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Dateline: Events/Week of April 17, 1992 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

California invokes the death penalty for the first time in 25 years this week as convicted murderer Robert Alton Harris dies in San Quentin’s gas chamber. Just 52 hours before he was scheduled to die, he won a reprieve as a federal judge found there was a “serious question” whether death in the gas chamber constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the reprieve and he was put to death.

A twin-engine plane loaded with skydivers in Perris, Calif slams nose-first into a grassy field, killing 16. Survivors were toward the rear of the plane and were cushioned from death by the bodies of their companions. Perris, located about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, is a skydiving hub along with nearby Lake Ellsinore and attracts jumpers from around the world. On board was a 4-member skydiving team from Holland.

Underground gas explosions rip Guadalajara, Mexico, killing at least 162. The explosions, which began in the morning and continued into the night, tore through more than 20 blocks, ripping autos and building rooftops.

At the New York International Auto Show - Saturn unveils its first station wagon. Minivans and other people haulers seem to dominate the show.


Business / Economy news – April 17, 1992

Sears announces that it will accept Visa and MasterCard for catalogue orders - the first time.

Prices At The Supermarket – April 17, 1992

Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats - 20oz box - $2.69 ... Roast Beef - $5.99lb ... Colgate toothpaste - 7oz tube - $1.79 ... Romaine Lettuce - .69 each.  


Best-selling books – April 17, 1992

The Pelican Brief - John Grisham

The Elf Queen of Shannara - Terry Brooks

Star Trek: Probe - Margaret Wander

Vox - Nicholson Baker

Silent Prey - John Sandford

The Road To Omaha - Robert Ludlum

Rising Sun - Michael Chrichton

Revolution From Within - Gloria Steinem

A Return To Love - Marianne Williamson

Awaken The Giant - Anthony Robbins

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women - Susan Faludi

Double Cross - The Explosive, Inside Story of The Mobster Who Controlled America - San and Chuck Giancana

Rogue Warrior - Richard Marcinko

More Wealth Without Risk - Charles Givens


Sports news – April 17, 1992  

Brett Hull becomes the second player in NHL history to score 70 or more goals in three consecutive seasons. Scoring for the St Louis Blues, they beat the Minnesota North Stars 5-3. The other player to reach that milestone - Wayne Gretzky.

CBS gives sportscaster Pat Summerall an indefinite period off to take care “a personal medical problem” and will be welcomed back when he is ready to come back says a spokesman. Summerall (60) had been battling alcoholism until it almost killed him after a bleeding ulcer in 1990. He says he hasn’t been drinking since the ordeal.


Technology news – April 17, 1992

Sony says it is set to launch its recordable mini-CD this fall. The 2.5-inch discs will record/play up to 74 minutes of music with instant random access to any cut. Unlike portable CD players, Sony says the MD’s other main asset is that they won’t skip. Prices for the recorders may start around $600-$800 and blank CD’s - $12.00 each.


Music news – April 17, 1992

In Omaha - Obscenity charges are filed against Musicland and Trans World Music Corp - two retailers - for selling albums by Miami rap group 2 Live Crew to minors. Under Nebraska law, it is a first-degree misdemeanor to sell obscene material to minors. Each count carries up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.

Madonna signs an estimated $60 million multimedia pact with Time-Warner. The 7 to 11 year agreement also includes funding for her company covering music publishing, film, television, books and merchandising.

Trends in music - Industrial Rock, lead by Nine Inch Nails. Lou Reed is considered the grandfather of the genre. Some use to call it death disco or just noise. Many new ears were turned-on to it at the Lollapalooza shows last year and now it’s a hot rock category.

Another new album is set to go Nine Inch Nails. Other Industrial bands with major label deals - Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult and the Revolting Cocks.   

Tribute to Freddie Mercury - Guns N’ Roses, Robert Plant, Metallica, Def Leppard, Extreme, David Bowie, U2 (via satellite), Elton John, George Michael, Annie Lennox, Roger Daltrey Spinal Tap and the three remaining members of Queen turn out for a Freddy Mercury tribute at London’s Wembley Stadium. The Concert was titled “Freddie Mercury Tribute: Concert for Aids Awareness.


Entertainment news – April 17, 1992

Passing - comedian Benny Hill (67). Found dead in his apartment, police say he had been under treatment for a heart ailment.

Passing Frankie Howard - British star of “Carry On” film comedies.  (71)

Passing - Actor Neville Brand (71) played tough guys in such movies as “Stalag 17,” and “Birdman of Alcatraz” ... of emphysema


Top Movie Video Rentals – April 17, 1992

The Fisher King

Boyz N the Hood

Dead Again

Other People’s Money


Necessary Roughness

The Doctor

Curly Sue


101 Dalmatians



Television news – April 17, 1992

Women’s Day Magazine has set up a phone line for Murphy Brown’s baby. Do you have a suggestion? It will cost $1.50 and proceeds to the March of Dimes. Call 900-89-MURPHY.


Top TV Shows/Ratings – April 17, 1992

Roseanne - 20.2

Home Improvement - 18.1

60 Minutes - 15.4

Murphy Brown - 15.3

Unsolved Mysteries - 15.0

Room for Two - 15.0

Full House - 14.6

Designing Women - 14.2

20/20 - 14.0

Northern Exposure - 13.9

 Seinfeld - 13.7

PrimeTime Live - 13.6

LA Law - 13.4

Married ... With Children - 13.4

Movie-The Secret - 13.3

Cheers - 13.2

Fresh Prince of Bel Air - 13.2

Dateline NBC - 12.7

Murder, She Wrote - 12.7

Rescue 911 - 12.4

America’s Funniest Home Videos - 12.4

Blossom - 21.1

In Living Color - 12.0

Evening Shade - 11.8

Wings - 11.7

Brooklyn Bridge - 11.3

Dear John - 11.2

Empty Nest - 11.2

Homefront - 11.1


Tuesday Night Television listings/TV guide – week of April 17, 1992

CBS - Rescue 911, Movie

NBC - In the Heat of the Night, Law & Order, Dateline NBC

ABC - Full House, Home Improvement, Roseanne, Coach, Civil Wars

Fox - No schedule

PBS - Nova, Frontline, Listening to America

Family - The Waltons, Rin Tin Tin K9 Cop, Father Dowling Mysteries, The 700 Club


On Full House - Bachelor of the Month Danny is too busy for Michelle

On Law & Order - Stone’s fervor to defeat an old adversary jeopardizes his case.

MTV debuts “Hangin’ With MTV” this Monday. The three-hour show is hosted by VJ John Norris. 


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – April 17, 1992

Jump - Kris Kross

Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton

Masterpiece - Altantic Starr

Make It Happen - Mariah Carey

Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg - TLC

Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes) - Mint Condition

I Can’t Dance - Genesis

Beauty and the Beast - Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson

Hazard - Richard Marx

Remember The Time - Michael Jackson

Everything Changes - Kathy Troccoli

Everything About You - Ugly Joe Kid

Human Touch - Bruce Springsteen

We Got A Love Thang - Ce Ce Peniston

Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen


Top Pop Music Albums – April 17, 1992

Human Touch - Bruce Springsteen

 Totally Drossed Out - Kris Kross

Lucky Town - Bruce Springsteen

Wynonna - Wyonna Judd

Wayne’s World soundtrack

Adrenalize - Def Leppard

Nevermind - Nirvana

Funky Divas - En Vogue

As Ugly As They Want to Be - Ugly Kid Joe

Ropin the Wind - Garth Brooks


Top Country Music Albums – April 17, 1992

Aces - Suzy Gogguss

Pocket Full of Gold - Vince Gill

Billy Dean - Billy Dean

What Do I Do With Me - Tanya Tucker

The More I Learn - Ronna Reeves

Something in Red - Lorrie Morgan

I Am Ready - Steve Wariner

It’s All About Change - Travis Tritt

Trisha Yearwood - Trisha Yearwood

For My Broken Heart - Reba McEntire

Maverick - Hank Williams Jr.


Top movies – April 17, 1992

Basic Instinct - Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone

The Player

City of Joy - Patrick Swayze, Pauline Collins

Beethoven - Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt

Sleepwalkers - Brian Krause, Madchen Amick

The Babe - John Goodman, Kelly McGillis

White Men Can’t Jump - Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson

The Cutting Edge - D.B. Sweeney, Moira Kelly, Roy Dotrice, Terry Quinn

 Straight Talk - Dolly Parton, James Woods

Wayne’s World - Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe

Brain Donors - John Turturro, Bob Nelson

Ladybugs - Rodney Dangerfield, Jonathan Brandis, Ilene Graff

My Cousin Vinny - Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Fred Gwynne

Thunderheart - Val Kilmer, Sam Shepard, Graham Greene

Deep Cover - Larry Fishburne, Jeff Goldblum, Clarence Williams III, Charles Martin Sheen

Sleepwalkers (the first Stephen King story written expressly for the scream) - Brian Krause, Madchen Amick, Alice Krige

Brenda Starr - Brooke Shields, Diana Scarwid, Timothy Dalton

FernGully -


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