1990 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

1990 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1990:

  • World-Changing Event: Solitaire was originally included in early computer programs to help users strengthen their clicking and dragging skills.
  • The Top Song was Because I Love You (The Postman Song) by Stevie B
  • The Movies to Watch include Home Alone, Ghost, Edward Scissorhands, Dick Tracy, and Dances with Wolves
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Madonna
  • The Bestselling books:
  • Minimum Wage in 1990: $3.80 per hour
    Tandy Computer 1000RL & color monitor: $799.00
    Nintendo Game Boy: $89.97
  • The Funny Guy was: Billy Crystal
    The Funny Lady: Paula Poundstone
  • The Long Break Up: When Simon and Garfunkel were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Art Garfunkel thanked Paul Simon for enriching his life, and Paul said, “Arthur and I agree about almost nothing. But it’s true; I have enriched his life quite a bit.” They sang three songs together and left the stage.

The Year of The Horse

The year of the horse is one of the 12 years in the Chinese zodiac cycle. The horse is the seventh animal in the cycle.
The years of the horse include 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038, 2050, and 2062,
The Year of the Horse is associated with energy, enthusiasm, and freedom. People born in the year of the horse are considered independent, intelligent, and have a good sense of humor. They are also said to be active, energetic, and love to be around people. They are also known to be very popular and have many friends. They are also said to be successful in their careers and have a good sense of self-worth. They are also known to be quite direct and can be impatient with those who are slower than them. They are also known to be quite impulsive and can sometimes be reckless.

Top Ten Baby Names of 1990:

Jessica, Ashley, Brittany, Amanda, Samantha, Sarah, Stephanie, Jennifer, Elizabeth
Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, Daniel, David, Andrew, James, Justin

Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols:

Elle Macpherson

Hollywood Hunks and Leading Men:

Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Richard Gere, Michael Hutchence, Patrick Swayze, Sean Connery

“The Quotes”

“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.”
– Mrs. Fletcher in a Lifecall commercial

“I do not like broccoli. I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m the President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”
-George H.W. Bush

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:

George H. W. Bush

Miss America:

Debbye Tucker (Columbia, MO)

Miss USA:

Carole Gist (Michigan)

The Scandals:

Rocker Chuck Berry was accused and sued by several women who claimed he had installed a video camera in the ladies bathrooms at two of his St. Louis restaurants.

Rob and Fabrice, better known as Milli Vanilli, must return their “Best New Artist” Grammy because they didn’t sing on their hit album.

Airplane Celebrity Death:

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Pneumonia Celebrity Death:

Jim Henson

The End of the Cold War

The reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, marked the official end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new era of European history. The reunification process began in earnest in 1989, when the communist government of East Germany collapsed and the Berlin Wall was dismantled. On October 3, 1990, the five East German states officially joined the Federal Republic of Germany, which had been West Germany’s government since World War II’s end. This event was met with widespread celebration and marked the end of the division of Germany that had existed since the end of World War II. This event also marked the end of the Cold War, as the reunification of Germany was seen as the final step in the collapse of Soviet-style communism in Eastern Europe.

Nelson Mandela Released From A South African Prison

Nelson Mandela’s release from prison on February 11, 1990, after 27 years of incarceration, marked a turning point in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962 and was convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to life in prison and was held at the infamous Robben Island prison. During his time in prison, Mandela became an international symbol of resistance against the racist and oppressive system of apartheid in South Africa.

In the 1980s, the international community, including the United Nations, called for his release. Finally, on February 11, 1990, President F.W. de Klerk announced that Mandela would be released from prison. This event was met with widespread celebration in South Africa and worldwide. Mandela’s release began a new era in South Africa as he became the country’s first democratically elected President in 1994. His Presidency focused on reconciliation and nation-building, which helped heal the country’s deep racial divisions. His leadership and commitment to peace and equality made him iconic worldwide.

The Persian Gulf War

The Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, was a conflict that lasted from August 2, 1990, to February 28, 1991. The war began when Iraq, under the leadership of President Saddam Hussein, invaded and annexed Kuwait. The United Nations (UN) responded by passing a resolution condemning the invasion and demanding that Iraq withdraw its forces from Kuwait. A coalition of countries, led by the United States, was formed to force Iraq out of Kuwait. The coalition launched a massive air campaign in January 1991, followed by a ground invasion in February.

The war ended after a hundred hours of ground operations, with Iraq’s military being quickly defeated. Kuwait was liberated, and the coalition declared a ceasefire. The war had a significant impact on the Middle East and the world. Iraq’s military was severely damaged, leaving the country in a state of economic and political turmoil.

The coalition’s victory also established the United States as the dominant military power in the region, leading to a change in the balance of power. It also highlighted the importance of oil in the global economy, as it was a major factor in the conflict. The war had many casualties, both military and civilian, and it also caused significant environmental damage.

World News:

North and South Yemen, also known as the Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, unified as the Republic of Yemen.

A Community Charge (poll tax) takes effect in England and Wales amid widespread protests. Shortly after Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigned, the abolition of the poll tax was announced on 21 March 1991.

In Iran, the Manji-Rudbar Earthquake struck with a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, Killing between 35 and 50,000 people.

On May 17, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of diseases.

Iraq invaded Kuwait, eventually leading to the Gulf War. Operation Desert Shield began as the United States and the United Kingdom sent troops into Kuwait.

US President George H.W. Bush and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed a treaty (Agreement on Destruction and Non-production of Chemical Weapons and on Measures to Facilitate the Multilateral Convention on Banning Chemical Weapons) to end chemical weapon production and begin destroying their respective stocks.

Lech Walesa became president of Poland and withdrew from the Warsaw Pact.

In December, Helmut Kohl, who became Chancellor of Germany, won the German federal election (the first election held since German reunification).

Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa after 27 years.

Paleontologist Sue Hendrickson found one of the largest and most well-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex fossilized skeletons near Faith, South Dakota in August. They named the T-Rex “Sue.”

West Germany won the FIFA World Cup Final (Association football): West Germany defeated Argentina 1–0, in Italy.

The Channel Tunnel workers from the United Kingdom and France met beneath the English Channel seabed, making the first ground connection between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe since the last ice age, 8,000 years ago.

The CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Ban on the Trade of Ivory went into effect.

The first McDonald’s in Moscow, Russia, opened eight months after construction began on May 3, 1989. On September 10, the first Pizza Hut opened up in the Soviet Union. On September 11, the first Pizza Hut opened in the People’s Republic of China.
On October 8, the first McDonald’s restaurant is opened in Mainland China in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

The removal of the wall began in June of 1990, and by October, the reunification of West and East Germany was completed. Demolition on the wall was finished in 1992.

Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Douglas Wilder became the first elected African American governor in Virginia.

Pop Culture Facts & History:

Art thieves stole 12 paintings of art and a Shang dynasty vase worth $500 million – the greatest known property theft in history, from the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston. They were never recovered.

On September 29, Washington, D.C.’s National Cathedral was finished. Construction began on September 29, 1907.

Smoking was banned on all cross-country flights in the United States. The first ban on smoking in bars in the US was passed in San Luis Obispo, California.

The first self-wringing mop (The Miracle Mop) was invented in 1990 by Joy Mangano.

On July 30, 1990, the first Saturn (“A new kind of car company”) was built, a red 1991 model-year Saturn SL2.

According to the 1990 United States Census, there were 248,709,873 residents in the U.S.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed for repairs over 11 years due to safety concerns of it falling over.

On June 7, 1990, Nickelodeon Studios and Universal Studios Orlando opened in Florida.

On June 8, the 1990 FIFA World Cup began in Italy. It was the first broadcast of digital HDTV in history.

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, published his formal proposal – World Wide Web/Internet protocol (HTTP) and WWW language (HTML) – for the World Wide Web in November 1990.

Russian Garry Kasparov holds his title by winning the World Chess Championship match against his countryman Anatoly Karpov.

President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson was sexually harassed by multiple New England Patriots players while trying to conduct a locker room interview.

Carried on the Space Shuttle Discovery, NASA’s STS-31 mission deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.

In a joint effort between the ESA and NASA, the Ulysses spacecraft was launched in 1990. The probe’s mission was to study the Sun and the solar system’s magnetic field, also known as the heliosphere.

Launched in 1972, 18 years after its launch, the US Space Probe Pioneer reached 46.5 billion miles beyond all planetary orbits.

President George H. W. Bush posthumously awarded Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal.

Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh was sold for a (then) record $82.5 million.

The 1990 England World Cup song, World in Motion by New Order, was originally called ‘E for England’, but was vetoed by the FA because of the rampant Ecstasy Drug Culture in England at the time.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1990: $700,000

Doomsday Clock:

10 minutes to midnight, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
1990: “As one Eastern European country after another (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania) frees itself from Soviet control, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev refuses to intervene, halting the ideological battle for Europe and significantly diminishing the risk of all-out nuclear war. In late 1989, the Berlin Wall falls, symbolically ending the Cold War. “Forty-four years after Winston Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech, the myth of monolithic communism has been shattered for all to see.”

The Habits:

The “cool” people were watching Twin Peaks on ABC; everybody was watching Macauley Culkin in Home Alone.
The cool people were wearing parachute pants, just like M.C. Hammer. Can’t touch that.

1st Appearances & 1990’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents:

Batman action figures, Bob Mackie Barbie, Madeline Ragdoll, Tribond Game, Power Drencher water gun, Taboo

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1990:

The Bad Place by Dean Koontz
The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk
The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum
The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
The Burden of Proof by Scott Turow
Daddy by Daniel Steel
The Dark Place by Stephen King
Devices and Desires by P.D. James
Four Past Midnight by Stephen King
L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy
Memories of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel
September by Rosamunde Pilcher
The Stand by Stephen King
Thanos Quest by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky

Best Film Oscar Winner:

Driving Miss Daisy (presented in 1990)

1990 Entries to The National Film Registry:

All About Eve (released in 1950)
All Quiet on the Western Front (released in 1930)
Bringing Up Baby (released in 1938)
Dodsworth (released in 1936)
Duck Soup (released in 1933)
Fantasia (released in 1940)
The Freshman (released in 1925)
The Godfather (released in 1972)
The Great Train Robbery (released in 1903)
Harlan County, U.S.A. (released in 1976)
How Green Was My Valley (released in 1941)
It’s a Wonderful Life (released in 1946)
Killer of Sheep (released in 1977)
Love Me Tonight (released in 1932)
Meshes of the Afternoon (released in 1943)
Ninotchka (released in 1939)
Primary (released in 1960)
Raging Bull (released in 1980)
Rebel Without a Cause (released in 1955)
Red River (released in 1948)
The River (released in 1938)
Sullivan’s Travels (released in 1941)
Top Hat (released in 1935)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (released in 1948)
A Woman Under the Influence (released in 1974)

The Big Movies: (according to boxofficemojo)

1. Home Alone
2. Ghost
3. Dances With Wolves
4. Pretty Woman
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
6. The Hunt For Red October
7. Total Recall
8. Die Hard 2: Die Harder
9. Dick Tracy
10. Kindergarten Cop

1990 Most Popular TV Shows:

1. Cheers (NBC)
2. 60 Minutes (CBS)
3. Roseanne (ABC)
4. A Different World (NBC)
5. The Cosby Show (NBC)
6. Murphy Brown (CBS)
7. Empty Nest (NBC)
8. America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)
9. The Golden Girls (NBC)
10. Designing Women (CBS)

1990 Billboard Number One Songs:

December 23, 1989 – January 13, 1990:
Another Day In Paradise – Phil Collins

January 20February 9:
How Am I Supposed To Live Without You – Michael Bolton

February 10 – March 2:
Opposites Attract – Paula Abdul with The Wild Pair

March 3March 23:
Escapade – Janet Jackson

March 24April 6:
Black Velvet – Alannah Myles

April 7April 13:
Love Will Lead You Back – Taylor Dayne

April 14April 20:
I’ll Be Your Everything – Tommy Page

April 21May 18:
Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor

May 19 – June 8:
Vogue – Madonna

June 9June 15:
Hold On – Wilson Phillips

June 16June 29:
It Must Have Been Love – Roxette

June 30July 21:
Step by Step – New Kids on the Block

July 21 – August 3:
She Ain’t Worth It – Glenn Medeiros featuring Bobby Brown

August 4August 31:
Vision of Love – Mariah Carey

September 1September 7:
If Wishes Came True – Sweet Sensation

September 8September 14:
Blaze of Glory – Jon Bon Jovi

September 15 – September 29:
Release Me – Wilson Phillips

September 29 – October 5:
(I Can’t Live Without Your) Love & Affection – Nelson

October 6October 12:
Close to You – Maxi Priest

October 13October 19:
Praying For Time – George Michael

October 20October 26:
I Don’t Have the Heart – James Ingram

October 27November 2:
Black Cat – Janet Jackson

November 3November 9:
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

November 10November 30:
Love Takes Time – Mariah Carey

December 1December 7:
I’m Your Baby Tonight – Whitney Houston

December 8, 1990 – January 4, 1991:
Because I Love You (The Postman Song) – Stevie B

1990 United States Census:

Total US Population: 248,709,873
1. New York, New York – 7,322,564
2. Los Angeles, California – 3,485,398
3. Chicago, Illinois – 2,783,726
4. Houston, Texas – 1,630,553
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 1,585,577
6. San Diego, California – 1,110,549
7. Detroit, Michigan – 1,027,974
8. Dallas, Texas – 1,006,877
9. Phoenix, Arizona – 983,403
10. San Antonio, Texas – 935,933


World Series Champions: Cincinnati Reds
Superbowl XXIV Champions: San Francisco 49ers
NBA Champions: Detroit Pistons
Stanley Cup Champs: Edmonton Oilers
U.S. Open Golf Hale Irwin
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Pete Sampras/Gabriela Sabatini
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Stefan Edberg/Martina Navratilova
NCAA Football Champions: Colorado & Georgia Tech
NCAA Basketball Champions: UNLV
Kentucky Derby: Unbridled
World Cup (Soccer): West Germany

More 1990 Facts and History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us)
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1990X
1990 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com
1990 Facts For Kids
Fact Monster
The Gulf War 1990s, Infoplease.com World History
Millennial Generation (1981-1996)
1990 in Movies (according to IMDB)
1990 Top Movies (according to BoxOfficeMojo)
The People’s History
Retrowaste Vintage Culture
80s and 90s Classic NES Games (1985-1994)
1990 US Census Fast Facts
Wikipedia 1990
Breakup of Yugoslavia 1990-1992