1989 in the United States
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|1989 in the United States|
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Events from the year 1989 in the United States.
- President: Ronald Reagan (R-California) (until January 20), George H. W. Bush (R-Texas) (starting January 20)
- Vice President: George H. W. Bush (R-Texas) (until January 20), Dan Quayle (R-Indiana) (starting January 20)
- Chief Justice: William Rehnquist (Wisconsin)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Jim Wright (D-Texas) (until June 6), Tom Foley (D-Washington) (starting June 6)
- Senate Majority Leader: Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) (until January 3), George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) (starting January 3)
- Congress: 100th (until January 3), 101st (starting January 3)
- January 1 – The Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.
- January 4 – Second Gulf of Sidra incident: Two Libyan MiG-23 "Floggers" are engaged and shot down by two US Navy F-14 Tomcats.
- January 10 – Harris Trust and Savings Bank of Chicago settles a government enforcement action by agreeing to pay $14 million in backpay to women and minorities, the largest such settlement ever obtained from a single employer.
- January 11
- January 12 – President-elect George H. W. Bush announces the final members of his cabinet, naming James D. Watkins as Secretary of Energy and William Bennett as the first director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
- January 13 – Bernhard Goetz sentenced to one year in prison and fined $5000 for shooting four young men in 1984.
- January 16 – An Hispanic Miami police officer shoots and kills a speeding black motorcyclist in the Overtown section of Miami, starting three days of rioting. Miami, Florida
- January 17 – Stockton massacre: Patrick Edward Purdy kills five children, wounds thirty and then shoots himself in Stockton, California.
- January 18 – The Republican National Committee elects Lee Atwater as its chairman.
- January 20
- January 22 – The San Francisco 49ers defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.
- January 24
- January 31 – Northway, Alaska record the highest mean sea level pressure on record in the United States with a reading of 31.85 inHg (1078.6 millibars)
- February 7
- February 10
- February 11 – Barbara Harris is the first woman consecrated as a bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
- February 14 – The first of 24 Global Positioning System satellites is placed into orbit.
- 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 26 – 60 Minutes airs a report claiming that apples sprayed with Alar may cause cancer in children, leading many schools to remove apples from their cafeterias.
- March – The unemployment rate drops to a low of 5.0%, the lowest since December 1973.
- March 1
- March 3 – Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane is fined $20,000 and given two years' probation for misleading Congress about the Iran–Contra affair.
- March 4
- March 9 – By a vote of 53 to 47, the Senate votes to reject the nomination of John Tower as United States Secretary of Defense. President Bush subsequently nominated Dick Cheney the next day, and Cheney was confirmed and sworn in as defense secretary on March 17.
- March 13 – A geomagnetic storm causes the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid. 6 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 13–17 – The Food and Drug Administration bans the import of grapes from Chile after traces of cyanide are found in two grapes.
- March 13–18 – The Space Shuttle Discovery flies mission STS-29.
- March 14 – Gun control: U.S. President George H. W. Bush bans the importation of certain guns deemed assault weapons into the United States.
- March 20 – Dick Cheney is sworn in as the new Secretary of Defense, succeeding Frank Carlucci.
- March 22
- Congress passes a bill to protect the job of whistle blowers who expose government waste or fraud.
- National Football League commissioner Pete Rozelle, commissioner since 1960, announces he will step down when a replacement is found.
- Clint Malarchuk of the NHL Buffalo Sabres suffers an almost fatal injury when another player accidentally slits his throat.
- March 23 – Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announce that they have achieved cold fusion at the University of Utah.
- 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 29 – The 61st Academy Awards are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Rain Man winning Best Picture.
- April 1 – Bill White becomes president of baseball's National League, becoming the first African American to head a major sports league.
- April 3
- April 5 – Beginning of the Pittston Coal strike after miners had worked 14 months without a contract.
- April 9 – More than 300,000 demonstrators march in Washington, D.C. in support of legal abortion in the United States.
- April 14 – The U.S. government seizes the Irving, California Lincoln Savings and Loan Association; Charles Keating (for whom the Keating Five were named – John McCain among them) 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 17 – The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct charges House Speaker Jim Wright with improperly evading limits on outside income and accepting improper gifts.
- 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.
- May 1 – Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World opens to the public for the first time.
- May 4
- May 8 – STS-30 lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California after four days of its mission and the successful deployment of a Venus spacecraft.
- May 12 – A Southern Pacific Railroad freight train crashes on Duffy Street in San Bernardino, California.
- May 15–25 – Los Angeles schoolteachers go on strike. The strike ends with the teachers gaining more administrative control and a 24% pay raise.
- May 19 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 2,500 for the first time since Black Monday (1987).
- May 25 – Thirteen days after a Southern Pacific train derails, a Calnev pipeline explodes at the same section of Duffy Street in San Bernardino, California.
- May 26 – United States House of Representatives Majority Whip Tony Coelho resigns from the United States House of Representatives, saying he wants to spare his family from an investigation into his finances.
- May 31 – Jim Wright announces his resignation as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
- June 4 – Jerome Robbins' Broadway wins the Tony Award for Best Musical and five other Tonys.
- June 6 – The United States House of Representatives elects Tom Foley as its new speaker.
- June 12 – The Corcoran Gallery of Art removes Robert Mapplethorpe's gay photography exhibition.
- June 13
- June 14 – A Titan IV blasts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
- June 21 – In Texas v. Johnson, the United States Supreme Court ruled that burning the Flag of the United States was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- June 23 – The film Batman opens, earning more than $40 million in its first weekend, a box office record.
- June 23–24 – Three shipping accidents in a 12-hour period create oil spills in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Texas.
- June 24 – In Penry v. Lynaugh, the Supreme Court rules that states can execute murderers as young as 16 or who are mentally retarded.
- June 27 – A federal appeals court overturns the February 1988 conviction of Lyn Nofziger for illegal lobbying.
- July 3 – In Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, the Supreme Court gives the states new authority to restrict abortions.
- July 5
- The television show Seinfeld premieres.
- Oliver North is fined $150,00, and given a two-year suspended sentence and three years probation and ordered to perform 1,200 hours of community service for his crimes in the Iran-contra affair.
- July 9–12 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush travels to Poland and Hungary, pushing for U.S. economic aid and investment.
- July 17 – Maiden flight of the B-2 stealth bomber.
- July 18 – Actress Rebecca Schaeffer is murdered by an obsessed fan, leading to stricter stalking laws in California.
- July 19 – United Airlines Flight 232 (Douglas DC-10) crashes in Sioux City, Iowa, killing 112; 184 on board survive.
- July 21 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 2,600 for the first time since Black Monday (1987).
- July 26 – A federal grand jury indicts Cornell University student Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. for releasing a computer virus, making him the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
- August 5 – Congress passes the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, which is signed into law by President Bush on August 9. The act provides a $166-billion bailout to failed savings and loans and overhauls regulation of the industry.
- August 7
- August 8 – STS-28: Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a secret 5-day military mission.
- August 10 – President Bush nominates United States Army Gen. Colin Powell as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him the first African American to hold that position.
- August 16–17 – Woodstock '89 festival.
- August 20 – In Beverly Hills, California, Lyle and Erik Menendez shoot their wealthy parents to death in the family's den.
- August 22 – Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to get 5,000 strikeouts.
- 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
- August 27 – A Delta II rocket owned by McDonnell Douglas launches a television satellite, the first time a privately owned rocket had orbited a payload.
- August 29 – Harry Zych a diver and salvager files a lawsuit to gain ownership of the wreck of the Lady Elgin which he has recently discovered in Lake Michigan in Highland Park, Illinois.
- September 1 – Commissioner of Baseball A. Bartlett Giamatti dies of a heart attack. On September 13, club owners elect Fay Vincent as his successor.
- September 2–3 – Fraternity members attending the Greekfest fraternity festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia spend two days in rioting and looting.
- September 5 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush holds up a bag of cocaine purchased across the street at Lafayette Park, and proposes to spend $7.9 billion in the War on Drugs, in his first televised speech to the nation.
- September 8 – Former president Ronald Reagan undergoes surgery to remove fluid on his brain. He recovers quickly.
- September 14 – Standard Gravure shooting: Factory worker Joseph Wesbecker kills 8 and injures 12 before committing suicide inside a factory in Louisville, Kentucky.
- September 21 – Hurricane Hugo makes landfall in South Carolina, causing $7 billion in damage.
- September 27–28 – President Bush and the governors of the 50 U.S. states meet at the University of Virginia to discuss education policy.
- September 28 – Braniff Incorporated files for bankruptcy for the second time since 1982.
- September 29 – In the biggest narcotics seizure on record, drug agents confiscate 21.4 short tons of cocaine and more than $12 million in cash from a Los Angeles warehouse.
- October 4 – More than 55,000 Boeing machinists go on strike. They return to work on November 22 after winning higher pay.
- October 5 – A jury in Charlotte, North Carolina convicts televangelist Jim Bakker of fraud and conspiracy. On October 24, he is sentenced to 45 years in prison and fined $500,000.
- October 9 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at a record high of 2,791.41.
- October 12 – Congress passes the Flag Protection Act of 1989, which Bush lets become law without his signature on October 28.
- 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.
- October 15 – Wayne Gretzky becomes the leading scorer in the history of the National Hockey League.
- October 17 – The 6.9 Mw Loma Prieta earthquake shakes the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Coast with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). Sixty-three people were killed.
- October 18 – STS-34 was launched, deploying the Jupiter-bound Galileo probe.
- October 19 – The Wonders of Life pavilion opens at Epcot in Walt Disney World, Florida.
- October 20
- The Senate convicts Judge Alcee Hastings of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida of perjury and conspiracy to obtain a bribe, and removes him from office.
- A federal jury in New York City convicts Rep. Robert García of extortion and conspiracy.
- October 23
- The Phillips Disaster in Pasadena, Texas kills 23 and injures 314 others.
- STS-34 lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California after five days of its mission and the successful deployment of a Jupiter-bound spacecraft.
- Congress fails to override Bush's veto of a bill that would have restored funding for abortions for poor women who were the victims of rape or incest.
- October 26 – NFL owners elect Paul Tagliabue as NFL commissioner.
- October 28 – The Oakland Athletics beat the San Francisco Giants to win the 1989 World Series.
- November 2 – North Dakota and South Dakota celebrate their 100th Birthdays.
- November 3 – The Senate convicts Judge Walter Nixon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi of lying under oath to a federal grand jury and removes him from office.
- November 7
- November 8 – Congress passes legislation to raise the minimum wage from $3.35 to $4.25 an hour by April 1991. Bush signs this bill on November 17.
- November 9 – The Berlin Wall was brought down.
- November 15 – Lech Walesa, leader of Poland's Solidarity movement, addresses a Joint session of the United States Congress.
- November 15–16 – November 1989 tornado outbreak: Tornadoes in the Eastern United States kill at least 31 people.
- 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.
- The House of Representatives passes amendments to strengthen the Ethics in Government Act of 1978; the Senate passes its own amendments the next day.
- November 19 – United States Soccer Team qualified to the 1990 FIFA World Cup after 40 years of absences beating Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 in Port Spain.
- November 21 – North Carolina celebrates its bicentennial statehood.
- November 22
- December 2 – The Solar Maximum Mission research satellite, launched in 1980, crashes back to earth.
- December 3 – Cold War: In a meeting off the coast of Malta, U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev release statements indicating that the Cold War between their nations may be coming to an end.
- December 7 – A Miami, Fla. jury convicts police officer William Lozano for the January 16 deaths of a black motorcyclist and his passenger.
- December 12 – Hotelier Leona Helmsley is sentenced to four years in prison and fined $7.2 million for tax evasion.
- December 13 – Taylor Alison Swift is born in the rural town of Reading, Pennsylvania.
- December 16–18 – Mail bombings kill a federal judge in Birmingham, Alabama and a lawyer in Savannah, Georgia.
- December 20 – Operation Just Cause is launched in an attempt to overthrow Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.
- Cold War (1945–1991)
- January 4 – Kevin Pillar, baseball player
- January 22 – Nick Simmons, actor and singer
- February 8
- February 17 – Chord Overstreet, actor and singer
- March 1 – Sonya Kitchell, singer-songwriter
- May 22 – Trevor Reckling, baseball player
- June 2
- June 7 – Ashley Melnick, model, Miss Texas 2010
- June 20 – Christopher Mintz-Plasse, actor
- July 4 – Alyssa Miller, model
- July 21 – Chelsie Hightower, American dancer and choreographer
- November 27 – Matthew Edward Noxon
- December 13 – Taylor Alison Swift, singer-songwriter
- December 21 – Mark Ingram, Jr., American football player
- December 22 – Jordin Sparks, singer-songwriter and actress
- February 18 – Mildred Burke, American wrestler and trainer (b. 1915)
- April 26 – Lucille Ball, film and television actress and model (b. 1911)
- May 30 – Claude Pepper, United States Senator from Florida from 1936 till 1951. (b. 1900)
- July 10 – Mel Blanc, voice actor, actor, radio comedian, and recording artist (b. 1908)
- October 6 – Bette Davis, film and television actress (b. 1908)
- November 5 – Vladimir Horowitz, Ukrainian-born American classical pianist and composer (b. 1903)
- Media related to 1989 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons