On This Day

Historical Events in December 1989

  • Dec 1 Romanian 5-time Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Nadia Comăneci arrives in NYC requesting political asylum to the United States; granted
  • 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
  • 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

Historic Event

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

Sports History

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 Cy Coleman and David Zippel's musical "City of Angels" opens at Virginia Theater, NYC; runs for 878 performances, wins 6 Tony Awards and 8 Drama Desk Awards
  • 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

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.

Television Premiere

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"

  • 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 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

Sports History

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

  • Dec 20 Premier Lubbers sees CDA-party leader Elco Brinkman as successor

Historic Event

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

  • 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.

Historic Event

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

  • Dec 22 Republic of Chad (Africa) adopts its Constitution
  • Dec 22 Cold wave: -6°F in Tulsa, Oklahoma; -12°F in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; -18°F in Denver, Colorado; -23°F in Kansas City, Missouri; -42°F in Scottsbluff, Nebraska; -47°F in Hardin, Montana; and -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 Noriega, seeks asylum at Vatican embassy
  • Dec 25 Japanese scientist achieve -271.8°C, coldest temperature ever recorded
  • Dec 25 Show trial of Romanian Communist dictator 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.

Music History

Dec 25 Leonard Bernstein conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in East Berlin's Schauspielhaus to celebrate fall of the Berlin Wall. Broadcast worldwide to audience of 100 million.

Sports History

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

  • Dec 26 Ballon d'Or: Milan's second straight 1-2-3; Dutch striker Marco van Basten wins his 2nd best football player in Europe title ahead of Franco Baresi and Frank Rijkaard
  • Dec 27 Oregon begins taking bids on NBA games

Election of Interest

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

Historic Event

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

Sports History

Dec 29 Wayne Gretzky and Martina Navratilova, named athletes of decade by the Associated Press

  • 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