Events of 1989

The Cold War ends

Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe begins to collapse.

The Keating Five S&L scandal
March 24:The Exxon Valdez oil spill

Tanker Exxon Valdez runs aground on a reef in the Gulf of Alaska, causing about 265,000 barrels of oil to spill into the waters. This is the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

April 15:95 fans crushed in British soccer stadium

Minutes after the soccer game begins, thousands of late-arriving fans pour into an already-packed stadium, killing 95 people and injuring almost 2,000.

June 3:Tiananmen Square uprising

Chinese troops and tanks crush pro-democracy demonstrations at Beijing's Tiananmen Square, with many civilian casualties.

June 21:Supreme Court rules in favor of flag burning

In the case of Texas v. Johnson, the Court rules 5-4 that burning the American flag as a form of protest is protected under the First Amendment

November 9:Fall of Berlin Wall

The East German government submitted to mass protests for more freedoms and opened its borders, allowing its people to visit the West. This marks the beginning of the end of Communism.

December 20:Panama invasion (1989-1990)

President Bush orders "Operation Just Cause", an invasion of Panama to bring its President, Manuel Noriega, to justice for drug trafficking.