1991 was more than just a year of MC Hammer and questionable dress. It was the year in which, basically, everything fell apart. I choose to node this year because so many of our present-day nations were born in this very year, and many of the old scores and problems brought to light after the old Soviet order fell remain just as hot today, and will continue to be for some time. I am also noding the popular culture and important events of the year to get a holistic feel of the way people felt during this time. Please do not hesitate to /msg me with comments or criticism. With that said, here is:
The Year 1991
In Pop Culture:
January 16: Serial killer Aileen Wuornos confesses to 6 murders.
March 3: Three LAPD police officers are videotaped beating Rodney King.
March 13: The United States Department of Justice orders Exxon to pay $1 billion in restitution for the Exxon-Valdez oil spill.
March 14: The Birmingham Six are released from prison in the U.K.
June 19: Pablo Escobar, leader of the Medellin Cartel, surrenders to authorities in Colombia to avoid extradition. He is confined in a luxurious private prison called La Catedral and continues his operations as usual.
July 22: Jeffrey Dahmer arrested upon the discovery in his home of the remains of 11 men and boys.
July 26: United States actor Pee wee Herman arrested for public masturbation.
August 13: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) released in the United States.
October 16: George Hennard shoots 24 people to death in Killeen, Texas, then kills himself.
Highest-grossing films of 1991 (U.S.):
1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
2. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
3. Beauty and the Beast
4. The Silence of the Lambs
5. City Slickers
Top of the Charts:
1. Bryan Adams - (Everything I do) I do it for you
2. Michael Jackson - Black or White
3. Roxette - Joyride
4. The Scorpions - Wind of Change
5. R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
(note: the Grammy Awards for this year were actually held in 1992, but the awards are for all of the previous year, 1991)
Record of the Year: Hugh Padgham & Phil Collins - "Another Day in Paradise"
Album of the Year: Quincy Jones - "Back on the Block"
Song of the Year: Julie Gold - "From a Distance" performed by Bette Midler
Best New Artist: Mariah Carey
(note: the Academy Awards for this year were actually held in 1992, but the awards are for all of the previous year, 1991)
Best Picture: The Silence of the Lambs
Best Director: Jonathan Demme - The Silence of the Lambs
Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs
Best Actress: Jodie Foster - The Silence of the Lambs
Best Supporting Actor: Jack Palance - City Slickers
Best Supporting Actress: Mercedes Ruehl - The Fisher King
Fiction: John Updike - Rabbit at Rest
Drama: Neil Simon - Lost in Yonkers
Poetry: Mona Van Duyn - Near Changes
Nobel Prize for Literature:
Nadine Gordimer (of South Africa)
The Booker Prize:
Ben Okri (of Nigeria) - The Famished Road
January 27: The New York Giants defeat the Buffalo Bills to win Super Bowl XXV.
March: Duke University defeats the University of Kansas to win the NCAA men's basketball championship.
July 6 - 28th: Miguel Indurain (of Spain) wins the Tour de France
October 19 - 27: The Minnesota Twins defeat the Atlanta Braves to win the World Series.
November 2: Australia defeats England to win the Rugby World Cup.
November 19: Manchester United defeats Red Star Belgrade to win the UEFA Super Cup
undated: The United States defeats Norway to win the first ever FIFA Women's World Cup.
undated: The Chicago Bulls defeat the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA championship.
(This list is far from complete. See the site in the bibliography below for more)
March 1: Edwin Land (born 1909) - inventor of the Polaroid camera
March 7: Cool Papa Bell (real name James Thomas Bell)(born 1905) - U.S. baseball player, star of the Negro Leagues.
March 20: Alfonso Garcia Robles (born 1911) - Diplomat, Nobel laureate
March 21: Leo Fender (born 1909) - Maker of the eponymous electric guitars
April 5: John Heinz (born 1938) - U.S. Senator (plane crash victim - see disasters, april 5)
May 21: Rajiv Ghandi (born 1944) - Former Prime Minister of India (assassinated)
August 7: Shapour Bakhtiar (born ca.1914) - Former Prime Minister of Iran (assassinated)
August 8: James Irwin (born 1930) - U.S. astronaut (of heart failure)
September 24: Dr. Seuss (real name Theodor Seuss Geisel)(born 1904) - Children's author (of cancer)
September 28: Miles Davis (born 1926) - Jazz musician (of pneumonia)
October 11: Redd Fox (real name John Elroy Sanford)(born 1922) - Comedian (of heart failure)
November 24: Eric Carr (real name Paul Charles Caravello)(born 1950) - KISS drummer (of complications from heart cancer)
November 24: Freddie Mercury (real name Farrokh Bulsara)(born 1946) - Lead singer, Queen (of complications from AIDS)
(This list is far from complete. See the site in the bibliography below for more)
February 17: Bonnie Wright - Actress, Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter series.
April 4: Jamie Lynn Spears - Actress/Singer, sister of Britney Spears
August 16: Evanna Lynch - Actress, played Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
In Science, Technology, and Nature:
February 5: Michigan courts bar Dr. Jack Kevorkian from euthanizing patients.
September 19: Otzi the iceman is discovered in the Alps.
October 29: the Galileo probe becomes first probe to visit an asteroid.
undated: Sumio Iijima discovers carbon nanotubes.
Nobel Prizes in Science:
Physics: Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (of France)
Chemistry: Richard Ernst (of Switzerland)
Medicine: Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann (both of Germany)
February 1: A two-plane collision at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) kills 34.
March 3: A plane crash kills 25 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
April 5: A plane crash kills 23 in Brunswick, Georgia.
April 10: A ferry collides with an oil tanker off of Livorno, Italy, killing 140.
April 22: An Earthquake kills 82 in Costa Rica and Panama.
April 26: Dozens of Tornados in Kansas and Oklahoma kill 26.
April 29: A tropical cyclone kills 138,000 in Bangladesh.
April 29: Earthquake in Georgia (the country) kills 100.
May 26: A Lauda Air Boeing 767 crashes near Bangkok, Thailand, killing 223.
June 3: Mount Unzen erupts in Japan, killing 43.
June 15: Mount Pinatubo erupts in the Philippines, killing 300 - 450.
July 11: A Nigerian Airlines plane carrying Muslim pilgrims crashes in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing all 261 on board.
September 3: A Grease fire kills 25 at a food processing plant in Hamlet, North Carolina.
September 30: Tornado kills 16 in Itu, Brazil.
October 20: Firestorm in Oakland, California kills 25.
November 5: 7,000 killed in flooding in the Philippines.
December 15: Ferry accident in the Red Sea kills over 450.
January: Soviet forces attempt to intervene in the Latvian independence movement, attacking the Ministry of the Interior in Riga.
January 11 - 13: Soviet forces attempt to intervene in the Lithuanian independence movement, culminating in the forcible seizure of the Vilnius TV tower during which 14 civilians are killed.
January 12: U.S. President George H. W. Bush and the United States Congress approve the use of force to drive the Iraqi army out of Kuwait.
January 17: The First Gulf War begins with Operation Desert Storm.
January 26: Civil war in Somalia begins after ousting of dictator Siad Barre.
February 23: General Sunthorn Kongsompong takes power in Thailand by military coup.
March 9: Massive demonstrations held in then-Yugoslavia against the government of Slobodan Milošević, 2 are killed.
March 15: Germany regains complete independence.
March 23: The Rebel United Front leads its first military campaign against the government of Sierra Leone, resulting in civil war.
March 26: The Malian military arrests President Moussa Traoré and suspends the constitution; Amadou Toumani Touré assumes power.
March-April: Iraqi forces suppress Kurdish and Shi'ite rebellions in the north and south, respectively.
April: The revelation of killings by security forces in Togo set off violent demonstrations against the government of Gnassingbe Eyadema.
April 10: Madagascar's Presidential Guard under President Didier Ratsiraka opens fire on a massive crowd of peaceful demonstrators.
May 21: Civil war ends in Ethiopia.
June 12: Boris Yeltsin elected president of the Russian SFSR.
June 25: Croatia declares its independence, resulting in war with Yugoslavia and domestic Serb guerrillas, known as the Croatian War of Independence.
June 25 - July 7: Short armed conflict between Yugoslavia and Slovenia over Slovenian independence, known as the Ten-Day War.
July 1: The Warsaw Pact is officially dissolved.
August 19 - 22: Soviet Communist Party hardliners attempt a coup d'etat against the government of Mikhail Gorbachev. The coup collapses in the face of massive public demonstrations.
September 21 - 30: Iraq tries to make U.N. weapons inspectors leave without their documents, but backs down in the face of U.N. threats.
September 30: Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns as president of Haiti and goes into exile, touching off a period of political turmoil in the country lasting for years afterward.
September: The majority ethnic Russian and Ukrainian region of Trans-Dniester tries to separate from the rest of Moldova, erupting in civil war.
September: Georgian troops under president Gamsakhurdia fire upon anti-government protesters.
October 27: Poland holds its first free elections.
October 31: Madagascar's president Didier Ratsiraka agrees to relinquish most of his power in light of public opposition.
November: In Djibouti, civil war erupts between ethnic Afars and the mainly ethnic Issa government.
August - December: Soviet Republics declare independence from the Soviet Union (see below).
December 8: Commonwealth of Independent States established.
December 22: Fighting intensifies in the Georgian capital Tblisi. Georgian civil war begins.
December 26: The Supreme Soviet votes to dissolve the Soviet Union.
December 31: The Soviet Union is officially dissolved.
undated: Negotiations to end Apartheid continue in South Africa
undated: Aung San Suu Kyi (of Burma/Myanmar) wins the Nobel Peace Prize
Countries who declared independence in 1991:
From the Soviet Union:
Georgia (April 9, 1991)
Estonia (August 20, 1991)
Latvia (August 21, 1991)
Russia (August 24, 1991)
Ukraine (August 24, 1991)
Belarus (August 25, 1991)
Moldova (August 27, 1991)
Azerbaijan (August 30, 1991)
Kyrgyzstan (August 31, 1991)
Uzbekistan (September 1, 1991)
Tajikistan (September 9, 1991)
Armenia (September 21, 1991)
Turkmenistan (October 27, 1991)
Chechnya (November 1991) - Russia will ignore this until 1994, the start of the First Chechen War and many subsequent guerrilla conflicts to this day. Chechnya is still not a member of the U.N., nor is it internationally recognized.
Kazakhstan (December 16, 1991)
Lithuania (note: Lithuania had already declared independence on March 11, 1990, but its independence was not recognized by the Soviet Union until September 6, 1991)
Croatia (June 25, 1991 )
Slovenia (June 25, 1991)
Macedonia (September 8, 1991)
South Ossetia (November 28, 1991) - The region will continue to be a source of conflict between Georgia and Russia to the present, and is only recognized by Russia (since 2008) and a few other unrecognized countries.
Trans-Dniester (September) - as yet unrecognized by the international community.
Admitted to the U.N. in 1991:
(note: all of the following were admitted on September 17th)
North Korea (independent since 1948)
South Korea (independent since 1948)
The Marshall Islands (independent since 1986)
Micronesia (independent since 1986)
Countries who ceased to exist in 1991:
The Soviet Union (formally on December 31, 1991)
1990 < - 1991 - > 1992
The preceding was written for the Node the Ages quest by mauler.
War timeline: http://www.onwar.com/aced/chrono/index1990.htm
Another war timeline: http://www.warscholar.com/Year/1975.html
Dates of independence: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2088.html
About.com's "Newest Countries:" http://geography.about.com/cs/countries/a/newcountries.htm
U.N. membership list and dates: http://www.un.org/members/list.shtml
1991 on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991
List of hit singles: http://tsort.info/music/yr1991.htm
Science timeline: http://www.sciencetimeline.net/1961.htm
Natural disasters timeline: http://www.intute.ac.uk/sciences/hazards/timeline.html
another disasters timeline: http://timelines.ws/subjects/Disasters.HTML
Highest-grossing films list: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1991&p=.htm
List of people who died in 1991: http://www.nndb.com/lists/501/000106183/
List of people born in 1991: http://www.nndb.com/lists/990/000105675/
Booker Prize archive: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/prize/archive/25
Pulitzer Prize archive: http://www.pulitzer.org/bycat
Nobel Prize archive: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/lists/all/