What Happened in December 1989

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 "Day Without Art" - Artists demonstrate against AIDS
  • Dec 1 East Germany drops communist monopoly from its constitution
  • Dec 1 Mark Langston signs record $3.2 million per year Cal Angels contract

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

Dec 1 USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev meets Pope John Paul II at the Vatican

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev
Soviet General Secretary
Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Dec 2 55th Heisman Trophy Award: Andre Ware, Houston (QB)
  • Dec 2 KHJ-TV in Los Angeles CA changes call letters to KCAL-TV
  • Dec 2 V. P. Singh sworn in as the 8th Prime Minister of India
  • Dec 2 54th Iron Bowl: Auburn beats Alabama 30-20 in Auburn

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 3 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H. W. Bush, declare the Cold War over

Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev
Soviet General Secretary
Mikhail Gorbachev
41st US President George H. W. Bush
41st US President
George H. W. Bush
  • Dec 3 Stefan Edberg of Sweden claims his first and only ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title with a 4–6, 7–6, 6–3, 6–1 win over defending champion Boris Becker at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • Dec 4 NBC's premiere of "Howard Beach: Making A Case for Murder", based on December 1986 murders of black youths by white youths in New York City
  • Dec 5 France TGV train reaches world record speed of 482.4 kph
  • Dec 6 Mafia drug kingpin bombs security force at Bogota, kills 52
  • Dec 6 Worst Canadian mass murder: Marc Lepine kills 14 women at U Montreal
  • Dec 7 C Coleman & D Zippel's musical "City of Angels" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 8 Great Britain performs nuclear test

  • Dec 9 "Les Miserables" opens at Princess Theatre, Melbourne
  • Dec 10 President Gustav Husak of Czechoslovakia, resigns
  • Dec 11 "City of Angels" opens at Virginia Theater NYC for 878 performances
  • Dec 11 Mark Davis signs record $3.25 million per year KC Royals contract
  • Dec 13 Walter Davis (Denver) ends NBA free throw streak of 53 games
  • Dec 13 The last issue of Gnistan (The Spark), the organ of the Solidaritetspartiet, is published in Sweden

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 13 "Driving Miss Daisy" directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy is released (Best Picture 1990)

  • Dec 16 Commencement of 1st Test Cricket play at Bellerive Oval, Hobart (v SL)
  • Dec 16 Geoff Marsh completes 355* for WA against South Australia
  • Dec 16 Protest breaks out in Timişoara in response to an attempt by the government to evict dissident Hungarian pastor, László Tőkés.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 17 "The Simpsons" created by Matt Groening, premieres on Fox TV as a full animated series with the episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

Fictional TV Character Homer Simpson
Fictional TV Character
Homer Simpson
Cartoonist Matt Groening
Cartoonist
Matt Groening
Actor Hank Azaria
Actor
Hank Azaria

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 17 "The Simpsons" created by Matt Groening, premieres on Fox TV as a full animated series with the episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

Actor Hank Azaria
Actor
Hank Azaria
Fictional TV Character Homer Simpson
Fictional TV Character
Homer Simpson
Cartoonist Matt Groening
Cartoonist
Matt Groening
  • Dec 17 78th Davis Cup: Germany beats Sweden in Stuttgart (3-2)
  • Dec 17 Brazil elects conservative Fernando Collor de Mello as president
  • Dec 17 Michael Bevan scores cricket century on 1st-class debut (114 SA v WA)
  • Dec 17 Patti Rizzo/Mike Hill win LPGA Mazda Golf Championship
  • Dec 18 "I Love Lucy" Christmas episode, shown for 1st time in over 30 years
  • Dec 18 Athol Fugard's "My Children, My Africa" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 19 American Airlines purchases Eastern Airline's Latin American route

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 19 Larry Bird (Celtics) begins NBA free throw streak of 71 games

NBA Legend Larry Bird
NBA Legend
Larry Bird
  • Dec 20 Premier Lubbers sees CDA-party leader Elco Brinkman as successor

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 20 US troops invade Panama & oust Manuel Noriega, but don't catch him

Panamanian General and Dictator Manuel Noriega
Panamanian General and Dictator
Manuel Noriega
  • Dec 21 VP Quayle sends out 30,000 Xmas cards with word beacon spelled beakon
  • Dec 21 New Zealand is the first country to set a formal inflation target (0-2%) for how much prices should rise each year. Similar targets are subsequently adopted by most developed countries.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 22 After 23 years of dictatorial rule, Romania ousts Nicolae Ceausescu

Dictator of Romania Nicolae Ceausescu
Dictator of Romania
Nicolae Ceausescu
  • Dec 22 Chad adopts its Constitution
  • Dec 22 Cold wave: -4°F in Oklahoma City, -6°F in Tulsa, -12°F in Pittsburgh, 18°F in Denver, -23°F in KC Mo, -42°F in Scottsbluff Nebraska, -47°F in Hardin Mont & -60°F in Black Hills South Dakota
  • Dec 24 Charles Taylor enters Liberia to unseat President Samuel K Doe
  • Dec 24 Panama's dictator, Manual The Simpsons, seeks asylum at Vatican embassy
  • Dec 25 Japanese scientist achieve -271.8°C, coldest temperature ever recorded
  • Dec 25 Show trial of Romanian Commuinst dicator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena on charges of genocide and personal enrichment. The couple are found guilty and executed by firing squad the same day.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 26 ODI cricket debut for Australia's Mark Taylor and Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya at the MCG

  • Dec 27 Oregon begins taking bids on NBA games
  • Dec 28 Alexander Dubček elected Chairman of the Federal Assembly (Parliament) of Czechslovakia
  • Dec 28 Earthquake at Newcastle Australia, 11 die
  • Dec 29 Jane Pauley says goodbye to NBC's "Today" show

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 29 Václav Havel is selected to be president of Czechoslovakia by the Federal Assembly shortly after the Velvet Revolution

Politician and Author Václav Havel
Politician and Author
Václav Havel

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 29 Wayne Gretzky and Martina Navratilova, named athletes of decade by AP

Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • Dec 29 Riots break-out after Hong Kong decides to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese refugees.
  • Dec 30 10th United Negro College Fund raises $12,000,000
  • Dec 30 Dmitri Volkov swims world record 50m freestyle (27.15 sec)
  • Dec 31 "Me & My Girl" closes at Marquis Theater NYC after 1420 performances
  • Dec 31 "Threepenny Opera" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 65 performances
  • Dec 31 Jockey Kent Desormeaux sets record with 598 wins in a year

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 2 Cassie Steele, Canadian actress
  • Dec 7 Nicholas Hoult, English actor
  • Dec 8 Drew Doughty, Canadian hockey player

Person of interestTaylor Swift

Dec 13 Taylor Swift, American singer/songwriter (Our Song), born in Reading, Pennsylvania

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift
Singer-songwriter
Taylor Swift
  • Dec 14 Pedro Silva, Brazilian footballer
  • Dec 18 Ashley Benson, American actress
  • Dec 18 Ashley Slanina-Davies, Hollyoaks actress
  • Dec 20 Virgilio Falco, Italian politician
  • Dec 22 Jordin Sparks, US singer and American Idol winner, born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Dec 28 Mackenzie Rosman, American actress
  • Dec 29 Nathan Forbes, British footballer
  • Dec 29 Kei Nishikori, Japanese tennis player (11 singles titles, only Japanese player ranked in top 10), born in Matsue, Japan
  • Dec 30 Ryan Sheckler, American professional skateboarder

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 9 "Baywatch" actor David Hasselhoff (37) weds actress Pamela Bach (26) at the Little Brown Church in Studio City, California

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 15 Actor and director George Clooney (28) weds actress Talia Balsam (30) in Las Vegas

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 20 Business magnate Richard Branson (39) weds Joan Templeman in British Virgin Islands

Business Magnate Richard Branson
Business Magnate
Richard Branson

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 21 Explorer Edmund Hillary (70) weds June Mulgrew

Mountaineer and Explorer Edmund Hillary
Mountaineer and Explorer
Edmund Hillary
  • Dec 31 Actress Annabella Sciorra (Jungle Fever) weds Joe Petruzzi

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Alvin Ailey, US choreographer (Blues Suite, Revelations), dies at 58
  • Dec 1 William "Billy" Lyall, Scottish musician (Bay City Rollers), dies of AIDS-related causes at 36
  • Dec 5 John M Pritchard, British conductor, dies at 68
  • Dec 6 Frances Beauvier, actress (Aunt Bee, Mayberry), dies at 86
  • Dec 6 Sammy Fain, composer, dies at 87
  • Dec 6 John Payne, American actor (The Restless Gun, Miracle on 34th Street), dies aged 77
  • Dec 6 Gabor Jodal, Romanian composer, dies at 76
  • Dec 7 William Calhoun, professional wrestler (b. 1934)
  • Dec 7 Haystacks Calhoun, American professional wrestler, dies at 55
  • Dec 8 Hans Hartung, German-French painter, dies at 85
  • Dec 11 Louise Dahl-Wolfe, American photographer (b. 1895)

Person of interestAndrei Sakharov

Dec 14 Andrei Sakharov, Russian physicist/dissident (Nobel 1975), dies at 68

Nuclear Physicist & Soviet Dissident Andrei Sakharov
Nuclear Physicist & Soviet Dissident
Andrei Sakharov
  • Dec 14 Jock Mahoney [Jacques Joseph O'Mahoney], American actor and stuntman (Dallas, Yancy Derringer, Day of Fury), dies of a stroke at 70
  • Dec 14 Pattie Santos, American singer (It's a Beautiful Day), dies in a car accident at 40
  • Dec 15 Arnold Moss, American actor (Loves of Carmen, Kim, Quebec, Viva Zapata), dies at 79
  • Dec 15 Edward Underdown, British actor (Beat the Devil, Thunderball), dies at 81
  • Dec 16 Aileen Pringle, actress (Age of Consent, Convicted, Night Parade), dies
  • Dec 16 Lee Van Cleef, US actor (Good, Bad & Ugly), dies at 64
  • Dec 16 Silvana Mangano, Italian actress (Death in Venice, Barabbas), dies at 59
  • Dec 16 Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, Argentine racing driver (b. 1913)
  • Dec 19 Dorothea "Stella" Gibbons, English journalist and author (Cold Comfort Farm), dies at 87
  • Dec 20 Audrey Christie, American actress (Splendor in the Grass, Fair Exchange), dies at 77
  • Dec 21 Jan Cikker, Slovak composer, dies at 78

Person of interestSamuel Beckett

Dec 22 Samuel Beckett, Irish French writer (Molloy, Nobel 1969), dies at 83

Playwright, novelist, and poet Samuel Beckett
Playwright, novelist, and poet
Samuel Beckett
  • Dec 23 Josef Alexander, composer, dies at 82
  • Dec 23 Peter Bennett, British actor (Lady Chatterley's Lover, The Adventures of Robin Hood), dies at 72
  • Dec 25 Georgy Mushel, Uzbek pianist and composer, dies at 80
  • Dec 25 Barrel Regtien, student leader, dies
  • Dec 25 Billy Martin, American MLB player and manager (NY Yankees), killed in a car accident at 61
  • Dec 25 Elena Ceausescu, wife of Romania's Communist dictator Nicolae, executed at 73

Person of interestNicolae Ceausescu

Dec 25 Nicolae Ceausescu, Communist dictator of Romania, executed at 71

Dictator of Romania Nicolae Ceausescu
Dictator of Romania
Nicolae Ceausescu
  • Dec 25 Ton Regtien, Dutch student leader, dies at 51
  • Dec 26 Lennox Berkeley, composer, dies at 86
  • Dec 26 Peggy Thorpe-Bates, actress (Alcatraz Island), dies

Person of interestDoug Harvey

Dec 26 Doug Harvey, Canadian ice hockey defence player ('100 Greatest NHL Players), dies of cirrhosis of the liver at 65

NHL Legend Doug Harvey
NHL Legend
Doug Harvey
  • Dec 28 Hermann Oberth, German physicist (founded modern astronautics), dies at 95
  • Dec 30 Madoline Thomas, actress (Girl in the Canal), dies
  • Dec 30 Lenore Lemmon, wife of George Reeves (b. 1923)