On This Day

December 1989 in History

Events in History

  • 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 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

Historic Event

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

  • 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 8 Great Britain performs nuclear test
  • Dec 10 President Gustav Husak of Czechoslovakia, resigns
  • Dec 13 The last issue of Gnistan (The Spark), the organ of the Solidaritetspartiet, is published in Sweden
  • 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.
  • Dec 17 Brazil elects conservative Fernando Collor de Mello as president
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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

Election of Interest

Dec 28 Alexander Dubček elected Chairman of the Federal Assembly (Parliament) of Czechslovakia

  • Dec 28 Earthquake at Newcastle Australia, 11 die

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Birthdays in History

  • Dec 20 Virgilio Falco, Italian politician

Weddings in History

Richard Branson

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


Deaths in History

  • Dec 8 Hans Hartung, German-French painter, dies at 85
  • Dec 11 Louise Dahl-Wolfe, American fashion photographer, dies at 94
  • Dec 19 Dorothea "Stella" Gibbons, English journalist and author (Cold Comfort Farm), dies at 87
  • Dec 20 Kurt Böhme, German bass, dies at 81

Samuel Beckett

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

  • Dec 25 Barrel Regtien, student leader, dies
  • Dec 25 Elena Ceausescu, wife of Romania's Communist dictator Nicolae, executed at 73
  • Dec 25 Ton Regtien, Dutch student leader, dies at 51
  • Dec 28 Hermann Oberth, German physicist (founded modern astronautics), dies at 95
  • Dec 30 Lenore Lemmon, girlfriend of "Superman" George Reeves (b. 1923)
  • Dec 30 Etienne Leroux, Afrikaans author (Een vir Azazel), dies at 67