Learn more about 1989
1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar.
- February 1 - Joan Kirner becomes Victoria's first female Deputy Premier, after the resignation of Robert Fordham over the VEDC (Victorian Economic Development Co-operation) Crisis.
- February 2 - Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet Union armored column leaves Kabul, ending 9 years of military occupation.
- February 2 - Satellite television service Sky Television plc is launched in Europe.
- February 3 - A military coup overthrows Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay since 1954.
- February 3 - After a stroke, Pieter Willem Botha resigns his party's leadership and the presidency of South Africa.
- February 7 - The Los Angeles, California City Council bans the sale or possession of semiautomatic weapons.
- February 10 - Ron Brown is elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first African American to lead a major United States political party.
- February 11 - Barbara Clementine Harris is consecrated as the first female bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
- February 14 - Union Carbide agrees to pay USD $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal Disaster.
- February 14 - Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini encourages Muslims to kill The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.
- February 14 - The first of 24 Global Positioning System satellites is placed into orbit.
- February 15 - Soviet war in Afghanistan: The Soviet Union officially announces that all of its troops have left Afghanistan.
- February 16 - Pan Am flight 103: Investigators announce that the cause of the crash was a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player.
- February 23 - After protracted testimony, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee rejects, 11-9, President Bush's nomination of John Tower for Secretary of Defense.
- February 24 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini places a US $3-million bounty on the head of The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.
- February 24 - United Airlines Flight 811, a Boeing 747 bound to New Zealand from Honolulu, Hawaii, rips open during flight, sucking 9 passengers and crew out of the first class section.
- February 27 - Venezuela is rocked by the Caracazo.
- March 1 - The Berne Convention, an international treaty on copyrights, is ratified by the United States.
- March 1 - A curfew is imposed in Kosovo, where protests continue over the alleged intimidation of the Serb minority.
- March 1 -Louis Wade Sullivan starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
- March 1 - James D. Watkins starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Energy.
- March 1 - The Politieke Partij Radicalen, Pacifistisch Socialistische Partij, Communistische Partij Nederland and the Evangelische Volks Partij amalgamate to form Netherlands political party the GroenLinks (GL, GreenLeft).
- March 2 - Twelve European Community nations agree to ban the production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end of the century.
- March 3 - Jammu Siltavuori abducts and murders two 8 year old girls in Myllypuro suburb in Helsinki, Finland
- March 4 - Time, Inc. and Warner Communications announce plans for a merger, forming Time Warner.
- March 4 - The Purley Station rail crash in London leaves 5 dead and 94 injured.
- March 4 - The first ACT (Australian Capital Territory) elections are held.
- March 7 - Iran breaks off diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom over Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses.
- March 9 - A strike forces financially troubled Eastern Air Lines into bankruptcy.
- March 14 - Gun control: U.S. President George H. W. Bush bans the importation of certain guns deemed assault weapons into the United States.
- March 14 - Christian General Michel Aoun declares a 'War of Liberation' to rid Lebanon of Syrian forces and their allies.
- March 18 - In Egypt, a 4,400-year-old mummy is found in the Great Pyramid of Giza.
- March 20 - Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke weeps on national television as he admits marital infidelity.
- March 23 - Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announce that they have achieved cold fusion at the University of Utah.
- March 23 - A 300 m (1,000 ft) diameter Near-Earth asteroid misses the Earth by 500,000 km (400,000 miles).
- April 1 - Margaret Thatcher's new local government tax, the Poll tax, is introduced in Scotland.
- April 2 - In Wrestlemania V, Hulk Hogan defeats Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth in the neutral corner) to become the WWF Champion.
- April 4 - Richard M. Daley is elected mayor of Chicago.
- April 4 - In Brussels, Belgium, NATO celebrates its 40th anniversary.
- April 6 - National Safety Council of Australia chief executive John Friedrich is arrested after defrauding investors to the tune of $235 million.
- April 7 - The Soviet submarine K-278 Komsomolets sinks in the Barents Sea, killing 41.
- April 9 - Georgian demonstrators are massacred by Red Army soldiers in Tbilisi's central square during a peaceful rally; 20 citizens are killed (mostly young women), many injured.
- April 15 - The Hillsborough disaster, one of the biggest tragedies in European football, claims the life of 96 Liverpool supporters.
- April 16 - The Dilbert comic strip is syndicated for the first time.
- April 18 - The Hillsborough disaster claims its 95th victim when 14-year-old Lee Nichol dies in hospital from his injuries.
- April 19 - Trisha Meili is savagely attacked while jogging in New York City's Central Park; as her identity remains secret for years, she becomes known as the "Central Park Jogger."
- April 19 - Seven crew members die after a gun turret explodes on the U.S. battleship Iowa.
- April 20 - NATO debates modernising short range missiles; although the U.S. and UK are in favour, West German chancellor Helmut Kohl obtains a concession deferring a decision.
- April 21 - Students from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and Nanjing begin protesting in Tiananmen Square.
- April 21 - Nintendo begins selling the Game Boy in Japan.
- April 25 - The term of Baginda Almutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail as the 8th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia ends.
- April 26 - Sultan Azlan Muhibbudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuff Izzudin Shah Ghafarullahu-lahu, Sultan of Perak, becomes the 9th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
- June 1 - The SkyDome (now known as Rogers Centre) is opened in Toronto.
- June 3 - The Ayatollah Khomeini dies.
- June 4 - The Tiananmen Square massacre takes place in Beijing on the army's approach to the square, and the final stand-off in the square is covered live on television.
- June 4 - Ufa train disaster: A natural gas explosion near Ufa, Russia kills 645 as 2 trains passing each other throw sparks near a leaky pipeline.
- June 4 - Solidarity's victory in the first partly free parliamentary elections in post-war Poland is the first of many anti-communist revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989 (almost all of them peaceful).
- June 7 - 176 people are killed in Surinam's worst air disaster.
- June 8 - Kurt Waldheim is elected president of Austria.
- June 13 - The wreck of the German battleship Bismarck, which was sunk in 1941, is located 600 miles west of Brest, France.
- June 14 - Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor is arrested in Beverly Hills, California after slapping a motorcycle police officer.
- June 16 - A crowd of 250,000 gathers at Heroes Square in Budapest for the historic reburial of Imre Nagy, the former Hungarian prime minister who had been executed in 1958.
- June 21 - British police arrest 250 citizens for celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge.
- June 22 - Ireland's first universities established since independence in 1922, Dublin City University and the University of Limerick, open.
- August 7 - U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland (D-TX) and 15 others die in a plane crash in Ethiopia.
- August 8 - STS-28: Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a secret 5-day military mission.
- August 9 The asteroid 4769 Castalia is the first asteroid directly imaged by radar from Arecibo.
- August 13 - Thirteen people die in a hot air balloon accident near Alice Springs, Australia.
- August 18 - Leading presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán is assassinated near Bogotá in Colombia.
- August 19 - Polish president Wojciech Jaruzelski nominates Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki to be Prime Minister, the first non-communist in power in 42 years.
- August 20 - In Beverly Hills, California, Lyle and Erik Menendez shoot their wealthy parents to death in the family's den.
- August 20 - Fifty-one people die when the Marchioness pleasure boat collides with a barge on the River Thames adjacent to Southwark Bridge.
- August 23 - Two million indigenous people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, then still occupied by the Soviet Union, join hands to demand freedom and independence, forming an uninterrupted 600 km human chain.
- August 23 - Hungary removes border restrictions with Austria.
- August 23 - All of Australia's 1,645 domestic airline pilots resign over an airline's move to sack and sue them over a dispute.
- August 24 - Record-setting baseball player Pete Rose agrees to a lifetime ban from the sport following allegations of illegal gambling, thereby preventing his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- August 24 - Indonesia's first privately owned television station, Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia, (RCTI) begins broadcasting.
- October 5 - U.S. televangelist John Nunes is found guilty of embezzling $158 million.
- October 9 - An official news agency in the Soviet Union reports the landing of a UFO in Voronezh.
- October 9 - In Leipzig, East Germany, protesters demand the legalization of opposition groups and democratic reforms.
- October 13 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunges 190.58 points, or 6.91 percent, to close at 2,569.26 most likely after the junk bond market collapsed. This mini-crash became known as the Friday the 13th Mini-Crash.
- October 17 - The Loma Prieta earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, strikes the San Francisco-Oakland region of Northern California, killing 63.
- October 18 - The Communist leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker, is forced to step down as leader of the country after a series of health problems.
- October 19 - The Guildford Four are freed after 14 years.
- October 23 - The Hungarian Republic is officially declared by president Mátyás Szűrös (replacing the Hungarian People's Republic).
- October 30 - The qualification for the 1990 Football World Cup ends.
- November 4 - Typhoon Gay devastates the Thai province of Chumphon.
- November 7 - Douglas Wilder wins the governor's seat in Virginia, becoming the first elected African American governor in the United States.
- November 7 - David Dinkins becomes the first African American mayor of New York City.
- November 7 - Cold War: The Communist government of East Germany resigns, although SED leader Egon Krenz remains head of state.
- November 7 - In California, convicted murderer Richard Ramirez (the "Night Stalker") is sentenced to death.
- November 9 - Cold War: East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall, allowing its citizens to freely travel to West Germany for the first time in decades (the next day celebrating Germans began tearing the wall down).
- November 10 - After 45 years of Communist rule in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Communist Party leader Todor Zhivkov is replaced by Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov, who changes the party's name to the Bulgarian Socialist Party. This is the latest of several events this week which signal the beginning of the end for communism in Eastern Europe.
- November 10 - Gaby Kennard becomes the first Australian woman to fly non-stop around the world.
- November 12 - Brazil holds its first free presidential election since 1960.
- November 16 - Six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her teenage daughter are shot in San Salvador, El Salvador.
- November 16 - South African President F.W. de Klerk announces the scrapping of the Separate Amenities Act.
- November 17 - Cold War: The Velvet Revolution begins - In Czechoslovakia a peaceful student demonstration in Prague is severely beaten back by riot police. This sparks a revolution aimed at overthrowing the Communist government (it succeeds on December 29).
- November 20 - Cold War: Velvet Revolution - The number of peaceful protesters assembled in Prague, Czechoslovakia swells from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million.
- November 21 - North Carolina celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
- November 22 - In West Beirut, a bomb explodes near the motorcade of Lebanese President Rene Moawad and kills him.
- November 28 - Cold War: Velvet Revolution - With other Communist regimes falling all around it and with growing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announces they will give up their monopoly on political power (elections held in December bring the first non-communist government to Czechoslovakia in more than 40 years).
- November 30 - Deutsche Bank board member Alfred Herrhausen is killed by a terrorist bomb (the Red Army Faction claims responsibility for the murder).
- December 1 - Cold War: East Germany's parliament abolishes the constitutional provision granting the Communist-dominated SED its monopoly on power. Egon Krenz, the Politburo and the Central Committee resign 2 days later.
- December 3 - Cold War: In a meeting off the coast of Malta, U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev release statements indicating that the Cold War between their nations may be coming to an end.
- December 6 - The École Polytechnique Massacre (or Montreal Massacre): Marc Lépine, an anti-feminist gunman, murders 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.
- December 10 - Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj announces the establishment of Mongolia's democratic movement, that peacefully changes the second oldest communist country into a democratic society.
- December 14 - Chile holds its first free election in 16 years.
- December 15 - Drug baron Jose Gonzalo Rodriquez Gacha is killed by Colombian police.
- December 17 - In Timişoara, Romania, an uprising begins against the communist regime, sparking the Romanian Revolution.
- December 17 - Brazil holds its first free election in 29 years; Fernando Collor de Mello wins the election.
- December 17 - The Simpsons premieres on the FOX TV Network.
- December 20 - Operation Just Cause is launched in an attempt to overthrow Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.
- December 22 - After a week of bloody demonstrations, Ion Iliescu takes over as president of Romania, ending Nicolae Ceauşescu's communist dictatorship. He flees his palace in a helicopter to escape inevitable execution.
- December 22 - Two tourist coaches collide on the Pacific highway north of Kempsey, Australia, killing 35.
- December 25 - Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena are executed after their unsuccessful escape attempt.
- December 25 - Bank of Japan governors announce a major interest rate hike, eventually leading to the peak and fall of the bubble economy.
- December 28 - A magnitude 5.6 earthquake hits Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, killing 13 people.
- December 29 - Václav Havel is elected president of Czechoslovakia.
- December 29 - Riots break-out after Hong Kong decides to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese refugees.
January - February
- January 2 - Kaitlin Howell, Canadian actress
- January 22 - Jared Smith, American singer
- January 25 - Yasmien Kurdi, Filipino actress and singer
- January 26 - Emily Hughes, American Figure Skater
- January 30 - Khleo Thomas, American actor/MC
- February 5 - Jeremy Sumpter, American actor
- February 7 - Louisa Lytton, English actress
- February 12 - Richard Fleeshman, English actor
- February 13 - Carly McKillip, Canadian actress
- February 21 - Kristin Herrera, American actress
March - April
May - June
July - August
September - October
November - December
- For musicians born in 1989, see 1989 in music.
- February 1 - Elaine de Kooning, American artist (b. 1919)
- February 3 - John Cassavetes, American actor and author (b. 1929)
- February 6 - Barbara W. Tuchman, American historian (b. 1912)
- February 9 - Osamu Tezuka, Japanese Manga artist, e.g. Astroboy (b. 1928)
- February 11 - George O'Hanlon, American actor and director (b. 1912)
- February 24 - Sparky Adams, American baseball player (b. 1894)
- February 26 - Roy Eldridge, American musician (b. 1911)
- February 27 - Paul Oswald Ahnert, German astronomer (b. 1897)
- February 27 - Konrad Lorenz, Austrian zoologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1903)
- March 6 - Harry Andrews, British actor (b. 1911)
- March 8 - Carl Stuart Hamblen, American musician (b. 1908)
- March 9 - Robert Mapplethorpe, American photographer (b. 1946)
- March 12 - Maurice Evans, English actor (b. 1901)
- March 14 - Edward Abbey, American author and environmentalist (b. 1927)
- March 14 - Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr., American businessman (b. 1900)
- March 19 - Alan Civil, English French horn player (b. 1929)
- March 27 - Malcolm Cowley, American author (b. 1898)
- March 27 - Jack Starrett, American actor and director (b. 1936)
- June 3 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian political figure (b. 1900)
- June 4 - Dik Browne, American cartoonist (b. 1917)
- June 7 - Don the Beachcomber, American restaurateur (b. 1907)
- June 9 - George Wells Beadle, American geneticist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1903)
- June 15 - Victor French, American actor and director (b. 1934)
- June 20 - Hilmar Baunsgaard, Danish politician (b. 1920)
- June 24 - Hibari Misora, Japanese singer (b. 1937)
- June 27 - Alfred Ayer, British philosopher (b. 1910)
- June 28 - Joris Ivens, Dutch filmmaker (b. 1898)
- July 3 - Jim Backus, American actor (b. 1913)
- July 10 - Mel Blanc, American voice actor (b. 1908)
- July 11 - Laurence Olivier, English actor and director (b. 1907)
- July 15 - Laurie Cunningham, English footballer (b. 1956)
- July 16 - Herbert von Karajan, Austrian conductor (b. 1908)
- July 18 - Donnie Moore, baseball player (suicide) (b. 1954)
- July 20 - Forrest H. Anderson, American politician (b. 1913)
- July 22 - Martti Talvela, Finnish bass (b. 1935)
- July 23 - Donald Barthelme, American writer (b. 1931)
- July 30 - Lane Frost, American bull rider (b. 1963)
- August 1 - John Ogdon, English pianist (b. 1937)
- August 4 - Maurice Colbourne, British actor (b. 1939)
- August 7 - Mickey Leland, American congressman
- August 12 - William Shockley, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1910)
- August 13 - Tim Richmond, American race car driver (b. 1955)
- August 14 - Robert Bernard Anderson, American political figure (b. 1910)
- August 16 - Jean-Hilaire Aubame, French-Gabonese politician (b. 1912)
- August 16 - Amanda Blake, American actress (b. 1929)
- August 20 - George Adamson, Indian-born conservationist (assassinated) (b. 1906)
- August 21 - Raul Seixas, Brazillian singer (b. 1945)
- August 22 - John Clyne, Canadian jurist (b. 1902)
- August 22 - Diana Vreeland, American fashion editor (b. 1929)
- August 22 - Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party (murdered) (b. 1942)
- August 29 - Peter Scott, English naturalist, artist, and explorer (b. 1909)
- August 30 - Joe Collins, baseball player (b. 1922)
- September 1 - A. Bartlett Giamatti, American President of Yale University and baseball commissioner (b. 1938)
- September 4 - Ronald Syme, New Zealand-born classicist and historian (b. 1903)
- September 8 - Barry Sadler, American author and musician (b. 1940)
- September 14 - Dámaso Pérez Prado, Cuban musician (b. 1916)
- September 17 - Hugh Quincy Alexander, American politician (b. 1911)
- September 22 - Irving Berlin, American composer (b. 1888)
- September 28 - Ferdinand Marcos, President of the Philippines (b. 1917)
- September 30 - Horace Alexander, English writer, pacifist, and ornithologist (b. 1889)
- November 1 - Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, American civil rights activist (b. 1898)
- November 3 - Timoci Bavadra, Fiji physician and politician (b. 1934)
- November 5 - Vladimir Horowitz, Russian pianist (b. 1903)
- November 11 - Kenneth MacLean Glazier, Sr., Canadian minister and librarian (b. 1912)
- November 12 - Sourou Migan Apithy, Beninese political figure (b. 1913)
- November 22 - C.C. Beck, American cartoonist (b. 1910)
- November 25 - George Cakobau, Fiji Governor General (b. 1912)
- November 26 - Ahmed Abdallah, Comorian politician (b. 1919)
- November 29 - Gubby Allen, English cricketer (b. 1902)
- November 30 - Ahmadou Ahidjo, Cameroonian politician (b. 1924)
- December 1 - Alvin Ailey, American dancer and choreographer (b. 1931)
- December 5 - John Pritchard, English conductor (b. 1921)
- December 6 - Frances Bavier, American actress (b. 1902)
- December 6 - Marc Lépine, Canadian mass murderer (b. 1964)
- December 14 - Andrei Sakharov, Russian physicist and activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (declined) (b. 1921)
- December 16 - Silvana Mangano, Italian actress (b. 1930)
- December 20 - Kurt Böhme, German bass (b. 1908)
- December 22 - Samuel Beckett, Irish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1906)
- December 25 - Nicolae Ceauşescu, Romanian dictator (executed) (b. 1918)
ht:1989 (almanak gregoryen)