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Dateline: Events/Week of February 8, 1990 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

The Soviet Communist Party, which has ruled for more than 70 years, decides to give up its monopoly on power, clearing the way for a multi-party political system in the country. President Mikhail S. Gorbachev sought the historic move as part of his reforms.

Former President Reagan, forgoing his right to claim executive privilege, agrees to testify on videotape as a defense witness in John M. Poindexter’s Iran-Contra trial. The judge reserved the right to edit the tape to eliminate matters, which should not be disclosed. The tape will be kept secret until it is played during Poindexter’s trial. Poindexter, who was Reagan’s national security adviser, is charged with five felony counts of obstructing Congress, making false statements and conspiracy. Poindexter seeks to show that he was acting with presidential approval, which Reagan has denied. 

 New era in South Africa - Black leader Nelson R. Mandela (71) walks out of prison where he had been since 1964. Mandela, hand in hand with his wife, walked out of Victor Verster Prison near Cape Town and was greeted by thousands of supporters. “I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today and I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” Said South African President Frederick De Klerk just before his release - “This will bring us to the end of a long chapter. There can no longer be any doubt about the government’s sincerity in seeking to create a just dispensation based on negotiations.” Mandela was convicted in 1964 of sabotage for launching the African National Congress’ armed guerrilla war against Pretoria.       

President Bush says he will not lift any sanctions against South Africa - despite the release of Nelson Mandela and other signs of moderation, until Pretoria meets all conditions set by U.S. law. “I’m bound by the law. What I do want to do is discuss these provisions with Mr. Mandela and President De Klerk.” Bush praised De Klerk for taking steps that “move South Africa down the road toward racial equality.” 

In Ottawa, The Soviet Union, Britain, France, United States and the two Germanys agree to begin historic talks “shortly” to reunify Germany and to discuss the security concerns of nearby states.

In New York, mafia boss John Gotti is acquitted of all charges in the shooting of a union leader. It was the government’s third attempt to put the mafia boss away behind bars. His new handle is “Teflon Don.” A guilty verdict would have made Gotti, a convicted killer and hijacker, a three-time loser, and would have enabled the government to ask a judge to declare Gotti a “persistent felon” and sentence him to life behind bars.

Sen. Joseph Montoya of California, facing prison for his conviction on political corruption charges, resigns from the state Senate. He insists he ultimately will be cleared on the counts against him. 

Perrier resumes bottling mineral water after being force to recall about 72 million bottles in Canada and the United States. The company says they believe the benzene contamination, which was caused by human error, was only in 13 bottles. But company officials say that all recalled bottles would be destroyed. Perrier is produced in Paris.


Technology news – February 8, 1990

Computer news/Chip Breakthrough - IBM says it will produce a 16 megabyte memory chip - four times the capacity of today’s most advanced chips. The company says it would be at least 18 to 24 months before this new generation of (DRAM) dynamic random access memory chips, would be included in its computers. IBM uses its own memory chips in all of the company’s machines and does not sell to others.


Business news – February 8, 1990

Business news - Drexel Burnham Lambert “the house that junk bonds built” begins to go out of business this week, as its parent company files for bankruptcy court protection. The company was at the center of the junk bond universe during the 1980’s merger mania with its junk bond financing. Drexel said it would eventually case operations, with some businesses being sold.


Sports news – February 8, 1990

Elvin Hayes, Earl Monroe and Dave Bing are elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Steffi Graf (20) - the world’s top tennis player, splinters a bone in the thumb of her playing hand during a skiing vacation in Switzerland. Doctors say she’ll be out of action for quite a while.

Major upset in boxing - James (Buster) Douglas KO’s heavyweight champ Mike Tyson in the 10th round at the Tokyo Dome. It’s probably the biggest upset in boxing history. Tyson was decked with a five-punch combination to the head. He rolled over at the count of five and reached for his mouthpiece. He was on his hands and knees when he was counted out. 


Bestselling books – February 8, 1990

The Bad Place - Dean  Koontz

Devices and Desires - P.D. James

A Ruling Passion - Judith Michael

Vineland - Thomas Pynchon

Clear and Present Danger - Tom Clancy

Daddy - Danielle Steele

Megatrends 2000 - John Naisbitt/Patricia Aburdene

Liar’s Poker - Michael M. Lewis

The Tempting of America - Robert H. Bork

Barbarians At the Gate - Bryan Burrough/John Helyar

It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It - Robert Fulghum

Wealth Without Risk - Charles J. Givens


Top Movie Video Rentals – February 8, 1990

When Harry Met Sally

Licence to Kill

Lock Up

Road House

Weekend at Bernie’s

Turner and Hooch


Music news – February 8, 1990

After a Beverly Hills gala which raised more than $1 million for environmental groups - Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley and Sting jam at the China Club in Hollywood. Also featured in the 45-minute jam - Herbie Hancock, Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis and Joe Walsh. It’s the first time in 10 years that Henley and Walsh, former Eagles - shared the stage.  

Commits Suicide - Singer/songwriter Del Shannon (55) – best-known for his early-mid 60’s hits “Runaway,” “Hats Off To Larry,” “Little Town Flirt.” and “Keep Searchin.” He was found dead in the bedroom of his Santa Clarita, California home by  his wife with a bullet hole in his head. A .22 caliber rifle was found next to his body. In 1963, The Beatles and Del Shannon came out with the same record - “From Me To You” but it was Shannon’s version which charted higher in the United States (before Beatlemania). In 1965, British duo Peter & Gordon scored a hit with the Del Shannon penned “I Go To Pieces.” He was born Charles Westover in Grand Rapids, MI. (The house was purchased shortly thereafter by Carl Goldman of the Unistar Radio Network).

Passing - songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen (77), best known for the hit songs “Swinging on a Star,” “All the Way,” “High Hopes,” and “Call Me Irresponsible."

Singer/composer/songwriter Stevie Wonder testifies in federal court that he got the idea for his hit song “I Just Called to Say I Love You” in 1976 while being driven to a hotel in Hollywood. He is being sued in a $25 million copyright infringement lawsuit by songwriter Lloyd Chiate. His attorney says Chiate and a partner, Lee Garrett, composed a song called “Hello It’s Me, I Just Called To Say” in 1976 and that song is “strikingly similar” to Wonder’s hit. Garrett, an old friend of Stevie Wonder, who is also blind, played a tape of the song in 1977, after Wonder stopped the depressed Garrett from committing suicide. Asked about the meeting, Wonder said he “honestly” could not remember what was discussed that day.     


Entertainment/Movie/Celebrity/Hollywood news – February 8, 1990   

Movie news - in a first - Walt Disney Co says it will stop showing its films in any theater that runs on-screen advertising. The announcement came at the ShoWest exhibitor’s convention in Las Vegas. Said Richard Cook, president of Disney’s Buena Vista Distribution unit, on-screen advertising “Is a turn-off. Audiences don’t like it. They hate it.” Some were not happy about the announcement. Said one “We can’t keep raising ticket prices to offset increasing costs. This is a very serious problem.” Disney says they are trying to preserve the movie-going experience and that attendance levels for the last 10 years have been flat. Ads are seen in at least 6,000 of the nation’s approximately 23,000 theater screens.  

 Donald Trump ends his 15-year marriage to his former fashion-model wife, Ivana. He’ll be giving her a $20-$25 million share of his fortune, estimated at $1.7 billion and custody of their three children. She’ll no longer manage New York’s Plaza Hotel. She will also get a 45-room mansion located in Greenwich, Conn. 

CBS suspends “60 Minutes” humorist Andy Rooney for three months without pay after confronting him about racial remarks attributed to him by a gay magazine. “The Advocate,” quoted Rooney as saying that “most people are born with equal  Intelligence, but blacks have watered down their genes because the less intelligent ones are the ones that have the most children. They drop out of school early, do drugs and get pregnant.” The remarks were made in a December CBS special “A Year With Andy Rooney.”

Anchor Kathleen Sullivan leaves the “CBS Morning News.” Co-anchored by Harry Smith, not a word of her departure was made on the air.  There are reports that her successor will be Paula Zahn, now anchorwoman of ABC’s “World News This Morning.” Sullivan said last year she was expected to be replaced if the show’s third place ratings didn’t improve.

It’s announced that Garry Shandling will be host of the 32nd annual Grammy Awards presentation on February 21.


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – February 8, 1990

Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul

How Am I Supposed To Live Without You - Michael Bolton

Pump Up The Jam - Technotronic

Two To Make It Right - Seduction

 Downtown Train - Rod Stewart

Everything - Jody Whatley

Janie’s Got A Gun - Aerosmith

All Or Nothing - Milli Vanilli

What Kind OF Man Would I Be? - Chicago

Just Between You And Me - Lou Gramm

I Remember You - Skid Row

Tell Me Why - Expose

Peace In Our Time - Eddie Money

Tender Lover - Babyface

Free Fallin’ - Tom Petty

I’ll Be Good To You - Quincy Jones with Ray Charles/Chaka Khan

Was It Nothing At All - Michael Damian

Woman in Chains - Tears For Fears 

Here We Are - Gloria Estafan

Roam - The B-52’s

No More Lies - Michel’le


#1 Country Hit Single – February 8, 1990

Nobody’s Home - Clint Black


Top Music Albums – February 8, 1990

Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul

... But Seriously - Phil Collins

Cosmic Thing - The B-52’s

Girl You Know It’s True - Milli Vanilli

Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 - Janet Jackson

Back On The Block - Quincy Jones

Dance! Ya Know It! - Bobby Brown

Full Moon Fever - Tom Petty

Storm Front - Billy Joel

Pump - Aerosmith

Stone Cold Rhymin’ - Young M.C.

Hangin’ Tough - New Kids on the Block


Wednesday Night Television listings/TV guide – week of February 8, 1990

CBS - Grand Slam, Jake and the Fatman, Wiseguy

NBC - Unsolved Mysteries, Night Court, Dear John, Quantum Leap

ABC - Growing Pains, Doogie Howser, MD, Anything But Love, China Beach

Fox - Movie (The Princess Bride)

PBS - Performance at the White House, American Playhouse

Lifetime - Moonlighting, Movie (I Take These Men)


Performance at the White House - Marilyn Horne, Patti LuPone, Gary Morris and Jeffrey Osborne perform love songs and ballads.

Quantum Leap - Sam becomes an American Indian who takes his ailing grandfather from a nursing home to die on a reservation.


Late night television talk -

The Pat Sajak Show (CBS) - Siskel & Ebert, Eddie Arnold, comedian Bill Engvall/

Johnny Carson (NBC) - John Larroquette, ocean explorer Robert Ballard.

Nightline with Ted Koppel - From South Africa - how the nation is evolving: future of the African National Congress and the role of Nelson Mandela. 


Top TV Shows/Ratings – February 8, 1990

The Cosby Show - 22.9

Roseanne - 22.8

A Different World - 21.9

America’s Funniest Home Videos - 21.4

The Golden Girls - 20.3

The Wonder Years - 20.1

 Movie - Blind Faith - Part 1 - 19.9

Who’s The Boss - 18.9

60 Minutes - 18.7

Unsolved Mysteries - 18.4

Empty Nest - 18.2

L.A. Law - 17.9

Grand - 17.8

Murder, She Wrote - 17.1

Elvis (Tues) - 16.0

In The Heat of the Night - 16.0

Full House - 15.7

RoboCop - 15.4

Miracle landing - 15.1

Growing Pains - 14.9

Night Court - 14.7

Amen - 14.2

Head of the Class - 14.2

Knots Landing - 14.1

Family Matters - 13.9 


Top movies – February 8, 1990

Hard To Kill - Steven Seagal, Kelly LeBrock

Loose Cannons - Dan Aykroyd, Gene Hackman

 Stella - Bette Midler, John Goodman

Stanley & Iris - Jane Fonda, Robert DeNiro

Heart Condition - Bob Hiskins, Denzel Washington

Driving Miss Daisy - Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman

Back To The Future II - Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

Always - Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter

Internal Affairs - Richard Gere, Andy Garcia

The War of the Roses - Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner

Tango & Cash - Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell

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