1991 Timeline


The shakeup and change started in 1990 continues into 1991 with violence on both the world stage as well as at home (USA).  The Gulf War both starts and ends with Operation Desert Storm, Rodney King’s brutal beating is caught on tape and sets off riots in L.A, and Jeffrey Dahmer (cannibal and serial killer) is arrested.

Music had a new sound with the release of Nirvana’s album Smells Like Teen Spirit, setting off the grunge movement both in music and fashion.  Other popular music had us losing our religion, talking about sex and down with OPP.  Unbelievable.

So, here it is – 1991.  Right here, right now.



• The United States enacts Operation Desert Storm, destroying the Iraqi army and ending

the Gulf War in a few short weeks.

• IRA forces attack the residence of the Prime Minister of Great Britain with mortars.

• 6 Irish nationals are released from prison after 16 years when a court of appeals ruled

that police officers and officials involved in the IRA bombing case fabricated evidence in order to get the original convictions.

• French citizens elect their first ever female premier, Edith Cresson.

• The first apartheid legislation is finally struck from the books in South Africa, marking the

beginning of the end for racial segregation in that country.

• The Warsaw Pact, the European Communist version of NATO, ceases to exist as all

parties involved voluntarily withdraw from the treaty holding them together.

• Boris Yeltsin is elected as president of Russia in the first ever public vote held in the

formerly Soviet nation.

• Cannibal and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s arrest makes sensational headlines as the

details of his gruesome acts are revealed.

• A video is released of driver Rodney King being beaten by L.A. police officers following a

traffic stop, igniting a national controversy.

• Communist elements within Russia attempt a coup to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev’s and

Boris Yeltsin’s policies of reform, but they were defeated by an overwhelming show of support from the Russian people for their change-inducing leaders. This event would catalyze the dissolution of the old Soviet Union over the next few months.

• Pan American World Airways, better known as Pan Am, declares bankruptcy.

• The Dead Sea Scrolls, an important historical document detailing the same period of time

as the Bible’s Old Testament, are exhibited to the public.

• Jean-Bertrand Aristide is deposed as President of Haiti.

• Mount Pinatubo erupts in the Philippines, killing over 300 people in one of the largest

volcanic events ever recorded.


Boris Yeltsin elected president of Russia

Boris Yeltsin elected president of Russia

Rodney King being beating by L.A. police

Rodney King being beating by L.A. police

Jeffrey Dahmer, cannibal & serial killer, is arrested

Jeffrey Dahmer, cannibal & serial killer, is arrested

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(Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
Black or White – Michael Jackson
Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
Enter Sandman – Metallica
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
I Touch Myself – Divinyls
Let’s Talk About Sex – Salt-N-Pepa
O.P.P. – Naughty By Nature
Mysterious Ways – U2
Right Here, Right Now – Jesus Jones
Motownphilly – Boyz II Men
November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
Right Now – Van Halen
Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
• When A Man Loves A Woman – Michael Bolton
I Adore Mi Amor – Color Me Badd
Unbelievable – EMF
Baby Baby – Amy Grant
3 A.M. Eternal – The KLF
More Than Words – Extreme
Superman’s Song – Crash Test Dummies
Don’t Rock The Jukebox – Alan Jackson
Safe From Harm – Massive Attack

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

Let's Talk About Sex - Salt-N-Peppa

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What was big on TV in 1991? Get the 411 on the highlights of TV in 1991 here.  Believe or not, a few of these shows are still going strong.


Dinosaurs (1991-1994)
This offbeat sitcom consisted of the antics of a family of dinosaurs, brought to life through the puppetry of Jim Henson productions. Several popular catchphrases would emerge from the program throughout its 4 year run.


Baywatch (1989-2001)
Centered around the lives of Los Angeles lifeguards, Baywatch would attract more and more attention as the decade wore on, making household names of David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Nicole Eggert and Gena Lee Nolin.

The Jerry Springer Show

The Jerry Springer Show (1991-present)
Controversial and often filled with ridiculous antics and violence, Jerry Springer would bring daytime talk shows to a new low with his eye-catching brand of sleaze.  And, remarkably, after almost 20 years, he is still able to devise new lows and keep audiences and guest emotional enough to throw chairs and punches.

Full House

Full House (1987-1995)
Another Bob Saget-helmed production, this comedy focused on a household of men raising four daughters, including teen star Candace Cameron and future celebrity twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Home Improvement

Home Improvement (1991-1999)
Comedian Tim Taylor took his manly shtick to the airwaves with this testosterone-heavy sitcom about family life that included vignettes for aspiring handy men.

Unsolved Mysteries

Unsolved Mysteries (1987-present)
Tackling both the paranormal and the criminal, Unsolved Mysteries spooked out its fair share of watchers with both creepy tales and even creepier theme music.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
Rapper Will Smith’s first assault on Hollywood stardom came as the titular character in this fish out of water tale of a wisecracking teen sent to live with his upper crust family in California.


Coach (1989-1997)
Craig T. Nelson’s comedic turn as a football coach at a Minnesota college would have a long life and a huge audience for most of the decade.

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Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Furlong and Linda Hamilton
The Arnold reprises his role as an unstoppable robot sent from the future to alter the course of history in this incredibly successful sci-fi action film that would change the face of action movies.

Terminator 2 – Judgment Day

Silence of the Lambs 

The Silence of the Lambs
Starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and Ted Levine
When serial killer Buffalo Bill starts claiming victims, Foster’s FBI character must engage the help of convicted mad man Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins in what would become his most memorable role.

The Silence of the Lambs (Full Screen Edition)

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Starring Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Alan Rickman and Christian Slater
Costner followed up on the promise of Dances With Wolves by starring in this period drama that injected romance and fantasy into the Robin Hood legend.

Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves (Snap Case)

The Addams Family 

The Addams Family
Starring Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci
Starting the television-series remake trend that would snowball as the 1990s wore on, The Addams Family took the bizarre lifestyle of the world’s favorite oddballs and put it on the big screen.

The Addams Family

Beauty and the Beast 

Beauty and the Beast
Starring Page O’Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, and Angela Landsbury
This animated tale from Disney was a spectacular hit, becoming the third highest-grossing film of 1991 in addition to receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Beauty And The Beast: Diamond Edition – 2-Disc DVD

City Slickers 

City Slickers
Starring Billy Crystal, Jack Palance, Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby
When a group of soft shoes head out into the American west to re-connect with their masculinity, they end up in some hilarious situations that put them in touch with their inner cowboy.

City Slickers (Collector’s Edition)

Father of the Bride 

Father of the Bride
Starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, George Newbern, Martin Short and Kieran Culkin
Released while Martin was still capable of connecting with audiences above the age of 10, this story of a father learning to let go of his daughter and let her grow up was both funny and poignant.

Father of the Bride (15th Anniversary Edition)

Sleeping with the Enemy 

Sleeping with the Enemy
Starring Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin and Kevin Anderson
When a woman in an abusive marriage tries to find a way out of her daily nightmare, she decides to fake her own death and start over with a new life. Things go according to plan until her husband begins to unravel her careful web of lies.

Sleeping With the Enemy


Starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts and Bob Hoskins
Steven Spielberg directs this re-imagining of the Peter Pan fairytale, adding a distinctly adult yet at the same time humorous touch.


The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear 

The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear
Starring Leslie Nielson, O.J. Simpson and Priscilla Presley
The sequel to the film ‘The Naked Gun’ once again sees the bungling efforts of a police detective and his partner as they stumble from one crime scene to another causing mayhem and chaos.

The Naked Gun 2 1/2 – The Smell of Fear


Starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin and Robert DeNiro
Two brothers who work together as firefighters must battle a serial arsonist and their feelings for each other in this beautifully shot picture from Ron Howard.

Backdraft (2 Disc Anniversary Edition)

Boyz N the Hood 

Boyz N the Hood
Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube and Laurence Fishburne
Director John Singleton’s debut showed a gritty side of growing up in Los Angeles that became a rallying point for America’s hip hop movement throughout the decade.

Boyz N the Hood (2-Disc Anniversary Edition)

The Doors 

The Doors
Starring Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan and Kyle McLachlan
This controversial biopic from Oliver Stone showcased a surreal, not always factual, but certainly entertaining side of legendary rock and roll front man Jim Morrison.

The Doors (Special Edition)


Starring Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman
Continuing his theme of historical fact-bending, JFK provided Stone fans with a kaleidoscope of conspiracy theories and dazzling story threads that left most viewers even more uncertain of the truth behind the Kennedy assassination than they had been before they saw the film.

JFK – Director’s Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Thelma and Louise 

Thelma and Louise
Starring Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon and Harvey Keitel
Two women on the run from the law bond over their freedom in this film about empowerment that featured an unexpected, dramatic twist at the end.

Thelma & Louise

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• Dale Earnhardt makes it two NASCAR Winston Cup Championship in a row.

• A tight-fought World Series sees the Minnesota Twins prevail over the Atlanta Braves in

a 7-game nail biter.

• The Pittsburgh Penguins pound the Minnesota North Stars into submission 8-0 in the last

game of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

• Rick Mears wins the Indianapolis 500 for the fourth and final time in his career.

• Dennis Martinez pitches only the 13th perfect game ever to be recorded in Major League

Baseball when the Montreal Expos defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0.

• NBA star Magic Johnson announces he has contracted HIV and retires from professional


• The New York Giants take Super Bowl XXV, beating the Buffalo Bills 20-19.

• Strike the Gold wins the Kentucky Derby, but Hansel takes both the Preakness and

Belmont Stakes.

• Michael Jordan leads the Bulls to their first NBA championship over the L.A. Lakers.

• Aryton Senna repeats as Formula 1 champion.

• Michael Stich and Steffi Graf make it an all-German Wimbledon as they take the male

and female championships respectively.


Pittsburg Pengins pummel the Minnesota North Stars 8-0 in the last playoff game to take the Stanely Cup

Pittsburg Penguins take the
Stanley Cup

Magic Johnson announces his retirement due to HIV

Magic Johnson announces his retirement due to HIV 

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