Sudan Expels Osama Bin Laden

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Under pressure from the United States, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, the Sudanese government expelled Osama Bin Laden, who then shifted the operations of his al-Qaeda terrorist organization to Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda was able to expand its membership, training, and funding. Summary of Event In early 1991, Osama Bin Laden, who was born in Saudi Arabia, […]

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Britain Announces Human Cases of Mad Cow Disease

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

During the mid-1990’s, unusual forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a type of spongiform encephalopathy, began to appear among young persons in England. The outbreak of what was later termed “mad cow disease” was traced to beef contaminated with a bovine form of the disease-causing agent. Summary of Event The first recognition of what is now known […]

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Deep Blue Beats Kasparov in Chess

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Deep Blue, an IBM computer designed to play chess at the highest competitive level, stunned the chess world by defeating World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in the first game of their 1996 match. Kasparov swept the rest of the match without losing another game. However, in their 1997 rematch, the computer triumphed. Summary of Event […]

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Comet Hyakutake Is Discovered

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The discovery of Comet Hyakutake, a comet of great brightness that passed very close to Earth, thrilled many and renewed discussions of the likelihood of a large body colliding with Earth at some point in the future. Summary of Event Human beings have taken note of comets since ancient times. A comet is a celestial […]

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U.S. Congress Reforms Law Regulating Telecommunications

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first overhaul of U.S. communications law in sixty years, was overdue in the face of new technologies, but even so, it may have been implemented too soon to account fully for the technological innovations that swept the globe within the next decade. Summary of Event Because the United States […]

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Meningitis Outbreak Proves Deadly in West Africa

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The largest meningococcal epidemic to date struck sub-Saharan Africa, affecting hundreds of thousands and killing tens of thousands. Local governments with the help of international aid organizations attempted to contain the epidemic, while preparing for future outbreaks. Summary of Event Meningitis, or cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM), is an infection of the membranes that cover both the […]

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Hopes for Democracy in Bangladesh Rise

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party took over the beleaguered nation from Nationalist Party leadership. Despite instability following Hasina’s tenure that continued long after her rule, her victorious 1996 election is regarded as one of the most important in the nation’s history. Summary of Event Democracy in Bangladesh was not on firm footing following the country’s […]

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Galileo Achieves Orbit Around Jupiter

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Galileo spacecraft was the first to enter orbit around Jupiter. It carried a suite of instruments to investigate the giant planet’s atmosphere, ring structure, moons, and radiation and plasma environments. Summary of Event One of the first interplanetary missions scheduled to be launched from an American space shuttle, Galileo was approved to be an […]

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NASA Launches the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, the product of a joint effort by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the European Space Agency, was the first spacecraft to provide uninterrupted observations of the Sun, with scientific instruments monitored by more than fifteen hundred scientists around the world. Summary of Event The Sun is only […]

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Dayton Negotiations Produce Bosnian Peace Accord

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

More than three years after Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaimed its independence from Yugoslavia, NATO military intervention ended the bloody fighting there and set the stage for the war’s negotiated settlement. Shortly thereafter, the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia, and the former Yugoslavia met near Dayton, Ohio, to work out the details of that settlement. Summary of […]

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Rabin Is Assassinated

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin underscored not only the instability in the Middle East but also the political differences dividing Jews in Israel. Summary of Event Yitzhak Rabin, born in Jerusalem in 1922, spent most of his life in the service of his country. Shortly after his graduation from Kadourie Agricultural School […]

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Farrakhan Leads the Million Man March

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan organized and led a massive march of African American men in Washington, D.C., with the aim of changing public and private perceptions of African American males. The event resulted in critical discussions within the African American community and placed Farrakhan in a prominent and powerful leadership role. Summary of […]

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DVD Technology Is Announced

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

After a period of intense competition and the emergence of divergent formats for optical disc storage capacity far greater than that of the digital compact disc, a large international consortium of technology and media companies agreed to merge their concepts and designs to create a shared, standard format for the digital video disc, also known […]

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Ripken Breaks Gehrig’s Iron Man Record

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Cal Ripken, Jr., broke Lou Gehrig’s “Iron Man” record for consecutive games played in baseball. When the game became official in the bottom of the fifth inning, fans interrupted the game and applauded his achievement for more than twenty minutes. Summary of Event Cal Ripken, Jr., was a Major League Baseball […]

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France Resumes Nuclear Testing

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

French president Jacques Chirac shocked the world with his announcement that, after a three-year moratorium, France would undertake a series of eight underground nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific. Massive criticism, protests, and boycotts forced Chirac to end the series at six tests early in 1996, when he made it clear that France was […]

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Third Taiwan Strait Crisis

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The People’s Republic of China conducted a series of missile tests and military maneuvers in the vicinity of Taiwan to force the island to end its quest for independence and to stop apparent American support for Taiwan. American response was measured: The Taiwanese reelected their independence-minded president, but the United States reassured mainland China that […]

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Venona Cables Are Declassified

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Venona was the code name used for an American project for decrypting Soviet diplomatic messages sent between the Soviet consulate in the United States and Moscow. The decrypted messages identified numerous Soviet spies and provided insight into the workings of Soviet espionage in the United States. The release of these decryptions in the mid-1990’s revised […]

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Space Shuttle Docks with Mir

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis docked with the Russian space station Mir, the event marked the beginning of an era of cooperation in human spaceflight between the two nations. Summary of Event In the late 1960’s, the United States was searching for a space project to follow its successful Apollo lunar landing program. The National […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Random Drug Testing in Schools

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public schools may require student athletes to submit to random drug tests as a condition of their participation in interscholastic sports. Summary of Event In the mid-1980’s, teachers and administrators in the public schools in Vernonia, Oregon, began noticing a sharp and progressive increase in drug and alcohol abuse […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Limits Racial Preferences in Awarding Government Contracts

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

In the case of Adarand Constructors v. Peña, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all racial preferences in government-financed programs were inherently suspect and must be assessed using the standard of “strict scrutiny,” which meant that they were unconstitutional unless narrowly tailored to promote a compelling governmental interest. Summary of Event The U.S. Supreme Court’s […]

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Popular Fiction Addresses the End Times

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The best-selling Left Behind series grew to include sixteen novels, revolutionized Christian propaganda in print markets, and led to an increased concern in American evangelical churches and popular American culture about the biblical Apocalypse. Summary of Event In the tradition of Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), a novel that predicted the coming […]

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Sun Microsystems Introduces Java

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

In 1995, Sun Microsystems announced the development of the object-oriented Java programming language and its incorporation into the popular Web browser Netscape Navigator. Released on January 23, 1996, Java allowed the convergence of digitally controlled consumer devices and computers. Summary of Event Sun Microsystems was founded in 1982 by Stanford graduate students Andy Bechtolsheim, Vinod […]

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Chirac Takes Office as President of France

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The election of Jacques Chirac as president of France brought about a significant change in the political climate in that country. The office of president was once again occupied by an adherent of the French right wing after the fourteen year (1981-1995) presidency of the left-wing Socialist François Mitterrand. Summary of Event In 1958, General […]

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New Panchen Lama Is Named

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

In 1995, in response to the Dalai Lama’s choice of Gendun Choekyi Nyima as the Eleventh Panchen Lama, the Chinese government abducted the child and his family and made a replacement choice of another child, Gyaincain Norbu. The event was interpreted as an attempt by Beijing to control religious freedom and further suppress human rights […]

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Terrorists Use Sarin Gas in Tokyo Subway Attack

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo released sarin gas on three major Tokyo subway lines in 1995, killing twelve and injuring thousands, the event led nations around the world to examine the possibility that marginal religious groups with beliefs rooted in apocalyptic thought might bring real destruction to the larger world. Summary of Event In […]

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Arrest of Hacker Kevin Mitnick

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The FBI’s arrest of Kevin Mitnick brought widespread attention to the crime of computer hacking. Summary of Event By the end of the 1980’s, advances in technology had led to the use of computers in nearly every home and business in the United States. Computers had become common tools for personal and business use around […]

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Serbs Face Charges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

One year after the U.N. Security Council created an international criminal tribunal in 1994 to try war criminals in the former Yugoslavia, the tribunal charged twenty-one Serbs for war crimes. Summary of Event After World War I, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was established with Belgrade as the capital, recognizing the dominance […]

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United States Bails Out Mexico

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When the Mexican economy threatened to collapse and send shock waves throughout the world economy, the United States joined with the International Monetary Fund to create a multilateral financial package to bail out Mexico and prevent a global economic crisis. Summary of Event December 1, 1994, marked the inauguration of Ernesto Zedillo as the newest […]

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O. J. Simpson Trial

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

O. J. Simpson was one of America’s most famous celebrities when he went on trial for the murder of his former wife and one of her acquaintances. The trial featured virtually uninterrupted news coverage and analysis, frequent melodrama, and strong racial undercurrents, and raised far-reaching questions about violence against women and the role of racism […]

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Kōbe Earthquake Kills Thousands

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The major earthquake that struck Kōbe, Japan, in 1995 showed that, despite a long and generally successful tradition of earthquake preparedness, the Japanese were not as well prepared to handle a quake of such magnitude as they had believed. Summary of Event Kōbe, Japan’s sixth-largest city and third-largest seaport, is located along Ōsaka Bay on […]

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Cardoso Brings Prestige to Brazilian Presidency

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

As Brazil’s president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso pledged to bring fiscal responsibility, social reforms, and financial stability and prosperity to his nation. Despite persistent congressional and judicial resistance, he achieved many of his goals, passing on to his successor a more stable economy and government. Summary of Event When he took office in 1995, Fernando Henrique […]

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Famine Strikes North Korea

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Rigid government control intensified by a series of catastrophic calamities brought on a famine of epic proportions in North Korea during the mid-1990’s. Despite worldwide response, Premier Kim Jong Il failed to implement necessary structural changes to prevent future crises from occurring in his country. Summary of Event The emergence of Kim Jong Il as […]

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South Africa Establishes a Truth and Reconciliation Commission

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission served as an archetypal statutory government body that defined the path of a peaceful transition from the apartheid past to a multiracial and multicultural democratic future. It produced a rare example of nonviolent conflict resolution in its efforts to address human rights violations by both the apartheid regime and […]

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Release of Netscape Navigator 1.0

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The release of the first commercial Web browser, Netscape Navigator 1.0, helped to shape the future of the Internet and drove the technologies that became commonplace on the World Wide Web. Summary of Event In the early 1990’s, the Internet was mainly a place where computer experts, government agencies, and academics shared information. Most of […]

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Premier Li Peng Announces the Three Gorges Dam Project

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Chang (Yangtze) River in China provides water and rich silt to the farmlands through which it runs, but it has also caused floods that have devastated villages and cities, killing millions. The proposed Three Gorges Dam would not only provide water for a vast segment of the Chinese population but would also save lives, […]

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Law of the Sea Treaty Enters into Force

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

As technological and political developments in the twentieth century led ocean-bordering nations to claim as their territory increasing areas of the waters extending from their shores, the Law of the Sea Treaty was developed to balance the need for international access to the world’s oceans with individual states’ needs to control the areas contiguous to […]

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Oregon Voters Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act was the first law passed by a U.S. state to legalize the practice of physician-assisted suicide. Summary of Event On November 8, 1994, Oregon voters narrowly (51 percent) approved a carefully written initiative petition that made physician-assisted suicide legal for terminally ill persons in the state. Implementation of the new […]

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U.S.-North Korea Pact

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The United States and North Korea signed a pact in which North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear weapons facilities in exchange for two light-water reactor power plants and other financial aid. The agreement ended an eighteen-month crisis provoked by North Korea’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its refusal to allow its nuclear […]

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Ferry Sinks in the Baltic

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The sinking of the ferry M/S Estonia while it was en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden, revealed weaknesses in the region’s emergency response systems and raised intense speculation about the chain of events leading up to the catastrophe. Summary of Event The M/S Estonia, a German-built luxury ferry, left Tallinn harbor on the […]

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Baseball Strike Forces Cancellation of the World Series

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Unresolved issues between Major League Baseball’s players’ union and the league’s team owners led to a lengthy labor strike that did considerable economic and public relations damage to the sport of professional baseball. Summary of Event One of the most significant events in the history of American professional baseball began on August 12, 1994, when […]

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United Nations Authorizes the Use of Force in Haiti

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

With the collapse of the Governors Island Agreement, the U.N. Security Council, growing increasingly impatient with the intransigence and human rights abuses of the Raoul Cédras regime in Haiti, authorized the use of force to remove his junta and to restore the legitimately elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Summary of Event On July 31, 1994, […]

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Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Collides with Jupiter

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When more than twenty fragments from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, the event offered scientists the opportunity to witness the consequences of the collision of extraterrestrial objects and provided insights into the likely effects of asteroid or comet impacts on Earth. Summary of Event From July 16 to July 22, […]

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Kim Jong Il Succeeds His Father in North Korea

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Kim Jong Il became North Korea’s president following the death of his father, Kim Il Sung, in 1994. This dynastic succession was unprecedented in a communist country and came at a time of domestic and international crisis for the isolated nation. The aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse tested North Korea’s stability and Kim Jong […]

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Boeing’s 777 Takes to the Skies

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

On June 12, 1994, the largest twin-engine plane in operation, the Boeing 777 jumbo jet, ascended on its maiden flight, confirming a new era in airplane design and construction. The three-hour, forty-eight-minute flight proved that Boeing had successfully created a more affordable, customer-oriented aircraft. Summary of Event In 1986, Boeing foresaw a marketing opportunity in […]

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Postmodernist Film Wins at Cannes

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

After winning the Palme d’Or for Best Film at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, Pulp Fiction was launched toward critical and popular success, becoming one of the most influential films of the 1990’s and affirming writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s status as a major talent. Summary of Event After the showing of his first film as both […]

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Andy Warhol Museum Opens

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The first museum entirely devoted to an American artist of the post-World War II generation, the Andy Warhol Museum in Warhol’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, honors an unlikely “favorite son,” an enigmatic man who disguised his background while exerting a tremendous influence on the acceptance of consumer mass culture and celebrity formation as the popular […]

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Rwandan Genocide

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Following the death of President Juvénal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994, Rwanda erupted into genocide, with somewhere between 800,000 and 1 million Rwandans, mostly Tutsi, being murdered by their racially motivated Hutu neighbors. The killing lasted until July, and the ensuing refugee crisis was not resolved until 1998. Summary of Event The racist policies of […]

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Italy’s Voters Move Right

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

With their Socialist and Christian Democratic leaders caught in a swirl of corruption and controversy, Italians undertook political reforms and the formation of new political parties. Summary of Event The Italian government that emerged from the wreckage of Fascist Italy’s defeat in World War II was made up of parties ranging from the center to […]

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Begins Reaping Accolades

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Beginning with three Golden Globe Awards in January, 1994, director and producer Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List was honored widely for its powerful depiction of factory owner Oskar Schindler’s successful efforts to protect twelve hundred Polish Jewish workers from extermination by the Nazis. The worldwide success of Schindler’s List challenged indifference, ignorance, and denial regarding […]

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Northridge Quake Rocks Los Angeles

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Northridge earthquake, which occurred on a previously unrecognized fault beneath California’s San Fernando Valley, demonstrated both the incompleteness of scientists’ mapping of the sites of probable earthquakes and the need for improvements in communities’ preparations for surviving major earthquakes. Summary of Event At 4:30:55 a.m. on January 17, 1994, a major earthquake occurred in […]

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Giuliani Administration Transforms New York City

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

During his two terms as New York City mayor, Rudolph Giuliani gained local, national, and international respect for his economic and educational reforms, for reducing crime dramatically, and for unifying the city after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Although his political agenda and personal style were often polarizing, Giuliani was credited with overcoming crisis […]

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Chrétien Takes Charge in Canada

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Crowning a long political career as a dedicated member of Canada’s Liberal Party, Jean Chrétien took over the leadership of the federal government of Canada. His eventful tenure as prime minister lasted ten years. Summary of Event Capping a long career with the Liberal Party in Canadian federal politics, Jean Chrétien, a francophone protégé of […]

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Burundian President Is Assassinated

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

After becoming the first democratically elected president of Burundi and the nation’s first Hutu leader, Melchior Ndadaye was assassinated during a military takeover engineered by Tutsis. The assassination led to the bloody Burundi civil war, in which as many as 300,000 were killed. Summary of Event On October 21, 1993, a group of supposedly loyal […]

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Energizes the Computer Game Market

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The adventure game Myst revolutionized the computer game industry when it introduced an entirely new kind of interactive experience in which a single player, immersed in various surreal worlds, had to interpret clues to solve puzzles and complete the game. Summary of Event In 1987, brothers Rand Miller and Robyn Miller founded Cyan Worlds, Cyan […]

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Dominates Television Comedy

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Frasier was the first television show to win five consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series. The situation comedy’s popularity demonstrated that the American public welcomed literate writing and highly intelligent characters. Summary of Event The television show Frasier originated with the character Dr. Frasier Crane, who was introduced on September 27, 1984, in the […]

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Mattel and Fisher-Price Form the World’s Biggest Toy Company

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

A merger between Mattel and Fisher-Price was an ideal way to produce better sales for both companies and to compete with the number one toy maker at the time, Hasbro. Mattel gained control of the toy market by the end of the decade. Summary of Event By 1993, Mattel was slumping in sales and sitting […]

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World Conference on Human Rights

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The World Conference on Human Rights established the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and highlighted the importance of human rights for women, children, the disabled, and people of all races, ethnicities, and religions. It also led to the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, which emphasized the importance of […]

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Eritrea Secedes from Ethiopia

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

After thirty years of active civil war, Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia after the assumption of power by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front. Summary of Event Eritrea, which is located on the western coast of the Red Sea, fulfilled its long struggle for independence from Ethiopia on May 24, 1993. Eritrea’s liberation struggle began in […]

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Paraguay Embraces Democracy

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Paraguay’s May, 1993, presidential election was a watershed event in the country’s transition to democracy. In the subsequent years, Paraguayans won many civil liberties, and free and fair elections became the norm. Summary of Event On May 9, 1993, Juan Carlos Wasmosy was elected president of Paraguay, an event that ushered in democracy after decades […]

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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Opens

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The 1993 opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the nation’s preeminent institution for the study of the Holocaust and for commemorating its victims, marked the culmination of a fifteen-year effort to preserve the memory of one of the most horrifying events of the modern era. Summary of Event In November, 1978, President Jimmy […]

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Mississippi and Missouri Flooding Brings Misery to Middle America

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Heavy rains and an unusually high snowmelt caused rivers throughout the Midwest to begin rising in the spring of 1993, and unremitting rainfall throughout the summer led to record flooding on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, as well as many major tributaries, breaching or overtopping levees and causing major damage to agricultural regions and several […]

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Intel Introduces the Pentium Processor

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When Intel Corporation, the leading microprocessor company, introduced the Pentium chip, it set records in transistor microminiaturization and introduced superscalar architecture. Summary of Event Intel Corporation was the original microprocessor company. Robert Norton Noyce, Noyce, Robert Norton who founded the company with Gordon E. Moore, was one of the inventors of the integrated circuit. Integrated […]

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U.N. Security Council Brokers Peace in Mozambique

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The United Nations Operation in Mozambique pacified that nation after nearly two decades of civil war. Peacekeeping troops, police, and civil administrators demobilized the contending national and international forces in the country, organized a reconstituted national defense force, and organized a national electoral process to sustain the peaceful, constitutional transfer of political power. Summary of […]

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Hurricane Andrew Devastates Southern Florida

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Hurricane Andrew was the costliest and most damaging hurricane to hit the United States in the twentieth century and resulted in the deaths of sixty-five people. The storm’s record winds included gusts nearing speeds of two hundred miles per hour. Government response to the vast destruction and chaos revealed bureaucratic confusion and incompetence and miscommunication […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Restricts Abortion Rights

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Changes in the U.S. Supreme Court’s composition in the 1980’s and early 1990’s led abortion opponents to believe that a majority of justices might eliminate women’s constitutionally protected right of choice. Instead, a majority of justices continued to endorse a right of choice, but the Court’s jointly authored majority opinion in the case of Planned […]

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Hariri Begins Reconstruction of Lebanon

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Self-made billionaire Rafik Hariri assumed the office of prime minister of Lebanon, beginning the first of two interrupted terms in that capacity. He was widely credited both for his political moderation and for his commitment of personal wealth to the reconstruction of Lebanon. Summary of Event Lebanon, particularly its capital, Beirut, was devastated by the […]

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Terrorists Attack Israeli Embassy and Jewish Center in Argentina

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

In 1992, a suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with explosives into the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing twenty-nine and wounding more than two hundred. A group called Islamic Jihad, an affiliate of Hezbollah, claimed responsibility. In 1994, again in Buenos Aires, a bomb destroyed a building where several Israeli Argentine associations were headquartered. […]

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United Nations Authorizes Troop Deployment to the Balkans

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

As chaos spread in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s, the United Nations sought to minimize casualties by creating safe havens and deploying a lightly armed protection force in that violently disintegrating country. Summary of Event By the time the Security Council of the United Nations authorized the formation of the first U.N. Protection […]

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Perot Mounts a Third-Party Bid for the U.S. Presidency

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Despite a somewhat eccentric campaign, Texas billionaire Ross Perot set a third-party record when he ran for the U.S. presidency, winning 19 percent of the vote. Perot’s candidacy showed that many Americans could relate to a “radical center” movement emphasizing economic nationalism. Summary of Event The American electorate’s mood in the presidential election year 1992 […]

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Pequots Open Gaming Facility

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

One of the first successful Indian gaming ventures, the Pequots’ Foxwoods Resort Casino highlights the issue of Indian gaming in general, which provoked controversy on three fronts: philosophical, geographical, and political. The success of Foxwoods and similar ventures also attests to Native Americans’ self-reliance. Summary of Event In the early 1970’s, the Mashantucket Pequot Indian […]

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Japan Admits to Sex Slavery During World War II

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

During World War II, the Japanese army held men and women as sex slaves, a practice that was kept secret until 1990 allegations by former Korean “comfort women” were confirmed by Japanese government documents in 1992. Summary of Event The Convention with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, as adopted in […]

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Iijima Reports the Production of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Sumio Iijima’s production of multiwall tubes of interconnected carbon atoms many nanometers in diameter, which he later named carbon nanotubes, heralded the birth of electronic nanoscience. Summary of Event Sumio Iijima’s interest in carbon nanostructures began during the 1970’s while he was a research crystallographer at Arizona State University. After developing an improved electron microscope, […]

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African Countries Begin to Revive Democratization

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

A number of African countries—including Zambia, the Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mali, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and the Central African Republic—established democratic governments, setting the example for other African governments to follow suit. Summary of Event The exhilaration of freedom from European colonial rule and the initial hopes for a prosperous, harmonious, and democratic future […]

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IBM and Apple Agree to Make Compatible Computers

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

After years of rivalry, IBM and Apple agreed to work together to create a new processor and a common hardware reference platform that would enable their computers to use the same software. Summary of Event Almost from the beginning, incompatible hardware and software had been the bane of the microcomputer industry. In its early days, […]

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Dissolution of the Warsaw Pact

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Warsaw Pact, a Cold War institution, dissolved as the Soviet Union and former communist countries of Eastern Europe turned to the West for security and assistance in hopes of achieving greater prosperity. Summary of Event The end of the Soviet era came in 1991, following a cascading series of external and domestic catastrophes that […]

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Bush Nominates Second African American to the Supreme Court

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When Thurgood Marshall, the nation’s first African American Supreme Court justice, retired in 1991, President George H. W. Bush nominated another black judge, Clarence Thomas, to replace Marshall. Thomas’s confirmation hearings, contentious from the start, became truly sensational when Thomas was accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, a law professor who had previously worked […]

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Birth of the Southern Common Market

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Four countries in South America’s Southern Cone—Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay—established MERCOSUR, a trade organization intended to increase economic cooperation among the member nations. Summary of Event Throughout the decades of the 1970’s and 1980’s, the economies of the world’s major industrial countries became increasingly subject to the pressures of globalization. The concept of free […]

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Supreme Soviet Declares the Aral Sea a Disaster Area

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Massive development of irrigated agriculture in Soviet Central Asia between 1950 and 1990 caused drying up and salinization of the Aral Sea, degrading the environment and creating a public health crisis. Acknowledged by the Soviets shortly before the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Aral crisis became the responsibility of independent Central Asian republics that […]

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Medical Researchers Test Promising Drugs for the Treatment of AIDS

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

In 1991, medical researchers at Merck Laboratories announced the first clinically promising protease inhibitor for the treatment of patients infected with HIV. This and similar compounds formed the basis for highly active antiretroviral therapy, which dramatically improved the life expectancy of persons with HIV/AIDS. Summary of Event By the time acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) became […]

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Mongolia Sheds Communism

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Despite its isolation, the political changes of 1989 in other Soviet bloc countries quickly reverberated in Mongolia. Following the pattern set in several Eastern European nations, street protests were followed by democratic elections in July, 1990, leading up to the proclamation of a revamped constitution in the following year. Summary of Event When Jambyn Batmönkh […]

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Takes a Regular Slot on NBC

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Despite the fact that its early episodes received low ratings and tepid reviews, Seinfeld, a situation comedy about a New York stand-up comedian and his eccentric friends, was picked up by NBC for a full season in January of 1991. The show ran for nine seasons and became one of the most popular, acclaimed, and […]

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Development of HTML

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Hypertext markup language, or HTML, consists of a set of instructions for the creation of display pages on browsers, which made the World Wide Web possible. By the mid-1990’s, HTML embedded codes that defined fonts, layouts, graphics, and hypertext links provided a standard protocol that allowed Web page designers to distribute content to any computer. […]

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Aristide Wins First Democratic Election in Haiti

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

After years of autocratic rule under the Duvaliers, Haiti elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who won the presidency by democratic vote. His tenure extended from February to September 30, 1991, when he was overthrown in a coup by Raoul Cédras. Summary of Event For thirty years, Haiti languished under the dictatorial and corrupt rule of the Duvalier […]

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Major Succeeds Thatcher as British Prime Minister

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When it became clear that the Conservative Party could lose the next general election in the United Kingdom under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, John Major slipped by several other opponents to become the new prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party. Summary of Event In 1979, the Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher, […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds the Right to Refuse Medical Treatment

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

A milestone U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1990 established the constitutional right of terminally ill patients to refuse or discontinue medical interventions necessary to sustain their lives under conditions that were specified by the court. This ruling intensified debate concerning the “right to die.” Summary of Event The topic of “passive euthanasia,” allowing hopelessly afflicted […]

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Massive Quake Rocks Iran

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When a deadly earthquake struck northwestern Iran, killing some forty thousand people and destroying hundreds of towns and villages, nations around the world rushed to provide aid, even though Iran’s strained relations with some governments made delivering such aid difficult. Summary of Event Iran is no stranger to devastating earthquakes; such disasters have occurred far […]

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West Germany Wins a Third FIFA World Cup

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The West German team won the 1990 World Cup soccer final against Argentina, a rematch of the 1986 title game. The 1990 final match, however, like the entire tournament that year, was poorly played and laden with fouls. Summary of Event The West German soccer team’s victory over Argentina in the 1990 FIFA World Cup […]

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Merging of the Two Yemens

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

After extended conflict involving ideological differences and disputes over borders, North Yemen joined with South Yemen to form one nation. Summary of Event Years of turmoil marked relations between the new Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People’s Republic of South Yemen following their independence in 1962 and 1967, respectively. Major political differences divided […]

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British Riot over the Poll Tax

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Honoring a 1987 campaign pledge to raise local taxes by changing the outdated tax on property, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher instituted a highly unpopular poll tax on individuals. A campaign was launched to protest the tax, culminating in a massive protest in central London. Summary of Event Although it had less than enthusiastic support […]

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McCartney Conceives Promise Keepers

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

University of Colorado head football coach Bill McCartney conceived the idea for an interdenominational organization to promote faith and fellowship among Christian men. Promise Keepers attracted hundreds of thousands of men to rallies held at sports stadiums, where they renewed their commitments to Christ, their fellow men, marriage, and family responsibilities. Summary of Event In […]

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Cisco Systems Goes Public

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

When Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack created a device that enabled computer systems based on different networking technologies to be linked together, they recognized the device’s commercial potential and founded Cisco Systems in 1984. After the company went public in 1990, it became phenomenally successful as the equipment vendor of choice for the Internet revolution. […]

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United Nations Admits Many New Members

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The early 1990’s brought many changes around the world, including the end of the Cold War and the dismantling of many communist regimes, resulting in a large influx of new members into the United Nations. Summary of Event In the closing days of World War II, the leaders of the victorious Allied nations agreed that […]

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Discovery of Breast Cancer Genes

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Inherited forms of breast cancer account for approximately 10 percent of cases. Researchers identified two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, which were mutations that were associated with inherited forms of the disease. Identification of these genes allowed for a method of screening women who were at a particular risk of developing the disease prior to middle […]

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Libraries Transform into Information Technology Centers

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Increasingly shrinking budgets and lack of physical space, along with the rise of information technology, led libraries to begin refashioning themselves into information technology centers where patrons could access repositories of information in various digital formats. Summary of Event From their inception, libraries have always been primarily repositories of information. Libraries, both public and private, […]

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Liberian Civil War

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The repressive regime of President Samuel Doe sparked a revolt of the Gio and Mano tribes in 1989. By December, a group of rebels led by American-educated Charles Taylor invaded Liberia from Ivory Coast with the intent of overthrowing Doe. When other factions joined in the fighting against Doe and his supporters, a civil war […]

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United States Intervenes in Panama

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The U.S. Army invaded Panama on December 20, 1989, in order to arrest the country’s military strongman, Manuel Noriega, on charges of international drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering. Summary of Event Following the death of his leader and mentor Omar Torrijos Herrera in 1981, Manuel Noriega gained control of the Panamanian government. He did […]

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Chinese Top Leadership Changes as Jiang Zemin Takes the Party Chair

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Characterized by booming economic growth, greater opening to the West, and attempts to eliminate the wide gap between rich and poor, Jiang Zemin’s rule in China nonetheless maintained the strict social and political controls of the central government and undertook numerous measures aimed at strengthening the Chinese state, both domestically and internationally. Summary of Event […]

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Papandreou Leaves Office in Disgrace

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Having served as Greece’s prime minister since 1981, Andreas Papandreou was forced out of office in 1989 in the wake of a $200 million embezzlement scandal involving his administration and the Bank of Crete. Summary of Event The son of Greek prime minister George Papandreou, Andreas Papandreou was drawn into Greek politics early in his […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Flag Desecration Law

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that flag burning as a form of political protest was protected under the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech sparked a continuing debate about flag desecration and civil liberties. Summary of Event In 1984, the Republican National Convention was held in Dallas, Texas. As part of a […]

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Magellan Probe Maps Venus

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Magellan probe mapped the surface of Venus using powerful radar imaging technology and supplied important information about the planet’s surface and gravity, while ushering in a new era of planetary exploration. Summary of Event Venus is often called Earth’s “sister planet” because it is similar in size, mass, and solid surface to the Earth […]

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