Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar).
From January 27, it was the year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac.
It is often considered the final year of the Cold War era
Events of 1990
- January 3 – Manuel Noriega, the former leader of Panama, surrenders to American forces.
- January 4 – 307 people are killed in a train accident in Ghotki, Pakistan.
- January 7 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa is closed to the public due to safety concerns.
- January 9 – Ugandan Lt. Gen. Bazilio Olara-Okello, who led a coup against Dr. Apolo Milton Obote's government, dies in Ormduruman Hospital in Khartoum, Sudan.
- January 10 – Time Warner is formed from the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc.
- January 11 – In Lithuania, 300,000 demonstrate for independence.
- January 13 – Douglas Wilder becomes the first elected African American governor as he takes office in Richmond, Virginia.
- January 15 – Thousands storm the Stasi headquarters in Berlin in an attempt to view their government records.
- January 18 – Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry is arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.
- January 20 – Soviet troops occupied Baku, Azerbaijan, under the state of emergency decree issued by Gorbachev and killed over 130 and wounded over 700 protesters for national independence.
- January 22 – Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. is convicted of releasing the Morris worm.
- January 25 – Avianca Flight 52 crashes into Cove Neck, Long Island, after a miscommunication between the flight crew and JFK Airport officials.
- January 25-January 26 – The Burns' Day storm kills 97 in northwestern Europe.
- March 1 – A fire at the Sheraton Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, kills 16 people.
- March 1 – Steve Jackson Games is raided by the U.S. Secret Service, prompting the later formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- March 1 – The Royal New Zealand Navy discontinues its daily rum ration.
- March 6 – An SR-71 sets a U.S. transcontinental speed record of 1 hour 8 minutes 17 seconds, on what is publicized as its last official flight.
- March 9 – Police seal off Brixton in South London after another night of protests against the poll tax.
- March 9 – Antonia Novello is sworn in as Surgeon General of the United States, becoming the first female and Hispanic American to serve in that position.
- March 9 – Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Clyde Wells confirms he will rescind Newfoundland's approval of the Meech Lake Accord.
- March 10 – Eighteen months after seizing power in a coup, Prosper Avril is ousted in Haiti.
- March 11 – Lithuania declares independence from the Soviet Union with the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania.
- March 11 – Patricio Aylwin is sworn-in as the first democratically-elected Chilean president since 1970.
- March 15 – Iraq hangs British journalist Farzad Bazoft for spying. Daphne Parish, a British nurse, is sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment as an accomplice.
- March 15 – Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first executive president of the Soviet Union.
- March 15 – The Soviet Union announces that Lithuania's declaration of independence is invalid.
- March 18 – Twelve paintings, collectively worth from $100 to $300 million, are stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts by 2 thieves posing as police officers. This is the largest art theft in US history, and the paintings (as of 2007) have not been recovered.
- March 18 – East Germany holds its first free elections.
- March 20 – Ferdinand Marcos's widow, Imelda Marcos, goes on trial for bribery, embezzlement, and racketeering.
- March 21 – After 75 years of South African rule, Namibia becomes independent.
- March 24 – Australian federal election, 1990: The government of Australian prime minister Bob Hawke is re-elected for a 4th term.
- March 25 – In New York City, a fire due to arson at an illegal social club called "Happy Land" kills 87.
- March 25 – Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie announced his intention to retire at the end of the year.
- March 26 – The 62nd Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, with Driving Miss Daisy winning Best Picture.
- March 27 – Propaganda: The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí to Cuba.
- March 28 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush posthumously awards Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal.
- March 31 – "The Second Battle of Trafalgar": A massive anti-poll tax demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, turns into a riot; 471 people are injured, and 341 arrested.
- June 1 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty to end chemical weapon production and begin destroying their respective stocks.
- June 1 – Members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army shoot and kill Major Michael Dillon-Lee and Private William Robert Davies of the British Army. Dillon-Lee is killed outside his home in Dortmund, Germany and Davies is killed at a railway station in Lichfield, England.
- June 2 – The Lower Ohio Valley tornado outbreak spawns 88 confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, killing 12. 37 tornadoes occurred in Indiana, eclipsing the previous record of 21 during the Super Outbreak of April 1974.
- June 7 – Universal Studios Florida opens to the public.
- June 8 – The 1990 FIFA World Cup begins in Italy.
- June 12 – The parliament of the Russian Federation formally declares its sovereignty.
- June 14 – The Detroit Pistons defeat the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1990 NBA Finals.
- June 21 – An earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale kills thousands in the Iranian city of Manjil
- June 22 – Underwater volcano Mount Didicas erupts in the Philippines.
- June 24 – Kathleen Young and Irene Templeton are ordained as priests in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, becoming the first Anglican women priests in the United Kingdom.
- June 25 – First Television Program in HDTV has aired.
- June 26 – U.S. President Bush breaks his 1988 'no new taxes' campaign pledge, accepting tax revenue increases as a necessity to reduce the budget deficit.
- July 2 – A stampede in a pedestrian tunnel leading to Mecca kills 1,426.
- July 6 - Somali president Siad Barre's bodyguards massacre antigovernment demonstrators during a soccer match. 65 people are killed, and over 300 are seriously injured.
- July 7 – In Rome, at the evening of the 1990 FIFA World Cup soccer the Three Tenors sing together for the first time. The event is broadcast live on television and watched worldwide by millions of people. Highlight is Luciano Pavarotti's performance of "Nessun Dorma" from Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot.
- July 8 – West Germany defeats Argentina 1-0 to win the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
- July 15 – Tamil Tigers kill 168 Muslims in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- July 16 – An earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale kills over 1,600 in the Philippines.
- July 25 – George Carey, Bishop of Bath and Wells, is named as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
- July 25 – The Serbian Democratic Party declares the sovereignty of the Serbs in Croatia.
- July 26 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act, designed to protect disabled Americans from discrimination.
- July 27 – The parliament building and a government television house in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago are stormed by the Jamaat al Muslimeen in a coup d'état attempt which lasts 5 days. Approximately 26 to 30 people are killed and several wounded (including then Prime Minister, A.N.R. Robinson, who is shot in the leg).
- July 27 – Belarus declares its sovereignty, a key step toward independence from the USSR.
- July 28 – Alberto Fujimori becomes president of Peru.
- July 30 – A Provisional Irish Republican Army car bomb kills British M.P. Ian Gow, a staunch unionist.
- October 3 – East Germany and West Germany reunify into a single Germany.
- October 5 – After one hundred and fifty years, ten months and two days (Friday, January 3, 1840 – Friday, October 5, 1990), The Herald broadsheet newspaper in Melbourne, Australia is published for the last time as a separate newspaper.
- October 6 - Collingwood wins the AFL Grand Final rematch against Essendon by 48 points.
- October 8 – Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: In Jerusalem, Israeli police kill 17 Palestinians and wound over 100 near the Dome of the Rock mosque on the Temple Mount
- October 9 – Leonard Bernstein announces his retirement from conducting. Unbeknownst to anyone other than himself and his doctors, he is terminally ill.
- October 13 – Lebanese Civil War: Syrian military forces invade and occupy Mount Lebanon, ousting General Michel Aoun's government. This effectively consolidates Syria's 14 year occupation of Lebanese soil.
- October 14 – Leonard Bernstein dies of a heart attack at his home in New York City. He is 72 years old.
- October 15 – Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and reform his nation.
- October 21 – First Apple Day set up by Common Ground in London
- October 25 – Evander Holyfield defeats James 'Buster' Douglas for the Heavyweight Boxing crown.
- October 27 – The Supreme Soviet of Kyrgyzstan chooses Askar Akayev as the republic's first president.
- October 27 – The New Zealand general election 1990 returns the New Zealand National Party with record number of 67 seats.
- For a brief while in early 1990, Romania had a civil war in the aftermath of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, the opposition was for Nicolae Ceauşescu and the Communist regime, and those for the new regime.
- New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is published in the United States.
- Metropolitan Aleksy of Leningrad elected Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.
- Channel 7 + 10 networks go into receivership (Australia).
- Homosexual acts between consenting adults are decriminalized in Queensland.
The following are references to year 1990 in fiction:
- When the Stephen King novel The Stand was re-issued as a "Complete and Uncut Edition", the setting of the story was changed from 1980 to 1990.
- January 1 – Sadick Adams, Ghanaian football striker
- January 1 – Ali Murtaza, Indian First Class cricketer
- January 4 – Toni Kroos, German footballer
- January 4 – Alberto Paloschi, Italian footballer
- January 6 – Abhinav Mukund, cricketer
- January 6 – Dominique Aegerter, German motorcycle racer
- January 6 – Alex Teixeira Santos, Brazilian footballer
- January 7 - Gregor Schlierenzauer, Austrian ski jumper
- January 7 – Camryn Grimes, American actress
- January 7 – Liam Aiken, American actor
- January 8 – Maci Wainwright, American singer-songwriter
- January 10 - Tao Li, Singaporean Olympic swimmer
- January 12 – Sergey Karjakin, Ukrainian chess player
- January 15 – Chris Warren Jr., American actor
- January 15 – Fernando Forestieri, Italian footballer
- January 26 – Christopher Massey, American actor
- January 30 – Jake Thomas, American actor
- January 30 – Eiza Gonzalez, Mexican actress/singer
- February 1 – Laura Marling, British singer-songwriter
- February 3 – Sean Kingston, American singer
- February 4 – Haruka Tomatsu, Japanese Seiyū
- February 7 – Anna Abreu, Finnish pop singer
- February 7 – Steven Stamkos, Canadian ice hockey player
- February 9 – Facundo Affranchino, Argentine footballer
- February 10 – Craig Sorger, American murder victim (d. 2003)
- February 11 – Q'Orianka Kilcher, German-born actress
- February 13 – Erdini Qoigyijabu, Tibetan religious figure
- February 13 – Olivia Allison, British synchronized swimmer
- February 14 – Emily Mae Young, American child actress
- February 28 – Anna Muzychuk, Ukrainian chess player
- March 1 – James Lomas, British stage actor
- March 2 – Adderly Fong, Hong Kong Chinese race car driver
- March 4 – Andrea Bowen, American actress
- March 8 – Abigail and Brittany Hensel, American conjoined twins
- March 14 – Joe Allen, Welsh footballer
- March 19 - Anthony Skorich, Australian footballer
- March 23 – Princess Eugenie of York
- March 24 – Keisha Castle-Hughes, Australian-born New Zealand actress
- March 24 – Aljur Abrenica, Filipino actor
- April 9 – Kristen Stewart, American actress
- April 10 - Alex Pettyfer, English Actor
- April 12 – Frank Gotti Agnello, grandson of convicted mobster John Gotti
- April 15 – Emma Watson, English actress
- April 16 – Lorraine Nicholson, American actress
- April 17 – Astrit Ajdarevic, Swedish professional football player
- April 23 – Matthew Underwood, American actor
- April 27 – Vahid Amraei, Iranian football player
- May 1 – Caitlin Stasey, Australian actress
- May 4 – David Hasler, Liechtenstein Footballer
- May 5 – Saad Al Sheebi, Qatari footballer
- May 2 – Kay Panabaker, American actress
- May 12 – Florent Amodio, French figure skater
- May 15 – Gerald Santos, Filipino actor and singer
- May 24 – Joey Logano , American race car driver
- May 30 – Matías Nocedal, Argentine basketball player
- May 30 – Dean Collins, American actor
- June 2 – Kristiina Brask, Finnish pop singer
- June 6 – Ashleigh Chisholm, Australian actress
- June 10 – Niamh Perry, Irish actress and singer
- June 17 – Marcell Miklos Ács, Hungarian/Australian amateur Muay Thai fighter
- June 21 – Bridget Hall, Canadian actress
- June 21 – Håvard Nordtveit, Norwegian football player
- June 21 – Ričardas Berankis, Lithuanian tennis player
- June 28 - Jasmine Richards, Canadian Actress
- July 1 – Angelo Balanta, Colombian footballer
- July 24 – Daveigh Chase, American actress
- July 27 – Nick Hogan, American television personality
- July 27 – Indiana Evans, Australian actress
- July 28 – Soulja Boy, American Rapper
- July 30 – Patrick Elyas, American actor
- August 6 – JonBenét Ramsey, American beauty queen and murder victim (d. 1996)
- August 9 – Adelaide Kane, Australian actress
- August 10 – Tai Woffinden, English speedway rider
- August 12 – Mario Balotelli, Italian footballer
- August 20 – Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Dutch swimmer
- August 28 – Bojan Krkić, Spanish footballer
- August 31 – Oliver Adams, American actor
- September 3 – Abbas Ali (footballer), Pakistani footballer
- September 8 – Matt Barkley, American football player
- September 9 – Melody Klaver, Dutch actress
- September 13 – Jamie Anderson (snowboarder), American snowboarder
- September 19 – Patrick Breeding, American singer
- September 19 – Saki Fukuda,Japanese actress
- September 20 – John Tavares, Canadian ice hockey player
- September 21 – Christian Serratos, American actress
- September 21 – Allison Scagliotti-Smith, American actress
- September 23 – Agustin Sierra, Argentine actor
- September 23 – Laurent Alvarez, Swiss figure skater
- September 25 – Mao Asada, Japanese figure skater
- October 12 – Henri Lansbury, English footballer
- October 18 – Carly Schroeder, American actress
- October 21 – Ricky Rubio, Spanish basketball player
- October 22 – Jonathan Lipnicki, American actor
- October 23 – Stevie Brock, American singer
- October 23 – Dalmar Abuzeid, Canadian Actor
- October 25 – Austin Peralta, American jazz musician and composer
- November 4 – Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Canadian actor
- November 7 – Matt Corby, Australian singer
- November 7 – Marisa Siketa, Australian actress
- November 14 – Jessica Jacobs, Australian actress and singer (d. 2008)
- November 19 – James Chichester, Earl of Belfast, Irish Peer
- November 29 – Diego González, Mexican singer, actor, and song writer
- November 30 – Magnus Carlsen, Norwegian chess player
- December 10 – Giulia Boverio, Italian actress
- December 10 – Vivien Endicott-Douglas, Canadian actress
- December 13 – Corey Anderson, New Zealand cricketer
- December 17 – Folashade Abugan, Nigerian sprinter
- December 20 – JoJo, American singer/actress
- December 21 – Abdullah Nabeel Al Ahmad, Kuwaiti footballer
- December 22 – Jean-Baptiste Maunier, French actor
- December 23 – Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, American actress
- December 28 – David Archuleta, American singer
January - March
- January 2 - Alan Hale Jr., American actor (b. 1921)
- January 4 - Sir Henry Bolte, Australian politician, former Premier of Victoria (b. 1908)
- January 4 - Doc Edgerton, American electrical engineer (b. 1903)
- January 6 - Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
- January 9 - Spud Chandler, American baseball player (b. 1907)
- January 18 - Melanie Appleby, British musician (b. 1966)
- January 20 - Barbara Stanwyck, American actress (b. 1907)
- January 20 - Hayedeh, Iranian singer (b. 1942)
- January 22 - Roman Vishniac, Russian-American photographer (b. 1897)
- January 23 - Allen Collins, American musician (b. 1952)
- January 25 - Ava Gardner, American actress (b. 1922)
- January 26 - Lewis Mumford, American historian of science (b. 1895)
- February 2 - Joe Erskine, British boxer (b. 1934)
- February 2 - Mel Lewis, American jazz musician (b. 1929)
- February 7 - Jimmy Van Heusen, American composer (b. 1913)
- February 7 - Alfredo M. Santos, Filipino general and World War II hero (b. 1905)
- February 8 - Del Shannon, American musician and singer (b. 1934)
- February 19 - Michael Powell, British director (b. 1905)
- February 16 - Keith Haring, American pop artist (b. 1954)
- February 24 - Malcolm Forbes, American publisher (b. 1919)
- February 27 - Nahum Norbert Glatzer, American scholar (b. 1903)
- March 13 - Karl Münchinger, German conductor (b. 1915)
- March 13 - Bruno Bettelheim, American child psychologist (b. 1903)
- March 17 - Ric Grech, British musician (b. 1946)
- March 17 - Capucine, French actress (b. 1933)
- March 19 - Andrew Wood, American musician (b. 1966)
- March 20 - Lev Yashin, Russian footballer (b. 1929)
April - June
- April 3 - Sarah Vaughan, American jazz vocalist (b. 1924)
- April 8 - Ryan White, American AIDS activist (b. 1971)
- April 15 - Greta Garbo, Swedish actress (b. 1905)
- April 17 - Ralph Abernathy, American civil rights leader (b. 1926)
- April 18 - Gory Guerrero, American wrestler and father of Eddie Guerrero (b. 1921)
- April 21 - Romain de Tirtoff, French Art Deco artist (b. 1892)
- April 23 - Paulette Goddard, American actress (b. 1910)
- May 8 - Tomás Cardinal Ó Fiaich, Northern Irish clergyman (b. 1923)
- May 16 - Sammy Davis Jr., American actor, dancer, and singer (b. 1925)
- May 16 - Jim Henson, American puppeteer and filmmaker (b. 1936)
- May 18 - Jill Ireland, English actress (b. 1936)
- May 25 - Vic Tayback, American actor (b. 1930)
- June 2 - Rex Harrison, English actor (b. 1908)
- June 3 - Robert Noyce, American businessman and inventor (b. 1927)
- June 3 - Stiv Bators, American singer (The Dead Boys) (b. 1949)
- June 16 – Dame Eva Turner, British soprano (b. 1892)
- June 22 - Ilya Frank, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1908)
July - September
- July 7 - Bill Cullen, American game show host (b. 1920)
- July 7 - Cazuza, Brazilian poet, singer and composer (b. 1958)
- July 15 - Margaret Lockwood, English actress (b. 1916)
- July 18 - Yun Po Sun, President of South Korea (b. 1897)
- July 18 - Johnny Wayne, Canadian comedian (b. 1918)
- July 18 - Yves Chaland, French cartoonist (b. 1957)
- July 22 - Manuel Puig, Argentinian writer (b. 1932)
- July 23 - Kenjiro Takayanagi, Japanese television engineer (b. 1899)
- July 26 - Brent Mydland, American keyboard player (b. 1952)
- August 2 - Edwin Richfield, British actor (b. 1921)
- August 9 - Joe Mercer, English footballer (b. 1914)
- August 12 - Dorothy Mackaill, British-born American actress (b. 1903)
- August 15 - Victor Tsoi, Russian singer, actor and poet (b. 1962)
- August 17 - Pearl Bailey, American singer and actress (b. 1918)
- August 18 - B. F. Skinner, American psychologist (b. 1904)
- August 27 - Stevie Ray Vaughan, American guitarist (b. 1954)
- September 4 - Irene Dunne, American actress (b. 1898)
- September 7 - A. J. P. Taylor, English historian (b. 1906)
- September 16 - Len Hutton, English cricketer (b. 1916)
- September 26 - Alberto Moravia, Italian novelist (b. 1907)
- September 30 - Patrick White, Australian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1912)
October - December
- October 5 - Peter Taylor, English footballer and manager (b. 1928)
- October 13 - Le Duc Tho, Vietnamese general and politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1911)
- October 14 - Leonard Bernstein, American composer and conductor (b. 1918)
- November 5 - Meir Kahane, American rabbi and political figure (b. 1932)
- November 17 - Robert Hofstadter, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
- November 23 - Roald Dahl, English writer (b. 1916)
- November 27 - David White, American actor (b. 1916)
- December 2 - Aaron Copland, American composer (b. 1900)
- December 6 - Pavlos Sidiropoulos, Greek singer and songwriter (b. 1948)
- December 7 - Reinaldo Arenas, Cuban writer (b. 1943)
- December 7 - Joan Bennett, American actress (b. 1910)
- December 14 - Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Swiss writer (b. 1921)
Right Livelihood Award