On This Day

What Happened in 1991

Historical Events

  • Jan 17 Operation Desert Storm begins, with US-led coalition forces bombing Iraq, during the Gulf War
  • Feb 7 The IRA launches a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street during a cabinet meeting.
  • Feb 28 Gulf War ends after Iraq accepts a ceasefire following their retreat from Kuwait
  • Mar 3 Los Angeles police officers severely beat motorist Rodney King, the beating is famously captured on amateur video and later leads to riots when the police officers are acquitted
  • Apr 29 Cyclone strikes the Chittagong district in Bangladesh, killing 139,000 people and leaving 10 million homeless
  • Jun 15 Climactic eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines, the second-largest volcanic eruption on Earth of the 20th century
  • Jun 19 Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar surrenders to police
  • Jul 10 Boris Yeltsin sworn in as 1st elected President of the Russian Federation
  • Aug 6 Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.
  • Aug 19 Conservative members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union attempt to depose Mikhail Gorbachev in a coup d'état
  • Aug 21 Conservative coup in the Soviet Union is crushed by popular resistance led by Boris Yeltsin in three days
  • Aug 25 Linux is born when Linus Torvalds sends off an email announcing his project to create a new computer operating system
  • Dec 21 Soviet Union formally dissolves as 11 of 12 republics sign treaty forming Commonwealth of Independent States
  • Dec 25 Mikhail Gorbachev formally resigns as President of USSR in a televised speech
  • More Historical Events

1991 in Film & TV

  • Jan 21 CBS News correspondant Bob Simon and four TV crew captured and held for 40 days by Iraqis in the Persian Gulf

1991 in Music

  • Mar 20 Michael Jackson signs $65M deal with Sony Records to produce 6 albums
  • Jun 18 "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" single released by Bryan Adams (Billboard Song of the Year, 1991)
  • Aug 12 Heavy metal band Metallica release their 5th album "Metallica"; debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 chart
  • Sep 10 Rock band Nirvana release their single "Smells like Teen Spirit", often dubbed the anthem of Generation X

1991 in Sport

  • Jan 9 Baseball officially bans Pete Rose from being elected to Hall of Fame for betting on baseball
  • Feb 4 NZ cricketers Martin Crowe and Andrew Jones make a world record 467 run stand, against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington
  • Mar 19 NFL owners strip Phoenix of the 1993 Super Bowl game due to Arizona not recognizing federal holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • May 19 Willy T. Ribbs overcomes numerous mechanical problems in qualifying to become first African-American driver to make Indianapolis 500 starting grid
  • Jun 25 Martina Navratilova wins record 100th singles match at Wimbledon, beating Elna Reinach of South Africa 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the 1st round
  • Oct 14 NY Rangers right wing Mike Gartner becomes 1st NHL player to score his 500th goal, 500th assist, and 1000th point all in the same season
  • Nov 3 Ayrton Senna wins Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide; shortest F1 race ever run (14 laps) because of wet conditions; Senna retains his 3rd World Drivers Championship by 24 points from Nigel Mansell
  • Nov 7 Magic Johnson announces he has HIV virus & retires from LA Lakers
  • Nov 10 South Africa's 1st cricket international since 1970 - one-day v India

Did You Know?

Boris Yeltsin wins Russia's first presidential election with 57% of the vote

On June 12, 1991

Would You Believe?

Ötzi the Iceman, 3,300 BCE old mummy discovered by German tourists in Italian alps

On September 19, 1991

Famous Weddings

Famous Divorces

  • Apr 25 Designer Mary McFadden (52) announces divorce of Kohie Yohannan (23)
  • Oct 5 Director Martin Scorsese (48) divorces producer Barbara De Fina (41) after 6 years of marriage

More Weddings & Divorces