Spirit of America Bookstore

U.S.  Timeline  –  1969  to  2000

Ancient Times - 3500 B.C.E to 1490

1491-1800    •    1801-1900    •    1901-1930    •    1931-1950    •    1951-1968

jump to 2001-2010    •    2011-2016    •    2017 to present

Woodstock & WaterGate    •    The Reagan Era    •    The Clinton Era


Woodstock  &  WaterGate

  • 1969: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a ban on the sweetener cyclamate; the food industry switched to saccharin (in turn restricted by the F.D.A. in 1977).
    1969 The Year Everything Changed book by Rob Kirkpatrick  
    "1969: The Year Everything Changed" [2009]
    by Rob Kirkpatrick

    Skyhorse Publng 8¼x5¼ pb [1/2011] for $14.95
    Skyhorse Publng 9x6½ hardcover [1/2009] for $16.04
  • 1969 Jan 16: Two manned Soyuz capsules of the Soviet Union became the first space vehicles to 'dock' in space and transfer personnel.
  • 1969 Jan 20: Richard M. Nixon was sworn into office as the 37th President of the United States.
  • 1969 March 3: N.A.S.A. Apollo 9 astronauts James McDivitt, David Scott & Russell Schweickart blasted off to orbit the Earth for ten days; splashdown was March 13, east of the Bahamas, north of Puerto Rico.
  • 1969 March 20: Eight leaders of the protests during the Republican convention of the prior Summer were indicted for conspiracy and other crimes. The 'Chicago Seven' were Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner. Eighth indictee Bobby Seale had his trial separated.
  • 1969 March 20: John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
  • 1969 May 11: A second plutonium fire at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility again contaminated portions of the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area with radioactive Pu-239; the incident was monitored and reported by civilian agencies, which led to the U.S. government's divulgence of the 1957 plutonium fire.
  • 1969 May 18: N.A.S.A. Apollo 10 astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Thomas P. Stafford & John W. Young blasted off to orbit the moon (and test the lunar lander).
  • 1969 May 20: U.S. & South Vietnamese forces captured Ap Bia Mountain, one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War, earning the nickname 'Hamburger Hill'.
  • 1969 May 26: N.A.S.A. Apollo 10 mission splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1969 June 9: U.S Senate confirmed Warren Burger as the new Chief Justice of The Supreme Court, succeeding Earl Warren.
  • 1969 June 22: Ohio's polluted Cuyahoga River caught fire again, this time getting media attention and infamy.
  • 1969 June 23: Warren Burger was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of The Supreme Court.

  • 1969 June 27: Patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, clashed with police in an incident considered the birth of the gay rights movement.
    Stonewall Uprising documentary film by Kate Davis & David Heilbroner  "Stonewall Uprising" [P.B.S./FirstRun Features June 2010]
    A raid by New York City Police on a gay bar in Greenwich Village erupted in a 'Rosa Parks moment' when the patrons refused to submit to the violent police harassmant, sparking a riot that lasted three days. Co-produced & co-directed by Kate Davis & David Heilbroner; written by David Heilbroner, based on the book by David Carter
    P.B.S. color/b&w DVD [4/2011] for $14.99
    credits at IMDbofficial movie site
    Stonewall Riots book by David Carter  "Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution" [2004]
    by David Carter

    St. Martin's Griffin movie tie-in 9x6 pb [5/2010] for $11.99
    St. Martin's Press 9¼x6½ hardcover [6/2004] out of print/many used

  • 1969 July: Test screenings for "Sesame Street" with humans and the Muppet characters Bert & Ernie.
  • 1969 July 16: Liftoff of Apollo 11 lunar landing mission from Cape Kennedy; splashdown was July 24 in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1969 July 18: A car driven by Sen. Edward M. 'Ted' Kennedy plunged off the narrow, un-railed Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vineyard in Massachussets; his 28-year-old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, was found drowned inside the vehicle the next day; Kennedy had not reported the incident, and pled guilty to a charge of 'leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury', and received a sentence of two months in jail, which was suspended.
  • 1969 July 19: The Apollo 11 lunar landing mission went into orbit around the Moon, with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, and Michael Collins on board.
  • 1969 July 20: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong & Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin in the lunar lander 'Eagle' touched down on the surface of the moon at 4:18 p.m. EDT. Aldrin & Armstrong were the first men to walk on the moon's surface; astronaut Michael Collins remained overhead in the orbiter module.
  • 1969 July 21: Neil Armstrong left the lunar lander and stepped onto the surface of the moon, joined shortly by 'Buzz' Aldrin.
  • 1969 July 21: Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong & Aldrin blasted off from the moon's surface aboard the lunar landing module at 1:54 p.m. EDT.
  • 1969 July 24: The Apollo 11 moon-landing mission splashed down safely in the South Pacific.
  • 1969 Aug 5: The U.S. space probe Mariner 7 flew past the planet Mars, sending photographs and scientific data back to Earth.
  • 1969 Aug 9: The bodies of actress Sharon Tate and four others were found brutally slain at her home near Beverly Hills, California; cult leader Charles Manson and several followers were convicted of the crime.
  • 1969 Aug 10: The bodies of Leno & Rosemary LaBianca were discovered at their home in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, California; Charles Manson and various followers were convicted of the Tate & LaBianca murders.

    bird-on-guitar Woodstock poster on red background                fancy design Woodstock poster on black background               
  • 1969 Aug 15-17: Woodstock Music & Art Fair outside upstate Bethel, New York.
  • 1969 Aug 18: The Woodstock Festival wound to a close with a midmorning set by Jimi Hendrix.
  • 1969 Sept 2: First realization of the internet as two computers at U.C.L.A connected by a 15-foot cable passed test data back and forth; a functional internet was created in 1983.
  • 1969 Sept 20: Beginning of the trial of the Chicago Eight.
  • 1969 Oct 18: The federal government banned the artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates due to evidence that they caused cancer in lab rats.
  • 1969 Oct 29: First successful transmission of a message on ARPAnet (the pre-internet).
  • 1969 Nov 5: Judge Hoffman sentenced Bobby Seale to four years in prison (3 months for each of 16 contempt of court outbursts) and separated his case; the conspiracy trial is since known as that of the Chicago Seven.
  • 1969 Nov 10: Debut of children's program "Sesame Street" on National Educational Television.
  • 1969 Nov 12: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersch revealed the 'My Lai Massacre' that took place March 1968 in VietNam.
  • 1969 Nov 14: N.A.S.A.'s Apollo 12 mission blasted off for the moon.
  • 1969 Nov 19: Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad & Alan Bean made man's second walk on the moon's surface; astronaut Richard F. Gordon, Jr. stayed overhead in the command module.
  • 1969 Nov 20: The Nixon Administration halted residential use of the pesticide DDT.
  • 1969 Nov 20: A group of Native Americans activists occupied Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay and remained there for 19 months.
  • 1969 Nov 24: N.A.S.A.'s Apollo 12 mission splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1969 Dec 1: The U.S. government held its first military draft lottery since World War II.
  • 1969 Dec 6: Free Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway in California was marred by the deaths of four people, including one stabbed by Hell's Angels 'security'.
  • 1969 Dec 10: First announcement of recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

  • 1970: The 64-mile-long D&RGW narrow-gauge railroad line from Antonito, Colorado to Chama, New Mexico was saved from being scrapped by a joint purchase by the State of Colorado and the State of New Mexico; the line was renamed the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and has been a successful tourist destination for forty-plus years.
  • 1970: Litton Industries unveiled the first home appliance version of a microwave oven, at a consumer trade show in Chicago.
  • 1970 Jan 17: Formation of the La Raza Unida Party in Crystal City, Texas; the stated purpose was Saul Alinsky-style confrontational politics to further the Xicano cause; after some success in local Texas elections, the party broke apart in 1978.
  • 1970 Feb 18: The Chicago Seven were found not guilty of conspiracy charges, although some other, minor charges received guilty verdicts; all of the convictions were reversed in November 1972 - only eighth indictee Bobby Seale served jail time (for contempt of court).
  • 1970 March 5: The Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons went into effect after 43 nations ratified it.
  • 1970 April 11: The ill-fated Apollo 13 mission to the moon blasted off from Cape Canaveral, with James A. Lovell Jr., John L. Swigert Jr. & Fred W. Haise Jr. aboard.
  • 1970 April 13: The explosion of a tank of liquid oxygen aboard Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, severely crippled the space craft; the mission was aborted. Heroic efforts at Cape Canaveral and on-board the spacecraft brought the three astronauts back safely to Earth.
  • 1970 April 17: N.A.S.A.'s Apollo 13 mission splashed down in the South Pacific Ocean and was retrieved by the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima.
  • 1970 April 22: The first Earth Day event, with millions of Americans participating, was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.
  • 1970 April 24: The People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which broadcast the patriotic song 'The East Is Red'.
  • 1970 May 4: Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on antiwar protesters at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others. (The guardsmen were indicted in March 1974 and later acquitted.)
    Kent State, What Happened and Why book by James A. Michener  "Kent State: What Happened and Why" [1971]
    by James A. Michener [1907-97]

    Fawcett mass pb [3/81] out of print/used
    Fawcett mass pb [10/82] out of print/used
    Random House 9¼x6½ hardcover [4/71] out of print/many used
  • 1970 May 15: Just after Midnight, two black students at Jackson State College in Mississippi - Phillip Lafayette Gibbs & James Earl Green - were killed by gunfire from state police during an on-campus student protest.
  • 1970 June 22: President Nixon signed a law lowering the voting age to 18.
  • 1970 June 30: I.B.M. introduced the System/370 mainframe computers, successor to the Systen/360 line.
  • 1970 Aug 12: President Nixon signed the Postal Reorganization Act, which took effect 1 July 1971.
  • 1970 Aug 24: Anti-war extremists left a van filled with explosives on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison; the explosion outside Sterling Hall killed researcher Robert Fassnacht.
  • 1970 Sept 13: The first New York City Marathon, which took place entirely within Central Park.
  • 1970 Sept 21: "N.F.L. Monday Night Football" debuted on ABC-TV.
  • 1970 Oct 4: Rock singer Janis Joplin [1943-70] was found dead in her Los Angeles hotel room.
  • 1970 Oct 10: The South Pacific island nation of Fiji became independent after nearly a century of British rule.
  • 1970 Dec 2: The Environmental Protection Agency began operations, under director William D. Ruckelshaus.
  • 1970 Dec 28: Passage of the Occupational Safety & Health Act which established O.S.H.A. as part of the Labor Department, effective 28 April 1971.

  • 1971: Founding of Starbucks Coffee in Seattle, Washington.
  • 1971 Jan 31: Apollo 14 blasted off to the moon from Cape Canaveral with astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell & Stuart A. Roosa aboard.
  • 1971 March 23: Congress passed the 26th Amendment, making voting age 18 years for federal & state elections.
  • 1971 April 20: U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of busing students to achieve racial desegregation in schools.
  • 1971 May 1: Amtrak passenger rail service officially began, intending to 'combine and streamline passenger operations of 18 intercity railroads'.
  • 1971 May 30: American space probe Mariner 9 blasted off toward Mars from Cape Kennedy, Florida.
  • 1971 June 12: The New York Times published the first installment of the secret 'Pentagon Papers', provided to them by Daniel Ellsberg.
  • 1971 June 29: U.S. Senator Mike Gravel [Dem-Alaska] convened a special meeting of his Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds and entered 4,100 pages of the Pentagon Papers into the official record of the subcommittee (making the documents public and therefore making moot the court orders preventing publication).
  • 1971 July 1: 26th Amendment lowering voting age to 18 was ratified.
  • 1971 July 1: The Postal Reorganization Act took effect, moving the U.S. Postal Service from a Cabinet-level agency to an independent organization.
  • 1971 July 26: Launch of Apollo 15, America's fourth manned mission to the moon.
  • 1971 July 31: U.S. Apollo 15 crew members David Scott & James Irwin were the first astronauts to use the Lunar Roving Vehicle on the surface of the Moon.
  • 1971 Aug 7: The Apollo 15 moon mission splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1971 Aug 15: President Nixon announced the end of the Gold Standard for U.S. dollars; the dollar dropped 8 percent in value.
  • 1971 Aug 15: President Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices, and rents (as an attempt to halt inflation).
  • 1971 Aug 23: Secret publication of the Powell Memorandum, written by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Lewis F. Powell, that outlined long-term strategies for expansion of corporate privilege by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other neo-conservative organizations. {text of the Powell Memo}
  • 1971 Aug 26: U.S. Congress declared Women's Equality Day which celebrates the 19th Amendment {of 1920) and promotes a new Equal Rights Amendment.
  • 1971 Sept 8: Debut event at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
  • 1971 Sept 9: Prisoners at the Attica, New York Correctional Facility rioted for four days; eleven hostages and 32 inmates died.
  • 1971 Oct 1: Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida.
  • Autumn of 1971: The first email was sent by Ray Tomlinson, with content 'of no significance, something like QWERTYUIOP'.
  • 1971 Oct 25: The United Nations General Assembly voted to admit mainland China {People's Republic of China) and expel Taiwan {Republic of China}.
  • 1971 Oct 27: The Democratic Republic of Congo changed its name to the Republic of Zaire; the name was changed back in May 1997.
  • 1971 Nov 23: The Communist People's Republic of China was seated in the U.N. Security Council.
  • 1971 Nov 24: Airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper escaped by parachute with a suitcase of cash over a forest in Washington State; he was never identified, the case is unsolved, he was never heard from again.
  • 1971 Dec 18: Chicago-based civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson founded Operation PUSH {People United to Save Humanity}.

  • 1972: Orville Redenbacher began national distribution of his Gourmet® Popping Corn.
  • 1972: LIFE Magazine stopped publication of its weekly edition. (LIFE was founded in 1883, purchased by Henry Luce & TIME Magazine in 1936, switched to occasional issues in 1972, switched to monthly issues in 1978, and finally shut down in 2000.)
  • 1972 Jan 5: President Nixon announced that he had ordered the development of the Space Shuttle.
  • 1972 Jan 7: Republican appointee Lewis F. Powell, Jr. [1907-98] was sworn to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court; he resigned in June 1987.
  • 1972 Jan 9: Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes spoke by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, California and said that a purported autobiography of him by author Clifford Irving was a fake.
  • 1972 Jan 11: East Pakistan changed its name to Bangladesh.
  • 1972 Feb 26: The Buffalo Creek Slurry Spill in West Virginia unleashed an estimated 132 million gallons of toxic coal mining waste (ten times the size of the Exxon Valdez oil spill) from three dams operated by the Pittston Coal Company; 125 people were killed, 1,121 people were injured, and over 4,000 people were left homeless.
  • 1972 March 22: Equal Rights Amendment proposal sent to states for ratification; passage failed by three states.
  • 1972 April 16: Apollo 16 blasted off to the moon from Cape Canaveral.
  • 1972 April 20: Apollo 16's lunar module landed on the surface of the moon.
  • 1972 April 21: Apollo 16 astronauts John Young & Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon.
  • 1972 April 27: The Apollo 16 command module splashed down safely in the South Pacific Ocean; the spacecraft and its crew were retrieved by the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga.
  • 1972 June 14: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered a ban on domestic use of the pesticide D.D.T., to take effect at year's end.
  • 1972 June 17: Five burglars were arrested inside the WaterGate Hotel in Washington, DC – leading to the resignation of President Nixon 26 months later.
  • 1972 June 19: Hurricane Agnes made landfall over the Florida Panhandle, causing at least 122 deaths.
  • 1972 June 23: President Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman discussed a plan to use the C.I.A. to obstruct the F.B.I.'s Watergate investigation; revelation of the audiotape recording of this conversation led to Nixon's resignation in 1974.
  • 1972 June 27: Founding of the Atari, Inc. video game company in Santa Clara, California by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney; Atari folded in 1984.
  • 1972 Sept 11: The Bay Area Rapid Transit ('BART') of Northern California began operation.
  • 1972 Sept 15: A federal grand jury in Washington, DC indicted seven men in connection with the WaterGate burglary: the five burglars, plus White House staff E. Howard Hunt & G. Gordon Liddy. {See also 1 March 1974.}
  • 1972 Oct 18: Congress passed the Clean Water Act by overriding President Nixon's veto.
  • 1972 Nov 8: Debut of the premium cable TV network H.B.O. (Home Box Office); the first movie shown was "Sometimes A Great Notion".
  • 1972 Nov 11: The U.S. Army turned over its base at Long Binh outside Saigon to the South Vietnamese as a symbol of the end of United States involvement in the VietNam War.
  • 1972 Nov 14: Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed above 1,000 for the first time ever.
  • 1972 Nov 29: Debut of Atari's coin-operated arcade video game Pong at Andy Capp's Tavern in Sunnyvale, California.
  • 1972 Dec 7: N.A.S.A.'s Apollo 17 mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida – N.A.S.A.'s last moon mission to date.
  • 1972 Dec 11: Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan landed on the Moon, while Ron Evans remained in orbit.
  • 1972 Dec 14: Apollo 17 astronauts Schmitt & Cernan concluded their third moonwalk and blasted off for their return to the orbiter.
  • 1972 Dec 19: Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the Apollo program of manned moon landings.
  • 1972 Dec 28: North Korea's Prime Minister Kim Il Sung [1912-94] was named President under a new constitution.

  • 1973: Motorola put on the market the first portable telephone, the three-pound DynaTAC, with a list price of $3,500.
  • 1973-75: An economic recession in the U.S that lasted two years, precipitated by the O.P.E.C. Oil Crisis and resulting 'stagflation'.
  • 1973 Jan 15: President Nixon announced the suspension of all U.S. offensive military action in North VietNam, based on progress in peace negotiations.
  • 1973 Jan 22: The U.S. Supreme Court delivered its Roe v. Wade decision, making abortion legal based on trimesters.
  • 1973 Jan 22: Former President Lyndon Baines Johnson died.
  • 1973 Jan 27: VietNam War peace accords signed in Paris, France.
  • 1973 Jan 28: Official cease fire went into effect in the VietNam War.
  • 1973 Mar 29: VietNam War hostilities ended as the last U.S. combat troops left VietNam.
  • 1973 May 8: Militant American Indians who held the village of Wounded Knee, South Dakota for ten weeks surrendered to federal authorities.
  • 1973 May 11: Charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the 'Pentagon Papers' case were dismissed, citing 'government misconduct'.
  • 1973 May 14: U.S. launched Skylab, the first manned space station.
  • 1973 July 13: Former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield revealed the existence of President Nixon's secret taping system, during testimony at the Senate Watergate hearings.
  • 1973 Aug 14: The United States halted bombing in Cambodia.
  • 1973 Oct 10: Indicted for taking bribes while in office in Maryland and as Vice President, Spiro T. Agnew pled no contest to one count of federal income tax evasion and resigned his office.
  • 1973 Oct 17: The Arab oil-producers cartel announced cutbacks in oil exports to Western nations and to Japan, triggering the Oil Embargo that lasted six months.
  • 1973 Oct 20: The infamous 'Saturday Night Massacre' – After a news conference by Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, the White House ordered Attorney General Elliott Richardson to fire Cox; Richardson resigned rather than obey; his deputy William Ruckleshaus also resigned rather than obey; later that evening, the White House delivered a message to Cox at home that he had been fired by Solicitor General Robert H. Bork.
  • 1973 Nov 16: Launch from Cape Canaveral of Skylab 4, carrying a crew of three, on an 84-day mission.
  • 1973 Nov 21: President Nixon's attorney J. Fred Buzhardt revealed the existence of the 18½-minute gap on one of the White House tape recordings subpoenaed for the Watergate hearings.
  • 1973 Nov 27: The U.S. Senate confirmed House Speaker Gerald Ford to be U.S. Vice President, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who resigned in October.

  • 1974 Jan 2: President Nixon signed legislation to limit U.S. highway speeds to 55 mph (a reaction to the 'Gas Crisis' triggered by O.P.E.C); federal speed limits were abolished in 1995.
  • 1974 March 1: A federal grand jury in Washington, DC indicted a second group of seven men on charges of conspiring to obstruct justice in connection with the WaterGate Conspiracy: former U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell, and White House staff H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson & Gordon C. Strachan (not tried), and lawyers to the re-election campaign Robert Mardian & Kenneth Parkinson.
  • 1974 March 4: Time-Life published the first issue of People Magazine (then called People Weekly).
  • 1974 March 18: O.P.E.C. ended the oil embargo against the U.S.A.
  • 1974 April 8: Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves baseball team hit his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth's longtime record; Aaron eventually scored a total of 755 home runs.
  • 1974 April 25: Portugal's Carnation Revolution bloodless military coup toppled the Estado Novo regime.
  • 1974 May 9: The U.S. House Judiciary Committee began public hearings on whether to recommend the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
  • 1974 June 15: Publication of "All The President's Men" book by Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein.
  • 1974 July 24: U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously in United States v. Nixon that the President's claim of 'executive privilege' was invalid against the Congressional subpoena for records connected to the Watergate burglary and that the White House must surrender the tapes & documents.
  • 1974 July 27: The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Nixon for personally engaging in conduct designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case.
  • 1974 Aug: The supposed commercial {owned by Howard Hughes} deep-sea mining ship Glomar Explorer retrieved pieces of the sunken Soviet submarine K-128 from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean; some secret details were finally released in 2010.
  • 1974 Aug 9: President Richard M. Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment proceedings in the House & Senate; Vice President Gerald Ford became President.
  • 1974 Sept 8: President Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Nixon.
  • 1974 Nov 13: Anti-nuclear & union activist Karen Silkwood died in a mysterious car crash near Crescent, Oklahoma after work at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant and on her way to meet with a reporter.
  • 1974 Dec: End of the worldwide 1973-74 stock market crash.
  • 1974 Dec 9: The Dow Jones Industrial Average index dropped to a low of 577.60, a loss of 42 percent since November 1972.
  • 1974 Dec 31: U.S. citizens were allowed to buy/own gold – for the first time in over 40 years.

  • 1975: Launch of videocassette technology, on the commercial and at-home V.C.R. (video cassette recorder & player) devices; production was shut down in July 2016.
  • 1975 Jan: The first commercial personal computer went on sale, the Altair 8800 made by Model Instrumentation Telemetry Systems of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • 1975 Jan 1: Former White House Chief of Staff (under Nixon) H.R. Haldeman was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the WaterGate Conspiracy; his sentence was later reduced, and he was released on parole after serving 18 months in federal prison.
  • 1975 March 10: Talent agent Wally Amos took the advice of some friends and opened a cookie store on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California under the name 'Famous Amos'.
  • 1975 April 1: Founding of Apple Computer, Inc. in Cupertino, California by Steve Wozniak and Steven Jobs.
  • 1975 April 4: Founding of Microsoft, Inc. in Albuquerque, New Mexico by Bill Gates and Paul G. Allen.
  • 1975 April 30: The end of the VietNam War as South VietNam surrendered to North Vietnam in Saigon.
  • 1975 July 22: Congress voted to restore American citizenship to Civil War General Robert E. Lee. {Lee submitted a signed Amnesty Oath in October 1865, but the document was lost for 105 years.} President Ford signed the measure on August 5.
  • 1975 Sept 5: President Gerald Ford escaped an assassination attempt in Sacramento, California by Charles Manson disciple Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme; no shots were fired; Fromme served 34 years in prison.
  • 1975 Sept 18: The F.B.I. captured newspaper heiress Patty Hearst in San Francisco, nineteen months after she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
  • 1975 Sept 5: President Gerald Ford escaped a second assassination attempt in San Francisco, California; the shooter was Sara Jane Moore, who served 32 years in prison.
  • 1975 Nov 10: Mysterious sinking of the Great Lakes ore ship SS Edmund Fitzgerald during a storm with 29 crew aboard.
  • 1975 Nov 20: Caudilho (dictator) Generalisimo Francisco Franco y Bahamonde of Spain died at age 82.
  • 1975 Nov 22: Juan Carlos was proclaimed King of Spain at age 37.

  • 1976: Invention of natural-flavor Jelly Belly Candy by an Illinois candy company founded in 1869 {since moved to Fairfield, California}.
  • 1976: An outbreak of a deadly virus in Zaire, Africa was at first thought to be a variant of the Marburg viral hemorrhagic fever, but later identified as the species Zaire ebolavirus. An epidemic erupted in 2014 in Africa, with isolated cases spreading to Europe and the United States by way of aircraft passengers.
    The Hot Zone / Origins of the Ebola Virus book by Richard Preston  
    "The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of The Origins of The Ebola Virus"
    [New York Times bestseller 1994] by Richard Preston

    Kindle Edition from Anchor/Random House [3/2012] for $4.99
    Anchor 8x5¼ pb [6/99] for $10.22
    rebound pb 7x4¾ library hardcover [8/95] for $13.52
    Random House 9½x6¼ hardcover [9/94] out of print/hundreds used
  • 1976 Jan 30: The U.S. Supreme Court handed down the landmark Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 decision that expenditure of money is a form of constitutionally-protected free speech.
  • 1976 April 5: Death of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes at age 70.
  • 1976 April 9: Release of feature film "All The President's Men" starring Robert Redford & Dustin Hoffman; film won four Oscars, including Best Script Adaptation.
  • 1976 May 24: Britain & France opened trans-Atlantic supersonic Concorde air transport service to Washington, DC; the SST flights ended in November 2003.
  • 1976 July 2: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was not inherently 'cruel or unusual punishment'.
  • 1976 July 7: First female cadets enrolled at U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
  • 1976 July 20: America's Viking I robot spacecraft landed on the planet Mars.
  • 1976 Sept 3: America's Viking II robot spacecraft landed on the planet Mars and took the first close-up, color photographs of the planet's surface.
  • 1976 Sept 9: Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the People's Republic of China, died in Beijing at age 82.
  • 1976 Sept 17: N.A.S.A. unveiled the space shuttle Enterprise to the public for the first time in Palmdale, California.
  • 1976 Dec 17: Release of the film "A Star Is Born" starring Barbra Streisand; second remake after the 1937 & 1954 films.

  • 1977: Plastic bags began replacing paper bags at grocery stores in the U.S.A.
  • 1977: Soda pop consumption in the U.S.A. exceeded coffee consumption.
  • 1977 May 25: Release of the first 'Star Wars' movie, later retitled "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope".
  • 1977 June 5: The Apple II, the first practical personal computer, went on sale.
  • 1977 July 13: Power blackout in New York City that lasted 25 hours.
  • 1977 Aug 4: President Carter signed the Department of Energy into existence.
  • 1977 Aug 12: First solo flight of the space shuttle Enterprise, separating from a Boeing 747 and landing at Edwards A.F.B. in the California desert.
  • 1977 Aug 16: Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee at age 42.
  • 1977 Aug 20: The Voyager 2 space probe launched toward Jupiter [July 1979] & Saturn [Aug 1981] plus Uranus [Jan 1986] & Neptune [Aug 1989]; currently speeding away from the Sun, the spacecraft is expected to transmit data back to Earth thru the year 2020.
  • 1977 Sept 5: NASA's Voyager 1 space probe launched to Jupiter [March 1979] & Saturn [Nov 1980]; currently speeding away from the Sun, the interstellar probe is still transmitting data as it crosses the 'heliopause' into deep space.
  • 1977 Sept 12: African student leader Steve Biko died in police custody at Pretoria Prison in South Africa; the brutal death triggered an international outcry against the apartheid policy.
  • 1977 Oct 19: The supersonic Concorde air service made its first landing in New York City; the twenty existing aircraft were retired in November 2003.

  • 1978: First 'spam' email from Digital Equipment Corp. to 400 users on Arpanet.
  • 1978: Founding of the Sundance Film Festival, now held in January in Park City, Utah.
  • 1978 April 18: The U.S. Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, scheduling turnover of complete control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.
  • 1978 May 5: Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield used a $12,000 investment ($4,000 of it borrowed) to open Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream scoop shop in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont.
  • 1978 June 6: California voters overwhelmingly approved the Proposition 13 ballot initiative calling for major cuts in property taxes.
  • 1978 June 8: A jury in Clark County, Nevada ruled that the so-called 'Mormon Will' of billionaire Howard Hughes [1905-76] was a forgery.
  • 1978 Oct 16: The College of Cardinals elected Karol Wojtyla of Poland as Pope of the Catholic Church; he chose the name John Paul II and reigned for 26 years.
  • 1978 Dec 13: The Philadelphia Mint began making Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, which went into circulation the following July.
  • 1978 Dec 22: Deng Xiaoping gained power as top leader in Communist China, effectively ending the excesses of the Cultural Revolution.

  • 1979: Founding of anti-hunger group Feeding America.
  • 1979 March 5: NASA's Voyager 1 space probe flew past Jupiter, sending back photographs of the planet and its moons.
  • 1979 March 28: America's worst commercial nuclear accident occured inside Reactor Unit Two at Three Mile Island power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania.
  • 1979 July: The Susan B. Anthony [1820-1906] U.S. dollar coin was placed into circulation.
  • 1979 July 11: The abandoned 100-ton U.S. space station Skylab [launched May 1973] re-entered Earth's atmosphere, burning up and scattering debris across the Indian Ocean and Australia.
  • 1979 July 16: Biggest nuclear radiation accident in U.S. history (bigger than Three Mile Island) when 100 million gallons of nuclear waste spilled at Church Rock, New Mexico on the Navajo Reservation and flowed down the Rio Puerco river (and was largely ignored by all media). { Wikipedia }
  • 1979 Aug 6: Paul Volcker sworn as 12th Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
  • 1979 Sept 24: Compu-Serve became the first company to offer email to the public.
  • 1979 Nov 3: Forty members of the local Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party opened fire on unarmed demonstrators in what became known as the Greensboro [NC] Massacre, leaving 5 dead and 10 wounded. The local police were implicated as conspirators; indictments have never been filed, but survivors won a wrongful death lawsuit.
    [see Greensboro Truth & Community Reconciliation Project [est. 1999]
    & Greensboro Justice Fund [est. 1985]
  • 1979 Nov 4: Iranian militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran; most of the seized American hostages remained in captivity for 444 days.

  • 1980: Post-It Notes® went on the market.
  • 1980 Feb 2-3: Prisoners at the New Mexico State Penitentiary rioted; at least 33 inmates died and over 200 inmates were treated for injuries.
  • 1980 April 18: Founding of the independent nation of Zimbabwe, formerly Zimbabwe Rhodesia, in southern Africa.
  • 1980 May 17: Release of the second 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back".
  • 1980 May 18: Catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in northwest Washington State; 57 people were killed.
  • 1980 June 1: Debut of C.N.N., the Cable News Network.
  • 1980 July 9: NASA's Voyager 2 space probe flew past Jupiter, sending back photographs of the planet and its moons.
  • 1980 July 21: Draft registration began in the U.S. for 19- and 20-year-old men.
  • 1980 Aug 31: Beginning of Poland's Solidarity (Solidarnosc) labor union movement at the conclusion of a 17-day strike at the Gdansk Shipyards.
  • 1980 Nov 8: Space scientists at J.P.L. in Pasadena announced that N.A.S.A. probe Voyager 1 had discovered a fifteenth moon orbiting the planet Saturn.
  • 1980 Nov 20: NASA's Voyager 1 space probe flew past Saturn, sending back photographs of the planet and its rings & moons.
  • 1980 Dec 8: Musician John Lennon was shot to death by a deranged fan outside the Dakota Apartments building in New York City.




The  Reagan  Era

  • 1981-82: An economic recession in the U.S that lasted 16 months, precipitated by the 1979 energy crisis and mistakenly tight monetary policy (attempting to control inflation).
  • 1981 Jan 20: Ronald Wilson Reagan sworn in as the 40th President of the United States; he served two terms.
  • 1981 April 12-14: The first N.A.S.A. space shuttle flight; space shuttle Columbia launched from Cape Canaveral and orbited the earth for two days, piloted by John W. Young & Robert L. Crippen.
  • 1981 June 5: First medical report of what became known as A.I.D.S.; first described as a form of pneumonia from weakened immune systems in five homosexual men in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1981 June 12: Premiere of Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of The Lost Ark" starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.
  • 1981 Aug 1-2: Debut of 24-hour rock music video channel Music Television, now M.T.V. Networks.
  • 1981 Aug 3: U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite threat of termination by President Reagan.
  • 1981 Aug 5: The federal government began firing air traffic controllers who went out on strike two days previous.
  • 1981 Aug 12: I.B.M. introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York City.
  • 1981 Aug 13: The Kemp-Roth Tax Cut was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan at his ranch in California.
  • 1981 Aug 25: NASA's Voyager 2 space probe flew past Saturn, sending back photographs of the planet and its moons.
  • 1981 Sept 25: Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first female Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court; she served until stepping down in January 2006.

  • 1982 Jan 8: Communications giant AT&T (American Telephone & Telegraph) settled the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit by agreeing to divest itself of its 22 'Baby Bell' subsidiaries.
  • 1982 May 1: Opening of the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • 1982 June 14: Argentine forces surrendered to British troops on the disputed Falkland Islands off the southern tip of South America.
  • 1982 June 30: The unratified Equal Rights Amendment expired.
  • 1982 July: Collapse of the Penn Square Bank in Oklahoma City, the first of 139 Oklahoma banks that failed at the end of the Oil Boom Bubble in the 1980s.
  • 1982 July 29: Britain's Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England; they had two sons and were divorced in 1996.
  • 1982 Aug 6: Jamaica became an independent dominion within Britain's Commonwealth of Nations.
  • 1982 Aug 17: Production of the first commercial compact disks, an album by the group ABBA, at the Philips factory near Hanover, West Germany.
  • 1982 Sept 19: Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman suggested punctuating humorously-intended computer messages with a colon-hyphen-parenthesis symbol – i.e. :-) – creating the first 'emoticon' for use on the internet. { HL's 1996 smiley/emoticon list }
  • 1982 Sept 21: National Football League players began their 57-day strike against management.
  • 1982 Sept 29: The first victim died from cyanide-laced Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules in Chicago, Illinois; seven people died, eight poisoned bottles were discovered, and a $100 million worth of pills were recalled. (Since this incident, virtually all food or drug packaging is designed with 'tamper proof' elements.)
  • 1982 Oct 1: Congress passed the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act, which deregulated the savings & loan industry (cause of the Savings & Loan Crisis of the 1980s & 1990s); signed into law by President Reagan on 15 October.
  • 1982 Oct 1: Sony Japan launched sales of the first compact disk player, the CDP-101.
  • 1982 Oct 12: The Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed above 1,000 again, the first time since the low of 577 in December 1974 (94 months).
  • 1982 Sept 19: Creation of the first 'emoticon' by Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlmann, using punctuation symbols for a horizontal 'smiley face', i.e. :-) .
  • 1982 Sept 21: National Football League players began a 57-day strike against management.
  • 1982 Nov 10: The VietNam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC was opened to visitors.

  • 1983 Jan 1: Birth of the internet, when ARPANET switched to the TCP/IP protocol.
  • 1983 April 4: Maiden voyage of the space shuttle Challenger from Cape Canaveral.
  • 1983 April 9: The space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission, safely landing at Edwards A.F.B. in California.
  • 1983 May 25: Release of the third 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi".
  • 1983 June 18: Astronaut Sally Ride became America's first woman in space, aboard the space shuttle Challenger (with four other male astronauts), returning to Earth safely on June 24th.
  • 1983 June 24: N.A.S.A. space shuttle Challenger, with 5 astronauts aboard, returned safely to Edwards A.F.B.
  • 1983 Aug 18: Hurricane Alicia slammed into the Texas coast, leaving 21 dead and causing over a billion dollars in damage.
  • 1983 Oct 25: U.S.-led military forces invaded the island nation of Grenada on the order of President Reagan 'to protect U.S. citizens there'; the more likely reason is removal of the Cuba-backed Marxist revolutionaries who had executed a bloody military coup the week before.
  • 1983 Nov 2: President Reagan signed the bill establishing the third Monday in January as a federal holiday in honor of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • 1984 Jan 22: Launch of Apple's Mac personal computer with the extravagent Super Bowl XVIII third-quarter commercial (shown only once on national television, but screened among the trailers in movie theaters in January & February).
  • 1984 Feb 7: N.A.S.A. astronauts Bruce McCandless II & Robert L. Stewart went on the first untethered space walk, from space shuttle Challenger, which lasted almost six hours.
  • 1984 March: I.B.M. launched the PC Junior computer – $700 for the 64KB RAM model or $1300 for the 128KB RAM model with a 5¼-inch floppy drive.
  • 1984 May 23: U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report stating that there was 'very solid evidence' linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in non-smokers.
  • 1984 July: President Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month.
  • 1984 Oct 31: India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi by two Sikh security guards.
  • 1984 Dec 19: The Cottonwood/Wilberg Mine in Southern Utah exploded in a ball of flames during the owners' attempt at a one-day production record; the cause was traced to two defective safety devices on an air compressor; Energy West Mining Company rejected blame for the deaths of 27 miners.

  • 1985 Jan 24: The space shuttle Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral on its first mission, which was very secret and all military.
  • 1985 June 4-6: The Chinese Army slaughtered thousands of peaceful protesters who had occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing; details have been covered up for almost 30 years, and the Chinese government refuses to acknowledge the event as having taken place.
    "The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited" [] by Louisa Lim
    Oxford University Press, $24.95 hardcover, 9780199347704
  • 1985 June 5: In Tiananmen Square, Beijing, Mainland China, an unknown Chinese citizen standing in front of Red Army tanks was photographed by A.P. photographer Jeff Widener (and-or journalist John Keenan from the sixth floor of his hotel room window). {see photo in new window}
  • 1985 June 27: Federal officials decertified U.S. Route 66.
  • 1985 July 29: The space shuttle Challenger began an 8-day mission in space, achieving safe orbit even though one of the main booster engines shut down prematurely during takeoff.
  • 1985 Sept 19: Mexico City was struck by a devastating 8.0 magnitude earthquake that killed an estimated 9,500 people; at least 250,000 people lost their homes.
  • 1985 Nov 20: Official release of Microsoft, Inc.'s new operating system for personal computers, called Windows 1.0.

  • 1986 Jan 20: First (partial) observance of the U.S. national holiday honoring Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-68].
  • 1986 Jan 24: NASA's Voyager 2 space probe flew past Uranus, sending back photographs of the planet and its moons.
  • 1986 Jan 28: The space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral in Florida, killing the seven crew members.
  • 1986 March 20: The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index closed above 1800 for the first time, at $1,804.24.
  • 1986 April 26: Chernobyl Nuclear Generator meltdown in Russia.
  • 1986 June 9: The Rogers Commission Report criticized N.A.S.A. and Morton Thiokol for manage-ment problems leading to the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger during launch in January.
  • 1986 July 13: After renovation, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor was relighted in a gala ceremony presided over by President Reagan.
  • 1986 Sept 8: Debut of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" which ran for 25 years.
  • 1986 Oct 23: Tax Reform Act of 1986 signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
  • 1986 Nov: Wall Street arbitrageur Ivan Boesky pled guilty to securities fraud; he also revealed details of insider trading deals with financier Michael Milken and others, which led to an S.E.C. probe of Wall Street investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert. Boesky served two years at Lompoc Federal Prison; Milken served 22 months at Pleasanton, California; both were banned for life from working in the securities industry.
  • 1986 Nov 3: First glimmer of the Iran-Contra Affair as pro-Syrian Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa broke the news story of recent U.S. arms sales to Iran.
  • 1986 Nov 25: The Iran-Contra scandal erupted as President Reagan & Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret (illegal) arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan anti-government rebels.
  • 1986 Dec 14: The experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager, took off from Edwards A.F.B. in California's desert on the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world.
  • 1986 Dec 23: Voyager completed the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world by returning to Edwards A.F.B.

  • 1987 Jan 8: Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 2000 for the first time.
  • 1987 Jan 9: The White House released a memorandum dated January 1986 from Col. Oliver North to President Ronald Reagan showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
  • 1987 Feb 26: The Presidential 'Tower Commission' Special Review Board delivered its report on the Iran-Contra scandal to President Reagan.
  • 1987 March: Women's History Month enacted by Congress.
  • 1987 June 2: President Reagan announced his nomination of Alan Greenspan to succeed Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve; Greenspan served for 18 years.
  • 1987 June 19: The U.S. Supreme Court decided in Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 to stike down a Louisiana law that required any public school teaching evolution to also teach 'creation science'.
  • 1987 July 1: President Reagan nominated Judge Robert H. Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court; the Senate rejected Bork's nomination in October.
  • 1987 Aug 3: Ending of the Iran-Contra congressional hearings, which found no evidence that President Reagan was directly involved in the diversion of arms-sales profits to Nicaraguan rebels.
  • 1987 Aug 4: The Federal Communications Commission abolished the Fairness Doctrine that required media to provide balanced {equal time) coverage of controversial issues over public airwaves.
  • 1987 Sept 21: National Football League players began a 24-day strike against management, mostly over the issue of free agency.
  • 1987 Oct 19: 'Black Monday', the #2 worst one-day Dow-Jones Industrial Average decline of 22.6%, a loss of 508 points to 1,738.74.
  • 1987 Oct 23: The U.S. Senate rejected the nomination of Robert H. Bork to the Supreme Court; the vote was 58 to 42 against.
  • 1987 Oct 24: The Teamsters Union was readmitted to the A.F.L.-C.I.O., 30 years after expulsion for corruption.
  • 1987 Oct 26: #9 worst one-day Dow-Jones Industrial Average decline of 8.04%.
  • 1987 Nov 18: Final report of the U.S. Congress independent committee on the Iran-Contra scandal stated that President Reagan bore 'ultimate responsibility' for wrongdoing by his aides.

  • 1988 March 7: Beginning of the W.G.A. writers strike, which lasted 5 months.
  • 1988 June 23: Testimony by N.A.S.A. scientist James Hansen to the U.S. Senate included first use of the term 'global warming'.
  • 1988 Aug 1: Neo-conservative bloviator Limp Rushbaugh began broadcasting right-wing bilge on his nationally-syndicated radio program.
  • 1988 Aug 7: End of the 5-month-long W.G.A. writers strike.
  • 1988 Aug 10: President Reagan signed a measure providing $20,000 payments to Americans who were sent to internment camps during World War II.
  • 1988 Nov 8: Republican incumbent Vice President George H.W. Bush defeated Democratic Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis for the office of U.S. President.
  • 1988 Dec 21: A terrorist bomb exploded aboard Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland killing all 259 aboard the plane and eleven on the ground.

  • 1989: Atari launched the Portfolio, the first portable PC, selling for $400.
  • 1989 Jan 20: Reagan's vice president, George H.W. Bush, was sworn in as President #41, serving only one term.
  • 1989 March 24: America's worst [to-date] oil spill as the supertanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Alaska's Prince Edward Sound, leaking 11 million gallons of crude oil.
  • 1989 June 4: Chinese army troops stormed Beijing's Tiananmen Square to crush student-led pro-democracy demonstrations, killing unknown thousands. {View famous 'man and tanks' photo by journalist John Keenan from that day: in new window.}
  • 1989 June 6: A joint F.B.I.-E.P.A. raid at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility near Denver, Colorado found evidence of criminal violations of environmental law; the plant was closed and management personnel later pled guilty.
  • 1989 Aug 22: Black Panthers co-founder Huey P. Newton was shot to death in Oakland, California.
  • 1989 Aug 25: NASA's Voyager 2 space probe flew past Neptune, sending back photographs of the planet and its moons.
  • 1989 Sept 21: Hurricane Hugo crashed into Charleston, South Carolina with winds up to 135 mph, causing at least 26 deaths.
  • 1989 Oct 17: The Loma Prieta Earthquake struck south of San Francisco in California; the 5pm quake was measured at 6.9 on the Richter Scale and killed 63 people, injured 3,757, and left at least 3,000 people homeless.
  • 1989 Nov 9: East Germany opened its borders to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.
  • 1989 Dec 15: Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega called himself 'the leader of Panama' and declared a state of war with the United States.
  • 1989 Dec 20: U.S. sent troops into Panama under Operation Just Cause to topple the government of military dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega.
  • 1989 Dec 25: Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed following a popular uprising.

  • 1990 Jan 3: Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. troops and was immediately extradited to the United States (based on two-year-old indictments for drug trafficking).
  • 1990 Jan 10: Warner Communications merged with Time, Inc. to form media conglomerate TimeWarner, Inc. (TIME, Inc. was spun off in June 2014.)
  • 1990 Jan 13: L. Douglas Wilder was sworn in as Governor of Virginia, becoming the nation's first elected Afro-American governor.
  • 1990 Feb: The internet was designated as operational (and ARPAnet hardware removed).
  • 1990 April 24: Space shuttle Discovery launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying the $1.5B Hubble Space Telescope.
  • 1990 April 25: The Hubble Space Telescope was deployed into low Earth orbit.
  • 1990 Aug 2: Iraq invaded Kuwait, the start of the Persian Gulf War.
  • 1990 Sept 26: The Motion Picture Assn. of America announced replacement of its X Rating with the new NC-17 rating.
  • 1990 Oct: Official publication of the Second Edition of Encyclopædia Britannica's "The Great Books of The Western World", edited by Mortimer J. Adler [1902-2001].
  • 1990 Oct 3: Germany declared the end of 45 years of postwar division, officially reunifying West and East Germany as the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 1990 Oct 17: Launch of the Internet Movie Database with release of Unix shell scripts to search files posted on Usenet.
  • 1990 Nov 12: Formal ceremonies to enthrone Akihito Heisei as 125th Emperor of Japan.
  • 1990 Dec 21: Buchwald v. Paramount decision in California, after which all script submissions are strictly restricted to those vetted by Hollywood insiders.
  • 1990 Dec 25: Birth of the World Wide Web as computer scientists Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau created the world's first hyperlinked webpage at C.E.R.N. in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • 1991 Jan 16-17: Persian Gulf War 'Operation Desert Storm' began with air strikes, to drive invading Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
  • 1991 Jan: Persian Gulf War Oil Spill deemed 'third-largest ever' at six million barrels.
  • 1991 Feb 27: The Persian Gulf War ended with the liberation of Kuwait.
  • 1991 March 3: Following a high-speed chase, Afro-American taxi-driver Rodney King was beaten by four white officers of L.A.P.D. while 21 other police watched; a bystander videotaped the beating.
  • 1991 March 3: Iraq agreed to terms of cease-fire.
  • 1991 April 11: Official cease-fire of the Persian Gulf War, aka 'Operation Desert Storm'; the official death toll was 190 Coalition troops killed in combat, 44 by friendly fire, and 145 in accidents; 776 Coalition troops were wounded in combat, including 458 Americans.
  • 1991 April 17: The Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed above 3,000 for the first time ever, ending the day at $3,004.46.
  • 1991 July 31: President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the S.T.A.R.T. I Treaty {Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty} in Moscow, Russia.
  • 1991 Aug: The Senate Ethics Committee released the report of its investigation into the involvement of five U.S. Senators in the collapse of Lincoln Savings; the Senators became known as the 'Keating Five': Alan Cranston [D-CA], Dennis DeConcini [D-AZ], John Glenn [D-OH], John McCain [R-AZ], and Donald W. Riegle, Jr. [D-MI].
  • 1991 Aug 6: First webpage on the World Wide Web was placed online by physicist Tim Berners-Lee at C.E.R.N. in Switzerland.
  • 1991 Aug 19: Soviet hard-liners announced that President Gorbachev was removed from power; the coup attempt collapsed two days later.
  • 1991 Aug 21: A popular uprising led by Soviet Chairman Boris N. Yeltsin ended the coup by hardliners.
  • 1991 Sept 6: The Soviet Union recognized the independence of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
  • 1991 Sept 6: The Russian city of Leningrad restored its former name of Petrograd (St. Petersburg).
  • 1991 Sept 14: The government of South Africa signed a national peace pact with the African National Congress Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party.
  • 1991 Oct: Televised hearings of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee that included testimony by attorney Anita Hill about sexual harassment by Judge Clarence Thomas, George H.W. Bush's nominee for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Hill passed lie detector tests, which Thomas refused to take. Thomas was confirmed by the full Senate anyway, in a 52-48 vote.
  • 1991 Oct 16: Unemployed merchant seaman George Hennard drove his pickup truck thru the front window of a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas and then shot 23 people to death and wounded 20 others before shooting himself in the head. The Luby's Massacre held the record as deadliest shooting rampage in American history for only 16 years, superceded by the Virginia Tech Massacre {32 dead} in 2007.
  • 1991 Nov 4: Former President Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, California.
  • 1991 Dec 4: Bankrupt Pan American World Airways ceased operations (most assets were taken over by Delta Air Lines).
  • 1991 Dec 8: Leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords which declared the Soviet Union effectively dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • 1991 Dec 21: Eleven of the fifteen Soviet republics proclaimed the Commonwealth of Independent States to replace the defunct U.S.S.R.; Georgia joined joined later; Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania chose not to join.
  • 1991 Dec 24: The Russian Federation took the Soviet Union's seat at the United Nations.
  • 1991 Dec 25: Mikhail Gorbachev went on Russian television and resigned as President of the Soviet Union, which was already technically dissolved.

  • 1992 April 29: Violence erupted in South Central Los Angeles when a jury in Simi Valley acquitted four white L.A.P.D. officers for the videotaped March 1991 beating of taxi-driver Rodney King. Rioting lasted three days; 55 people died.
  • 1992 May 16: The space shuttle Endeavour completed its maiden voyage, landing safely at Edwards A.F.B. in California.
  • 1992 May 19: 27th Amendment, prohibiting mid-term Congressional pay raises, went into effect.
  • 1992 June 24: U.S. Supreme Court decision Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 strengthened the 30-year-old ban on officially-sponsored worship in public schools, specifically as part of graduation ceremonies.
  • 1992 June 29: U.S. Supreme Court decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey reaffirmed the central holding of Roe v. Wade.
  • 1992 Aug 11: Opening of the gigantic Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
  • 1992 Aug 12: Joint announcement in Washington, DC by the U.S. & Canada & Mexico of the final North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • 1992 Aug 21: First day of the 11-day siege by federal agents at the cabin of white supremacist Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Idaho; Weaver's wife and son were killed by federal snipers, others were wounded; Weaver surrendered August 31.
  • 1992 Aug 24: Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida, causing $30 billion in damage and 43 deaths.
  • 1992 Oct 7: Representatives of the United States, Canada, and Mexico initialed the N.A.F.T.A. (North American Free Trade) Agreement in San Antonio, Texas.
  • 1992 Dec 3: The first commercial text message was sent over the Vodafone G.S.M. network in the United Kingdom; the message 'Merry Christmas' was sent by engineer Neil Papworth to the mobile phone of Vodaphone executive Richard Jarvis.
  • 1992 Dec 17: The North American Free Trade Agreement {N.A.F.T.A.} was signed by U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari at a meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
  • 1992 Dec 24: Outgoing President George H.W. Bush pardoned Casper Weinberger and five others convicted of criminal activity during the events known as Iran-Contra.




The  Clinton  Era

         "[Bill Clinton] was the first Democrat to be re-elected since Franklin D. Roosevelt and, during his eight years in office, the nation enjoyed the greatest peace and prosperity in its history. Unemployment fell to the lowest rate in modern times, while inflation declined to a 30-year low and welfare rolls shrank. Crime fell to levels unmatched in half a century and home ownership increased to historic highs. Clinton submitted the first balanced federal budget in decades and banked a staggering surplus. He failed to reform healthcare but elevated environmental protection to unmatched levels."
         — Tim Rutten,
in the Los Angeles Times on 23 June 2004

  • 1993 Jan 1: Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • 1993 Jan 3: President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the S.T.A.R.T. II Treaty {Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty} in Moscow, Russia.
  • 1993 Jan 15: A ceremony in Paris, France concluded with 125 nations signing a treaty banning chemical weapons.
  • 1993 Jan 18: First full national observance of the U.S. holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-68].
  • 1993 Jan 20: William Jefferson Clinton was sworn in as President #42, serving two terms.
  • 1993 Feb 26: First attempt by Islamic terrorists to destroy the World Trade Center in New York City, using a van full of explosives in the parking garage; 6 people killed, more than 1,000 injured.
  • 1993 Feb 28: Beginning of the Branch Davidian confrontation outside Waco, Texas – a gun battle erupted, killing four A.T.F. agents and six cult members; the standoff lasted 51 days before the Davidians' compound burned to the ground.
  • 1993 April 19: Tragic end of 51-day U.S. government siege of the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, Texas.
  • 1993 July 8: Idaho white supremacist Randy Weaver was acquitted of nine charges relating to the federal siege at Ruby Ridge in August 1992; the jury (mistakenly) convicted him of failure to appear for a trial date; Weaver's house guest Kevin Harris was acquitted of all charges.
  • 1993 Aug 10: Ruth Bader Ginsberg was sworn in as the second female Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 1993 Nov 30: President Clinton signed the Brady Gun Control Bill into law.

  • 1994: The U.S. government-funded internet had 15 million users and was growing by another million each month.
  • 1994 Jan 1: The North American Free Trade Agreement {N.A.F.T.A.} went into effect.
  • 1994 Jan 17: Southern California's Northridge Earthquake, 6.7 magnitude; 72 people died.
  • 1994 May 6: England's Queen Elizabeth II and France's President François Mitterand opened the 50.5 km (31.4 mile) Channel Tunnel (the 'Chunnel') between their countries.
  • 1994 July 6: Launch of Amazon, Inc. electronic commerce website by netrepreneur Jeff Bezos in Seattle, Washington.
  • 1994 Sept 27: Newt Gingrich launched the Republican 'Contract With America' at a photo-op on the U.S. Capitol steps; the program later devolved into the 'Contract On America'.
  • 1994 Oct 12: Founding of DreamWorks SKG by studio moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg & David Geffen.
  • 1994 Nov 8: Midterm Congressional elections gave control of the Senate to the Republican Party, while they also gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.

  • 1995 Jan 22: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother of J.F.K., died at age 104.
  • 1995 April 19: Bombing in Oklahoma City killed 168 people; Timothy McVeigh was later convicted and executed for the crime.
  • 1995 July 1: Future behemoth internet bookseller Amazon, Inc. went live.
  • 1995 Sept 1: Ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 1995 Oct 3: The jury in the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles found him not guilty.
  • 1995 Oct 4: Hurricane Opal battered the Florida Panhandle.
  • 1995 Nov 4: Assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after a peace rally in Tel Aviv by a right-wing Orthodox Jew.
  • 1995 Nov 21: The Dow Jones Industrial Average index's first closing above 5,000.
  • 1996 March 25: Beginning of an 81-day standoff by anti-government group Montana Freemen at a ranch near Jordan, Montana.
  • 1996 June 14: The anti-government group Montana Freemen surrendered to the F.B.I.; the leaders were put on trial and sent to prison.
  • 1996 Sept 7: Rap artist Tupac Shakur was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip; he died six days later.
  • 1996 Oct 17: Launch of the Fox News Channel.
  • 1996 Nov 5: Voters in California approved Proposition 215, allowing cultivation and possession of marijuana for medical use under controlled conditions.
  • 1997 Aug 14: Unrepentent Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death for the bombing in Oklahoma City.
  • 1997 Aug 30: News outlets in America reported Britain's Princess Diana's death in an auto crash in Paris, France (due to the time zone difference, the crash occurred on August 31).
  • 1997 Oct 15: Launch of NASA's plutonium-powered Cassini-Huygens spacecraft toward the planet Saturn, which is still gathering data in 2012.
  • 1997 Nov 24: The 'End Game' memo from Larry Summers to his boss Timothy Geithner confirming the Wall Street plan to deregulate banks and allow speculation in real estate derivatives (memo revealed to public by journalist Greg Palast in August 2013).

  • 1998 Jan 10: Creation of the principles of the Working Minds philosophy by intuitive philosopher G.E. Nordell.
  • 1998 April 3: The Dow Jones Industrial Average index's first close above 9,000.
  • 1998 June 7: Three white men chained Afro-American James Boyd, Jr. to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him around Jasper, Texas until he was dead.
  • 1998 Aug 4: Dow's then-third-biggest one-day loss of 299.43 points.
  • 1998 Aug 7: Terrorists of al-Qaeda blew up U.S. embassies in Kenya & Tanzania; the coordinated attacks killed 212 people (including of 12 Americans) & injured roughly 400 in Nairobi, and killed 11 and wounded 85 in Dar es Salaam.
  • 1998 Aug 31: Dow fell 512.61 and closed at $7,539.07, a loss of 19.2% since the July high.
  • 1998 Sept 4: Launch of the Google search engine by Larry Page & Sergey Brin in Menlo Park, California.
  • 1998 Sept 23: All other options gone, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York bailed out the collapsed hedge fund Long Term Capital Management [est. 1993] to the sum of $3.625 billion, and Wall Street absorbed 90 percent of L.T.C.M.'s resources.
  • 1998 Oct 29: U.S. Senator John Glenn, age 77, returned to space aboard Shuttle Discovery, 36 years after his historic first orbital trip.
  • 1998 Dec 19: President Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice.

  • 1999 Jan: Launch of the first BlackBerry smartphone device, which included the functions of a cellular telephone, a P.D.A. ('personal digital assistant'), and a portable media player; a much-improved second model was launched in 2003.
  • 1999 Feb 12: The U.S. Senate voted to acquit President Clinton of perjury & obstruction of justice.
  • 1999 March 29: The Dow Jones Industrial Average index's first close above ten thousand at $10,006.78.
  • 1999 April 20: Massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado; two teenage boys shot and killed 12 fellow students and 1 teacher before killing themselves.
  • 1999 May 3: Dow's first close above 11,000 at $11,014.
  • 1999 May 19: Release of the fourth 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace".
  • 1999 Nov 12: Sen. Phill Gramm [GOP-TX] successfully gutted the Glass-Steagall Banking Acts of 1933 with passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a major cause of the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2008.
  • 1999 Nov 25: Two American sport fisherman rescued five-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez off the coast near Miami, Florida; the child became the pawn in an international custody battle, and was returned to Cuba in June 2000.

  • 2000 March 10: The NASDAQ Composite rose above 5000 at $5,048.62, then the 'dot com bubble' burst, dropping 62% to the 1900s in March 2002.
  • 2000April 26: Vermont Gov. Howard Dean signed the nation's first law allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions.
  • 2000 June 14: Power service blackouts affected 97,000 customers in California during a heat wave in the San Francisco Bay area.
  • 2000 Sept 20: Independent Counsel Robert Ray announced the end of the Whitewater investigation, stating that there was insufficient evidence to warrant any charges against Bill & Hillary Clinton.
  • 2000 Oct 11: The Martin County Sludge Spill occured when a massive coal sludge impoundment owned by Massey Energy crashed into an abandoned mine below and exited thru the mine openings; the estimated 306 million gallons of toxic waste was 30 times the size of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The E.P.A. fined Massey a mere $5,600 in 2002, and M.S.H.A. fined Massey $20 million (for thousands of violations over time) in 2008.
  • 2000 Oct 12: Two terrorist members of al-Qaeda in a small boat full of explosives rammed the destroyer U.S.S. Cole off the coast of Yemen, killing 17 American sailors & injuring 39.
  • 2000 Nov 9: Enactment of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, which established the U.S. National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.
  • 2000 Dec 12: The U.S. Supreme Court handed the Presidency to George W. Bush by stopping further recounting of disputed ballots in Florida.
  • 2000 Dec 13: Democratic Party presidential candidate conceded the election to Republican George W. Bush.
  • 2000 Dec 14: Sen. Phil Gramm [GOP-TX] pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, deregulating all derivatives trading (a major cause of The Enron Scandal in 2001); signed into law by President Clinton on December 21. This also deregulated petroleum futures traders, the cause of rising gas prices ever since.
  • 1999 Dec 31: Turnover by U.S.A. to Panama of complete control of the Panama Canal.

Ancient Times - 3500 B.C.E to 1490

1491-1800    •    1801-1900    •    1901-1930    •    1931-1950    •    1951-1968

•   1969-2000 { top of this page }    •   next: 2001-2010    •    2011-2016    •    2017 to present


Visiting this webpage from outside the U.S.A.? It is possible to make purchases from these coded Amazon (USA) links
via other Amazon sites: just follow these instructions.

Online sales in association with  browse U.S. History category at Amazon

top of this page        back to Spirit of America Bookstore homepage