Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!

1989 Trivia, Facts & History

<< - 1988

1989 History Snapshot

  • Science: Sir Tim Berners-Lee created "hypertext markup language" (HTML) to make Web pages and the "Uniform Resource Locator" (URL) to identify where information is stored. It is the basis for our WWW.
  • The Top Song was Another Day In Paradise by Phil Collins
  • The Big Movies included Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Lethal Weapon 2
  • Price of a Sony Walkman: $79.00
    Price of Commodore 128D Computer in 1989: $399.99
  • The World Population was ~ 5,156,000,000
  • Marcia Griffiths' Electric Slide was the hottest dance step.
  • "All your base are belong to us" is some badly translated English from the opening cutscene of the European Mega Drive version of the 1989 arcade game Zero Wing, which has become a catchphrase.
  • And... in a trip to America in 1989, USSR leader Boris Yeltsin decided to stop into a local supermarket, (Randall's) in Texas. After seeing the amount and variety of food available to American consumers, he regretted what communism had done - 'What have they done to our poor people?'
1989 Books

World Series Champions

Oakland Athletics

Superbowl XXIII Champions

San Francisco 49ers

NBA Champions

Detroit Pistons

Stanley Cup Champs

Calgary Flames

U.S. Open Golf

Curtis Strange

U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies)

Boris Becker/Steffi Graf

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Boris Becker/Steffi Graf

NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions


Kentucky Derby

Sunday Silence

Sex Symbols and Fashion Icons

Christina Applegate, Jennifer Beals, Candice Bergen, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Cindy Crawford, Rebecca DeMornay, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Linda Evangelista, Linda Evans, Debbie Gibson, Robin Givens, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Susannah Hoffs, Rachel Hunter, Kathy Ireland, Tawny Kitaen, Audrey Landers, Kelly LeBrock, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Elle Macpherson, Madonna, Kate Moss, Tatjana Patitz, Paulina Porizkova, Markie Post, Princess Diana, Molly Ringwald, Katey Sagal, Stephanie Seymour, Brooke Shields, Heather Thomas, Cheryl Tiegs, Christy Turlington

"The Quotes"

"If you build it, he will come."
Ray Liotta (voice of Shoeless Joe Jackson) in Field of Dreams

"It keeps going, and going, and going..."
- Energizer Batteries

"This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?"
- Partnership for a Drug-Free America

- Volkswagon

"Cotton. The fabric of our lives"
- Cotton Incorporated

"I'm Batman"
- Michael Keaton, in Batman

"Eat My Shorts"
- Bart Simpson, The Simpsons

"I'll have what she's having."
- Estelle Reiner, in When Harry Met Sally...

"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."
- Robin Williams, in 'Dead Poets Society'

The phrase "And the winner is..." was changed to "And the Oscar goes to..." for the 1989 Oscars.

After Soviet leader Boris Yeltsin visited the US, seeing an ordinary Houston supermarket caused him to rethink his "Bolshevik consciousness" and leave the Communist party. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of US supermarkets, "there would be a revolution."

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Mikhail Gorbachev

Miss America

Gretchen Carlson (Anoka, MN)

Miss USA

Gretchen Polhemus (Texas)

Scandals, RIP and Odd News

Iceland had prohibition until March 1, 1989. The ban had originally prohibited all alcohol, but from 1935 onward only applied to "strong" beer (with an alcohol content of 2.25% or more). Today, Icelanders celebrate Beer Day on March 1 annually.

Before 1989, Veterinary surgeons trained in the US were taught to ignore animal pain.

Allegations that Major League Baseball star Pete Rose gambled on the Game became public.

Police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, conducted a drug raid at the home of an elderly couple, Lloyd Smalley and Lillian Weiss, after receiving inaccurate information from an informant. Police said they were certain no one was inside after tossing ina stun grenade - Smalley and Weiss died of smoke inhalation while hiding from the attack.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill in which the tanker hit Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled an estimated 11 to 30 million gallons of oil on March 24. The captain, Joseph Hazelwood, was drinking at the time.

The Ufa Train/Pipeline Explosion: In 1989, a Soviet pipeline which had knowingly been leaking, managed to fill an entire valley with propane. Sparks from a train ignited the gas, causing an explosion perhaps as large as 10 kilotons of TNT, and killed 575 people.

Celebrity Murder: Rebecca Schaeffer, star of TV's My Sister Sam, was killed by a stalker who got her address from California's Department of Motor Vehicles. Private information is no longer available from them.

Salmon Rushdie published The Satanic Verses - as Muslin writing the heresy in the book, Ayatollah Khomeini ordered a 'fatwa' on hime - a command ordering followers of the Musalim faith to kill him. The fatwah was lifted in 1998.

96 people were killed after being crushed by the crowds at a soccer match in Sheffield, England.

Domino's Pizza discontinued the 'Avoid the Noid' marketing campaign after Kenneth Lamar Noid held two employees hostage at gunpoint in 1989, under the impression the campaign directly targeted him. He later killed himself, resulting in permanent cancellation of the campaign.

A MiG-23 pilot mistakenly ejected on take off from Poland, and the aircraft continued flying 560 miles on autopilot only to crash into a house in Belgium killing a teenager.

An estimated 10.2 million people gathered for the funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of Iran, in Tehran in 1989. This was around one sixth of the population at the time, and the largest percentage of a country's population to attend a funeral.

Noone knows what happened to "Tank Man", who stood in front of government tanks at Tiananmen Square, in China. In order to evade internet censorship in China, people used to refer to the events that took place at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989 as "May 35th", among other alternative names.

1989 Pop Culture News

The Hershey Kiss bell-choir Christmas commercial first came out in 1989, and has been running ever since each holiday season.

The "freshman 15" term was invented by the teen magazine Seventeen in 1989, and in fact research only showed weight gains to be around 5lbs.

Minutes before Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, between Oakland and San Francisco, was the first time an Earthquake was aired live in the United States. efore the 1989 World Series, the San Francisco mayor told a television station he didn't want to bet against the Oakland mayor, because there "was nothing in Oakland he wanted to win".

Will Smith won the first ever Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 1989 and it was for Parents Just Don't Understand.

Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers wrote and played the bass line for Young MC's Bust a Move and he never received a songwriting credit or any royalties from it. He was paid $200 for his studio time and the song went on to become a #1 hit and sell millions of records.

In London, Ontario a flame of hope was lit in 1989 as a tribute to Dr. Frederick Banting and all the people that have lost their lives to diabetes. The flame will remain lit until there is a cure for diabetes.

Daniel Day-Lewis hasn't appear on stage since 1989 after he played Hamlet and claimed to see the ghost of his own father during the performance.

The first 'Best Hard Rock/Metal' Grammy awarded in 1989 went to Jethro Tull over huge favorite Metallica in a decision viewed by many critics as 'out of touch.' Metallica responded by adding 'Grammy Award LOSERS' to their albums, Jethro Tull countered that flutes are a 'heavy, metal instrument.'

After winning a record 4 consecutive Emmys (85-88), for his role on Night Court, John Larroquette asked not to be considered in 1989.

The AOL "Welcome" & "You've Got Mail" sounds were recorded in 1989 on a cassette deck.

A Michigan farmer found a camera attached to balloons in his field. It contained images of what appeared to be a mutilated corpse, sparking a yearlong FBI investigation. It turned out to be footage for Nine Inch Nails' first music video, Down In It, filmed 200 miles away.

William Lamm, a scuba diver, was sucked up by an intake pipe of a Florida nuclear power plant, dragged over 1,600 feet, and deposited in one of the reactor cooling ponds. He lived.

On September 15 1989, NASA published a comprehensive report on house plants that are best for cleaning indoor air pollution.

In 1968 - over years before the events happened - the television program Laugh-in had a comedy bit called 'News from the Future' where they correctly predicted Ronald Reagan would be President in 1988 and the Berlin Wall would collapse in 1989.

After buying a painting for $4, the new owner discovered a first print of the 1776 Declaration of Independence hidden in the frame. He sold it for $2.4 million.

Star Wars was one of the first films to be preserved by the newly established National Film Registry in 1989. However the registry does not have the 1977 theatrical copy as mandated, instead Lucas Film offered the Special Edition version from 1997.

The Energizer Bunny was introduced to the public, replacing gymnast Mary Lou Retton as the energetic spokesperson.

The biggest solar storm in history was recorded in 1989. The storm was so massive that the Northern Lights could be seen in southern states like Florida

When he died in 1989, Mel Blanc, the voice of Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and many other characters from Looney Toons, has the phrase 'That's all folks!' on his tombstone.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1989: $675,000

An NHL player (Clint Malarchuk) had his throat slit during a game, and left the ice only because he knew his mother was watching the game on TV, and he didn't want her to see him die. He had an equipment manager call and tell her he loved her. He survived the incident 300+ stitches.

In 1989 the best paid player in the MLB was paid about $2.76 Million. By 2009, it was $33 Million.

Traditional Home began publication

First for Women began publication

The Habits

Playing Game Boy

Reading Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy

1989's Most Popular Christmas Gifts

NEC's TurboGrafx-16, Tetris, Sega Genesis, Lynx by Atari, Polly Pockets , Nintendo Game Boy, Trolls, Super Mario Land video game

Popular Movies:

The Abyss, Batman, Back to the Future Part II, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Born on the Fourth of July, Christmas Vacation, Dead Poets Society, Driving Miss Daisy, ERik the Viking, Field of Dreams, Ghostbusters II, Harlem Nights, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lethal Weapon 2, The Little Mermaid, Look Who's Talking, Parenthood, Pet Sematary, Sea of Love, See No Evil Hear No Evil, Steel Magnolias, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Tango & Cash, Turner & Hooch, Uncle Buck, The War of the Roses, Weekend at Bernie's, When Harry Met Sally...

The Big Movies

(according to boxofficemojo)
1. Batman
2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
3. Lethal Weapon 2
4. Look Who's Talking
5. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
6. Back To The Future Part II
7. Ghostbusters II
8. Driving Miss Dasy
9. Parenthood
10. Dead Poets Society

1989/90's Most Popular TV

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. Roseanne (ABC)
3. Cheers (NBC)
4. A Different World (NBC)
5. America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC)
6. The Golden Girls (NBC)
7. 60 Minutes (CBS)
8. The Wonder Years (ABC)
9. Empty Nest (NBC)
10. Monday Night Football (ABC)

Popular Music

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1989 include
Babyface, The Bangles, Bette Midler, Bobby Brown, Bon Jovi, Cher, Debbie Gibson, Dino, Donny Osmond, Fing Young Cannibals, Guy, Heavy D & the Boyz, Janet Jackson, Karyn White, Keith Sweat, Levert, Luther Vandross, Madonna, Martika, Micheal Jackson, Milli Vanilli, Natalie Cole, New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul, Peabo Bryson, Phil Collins, Poison, Prince, Quincy Jones, Regina Belle, Richard Marx, Roxette, Simply Red, Slick Rick, Soul II Soul, Stephanie Mills, Surface, Taylor Dayne, Tone Loc, Vanessa Williams, Whitney Houston

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 1989

December 24, 1988 - January 13, 1989: Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn

January 14, 1989 - January 20, 1989: Bobby Brown - My Prerogative

January 21, 1989 - February 3, 1989: Phil Collins - Two Hearts

February 4, 1989 - February 10, 1989: Sheriff - When I'm with You

February 11, 1989 - March 3, 1989: Paula Abdul - Straight Up

March 4, 1989 - March 24, 1989: Debbie Gibson - Lost In Your Eyes

March 25, 1989 - March 31, 1989: Mike + The Mechanics - The Living Years

April 1, 1989 - April 7, 1989: The Bangles - Eternal Flame

April 8, 1989 - April 14, 1989: Roxette - The Look

April 15, 1989 - April 21, 1989: Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy

April 22, 1989 - May 12, 1989: Madonna - Like a Prayer

May 13, 1989 - May 19, 1989: Bon Jovi - I'll Be There for You

May 20, 1989 - June 2, 1989: Paula Abdul - Forever Your Girl

June 3, 1989 - June 9, 1989: Michael Damian - Rock On

June 10, 1989 - June 16, 1989: Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings

June 17, 1989 - June 23, 1989: New Kids on the Block - I'll Be Loving You (Forever)

June 24, 1989 - June 30, 1989: Richard Marx - Satisfied

July 1, 1989 - July 7, 1989: Milli Vanilli - Baby Don't Forget My Number

July 8, 1989 - July 14, 1989: Fine Young Cannibals - Good Thing

July 15, 1989 - July 21, 1989: Simply Red - If You Don't Know Me By Now

July 22, 1989 - August 4, 1989: Martika - Toy Soldiers

August 5, 1989 - August 11, 1989: Prince - Batdance

August 12, 1989 - September 1, 1989: Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting

September 2, 1989 - September 8, 1989: Paula Abdul - Cold Hearted

September 9, 1989 - September 15, 1989: New Kids on the Block - Hangin' Tough

September 16, 1989 - September 22, 1989: Gloria Estefan - Don't Wanna Lose You

September 23, 1989 - October 6, 1989: Milli Vanilli - Girl I'm Gonna Miss You

October 7, 1989 - November 3, 1989: Janet Jackson - Miss You Much

November 4, 1989 - November 10, 1989: Roxette - Listen To Your Heart

November 11, 1989 - November 24, 1989: Bad English - When I See You Smile

November 25, 1989 - December 8, 1989: Milli Vanilli - Blame It on the Rain

December 9, 1989 - December 22, 1989: Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire

December 23, 1989 - January 19, 1990: Phil Collins - Another Day in Paradise

More Pop Culture Resources

Popular Music in 1989
# 1 Hits of 1989
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