Ninety-nine percent of U.S. households have at least one radio, with the average owning five.
- The Simpsons debuts on Fox and becomes an instant hit.
- Euro dance band Milli Vanilli admits to lip-synching hits such as “Girl You Know Its True,” and has its Grammy award revoked.
- Seinfeld debuts on NBC.
- Entertainment Weekly hits newsstands.
- Dances with Wolves, GoodFellas, Henry and June, Reversal of Fortune
- Robert Bly, Iron John
- A.S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
- Alice Munro, Friend of My Youth
- John Updike, Rabbit at Rest
- The Hubble Space Telescope is launched (Apr. 25).
- President Bush signs the Clean Air Act, mandating a variety of pollution-reducing changes in the automobile and fuel industries. Background: Environment & Nature
- The FDA approves use of the surgically-implanted contraceptive Norplant. Background: Birth & Contraception
- B.F. Skinner
- Jim Henson
- Greta Garbo
- Sammy Davis, Jr.
- Le Duc Tho
- José Napoleón Duarte