1988 News and Interesting History Tidbits


The Burmese 8888 Uprising ( so called because of date 08-08-88 )
Students begin protesting for a return to democracy and are joined Burmese citizens from all walks of life, including Buddhist monks. The demonstrations were peaceful and spread from the Burmese capital to other cities in Burma. As the numbers of protesters grew Burma's military government leader Ne Win put military soldiers on the streets with orders, "That Guns were not to shoot upwards,", it is estimated that the soldiers killed in excess of 2,500 students and Buddhist monks before the uprising ended . In 2007 protests started again and the government response again led to the use of force by the military.








Clapham Junction Rail Crash
Three trains are involved in a collision during morning rush hour at Clapham Junction in south London, with 35 dead and 100 others injured.








Pan Am Flight 103
On December 21, 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 the third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London's Heathrow International Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport was destroyed by a bomb, and the remains landed in and around the town of Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland








Seiken Tunnel
Passengers were stuck in Seiken Tunnel, which just recently opened up in Tokyo just a couple of days before this time. This delay was caused by a power outage, during which time people were held up underground for three hours 460 feet underground.








Iran-Contra Indictments
Former National Security Adviser John M. Poindexter, former White House aide Oliver L. North and two others are indicted on charges relating to the Iran-Contra affair.








95% Of All Cars Sold In US Made In US
The latest figures released show that the big three US auto makers Ford Motor Company, GM Motors and Chrysler between between them account for 95% of the US domestic sales.









Iraq Bombs Supertankers
Iraq bombed and destroyed 2 of the worlds largest supertankers in the Southern Persian Golf loading oil in the Iranian offshore loading terminal of Larak .
Later in the year the Iraq / Iran War ended after nearly 8 years .










Gibraltar IRA Gang Shot
IRA gang who were reported to have planted a 500lb car bomb near the British Governor's residence shot dead in Gibraltar.







Murder at Milltown Cemetery
A gunman opens fire and throws grenades into the crowd of mourners at Milltown Cemetery in Northern Ireland killing 3 mourners and injuring at least 50 attending the funeral for IRA members shot dead in Gibraltar.








Ivan the Terrible Found Guilty
A retired US car worker identified as "Ivan the Terrible" is found guilty of Nazi war crimes in a court in Israel and is sentenced to the death penalty.
Ivan the Terrible was a guard at the Treblinka death camp in Poland during World War II.
His conviction was quashed in 1993 by the Israeli Supreme Court, after evidence suggested that another Ukrainian was Ivan the Terrible and returned to the US, he was later deported back to Ukraine when a US judge ruled that even if Demjanjuk were not Ivan the Terrible, there was enough evidence to prove he had been a death camp guard.








Iraq Poison Gas Attack On Kurds
Thousands of people are killed in a poison gas attack cocktail which included mustard gas, the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX and possibly cyanide on the Kurdish city of Halabja in northern Iraq. The attack was believed to have been carried out by Iraq forces on the orders of Saddam Hussein.








New Zealand Cyclone Bola
Cyclone Bola hits New Zealand with torrential rains causing significant flooding and landslides.








Continued Fighting Beirut
The continued fighting between Syrian-backed Amal militia and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah for the control of Southern Beirut has claimed the lives of over 150 including many civilians caught in the crossfire.








Yasser Arafat addresses the U.N. General Assembly
Following the refusal of the US to grant Yasser Arafat a Visitors Visa the United Nations is convened in Geneva, Switzerland so that PLO chairman Yasser Arafat can address the U.N. General Assembly .








Soviet Union School Bus Hijack
A bus full of school children and teachers was hijacked in southern Russia. The two armed men demanded to have an airplane at their disposal. It wasn’t clear what the men were armed with, however, to protect the children Russian officials gave them an Ilyushin-76 to fly to Israel in.








Soviet Union Leaves Afghanistan
The Soviet Union agrees to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan ending nine years of occupation by the Soviet Union .









Piper Alpha Oil Rig Fire
An explosion on the Piper Alpha oil rig 120 miles off the north east coast of Scotland in the North Sea caused a fireball 350 feet high and engulfed the platform killing 167 workers.









Olympic Games 1988
The Summer Olympic Games of the XXIV Olympiad are held in Seoul, South Korea
Canadian Ben Johnson wins the 100 metres in a new world record, but is disqualified after he tests positive for stanozolol.
This is the last time the US basketball team does not feature professional NBA stars and they win the bronze medal
Tennis returns to the Olympics and Steffi Graf adds to her four Grand Slam victories during the year by also winning the Olympic title. Tennis features a higher percentage of professional players than any other sport in the Olympics








Avalanche Prince Charles
An avalanche hit the British royal party including Prince Charles as they were ski-ing off piste above the resort of Klosters in Switzerland . The Prince and several other members of the party, including their guide, were able to ski to safety, but the one of the Prince's closest friends Major Hugh Lindsay, former equerry to the Queen is not so lucky.








Third Evangelist Scandal
TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart has resigned from his ministry after it was revealed he had been consorting with a prostitute.

This is the third in a series of high profile evangelist scandals including Martin Gorman and Rev Jim Bakker .








Armenian Earth Quake
Rescue workers have estimated up to 45,000 people have died and a further 500,000 are homeless after the devastating earthquake which ripped through Armenia,








Murder Via Cyanide in Excedrin Capsules
Stella Nickell who put cyanide in Excedrin capsules including her husbands and five additional bottles of Excedrin she placed on store shelves in the Seattle area is convicted of the murder of her husband and Susan Snow who had purchased a bottle of Excedren and taken one of the capsules and died instantly by a Seattle, Washington, jury.








Computer Virus 1988
Note the estimate for number of computers connected to the Internet
A computer virus has infected many thousands of computers connected to the Internet. The Internet ( ARPANET ) currently connects 50,000 computers from Government agencies and Universities. The virus closed down a number of the computers as operations slowed down and the computers were forced to reboot. The virus was targeted to any computer running the operating system Berkeley Unix Version 4.3. The virus was traced back to a Computer student at Cornell University.








Noriega Charged With Drug Smuggling
Panama leader General Manual Antonio Noriega, along with 16 associates, was charged of drug smuggling and money laundering. Noriega himself had been in charge of smuggling marijuana into the United States and assisting a cocaine drug cartel.


Before it was known that Noriega was caught handling mass drug dealings, he was known to be a promising military student. He even secured a position within the CIA, which later he was fired from as one consequence of leading drug rings.








Stealth Bomber Shown For First Time
The Northrop B-2 "stealth" bomber is shown publicly for the first time at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. The aircraft had a wingspan of nearly 150 ft but its radar signal was as negligible as that of a bird. The B-2 also successfully evaded infrared, sound detectors, and the visible eye.








Median House Price 1988
A report by the National Association of Realtors has said the median price for a home is now $87,700








Solidarity Poland
Solidarity leaders have threatened broad protests including strikes unless the government reverses its decision to close the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk.











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