Home » 80s Capsule 1989 – What Happened In 1989?

80s Capsule 1989 – What Happened In 1989?

by Kathy

In 1989 the world was a very different place with many significant changes having taken place in the previous decade or so.

Social Politics

Wars and natural disasters claimed hundreds of millions of lives, and the world economy fell apart. However, there were some really good things that happened in 1989 as well. On January 1st, President George H. W Bush was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States. He came into office after serving two terms as Vice-President under Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).

On January 20th, Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on another planet when he stepped down onto the moon’s surface during his Apollo 11 mission. On February 7th, North Korea launched an attack upon South Korea with thousands of artillery shells, and hundreds of missiles. This started a war that lasted until the year 1999.

On March 23rd, the Iron Curtain fell in Europe as all Soviet satellite nations joined the European Union. The Soviet Union ceased to exist on December 26th, 1991. On April 9th, a massive earthquake hit New York City with an epicenter near the North Pole. It killed three thousand people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage to property.

On July 4th, the Soviet Union ended its existence when it peacefully dissolved into 15 independent republics. On August 3rd, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit by NASA. It became operational in 1990 and has been sending back amazing photos ever since.


Video games were extremely popular in the mid 80’s and by the end of that decade they were a very big part of our lives. Video games, especially Nintendo, had a huge impact on the way people use computers. Nintendo became so popular that during 1989 all 8 systems of Nintendo were outselling Sega in Japan.

In 1989 there were only a few main computer networks which were mainly universities and government agencies, but in the next few years thousands of private and public websites were created. This increased popularity of the internet lead to a huge increase in online pornography.


The Big Eight Football Championship Game was played on December 2 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama between Oklahoma State University Cowboy’s against Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. Oklahoma State won 34-21 to win their first ever Big Eight football championship. The game has been referred to as one of college football’s “greatest moments”.

In July of 1989, Michael Jordan, perhaps best known as “Air Jordan”, came out of retirement after being cut by his NBA team Chicago Bulls after he had their season ended early when they lost their first round playoff series against Detroit Pistons 4-1.   Jordan went back to basketball, signing with the Washington Wizards, who were the defending NBA champions.

After a great start where he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for November (he had averaged 28.4 points and 4.6 assists per game), Jordan injured his knee in March 1989 against Cleveland Cavaliers and missed out on a chance to win his second consecutive scoring title as he finished third behind Larry Bird and Clyde Drexler with 28.1 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game respectively.

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