Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s - 1990s - 2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s 2040s
Years: 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 - 1991 - 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
This year, like 2002, is a palindrome. It also has the same calendar as 2002, including Easter on March 31.
- January 2 - Sharon Pratt Dixon[?] is sworn in as mayor of Washington, DC becoming the first black woman to lead a city of that size and importance.
- January 4 - The United Nations Security Council votes unanimously condemning Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
- January 12 - Gulf War: The United States Congress passes a resolution authorizing the use of military force to liberate Kuwait.
- January 16 - Gulf War: The air strikes against Iraq begin
- January 18 - Eastern Airlines shuts down after 62 years citing financial problems.
- January 11 - The Soviets storm Vilnius to stop Lithuanian independence.
- January 12 - Persian Gulf War: An act of the United States Congress authorizes the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait
- January 16 - Operation Desert Storm begins
- January 17 - Gulf War: Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel
- January 27 - Muhammad Siyad Barre[?] flees his compound in Mogadishu
- February 4 - The Baseball Hall of Fame votes to ban Pete Rose
- February 5 - A Michigan court bars Dr. Jack Kevorkian from assisting in suicides
- February 7 - Haiti's first democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is sworn in.
- February 9 - Voters in Lithuania vote for independence
- February 11 - UNPO, the Unrepresented Nations & People Organization forms in the Hague, Netherlands
- February 13 - Gulf War: Two laser-guided "smart bombs" destroy an underground bunker in Baghdad killing hundreds of Iraqis. Iraqi officials claim that the bunker was a bomb shelter but United States military intelligence identified it as a military facility.
- February 15 - The Visegard Agreement, establishing cooperation to move toward free-market systems, is signed by the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.
- February 16 - Gulf War: U.S. and U.K. war planes bomb the suburbs of Baghdad, injuring at least 11 civilians and killing three others.
- February 22 - Gulf War: Iraq accepts a Russian proposed cease fire agreement. The US rejected the agreement, but said that retreating Iraqi forces would not be attacked if they left Kuwait within 24 hours.
- February 23 - Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabia border and enter Kuwait, thus starting the ground-phase of the war.
- February 25 - Gulf War: An Iraqi Scud missile hits an American military barracks in Dhahran[?], Saudi Arabia killing 28 US Marines.
- February 26 - Gulf War: On Baghdad Radio Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Iraqi soldiers set fire to Kuwaiti oil fields as they retreat.
- February 26 - Tim Berners-Lee introduces the web browser
- February 27 - Gulf War: Kuwait is liberated, and a ceasefire is declared, after 100 hours of ground fighting. Iraq accepts the terms of the ceasefire, which call for the country to disarm.
- March 3 - An amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.
- March 9 - Massive demonstrations are held against Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade. Two people are killed and tanks are in the streets.
- March 10 - Gulf War: Operation Phase Echo[?] - 540,000 American troops begin to leave the Persian Gulf.
- March 11 - A curfew is imposed on black townships in South Africa after fighting between rival political gangs killed 49.
- March 13 - The United States Department of Justice annouces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
- March 14 - After 16 years in prison for allegedly bombing a pub in an Irish Republican Army attack, the "Birmingham Six[?]" are freed when a court determines that the police fabricated evidence.
- March 15 - Four Los Angeles, California police officers are indicted for the videotaped March 3, 1991 beating of motorist Rodney King during an arrest.
- March-April - Iraqi forces suppress rebellions in the southern and northern parts of the country, creating a humanitarian disaster on the borders of Turkey and Iran
- March 31 - The Warsaw Pact comes to an end.
- April 3 - Iraq disarmament crisis: The U.N. Security Council passes the Cease Fire Agreement, Resolution 687. The resolution called for the destruction, or removal of all of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons, all stocks of agents and components, all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities for ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150km and production facilities, and end its support for international terrorism. Iraq accepts the terms of the resolution on April 6.
- April 4 - Senator John Heinz[?] of Pennsylvania and six others are killed when a helicopter collided with their plane over Merion, Pennsylvania[?].
- April 18 - Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq declares some of its chemical weapons and materials to the UN, as required by Resolution 687, and claims that it does not have biological weapons program.
- May 15 - Edith Cresson[?] becomes France's first female premier
- May 16 - Queen Elizabeth II gives a speech to the US Congress.
- May 19 - Willy T. Ribbs[?] became the first African-American driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
- May 21 - In Madras, former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated by a terrorist bomb hidden in a bouquet of flowers.
- May 26 - In Thailand, a Lauda Air[?] Boeing 767 crashes near Bangkok killing all 223 people on-board.
- June 23-28 - Iraq disarmament crisis: U.N. inspection teams attempt to intercept Iraqi vehicles carrying nuclear related equipment. Iraqi soldiers fire warning shots in the air to prevent inspectors from approaching the vehicles.
- June 25 - Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia
- July 1 - The Warsaw Pact is officially dissolved.
- August 20 - Estonia declares its independence from the Soviet Union
- August 21 - Latvia declares its independence from the Soviet Union
- September 21-30 - Iraq disarmament crisis: IAEA inspectors discover files on Iraq's hiden nuclear weapons program. Iraqi officials confiscate documents from UN weapons inspectors, and refuse to allow them to leave the site without turning over other documents. A four-day standoff ensues. Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents after a statement from the UN Security Council threatens enforcement actions.
- October 11 - Iraq disarmament crisis: The U.N. Security Council passes Resolution 715, which demands that Iraq "accept unconditionally the inspectors and all other personnel designated by the Special Commission". Iraq rejects the resolution, calling it "unlawful".
- December 1 - Panama Canal comes completely under Panama's jurisidiction
- December 25 - Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union
- December 26 - Supreme Soviet meets and formally dissolves the USSR
- Linus Torvalds releases the Linux kernel
- Carbon nanotubes discovered by Sumio Iijima[?]
- In Los Angeles, Rodney King is severely beaten by policer officers after leading them in a high speed chace and resisting arrest. The beating was captured on video tape by observers, and portions of the tape is played repeatedly on US television.
- Suspected serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested. Dahmer is eventually sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms. (Dahmer would later be killed by a prison inmate two years into his sentence.)
- Exhumation of US President Zachary Taylor to discover whether or not his death was caused by arsenic poisoning, instead of acute gastrointestinal illness. No trace of arsenic is found.
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 17 - King Olav V[?] of Norway
- January 18 - Leo Hurwitz[?], documentary film producer
- January 29 - Yasushi Inoue[?], historian
- January 30 - John Bardeen, physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics twice
- January 30 - John McIntire[?], actor
- February 5 - Dean Jagger[?], actor
- February 6 - Danny Thomas[?], singer, comedia, actor
- February 11 - Oscar Nitzchke[?], German architect
- February 21 - Dame Margot Fonteyn[?], ballet dancer
- February 24 - George Gobel, comedian
- February 24 - John Daly[?], journalist, game show host
- March 2 - Serge Gainsbourg, singer
- March 3 - Arthur Murray, dancer, dance instructor
- March 14 - Doc Pomus, composer
- April 1 - Martha Graham[?], dancer, choreographer
- April 3 - Graham Greene, writer
- April 26 - Carmine Coppola[?], composer, conductor
- April 26 - William Andrew Paton[?], accountant and economist, dies at 101
- August 30 - Jean Tinguely, kinetic artist
- September 28 - Miles Davis, musician
- November 15 - Alger Hiss, former U.S. State Department official
- November 24 - Freddie Mercury, singer