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Dateline: Events/Week of May 23, 1991 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

The Supreme Court rules that the government may prohibit doctors in federally funded family planning clinics from telling poor pregnant women that abortion is a medical option for them.

India - widow Sonia Gandhi is named to replace her husband as his party’s President. 

An Austrian airliner explodes just after taking off from Bangkok airport and all 223 passengers and crewmembers perish. The plane was bound for Vienna.

The Bush Administration says the Kremlin’s new economic plan won’t reform the country and is inadequate.

Congress grants final approval to a Democrat-written $1.45-trillion federal budget for 1992 that rejects President Bush’s plan to cut Medicare and other benefit programs.

Eleven Detroit area police officers are arraigned on charges of accepting money to guard several large shipments of cocaine.

26 hour uprising - Inmates surrender the last three guards at the Southport Correctional facility in Elmira, NY and agreed to return to their cells peacefully.

Thousands of refugees return to the northern Iraqi city of Dahuk after U.S. led forces moved in to reassure the Kurds that it is safe to return. 

President Mikhail S. Gorbachev says the Soviet Union needs $100 billion and needs help from the West.

Israel completes a major airlift operation – transporting more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews from Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv – in 33 hours.

In Texas - Queen Elizabeth II, greeted in a tent outside Houston City Hall, and later visited the Johnson Space Center.

Civil war - In Ethiopia – the government confirms the fall of Asmara – the country’s second largest city – to Eritrean rebels.

President Bush’s son Neil and 10 other directors and officers of failed Colorado savings and Loan reach a $49.5 million settlement with federal banking regulators over a lawsuit stemming from the thrift’s 1988 failure.

South Africa - Winnie Mandela was arrested twice within eight hours after scuffles with police who were breaking up demonstrations demanding the release of hunger-striking political prisoners.

President Bush says he will renew the trade benefits granted to China, saying that isolation will not make China change.


Technology news – May 23, 1991

Sony says it will finally offer a recordable compact disc! But, it’s a format unique only to Sony – a Mini-disc that’s 2 ½ inches and will only play on Sony devices. The MD unit, about the size of a hand-held tape recorder, will record and play both blanks and prerecorded MD’s. They should be out next year.

Now available – VCR’s with self-cleaning heads.

PC run by voice - IBM introduces a low-cost computer that recognizes up to 7,000 spoken words. The IBM VoiceType will cost about $7000. Designed with Dragon systems, the new system allows a user to dictate words or numbers into a personal computer for word processing, data processing, spreadsheet calculations or other applications.


Sports news – May 23, 1991

Rick Mears wins the Indy 500 and thus – becomes a four-time Indy winner, joining A.J. Foyt and Al Unser in that category.

NFL owners vote to add two expansion teams for the 1994 season – giving it a total of 30 teams. Those cities have not yet been announced.


Music news – May 23, 1991

Passing – Gene Clark – founder of the original “Byrds” back in the 1960’s. he was 46.

Billboard Magazine has switched to a new computerized chart called “Soundscan” to gauge music sales. Figures are entered into a computer every time a clerk runs an album through a bar code scanner. The system, which currently tracks about 40% of the music sold in the U.S. – has some critics – particularly some record companies such as the WEA Group.

Prince and his new band, New Power Generation will now be a … comic book! Look for it from DC Comics.

Gloria Estefan “Into the Light” tour.

Guitarist Nils Lofgren – who’s touring with his own band, says Bruce Springsteen never fired the E-Street band, for which he was a part when he replaced Steve Van Zandt during the “Born in the U.S.A..” tour. He says he’ll be back playing with Bruce on stage. Springsteen – is now making his third solo album. 

MCA Records counter sues Motown for breach of contract and malicious conduct Motown says that MCA botched the promotion of Motown songs to radio stations and mismanaged distribution. MCA denies it and contends the Motown suit is part of a scheme to improve its contractual agreement.


Radio news – May 23, 1991

 (Interim host) Cindy Garvey does warm-up for Deborah Norville on her new ABC radio talk show. Norville becomes permanent host in September. Sally Jessy Raphael left to concentrate on her TV show. 


Television news – May 23, 1991

Nickelodeon announces that it will produce a prime-time comedy series that will also air on ABC! Look for “Hi Honey, I’m Home” to air on ABC – then Nick a week later.

Ed McMahon, stunned by Johnny Carson’s announcement that he is leaving the “Tonight” show – says he will leave at the same time.

Henry Kissinger does a stint as a weatherman on “CBS This Morning.”

NBC will sell its 50% stake in RCA-Columbia Home Video to partner Columbia Pictures.

The “Tonight” show will start five minutes later – 11:35pm beginning this fall. Why? So stations can add more ad time to their newscasts. Johnny Carson resisted for years – but – since this is his final year, he gave in.  


Wednesday night television listings/TV guide – week of May 23, 1991

CBS – The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Claymation Comedy of Horrors Show, Jake and the Fatman, 48 Hours, Scene of the Crime (late night)

NBC – NBA Basketball, Tonight, David Letterman, Later with Bob Costas

ABC – The Wonder Years, Growing Pains, Doogie Howser, M.D., Anything But Love, Eddie Dodd, Nightline, Into the Night

PBS – Talking with David Frost

MTV – MTV Prime, Half-Hour Comedy


David Frost – Talks to Robin Williams.

On the Tonight Show  – Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss join Johnny Carson.

On Into the Night w/Rick Dees – Keith Washington, Robert Kent and Christopher Atkins.

On David Letterman – George Wil, Robert Pastorelli, Johnny Clegg and Sayuka.

On Bob Costas – Timothy Leary – first of two parts.


Top movies – May 23, 1991  


What About Bob?

Hudson Hawk

Thelma & Louis

 Only the Lonely

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