On This Day

1988 in History

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 482

  • Jan 1 Year of the Reader begins
  • Jan 2 Ashland Oil storage tank spills 3.8 million gallons, Penn

AgreementAgreement of Interest

Jan 2 Mulroney & Reagan sign Canada-US free trade agreement

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • Jan 2 Right-wing guerrillas ambush a train near Mozambique's western border, killing at least 22 people and injuring 71.
  • Jan 3 Israel orders 9 Palestinian "instigators" deported from W Beirut

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 3 Margaret Thatcher becomes longest-serving British PM this century

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
British Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher
  • Jan 8 Dow Jones down 140.58 points

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 8 Hewlett-Packard introduces HP-28S Advanced Scientific Calculator

Electrical Engineer and Businessman Bill Hewlett
Electrical Engineer and Businessman
Bill Hewlett
  • Jan 8 US female Figure Skating championship won by Debi Thomas
  • Jan 9 August Wilson's "Piano Lesson" premieres in Boston
  • Jan 11 Test debut of Phil Simmons, WI v India, Madras
  • Jan 13 Supreme Court rules (5-3) public school officials have broad powers to censor school newspapers, plays & other expressive activities
  • Jan 15 Kiran More stumps five WI batsman at Madras, world Test record
  • Jan 15 Narendra Hirwani takes 16-136 (8-61 & 8-75) v WI on Test debut

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Czech dissident Václav Havel is arrested in Prague for taking part in demonstrations against the communist government

Politician and Author Václav Havel
Politician and Author
Václav Havel
  • Jan 17 Leslie Manigay elected President of Haiti

  • Jan 18 Airliner crashes in SW China, killing all 108 on board
  • Jan 19 Disabled writer Christopher Nolan wins the Whitbread Book of the Year prize
  • Jan 20 Andre Hoffman skates world record 1,500m (1:52.06)
  • Jan 20 Arizona committee opens hearing on impeachment of Gov Evan Mecham
  • Jan 21 US accepts immigration of 30,000 US-Vietnamese children
  • Jan 24 9th ACE Cable Awards: Discovery Channel wins the Golden CableACE for "Russia: Live From the Inside"
  • Jan 24 Cerebral Palsy telethon raises $21 million
  • Jan 25 Ramsewak Shankar sworn in as President of Suriname
  • Jan 26 Australian 200th anniversary parade of tall ships in Sydney Harbour

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 27 Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves nomination of Judge Anthony Kennedy to US Supreme Court

106th US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
106th US Supreme Court Justice
Anthony Kennedy
  • Jan 28 Canada's Supreme court declares anti-abortion law unconstitutional
  • Jan 29 Canadian Ben Johnson breaks own 50-yard dash world record at 5.15
  • Jan 29 Detroit's Kirk Gibson signs a 3-year contract with Dodgers
  • Jan 29 United Airlines Boeing 747SP, circles world in 36h54m15s
  • Jan 31 Barge sinks near Anacortes, WA, spills 70,000 gallons of oil
  • Feb 3 Nurses across the UK strike over pay and funding for the NHS

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 4 Panamanian General Manuel Noriega indicted by US federal grand jury for drug trafficking and racketeering

Panamanian General and Dictator Manuel Noriega
Panamanian General and Dictator
Manuel Noriega
  • Feb 4 Despite union calls to end the strike, rank-and-file seamen at major British ports refuse to return to work
  • Feb 5 Arizona House of Reps vote to impeach Republican Governor Evan Mecham
  • Feb 6 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

  • Feb 8 NASA launches DOD-2
  • Feb 10 Rocky Malebane-Metsing coup in Bophuthatswana fails
  • Feb 10 3-judge panel of 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco strikes down Army's ban on homosexuals (later overturned by appeal)
  • Feb 11 Anthony Kennedy appointed to US Supreme Court

BoatCold War Bumping Incident

Feb 12 US Navy frigate USS Yorktown bumped by Russian frigate Bezzavetny in the Black Sea in dispute over right of innocent passage

Learn More
Soviet frigate Bezzavetny (right) bumping USS Yorktown in the Black Sea in 1988
Soviet frigate Bezzavetny (right) bumping USS Yorktown in the Black Sea in 1988
Learn More
  • Feb 13 Christine Wachtel runs world record 800m indoor (1:56:40)
  • Feb 13 European Community plans removal of internal boundaries on Jan 1, 1992
  • Feb 13 Ronald Weigel runs unofficial world record speed walking (18:11.41)
  • Feb 14 Alfredo Stroessner re-elected President of Paraguay
  • Feb 15 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 16 1st documented combat action by US military advisors in El Salvador
  • Feb 17 US Lt Col William Higgins kidnapped in south Lebanon by Lebanese terrorists & later killed
  • Feb 18 Anthony Kennedy, sworn in as US Supreme Court Justice
  • Feb 18 Federal Road Safety Corps is established in Nigeria
  • Feb 19 Helga Arendt, Silke-Beate Knoll, Mechthild Kluth, Gisela Kinzel walk indoor female world record 4x200m (1:32.55)
  • Feb 20 500 die in heavy rains in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Feb 20 Andre Hoffmann skates world record 1500m (1:52.06)
  • Feb 20 Kelly Hrudy's 5th Islander shut-out win-Hartford 3-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 20 Peter Kalikow purchases NY Post from Rupert Murdoch for $37.6 million

Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch
Media Mogul
Rupert Murdoch
  • Feb 20 Rob Druppers runs world record indoor 1000m (2:16.2)

  • Feb 21 Gustafson skates world record 10km (13:48.20)
  • Feb 21 Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert confesses his sins to his congregation
  • Feb 24 South African apartheid regime bans the UDF
  • Feb 24 US Supreme Court votes 8-0 Jerry Falwell cannot collect for Hustler parody
  • Feb 25 South Korea adopts constitution
  • Feb 26 Christa Rotherburger (GDR) skates ladies world record 1000m (1:17.65)
  • Feb 27 Gulfstream G-IV goes around the world 36:08:34
  • Feb 28 Anti-Armenian pogrom in Azerbaijan, 30 killed
  • Feb 29 KWK-FM in St Louis Missouri changes call letters to WKBG
  • Feb 29 NYC Mayor Koch calls Reagan a "WIMP" in the war on drugs

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 29 Nazi document implicates Kurt Waldheim in WWII deportations

4th Secretary-General of the United Nations Kurt Waldheim
4th Secretary-General of the United Nations
Kurt Waldheim
  • Mar 1 Iraq says it launched 16 missiles into Tehran
  • Mar 1 Pontiac announces the end of the Fiero automobile
  • Mar 2 Dutch Liberal Party merged with SDP
  • Mar 5 Constitution of Turks and Caicos Islands is restored and revised.
  • Mar 6 18th Easter Seal Telethon raises $35,200,000
  • Mar 6 3 IRA suspects shot dead in Gibraltar by SAS officers

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 7 Howard Stern's 1st pay-per-view "Underpants & Negligee Party"

Radio shock jock Howard Stern
Radio shock jock
Howard Stern
  • Mar 7 Colombia becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty
  • Mar 9 President Reagan presides at unveiling of Knute Rockne stamp

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 10 Avalanche at Swiss Ski resort Klosters nearly kills Prince Charles

Prince of Wales Prince Charles
Prince of Wales
Prince Charles
  • Mar 11 Utrecht conservatory destroyed by fire
  • Mar 11 British pound note ceases to be legal tender, replaced by one pound coin
  • Mar 15 Eugene Marino of Atlanta appointed 1st African American archbishop
  • Mar 15 NASA reports accelerated breakdown of ozone layer by CFK
  • Mar 16 Federal grand jury indicts North & Poindexter in Iran-Contra affair
  • Mar 16 North Ireland Protestant fires on Catholic funeral, 3 killed
  • Mar 16 US sends 3,000 soldiers to Nicaragua's neighbor Honduras
  • Mar 16 Chemical attack on Kurdish town of Halabja by Iraqi forces kills 5000 civilians - largest ever chemical weapons attack
  • Mar 17 Iran says Iraq uses poison gas
  • Mar 19 2 British soldiers lynched in Belfast, North Ireland
  • Mar 20 David Henry Hwang's "M. Butterfly," premieres in NYC
  • Mar 20 Eritrean War of Independence: Having defeated the Nadew Command, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front enters the town of Afabet, victoriously concluding the Battle of Afabet.
  • Mar 22 US Congress overrides President Reagan's veto of sweeping civil rights bill
  • Mar 25 NASA launches space vehicle S-206
  • Mar 26 American Janet Evans swims 1,500m freestyle female world record 15:52.10 in the USA Spring Nationals in Orlando, Florida
  • Mar 27 Ice Pairs Championship at Budapest won by E Valova & O Vasiliev (URS)
  • Mar 29 US Congress discontinues aid to Nicaraguan contras
  • Mar 30 Tamil Nadu beat Railways by inns & 144 to win Ranji Trophy
  • Mar 31 Last East Limburg coal mine closes in Gent Belgium

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 31 Pulitzer prize awarded to Toni Morrison for her novel "Beloved"

  • Apr 3 Somalia & Ethiopia sign accord about Ogaden desert
  • Apr 3 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Apr 4 Largest crowd (55,438) at a season game at Riverfront (Reds Vs Cards)

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 3 Rodrigo de la Cadena, Mexican artist and performer
  • Jan 4 Nabila Jamshed, Indian writer
  • Jan 7 Scott Pendlebury, Australian rules footballer, born in Sale, Australia
  • Jan 11 Alexandria L'Esperance, US quintuplet, born in Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Jan 11 Danielle L'Esperance, US quintuplet, born in Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Jan 11 Erica L'Esperance, US quintuplet, born in Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Jan 11 Raymond L'Esperance, US quintuplet, born in Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Jan 11 Veronica L'Esperance, US quintuplet, born in Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Feb 17 Natascha Kampusch, Austrian kidnapping victim
  • Apr 30 Molloko, 1st California condor chick conceived in captivity, born in San Diego Zoo (San Diego, California)
  • May 5 Jessica Dubroff, American aviator (attempting to become the youngest person to fly a light utility aircraft across the United States), born in Falmouth, Massachusetts (d. 1996)
  • Jun 15 Miku Ishida, Japanese teen idol
  • Jun 26 King Bach Andrew B. Bachelor, Canadian American internet personality (most watched in Vine), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Jul 24 Luke Mitchell, Scottish murderer
  • Aug 7 Melody Oliveria, American internet blogger (bowiechick)
  • Aug 8 Beatrice, Princes of York, British daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, born in London
  • Aug 16 Rumer Willis, child of Bruce Willis & Demi Moore, born in Paducah, Kentucky
  • Aug 26 Princess Maria Laura of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este
  • Sep 4 John Tyler Hammons, American politician, born in Muskogee, Oklahoma
  • Sep 21 Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistani politician
  • Sep 29 Emily Evelyn Chase, daughter of Jayni & Chevy
  • Oct 21 Hope Hicks, American political operative, White House Communications Director (2017-), born in Greenwich, Connecticut
  • Nov 22 Suresh Guptara and Jyoti Guptara, British-Indian novelists
  • Dec 1 Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Lisa Bonet & Lenny Kravitz
  • Dec 2 Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick, English fashion designer (FIDIR) and grandson of English prince Edward, born in London

Weddings in History

  • Jan 9 English earl of St Andrews marries Sylvana Tomaselli

LoveWedding of Interest

Feb 14 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin (58) weds Lois Driggs Cannon

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin

LoveWedding of Interest

May 28 Journalist Harry Reasoner (65) weds Lois Harriett Weber

Journalist Harry Reasoner
Harry Reasoner

LoveWedding of Interest

May 28 Senator Bernie Sanders (46) weds social worker Jane O'Meara

US Senator Bernie Sanders
US Senator
Bernie Sanders
  • Jul 9 "Facts of Life," Lisa Whelchel weds Steve Cauble
  • Jul 30 James Ogilvy (under Engl princess Alexandra) marries Julia Rawlinson

Divorces in History

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Jul 25 Heiress Julia Stimson Thorne (43) divorces politician John Kerry (44) after 18 years of marriage

US Secretary of State John Kerry
US Secretary of State
John Kerry

Deaths in History

  • Jan 1 Leo Steiner, American restaurateur (Carnegie Deli), dies at 48
  • Jan 2 E.B. Ford, British ecological geneticist, dies at 86

Person of interestGaston Eyskens

Jan 3 Gaston Eyskens, Prime Minister of Belgium (1949, 1958-61, 1968-72), dies at 82

Prime Minister of Belgium Gaston Eyskens
Prime Minister of Belgium
Gaston Eyskens
  • Jan 3 Rose Ausländer, German poet (b. 1901)
  • Jan 8 Frank Pace Jr, US Secretary of Army (1950-53), dies at 76
  • Jan 11 Pappy Boyington, American combat pilot (United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II), dies of cancer at 75
  • Jan 11 Isidor Isaac Rabi, nuclear physicist (Nobel Prize-1944), dies at 89
  • Jan 11 Florence Knapp, American, one-time oldest person in the world (b. 1873)
  • Jan 12 Connie Mulder, South African politician (b. 1925)
  • Jan 13 Chiang Ching-huo, president of Taiwan (1978-88), dies at 69

Person of interestGeorgy Malenkov

Jan 14 Georgi Malenkov, Soviet leader who was briefly leader of the Soviet Union after Stalin's death (1953-55), dies in obscurity at 86

Soviet Leader Georgy Malenkov
Soviet Leader
Georgy Malenkov

Person of interestSeán MacBride

Jan 15 Seán MacBride, Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army and founder of Amnesty International (Nobel 1974), dies at 83

Irish Politician and Chief of Staff of the IRA Seán MacBride
Irish Politician and Chief of Staff of the IRA
Seán MacBride
  • Jan 16 Andrija Artuković, Croatian war criminal (b. 1899)
  • Jan 20 Dora Stratou, Greek choreographer and folklorist (b. 1903)
  • Jan 23 Charles Glen King, American biochemist and pioneer of nutrition research who isolated vitamin C, dies at 91
  • Jan 23 Dan Daniel, politician (Rep-D-VA, 1969-88), dies at 73
  • Jan 24 Werner Fenchel, German mathematician (b. 1905)
  • Jan 27 Massa Makan Diabaté, Malian author (b. 1938)
  • Jan 28 Klaus Fuchs, German physicist (b. 1911)
  • Jan 29 James R. Killian Jr., 10th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1948-59), dies at 83
  • Jan 30 Corry [Cornelia Diderika] Vonk, Dutch cabaret performer, dies at 85
  • Feb 1 Reinder Zwolsman, Dutch businessman, dies at 75
  • Feb 2 Clive Epstein, brother of Brian Epstein, dies at 51
  • Feb 2 G Mennen Williams, Supreme Court justice, dies at 76 in Detroit
  • Feb 6 Marghanita Laski, English journalist and author (Victorian chaise-lounge), dies at 72
  • Feb 7 Lin[wood V] Carter, American sci-fi writer (Lost World of Time), dies at 57
  • Feb 15 Gardiner Means, US economist, dies at 91
  • Feb 15 Gerard Holt, architect, dies at 83
  • Feb 15 Neil R. Jones, American sci-fi writer (Space War, Twin Worlds), dies at 78
  • Feb 15 Richard Feynman, American theoretical physicist known for his work on quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics (1965 Nobel), dies of liposarcoma at 69
  • Feb 16 Jean Carignan, French Canadian fiddler, dies at 71
  • Feb 19 André F. Cournand, French physician and physiologist (Nobel 1956), dies at 92
  • Feb 19 René Char, French poet and painter, dies at 80
  • Feb 24 Irwan Chanin, US theater builder, dies at 96
  • Feb 28 Mikha`il Na'imah, Lebanese playwright, dies at 99
  • Mar 8 Werner Hartmann, German physicist (b. 1912)
  • Mar 9 Kurt Georg Kiesinger, West German chancellor (1966-69), dies at 83
  • Mar 11 Pham Hung, premier of Vietnam, dies at about 74
  • Mar 12 William Camp, dies at 74

BattleDmitri Polyakov

Mar 15 Dmitri Polyakov, Soviet Major General and spy for the CIA, executed at 66

Soviet General and Cold War Spy Dmitri Polyakov
Soviet General and Cold War Spy
Dmitri Polyakov
  • Mar 25 James J. Howard, American educator and Democratic Party politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey), dies at 60
  • Mar 27 Jan van den Weghe, Flemish writer, dies at about 67
  • Mar 30 Edgar Faure, Prime Minister of France (1952, 52-56) and writer, dies at 79
  • Mar 31 William McMahon, 20th Prime Minister of Australia (Liberal: 1971-72), dies in his sleep at 80
  • Apr 1 Marius Holtrop, Dutch economist and President of Netherlands Bank, dies at 85
  • Apr 3 Milton A Caniff, US cartoonist (Terry & the Pirates), dies at 81

Person of interestAlan Paton

Apr 12 Alan Paton, South African author (Cry, the Beloved Country, Too Late the Phalarope) and anti-apartheid activist, dies of cancer at 85

Author and Apartheid Activist Alan Paton
Author and Apartheid Activist
Alan Paton
  • Apr 14 John Stonehouse, British politician (b. 1925)
  • Apr 15 Han G. Hoekstra, Dutch poet (Zandloper), dies at 81
  • Apr 16 Jacques de Kadt, Dutch politician and writer (Fascism is War!), dies at 90
  • Apr 16 Khalil al-Wazir, PLO leader, assassinated by Israeli commandos at 52
  • Apr 16 Warde Donovan, dies at 72
  • Apr 17 Louise Nevelson, American sculptor (featured at the 31st Venice Biennale), dies of brain tumor at 88
  • Apr 19 Kwon Ki-ok, first Korean female pilot (b. 1901)
  • Apr 23 Arthur Michael, Lord Ramsey/archbishop of Canterbury, dies
  • Apr 25 Clifford D. Simak, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Way Station), dies at 83
  • Apr 25 Valerie Solanas, American radical feminist and author of SCUM Manifesto who attempted to assassinate Andy Warhol in 1968, dies of pneumonia at 52
  • May 1 Carroll Righter, American columnist and astrologer to the stars, dies prostate cancer at 88
  • May 3 Lev Pontryagin, Russian mathematician, dies at 79
  • May 3 Paul Vario, U.S. Italian Mafia of the Lucchese Family, dies of lung cancer at 73
  • May 3 Walther Vanbeselaere, Flemish art historian, dies at 79
  • May 5 Tamara Pos, Suriname/Dutch activist
  • May 5 Michael Shaara, American author (Killer angels), dies of a heart attack at 59
  • May 8 Robert A Heinlein, sci-fi writer (Friday), dies of heart failure at 80
  • May 10 Shen Congwen, Chinese writer (Long River), dies at 85

Person of interestKim Philby

May 11 Kim Philby, British spy & Soviet mole who was a member of the "Cambridge Five", dies at 76

  • May 12 Paul Osborn, American playwright (Mornings at 7), dies at 86
  • May 14 Willem Drees, Dutch statesman of the Labour Party (PvdA) and Prime Minister of the Netherlands, dies at 101
  • May 16 Kay Baxter, American bodybuilder (NPC Gold's Classic 1981), dies in car crash at 42
  • May 16 Louise Wood, director of Girl Scouts of USA (1961-72), dies at 78
  • May 16 Charles Keeping, English illustrator (b. 1924)
  • May 21 Dino Conte Grandi, Italian Fascist politician and delegate to league of nations (1925-32), dies at 92
  • May 21 Bruno Frei [Benedikt Freistadt], Austrian Marxist journalist, dies at 91
  • May 22 Giorgio Almirante, Italian fascist (member of parliament (1948-87)), dies at 73
  • May 24 James "Hamish" Hamilton, British publisher (Salinger/Mitford), dies at 87
  • May 25 Ernst Ruska, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1906)
  • Jun 2 Horace Hildreth, American politician (Gov-Maine, 1945-49) and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan (1953-57), dies at 85
  • Jun 5 Clarence M. Pendleton Jr., African-American chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1981-88), dies at 57
  • Jun 8 Virgil Oliver Jr, entertainer, dies
  • Jun 10 Louis L'Amour, American western writer (Bowdrie), dies of cancer at 80
  • Jun 11 Giuseppe Saragat, 5th President of Italy (1964-71), dies at 89
  • Jun 17 Elizabeth Lane, 1st female British supreme court justice, dies at 82
  • Jun 19 Fernand Seguin, Canadian biologist (b. 1922)
  • Jun 19 Gladys Spellman, American. Congresswoman (b. 1918)
  • Jun 21 Bobby Dodd, US football coach (Georgia Tech), dies at 79
  • Jun 23 Evert Werkman, Dutch journalist (Het Parool), dies at 73
  • Jun 23 M Gregor-Dellin, writer, dies
  • Jun 25 Axis Sally [Mildred E Gillars], US nazi propagandist (WWII), dies
  • Jun 27 Léonie Adams, American poetess (High Falcon), dies at 88
  • Jul 9 Anthony Holland, AIDS sufferer committed suicide at 60
  • Jul 9 Barbara Woodhouse, dog trainer, dies at 78 of a stroke
  • Jul 11 Barbara Wootton, Baroness Wootton of Abinger, British sociologist and criminologist, dies at 91
  • Jul 12 Joshua Logan, Broadway producer (South Pacific), dies at 79 of palsy
  • Jul 12 Raymond W Goldsmith, US economist, dies at 83
  • Jul 13 Huub Bals, Dutch film promotor, dies at 51
  • Jul 13 Samuel L Mendel, oldest US war veteran, dies at 104
  • Jul 15 Eleanor Estes, author (Ginger Pye, Moffats), dies at 82
  • Jul 22 Duane Jones, dies of cardiopulmonary arrest at 51
  • Jul 26 Fazlur Rahman, Pakistani modernist scholar, dies at 68
  • Jul 27 Frank Zamboni, American inventor (b. 1901)