1991 News and Interesting History Tidbits

John Paul II and Catholic Woodstock
In Czestochowa, Poland the Polish-born pontiff, John Paul II, rejoiced about the demise of communism in Eastern Europe. At the Roman Catholic World Day of Youth an excess of one million young people attended. It was dubbed the “Catholic Woodstock”. As the pope spoke to the crowd there were 60,000 individuals from Russia and 10,000 from Lithuania and the Ukraine who heard his message

911 Emergency Number Tested
The 911 emergency number, which brings police and paramedics to the sick or injured person’s side is being pioneered in Schaumburg. Other northwestern cities will also participate to test out the new system and the number is very easy to remember.

Operation Desert Storm
After midnight on January 17, 1991, war was to be declared in the Persian Gulf if Iraq did not pull out of Kuwait. Since Iraq did not pull out voluntarily, the Pentagon had begun acting on its preparations to begin an offensive attack on the Iraqi army.
By evening of this day, Operation Desert Storm had begun. The United States had begun the attack Iraq on Kuwait’s behalf. Operation Desert Storm was led by Norman Schwarzkopf and 32 nations total were involved-including Britain, France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and of course, Kuwait.

Iraqi Scud Missile Kills 25 in Saudi Arabia
An Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran killing 28 Americans during the Persian Gulf War.

Jeffrey Dahmer Caught
Jeffrey Dahmer is caught and is considered one of the most sadistic serial killers in our time when Dahmer's apartment was searched, the extent of his horrors was revealed, it contained pictures of body parts and the apartment was littered with human remains including human heads in the refrigerator and freezer, there was also evidence to suggest that he had been practicing cannibalism with his victims bodies, he later confessed to 17 murders in all.

Baghdad Bombing
Local reports from Baghdad, Iraq say two laser-guided precision bombs from American bombers hit an air-raid shelter in the middle class district of Amiriya, five miles from the centre of the Iraqi capital. So far 235 bodies have been recovered, 12 hours after the attacks

US Ground Invasion Kuwait
President George H.W. Bush announced that the allied ground offensive against Iraqi forces had begun
A ground troop invasion of Kuwait and Iraq was initiated by the U.S. . This decision was made after six weeks of bombing against Iraq and its army.

Kuwait is liberated
Kuwait City is liberated by Gulf War Allies when Iraq President Saddam Hussein orders withdrawal by Iraq Troops from the city.
President George H.W. Bush declared that "Kuwait is liberated, and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight

Gulf War Ends
28th February, 1991 : The gulf war is over following Iraq accepting all 12 resolutions made by the United Nations. The official death toll for the Gulf War is 50,000, Iraq soldiers, 148 American Soldiers and 16 British soldiers.

Iraq Frees Prisoners Of War
Iraq freed a total of 1,150 Kuwait prisoners of war. The Red Cross mentioned that this action was done in compliance with the current Gulf War cease-fire arrangement that was made.

Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein was defeated by allies fighting in the Gulf War, and it was announced that he had stepped down from his position as prime minister of Iraq. However, he also had at the same time created a new government, and received the support of associates close to him, so rumor had it that he was still a presidential position within the country.

Food Shipment Ban To Be Lifted On Iraq
UN diplomats advocated a lift on the ban of food shipments to the Iraq. A debate was taking place regarding whether or not to also allow fuel and other useful goods into the country as well.

This particular decision was being discussed shortly after two Iraqi planes were shot down by Americans after a temporary cease-fire was made. (Americans had made no official agreement to completely stop attacking fixed Iraqi wing aircraft at this time.)

Rajiv Gandhi Assassinated
Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated when a bomb explodes during election campaigning in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The Warsaw Pact Ends
The Warsaw Pact a military alliance between the Soviet Union and its eastern European neighbors ends .

Cyclone hits Bangladesh
A cyclone hits Bangladesh with winds in excess of 150 MPH and a 20 foot storm surge and kills more than 135,000 people in flat low lying Bangladesh.

Tornadoes Kansas and Oklahoma
A series of strong tornadoes struck parts of Kansas , with the most devastating hitting the town of Andover with wind speeds of over 260 mph. Hundreds of homes were destroyed with more than 30 twisters ripping through Kansas and 18 through Oklahoma

Pamela Smart Convicted
Pamela Smart is convicted for conspiring with her 16-year-old student lover, William Flynn, and three friends to kill her husband, Gregory Smart, in Derry, New Hampshire.

Side Effect of Ending Of Cold War
Following the easing of tensions as the cold war between east and west ends, the UK joins other NATO countries in announcing cuts in spending on Britain's Military forces. The British Defence Secretary Tom King has announced that more than one third of infantry in the Army is to go.

Coutries Gaining Independence in 1991
Macedonia Gains Independence as part of the break up of the former Yugoslavia in 1991

Tajikstan Gains Independence following the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991

Latvia a country in the Baltic Region gains Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991

Croatia formerly part of Yugoslavia Declares Independence in 1991

Lithuania gains Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991

Kyrgyzstan Gains Independence following the break up of the Soviet Union

Ukraine becomes independent following the break up of the Soviet Union

Moldova Gains Independence following the break up of the Soviet Union

Uzbekistan Gains Independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union Breaks Up

Axerbaijan Gains Independence from the Soviet Union

Slovenia becomes independent following the break up of Yugoslavia

Belarus Gains Independence from the Soviet Union

Estonia a country in the Baltic Region Gains Independence from the Soviet Union

Birth Of The Commonwealth of Independent States
The birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States consisting of eleven former Soviet Republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Hillsborough Disaster Inquest
An inquest held over the deaths of 95 fans killed during during the Hillsborough disaster at Sheffield Wednesday's football stadium has returned a verdict of accidental death .

The disaster happened during an FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool held at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium on 15 April 1989, and is blamed on too many Liverpool fans being allowed in to the back of an already full stand at the Leppings Lane end of the ground. As more and more fans were allowed in fans were being crushed to death by the sheer volume of additional fans being allowed in.

In total 95 Liverpool fans died during the disaster.

New Jack City Movie
New Jack City, a movie about Harlem street gangs, had aired on this day. Ice-T and Wesley Snipes had starred in this film. At the same time as the opening of this production, violence broke out throughout the country at various theatres. One theory explaining why these theatre violence incidences had occurred had to do with the violent theme of New Jack City.

Birmingham Six Released
Following a Television investigative programme into the innocence of six Irish men who had been sent to prison for the bombings of two Birmingham pubs. British authorities release the "Birmingham Six"

Leningrad Changes It's Name To St Petersburg
Leningrad Russia's second largest city Changes It's Name To Saint Petersburg after a referendum of voters in the city voted to change it's name back to St Petersburg.

Mikhail Gorbachev Stands Down
Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union for almost seven years and executive president for nearly two, steps down from office.

Police Brutality Captured On Film
On this day, it was evident that police brutality had occurred in Los Angeles, California in the middle of the night on March 3, 1991. This was proved, as it was recorded on video (although some of the audible sounds were not as noticeable as the actions). Three white police officers had proceeded to beat Rodney King beyond what was necessary to use force to control him. Moreover, these three officers had reported that the bruises, cuts, and/or scrapes they gave King were minor in nature. The beating by officers from the Los Angeles Police Department of Rodney King is captured on Video, the video then appeared on television news which angered many of the public especially those in the African American community who believed the police brutality was racially motivated.

Robert Maxwell
Newspaper publisher, Robert Maxwell, has been found in the sea off the coast of Tenerife. After his death it emerged that the Mirror Group's debts vastly outweighed its assets and £440m was missing from the company's pension funds.

Maxwell Empire Faces Bankruptcy
Following the death of Robert Maxwell administrators in Britain have been called in to try to salvage the Maxwell business empire, which includes the Mirror Group Newspapers and is at least £1bn in debt

John McCarthy Released In Lebanon
John McCarthy a British journalist has been released after being held captive for more than five years by Islamic Jihad.
The terrorist militant organisation are still holding a number of American and English hostages including Terry Anderson, Tom Sutherland and Terry Waite.

Terry Waite Released
Terry Waite the special envoy of the archbishop of Canterbury, is released by Shiite Muslims after more than four years of captivity. Prior to his kidnapping he had secured the release of missionaries in Iran, British hostages in Libya and American hostages in Lebanon.

Last US Hostage Terry Anderson Released Lebanon
Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the last and longest-held US hostage in Lebanon, is freed by an Islamic militant group after 2,454 days in captivity.

Bank of Credit and Commerce International BCCI
The Bank of Credit and Commerce International ( BCCI ) which at one stage was one of the worlds ten largest banks by assets is closed in the United States, The United Kingdom and other countries around the world after regulators found the bank was involved in money laundering, bribery, arms trafficking, the sale of nuclear technologies support of terrorism.

Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury the lead singer for the rock group Queen has died aged 45, just one day after he publicly announced he was HIV positive.

Ethiopia Revolution
The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) take control of the nations capitol Addis Ababa ending 17 years of Marxist rule in Ethiopia.

California Fires
19th October, 1991 : A fire in the hills of Oakland, California burned thousands of homes and killing 25 people.

Interstate 5 Dust Storm Car Crashes
A dust storm on Interstate 5 causes a series of accidents involving more than 100 cars and 17 people are killed in the accidents.

Magic Johnson Announces Retirement
Magic Johnson the Basketball legend announces he will retire from the Los Angeles Lakers after testing positive for HIV .

Our Poor Earth
The Ice covering the Arctic has decreased by 2% in the last 10 years

Tropical Rain forest shrinks by 1% annually as a result of Human activities

Scientists from the International Atmospheric Authority in Australia have said that the earths protective Ozone layer has shrunk 4% in the the last ten years compared with 2% in the preceding 10 years

Going Postal
Former U.S. postal worker Joseph Harris kills two former co workers at the post office in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The night before, Harris had killed his former supervisor, Carol Ott, with a three-foot samurai sword, and shot her fiance, Cornelius Kasten, in their home. His murders were one of many committed by postal workers which resulted in the phrase "going postal" .

Ban of Homosexuals US Army
Defense secretary Dick Cheney defended the Pentagon policy of a ban of homosexuals in the military stating we shouldn't take any step that undermines the overall fighting effectiveness of our military forces

Winnie Mandela Jailed
Winnie Mandela, the wife of Nelson Mandela, is given a six-year prison sentence for her part in the kidnap of four youths suspected of being police informers, one of the kidnapped boys later died of his injuries.

Mrs Mandela's was believed to be behind the activities of her bodyguards - known as the "Mandela Football Club" who are involved in violence in the Soweto township including the notorious "necklace killings" which involved putting a tyre around a victim's neck and setting fire to it.

Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela separated after 33 years of marriage and were formally divorced in 1996.

Soviet Troops in Lithuania
The Soviet Union has cracked down on it's latest area in the Baltic republic looking for independence. Members of the Government supported independence and encouraged it, but Moscow sent troops to take control of the Television and Radio Centrex where 1,000 protesters had gathered to protect them. Soldiers then smashed through the glass windows of the station and overwhelmed defenders armed with sticks. The Soviet military then proceeded to take control of Government buildings. During the Soviet crackdown 14 civilians were killed and condemnation came from around the world on attacking a peaceful and democratically elected government. Later in the year in September the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia did gain full independence from the Soviet Union and were admitted into the United Nations.

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