Since we’re now thirty years removed from 1992, it’s a great time to look back at all of the events that shaped the year and made it memorable, both the good and the bad. So with that being said, here is a look at what was happening 30 years ago.
Important Dates in 1992
On January 7, AT&T introduced the video phone—priced at $1,499—and described it as the world’s first full-color motion video phone that allowed home telephone customers to send and receive video images as well as spoken words.
On January 13, serial killer Jeffrey L. Dahmer admitted to killing 15 young men but pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. On February 15, a jury found Dahmer to be legally sane at the time of the murders, and sentenced him to “15 consecutive life sentences without chance of parole.”
From February 8-23, the 1992 Winter Olympics—officially known as the XVI Olympic Winter Games—were held in Albertville, France. A total of 1,801 athletes (1,313 men and 488 women) participated.
On February 16th, Davey Allison won the 34th running of the Daytona 500.
On February 24, singer and songwriter Courtney Love wed lead singer Kurt Cobain.
On March 3, President George H. W. Bush admitted that raising taxes was the biggest blunder of his presidency because it was “hobbling his bid for re-election.” The New York Times reports that Bush regretted raising taxes, “because of all the ‘political grief’ he has suffered for agreeing to a 1990 budget compromise with Congressional Democrats that raised taxes.”
On April 1, NHL players went on strike for the first time in their 75-year history. (The strike ended on April 10.)
On April 6, Microsoft released Windows 3.1.
On April 13, PepsiCo introduced Crystal Pepsi to test markets in Denver, Sacramento, Dallas, Providence, and Grand Rapids. Overall, the new soft drink generated a positive response from consumers.
On April 23, the largest McDonald’s restaurant in the world opened in Beijing, China. It had 28,000 square feet and 700 seats.
On April 29, a jury acquitted three Los Angeles police officers in the beating of Rodney King. Within hours, “the 1992 Los Angeles riots started, sparked by outrage among African Americans over the verdicts and long-standing social issues.”
On May 9, the last episode of the sitcom The Golden Girls aired on NBC.
On May 22, Johnny Carson made his final appearance on The Tonight Show.
On May 25, Jay Leno became the new host of the late-night talk show.
On June 13, The Chicago Bulls defeated the Portland Trailblazers to win their third straight NBA Championship.
On July 18, pop music artists Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown tied the knot.
From July 25-August 9, the Summer Olympics—officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad—were held in Barcelona, Spain. A total of 9,356 athletes (6,652 men and 2,704 women) participated.
On August 11, the Mall of America opened in Bloomington, Minnesota. It had 330 stores and 10,000 employees.
On October 1, the Cartoon Network was launched on cable television.
On October 14, The Atlanta Braves defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 7 of the NLCS on a slide by former Pirate Sid Bream to advance to the World Series.
On October 20, in the first World Series game outside of the U.S., the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves.
On November 3, Democrat Bill Clinton was elected President of the United States by defeating incumbent President George H. W. Bush.
On November 20, Windsor Castle—one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth—suffered a serious fire. UnofficialRoyalty.com points out that Windsor Castle “has been a royal residence for over 900 years and has the distinction of being the world’s longest-occupied castle and the world’s largest occupied castle.”
On December 8, NBC announced that the sitcom Cheers would broadcast its final episode in May 1993.
On December 9, Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced that they were separating after 11 years of marriage.
On December 31, MLB outfielder David Justice married actress Halle Berry.
The Economics of 1992
- A first-class stamp cost 29 cents.
- The average price for a gallon of gas was $1.13.
- The federal minimum wage was $4.25.
- The U.S. unemployment rate averaged 6.8%.
- An ounce of gold was $350.90
- A gallon of milk was $2.78.
- A dozen eggs were 93 cents.
- The average household income was $30,636, up from $29,430 a year earlier.
- The average price for a new car was $16,950.
- The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $850,000.
- The price of a compact disc (CD) was $11.98.
The Highest Grossing Films of 1992
- Home Alone 2: Lost In New York
- Batman Returns
- Lethal Weapon 3
- A Few Good Men
- Sister Act
- The Bodyguard
- Wayne’s World
- Basic Instinct
- A League Of Their Own
The Most Popular TV Shows of 1992
- 60 Minutes (CBS)
- Roseanne (ABC)
- Home Improvement (ABC)
- Murphy Brown (CBS)
- Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
- Coach (ABC)
- Monday Night Football (ABC)
- CBS Sunday Night Movie (CBS)
- Cheers (NBC)
- Full House (ABC)
The Top 40 Songs for 1992
- End of the Road: Boyz II Men
- Baby Got Back: Sir Mix A-Lot
- Jump: Kris Kross
- Save the Best for Last: Vanessa Williams
- Baby-Baby-Baby: TLC
- Tears In Heaven: Eric Clapton
- My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It): En Vogue
- Under the Bridge: Red Hot Chili Peppers
- All 4 Love: Color Me Badd
- Just Another Day: Jon Secada
- I Love Your Smile: Shanice
- To Be With You: Mr. Big
- I’m Too Sexy: Right Said Fred
- Black or White: Michael Jackson
- Achy Breaky Heart: Billy Ray Cyrus
- I’ll Be There: Mariah Carey
- November Rain: Guns N’ Roses
- Life Is a Highway: Tom Cochrane
- Remember the Time: Michael Jackson
- Finally: CeCe Peniston
- This Used to Be My Playground: Madonna
- Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough: Patty Smyth
- Can’t Let Go: Mariah Carey
- Jump Around: House Of Pain
- Diamonds and Pearls: Prince and The N.P.G.
- Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me: George Michael and Elton John
- Masterpiece: Atlantic Starr
- If You Asked Me To: Celine Dion
- Giving Him Something He Can Feel: En Vogue
- Live and Learn: Joe Public
- Come & Talk to Me: Jodeci
- Smells Like Teen Spirit: Nirvana
- Humpin’ Around: Bobby Brown
- Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover: Sophie B. Hawkins
- Tell Me What You Want Me To Do: Teven Campbell
- Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg: TLC
- It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday: Boyz II Men
- Move This: Technotronic
- Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen
- Tennessee: Arrested Development
Other Notable Notes for 1992
In 1992, the most popular baby names were Michael and Ashley.
The average life expectancy at birth in the United States was 75.8 years.
Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” was Bill Clinton.
Bread machines—first introduced in Japan in 1986—made their way into the American kitchen for the first time.
The nicotine patch was introduced to help reduce cigarette cravings that are associated with quitting smoking. By the end of the year, over five million people were using the patch, and sales of the product reached $1 billion.
For the first time, CDs were more popular than cassette tapes for recorded music.