- California Desert Protection Act becomes law.
- Utah adopt term limits for its state legislature.
- Channel Tunnel Opens.
- Nelson Mandela is elected President of South Africa.
- South African officials investigate the Thor Chemicals chemical plant manufacurting facility at Cato Ridge and discover the company had acumulated 2,500 tons of mercury waste in a sludge pond and another 10,000 barrels of mercury wastes in three overflowing warehouses. After lengthy negotiations, Thor Chemicals agrees to pay $3 million toward the $9 million clean-up cost.
- China's population is 1,198.5 million.
- January 20: At the insistence of President Bill Clinton, Janet Reno appoints a special counsel, Robert Fiske to investigate the Whitewater affair.
- Februaru 3: U.S. ends embargo against Vietnam.
- February 12: Darwin Day
- February 21: CIA officer and Soviet mole Aldrich Ames is arrested.
- April 5: Kurt Cobain commits suicide.
- April 6: The plane carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu, is shot down. Immediately thereafter, the nation's Prime Minister and 10 Belgian soldiers are murdered by Hutu militias, and Western powers respond by withdrawing all but a small group of UN peacekeepers. Over the next 100 days, over 800,000 Rwandans are murdered, mostly ethnic Tutsis and those Hutus who refused to participate in the genocide.
- April 22: Former U.S. President Richard Nixon dies.
- April 26: Apartheid ends as democratic elections begin in South Africa. Nelson Mandela is elected President.
- May 20: Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies of cancer.
- June 9: Ron (Jerrold) Johnson dies mysteriously.
- June 24: Ronny Kasrils becomes South African Deputy Minister of Defense.
- August 5: The witch hunt begins in earnest, as Ken Starr is appointed Independent Counsel, replacing Robert Fiske, in the investigation of financial dealings involving Bill and Hillary Clinton. After five years and a cost to taxpayers of more than $50 million, the investigation ends with a failed attempt by a partisan Republican Congress to impeach and remove the President over a private consensual sexual affair.