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1989 1990 1991



  • California, Colorado and Oklahoma adopt term limits for their state legislatures.
  • Attorney General Campbell was the first woman to hold this executive office in Iowa.
  • Hubble Telescope Launched.
  • Nelson Mandela is freed from political prison in South Africa.
  • China's population is 1,143.33 million.



  • February: Israel supplies cluster bombs to brutal Ethiopian government of the Derg, which uses them in air strikes against Eritrean port city of Masawa. The city's streets are shredded. The Derg had already killed some 500,000 civilians. Masawa had been captured by Eritrean rebels who would later liberate their entire country.
  • February 11: A few days after newly-elected President F.W. DeKlerk declares himself in favor of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years.
  • February 12: Darwin Day


  • May 24: After bribing Ethiopian dictator Haile Mengustu Mariam with 335 million payment, Israel airlifts 15,000 Falashasa to Israel in 36 hours. Original asking price was $58 million.


  • August 2: Following a decade of assistance from the United States in the form of loans, chemicals, and military equipment in building up its military arsenal, Iraq invades Kuwait.
  • August 2: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein orders Iraqi Army to occupy Kuwait, claining it as a province of Iraq. Both Iraq and Kuwait are states created by British imperialism.
  • August 6: Civilian Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is dismissed by the Pakistani Army. President Ishaq Khan declares a state of emergency.
  • August 8: Citing importance of the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf to the United States, President George H.W. Bush announces decision to use military force to re-establish Kuwaiti royal family in control of its rentier state. If Baghdad controls Kuwait perhaps Saudi Arabia is next.


  • October 3: Unification of Germany.
  • October 10: U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus hears testimony from a "15 year old girl introduced as 'Nayriah' who claims that she was a volunteer nurse at a hospital in Kuwait and witnesed invading Iraqi soldiers take babies from incubators and throw them on the floor to die. U.S. president George W. Bush repeats the story in speechs and the number of victim incubator babies rises to 312. After the Gulf War it is discovered that Nayriah was the 20-something daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S. and the story was otherwise a total fabrication.


  • November 22: Margaret Thatcher resigns as British Prime Minister, pushed out by her own Conservative Party, and is succeeded by John Major.


  • December 1: Over 90% of voters in a referendum in Ukraine vote for national independence. That their oil needs are being met by Russia does not enter their calculation.
  • December 9: Leader of the Serbian Communist Party since 1986, Slobodan Milosevic, reinvented as a Serb nationalist, is reelected President of Serbia in Yugoslavia.
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