|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s – 1980s – 1990s 2000s 2010s|
|Years:||1986 1987 1988 – 1989 – 1990 1991 1992|
|1989 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2742|
|British Regnal year||37 Eliz. 2 – 38 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar||戊辰年 (Earth Dragon)
4685 or 4625
— to —
己巳年 (Earth Snake)
4686 or 4626
|- Vikram Samvat||2045–2046|
|- Shaka Samvat||1911–1912|
|- Kali Yuga||5090–5091|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 64 / Heisei 1
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 78
|Thai solar calendar||2532|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1989.|
1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1989th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 989th year of the 2nd millennium, the 89th year of the 20th century, and the 10th and last year of the 1980s decade. It was a historical turning point for the wave of revolutions that swept the Eastern Bloc, starting in Poland that summer with the beginning of a move towards private enterprise, coming to a head with opening of the Berlin Wall in November, and ending in December 1991 with the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Collectively known as the Revolutions of 1989, they heralded the beginning of the post–Cold War period which is characterized by the dominance of the United States in world affairs and the unchallenged rise of globalization and Americanization.
It was the year of the first Brazilian presidential elections in 29 years, since the end of the military dictatorship in 1985 which commanded the country for more than twenty years, and marked the redemocratization process's final point. F. W. de Klerk was elected in South Africa, and his regime gradually dismantled the apartheid system over the next five years.
The early Internet, by then 20 years old, was rapidly evolving in 1989. The first commercial Internet service providers surfaced in this year. The World Wide Web was first conceived of in Switzerland by Tim Berners-Lee and was opened to the public for free use in 1993 after several years of development at CERN. The first unofficial text message was also sent in 1989.
1989 marked the beginning of the current Heisei period in Japan.
- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- 4 Nobel Prizes
- 5 In fiction
- 6 References
- January 2 – Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa takes office as the third President of Sri Lanka.
- January 4 – Gulf of Sidra incident (1989): Two Libyan MiG-23 "Floggers" are engaged and shot down by 2 US Navy F-14 Tomcats.
- January 7 – Hirohito (posthumous name: Emperor Shōwa) dies, and Akihito is enthroned as the Emperor of Japan immediately, followed by the change in the era name from Showa to Heisei on the following day.
- January 8 – Kegworth air disaster: A British Midland Boeing 737 crashes on approach to East Midlands Airport, leaving 47 dead.
- January 10 – In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 626 and the New York Accords, Cuban troops begin withdrawing from Angola.
- January 11
- President of the United States Ronald Reagan delivers his farewell address to the nation.
- January 15
- January 17 – Stockton massacre: Patrick Edward Purdy kills 5 children, wounds 30 and then shoots himself in Stockton, California.
- January 18
- January 20 – George H. W. Bush succeeds Ronald Reagan as the 41st President of the United States of America.
- January 23 – A powerful earthquake in the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic kills around 275 people.
- January 23–24 – Armed civilian leftists briefly attack and occupy an Argentine army base near Buenos Aires.
- January 24 – Serial killer Ted Bundy is executed in Florida's electric chair.
- January 29 – The British children's television show, Thomas & Friends, begins airing in the U.S. with the series premiere of Shining Time Station on PBS
- January 30 – Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney shuffles his cabinet, appointing 6 new ministers and reassigning the responsibilities of 19 others.
- February 1 – Joan Kirner becomes Victoria's first female Deputy Premier, after the resignation of Robert Fordham over the VEDC (Victorian Economic Development Co-operation) Crisis.
- February 2
- February 3
- February 6 – The government of the People's Republic of Poland holds formal talks with representatives of Solidarity movement for the first time since 1981.
- February 7
- February 10
- February 11 – Barbara Clementine Harris is consecrated as the first female bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (and also the first female bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion).
- February 14
- Union Carbide agrees to pay US$470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
- The Satanic Verses controversy: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of Iran (d. June 3), issues a fatwa calling for the death of Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie and his publishers for issuing the novel The Satanic Verses (1988).
- The first of 24 Global Positioning System satellites is placed into orbit.
- February 15
- February 16 – Pan Am Flight 103: Investigators announce that the cause of the crash was a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player.
- February 17
- February 20 – In Canada's Yukon Territory, the ruling New Democrats narrowly maintain control of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, winning 9 seats vs. the Progressive Conservative Party's 7.
- February 23 – After protracted testimony, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee rejects, 11–9, President Bush's nomination of John Tower for Secretary of Defense.
- February 23–27 – U.S. President Bush visits Japan, China, and South Korea, attending the funeral of Hirohito and then meeting with China's Deng Xiaoping and South Korea's Roh Tae-woo.
- February 24
- February 27 – Venezuela is rocked by the Caracazo, a wave of protests and looting.
- Poland begins to liberalize its currency exchange in a move towards capitalism.
- March 1
- The Berne Convention, an international treaty on copyrights, is ratified by the United States.
- A curfew is imposed in Kosovo, where protests continue over the alleged intimidation of the Serb minority.
- Louis Wade Sullivan and James D. Watkins start terms of office as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and U.S. Secretary of Energy respectively.
- The Politieke Partij Radicalen, Pacifistisch Socialistische Partij, Communistische Partij Nederland and the Evangelical People's Party amalgamate to form Netherlands political party GroenLinks (GL, GreenLeft).
- March 2 – Twelve European Community nations agree to ban the production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end of the century.
- March 3
- March 4
- March 7 – Iran breaks off diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom over Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses.
- March 9 – A strike forces financially troubled Eastern Air Lines into bankruptcy.
- March 13 – A geomagnetic storm causes the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid. Six million people are left without power for 9 hours. Some areas in the northeastern U.S. and in Sweden also lose power, and aurorae are seen as far as Texas.
- March 14
- March 15 – Israel hands over Taba to Egypt, ending a seven-year territorial dispute.
- March 16 – The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union approves agricultural reforms allowing farmers the right to lease state-owned farms for life.
- March 17
- March 20 – Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke weeps on national television as he admits marital infidelity.
- March 22
- March 23 – Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announce that they have achieved cold fusion at the University of Utah.
- March 23–28 – The Socialist Republic of Serbia passes constitutional changes revoking the autonomy of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo, triggering 6 days of rioting by the Albanian majority, during which at least 29 people are killed.
- March 24 – Exxon Valdez oil spill: In Alaska's Prince William Sound, the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels (38,000 m3) of oil after running aground.
- March 27 – The first contested elections for the Soviet parliament result in losses for the Communist Party.
- March 29 – The 61st Academy Awards are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, with Rain Man winning Best Picture.
- April 1
- Margaret Thatcher's new local government tax, the Poll tax, is introduced in Scotland.
- In South West Africa, fighting erupts between SWAPO guerillas and the South West African Police, on the day that a cease-fire was supposed to end the South African Border War according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 435. By April 6, nearly 300 people are killed.
- April 4
- April 5 – The Polish Government and the Solidarity labor union sign an agreement restoring Solidarity to legal status, and agreeing to hold democratic elections on June 1.
- April 6 – National Safety Council of Australia chief executive John Friedrich is arrested after defrauding investors to the tune of $235 million.
- April 7 – The Soviet submarine K-278 Komsomolets sinks in the Barents Sea, killing 41.
- April 9
- April 11 – Ron Hextall becomes the first goaltender in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs.
- April 14 – The U.S. government seizes the Irvine, California, Lincoln Savings and Loan Association; Charles Keating (for whom the Keating Five were named) eventually goes to jail, as part of the massive 1980s savings and loan crisis which costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $200 billion in bailouts, and many people their life savings.
- April 15
- April 17 – Poland, Solidarity is again legalized and allowed to participate in semi-free elections on June 4.
- April 19
- April 20 – NATO debates modernising short range missiles; although the U.S. and U.K. are in favour, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl obtains a concession deferring a decision.
- April 21
- April 23
- April 25
- Noboru Takeshita resigns as Prime Minister of Japan in the wake of a stock-trading scandal.
- The term of Baginda Almutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail as the 8th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia ends.
- Motorola introduces the Motorola MicroTAC Personal Cellular Telephone, then the world's smallest mobile phone.
- April 26
- Sultan Azlan Muhibbudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuff Izzudin Shah Ghafarullahu-lahu, Sultan of Perak, becomes the 9th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
- Zaid ibn Shaker succeeds Zaid al-Rifai as Prime Minister of Jordan.
- The Daulatpur–Saturia tornado, the deadliest tornado ever recorded, kills an estimated 1,300 people in the Dhaka Division of Bangladesh.
- April 27 – A major demonstration occurs in Beijing, as part of the Tiananmen Square protests.
- April 28 – Pope John Paul II begins a 9-day trip to Madagascar, Zambia, Malawi, and Réunion.
- The Soviet Union issues its first Visa card in a step to digitalize its banking system.
- May 1
- May 2
- May 3 - Cold War - Perestroika - The first McDonald's restaurant in the USSR begins construction in Moscow. It will open on 31 January 1990.
- May 6
- May 9 – Andrew Peacock deposes John Howard as Federal Opposition Leader of Australia.
- May 10 – The government of President of Panama Manuel Noriega declares void the result of the May 7 presidential election, which Noriega had lost to Guillermo Endara.
- May 11
- President Bush orders 1,900 U.S. troops to Panama to protect Americans there.
- The ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Legislative Assembly meets for the first time.
- May 14
- May 15 – Australia's first private tertiary institution, Bond University, opens on the Gold Coast.
- May 16 – Ethiopia Coup Attempt: Senior military officers stage a coup attempt in Ethiopia hours after President Mengistu Haile Mariam leaves on a visit to East Germany.
- May 17 – More than 1 million Chinese protestors march through Beijing demanding greater democracy.
- May 19
- May 20 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: The Chinese government declares martial law in Beijing.
- May 22 – The Nordland Days in Leningrad region (Leningrad Oblast) open.
- May 29
- Amid food riots and looting set off by inflation, the Government of Argentina declares a nationwide state of siege.
- Boris Yeltsin gains a seat on the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
- Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: The 10 m (33 ft) high Goddess of Democracy statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.
- NATO agrees to talks with the Soviet Union on reducing the number of short-range nuclear weapons in Europe.
- An attempted assassination of Miguel Maza Marquez, director of the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS) in Bogotá, Colombia is committed by members of the Medellín Cartel, who kill 4 and injure 37.
- May 31 – Six members of the guerrilla group Revolutionary Movement Tupac Amaru (MRTA) of Peru, shoot dead 8 transsexuals, in the city of Tarapoto.
- June 1–10 – Pope John Paul II visits Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden.
- June 2 – Sōsuke Uno succeeds Noboru Takeshita as Prime Minister of Japan.
- June 3
- June 4
- The Tiananmen Square massacre takes place in Beijing on the army's approach to the square, and the final stand-off in the square is covered live on television.
- Solidarity's victory in Polish elections is the first of many anti-communist revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989.
- Ufa train disaster: A natural gas explosion near Ufa, Russia kills 645 as 2 trains passing each other throw sparks near a leaky pipeline.
- June 5 – An unknown Chinese protestor, "Tank Man", stands in front of a column of military tanks on Chang'an Avenue in Beijing, temporarily halting them, an incident which achieves iconic status internationally through images taken by Western photographers.
- June 6 – The Ayatollah Khomeini's first funeral is aborted by officials after a large crowd storms the funeral procession, nearly destroying Khomeini's wooden coffin in order to get a last glimpse of his body. At one point, Khomeini's body almost falls to the ground, as the crowd attempt to grab pieces of the death shroud.
- June 7 – Surinam Airways Flight PY764 crashes in Paramaribo, Suriname; killing 176.
- June 12 – The Corcoran Gallery of Art removes Robert Mapplethorpe's gay photography exhibition.
- June 13 – The wreck of the German battleship Bismarck, which was sunk in 1941, is located 600 miles (970 km) west of Brest, France.
- June 15 – In the Irish general election, the Fianna Fáil party, led by Taoiseach Charles Haughey, fails to win a majority.
- June 16 – A crowd of 250,000 gathers at Heroes Square in Budapest for the historic reburial of Imre Nagy, the former Hungarian prime minister who had been executed in 1958.
- June 18 – In the first Greek legislative election of the year, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, led by Prime Minister of Greece Andreas Papandreou, loses control of the Hellenic Parliament, leading to Papandreou's resignation the next day.
- June 21 – British police arrest 250 people for celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge.
- June 22 – Ireland's first universities established since independence in 1922, Dublin City University and the University of Limerick, open.
- June 24 – Jiang Zemin becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.
- June 30 – A military coup led by Omar al-Bashir ousts the civilian government of Prime Minister of Sudan Sadiq al-Mahdi.
- July 2 – Andreas Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece resigns; a new government is formed under Tzannis Tzannetakis.
- July 5
- July 6 – The Tel Aviv–Jerusalem bus 405 suicide attack, the first Palestinian suicide attack on Israel, takes place.
- July 9 – Steffi Graf and Boris Becker of West Germany win singles titles at the 1989 Wimbledon Championships.
- July 9 –July 12 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush travels to Poland and Hungary, pushing for U.S. economic aid and investment.
- July 10 – Approximately 300,000 Siberian coal miners go on strike, demanding better living conditions and less bureaucracy; it is the largest Soviet labor strike since the 1920s.
- July 12 – In the Republic of Ireland, the Taoiseach Charles Haughey returns to power after Fianna Fáil forms a coalition with the Progressive Democrats.
- July 14 – France celebrates the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.
- July 14–16 – At the 15th G7 summit, leaders call for restrictions on gas emissions.
- July 17
- July 18 – Actress Rebecca Schaeffer is murdered by an obsessed fan, leading to stricter stalking laws in California.
- July 19
- July 20 – Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is placed under house arrest. She is released in 2010.
- July 21 – A total blockade of Armenia and NKAO by Azerbaijan begins.
- July 23
- July 26 – A federal grand jury indicts Cornell University student Robert Tappan Morris for releasing a computer virus, making him the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
- July 27 – In what was the largest prison sentence to date, Thai financial scammer Mae Chamoy Thipyaso and her accomplices are each sentenced to 141,078 years in prison.
- July 28 – In the Iranian presidential election, electors overwhelmingly elect Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as President of Iran and endorse changes to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, increasing the powers of the president.
- July 31
- In Lebanon, Hezbollah announces that it has hanged U.S. Marine Lt. Col. William R. Higgins in retaliation for Israel's July 28 kidnapping of Hezbollah leader Abdel Karim Obeid. The same day, the United Nations Security Council passes United Nations Security Council Resolution 638, condemning the taking of hostages by both sides in the conflict.
- Nintendo releases the Game Boy portable video game system in North America.
- August 2 – Pakistan is readmitted to the Commonwealth of Nations after leaving it in 1972.
- August 5 – Jaime Paz Zamora is elected President of Bolivia, taking office the next day.
- August 6 Sorcha Maguire born, now known as Jonno
- August 7
- U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland (D-TX) and 15 others die in a plane crash in Ethiopia.
- The presidents of five Central American countries agree that the U.S.-backed contras fighting the government of Nicaragua should be disbanded and evicted from their bases in Honduras by December 5.
- Federal Express purchases Flying Tiger Line for approximately 800 million U.S. dollars.
- August 8
- August 9
- August 13 – A hot air balloon accident near Alice Springs, Australia kills 13.
- August 14
- P. W. Botha resigns as President of South Africa.
- The Sega Genesis is released in North America.
- August 15 – F. W. de Klerk becomes the seventh and last State President of apartheid South Africa.
- August 16–August 17 – The Woodstock '89 Festival takes place.
- August 18 – Leading presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán is assassinated near Bogotá in Colombia.
- August 19
- August 19–21 – In response to the murder of a judge, a provincial police chief, and presidential candidate Galán, the authorities of Colombia arrest 11,000 suspected Colombian drug traffickers.
- August 20
- August 21 – The 21st anniversary of the crushing of the Prague Spring is commemorated by a demonstration in the city.
- August 23
- Two million indigenous people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, then still occupied by the Soviet Union, join hands to demand freedom and independence, forming an uninterrupted 600 km human chain called the Baltic Way.
- Hungary removes border restrictions with Austria.
- All of Australia's 1,645 domestic airline pilots resign over an airline's move to sack and sue them over a dispute.
- August 23 – Yusef Hawkins is shot in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York, sparking racial tensions between African Americans and Italian Americans.
- August 24
- Colombia's cocaine traffickers declare "total and absolute war" against the government and begin a series of bombings and arson attacks.
- Voyager 2 makes its closest approach to Neptune.
- Record-setting baseball player Pete Rose agrees to a lifetime ban from the sport following allegations of illegal gambling, thereby preventing his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Indonesia's first privately owned television station, Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia, (RCTI) begins broadcasting.
- Tadeusz Mazowiecki of Solidarity is elected Prime Minister of Poland.
- August 25 – Voyager 2 passes the planet Neptune and its moon Triton.
- August 31 – In the aftermath of the Chadian–Libyan conflict of 1978-87, representatives of Libya and Chad agree to let the International Court of Justice determine ownership of the Aouzou Strip, which had been occupied by Libya since 1973.
- September 6
- South African general election, 1989, the last held under apartheid, returns the National Party to power with a much-reduced majority.
- In the Dutch general election, the Christian Democratic Appeal, led by Ruud Lubbers wins 54 seats, and is ultimately able to form a government on November 7 after entering into coalition with the Labour Party.
- England holds Sweden to a 0–0 draw in Sweden, qualifying for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The game becomes famous after Terry Butcher sustains a deep cut to his forehead early in the game. He receives stitches but plays on the entire game. By the end of the game, the front of Butcher's white shirt and shorts are almost entirely covered in blood.
- September 7 – Representatives of the government of Ethiopia and Eritrean separatists meet in Atlanta, with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter attempting to broker a peace settlement.
- September 8 – Partnair Flight 394 flies past an F-16 Fighting Falcon on its way home, then the Convair 580 rolls upside down and falls in the North Sea.
- September 10 – The Hungarian government opens the country's western borders to refugees from the German Democratic Republic.
- September 10–11 – Norway's ruling Labour Party loses eight seats in the parliamentary elections, its worst showing since 1945.
- September 14 – An agreement of cooperation between Leningrad Oblast (Russia) and Nordland County (Norway) is signed in Leningrad, by chairmen Lev Kojkolainen and Sigbjørn Eriksen.
- September 17–22 – Hurricane Hugo devastates the Caribbean and the southeastern United States, causing at least 71 deaths and $8 billion in damage.
- September 19
- September 20 – F. W. de Klerk is sworn in as the seventh and last State President of apartheid South Africa.
- September 22 – 1989 Deal barracks bombing: An IRA bomb explodes at the Royal Marine School of Music in Deal, Kent, United Kingdom, leaving 11 dead and 22 injured.
- Doe v. University of Michigan: A Michigan court rules against the hate speech law at the University of Michigan, claiming it unconstitutional.
- September 23 – A cease-fire in the Lebanese Civil War stops the violence that had killed 900 people since March.
- September 26 – Vietnam announces that it has withdrawn the last of its troops from the State of Cambodia, ending an 11-year occupation.
- September 30
- Cold War - Perestroika – Nathan's Famous opens a hot dog stand in Moscow.
- October 1 – Civil union between partners in a same-sex relationship becomes legal in Denmark under a law enacted on June 7, the world's first such legislation.
- October 3
- October 5 – The Dalai Lama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
- October 6 – Bette Davis, First Lady of American Cinema, dies at 81.
- October 7 – The communist Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party votes to reorganize itself as a socialist party, to be named the Hungarian Socialist Party.
- October 9
- October 13
- Friday the 13th mini-crash: The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunges 190.58 points, or 6.91 percent, to close at 2,569.26, most likely after the junk bond market collapses.
- Gro Harlem Brundtland, leader of the Labour Party, resigns as Prime Minister of Norway. She is succeeded by Jan P. Syse, leader of the Conservative Party, on October 16.
- October 15 – Walter Sisulu is released from prison in South Africa.
- October 17 – The Loma Prieta earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, strikes the San Francisco–Oakland region of Northern California, killing 67 people and delaying the 1989 World Series for 10 days.
- October 18
- The Communist leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker, is forced to step down as leader of the country after a series of health problems, and is succeeded by Egon Krenz.
- The National Assembly of Hungary votes to restore multiparty democracy.
- NASA launches the unmanned Galileo orbiter on a mission to study the planet Jupiter.
- October 19
- October 21 – The Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations issue the Langkawi Declaration on the Environment, making environmental sustainability one of the Commonwealth's main priorities.
- October 23
- October 31
- First commercial dial-up Internet connection in North America is made, by The World STD.
- The first Walmart store in the Northeastern United States, a Sam's Club, is opened in Delran, New Jersey.
- November 1
- November 2 – North Dakota and South Dakota celebrate their 100th birthdays.
- November 3 – East German refugees arrive at the West German town of Hof after being allowed through Czechoslovakia.
- November 4 – Typhoon Gay devastates Thailand's Chumphon Province.
- November 6 – The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is founded.
- November 7
- Douglas Wilder wins the Virginia governor's race, becoming the first elected African American governor in the United States.
- David Dinkins becomes the first African American mayor of New York City.
- Cold War: The Communist government of East Germany resigns, although SED leader Egon Krenz remains head of state.
- November 9
- Cold War and Fall of the Berlin Wall: Günter Schabowski accidentally states in a live broadcast press conference that new rules for traveling from East Germany to West Germany will be put in effect "immediately". East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall, allowing its citizens to travel freely to West Germany for the first time in decades (November 17 celebrates Germans tearing the wall down).
- Yıldırım Akbulut of ANAP forms the new government of Turkey (47th government).
- November 10
- After 45 years of Communist rule in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Communist Party leader Todor Zhivkov is replaced by Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov, who changes the party's name to the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
- Gaby Kennard becomes the first Australian woman to fly solo around the world.
- CKO (a Canadian national all-news radio network) suddenly terminates all broadcasting during the newscast at noon (Eastern time), due to financial losses (the station began broadcasting on July 1, 1977).
- November 11 – Louie Espinoza is inaugurated as WBO World Featherweight Champion.
- November 12 – Brazil holds its first free presidential election since 1960. This marks the first time that all Ibero-American nations, excepting Cuba, have elected constitutional governments simultaneously.
- November 13 – Hans-Adam II becomes Prince of Liechtenstein on the death of his father, Prince Franz Joseph II.
- November 14 – Elections are held in Namibia, leading to a victory for the South West Africa People's Organisation.
- November 15
- Lech Wałęsa, leader of Poland's Solidarity movement, addresses a Joint session of the United States Congress.
- Brazil holds the first round of its first free election in 29 years; Fernando Collor de Mello and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva are qualified to the second round, which will be disputed the following month.
- November 16
- Six Jesuit priests—among them Ignacio Ellacuría, Segundo Montes, and Ignacio Martín-Baró—their housekeeper, and her teenage daughter, are murdered by U.S. trained Salvadoran soldiers (for more information see Murder of UCA scholars).
- The first American cosmetics shop, an Estée Lauder outlet, opens in Moscow.
- South African President F. W. de Klerk announces the scrapping of the Separate Amenities Act.
- UNESCO adopts the Seville Statement on Violence at the 25th session of its General Conference.
- November 17
- Cold War – Velvet Revolution: A peaceful student demonstration in Prague, Czechoslovakia, is severely beaten back by riot police. This sparks a revolution aimed at overthrowing the Communist government (it succeeds on December 29).
- The Little Mermaid; the first Disney animated movie of the Disney Renaissance is released in theaters.
- November 20 – Cold War – Velvet Revolution: The number of peaceful protesters assembled in Prague, Czechoslovakia, swells from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million.
- November 21 – The Members of the Constituent Assembly of Namibia begin to draft the Constitution of Namibia, which will be the constitution of the newly independent Namibia.
- November 22 – In West Beirut, a bomb explodes near the motorcade of Lebanese President René Moawad and kills him.
- November 24 – Following a week of demonstrations demanding free elections and other reforms, General Secretary Miloš Jakeš and other leaders of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia resign. Jakeš is replaced by Karel Urbánek.
- November 26 – Uruguayan general election, 1989: Luis Alberto Lacalle is elected President of Uruguay.
- November 28 – Cold War – Velvet Revolution: The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announces they will give up their monopoly on political power (elections held in December bring the first non-communist government to Czechoslovakia in more than 40 years).
- November 29 – Rajiv Gandhi resigns as Prime Minister of India after his party, the Indian National Congress, loses about half of its seats in the Indian general election.
- November 30 – Deutsche Bank board member Alfred Herrhausen is killed by a bomb (the Red Army Faction claims responsibility for the murder).
- December 1
- In a meeting with Pope John Paul II, President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev pledges greater religious freedom for citizens of the Soviet Union.
- Cold War: East Germany's parliament abolishes the constitutional provision granting the Communist-dominated SED its monopoly on power. Egon Krenz, the Politburo and the Central Committee resign 2 days later.
- A military coup attempt begins in the Philippines against the government of Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino. It is crushed by United States intervention ending by December 9.
- December 2
- The Solar Maximum Mission research satellite, launched in 1980, crashes back to earth.
- V. P. Singh takes office as Prime Minister of India.
- In the Republic of China legislative election, the Kuomintang suffers its worst election setback in 40 years in power, winning only 53% of the popular vote.
- The Second Malayan Emergency concludes with a peace agreement. The Malayan Communist Party disbands and Chin Peng remains in exile in Thailand until he dies in 2013.
- The last two Japanese World War II holdout troops surrender.
- December 3
- December 4 – Prime Minister of Jordan Zaid ibn Shaker resigns and is replaced by Mudar Badran.
- December 6
- The DAS Building bombing occurs in Bogotá, killing at least 100 people.
- Egon Krenz resigns as Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic, and is replaced by Manfred Gerlach, the first non-Communist to hold that post.
- École Polytechnique massacre (or Montreal Massacre): Marc Lépine, an anti-feminist gunman, murders 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.
- The last episode of the classic era of Doctor Who is broadcast.
- December 7
- December 9 – The East German Communist Party elects the reformist Gregor Gysi as party leader.
- December 10
- President of Czechoslovakia Gustáv Husák swears in a new cabinet with a non-Communist and then immediately resigns as president.
- Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announces the establishment of Mongolia's democratic movement, that peacefully changes the second oldest communist country into a democratic society.
- December 11 – The International Trans-Antarctica Expedition, a group of six explorers from six nations, reaches the South Pole.
- December 14 – Chile holds its first free election in 16 years, electing Patricio Aylwin as president.
- December 15 – Drug baron José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha is killed by Colombian police.
- December 17
- The Romanian Revolution begins in Timișoara when rioters break into the Committee Building and cause extensive vandalism. Their attempts to set the buildings on fire are foiled by military units.
- Brazil holds the second round of its first free election in 29 years; Fernando Collor de Mello wins.
- The first full-length episode of The Simpsons, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", is shown on Fox.
- December 19 – Workers in Romanian cities go on strike in protest against the communist regime.
- December 20 – Operation Just Cause is launched in an attempt to overthrow Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.
- December 21 – Nicolae Ceausescu addresses an assembly of some 110,000 people outside the Romanian Communist Party HQ in Bucharest. The crowd begin to protest against Ceausescu and he orders the army to attack the protesters.
- December 22
- After a week of bloody demonstrations, Ion Iliescu takes over as president of Romania, ending the communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceauşescu, who flees his palace in a helicopter to escape inevitable execution after the palace is invaded by rioters. The Romanian troops, who the day before had followed Ceausescu's orders to attack the demonstrators, change sides and join the uprising.
- Two tourist coaches collide on the Pacific highway north of Kempsey, Australia, killing 35.
- December 23 – Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu are captured in Târgoviște.
- December 25
- December 28 – A magnitude 5.6 earthquake hits Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, killing 13 people.
- December 29
- Václav Havel is elected president of Czechoslovakia.
- Riots break out after Hong Kong decides to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese refugees.
- Nikkei 225 for Tokyo Stock Exchange hits its all-time intra-day high of 38,957.44 and closing high at 38,915.87.
- Spümcø, the company that produced Ren and Stimpy, is incorporated in California.
- December 31 – Poland's president signs the Balcerowicz Plan, ending the state socialist system in Poland in favor of a capitalist system and Polish involvement in the Warsaw Pact.
- The first Al-Qaeda-related cell in the United States begins operation in New York City.
- Alan Bond's Bond Corporation goes into receivership with the largest debt in Australian history.
- Homosexual acts between consenting adults are decriminalized in Western Australia.
- Kamchatka opens to Russian civilian visitors.
- The Breguet Alizé propeller-driven anti-submarine planes are retired from active carrier service in the French Navy.
- The first national park in the Netherlands is established in Schiermonnikoog.
- Ebenezer Floppen Slopper's Wonderful Water slides in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois closes after an incident on one of the slides.
- Soviet submarine K-173 (Chelyabinsk) is commissioned.
- The wreck of the Lady Elgin is discovered off Highland Park, Illinois by Harry Zych.
- Richard C. Duncan introduces the Olduvai theory, about the collapse of industrial civilization.
- The NIOS board is established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India.
- The Museum of Jurassic Technology is founded in Culver City, California, by David and Diana Wilson.
- The last Golden Toad is seen; the species is now classified extinct.
- The Japan Fantasy Novel Award is established.
- The global concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere reaches 350 parts per million by volume.
- Walmart posts revenues and profits triple its 1986 figures and rivals Kmart and Sears in importance in the American market.
- N.W.A are the first gangsta rap group to sell a million copies of an album; their album Straight Outta Compton.
- January 1 – Edita Vilkevičiūtė, Lithuanian model
- January 2 – Kaitlin Howell, Canadian actress
- January 3
- January 4 – Sessilee Lopez, American model
- January 6
- January 7 – Emiliano Insúa, Argentine footballer
- January 9
- January 10 – Emily Meade, American film and television actress
- January 11
- January 12 – Arci Muñoz, Filipina actress & model
- January 14 – Frankie Sandford, British singer
- January 15
- January 19 – Yani Tseng, Taiwanese golfer
- January 20 – Nadia Di Cello, Argentine actress
- January 21
- January 22 – Jared Smith, American singer
- January 24 – Calvin Goldspink, British actor
- January 25
- January 26 – Emily Hughes, American figure skater
- January 27
- January 30
- February 3 – Ryne Sanborn, American actor
- February 4 – Larissa Ramos, Brazilian Miss Earth 2009 winner
- February 5
- February 7
- February 8 – Danielle Harmer, English actress
- February 9 – Wu Chia-ching, Taiwanese pool player
- February 11 – Elisa Izquierdo, American murder victim (d. 1995)
- February 13
- February 16 – Zivanna Letisha Siregar, Indonesian model
- February 17
- February 21
- February 23
- Chris Conte, American NFL player
- February 24
- February 25 – Lee Sang-hwa, South Korean speed skater
- February 26 – Anastassiya Bannova, Kazakh archer
- February 27
- February 28 – Zhang Liyin, Chinese singer
- March 1
- March 4 – Erin Heatherton, American fashion model
- March 5
- March 6 – Agnieszka Radwańska, Polish tennis player
- March 7 – Gerald Anderson, Filipino-American actor
- March 9 –Kim Tae-yeon, South Korean singer (Girls' Generation)
- March 11 – Daniella Kertesz, Israeli actress
- Anton Yelchin, Russian actor
- March 14 – Colby O'Donis, American singer
- March 15 – Caitlin Wachs, American actress
- March 16
- March 17 – Shinji Kagawa, Japanese football player
- March 18
- March 21
- March 22
- March 24 – Aziz Shavershian, Australian bodybuilder (d. 2011)
- March 25
- March 31 – Liu Zige, Chinese swimmer
- April 2 – Ankit Narang, Indian actor
- April 2 – Midhun Jith, Indian martial artist, Guinness World Records breaker & World Kickboxing Champion
- April 4 – Chris Herd, Australian footballer who currently plays for Premier League team Aston Villa
- April 8
- April 18
- April 22
- April 23
- April 25
- April 26 - Daesung, South Korean singer
- April 27
- April 28 - Kim Sung-kyu, South Korean singer and dancer, leader and main vocalist of Infinite (band)
- May 4
- May 5
- May 6
- May 7 – Arlenis Sosa, Dominican model
- May 10 – Lindsey Shaw, American actress*
- May 11
- May 12
- May 14
- May 15 – Sunny Lee, Korean-American singer (SNSD)
- May 16 – Behati Prinsloo, Namibian fashion model
- May 17 – Tessa Virtue, Canadian ice dancer
- May 18 – Shreevats Goswami, Indian cricketer
- May 23
- May 25
- May 27
- May 29
- May 30 – Park Hyomin, South Korean singer
- May 31
- June 8
- June 9 – Chloë Agnew, Irish singer
- June 10 – Alexandra Stan, Romanian singer
- June 12 – Krista Kleiner, Filipina-American beauty queen, singer, model, actress and martial artist
- June 13
- June 14 – Lucy Hale, American actress and singer
- June 17 – Simone Battle, American actress and singer (d. 2014)
- June 18 – Renee Olstead, American actress and singer
- June 20 – Christopher Mintz-Plasse, American actor
- June 22 – Jeffrey Earnhardt, American race car driver
- June 23 – Lauren Bennett, British singer, dancer, painter, photographer, and model
- June 27
- June 30 – Ginta Lapiņa, Latvian model
- July 1 – Mitch Hewer, British actor
- July 2 – Devin Tailes, American singer
- July 8
- July 11
- July 12 – Phoebe Tonkin, Australian actress
- July 13 – Sayumi Michishige, Japanese singer
- July 14
- July 15 – Tristan Wilds, American actor
- July 16
- July 18
- July 21
- July 22 – Keegan Allen, American actor
- July 23
- July 25 – Noel Callahan, Canadian actor
- July 27 – Charlotte Arnold, Canadian actress
- July 28 – Felipe Kitadai, Brazilian Olympic medalist judoka
- July 30 – Aleix Espargaró, Spanish Grand prix motorcycle racer
- July 31 – Victoria Azarenka, Belarusian tennis player
- August 1 – Tiffany Hwang, Korean-American singer (SNSD)
- August 5 – Nina Radojčić, Serbian singer
- August 8 – Sesil Karatantcheva, Bulgarian tennis player
- August 9 – Stefano Okaka, Italian footballer
- August 10
- August 14 – Kyle Turris, Canadian ice hockey player
- August 15
- August 19 – Romeo, American rapper and actor
- August 20 – Kirko Bangz, American rapper
- August 21 – Hayden Panettiere, American actress and singer
- August 23 – Breanna Conrad, American reality television star
- August 26 – James Harden, American basketball player
- August 28 – Cassadee Pope, American singer-songwriter
- August 27 – Juliana Cannarozzo, American figure skater
- September 1
- September 2 – Alexandre Pato, Brazilian footballer
- September 7 – Hugh Mitchell, British actor
- September 8 – Avicii, Swedish DJ, remixer, and record producer
- September 9 – Sean Malto, American Professional Skateboarder
- September 12 – Freddie Freeman, American baseball player
- September 13
- September 14 – Logan Henderson, Lebanese American actor, dancer, and singer
- September 15 – Steliana Nistor, Romanian gymnast and Olympic medalist
- September 19 – Tyreke Evans, American basketball player, 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year
- September 21 – Jason Derulo, American singer-songwriter, actor
- September 22
- September 23
- September 26
- September 27 – Park Tae-hwan, South Korean swimmer
- September 29 – Theo Adams, British performance artist
- October 1 – Brie Larson, American actress
- October 4
- October 10 – Aimee Teegarden, American actress
- October 11
- October 12
- Paulo Henrique Ganso, Brazilian football player
- October 14 – Mia Wasikowska, Australian actress
- October 19 – Janine Tugonon, Filipina beauty queen
- October 22 – Niki Francesca, Spanish singer, (Anonymous)
- October 24
- October 30 – Nastia Liukin, American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist
- November 2 – Katelyn Tarver, American singer, songwriter, actress
- November 3
- November 6 – Jozy Altidore, American soccer player
- November 8 – Giancarlo Stanton, American baseball player
- November 9 – Gianluca Bezzina, Maltese doctor, singer
- November 11
- November 13
- November 14 – Jake Livermore, English footballer
- November 19 – Tyga, American rapper
- November 20 – Cody Linley, American actor
- November 22 – Candice Glover, American Idol Season 12 winner
- November 24
- November 25 – Tom Dice, Belgian singer-songwriter
- November 27 – Freddie Sears, English footballer
- December 2 – Cassie Steele, Canadian actress and singer
- December 3 – Bette Franke, Dutch model
- December 4 – Garron DuPree, American musician
- December 5
- December 9 – Eric Bledsoe, American basketball player
- December 10 – Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, French politician
- December 11 – Sam Pinto, Filipina actress and commercial model
- December 12 – Janelle Arthur, American Idol contestant
- December 13 – Taylor Swift, American singer
- December 14 – Onew, Korean singer (SHINee)
- December 17 – Taylor York, American guitarist (Paramore)
- December 18 – Ashley Benson, American actress
- December 19 – Valdimar Bergstað, Icelandic horse rider
- December 22 – Jordin Sparks, American singer
- December 26 – Yohan Blake, Jamaican athlete
- December 27 – Kateryna Lagno, Ukrainian chess player
- December 28
- December 29
- December 30 – Ryan Sheckler, American skateboarder
- January 3 – Robert Banks, American chemist (b. 1921)
- January 4 – Dvora Netzer, Israeli politician (b. 1897)
- January 7
- January 8 – Kenneth McMillan, American actor (b. 1932)
- January 10
- January 11
- January 13 – Joe Spinell, American actor (Maniac, The Last Horror Film) (b. 1936)
- January 14 – Robert B. Anderson, American administrator and businessman (b. 1910)
- January 16
- January 18 – Bruce Chatwin, British author (b. 1940)
- January 19 – Norma Varden, English actress (b. 1898)
- January 20 – Beatrice Lillie, Canadian actress (b. 1894)
- January 21
- January 23 – Salvador Dalí, Spanish artist (b. 1904)
- January 24 – Ted Bundy, American serial killer (executed) (b. 1946)
- January 27 – Bayani Casimiro, Filipino dancer and actor (b. 1918)
- February 1 – Elaine de Kooning, American artist (b. 1919)
- February 2 – Ondrej Nepela, Slovakian figure skater (b. 1951)
- February 3
- February 5 – Joe Morrison, University of South Carolina Head Football Coach ( b. 1937)
- February 6
- February 9 – Osamu Tezuka, Japanese Manga artist, e.g. Astro Boy (b. 1928)
- February 11
- February 14 – Vincent Crane, British musician (Atomic Rooster) (b. 1943)
- February 17
- February 20 – Robert Dorning, English actor (b. 1913)
- February 21 – Moshe Unna, Israeli politician (b. 1902)
- February 24 – Sparky Adams, American baseball player (b. 1894)
- February 26 – Roy Eldridge, American musician (b. 1911)
- February 27
- March 3 – Kenneth Hegan, English amateur footballer, professional soldier (b. 1901)
- March 6 – Harry Andrews, British actor (b. 1911)
- March 8
- March 9 – Robert Mapplethorpe, American photographer (b. 1946)
- March 10 – Maurizio Merli, Italian actor
- March 11 – James Kee, American politician (b. 1917)
- March 12 – Maurice Evans, English actor (b. 1901)
- March 14
- May 15 – Johnny Green, American songwriter (b. 1908)
- March 16 – Jesús María de Leizaola, Basque Spanish politician (b. 1896)
- March 17 – Merritt Butrick, American actor (b. 1959)
- March 19 – Alan Civil, English French horn player (b. 1929)
- March 21 – Milton Frome, American actor (b. 1909)
- March 27
- March 29 – Bernard Blier, French actor (b. 1916)
- April 1 – George Robledo, Chilean soccer player (b. 1926)
- April 9 – Moshe Ziffer, Israeli sculptor (b. 1902)
- April 12
- April 15
- April 16 – Jocko Conlan, baseball player and umpire (b. 1899)
- April 19 – Daphne du Maurier, English writer (b. 1907)
- April 21
- April 22 – Emilio G. Segrè, Italian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
- April 23 – Hamani Diori, Nigerien politician, former President (b. 1916)
- April 24 – Edgar Sanabria, Venezuelan lawyer, diplomat, and politician, former President (b. 1911)
- April 25 – George Coulouris, English actor (b. 1903)
- April 26 – Lucille Ball, American entertainer (b. 1911)
- April 27 – Konosuke Matsushita, Japanese industrialist (b. 1894)
- April 30
- May 1 – Sally Kirkland, fashion editor at Life magazine (b. 1912)
- May 3 – Christine Jorgensen, transgendered actress, singer, and writer (b. 1926)
- May 7 – Guy Williams, American actor (b. 1924)
- May 9 – Keith Whitley, American singer (b. 1955)
- May 10 – Woody Shaw, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1944)
- May 19
- May 20
- May 26 – Don Revie, English footballer and manager (b. 1927)
- May 29 – John Cipollina, American musician (Quicksilver Messenger Service) (b. 1943)
- May 30 – James Harry Lacey, British World War II RAF Fighter pilot (b. 1917)
- June 3
- June 4 – Dik Browne, American cartoonist (b. 1917)
- June 7 – Don the Beachcomber, American restaurateur (b. 1907)
- June 9
- June 10 – Richard Quine, American actor (b. 1920)
- June 13 – Fran Allison, actress (b. 1907)
- June 15
- June 17 – John Matuszak, American football player and actor (b. 1950)
- June 22
- June 23 – Werner Best, German Nazi official (b. 1903)
- June 24 – Hibari Misora, Japanese singer (b. 1937)
- June 26 – Howard Charles Green, Canadian politician, former Foreign secretary (b. 1895)
- June 27
- June 28 – Joris Ivens, Dutch filmmaker (b. 1898)
- July 2
- July 3 – Jim Backus, American actor (b. 1913)
- July 4
- July 6 – János Kádár, Hungarian politician & communist leader (b. 1912)
- July 10 – Mel Blanc, American voice actor best known for voicing Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. (b. 1908)
- July 11 – Laurence Olivier, prolific English stage and screen actor and director (b. 1907)
- July 15 – Laurie Cunningham, English footballer (b. 1956)
- July 16 – Herbert von Karajan, Austrian conductor (b. 1908)
- July 17 – Itubwa Amram, Nauruan pastor and politician (b. 1922)
- July 18
- July 19 – Kazimierz Sabbat, Polish president (b. 1913)
- July 20
- July 22 – Martti Talvela, Finnish bass (b. 1935)
- July 23
- July 24 – Ernie Morrison, American actor (b. 1912)
- July 30 – Lane Frost, American bull rider (b. 1963)
- August 1 – John Ogdon, English pianist (b. 1937)
- August 4
- August 7 – Mickey Leland, American congressman (b. 1944)
- August 12 – William Shockley, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1910)
- August 13
- August 14 – Robert Bernard Anderson, American political figure (b. 1910)
- August 15 – Minoru Genda, Japanese aviator, naval officer, and politician (b. 1904)
- August 16
- August 17
- August 20
- August 21 – Raul Seixas, Brazilian singer (b. 1945)
- August 22
- August 23 – R. D. Laing, Scottish psychiatrist (b. 1927)
- August 26 – Irving Stone, American writer (b. 1903)
- August 29 – Sir Peter Scott, English naturalist, artist, and explorer (b. 1909)
- August 30 – Joe Collins, baseball player (b. 1922)
- September 1 – A. Bartlett Giamatti, American President of Yale University and MLB Commissioner (b. 1938)
- September 4
- September 5
- September 8
- September 14 – Dámaso Pérez Prado, Cuban musician (b. 1916)
- September 15 – Robert Penn Warren, American writer (b. 1905)
- September 17 – Hugh Quincy Alexander, American politician (b. 1911)
- September 22 – Irving Berlin, American composer (b. 1888)
- September 28 – Ferdinand Marcos, President of the Philippines (b. 1917)
- September 30
- October 4 – Graham Chapman, English comedian (Monty Python) (b. 1941)
- October 6 – Bette Davis, American actress (b. 1908)
- October 9 – Penny Lernoux, American journalist and author (b. 1940)
- October 11 – M. King Hubbert, American geophysicist (b. 1903)
- October 12 – Jay Ward, animator, creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, etc.
- October 16
- October 20
- October 22 – Roland Winters, American actor (b. 1904)
- October 25 – Mary McCarthy, American writer (b. 1912)
- October 26 – Charles J. Pedersen, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
- October 30 – Pedro Vargas, Mexican singer and actor (b. 1904)
- October 31 – Georgi Partsalev, Bulgarian theatre and film actor (b. 1925)
- November 1 – Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, American civil rights activist (b. 1898)
- November 3 – Timoci Bavadra, Fiji physician and politician (b. 1934)
- November 5 – Vladimir Horowitz, Russian pianist (b. 1903)
- November 5 – Barry Sadler, American soldier and singer-songwriter (b. 1940)
- November 11 – Kenneth MacLean Glazier, Sr., Canadian minister and librarian (b. 1912)
- November 13
- November 20 – Lynn Bari, American actress (b. 1913)
- November 22
- November 25 – George Cakobau, Fiji Governor General (b. 1912)
- November 26 – Ahmed Abdallah, Comorian politician, President of the Republic (assassinated) (b. 1919)
- November 27 – Carlos Arias Navarro, Spanish politician, former President of the Government (b. 1908)
- November 29 – Gubby Allen, English cricketer (b. 1902)
- November 30 – Ahmadou Ahidjo, Cameroonian politician, former President (b. 1924)
- December 1 – Alvin Ailey, American dancer and choreographer (b. 1931)
- December 2 – Ray Morehart, American baseball player (b. 1899)
- December 3 – Sourou-Migan Apithy, Beninese political figure, former president of Dahomey (b. 1913)
- December 4 – Frederick Elwyn Jones, British barrister and Labour politician. (b. 1909)
- December 5 – John Pritchard, English conductor (b. 1921)
- December 6
- December 7 – Haystacks Calhoun, American professional wrestler (b. 1934)
- December 8
- December 11 – Lindsay Crosby, American singer and actor (b. 1938)
- December 14
- December 15 – Edward Underdown, stage and film veteran (b. 1908)
- December 16
- December 16 – Lee Van Cleef, American actor (b. 1925)
- December 19 – Kirill Mazurov, Belarusian Soviet politician. (b. 1914)
- December 20 – Kurt Böhme, German bass (b. 1908)
- December 21
- December 22
- December 25
- December 26 – Lennox Berkeley, English composer (b. 1903)
- December 30
- Physics – Norman F. Ramsey, Hans G. Dehmelt, Wolfgang Paul
- Chemistry – Sidney Altman, Thomas R. Cech
- Medicine – J. Michael Bishop, Harold E. Varmus
- Literature – Camilo José Cela
- Peace – Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
- Cage of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – Trygve Haavelmo
- Uchitelle, Louis (December 11, 1989). "INTERNATIONAL REPORT; East Europe Tries a Mild Capitalism". The New York Times.
- "Company History". Sublime IP. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- "Wired 7.08: Harmonic Convergence". Archive.wired.com. 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- "Becka Zimmerman". Home.messiah.edu. 1993-04-30. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Anker, Jonathan (2012-12-03). "Who sent the 1st txt msg? And what'd it say?". HLNtv.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Crystal, David, ed. (1990). The Cambridge Encyclopedia. Cambridge University Press. p. RR69.
- Transition in Eastern Europe: Current Issues and Perspectives - Herbert Wilkens, Wolfgang Maennig - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1990-01-01. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- "The birth of the World Wide Web | CERN timelines". Timeline.web.cern.ch. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- NY Times May 3, 1990
- "First McDonald's in Moscow, Russia ~". Bleskon.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Gay Peru News & Reports 2011". Archive.globalgayz.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "HDTV - High Definition Television". Birds-eye.net. 1989-06-03. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Mourners Rip Shroud, Khomeini`s Body Falls", Chicago Tribune, June 7, 1989. Accessed 21 November 2012.
- Belsie, Laurent (June 29, 2009). "Madoff's sentence: big, but not 141,078 years". The Christian Science Monitor.
- "Doe v. Michigan (E.D. Mich. 1989)". Bc.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Soviets Line Up For Makeup - Estee Lauder Shop Draws Moscow Crowds". Philly.com. Articles.philly.com. 1989-11-17. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "The Danish Registered Partnership Act". 1989-06-07. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- Rule, Sheila (1989-10-02). "Rights for Gay Couples in Denmark". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "The Barry Shein Home Page". Std.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Former Two Guys Delran NJ | Flickr – Condivisione di foto!". Flickr.com. 2011-06-26. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Spumco, Inc. in Encino, CA - Bizapedia Profile". Bizapedia.com. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- "The Warsaw Voice". Warsawvoice.pl. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- Hayes, Thomas C. (1990-02-28). "Wal-Mart Net Jumps By 31.8%". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Pareles, Jon (December 10, 1989). "Outlaw Rock: More Skirmishes on the Censorship Front POP VIEW; More Skirmishes on The Censorship Front". The New York Times.
- After the fall – Europe after 1989
- Mikhail Gorbachev on 1989 - 2009 interview by The Nation
- Freedom Without Walls: German Missions in the United States Looking Back at the Fall of the Berlin Wall – official homepage in English
- Father of Lions.org