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history:h_c20d

The 20th Century - 4th Quarter

Overview:

  • the age of computerisation, space travel, rock & roll, genetics, shopping malls, feminism
  • the generation Y:
    • Western people born 1976-1991 (some use 1982-2001)
    • also known as the net/millenial/thumb generation (use of thumbs for computers/mobile phones) or “ferals”
    • grew up with the internet, mobile phones, SMS phone text messaging  & generally well educated 
    • rebel against baby boomers - bare mid-riffs emphasises their youthfulness that the boomers have lost
    • get on well with their grandparents - the “silent generation”, valuing their values of marriage & kids at an earlier age, but perhaps are not ready to commit themselves
    • defining movies: The Matrix trilogy
    • icons: Prince William; Reese Witherspoon; Britney Spears;
    • motto: “I'll email you my digital wedding photos” 
    • fashion faux pas: satin cargo pants
    • tendency to become “parasite singles” (aka the kangaroo generation, nestlings, boomerang children & adulescents) who in their 20's & 30's earn a salary but still live with their parents.
      • term 1st coined by Japanese professor Masahiro Yamada as 10 million salaried singles in Japan live with parents in 2000, with 70% of all single women living with parents
      • in Italy in 2000, 58% of men aged 18-33yrs still live at home “mama's boys”, but in Australia only 7% of 30-34yr olds lived with parents.
      • causes include:
        • increased reluctance to marry young, women seeking wealthier men, women preferring careers over marriage
        • prohibitive rent, high tertiary education costs, less job security
        • unwilling to give up lifestyle of travel, dining out, & luxury goods that marriage & kids usually end
      • ramifications include:
        • dramatically falling birth rates & the economic & social impacts of this in an ageing society
        • is it symptomatic of increasing social isolation & depression amongst this age group
  • late 1970's:
    • the era of rock gradually taken over by more hard core anti-establishment sentiment with punk rock as many adolescents rebelled against high unemployment, high inflation, increasing divorce rates of their parents and cynicism of authority figures following the perceived follies of the Vietnam war, Middle East crises & the many political scandals such as Watergate, the Whitlam dismissal as well as Thatcherism.
  • 1980's:
    • a decade of high inflation, high interest rates, high unemployment, increasing divide between the have-nots and the employed, materialism, selfishness, sexual promiscuity, corporate takeovers culminating in the outbreak of HIV/AIDS then the 1987 stock market crash, massive corporate losses, anti-HIV fear campaigns, homophobia and subsequent recession
  • 1990's:
    • dominated by global recession and sexual conservatism in the first half, the 1991 Iraq war, grunge, “political correctness”, the growth of home computers, mobile phones & the internet which led to a dot net internet technology share boom and crash and subsequent real estate price boom as investors feared the volatility of stock markets, distrusting corporate accounting ethics and preferred the perceived safety of bricks and mortar in a low interest rate environment.
  • literature:
  • art:
    •  
  • music:
    • “classical music” - 
    • musicals - Blues Brothers; Rocky Horror;
    • rock & roll
    • dance - disco, rap, breakdance, rave
  • film:
    • digital special effects become possible and more realistic
    • Australian:
      • Mad Max (1979); Breaker Morant (1980);Gallipoli (1981); 
      • The Man from Snowy River (1982); Monkey Grip (1982); We of the Never Never (1983);
      • Crocodile Dundee; Muriel's Wedding; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert;
    • International:
      • Star Wars; E.T.; 
      • Jurassic Park; Alien; 
      • the X-files series;
    • actors:
      • Clint Eastwood; Mel Gibson; Arnold Scwharzenegger; Bryan Brown;
    • actresses:
      • Meryl Streep; Julia Roberts; Sigourney Weaver; Winona Ryder; 

Britain:

  • 1975:
  • 1976: James Callaghan becomes PM (1976-9);
  • 1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes PM (1979-90);
  • 1988: Lockerbie air terrorism disaster kills 270;
  • 1990: John Major becomes PM (1990-97);
  • 1994: English Channel tunnel opened;
  • 1997: Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in car accident; Tony Blair becomes PM;

Europe:

  • 1975:
  • 1979: Soviets invade Afghanistan;
  • 1980: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev begins program of glastnost, or openness that allowed people to speak freely resulting in Soviet system beginning to unravel.
  • 1981: attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II fails;
  • 1982: Monaco's Princess Grace dies in car accident; Spain joins NATO;
  • 1983: after 19mths, martial law is lifted in Poland;
  • 1986: Chernobyl nuclear reactor partial meltdown in Ukraine;
  • 1989: 
    • demonstrators in E.Germany, Bulgaria & Czechoslovakia bring down their communist governments leading to the Berlin Wall being dismantled after 28yrs and end of Communism in 1990-1 in these regions.
    • Yugoslavia state starts to disintegrate.
    • Gorbachev decides to withdraw Soviet troops from fruitless campaign in Afghanistan
  • 1990: Lech Walesa elected president of Poland; 35,000 killed in Iranian earthquake;
  • 1991: 
    • after failed coup attempt by hard-line communists, Gorbachev resigns & soon Pres. Boris Yeltsin temporarily bans the Communist Party, ending the Bolshevik Revolution as constituent states begin to declare their independence resulting in the USSR falling into disarray and easing of East-West tensions.
    • Bosnian war commences:
      • after break up of Federal Republic, fighting breaks out in Yugoslavia between Serbs, Croats & Muslims when Serb leader Milosovic conjures fear in minority Serb groups in Croatian dominated areas and with the rise of nationalism, commences fire on Croat towns and then starts the massacres of minorities, yet another genocide. The Serbs were reminded of persecution by muslims 600yrs previously and the Serbian genocide by Hitler in WWII, the propaganda engendered hatred and ensured the war would be one of the most bloody in the century & allowed ethnic cleansing to be attempted once again, this time, against the muslims in particular. UN tried to create safe areas and economic sanctions to no avail, and in 1995, under military pressure the UN soldiers left a town to the mercy of Serbs who killed 8,000 men in the town and dumped them in mass graves. Serbs expelled all muslims & Croats from serb-held regions. 
      •  
  • 1994: Russian troops invade Republic of Chechnya in unsuccessful attempt to oppose its independence movement
  • 1995: Chechen fighters seize hospital in Russia, more than 100 hostages killed in botched rescue. Russians forced to let hostage takers go.
  • 1996: Chechen commandos seize hundreds of hostages in village in neighbouring Dagestan, before escaping Russian seige.
  • 1997: Pres. Yeltsin signs formal peace treaty, leaving unresolved question of independence. Chechnya sinks into anarchy & under influence of militant Arab Wahhabi fighters.
  • 1999: Chechen fighters stage incursion into Dagestan, residential blocks blown up in Moscow & Volgadonsk killing 300. Chechen insurgents blamed. War breaks out again.

America:

  • 1975: Gerald Ford (Pres. 1974-7); Watergate cover-up trial;
  • 1976: US Bicentennial;
  • 1977: Jimmy Carter (Pres. 1977-81); Elvis Presley dies;
  • 1979: Hurricanes David & Frederick hit southern Florida causing $45m damages;
  • 1980: Mt St Helens volcano erupts; John Lennon killed;
  • 1981: Ronald Reagan (Pres. 1981-9);
  • 1983: terrorist bombs in Beirut kill 237 US marines;
  • 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger explodes soon after take-off;
  • 1987: nuclear treaty with USSR to ban medium-range weapons;
  • 1989: George Bush Snr (Pres. 1989-93); Gen. Colin Powell becomes 1st black to become Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff; oil tanker Exxon Valdez spills 11m gallons crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound;
  • 1991: US under Pres.Bush invade Iraq to free Kuwait;
  • 1992: 
  • 1993: Bill Clinton (Pres. 1993-2000?);
  • 1995: Oklahoma terrorist bombing;
  •  

South America:

  • 1976: Argentinian President Isabel Peron is deposed in bloodless coup;
  • 1979: Sandinistas seize power in Nicaragua;
  • 1980: Nicaragua's deposed President Somoza is assassinated;
  • 1983: US & Caribbean troops invade Grenada;

Asia:

  • China:
    • 1989: Tiananmen Square demonstrations;
    • becomes a nuclear power
    • 1997: Hong Kong is peacefully returned to China after more than 100yrs British domination;
  • India:
    • 1984: PM Indira Gandhi is assassinated by Sikhs;
    • becomes a nuclear power
    • 1997: Mother Teresa dies;
  • Pakistan:
    • 1988: Benazir Bhutto, 1st Islamic female PM;
    • becomes a nuclear power
  • Japan:
    •  
  • Indonesia:
    • 1975: Indonesia annexes East Timor without UN support.
    • 1991: Indonesian army massacres civilians in East Timor captured on film for western media.
    • 1998: President Suharto resigns, finally freeing Indonesian's from 30yrs of tyrannical rule. He is replaced by Pres. Sukarno's daughter, Megawati.
    • 2002: Nov. - Bali nightclub bombings by muslim extremists kill many tourists esp. Australians.
  • Other Asian:
    • 1979: Vietnam, along with the Cambodian insurgents it backs announce fall of Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, and the collapse of the Pol Pot regime.
    • 1984: NZ declares it a nuclear-free zone;
    • 1986: corrupt Philippine President Marcos (r.1966-86) flees and replaced by Corazon Aquino;
    • 1987: Bangladesh monsoon leaves 24 million homeless;
    • 1991: a military junta headed by Gen. Kongsompong takes power in Thailand;
    • 1992: US forces leave Phillipines after nearly 100yrs presence;
    • 1993: President of Sri Lanka assassinated;

Australia:

  • 1975: 
    • colour TV arrives in Australia; racial discrimination act; 
    • Malcolm Fraser becomes PM after GovGen Kerr dismisses Whitlam govt.
    • Liberal Party formally abandons assimilation as an Aboriginal Policy. ACTU bans uranium mining;
    • Tasman Bridge, Hobart collapses after being rammed by a freighter; 
    • skateboard riding becomes popular;
  • 1976:
    • Family Court established & concept of no-fault divorce, based on 12 months' separation as evidence of irretrievable break-down of marriage, was introduced
    • tobacco advertising banned on TV, radio; smoking banned on public transport;
    • Adelaide's Rundle St Mall is opened by premier Don Dunstan.
    •  
  • 1977:
    • Aboriginal Lands Act (1976) promulgated
    • Granville train disaster kills 83; Aust. Democrats Party founded; Fraser re-elected PM; Packer starts World Series cricket;
  • 1978:
    • Northern Territory (self-government) Act came into force & territory flag raised for 1st time.
    • Vietnamese refugees arrive by boat; Aust's 1st commercial diamond discovery (Argyle deposit WA);
    • Melbourne's Westgate Bridge opens after 13yrs construction;
  • 1979:
    • post-WWII refugee immigration results in 11.8% Australians with no British descendency (2% in 1939)
    • Joh Bjelke-Petersen becomes longest term as Qld premier of 10yrs, 5mths
    • 1st stage of Brisbane rail electrification completed.
    • rock/pop: Christie Allen; Jon English; LRB; Mi-Sex;
  • 1980:
    • Aust's 1st woman commercial airline pilot; Aust. joins US in protest of USSR invasion of Afghanistan & withdraws official & financial support from Aust. competitors at Olympic Games.
    • Aust's 1st test tube baby (world's 3rd) born at RWH; 
    • Sydney's Centrepoint Tower opens;
    • Azaria Chamberlain, a 9wk baby, allegedly taken by a dingo at Ayer's Rock; 
    • Gordon-below-Franklin Dam Project protests;
    • Royal Commission into the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union commences with report tabled in 1982 which resulted in 11 criminal convictions and found evidence of 15 murders in which members were involved.
    • world's oldest (3.5b yr old) bacteria discovered near Marble Bar, WA; 
    • world's oldest fossil fish found (480 million yrs old)
    • oz rock/pop: Christie Allen; Australian Crawl; Cold Chisel; Split Enz;
  • 1981:
    • Aust's pop. reaches 14.9m incl. 159,600 Aborigines in the Census; Aboriginal land rights succeed in SA;
    • Fraser's “razor gang” of Lynch, Howard, et al attempt to cut public services & promote private sector;
    • oz rock/pop: Sharon O'Neill; Australian Crawl; Cold Chisel; Mental As Anything; Mondo Rock; Men At Work; Air Supply;
  • 1982:
    • Howard replaces Lynch as Treasurer;
    • Premiers & C'wealth agree to abolish all appeals to Privy Council in England, making the High Court of Aust. the final court of appeal; Brisbane hosts C'wealth Games; Lindy Chamberlain found guilty of murdering her daughter & sentenced to life imprisonment; Brisbane's city mall opens;
    • Bank of NSW & Commercial Bank of Aust. merge to become Westpac Banking Corp., Aust's largest trading bank & 3rd largest savings bank; heavy drought caused by El Nino causes damage $2.5b, dust storms & bush fires killing 73 people;
    • Melbourne's Art Centre & Concert Hall opens;
    • oz rock/pop: Christina Amphlett; Split Enz; Goanna; Men At Work;
  • 1983:
    • Ash Wednesday bush fires in Vic, SA kill 68 & destroy hundreds of homes
    • drought which had hit eastern Australia since 1979, christened “The Great Dry”, affected 64% of nation's sheep & 60% of nation's cattle causing overall farm production to decline by 46%;
    • Hawke replaces Fraser as PM, Fraser resigns from politics & Peacock becomes leader of Liberal Party with Howard as deputy; Medicare introduced.
    • an immense dust storm covering 77,000 sq. miles hits Melbourne
    • Aust. Govt prevents construction of Tasmania's Franklin Dam creating constitutional problems;
    • proposed 30% tax levy on lump sum superannuation payments sparks pilot strikes forcing treasurer Keating to make concessions.
    • Alan Bond's Australia II yacht wins the America's Cup - the 1st non-US contender to do so in 132yrs.
    • Aust. Women's Weekly becomes a monthly magazine; 65yr old farmer Cliff Young wins Sydney-Melbourne marathon;
    • oz rock/pop: Sharon O'Neill; Australian Crawl; Midnight Oil; 
  • 1984:
    • world's 1st frozen embryo baby (Zoe Leyland) born in Melbourne;
    • Advance Australia Fair again replaces God Save The Queen as Aust's anthem;
    • 1st stage of NW Shelf oil-gas project completed;
    • Costigan Royal Commission into the Fed. Ship Painters' & Dockers' Union set up in 1980 was released; Hawke re-elected;
    • Melbourne's smog problems revealed: 24 days (cf 18days Sydney) - 4th worst in world behind Tokyo, Mexico City & LA;
    •  
  • 1985:
    • despite high inflation & unemployment levels, falling $A, Aust's stock market and property markets boom in tandem with global markets, on the back of “yuppies” and the “Baby boomers”
    • Jupiter's Casino on the Gold Coast opens. Licence granted for Adelaide's 1st casino;
    • Melbourne's diocese of Anglican Church the 1st in Australia to pass legislation sanctioning ordination of women as deacons.
  • 1986:
    • Brisbane's Gateway Bridge opens; Brisbane loses bid for 1992 Olympic Games, beaten by Barcelona;
  • 1987:
    • global (& Australian) stock markets collapse ushering in several years of low economic growth / recession
    • Australia loses the America Cup yacht race held in WA 
    • Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen resigns as Qld premier after 19yrs following him being dramatically unseated as ruler of the National Party.
  • 1988:
    • Bicentennial celebrations;
    • Brisbane hosts World Expo '88.
  • 1989:
    • Vic. divided into 210 municipalities
    • reported that south-east Qld was about to overtake Melbourne as Australia's 2nd largest population centre.
    • Newcastle earthquake kills 11
    • extensive flooding in Sth Aust. fills Lake Eyre & Lake Torrens for the 1st time this century
  • 1990:
    • Melbourne loses its bid for 1996 Olympic Games;
    • extensive flooding in Qld, the worst since white settlement, hit Charleville hard
    • Adelaide Grand Prix lost $4.4m in past 5yrs;
    • Dr Carmen Lawrence becomes premier of WA, the 1st female state premier in Australia
    • Aboriginal reconciliation becomes high on the political agenda.
    • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) formed to represent the Aboriginal people & given advisory power in the administration of govt programs & control of govt Aboriginal expenditure.
  • 1991:
    • John Cain resigns as Vic. Premier after a series of financial blunders caught up with him - Joan Kirner becomes Australia's 2nd female premier;
    • the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody investigating the 99 who had died in the 1980's and the prison custody rates of 12x the general population, resulted in fed. govt committing $40m over 5yrs to implement the recommendations.
  • 1992:
    • Melbourne's Swanston St closed to form Swanston Walk, a controversial pedestrian mall;
    • Royal Commission into Victoria's $2.5b Tricontinental merchant bank collapse;
    • Jeff Kennett as leader of the Victorian Liberal Party is swept into govt with a 34 seat majority, the largest in Victoria's history.
    • 100,000 in protest march against Kennett's proposed industrial reform legislation.
    • Sydney's $560m Harbour Tunnel opens.
    • Melbourne's exclusive men's club, the Naval & Military opens its doors to women for 1st time in 110yrs.
    • Mabo Aboriginal land case in High Court decision results in Native Title Right to recognise the traditional rights of Aboriginals to use & occupy their lands & recognised that Australia was not terra nullius - empty land - & that it had belonged to the Aboriginal peoples.
  • 1993:
    • record flooding in north-east Victoria;
    • Victoria wins 5yr contract to host the Australian Formula One Grand Prix motor racing from 1996.
    • Sydney wins bid to host 2000 Olympic Games, narrowly beating Beijing
    • the backpacker murders are investigated - the biggest serial murder case on record in NSW
    • NSW is 1st state to ban vilification of homosexuals.
    • Native Title Act 1993 passed.
    • Wik High Court controversial decision on Native Title allows native title rights & pastoralists rights to co-exist, but in any conflict, the pastoralist's rights would prevail. This controversy resulted in the Native Title Act 1998 being passed which sought to limit the circumstances in which stakeholders such as govts, pastoralists & miners would have to deal with native title holders with the intention of giving certainty to miners & pastoralists.
  • 1994:
    • following refusal by Tas. govt to reform its laws, Federal legislation was used to override Tasmania's anti-gay laws which had made homosexual acts between consenting adults illegal.
    • warrant issued for arrest of Quintex entrepreneur Christopher Skase living in Majorca, Spain.
    • fire storms ravish 600,000ha of NSW bush in 10 days, destroying 185 homes & killing 4 while 12,000 were evacuated
    • Royal Commission into corruption with NSW police force established
    • Melbourne's Crown Casino opens in its temporary quarters at the World Trade Centre.
    • Vic. 1st major privatisation when Totalisator Agency Board floated to public as Tabcorp.
    • Vic. State Electricity Commission restructured with creation of 8 state-owned bodies.
    • 98% of NSW declared drought
  • 1995:
    • 6th World Police & Fire Games held at MCG - the largest sporting event in Melbourne since 1956 Olympic Games.
    • Vic. govt signs agreement for CityLink Tollway.
    • Vic. govt sells off a number of the newly created electricity supply companies.
    • Sydney's 1st legal casino opens at Darling Harbour.
    • NT govt is 1st in the world to make voluntary euthanasia under restricted conditions legal.
  • 1996: 
    • Port of Portland sold by govt to Scott Corp. - the 1st privatisation of port facilities in Australia
    • $129m Melbourne Exhibition Centre (“Jeff's shed”) on south bank of the Yarra opens
    • 1st Grand Prix in Vic. for 40yrs is held at Albert Park despite residents' protests
    • Vic. premiere Kennett's Liberal Coalition is re-elected with loss of only 3 seats
    • Melbourne's 1st privatised prison, the 125 bed Women's Correctional Centre in Deer Park is opened
    • State Govts ban semi-automatic weapons following the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania where 35 were killed and 21 injured by Martin Bryant.
  • 1997:
    • Aust. govt releases white paper on international relations focussing on US, China, Japan & Indonesia, thus sparking increasing, almost subservient relationship with US to shore up support for US defence of Australia which has considerably waned, as well as develop closer economic ties and free up trade.
    • electronic gaming machines (Pokies) proliferate in pubs and sporting clubs as well as the new casinos create social crisis from gambling addictions while substantially contributing to state govt revenue.
    • Pauline Hanson launches One Nation political party
    • Tas. finally repeals its anti-gay laws.
    • urban real estate prices start to move upwards after some 7 years of flat or negative growth
    • Thredbo alpine village landslide kills 18
    • Vic. govt announce state's public transport system would be completely privatised by end of 1998.
    • Crown Casino opens on south bank of the Yarra.
    • Sydney's Star Casino opens.
    • singer Michael Hutchence (INXS) found dead in hotel room.
    • 1st 500cc motorcycle Grand Prix in Victoria was held at Phillip Island.
    • govt inquiry into past laws, practices & policies which resulted in the “stolen generation'.
  • 1998:
    • Victoria's Metcard automated public transport ticketing system begins operation.
    • Victorians without gas in winter for 2wks after explosion at the Esso Longford Gas Plant in Sale, Gippsland.
    • govt approves 1st clinical trial of heroin detoxification treatment using naltrexone
    • Sydney public health crisis as drinking water contaminated with giardia & cryptosporidium
    • The Great Australian Bight is named a marine park to protect its unique marine plants & animals.
  • 1999:
    • Y2K computer issues cause much anxiety & corporate contingency planning issues
    • Melbourne wins right to stage the 2006 Commonwealth Games after its only rival, Wellington NZ withdraws.
    • disastrous hailstorm in Sydney causes $1b damages in April, leaving many homes & businesses severely damaged for months.
    • Sydney's Stadium Australia opens.
    • Vic. Liberals lose state election when ALP win 42 seats to Liberals 43, but Labor able to form minority govt with support of 3 independents, forcing Kennett to resign as leader of Liberal Party.
    • yachtsman Jesse Martin becomes youngest person to circumnavigate the globe non-stop & unassisted.
    • The 1990s were Australia's warmest decade in the ninety years for which high-quality records are available since 1910.

New Zealand:

  •  

Africa:

  • 1976:
    • Idi Amin declares himself president of Uganda for life, instigating a reign of terror in which many of Obote's supporters were murdered, the Asian minority expelled, & the electorate wooed by mocking the former colonial powers.
  • 1979:
    • Idi Amin's reign in Uganda overthrown after a Tanzanian invasion, supporting Obote, provoked by an unsuccessful Ugandan attack, enabled Obote to return to power in 1980. Idi Amin fled to Libya then Saudi Arabia.
  • 1984: 
    • Sth African Bishop Desmond Tutu receives Nobel Prize for his work against apartheid;
    • severe drought devastates central Africa including Rwanda
  • 1989:
    • UN successfully sends military peace keeping force to help oversee the birth of an independent Namibia - only the 2nd time the UN has sent military to Africa (the 1st in 1960-64 for the Congo civil war).
    • Rwanda in crisis:
      • collapse of world coffee prices hits coffee-dependent Rwanda hard as the farmer's price falls 50%, and the price paid to them is only 1/20th the retail price in international countries. The IMF devalues Rwandan currency by 40% in 1990 and another 15% in 1992 resulting in inflation rising from 2.6% in 1988 to 28% in 1991 and the forced privatisation of health & education made these inaccessible. Only $60m of the promised $90m from the World bank was ever allocated. 
      • in 10yrs from 1985 to 1995, Rwanda's foreign debt doubled to $US39m and in 1993 was 62% of GNP.
      • The combination of reduced income & increased expenses & taxes hit the farmers hard. In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) consisting of Tutsi refugees invaded from Uganda in an attempt to democratise the authoritarian Hutu government and win the right for Tutsi refugees to return. By 1992, the RPF had captured much of Rwanda's northern region. The IMF insisted the Hutu government begin a dialogue with the RPF and form a multi-party democracy which the extremist Hutus opposed leading to the genocide of 1994. 
  • 1990: apartheid abolished & Nelson Mandela freed from prison in Sth Africa;
  • 1994: Nelson Mandela becomes president of Sth Africa; 
    • Rwanda - genocide in 100 days of slaughter:
      • with a population of 7.5 million and 90% of its labour force relying on agriculture (mainly coffee & tea), at least 800,000 die - mainly Tutsis - in Rwanda tribal warfare after the majority (84%) Hutu tribe became in conflict with the minority tribe (15%) the Tutsis who had been in power since the Belgians left in 1959. Hutu extremists killed their own moderate Hutu leader (President Habyarimana) along with the Burundian President by shooting down his plane & framing the murder on the Tutsis. Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) join with Hutu militia death squads (the interahamwe) armed with machetes and machine guns who roamed the country, setting up road blocks and moving from house to house killing all Tutsis and even any Hutus who opposed. Many of the surviving woman were raped and acquired HIV from the death squad soldiers, forcing them to abort subsequent pregnancies.
      • it took more than two months and more than half a million deaths before the UN started to use the term “genocide” in its legal context which would force it to intervene with French forces creating a “safe area” and eventually the Tutsi RPF forces capture Kigali & the Hutu government flees to Zaire, followed by a tide of 2 million Hutu refugees. 120,000 mainly Hutu men are imprisoned without trial for their alleged part in the genocide.
      • the RPF-led authoritarian government is seen by the UN to be better than anarchy & that the genocidal MRND has no role in Rwanda's future. But this creates a vicious cycle with the majority Hutus seeing the RPF as an occupying force maintaining its power through the use of arrest and intimidation. 
  • 1997:
    • Congo/Zaire civil war:
      • aided by Uganda & Rwanda, Tutsis captured the Zaire capital & renamed it to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and installed long-time activist Laurent Kabila as President who promptly cut his ties with Rwanda & Uganda and allied himself with Hutu militias instead to appease his Congolese constituency. He sought help from Zimbabwe, Namibia & Angola to help fight off Rwanda/Uganda backed Tutsi rebel groups. Despite peace talks, some 2,600 civilians died per day in the conflict with perhaps 2.5million dying between 1998-2001 with a third of these excess deaths being children.
  • 1998:   
    • UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan apologises to the Rwandan Parliament for failing the people of Rwanda in their greatest hour of need.

Science & Technology:

  • 1978: 1st test tube baby;
  • 1979: Sony Walkman;
  • 1981: 1st space shuttle; IBM PC desktop computer;
  • 1984: HIV discovered;
  • 1986: desktop computers start to become widespread;
  • 1990: Hubble space telescope launched; MS Windows 3.0 provides a graphical interface;
  • 1992: 
  • 1994: Intel's Pentium chips;
  • 1995: MS Windows 95; most new software now on CD ROM;
  • 1996: internet usage starts to revolutionise society;
  • 1997: DVD players; Bose-Einstein condensate created - a new form of matter;
  • 1998: Viagra; digital cameras start to become popular; MS Windows 98; USB interfaces in computers; re-writable CD drives enables CD burning of audio CDs, etc. “Slow light” - Light slowed down using Bose-Einstein condensates and then an impulse of light was able to be trapped for 1msec.
  • 1999: 

see also: History of computing

history/h_c20d.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/27 22:50 by gary1