Former Supreme Court attorney Ronald H. Brown was elected to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee and consequently the first African-American to lead a major political party. In this role, Brown would help Bill Clinton win the Presidential election of 1992 and Clinton would select Brown to be the first African-American Secretary of Commerce.
March 24, 1989
Oil tanker Exxon-Valdez ran into Alaska's Bligh reef, piercing its hull and leaking 10.8 million of its 54 million gallons of oil. 250,000 seabirds and thousands of otters and seals would be killed. It was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history until BP's oilrig Deepwater Horizon explodes in 2010 and leaks oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
June 9, 1989
Seize the day! says prep school English teacher John Keating, played by Robin Williams, to his students in the film Dead Poets Society.
June 23, 1989
Batman, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton in the lead role and Jack Nicholson as the creepy Joker, opened in theaters.
July 5, 1989
The first episode of TV sitcom Seinfeld aired. The comedy show was so successful that it remained onscreen for nine seasons and won several Emmys, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
November 9, 1989
Germans took sledgehammers to the Berlin Wall and the reunification process of East and West Germany began.