What Happened in December 1988

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 596 dead after cyclone hits Bangladesh, half a million homeless

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 1 Benazir Bhutto named 1st female Prime Minister of a Muslim country (Pakistan)

Pakistani Politican Benazir Bhutto
Pakistani Politican
Benazir Bhutto
  • Dec 1 Chinese minister of Foreign affairs Qian Qichen visits Moscow
  • Dec 1 NBC bids record $401M to capture rights to 1992 Barcelona Olympics
  • Dec 1 NY Islanders greatest shutout lose (8-0) vs St Louis Blues
  • Dec 2 "Naked Gun" (a movie based on TV's "Police Squad") premieres
  • Dec 2 5 gunmen who hijacked Soviet Aeroflot jet surrender in Israel
  • Dec 2 STS-27 Atlantis launched (Secret military mission)
  • Dec 2 UN votes 151-2 (Israel and US) to move PLO debate to Geneva, Great Britain abstains
  • Dec 3 54th Heisman Trophy Award: Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State (RB)
  • Dec 3 NY Lotto pays $45 million to twelve winner (#s are 1-8-13-18-28-48)
  • Dec 4 Actor Gary Busey critically injured in motorcycle crash
  • Dec 4 Amy Benz/John Huston wins LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 4 Orioles trade veteran 1B Eddie Murray to the Dodgers

MLB First Baseman Eddie Murray
MLB First Baseman
Eddie Murray
  • Dec 4 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • Dec 5 NC federal grand jury indict PTL founder Jim Bakker on fraud & conspiracy
  • Dec 5 Shuttle Atlantis launches world's 1st nuclear-war-fighting satellite
  • Dec 6 Arafat meets prominent American Jews in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Dec 6 Carlos Andres Perez re-elected president of Venezuela
  • Dec 6 Merv Hughes takes 13 wickets v WI at the WACA but Australia lose
  • Dec 6 Milwaukee Bucks win their 1,000th NBA game (2nd fastest)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 6 Nelson Mandela is transferred to Victor Vester Prison, Capetown

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • Dec 6 STS-27 Atlantis lands in California after secret mission
  • Dec 6 Agnes Neil Williams purchases Baltimore Orioles for $70 million Eli Jacobs becomes CEO of Balt Orioles
  • Dec 7 6.9 earthquake in Spitak, Armenia (25,000 killed, 5,000,000 homeless)
  • Dec 7 Gorbachev announces 10% unilateral Soviet troop reductions at UN

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 7 Mikhail Gorbachev cheered by Wall St crowds upon arrival in NYC

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Dec 7 NY Islanders fire Simpson, Arbour new coach

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 7 Rangers sign free-agent pitcher Nolan Ryan to a one-year contract

MLB Pitching Legend Nolan Ryan
MLB Pitching Legend
Nolan Ryan
  • Dec 8 Knick's set NBA record of 11 3-pointers & sink Bucks, 113-109
  • Dec 9 NY Yankees sign 12-year television contract with MSG for $500M
  • Dec 9 The Michael Hughes Bridge in Sligo, Ireland is officially opened.
  • Dec 9 Premiere of fact based crime drama film "Mississippi Burning"
  • Dec 10 Washington Capitals 1st NHL scoreless tie, vs Mont Canadiens
  • Dec 12 3 trains collide in London, 40 die
  • Dec 12 NYC Subway system adds new stations (Z line)
  • Dec 12 PLO leader Yasi Arafat accepts Israel's right to exist

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 12 Sandra Miller of Queens sues Mike Tyson for sexual harassment

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Mike Tyson

Film release premierFilm Premier

Dec 12 "Rainman" directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise premieres in New York (Best Picture 1989)

  • Dec 13 3 men end 29-hr all-466-station subway ride in NYC
  • Dec 13 Arafat addresses UN in Geneva
  • Dec 14 CBS' $1.1 B bid wins exclusive 1990-94 major-league baseball rights
  • Dec 14 NBA's Miami Heat wins 1st game ever, 89-88 (Clippers), after 17 loses
  • Dec 14 Spanish General strike to protest austerity measures
  • Dec 14 US agrees to talk to Palestine Liberation Org (1st time in 13 yrs)
  • Dec 15 Lori Davis of Long Island sues Mike Tyson for grabbing her buttocks
  • Dec 16 Political cult leader Lyndon LaRouche convicted of tax, mail fraud
  • Dec 17 77th Davis Cup: Germany beats Sweden in Gothenburg (4-1)
  • Dec 17 Bryan Murray becomes 17th NHL coach to win 300 games (Wash Caps)
  • Dec 17 NY Islanders break 12 game losing streak, beat Devils 5-2
  • Dec 17 USS Tennessee, 1st sub to carry Trident 2 missiles, commissioned
  • Dec 17 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 18 5th meeting of Giants-Jets, Jets win & eliminate Giants from playoffs
  • Dec 18 Seattle Seahawks win their 1st ever division title with 9-7 record
  • Dec 18 Cricket Women's World Cup: Australia defeats England by 8 wickets
  • Dec 19 NASA unviels plans for lunar colony & manned missions to Mars
  • Dec 19 Oklahoma's College football team gets 3 year probation
  • Dec 19 Unexploded WW II bomb found in Frankfurt, Germany-5,000 evacuated
  • Dec 20 Animal rights terrorists fire-bomb Harrod's dept store, London
  • Dec 20 NBC signs lease to stay in NYC, 33 more years
  • Dec 20 Premier Ranasinghe Premadasa elected President of Sri Lanka
  • Dec 21 Drexel agrees guilt to security felonies, pays a $650 million fine
  • Dec 21 Vladimir Titov & Musa Manarov return to earth (a year) with Chretien
  • Dec 21 Lockerbie disaster: Pan Am Flight 103 destroyed mid air by a terrorist bomb killing all 258 on board over Scotland
  • Dec 22 2 robbers wearing police uniforms rob armored truck of $3 M in NJ
  • Dec 22 South Africa signs accord granting independence to South West Africa
  • Dec 22 Tug hits oil barge, spreads 231,000 gal on 300 mi of WA & BC coast
  • Dec 26 "Legs Diamond" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 64 performances
  • Dec 26 Anti African student rebellion in China PR
  • Dec 27 Bulgaria stops jamming Radio Free Europe after more than 3 decades
  • Dec 28 John Tarrant, 1st Aust born Zen teacher, receives Dharma Transmission
  • Dec 28 US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirms Yonkers is guilty of racism
  • Dec 28 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 29 Soviet Red Army Team edges NY Islanders, 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum
  • Dec 29 Victorian Post Office Museum in Australia closes
  • Dec 30 Canadian Senate OK's free trade pact; with US
  • Dec 30 Former Soviet Pres Brezhnev's son-in-law sentenced to 12-yr (bribery)
  • Dec 30 Mercedes-Benz pays $20.2-M fine failed to meet '86 government fuel standard

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 30 North subpoenas Reagan & Bush as defense witnesses for upcoming trial

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • Dec 31 "The Fog Bowl", a heavy, dense fog rolled over Soldier Field in Chicago during the second quarter of the Bears/Eagles NFC Divisional Playoff Game, cutting visibility to about 15-20 yards for the rest of the game (Bears win 20-12)

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Lisa Bonet & Lenny Kravitz
  • Dec 2 Edward EMG baron Downpatrick, grandson of English prince Edward
  • Dec 2 Alfred Enoch, British Actor
  • Dec 2 Soniya Mehra, Indian Actress
  • Dec 5 Ross Bagley, American actor (Nicky-Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 7 Emily Browning, Australian actress
  • Dec 7 Asia Ray Smith, American actress
  • Dec 11 Murugan Thiruchelvam, English chess prodigy
  • Dec 11 Tim Southee, New Zealand cricketer
  • Dec 13 Darcy Blake, Welsh footballer
  • Dec 14 Nicolas Batum, French basketball player
  • Dec 14 Vanessa Hudgens, American singer and actress
  • Dec 16 Anna Popplewell, English actress
  • Dec 19 Peter Winn, English footballer
  • Dec 19 Paulina Gretzky, American-born Canadian actress and model
  • Dec 23 Eri Kamei, Japanese singer
  • Dec 25 Eric Gordon, American Basketball Player
  • Dec 27 Rick Porcello, American baseball player
  • Dec 29 Agnes Szavay, Hungary tennis player
  • Dec 30 Leon Jackson, Scottish singer

Famous Divorces

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 6 Actor and comedian Robin Williams (37) divorces Valerie Velardi after 10 years of marriage

Actor and Comedian Robin Williams
Actor and Comedian
Robin Williams

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Tata Giacobetti, Italian singer and lyricist (Quartetto Cetra)
  • Dec 4 Osman Achmatowicz, Polish chemist (b. 1899)
  • Dec 6 Bill Harris, US guitarist (Clovers-Love Potion No 9), dies at 63
  • Dec 6 Roy Orbison, American musician (Pretty Woman), dies of a massive heart attack at 52
  • Dec 7 Andrei P Ershov, Russian computer pioneer, dies
  • Dec 7 Christopher Connelly, actor (Liar's Moon, Hawmps), dies at 47
  • Dec 7 Peter Langan, Irish restaurateur (Langans London), dies in fire
  • Dec 8 Anne Seymour, actress (Misty, Chevy Mystery Show), dies at 79
  • Dec 8 Herbert "Tubo" Rhoad, US singer (Persuasions-Good news), dies at 44
  • Dec 10 Dick Clair, comedian (Clair & McMahon, Facts of Life), dies of AIDS
  • Dec 10 Richard Castellano, aqctor (Honor thy Father), dies at 55
  • Dec 12 John Canning, NY Post managing editor, dies at 56
  • Dec 12 Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano, American Mafia figure (b. 1917)
  • Dec 16 H "Stork" Hendry, cricketer (11 Tests for Australia 1921-29), dies
  • Dec 16 Sylvester, American singer (b. 1948)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 20 Max Robinson, 1st African American network TV anchor (ABC), dies of AIDS at 49

1st African-American Network TV Anchor Max Robinson
1st African-American Network TV Anchor
Max Robinson
  • Dec 20 Alphonse Ouimet, Canadian television pioneer (b. 1908)
  • Dec 21 Bob Steele, [Robert Bradbury], American actor, dies after short illness at 60
  • Dec 21 Nicholas Tinbergen, Dutch/British biologist, dies at 81
  • Dec 22 Tucker Smith, singer/dancer (Cool-West Side Story), dies


Dec 22 Chico Mendes, Brazilian environmental activist and rubber tapper, assassinated at 44 by rancher Darcy Alves

Environmentalist Chico Mendes
Chico Mendes
  • Dec 25 Ooka Shohei, Japanese novelist (b. 1909)
  • Dec 25 Edward Pelham-Clinton, 10th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne (b. 1920)
  • Dec 26 John Loder, actor (Sabotage, Java Head), dies at 90
  • Dec 26 Glenn McCarthy, American oil tycoon and businessman (b. 1907)
  • Dec 27 Fox Harris, actor (Alienator, Warlords, Sid & Nancy), dies
  • Dec 27 Hall Ashby, US director (Shampoo, 8 Million Ways to Die), dies at 59
  • Dec 28 Hal Ashby, academy-award winning director, dies of cancer at 59
  • Dec 29 Mike Beuttler, British racing driver (b. 1940)
  • Dec 30 Yuli Daniel, Russian writer (b. 1925)