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1990 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1989

1990 30 Years Ago | History Snapshot

  • Politics: The Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law by by President George H. W. Bush.
  • The Top Song was Because I Love You (The Postman Song) by Stevie B
  • The Big Movies included Home Alone, Ghost and Dances with Wolves
  • Price of a loaf of bread in 1990: 70 cents
    Nintendo Game Boy: $89.97
  • The World Population was ~ 5,219,000,000
  • K'NEX was invented in 1990 by Joel Glickman.
  • And... The Billboard "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop" chart was called the "Hot Black Singles" chart from 1982-1990.

World Series Champions

Cincinatti Reds

Superbowl XXIV Champions

San Francisco 49ers

National Basketball Association Champions

Detroit Pistons

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Edmonton Oilers

US Open Golf

Hale Irwin

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Pete Sampras/Gabriela Sabatini

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Stefan Edberg/Martina Navratilova

FIFA World Cup Soccer

West Germany

NCAA Football Champions

Colorado & Georgia Tech

NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1990 - Notre Dame over Colorado
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1990 - USC over Michigan
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1990 - Miami over Alabama

Kentucky Derby


Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Wendessa Crown Prince

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

George H. W. Bush

Miss America

Debbye Tucker (Columbia, MO)

Miss USA

Carole Gist (Michigan)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Christina Applegate, Candice Bergen, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Cindy Crawford, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Linda Evangelista, Angie Everhart, Robin Givens, Melanie Griffith, Rachel Hunter, Kathy Ireland, Kelly LeBrock, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Traci Lords, Judit Masco, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Kate Moss, Tatjana Patitz, Paulina Porizkova, Markie Post, Princess Diana, Julia Roberts, Katey Sagal, Claudia Schiffer, Stephanie Seymour, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone, Julie Strain, Niki Taylor, Heather Thomas, Christy Turlington

"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

Richard Nixon may have been a fan of rap music. In a 1990 interview with the New York Times, he said, "I have often thought that if there had been a good rap group around in those days I might have chosen a career in music instead of politics."

First Lady Barbara Bush criticized The Simpsons as "the dumbest thing I've ever seen." Marge wrote a letter to her, in character, politely telling her not to be so judgmental and explaining that her family tried their best. Mrs Bush later apologized for her "loose tongue".

Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai from 1958 to 1990, said of their oil-centric economy: "My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel."

After the first four episodes of Seinfeld aired in the summer of 1990, NBC took a leap of faith and ordered 13 more. Larry David said, "I don't have any more stories to tell, Jerry turn the order down." Jerry didn't listen and said "Yes" to the pickup.

1990 Pop Culture History

In Home Alone (1990) when they counted the people for the trip they say there's 17 people in total. An odd number between two vans means they will be split 8/9. Since Kevin was missing both vans had 8 people instead, making each group assume they were on the 8-people van...

The first documented crash between two cars fitted with Airbags, two 1989 Chrysler LeBaron, occurred; both drivers walked away with minor Injuries from a crash they would not have survived without airbags.

There was an anti-drug PSA called Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue, about Bugs Bunny, Kermit the Frog, Slimer, Garfield, the Chipmunks, Michelangelo from TMNT, ALF, and other cartoons scaring a 14-year-old marijuana addict. It aired all around the globe.

The first rap single to reach #1 in the US was Ice Ice Baby in 1990. The first rap single to reach #1 in Canada was Rapper's Delight in 1980.

Emerson Moser, Crayola's senior moulder, after working 37 years and moulding ~1.4 billion crayons, revealed he was actually blue-green color blind.

IMDb, now owned by Amazon, is one of the oldest websites on the internet, and began on Usenet in 1990 as a list of "actresses with beautiful eyes".

A 200-person, .02 sq. mile trailer park in Texas incorporated and became a city just to open a liquor store. Until 2007, Mobile City was the only place in Rockwall county you could buy any kind of alcohol outside of a restaurant.

Bart Gets An F was the highest rated episode of The Simpsons. 33.6 million viewers tuned in during its original airing on October 11, 1990.

Chuck Norris was the first Westerner in documented Tae Kwon Do history to be awarded the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master.

Air India moved Over 111,000 people from Amman to Mumbai, by operating 488 flights lasting 59 days to evacuate Indian expatriates from Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War. This feat is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people evacuated by a civil airliner.

Microsoft included Solitaire in Windows, in part, to familiarize people with drag and drop operations. Many new computer users were still unfamiliar with graphical user interfaces.

World Wide Web/Internet protocol (HTTP) and WWW language (HTML) created by Tim Berners-Lee.

ABC aired 11 episodes of an ill-fated police-drama-presented-as-a-musical called Cop Rock. TV guide dubbed it "the single most bizarre TV musical of all time."

Ben Franklin donated $5,000 each piece to Boston and Philadelphia in 1790 stipulating they can only withdraw funds in 1890 and 1990. Each city withdrew $500,000 in 1890 and over $20,000,000 in 1990.

The World Health Organization listed homosexuality as a mental illness until the May 17th, 1990.

Stephen King's fictional town of Castle Rock was inspired by the fictional mountain fort of the same name in Lord of the Flies, in turn inspired the name of Rob Reiner's production company, Castle Rock Entertainment, which produced the 1990 film Lord of the Flies.

The record for fastest coast to coast flight is held by the SR-71 Blackbird. On March 6th 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yeilding and Lt. Col. J.T. Vida flew the SR-71 Blackbird from Los Angeles, California to Dulles International Airport in Virginia in 68 minutes 17 seconds.

During the first gulf war in 1990, NBC delayed the start time to the Tonight Show by 5 minutes, to give their affiliates more time to cover the conflict. Once local stations had those 5 precious minutes, they never gave them back. This is why all late night shows in the US start at 11:35 pm.

Disabled activists got out of their wheelchairs and crawled up the steps of the Capitol, inconveniencing Senators to encourage a vote on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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

McDonald's Cooked their Fries in 93% Beef Fat (Tallow) until 1990, when they Switched to Vegetable Oil.

Ken Griffey, Jr. played With His Dad during the MLB season of 1990, and in one game, Sr. and Jr. hit back-to-back home-runs.

Vaso Cubrilovic, one of the conspirators who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, escaped the death penalty because he was under 20. He survived the Great War, got a PhD, survived WWII, became the Yugoslavian Minister of Agriculture, and died in 1990.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

In 1989, Michael Doucette was named America's Safest Driving Teen. In 1990, he fell asleep at the wheel and collided with an oncoming car, killing himself and the other driver.

On August 26, 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughn described a disturbing dream to his band mates in which he witnessed his own funeral. The next day, he tragically died in a helicopter crash.

Pneumonia Celebrity Death: Jim Henson

Mr. Rogers sued the KKK for impersonating his voice in prerecorded messages. These messages said "AIDS was divine retribution" and included radio skits simulating lynchings of black children on a playground. The tapes were circulated among elementary and middle school children.

Soul legend Curtis Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down by falling lighting equipment whilst performing in New York. He continued to compose and record vocals lying down until his death in 1999.

In 1973, 123 passengers died on an airplane, Varig Flight 820, because of a fire started by a cigarette. Since then, all airplane bathrooms are required to have an ashtray even though smoking has been banned on all domestic flights since 1990.

Jim Swire, who's daughter died in the Lockerbie bombing, took a fake bomb on board a British Airways from London Heathrow to New York JFK and then on a flight from New York JFK to Boston to show that airline security had not improved.

A jealous ex-boyfriend torched a Bronx social club, Happy Land, with gasoline to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend. He ended up killing 87 people in what would become the deadliest fire in NYC since the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that occurred 79 years before on the very same day.

13 paintings were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston by two thieves dressed in police uniforms, who tricked museum security into letting them access the gallery. Value of the paintings lost was over $500 million, making it the largest private property heist in history, still unsolved

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

During the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1990, the Army reported finding 50 pounds of cocaine in dictator Manuel Noriega's house. It was actually tamale flour.

The Strangeways Prison riot in Manchester took place on on April 1st. 1,100 of the 1,647 prisoners rioted over prison conditions. It was the longest riot in British penal history, lasting 25 days. It sparked further riots across England, Scotland and Wales - ending in reform of the Prison Service.

A British sitcom aired called, Heil, Honey I'm Home! about Hilter and Eva, who lived next to a Jewish couple. It was cancelled after only one episode.

Rob and Fabrice, better known as Milli Vanilli, have to return their "Best New Artist" Grammy because they didn't sing on their hit album.

After Rat-Packer Sammy Davis Jr died at age 64, in 1990, his widow soon discovered that he was nearly broke and owed back taxes. She then had his body exhumed to strip him of the $70,000 worth of jewelry he had been buried with. He was survived by both his mother (85) and his grandmother (110).

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Neo Geo by SNK, Batman action figures, Bob Mackie Barbie, Madeline Ragdoll, Tribond Game, Power Drencher water gun, Taboo, Super Mario World video game

Disney Adventures Magazine (1990-2007)

Martha Stewart Living began publication

Entertainment Weekly began publication

The Habits

The "cool" people were watching Twin Peaks on ABC, everybody was watching Macauley Culkin in Home Alone.

The really, really cool peopel were wearing parachute pants, just like M.C. Hammer. Can't touch that.

Reading The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel

United States 1990 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

1990/91 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
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)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1990 include
Aerosmith, After 7, Al B. Sure!, Babyface, Bell Biv DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Depeche Mode, En Vogue, Heart, Janet Jackson, Johnny Gill, Keith Sweat, Lenny Kravitz, Lisa Stansfield, Luther Vandross, Madonna, Mariah Carey, M.C. Hammer, Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson, Motley Crue, New Kids on the Block, Pebbles, Phil Collins, Prince, Quincy Jones, Regina Belle, Roxette, Seduction, Stevie B,Tony! Sweet Sensation, Taylor Dayne, Toni! Tone!, Troop, Whitney Houston, Wilson Phillips

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 1990

December 23, 1989 - January 19, 1990: Phil Collins - Another Day in Paradise

January 20, 1990 - February 9, 1990: Michael Bolton - How Am I Supposed to Live Without You

February 10, 1990 - March 2, 1990: Paula Abdul & The Wild Pair - Opposites Attract

March 3, 1990 - March 23, 1990: Janet Jackson - Escapade

March 24, 1990 - April 6, 1990: Alannah Myles - Black Velvet

April 7, 1990 - April 13, 1990: Taylor Dayne - Love Will Lead You Back

April 14, 1990 - April 20, 1990: Tommy Page - I'll Be Your Everything

April 21, 1990 - May 18, 1990: Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U

May 19, 1990 - June 8, 1990: Madonna - Vogue

June 9, 1990 - June 15, 1990: Wilson Phillips - Hold On

June 16, 1990 - June 29, 1990: Roxette - It Must Have Been Love

June 30, 1990 - July 20, 1990: New Kids on the Block - Step By Step

July 21, 1990 - August 3, 1990: Glenn Medeiros featuring Bobby Brown - She Ain't Worth It

August 4, 1990 - August 31, 1990: Mariah Carey - Vision Of Love

September 1, 1990 - September 7, 1990: Sweet Sensation - If Wishes Came True

September 8, 1990 - September 14, 1990: Jon Bon Jovi - Blaze Of Glory

September 15, 1990 - September 28, 1990: Wilson Phillips - Release Me

September 29, 1990 - October 5, 1990: Nelson Girón - (Can't Live Without Your) Love And Affection

October 6, 1990 - October 12, 1990: Maxi Priest - Close To You

October 13, 1990 - October 19, 1990: George Michael - Praying For Time

October 20, 1990 - October 26, 1990: James Ingram - I Don't Have the Heart

October 27, 1990 - November 2, 1990: Janet Jackson - Black Cat

November 3, 1990 - November 9, 1990: Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

November 10, 1990 - November 30, 1990: Mariah Carey - Love Takes Time

December 1, 1990 - December 7, 1990: Whitney Houston - I'm Your Baby Tonight

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

Popular 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

Another 48 Hours, Arachnophobia, Awakenings, Back to the Future Part III, Bird on a Wire, Dances With Wolves, Days of Thunder, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Dick Tracey, Edward Scissorhands, Flatliners, The Godfather Part III, Ghost, Goodfellas, Hard to Kill, Home Alone, The Hunt for Red October, Kindergarten Cop, Look Who's Talking Too, Misery, Presumed Innocent, Pretty Woman, Problem Child, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Three Men and a Little Lady, Total Recall

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1990
# 1 Hits of 1990
Pop Culture News

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pop, as in 'popular' :(adjective) Pertaining to the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class.
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