1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1988th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 988th year of the 2nd millennium, the 88th year of the 20th century, and the 9th year of the 1980s decade.
1988 was a crucial year in the early history of the Internet—it was the year of the first well-known computer virus, the 1988 Internet worm. The first permanent intercontinental Internet link was made between the United States (NSFNET) and Europe (Nordunet) as well as the first Internet-based chat protocol, Internet Relay Chat. The concept of the World Wide Web was first discussed at CERN in 1988.
The Soviet Union began its major deconstructing towards a mixed economy at the beginning of 1988 and began its gradual dissolution. The Iron Curtain began to disintegrate in 1988 as Hungary began allowing freer travel to the Western world. The first extrasolar planet, Gamma Cephei Ab (confirmed in 2002) was detected this year and the World Health Organization began its mission to eradicate polio.
- January – The cargo ship Khian Sea deposits 4,000 tons of toxic waste in Haiti after wandering around the Atlantic for sixteen months.
- January 1 – The Soviet Union begins its program of economic restructuring (perestroika) with legislation initiated by Premier Mikhail Gorbachev (though Gorbachev had begun minor restructuring in 1985).
- January 7–8 – In the Afghan War, 39 men of the Soviet Airborne Troops from the 345th Independent Guards Airborne Regiment fight off an attack by 200 to 250 Mujahideen in the Battle for Hill 3234, later dramatized in the Russian film The 9th Company.
- January 13 – Vice-president Lee Teng-hui takes over as President of the Republic of China and Chairman of the Kuomintang following the death of Chiang Ching-kuo.
- February 12 – The 1988 Black Sea bumping incident: Soviet frigate Bezzavetnyy intentionally rams USS Yorktown in Soviet territorial waters while Yorktown claims innocent passage. The accompanying US destroyer USS Caron escapes damage.
- February 13–28 – The 1988 Winter Olympics are held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
- February 17
- 1988 Oshakati bomb blast: A bomb explodes outside the First National Bank in Oshakati, Namibia, killing 27 and injuring 70.
- U.S. Lieutenant Colonel William R. Higgins, serving with a United Nations group monitoring a truce in southern Lebanon, is kidnapped (and later killed by his captors).
- February 20 – The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast votes to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic and join the Armenian SSR, triggering the First Nagorno-Karabakh War.
- February 23 – Start of Anfal campaign, a genocidal counterinsurgency operation within the Iran–Iraq War carried out by Ba'athist Iraqi forces led by Ali Hassan al-Majid on the orders of President Saddam Hussein that will kill between 50,000 and 182,000 Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan.
- February 25 – The constitution of the Sixth Republic of Korea comes into effect.
- February 27–29 – Collapse of the Soviet Union: The Sumgait pogrom of Armenians occurs in Sumqayit.
- February 29 – A Nazi document implicates Kurt Waldheim in World War II deportations.
- March 6 – Operation Flavius: A Special Air Service team of the British Army shoots dead 3 unarmed members of a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) Active service unit in Gibraltar.
- March 16
- The Halabja chemical attack is carried out by Iraqi government forces.
- Iran–Contra affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
- Milltown Cemetery attack: Three men are killed and 70 wounded in a gun and grenade attack by loyalist paramilitary Michael Stone on mourners at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the funerals of the 3 IRA members killed in Gibraltar.
- In the United States, the First Republic Bank of Texas fails and enters FDIC receivership, the largest FDIC assisted bank failure in history.
- March 17
- A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashes into the side of the mountains near the Venezuelan border, killing 143 people.
- Eritrean War of Independence – Battle of Afabet: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, is attacked on 3 sides by military units of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF).
- March 19 – Corporals killings in Belfast: Two British Army corporals are abducted, beaten and shot dead by Irish republicans after driving into the funeral cortege of IRA members killed in the Milltown Cemetery attack.
- March 20 – Eritrean War of Independence: Having defeated the Nadew Command, the EPLF enters the town of Afabet, victoriously concluding the Battle of Afabet.
- March 24 – The first McDonald's restaurant in a country run by a Communist party opens in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1989 it will be followed by one in Budapest, and in 1990 in Moscow and Shenzhen, China.
- March 25 – The Candle demonstration in Bratislava, Slovakia, is the first mass demonstration of the 1980s against the socialist government in Czechoslovakia.
- April 5 – Kuwait Airways Flight 422 is hijacked while en route from Bangkok, Thailand, to Kuwait. The hijackers demand the release of 17 Shiite Muslim prisoners held by Kuwait. Kuwait refuses to release the prisoners, leading to a 16-day siege across 3 continents. Two passengers are killed before the siege ends.
- April 10 – The Ojhri Camp Disaster occurs in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
- April 14
- In the Geneva Accords, the Soviet Union commits itself to withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.
- The USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) strikes a naval mine in the Persian Gulf, while deployed on Operation Earnest Will, during the Tanker War phase of the Iran–Iraq War.
- April 16 – Israeli commandos kill the PLO's Abu Jihad in Tunisia.
- April 18 – The United States Navy retaliates for the USS Samuel B. Roberts mining with Operation Praying Mantis, in a day of strikes against Iranian oil platforms and naval vessels.
- April 20 – The world's longest skyjacking comes to an end when the remaining passengers of Kuwait Airways Flight 422 are released by their captors.
- April 28 – Aloha Airlines Flight 243 safely lands after losing its roof in midair, killing a flight attendant and injuring 65 people.
- April 30 – World Expo 88 opens in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
- May 8 – Re-election of François Mitterrand as President of France for 7 years.
- May 15 – Soviet–Afghan War: After more than 8 years of fighting, the Soviet Army begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
- May 16–18 – 1988 Gilgit massacre: A revolt by the Shias of Gilgit (in northern Pakistan) is ruthlessly suppressed by the Zia-ul Haq regime.
- May 27–29 – Somaliland War of Independence: Somali National Movement launches a major offensive against Somali government forces in Hargeisa and Burao, then second and third largest cities of Somalia.
- June 10–14 – Spontaneous 100,000 strong mass night-singing demonstrations in Estonian SSR eventually give name to the Singing Revolution.
- June 10–25 – West Germany hosts the UEFA Euro 1988 football tournament, which is won by the Netherlands.
- June 23 – NASA scientist James Hansen testifies to the U.S. Senate that human-made global warming has begun, becoming one of the first environmentalists to warn of the problem.
- June 27
- The Gare de Lyon rail accident occurs in Paris, France as a commuter train headed inbound to the terminal crashes into a stationary outbound train, killing 56 and injuring 57.
- Villa Tunari massacre: Bolivian anti-narcotics police kills 9 to 12 and injuries over a hundred protesting coca-growing peasants.
- June 30 – Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrates four bishops at Écône, Switzerland, for his apostolate, along with Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, without a papal mandate.
- July 1 – The Soviet Union votes to end the CPSU's monopoly on economic and other non-political power and to further economic changes towards a less rigidly Marxist-Leninist economy.
- July 3
- The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey, is completed, providing the second connection between the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus.
- Iran Air Flight 655 is shot down by a missile launched from the USS Vincennes, killing a total of 290 people on board.
- July 6 – The Piper Alpha production platform in the North Sea is destroyed by explosions and fires, killing 165 oil workers and 2 rescue mariners. 61 workers survive.
- July 31 – Thirty-two people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia.
- August 5 – The 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis culminates in the ousting of the Lord President of Malaysia, Salleh Abas.
- August 8 – 8888 Uprising: Thousands of protesters in Burma, now known as Myanmar, are killed during anti-government demonstrations.
- August 11 – A meeting of Islamic Jihadi leaders, including Osama bin Laden, takes place, leading to the founding of Al-Qaeda.
- August 17 – Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Lewis Raphel, are among those killed when a plane crashes and explodes near Bahawalpur.
- August 20 – A ceasefire effectively ends the Iran–Iraq War, with an estimated one million lives lost.
- August 21 – The Mw 6.9 Nepal earthquake shakes the Nepal–India border with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe), leaving 709–1,450 people killed and thousands injured.
- August 28 – Seventy people are killed and 346 injured in one of the worst air show disasters in history at Germany's Ramstein Air Base, when three jets from the Italian air demonstration team, Frecce Tricolori, collide, sending one of the aircraft crashing into the crowd of spectators.
- September 11 – Singing Revolution: In the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, 300,000 people gather to express their support for independence.
- September 12 – Hurricane Gilbert devastates Jamaica; it turns towards Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula 2 days later, causing an estimated $5 billion in damage.
- September 15 – The International Olympic Committee awards Lillehammer the right to host the 1994 Winter Olympics.
- September 17–October 2 – The 1988 Summer Olympics are held in Seoul, South Korea.
- September 22 – The Ocean Odyssey drilling rig suffers a blowout and fire in the North Sea (see also July 6), resulting in one death.
- September 29 – STS-26: NASA resumes Space Shuttle flights, grounded after the Challenger disaster, with Space Shuttle Discovery.
- October 5
- Thousands riot in Algiers, Algeria against the National Liberation Front government; by October 10 the army has tortured and killed[clarification needed] about 500 people in crushing the riots.
- Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet loses a national plebiscite on his rule; he relinquishes power in 1990.
- Promulgation of the 1988 Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil.
- October 12
- Walsh Street police shootings: Two Victoria Police officers are gunned down, execution style, in Australia.
- The Birchandra Manu massacre occurs in Tripura, India.
- October 20 – The Los Angeles Dodgers won 4 games to 1 in the 1988 World Series against the Oakland Athletics.
- October 27 – Ronald Reagan decides to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.
- October 28 – Abortion: 48 hours after announcing it was abandoning RU-486, French manufacturer Roussel Uclaf states that it will resume distribution of the drug.
- October 29 – Pakistan's General Rahimuddin Khan resigns from his post as the governor of Sindh, following attempts by the President of Pakistan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, to limit the powers Rahimuddin had accumulated.
- October 30 – Jericho bus firebombing: Five Israelis are killed and five wounded in a Palestinian attack in the West Bank.
- November – TAT-8, the first transatlantic telephone cable to use optical fibers, is completed. This led to more robust connections between the American and European Internet.
- November 2 – The Morris worm, the first computer worm distributed via the Internet, written by Robert Tappan Morris, is launched from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.
- November 3 – Sri Lankan Tamil mercenaries try to overthrow the Maldivian government. At President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's request, the Indian military suppresses the coup attempt within 24 hours.
- November 6 – The 1988 Lancang–Gengma earthquakes kills at least 938 people when it strikes the China–Myanmar border region in Yunnan.
- November 8 – The United States Vice-president and Republican nominee George H. W. Bush, defeats the Democratic nominee and Governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, in the 1988 United States Presidential Election.
- November 15
- In the Soviet Union, the uncrewed Shuttle Buran is launched by an Energia rocket on its maiden orbital spaceflight (the first and last space flight for the shuttle).
- Israeli–Palestinian conflict: An independent State of Palestine is proclaimed at the Palestinian National Council meeting in Algiers, by a vote of 253–46.
- The very first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, is launched by Nico Roozen, Frans van der Hoff and ecumenical development agency Solidaridad in the Netherlands.
- November 16
- Singing Revolution: The Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR adopts the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration in which the laws of the Estonian SSR are declared supreme over those of the Soviet Union. The USSR declares it unconstitutional on November 26. It is the first declaration of sovereignty from Moscow of any Soviet or Eastern Bloc entity.
- In the first open election in more than a decade, voters in Pakistan choose populist candidate Benazir Bhutto to be Prime Minister. Elections are held as planned despite head of state Zia-ul-Haq's death earlier in August.
- November 23 – Former Korean president Chun Doo-hwan makes a formal apology for corruption during his presidency, announcing he will go into exile.
- December 1
- Carlos Salinas de Gortari takes office as President of Mexico.
- The first World AIDS Day is held.
- December 2
- Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state.
- A cyclone in Bangladesh leaves 5 million homeless and thousands dead.
- December 6 – The Australian Capital Territory is granted self-government by the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988.
- December 7 – In Soviet Armenia, the Ms 6.8 Spitak earthquake kills nearly 25,000, injures 31,000 and leaves 400,000 homeless.
- December 12 – The Clapham Junction rail crash in London kills 35 and injures 132.
- December 16 – Perennial U.S. presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche is convicted of mail fraud.
- December 20 – The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
- December 21 – Pan Am Flight 103 is blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing a total of 270 people. Libya is suspected of involvement.
- Near the end of the year, the first proper and official Internet connection between North America and Europe is made between Princeton, New Jersey, United States, and Stockholm, Sweden.
- Zebra mussels, a species originally native to the lakes of southern Russia and Ukraine, are found in the Great Lakes of North America.
Births and deathsEdit
- Physics – Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz, Jack Steinberger
- Chemistry – Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber, Hartmut Michel
- Medicine – Sir James W. Black, Gertrude B. Elion, George H. Hitchings
- Literature – Naguib Mahfouz
- Peace – The United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces
- The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – Maurice Allais
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- ^ Bokhari, Sajjad (1993). Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, the Leader of Today. Fiction House. p. 27 – via Google Books.
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- ^ "FINAL ACT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE FOR THE ADOPTION OF A CONVENTION AGAINST ILLICIT TRAFFIC IN NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES". International Narcotics Control Board. December 20, 1988. Archived from the original on May 18, 2005. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
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- ^ "Zebra Mussels Overwhelm U.S. Waterways in the Great Lakes Region and Beyond – Copper Screens and Coatings Provide a Solution to this $500 million Problem". Copper Development Association. July 30, 2009. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2011.