1988 events in history

Jan 1 The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America comes into existence, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States
Jan 13 Lee Teng-hui becomes the first native Taiwanese President of the Republic of China
Jan 28 In R. v. Morgentaler the Supreme Court of Canada strikes down all anti-abortion laws, effectively allowing abortions in Canada in all 9 months of pregnancy
Feb 2 Auntie Anne's is founded by Anne F. Beiler in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Feb 5 Manuel Noriega is indicted on drug smuggling and money laundering charges
Feb 6 Michael Jordan makes his signature slam dunk from the free throw line inspiring Air Jordan and the Jumpman logo
Feb 20 The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast votes to secede from Azerbaijan and join Armenia, triggering the Nagorno-Karabakh War
Feb 27 Sumgait pogrom: The Armenian community of Sumgait in Azerbaijan is targeted in a violent massacre
Feb 29 South African archbishop Desmond Tutu is arrested along with 100 clergymen during a five-day anti-apartheid demonstration in Cape Town
Feb 29 Svend Robinson becomes the first member of the Canadian House of Commons to come out as gay
Mar 6 Three Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers are killed by Special Air Service on the territory of Gibraltar in the conclusion of Operation Flavius
Mar 13 The Seikan Tunnel, the longest undersea tunnel in the world, opens between Aomori and Hakodate, Japan
Mar 14 Johnson South Reef Skirmish: Chinese forces defeat Vietnamese forces in Johnson South Reef, disputed Spratly Islands
Mar 16 Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States
Mar 16 Halabja poison gas attack: The Kurdish town of Halabjah in Iraq is attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein, killing 5000 people and injuring about 10000 people
Mar 16 The Troubles: Ulster loyalist militant Michael Stone attacks a Provisional IRA funeral in Belfast with pistols and grenades. Three people are killed and more than 60 wounded. The attack was filmed by news crews
Mar 17 A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashes into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143
Mar 17 Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, is attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet
Mar 20 Eritrean War of Independence: Having defeated the Nadew Command, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front enters the town of Afabet, victoriously concluding the Battle of Afabet
Mar 25 The Candle demonstration in Bratislava is the first mass demonstration of the 1980s against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia
Apr 4 Governor Evan Mecham of Arizona is convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office
Apr 10 The Ojhri Camp disaster: Killing more than 1,000 people in Rawalpindi and Islamabad as a result of rockets and other munitions expelled by the blast
Apr 14 The USS Samuel B. Roberts strikes a mine in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will
Apr 14 In a United Nations ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, the Soviet Union signs an agreement pledging to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan
Apr 18 The United States launches Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II
Apr 25 In Israel, John Demjanuk is sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II
Apr 28 Near Maui, Hawaii, flight attendant Clarabelle "C.B." Lansing is blown out of Aloha Airlines Flight 243, a Boeing 737, and falls to her death when part of the plane's fuselage rips open in mid-flight
May 4 The PEPCON disaster rocks Henderson, Nevada, as tons of space shuttle fuel detonate during a fire
May 8 A fire at Illinois Bell's Hinsdale Central Office triggers an extended 1AESS network outage once considered the "worst telecommunications disaster in US telephone industry history"
May 14 Carrollton bus collision: A drunk driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 71 near Carrollton, Kentucky, United States hits a converted school bus carrying a church youth group. Twenty-seven die in the crash and ensuing fire
May 15 Soviet war in Afghanistan: After more than eight years of fighting, the Soviet Army begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan
May 16 A report by United States' Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine
May 24 Section 28 of the United Kingdom's Local Government Act 1988, a controversial amendment stating that a local authority cannot intentionally promote homosexuality, is enacted
May 29 The U.S. President Ronald Reagan begins his first visit to the Soviet Union when he arrives in Moscow for a superpower summit with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
Jun 4 Three cars on a train carrying hexogen to Kazakhstan explode in Arzamas, Gorky Oblast, USSR, killing 91 and injuring about 1,500
Jun 27 Gare de Lyon rail accident In Paris a train collides with a stationary train killing 56 people
Jul 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
Jul 3 United States Navy warship USS Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard
Jul 6 The Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea is destroyed by explosions and fires. One hundred sixty-seven oil workers are killed, making it the world's worst offshore oil disaster in terms of direct loss of life
Jul 23 General Ne Win, effective ruler of Burma since 1962, resigns after pro-democracy protests
Jul 31 32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia
Aug 6 The Tompkins Square Park Riot in New York City spurs a reform of the NYPD, held responsible for the event
Aug 8 The "8888 Uprising" occurs in Burma
Aug 10 Japanese American internment: U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing $20,000 payments to Japanese Americans who were either interned in or relocated by the United States during World War II
Aug 17 President of Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash
Aug 20 Iran–Iraq War: A ceasefire is agreed after almost eight years of war
Aug 20 "Black Saturday" of the Yellowstone fire in Yellowstone National Park
Aug 20 Peru becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty
Aug 20 The Troubles: Eight British soldiers are killed and 28 wounded when their bus is hit by an IRA roadside bomb in Ballygawley, County Tyrone
Aug 25 The Chiado area in Lisbon is partially destroyed by a fire