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Democracy rocks the Communist world, as the Berlin Wall falls, and thousands of Chinese risk their lives in Tiananmen Square protests. Nature devastates with a killer earthquake in San Francisco and Hurricane Hugo in the Caribbean and Carolina's. Manuel Noriega is put out of power in Panama after a U.S. invasion.

  • Hirohito dies
  • Exxon Valdez
  • Soccer fans crushed
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Menendez brothers
  • Hurricane Hugo
  • San Francisco quake
  • Berlin Wall dismantled
  • Noriega surrenders

  • Japan's Emperor Hirohito dead at 87 -- January 7, 1989

    A Japanese Imperial Palace spokesman delivers heart-breaking but long-expected news to the nation: Emperor Hirohito is dead of cancer. Within hours, thousands of Japanese flock to the Imperial Palace to pay homage to the long-reigning monarch. By nightfall, nearly 300,000 people sign an official condolence registry; two days later, the figure exceeds 1 million. Hirohito, 87, had ruled for 62 years and is succeeded by his only son, Crown Prince Akihito.

    Japan mourns:
    832K QuickTime Movie (160x120) 1.9M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

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    Tanker Exxon Valdez runs aground, largest oil spill in U.S. history -- March 24, 1989

    The largest oil spill in U.S. history occurs when the tanker Exxon Valdez, loaded with some 1.2 million barrels of crude oil, runs aground on a reef in the Gulf of Alaska. An estimated 265,000 barrels of oil pour out of the tanker, blanketing the waters and coastline with a thick murky film. The ship's captain, Joseph Hazelwood, is later cleared of all charges of negligence relating to the crash.

    The crippled Valdez:
    1.3M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 2.5M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

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    95 fans crushed in British soccer stadium -- April 15, 1989

    What began as a crucial soccer match between British rivals at Sheffield's Hillsborough Stadium suddenly turns into the most violent scene in European "football" history. Minutes after the game begins, thousands of late-arriving fans surge into the already-packed stadium, creating a virtual deathtrap in the stadium's standing-room-only seating area. Ninety-five people are killed and nearly 2,000 injured.

    Emergency workers care for the injured:
    1.1M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 2.2M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

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