February 1989 in History

Events in History

  • Feb 1 Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 at perihelion

Event of Interest

Feb 1 Diana, Princess of Wales visits New York City

  • Feb 1 The Western Australian towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder amalgamate to form the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
  • Feb 2 0°F (-18°C) or below in 15 US states

Coup d'état

Feb 3 Military coup overthrows Paraguayan Dictator Alfredo Stroessner who flees to Brazil

Event of Interest

Feb 6 Solidarity union leader Lech Wałęsa begins negotiating with Polish government

  • Feb 8 5 cm of snow falls in outskirts of Los Angeles
  • Feb 8 US Boeing 707 crashes into Santa Maria mountain, 145 die
  • Feb 9 Michael Manley's Socialist Party wins Jamaica parliamentary election
  • Feb 10 Ron Brown chosen 1st African American chairman of a major US party (Democrats)
  • Feb 10 Tony Robinson of Jamaica becomes Nottingham's 1st black sheriff
  • Feb 10 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 11 Barbara Clementine Harris consecrated 1st female bishop (Episcopalian)
  • Feb 11 US Episcopal Church Diocese of Massachusetts installs Barbara Harris (59) as 1st female bishop of a US Episcopal church
  • Feb 11 US female Figure Skating championship won by Jill Trenary
  • Feb 12 5 Pakistani Muslim rioters killed protesting "Satanic Verses" novel

Event of Interest

Feb 12 Loyalist paramilitary group kill Pat Finucane, a Belfast lawyer who represented republican hunger striker Bobby Sands, while he is having dinner with family

  • Feb 12 US male Figure Skating championship won by Christopher Bowman
  • Feb 13 Kidnapped Belgian Premier Vanden Boeynants freed
  • Feb 13 Salvadoran army attacks Encuentros hospital, rapes, kills patients
  • Feb 14 African National Congress (ANC) opens office in Amsterdam

Satanic Verses

Feb 14 Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie and his publishers due to his novel "Satanic Verses". A bounty is also placed on his head.

  • Feb 14 The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System are placed into orbit.
  • Feb 14 Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 mill damages for Bhopol disaster
  • Feb 14 World's 1st satellite Skyphone opens
  • Feb 15 Israel attacks border strip Taba near Egypt

Soviet Union Leaves Afghanistan

Feb 15 Soviet military occupation of Afghanistan ends as the last Soviet troops cross the Soviet-Afghan border

  • Feb 16 Egypt, Iraq, Jordan & North Yemen form common market
  • Feb 16 William Hayden becomes Governor-General of Australia
  • Feb 17 6-week study of Arctic atmosphere shows no ozone "hole"
  • Feb 17 Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia & Libya form common market
  • Feb 17 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Feb 19 Edgar Bowers wins Bollingen Prize
  • Feb 20 An IRA bomb destroys a section of a British Army barracks in Ternhill, England
  • Feb 20 Members of 1949 Oklahoma football team cancel an April reunion because of the deplorable conduct of Oklahoma players
  • Feb 21 US bust Chinese drug smuggling ring, capturing a record 820 lbs of heroin worth $1 billion at street value
  • Feb 22 Finish ministry of Public health installs sex vacation to thwart stress
  • Feb 22 NY Lotto pays $26.9 million to one winner (#s are 1-5-12-19-44-50)
  • Feb 22 US authors demonstrate against Iranian death threats against Salman Rushdee, author of "The Satanic Verses"
  • Feb 24 150 million year old fossil egg found in Utah with a fossilized dinosaur embryo inside, the oldest dinosaur egg yet found in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Feb 24 US Boeing 747 loses parts of roof over Pacific, 9 die
  • Feb 24 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Feb 25 1st independent blue-collar labor union in Communist Hungary forms
  • Feb 25 Lowest baramotric pressure in Netherlands (956.7 mbar at De Bilt)
  • Feb 26 Lowest barometric pressure in Netherlands (95.5 hPa)
  • Feb 27 German war criminals Aus der Funten and Fischer freed in Holland
  • Feb 27 Venezuela is rocked by the riots of Caracazo
  • Feb 28 Memo by Brian Gumbel criticizing Today Show co-workers becomes public
  • Feb 28 Nevada-Semipalatinsk anti-nuclear movement founded by Olzhas Suleimenov in Kazakhstan, initially aiming to close Semipalatinsk nuclear test site (closed 1991) [1]

Birthdays in History

  • Feb 9 Wu Chia-ching, Taiwanese pool player
  • Feb 19 L A Baby orangutan, at Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle, Washington)
  • Feb 22 Alia Sabur, American college educator, born in NYC, New York

Weddings in History

Rodney King

Feb 20 Future police violence victim Rodney King (23) weds Crystal Lynnette Waters; divorce in 1996

Deaths in History

  • Feb 1 Elaine de Kooning, American artist, dies at 70
  • Feb 6 Barbara Tuchman, historian (Guns of August-Pulitzer), dies at 77
  • Feb 6 Chris Gueffroy, East German attempted defector (b. 1968)
  • Feb 7 Gilbert Simondon, French philosopher (On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects), dies at 64
  • Feb 8 Maurits Mok, Dutch author and poet (Cheese & Bread Game; The Railroad Strike), dies at 81

Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989)

Feb 9 Japanese manga artist (Kimba the White Lion), dies of cancer at 60

  • Feb 11 Leon Festinger, American psychologist, dies at 69
  • Feb 12 Mauritius Balfoort, French/Flemish director, dies at 83
  • Feb 12 Thomas Bernhard, Austrian novelist, playwright and poet whose work some describe as "the most significant literary achievement since World War II", dies at 58
  • Feb 13 Wayne Hays, American politician (b. 1911)
  • Feb 14 James Bond, American ornithologist (b. 1900)
  • Feb 19 Jaap van de Merwe, Dutch journalist/cabareter (Hadjememaar), dies
  • Feb 22 Moisés da Costa Amaral, East Timorese leader, dies at 50
  • Feb 23 Hans Hellmut Kirst, German author (The Lieutenant Must Be Mad), dies at 74
  • Feb 27 Conrad Lorenz, Austria zoologist (Nobel 1973), dies
  • Feb 27 Konrad Lorenz, Austrian zoologist and ethologist (Man & His Ideas, Nobel Prize 1973), dies at 85
  • Feb 27 Paul Oswald Ahnert, German astronomer, dies at 91
  • Feb 28 Hermann Burger, Swiss poet and writer, dies at 46