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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


  • Powerful quake jolts San Francisco area -- October 17, 1989

    A Magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks Northern California at the height of rush hour, destroying more than 100,000 buildings and numerous roadways in and around San Francisco. It is also one of the deadliest U.S. quakes of the century. Sixty-seven people are killed and more than 3,000 injured. Authorities say the death toll would have been higher but many Bay area residents had left work early to watch the third game of the World Series, between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics.

    CNN coverage:
    1.7M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 4M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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    Berlin Wall dismantled -- November 9, 1989

    The East German government does what many had thought was impossible: It opens its borders to the West and allows thousands of citizens to pass freely through the Berlin Wall for the first time since its creation in 1961. Elderly men who never thought the day would come, weep as they walk through. Jubilant youngsters celebrate their freedom by climbing atop the much-despised wall, some striking the Communist barrier with hammers and axes. By the end of 1990, the entire wall, which had stretched 26.5 miles (43 km), is removed.

    The wall crumbles:
    768K QuickTime Movie (160x120) 928K QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    Celebrations in the streets:
    928K QuickTime Movie (160x120) 1.7M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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    Noriega surrenders -- December 24, 1989

    Following the U.S. invasion of Panama, American troops stage a massive manhunt for ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega. The general turns himself into the Vatican embassy in Panama, where he is surrounded by soldiers.  U.S. officials begin delicate diplomacy with Vatican officials to persuade Noriega to surrender and face drug trafficking charges in the United States.

    Hunt for Noriega:
    1.6M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 3.3M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


    1980 -- 1981 -- 1982 -- 1983 -- 1984 -- 1985 -- 1986 -- 1987 -- 1988 -- 1989 -- 1990 -- 1991 -- 1992 -- 1993 -- 1994 -- 1995 -- 1996 -- 1997

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