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1988 Fun Facts

George Bush Sr. is elected President.

The greenhouse effect is discovered.

America's Most Wanted debuts.

Prozac is introduced to the public.

Sonny Bono becomes mayor of Palm Springs

Yo! MTV Raps debuts.

CD's outsell albums for the first time.

Lionel Richie's wife was arrested for assaulting Lionel and a model she found him with.

Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson get hitched.

#1 Song of The Year: Roll With It - Steve Winwood.

"She's Like The Wind" shows Patrick Swayze can sing as well as dance and act.

Salt N Pepa get their breakthrough hit with "Push It".

Julia Roberts hits the big screen in her first breakthrough role in Mystic Pizza.

Top grossing film of the year: Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Spuds Mackenzie becomes the original party animal.

Oprah Winfrey is the hottest talk show in America.

The new Suzuki Samurai gets bad reputation for flipping over when turning corners.

Penny Loafers with a penny in them and Levis with the cuffs rolled up were the fashion statements of the year.

U2 records Rattle and Hum album and then later the documentary.

Flying chair thrown by skinhead hits Geraldo in the nose on his self titled talk show.

Average price of a car in 1988: $14065.00

Average price of a gallon of milk in 1988: $2.00

Average price of a loaf of bread in 1988: $0.61

Average price of a stamp in 1988: $0.25

Average price of a home in 1988: $138300.00

Cost of a gallon of regular gas: it fluctuated between 72 cents and 98 cents



US GDP (1998 dollars): $5,049.60 billion
Federal spending: $1064.14 billion
Federal debt: $2601.3 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $27,225
Consumer Price Index: 118.3
Unemployment: 5.5%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.22 ($0.25 as of 4/3/88)


The Wonder Years 3/28 on ABC with Fred Savage, 11, as Kevin Arnold; Danica McKellar, 13, as Winnie Cooper in a 1968 suburban America show created by Growing Pains creators Neal Marlens and Carol Black (to 5/12/1993); In the Heat of the Night 3/15 on NBC with Carroll O'Connor as a Sparta, Miss., police chief, Howard Rollins as officer Virgil Tibbs (to 5/11/1994); Red Dwarf on BBC-2 with Craig Charles; London's Burning on LWT with Mark Arden, James Hazeldine; Hale & Pace on LWT with British comedians Gareth Hale and Norman Pace; Empty Nest 10/8 on NBC with Richard Mulligan as widowed Miami pediatrician Harry Weston, Los Angeles-born actress Kristy McNichol, 25, Dinah Manoff in a spinoff of the sitcom The Golden Girls that has been running since 1985 (to 6/17/1995); Roseanne 10/18 on ABC with former Denver stand-up comic Roseanne Barr, 36, as a rotund, salty-tongued, male-baiting blue-collar mother of three. The show will soon have a larger audience than any other (to 5/20/1997); Murphy Brown 11/14 on CBS with Candice Bergen, now 42, in the title role (written by creator-producer Diane English, 40) of a TV network executive (to 5/18/1998).

Popular Songs

Simple Pleasures (album) by New York-born singer Bobby McFerrin, 38, includes "Don't Worry, Be Happy"; "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses; Green (album) by R.E.M. (Rolling Stone magazine readers vote R.E.M. the best U.S. rock band); Rattle and Hum (album) by U2; "So Emotional" by Whitney Houston; Roll with It (album) by English rocker Steve Winwood; Faith (album) by George Michael; Talk Is Cheap (album) by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones; I'm Your Man (album) by Leonard Cohen, now 53, includes "First We Take Manhattan" and "Everybody Knows"; Touch (album) by Halifax, N.S.-born Canadian singer-songwriter-guitarist Sarah McLachlan, 20; "Colors" by Newark, N.J.-born Los Angeles rap artist Ice-T (originally Tracy Morrow, 20, for the Dennis Hopper film Colors).


Washington beats Denver 42 to 10 at San Diego January 31 in Super Bowl XXII.

Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney dies of a stroke at Pittsburgh August 25 at age 87.

National Basketball Players Association founder Larry Fleisher retires after reaching an agreement that guarantees players a majority of the National Basketball Association's revenues in salary and benefits; Fleisher dies of an apparent heart attack at New York May 4 at age 58.

The Chicago Bulls beat the Cavaliers 101 to 100 at Cleveland May 7 as Bulls guard Michael Jordan's jump shot at the buzzer wins a five-game NBA playoff series. The Bulls defeat the New York Knicks May 19 and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals but lose to Detroit.

Stefan Edberg, 22, (Sweden) wins in men's singles at Wimbledon, Steffi Graf, 19, (W. Ger.) wins tennis's first "grand slam" since Margaret Court of England did it in 1970. Mats Wilander, 23, becomes the first Swede to win the U.S. singles title.

Stars and Stripes retains the America's Cup, defeating New Zealand 2 to 0 off San Diego, but New Zealand protests. A New York State Supreme Court judge will rule in March 1989 that the San Diego Yacht Club's use of a catamaran was unfair and that San Diego must forfeit yachting's most prestigious trophy to the giant mono-hulled New Zealand; a New York appeals court will reverse the decision 6 months later.

Soviet athletes win 132 medals in the Olympic Games at Seoul, East German athletes 102, U.S. athletes 94. North Korea boycotts the games, insisting that she has the right to host half the competition. Katarina Witt has won her second figure skating gold medal in the winter Olympics at Calgary, Alberta, where Cornwall, N.Y.-born speed skater Bonnie (Kathleen) Blair, 23, has won the 500-meter in record time. East St. Louis-born athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, 26, the long jump (24 feet, 3½ inches); Canadian runner Ben Johnson, 26, wins the 100-meter dash September 24, setting a 9.79-second record, but is stripped of his gold medal September 27 for using performance-enhancing anabolic steroids (the medal is given, instead, to Carl Lewis). Tennis is reinstated as an Olympic sport after a 64-year hiatus. U.S. diver Greg Louganis repeats his 1984 successes, winning both the springboard and platform competitions.

The Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series, defeating the Oakland Athletics 4 games to 1.

Food and Drink

Kellogg introduces Common Sense Oat Bran cereal, other cereal companies offer similar products, but although studies show that oat bran lowers blood-serum cholesterol, and many responsible physicians and nutritionists endorse its use, most oat bran cereals contain sodium and saturated fats, and the promise of oat bran as a heart-disease preventive will prove to be overblown (see 1990).

Nestlé S.A.'s Carnation subsidiary introduces Good Start H.A. (hypoallergenic) infant formula in a bid to seize part of the $1.6 billion U.S. infant formula market from Abbott Laboratories (Similac) and Bristol-Myers (Enfamil). Pediatricians are quick to recommend Good Start for colicky babies, but mothers of milk-allergic infants begin to report serious reactions: some babies vomit violently after ingesting Good Start and then go limp. Despite efforts to encourage breast-feeding, some 80 percent of U.S. infants are still given formula at least some of the time.

U.S. food processors introduce 962 new microwavable products, up from 278 in 1986, as microwave oven ownership soars.

Philip Morris buys Kraft Foods for $13.1 billion and adds it to the tobacco company's General Foods division, which becomes Kraft General Foods, the world's largest food company. By 1994 food will account for half of Philip Morris's sales, but only 38 percent of its profits; beer will account for 7 percent of its sales and 4 percent of its profits (56 percent of profits will come from tobacco).

The New York investment banking house Kohlberg Kravis Roberts agrees in October after a bidding contest to pay $24.9 billion for RJR Nabisco in the largest leveraged buyout thus far in history (see 1985). RJR Nabisco had sales last year of $15.8 billion, KKR partner Henry Kravis says, "Oreos will still be in children's lunchboxes."

The Arkansas-based discount retailer
Wal-Mart opens its first Super-Center November 17 at Wheeler, Okla., selling meats, produce, dairy products, and baked goods in addition to the packaged foods that it has offered along with dry goods at its regular discount stores. By the end of the century Wal-Mart will have more than 700 Super-Centers nationwide, and they will be undercutting supermarket chains as well as Main Street grocers.


New York's City Council enacts a law in April requiring restaurants with 50 seats or more to provide separate sections for smokers and nonsmokers. Many restaurants predict a slump in business, but their dire outlook will prove unfounded.

McDonald's announces April 29 that it will open 20 Moscow restaurants, staffed by Soviet workers and run by Soviet managers trained at McDonald's Hamburger Universities. Instead of Big Macs, the restaurants will serve the Bolshoi Mak at two rubles ($3.38—about 1 percent of a month's pay for the average Russian). In a joint venture with the Food Services Division of the Moscow City Council, the company will also build a food-processing plant to service the restaurants.

Britain's Licensing Act receives royal assent May 20, permitting 65,000 pubs in England and Wales to remain open from 11 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night on weekdays with more restricted hours on Sundays (see 1916). Most publicans are unwilling to pay extra wages and will continue to say, "Time, Gentlemen, please" well before 11 o'clock.


Canada's Supreme Court rules January 28 that a law restricting abortion is unconstitutional.

The Reagan administration acts January 29 to bar most family planning clinics from providing abortion assistance if they receive federal funds.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives approval May 23 to cervical cap contraceptives long available in Europe.

A federal jury finds G. D. Searle guilty in a case that involves testing and marketing the Copper-7 intrauterine contraceptive device. The jury awards plaintiffs $8.7 million.

France and China act September 24 to authorize use under medical supervision of the steroid drug RU-486 (mifepristone) which induces abortion in the first months of pregnancy (see 1986). The French government pays virtually the entire cost of the two-step pill-taking process, but although anti-abortion activists say the pills will increase the total number of abortions they will be proved wrong, and most women wishing to end their pregnancies will opt for the quick surgical procedure. Hoechst-Roussel, U.S. subsidiary of the West German maker Roussel-Uclaf, does not apply for FDA approval lest pro-life groups boycott the company's other products (see 1990).

Illegal U.S. immigrants flood agency offices prior to the May 4 expiration date for the amnesty program set up under the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act.

China's central authorities give up hope that the nation's population can be held to 1.2 billion by the year 2000 (see 1980). Peng Peiyun takes over as fourth head of the State Family-Planning Commission and acknowledges that the figure was probably unrealistic; the population is already over 1 billion, and she says that by 2000 it will likely be 1.27 billion.

Political Events

Moscow agrees April 14 to withdraw Soviet forces from Afghanistan (the first group leaves May 17), promises to have all 115,000 out by mid-February 1989, and agrees to restore a nonaligned Afghan state. Former Pathan (Pashtun) leader Abdul Ghaffar Khan has died at Peshawar January 20 at age 97. Occupation of the country since December 1979 has cost at least 15,000 Soviet and more than 1 million Afghan lives. Mujahideen resistance fighters, covertly supplied by the CIA, step up efforts to oust the puppet regime at Kabul (see 1992). War has broken out in February and March between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the issue of autonomy for Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave that the late Josef Stalin placed inside Azerbaijan even though its people are mostly Christian while Azerbaijans are mostly Shiite Muslims. The enclave has demanded autonomy.

The skipper of the U.S.S. Vincennes in the Persian Gulf mistakes an Iran Air A300 Airbus for an attacking plane July 3 and shoots it down, killing all 290 aboard. Embarrassed Washington officials will offer reparations next year to families of the victims.

Panamanian dictator Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega is indicted by federal grand juries in Tampa and Miami February 5 on charges of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from drug traffickers (see 1981), but when President Delvalle tries to oust Noriega he is dismissed February 26 by the National Assembly. The United States and most Latin American countries pledge support for Delvalle, Noriega's opponents stage a general strike in March, the government closes the banks, U.S. sanctions are imposed, and civil disorders follow as workers go unpaid and the government seizes flour mills and Canal docks (see 1989).

A New York court indicts former Philippines president Ferdinand E. Marcos and his wife, Imelda, October 21 on fraud and racketeering charges and orders them to New York. They face 50 years' imprisonment and fines totaling $1 million. Marcos, now 71, is called too ill to travel but Imelda shows up.

Onetime Mafia courtesan Judith Exner Campbell admits in a February 29 People magazine interview that she acted as a courier between the late President John F. Kennedy and mob boss Sam Giancana from 1960 until after JFK's inauguration in 1961, crisscrossing the country carrying sealed manila envelopes. Exner has previously written about her 2½-year affair with Kennedy but did not disclose her role as his go-between with the mob; now 54 and terminally ill with lung cancer, she acknowledges that she lied to a Senate committee in 1975 when she said that Kennedy was unaware of her friendship with mobsters.

Sen. Joseph (Robinette) Biden Jr., 45, (D. Del.) campaigns for his party's presidential nomination but drops out following revelations by aides to Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, 54, that he has used lines from a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock without attribution, plagiarized a paper at Syracuse University Law School, and exaggerated his academic record. Biden will remain an outstanding member of the Senate into the 21st century.

Vice President George H. W. Bush wins the U.S. presidential election with 53 percent of the popular vote to 46 percent for Michael Dukakis, who takes 10 states. The first sitting vice president to win election since 1836, Bush has narrowly defeated religious broadcaster Pat Robertson in the Republican primaries; Sen. Barry Goldwater opposed Robertson, saying, "I believe in separation of church and state. Now, he doesn't believe that . . . I just don't think he should be running." Now 64, Bush has accepted his party's nomination in August with an address written largely by New York-born White House speechwriter Peggy Noonan (Rahn), 36, who called for "a thousand points of light" (private charity) in lieu of government spending and makes promises—"Read my lips—no new taxes" (he has also promised to tax capital gains at a lower rate). A protégée of Reagan communications director Pat Buchanan, Noonan is a onetime Democrat who wrote the line in a Reagan speech calling Nicaragua's contras "the moral equal to our Founding Fathers."

Human Rights, Social Justice

An Iraqi Air Force helicopter appears over the Kurdistani city of Halabja late in the morning of March 16. The city of 80,000 is about 15 miles from the Iranian border, its Kurdish population has for years been in revolt against the regime of Saddam Hussein, whose bombers have earlier used chemical weapons against it. Iraqi artillery now bombard the town, unmarked bombers drop what may be napalm, and in early afternoon a helicopter releases poison gas that smells like a mixture of garlic and apples, smothering the city and killing at least 4,000 men, women, and children (some estimates say 12,000). German companies have built facilities in Iraq to produce the gas, which is also used to kill an estimated 10,000 Iranian soldiers.

President Reagan vetoes a Civil Rights Restoration Act March 16 but Congress overrides his veto March 22, expanding the reach of non-discrimination laws within private institutions receiving federal funds.

The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously June 20 in New York State Club Association, Inc., v. The City of New York that the city's 1984 law banning discrimination against women and minorities in private clubs with more than 400 members does not violate First Amendment rights. The ruling supports the city's human rights law and will affect clubs in every other U.S. city.


Ship owner Daniel K. Ludwig turns over much of his vast wealth to two foundations, one at Zürich and the other at New York, with the ostensible purpose of finding cures for cancer.

Exploration, Colonization

NASA launches a space vehicle September 29 in the first U.S. manned space launch since the 1986 Challenger disaster.


President Reagan and Canada's prime minister Mulroney sign a trade agreement January 2 that eliminates tariffs and lowers other trade barriers. Canada's House of Commons approves the accord August 31, ending a century of economic nationalism.

U.S. unemployment falls in April to 5.4 percent, lowest since 1974.

Median weekly U.S. earnings: lawyer $914, pharmacist $718, engineer $717, physician $716, college teacher $676, computer programmer $588, high school teacher $521, registered nurse $516, accountant $501, editor, reporter, $494, actor, director, $488, writer, artist, entertainer, athlete, $483, mechanic $424, truck driver (heavy) $387, carpenter $365, bus driver $335, laborer $308, secretary $299, truck driver (light) $298, machine operator $284, janitor $258, hotel clerk $214, cashier $192 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The poverty rate of U.S. families headed by women declines sharply as a result of women obtaining better-paying jobs. Families headed by women are still 4.5 times as likely to be poor as families headed by men. Such families constitute 15 percent of the population but more than 50 percent of the poor. Welfare policies give the poor incentives to avoid marriage, but nearly three out of four young black women who bear children out of wedlock marry by the time they are 24 and thus emerge from poverty.

President Reagan signs a trade bill in August giving him broad powers to retaliate against countries found to be engaged in unfair trade practices. A protectionist trade bill to limit textile imports passes the House 248 to 150 and the Senate 59 to 36, but the president vetoes the measure September 28.

U.S. savings and loan institutions lose $13.44 billion. Chief regulator of the S&Ls is former architect Danny Wall, who knows virtually nothing about banking.

A U.S. federal jury at Tampa, Fla., indicts the Luxembourg-based Bank of Credit & Commerce International October 11 on charges of having conspired to launder over $32 million in profits from alleged U.S. cocaine sales by Colombia's Medellín Cartel. Also indicted are two BCCI units and nine of its executives plus 85 persons in seven U.S. cities.

Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average closes December 30 at 2168.57, up 229.74 (11.8 percent) from its 1987 close of 1938.80. The New York Stock Exchange has announced February 4 that it would curb use of its electronic trading system when the Dow rose or fell more than 50 points in a day. The Nasdaq closes at 381.38, up 15.4 percent since the end of 1987.


A Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-18 plows into a Chinese hillside January 19, killing 108; an Avianca Boeing 727 crashes after takeoff on a domestic flight March 17, killing 136, including two soccer teams; a gaping hole opens in the fuselage of a 19-year old Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 April 28, flight attendant C. B. Lansing is swept to her death, but the plane lands safely at Maui Airport and the airline industry institutes new maintenance procedures; a Pan Am 747 explodes in flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, December 21, killing all 259 aboard plus 11 on the ground (a bomb planted by a Mideastern terrorist in Frankfurt is blamed).

Air Canada bans smoking on all transatlantic flights. A new U.S. federal law bans smoking on domestic flights of 2 hours or less.

Union Station reopens at Washington, D.C., September 29 following a $160 million restoration.

Italy inaugurates 155-mile-per-hour rail service on the Direttisima between Rome and Florence.

British Rail introduces the Electra locomotive on its London-Leeds run, increasing speed to 140 miles per hour.

A long-distance British Rail commuter train slams into the back of another commuter train in southwest London December 12, killing 33 people and injuring 113 in the nation's worst railroad crash in more than 20 years.

Japan's 56-year-old Bridgestone Corp. acquires the 88-year-old Firestone Tire & Rubber in March for $2.6 billion. Firestone has 1,500 automobile service centers, but it has been hard hit by its recall of defective steelbelted radial tires between 1978 and 1980.


Apple Computer files suit against Microsoft Corp. in March for infringing on its Macintosh copyrights by using icons in the Windows program introduced for personal computers by Microsoft 2 years ago. The suit will fail, and Apple will reject Bill Gates's advice that it license its program, which remains superior to Microsoft's Windows.


Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-born physicist William D. (Daniel) Phillips, 36, discovers that atoms reach a temperature six times lower than their predicted theoretical limit. Inspired by the work published 3 years ago by Stanford University physicist Steven Chu, Phillips has developed new and improved ways to measure the temperature of laser-cooled atoms at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md. (see Cohen-Tannoudji, 1995).

The National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Energy Department draw up plans for a project whose goal is to map the complete sequence of genes in the human genetic makeup (see Mullis, 1983; medicine [genetically-engineered vaccine], 1986). The challenge is as daunting as any that ever faced the scientific community: while it is known that physical traits are encoded in the human genetic material DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) (see Watson, Crick, 1953), DNA is made up of long chains of organic molecules called nucleotides, the chains are found inside every cell, they arrange themselves into separate coils called chromosomes, there are 24 types of chromosomes, each physical trait corresponds to a length of DNA on a chromosome, that length is known as a gene, a human has roughly 75,000 genes (the sum is known as the genome), but the formidable task now undertaken is to find the location of every gene on the chromosomes, and then to determine the sequence of the estimated 3 billion nucleotides that comprise the chromosomes. Nobel laureate James D. Watson is appointed part-time head of the Office for Human Genome Research at the NIH October 1 (it will be renamed the Center for Human Genome Research next year); world scientists meet at Valencia, Spain, from October 24 to 26 for discussions on cooperation in an international genome project, and Japan has launched two pilot programs by December 2.

Nobel physicist Isidor I. Rabi dies at New York January 11 at age 89; Nobel physicist Richard Feynman of abdominal cancer at Los Angeles February 15 at age 69; evolutionary theorist Sewall Wright of complications from a hip fracture at Madison, Wis., March 3 at age 79; Nobel electrical engineer and electron microscope inventor Ernst Ruska at West Berlin May 27 at age 81; Nobel physicist Luis W. Alvarez of cancer at Berkeley, Calif., September 1 at age 77; physicist George Uhlenbeck at Boulder, Colo., October 30 at age 87; anatomist Raymond Dart of a cerebral hemorrhage at Johannesburg November 22 at age 95; Dutch-born Nobel behavioral zoologist Nikolaas Tinbergen of a stroke at Oxford December 21 at age 81.


Prozac is introduced in January by Eli Lily, whose Illinois-born biochemist Ray W. Fuller, now 52, synthesized the drug fluoxetine hydrochloride 15 years ago. It slows the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain. Bryan B. Molloy and Klaus K. Schmiegel have developed the antidepressant drug, it gained approval for marketing in Belgium 2 years ago, and it received FDA approval December 29 of last year despite questions as to whether it was any more effective than a placebo; Lily claims it has no adverse side effects (but see crime, 1989), U.S. pharmacies will be filling 65,000 prescriptions for Prozac per month within 2 years, 4.5 million Americans will have taken it by the end of 1991, it will be generating $1 billion per year in revenue for Lily, and by the end of the century more than 40 million people will be using it in 90 countries, along with comparable medications such as Paxil and Zoloft.

A bill to expand Medicare by protecting the elderly and disabled from "catastrophic" medical costs clears Congress June 8 and President Reagan signs it into law July 1.

U.S. healthcare spending reaches $51,926 per capita as costs run out of control, accounting for 11.1 percent of the gross national product. Sweden spends 9.1 percent, Canada and France 8.5, the Netherlands 8.3, West Germany 8.1, Austria and Switzerland 8, Ireland 7.9, Finland and Iceland 7.5, Belgium 7.1, Luxembourg and New Zealand 6.9, Australia and Norway 6.8, Italy and Japan 6.7, Britain 6.2, Denmark 6.1, Spain 6, Portugal 5.6, Greece 3.9, Turkey 3.6. Every industrial nation except the United States and South Africa has a national healthcare program, but defenders of the costly U.S. system maintain that it provides better treatment than do other systems.

A congressional investigation raises alarms about cosmetic breast surgery, FDA Product Surveillance investigators find that the failure rate of breast implants is among the highest of any surgery-related procedure they have studied, and a Dow Corning study finds that silicone-gel implants cause cancer in more than 23 percent of test rats (see 1985). FDA Commissioner Frank Young dismisses the Dow Corning study, saying, "The risk to humans, if it exists at all, would be low" (see 1991).

One out of four U.S. babies is born by cesarean section—up from one out of 20 in 1970 (only Brazil has a higher rate) (see 1980). Cesarean section is the most frequently performed operation in U.S. hospitals: an estimated 934,000 such procedures are performed this year and the cost of cesareans tops $3 billion. The Health Insurance Association of America reports that in Northeastern metropolitan areas 2 years ago doctors charged $230 more for a C-section than for a vaginal delivery—$1210 as opposed to $980. A cesarean requires 4 more days in hospital, making it twice as long, and twice as expensive, as a vaginal birth, and hospital charges for a cesarean are about $1,050 higher.

Nobelist cardiac catheterization pioneer André F. Cournand dies at Great Barrington, Mass., February 19 at age 92; gynecologist and laparascopic surgery pioneer Patrick C. Steptoe of cancer at Canterbury, Kent, March 21 at age 74, having pioneered in vitro fertilization in 1978 with the world's first "test-tube baby;" gerontologist Asa Aslan dies at Bucharest May 20 in her early 90s, having made extravagant claims for the efficacy of "Gerovital H3" (a form of procaine, or Novocaine) in restoring youth.

Former U.S. Navy patrol boat commander Elmo R. Zumwalt, 3rd, dies of lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease at Fayetteville, N.C., August 13 at age 42. His father, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., ordered spraying of Agent Orange in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War, the younger Zumwalt has defended his father's decision to use the defoliant as a means of preventing enemy ambushes near the water's edge, they have co-authored a book, My Father, My Son, and controversy continues over what, if any, health effects Agent Orange may have had on U.S. combat forces.


Baton Rouge, La., television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, 52, visits Nicaragua's president Daniel Ortega February 12, confesses sin February 21, and is removed from his pulpit by the Assemblies of God after revelations that he has had sex with a prostitute. Swaggart has lost 69 percent of his viewers and 72 percent of the enrollment at his Bible college. He is defrocked April 8 and ordered to stay off TV for a year but returns in 3 months.


The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 87 percent of U.S. women aged 25 to 29 have high-school diplomas versus 84.7 percent of men in that age group; 21.9 percent of the women have had 4 years of college, versus 23.4 percent of the men.

Communications, Media

The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously February 24 that Hustler magazine's criticism of evangelist Jerry Falwell was within the rules protecting attacks on public figures.

A report issued in February by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group indicates that radio and TV station coverage of events is "grossly unbalanced" (see abolition of FCC's "Fairness Doctrine," 1987). Broadcasters are "not disposed to cover opposing viewpoints when they do not view themselves as subject to the Fairness Doctrine obligation," the report concludes.

Radio personality Rush (Hudson) Limbaugh (III), 37, begins a syndicated program of right-wing opinion that will attract a huge audience and bring Limbaugh an annual income of some $23 million by the mid-1990s. Son of a Cape Girardeau, Mo., judge who owned the radio station that gave him his start as a teenager, he disparages liberal "dittoheads," "feminazis," and others whose views he finds distasteful.

Turner Network Television (TNT) is founded by Ted Turner, who has purchased the M-G-M library of old films.

A 14-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) television screen developed by Japanese engineers at Sharp offers flat-screen pictures in full color with full motion.

The U.S. first-class postal rate goes to 25¢ per ounce April 3 (see 1985; 1991).

Rupert Murdoch agrees August 7 to pay Walter H. Annenberg $3 billion for Triangle Publications (TV Guide, Daily Racing Form, and Seventeen).

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