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|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1960s 1970s 1980s – 1990s – 2000s 2010s 2020s|
|Years:||1988 1989 1990 – 1991 – 1992 1993 1994|
|1991 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2744|
|British Regnal year||39 Eliz. 2 – 40 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 庚午年十一月十六日
— to —辛未年十一月廿六日
|- Vikram Samvat||2047–2048|
|- Shaka Samvat||1913–1914|
|- Kali Yuga||5092–5093|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||991–992|
|Japanese calendar|| Heisei 3
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 80
|Thai solar calendar||2534|
1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar in the 20th century. It was the second year of the 1990s, and is usually considered the final year of the Cold War that had begun in the late 1940s. During the year, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapsed into fifteen sovereign republics. A U.N.-authorized coalition force from thirty-four nations fought against Iraq, which had invaded Kuwait in the previous year, 1990. The conflict would be called the Gulf War and would mark the beginning of a since-constant American military presence in the Middle East. The clash between Serbia and the other Yugoslavian countries would lead into the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars. The year 1991 was the 1991st year of Anno Domini, the 991st year of the 2nd millennium, the 91st year of the 20th century and 2nd in the 1990s.
- January 1 – Dublin begins its year as European Capital of Culture.
- January 2 – In eastern El Salvador, Salvadoran rebels shot down a United States Army helicopter and executed the two surviving members of its three-man crew.
- January 4 – The United Nations Security Council votes unanimously to condemn Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.
- January 5 – Georgian troops attack Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, opening the 1991–1992 South Ossetia War.
- January 6 – The runoff for the Guatemalan presidential election is won by Jorge Serrano Elías.
- January 7 – In Haiti, an attempted coup by an associate of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier is thwarted by Loyalist troops.
- January 9
- United States Secretary of State James Baker meets with the Foreign Minister of Iraq Tariq Aziz, but fails to produce a plan for Iraq to withdraw its troops from Kuwait.
- In Sebokeng, South Africa, gunmen fire on mourners attending the funeral of a leader of the African National Congress, killing 13 people.
- January 12 – Gulf War: The Congress of the United States passes a resolution authorizing the use of military force to liberate Kuwait.
- January 13
- January 15
- The United Nations deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expires, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.
- Prime Minister of Cape Verde Pedro Pires resigns following his party's loss in the January 13 Cape Verdean parliamentary election, the first ever multiparty election in an African nation.
- January 16
- U.S. serial killer Aileen Wuornos confesses to the murders of six men.
- Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins with air strikes against Iraq.
- January 17
- Gulf War: Iraq fires eight Scud missiles into Israel.
- Harald V of Norway becomes king on the death of his father, Olav V.
- The volcano Hekla erupts on Iceland
- January 18 – Eastern Air Lines shuts down after 62 years, citing financial problems.
- January 19
- January 21 – Harald V formally takes the throne as King of Norway, succeeding his father, Olav V of Norway.
- January 22
- Three SCUDs and one Patriot missile hit Ramat Gan in Israel, injuring 96 people; 3 elderly people die of heart attacks.
- British Army SAS patrol, Bravo Two Zero is deployed in Iraq during the Gulf War. All but one of eight members are killed or captured.
- January 24 – The government of Papua New Guinea signs a peace agreement with separatist leaders from Bougainville Island, ending fighting that had gone on since 1988.
- January 26 – Siad Barre is overthrown. Somalia enters civil war.
- January 29
- February 1
- February 5 – A Michigan court bars Dr. Jack Kevorkian from assisting in suicides.
- February 7
- Haiti's first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is sworn in.
- The Provisional Irish Republican Army launches a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street during a cabinet meeting.
- Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabian border and enter Kuwait, thus starting the ground phase of the war.
- February 9 – Voters in Lithuania support independence.
- February 11 – UNPO, the Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization, forms in The Hague, Netherlands.
- February 13 – Gulf War: Two laser-guided " smart bombs" destroy an underground bunker in Baghdad, killing hundreds of Iraqis. United States military intelligence claims it was a military facility but Iraqi officials identify it as a bomb shelter.
- February 15 – The Visegrad Agreement, establishing cooperation to move toward free-market systems, is signed by the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.
- February 17 – The Cape Verdean presidential election, Cape Verde's first multiparty presidential election since 1975, is won by António Mascarenhas Monteiro.
- February 18 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army explodes bombs in the early morning, at both Paddington station and Victoria station in London.
- February 20 – President of Albania Ramiz Alia dismisses the government headed by Prime Minister of Albania Adil Çarçani in an effort to stem prodemocracy protests. Fatos Nano is sworn in as Prime Minister on February 22.
- February 22 – Gulf War: Iraq accepts a Russian-proposed cease fire agreement. The U.S. rejects the agreement, but says that retreating Iraqi forces will not be attacked if they leave Kuwait within 24 hours.
- February 23
- February 25 – Gulf War: Part of an Iraqi Scud missile hits an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 29 and injuring 99 U.S. soldiers. It is the single-most devastating attack on U.S. forces during that war.
- February 26 – Gulf War: On Baghdad radio, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Iraqi soldiers set fire to Kuwaiti oil fields as they retreat.
- February 27
- President Bush declares victory over Iraq and orders a cease-fire.
- In the Bangladeshi general election, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party wins 139 of 300 seats in the Jatiyo Sangshad. BNP leader Khaleda Zia becomes President of Bangladesh on March 19.
- February 28 – In the Estonian independence referendum and the Latvian independence and democracy poll, voters vote more than 3 to 1 in favour of independence from the Soviet Union.
- March–April – Iraqi forces suppress rebellions in the southern and northern parts of the country, creating a humanitarian disaster on the borders of Turkey and Iran.
- March 1
- The ballistic missile submarine USS-ex-Sam Houston SSBN-609 is deactivated.
- Clayton Keith Yeutter ends his term as United States Secretary of Agriculture.
- March 3
- An amateur video captures the beating of motorist Rodney King by Los Angeles, California police officers.
- Estonia and Latvia vote for independence from the Soviet Union.
- United Airlines Flight 585 crashes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing all 25 people on board.
- The São Tomé and Príncipe presidential election, the first contested presidential election in the history of São Tomé and Príncipe, is won by Miguel Trovoada.
- March 6 – Prime Minister of India Chandra Shekhar resigns because of a dispute with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, whose support had kept him in power.
- March 9 – Massive demonstrations are held against Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade; 2 people are killed and tanks are in the streets.
- March 10
- Gulf War – Operation Phase Echo: 540,000 American troops begin to leave the Persian Gulf.
- In the Salvadoran legislative election, the Nationalist Republican Alliance wins 39 of 48 seats in the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador.
- March 11 – A curfew is imposed on black townships in South Africa, after fighting between rival political gangs kills 49.
- March 13 – The United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
- March 14
- The Emir of Kuwait, Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, returns to Kuwait after seven months of exile while his country was occupied by Iraq.
- After 16 years in prison for allegedly bombing a public house in a Provisional Irish Republican Army attack, the " Birmingham Six" are freed when a court determines that the police fabricated evidence.
- March 15
- Four Los Angeles, California police officers are indicted for the videotaped March 3 beating of Rodney King during an arrest.
- Germany formally regains complete independence after the four post-World War II occupying powers (France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union) relinquish all remaining rights.
- The United States and Albania resume diplomatic relations for the first time since 1939.
- March 17
- In a national referendum, the people of the Soviet Union vote in favour of keeping the 15 Soviet republics together, with the pro-unity position gaining 77% of the vote.
- In the Finnish parliamentary election, the Centre Party wins 55 of 200 seats in the Parliament of Finland, ending 25 years of dominance by the Social Democratic Party of Finland.
- March 19–26 – President of Poland Lech Wałęsa becomes the first Polish president to ever visit the U.S.
- March 24 – The Beninese presidential election, Benin's first presidential election since 1970, is won by Nicéphore Soglo.
- March 26
- March 31
- April 1 – Comedy Central is launched in its current format.
- April 2 – Government-imposed price increases double or triple the prices of consumer goods in the Soviet Union.
- April 3 – Iraq disarmament crisis: The U.N. Security Council passes the Cease Fire Agreement, Resolution 687. The Resolution calls for the destruction or removal of all of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons, all stocks of agents and components, and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities for ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 km and production facilities; and for an end to its support for international terrorism. Iraq accepts the terms of the resolution on April 6.
- April 4
- Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and six other people are killed when a helicopter collides with their plane over Merion, Pennsylvania.
- William Kennedy Smith, a nephew of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, is identified as a suspect in an alleged Palm Beach, Florida sexual assault.
- April 5
- Former Senator John Tower and 22 others are killed in an airplane crash in Brunswick, Georgia, United States.
- STS-37: Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The shuttle launched an observatory to study gamma rays before returning to Earth on April 11.
- April 9 – The Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia declares independence from the Soviet Union.
- April 10
- April 14 – In the Netherlands, thieves steal 20 paintings worth $500 million from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Less than an hour later they are found in an abandoned car near the museum.
- April 15
- Inauguration of the EBRD.
- The European Economic Community lifts economic sanctions on South Africa in response to moves to end the apartheid system.
- April 16–18 – Soviet President Gorbachev begins the first ever visit of a Soviet leader to Japan, but fails to resolve the two countries' dispute over ownership of the Kuril Islands.
- April 17 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 3,000 for the first time ever, at 3,004.46.
- April 18 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq declares some of its chemical weapons and materials to the UN, as required by Resolution 687, and claims that it does not have a biological weapons program.
- April 19 – George Carey is enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
- April 22
- April 23 – Prime Minister of Iceland Steingrímur Hermannsson resigns following an inconclusive parliamentary election on April 20. On April 30, he is succeeded as prime minister by Davíð Oddsson.
- April 26
- 70 tornadoes break out in the central United States, killing 17. The most notable tornado of the day strikes Andover, Kansas.
- Esko Aho, age 36, becomes the youngest-ever Prime Minister of Finland.
- April 29
- April 29- 30 – In Lesotho, a bloodless coup ousts military ruler Justin Lekhanya. On May 2, he is replaced as Chairman of the Military Council by Elias Phisoana Ramaema.
- May 1 – Angolan Civil War: The MPLA and UNITA agree to the Bicesse Accords, which are formally signed on May 31 in Lisbon.
- May 4
- May 12 – Nepal holds its first multiparty legislative election since 1959.
- May 13 – Winnie Mandela is convicted of kidnapping. On May 14, she is sentenced to six years in prison.
- May 14 – Elizabeth II arrives in Washington, D.C. for a 13-day royal visit to the U.S.
- May 15 – Édith Cresson becomes France's first female premier.
- May 18 – Somaliland withdraws from Somalia.
- May 19 – In the Croatian independence referendum, voters in the Socialist Republic of Croatia vote to secede from Yugoslavia.
- May 21
- In Sriperumbudur, India, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated at a public meeting in Sriperumbudur, by suicide bomber Thenmozhi Rajaratnam; many others are killed in the explosion.
- Mengistu Haile Mariam, president of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, flees Ethiopia, effectively bringing the Ethiopian Civil War to an end.
- May 22 – Acting Prime Minister of South Korea Ro Jai-bong resigns in the wake of rioting following a beating death of a student by police on April 26. On May 24, he is succeeded by Chung Won-shik.
- May 24 – Authorised by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Operation Solomon commences.
- May 25 – The Surinamese general election is won by the military-backed New Front for Democracy and Development.
- May 26 – In Thailand, a Lauda Air Boeing 767 crashes near Bangkok, killing all 223 people on board.
- May 28 – In the Ethiopian Civil War, the forces of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front seize Addis Ababa.
- June 3 – Mount Unzen erupts, killing 43 people as a result of pyroclastic flow.
- June 4 – Fatos Nano resigns as Prime Minister of Albania following a nationwide strike. President of Albania Ramiz Alia appoints Ylli Bufi as his successor.
- June 5
- President of Algeria Chadli Bendjedid dismisses Prime Minister of Algeria Mouloud Hamrouche following 11 days of antigovernment demonstrations, replacing him with Sid Ahmed Ghozali.
- South Africa repeals the last legal foundations of apartheid, the laws that segregated places of residence and employment.
- STS 40: Space Shuttle Columbia carries the Spacelab into orbit.
- June 7 – About 200,000 people attend a parade of 8,800 returning Persian Gulf War troops in Washington, D.C.
- June 9 – A major collapse of ground at the Emaswati Colliery in Swaziland traps 26 miners 65 m below the surface. The men have access to a safe refuge chamber and are all rescued by a drill hole 30 hours after the rescue unit is first alerted.
- June 12 – Boris Yeltsin is elected President of Russia, the largest and most populous of the 15 Soviet republics.
- June 13 – A spectator is killed by lightning at the U.S. Open.
- June 15
- In the Philippines, Mount Pinatubo erupts in the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century; the final death toll tops 800.
- End of voting in the Indian general election. The Indian National Congress wins the most seats but fails to secure a majority. On June 21, Congress leader P. V. Narasimha Rao becomes Prime Minister of India
- June 17
- Apartheid: The South African Parliament repeals the Population Registration Act, which had required racial classification of all South Africans at birth.
- U.S. President Zachary Taylor is exhumed to discover whether or not his death was caused by arsenic poisoning, instead of acute gastrointestinal illness; no trace of arsenic is found.
- In Northern Ireland, the four main political parties begins talks on restoring self-government.
- President of Turkey Turgut Özal appoints Mesut Yılmaz as Prime Minister of Turkey, replacing Yıldırım Akbulut, who had resigned.
- June 20 – In Germany, the Bundestag votes to move the capital from Bonn to Berlin.
- June 23
- Mesut Yılmaz, of ANAP forms the new government of Turkey (48th government)
- The first Sonic the Hedgehog game is published by Sega. The series would soon become extremely popular, and (as of 2012) is still being produced.
- June 23– June 28 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.N. inspection teams attempt to intercept Iraqi vehicles carrying nuclear related equipment. Iraqi soldiers fire warning shots in the air to prevent inspectors from approaching the vehicles.
- June 25 – Collapse of Yugoslavia: Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia.
- June 28 – COMECON is dissolved.
- July 1
- The Warsaw Pact is officially dissolved at a meeting in Prague.
- Telephone service goes down in the cities of Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and San Francisco due to a software bug. About twelve million customers are affected.
- July 2 – Ten-Day War: Fighting breaks out when the Yugoslav People's Army attacks secessionists in Slovenia.
- July 4 – President of Colombia César Gaviria lifts a seven-year-long state of siege.
- July 6-7: Steffi Graf and Michael Stich win the 1991 Wimbledon Championships.
- July 7 – The Brioni Agreement ends the Ten-Day War in Slovenia.
- July 9
- In response to the end of apartheid, the International Olympic Committee readmits South Africa to the Olympics.
- Iran–Contra affair: Alan Fiers agrees to plead guilty to two charges of having lied to the U.S. Congress.
- July 10
- Boris Yeltsin begins his 5-year term as the first elected president of Russia.
- President Bush announces the U.S. is ending its sanctions on South Africa.
- July 11
- A solar eclipse of record totality occurs, seen first in Hawaii then enters Mexico with the path directly crosses Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City seen by 20 million inhabitants, and finally ends in Colombia in South America.
- Nigeria Airways Flight 2120, a Douglas DC-8 operated by Canadian airline Nolisair, catches fire and crashes in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing all 261 people on board.
- July 15 – Chemical Bank and Manufacturers Hanover Corporation announce that they are merging, the largest bank merger in history.
- July 16 – President Gorbachev arrives in London to ask for western aid from the leaders of the G7.
- July 17 – President Bush and President Gorbachev reach an agreement on START II, which is formally signed on July 31.
- July 18 – In Israel, a judge investigating a 1990 incident outside a mosque in Jerusalem in which at least 17 Palestinians were killed rules that Israeli police provoked the incident.
- July 21 – Ian Baker-Finch wins the 1991 Open Championship.
- July 22
- Boxer Mike Tyson is arrested and charged with the rape of Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington 3 days earlier, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested after the remains of 11 men and boys are found in his Milwaukee, Wisconsin, apartment. Police soon find out that he is involved in 6 more murders.
- July 24 – Finance Minister of India, Manmohan Singh announces a New Industrial Policy, marking the start of India's economic reforms.
- July 25 – British astronomers announce they have found what appears to be an extrasolar planet.
- July 27 – An oil spin begins fouling beaches in Olympic National Park.
- July 29 – In New York, a grand jury indicts Bank of Credit and Commerce International of the largest bank fraud in history, accusing the bank of defrauding depositors of $5 billion.
- July 30 – In Haiti, a jury convicts Tonton Macoute of attempting to overthrow Haiti's first democratically-elected government.
- July 31
- August 1 – Israel agrees to participate in the Madrid Conference of 1991, which is held in October.
- August 4 – The Cruise Liner MTS Oceanos sinks off the coast of South Africa and all 571 passengers on board are safely evacuated.
- August 5 – Sergey Bubka breaks the world record for men's pole vault.
- August 6 – Tim Berners-Lee announces the World Wide Web project and software on the alt.hypertext newsgroup. The first website, "info.cern.ch" is created.
- August 7 – Shapour Bakhtiar, former prime minister of Iran, is assassinated.
- August 8 – The Warsaw radio mast, the tallest construction ever built at the time, collapses.
- August 17 – Strathfield Massacre: In Sydney, Australia, taxi driver Wade Frankum shoots 7 people and injures 6 others before turning the gun on himself.
- August 19 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is put under house arrest while vacationing in the Crimea during a coup. The attempted coup, led by Vice President Gennady Yanayev and 7 hard-liners, collapses in less than 72 hours. This is the most popular date to be said when the Soviet Empire fell after 51 years and the end to 514 years of Russian Colonialism.
- August 20 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Estonia declares its independence from the Soviet Union, and more than 100,000 people rally outside the Soviet Union's parliament building protesting the coup that deposed President Mikhail Gorbachev.
- August 21 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Latvia declares its independence from the Soviet Union.
- August 23 – The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (or "Super Nintendo") is released in the United States.
- August 24 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Ukraine declares independence from Soviet Union.
- August 25
- August 27 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Moldova declares independence from the Soviet Union.
- August 29 – Maronite general Michel Aoun leaves Lebanon via a French ship into exile.
- August 30 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Azerbaijan declares independence from Soviet Union.
- August 31 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan declare independence from the Soviet Union.
- September 2 – The United States recognizes the independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
- September 3 – In Hamlet, North Carolina, a grease fire breaks out at the Imperial Foods chicken processing plant, killing 25 people.
- September 5– September 7 – At the 35th Annual Tailhook Symposium in Las Vegas, 83 women and seven men are assaulted.
- September 5 – The Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union self-dissolves, replaced by Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union and State Council of the Soviet Union
- September 6
- September 8 – The Republic of Macedonia becomes independent.
- September 9 – Tajikistan declares its independence from the Soviet Union.
- September 11
- September 15 – In the Swedish general election, the Social Democrats suffer their worst election results in 60 years, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson.
- September 16 – Judge Gerhard Gesell of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issues a ruling clearing Col. Oliver North of all charges brought against him in the Iran–Contra affair.
- September 17 – North Korea, South Korea, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia join the United Nations.
- September 19 – Ötzi the Iceman is found in the Alps.
- September 20– September 21 – In Sandy, Utah, several patients are held hostage and a nurse is killed in the Alta View Hospital hostage incident.
- September 21
- Armenia declares independence from the Soviet Union.
- The Order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of German tongue (Orden der Schwestern der Perpetuellen Indulgenz deutscher Zunge, "O.S.P.I.") is founded in Heidelberg by Erzmutter (Archmother) Johanna Indulgentia Tara Maria Benedicta O.S.P.I.
- AFL Grand Final: Hawthorn Hawks defeat West Coast Eagles by 53 points at Waverley Park, the final score 20.19.139 – 13.8.86.
- September 21– September 30 – Iraq disarmament crisis: IAEA inspectors discover files on Iraq's hidden nuclear weapons program. Iraqi officials confiscate documents from UN weapons inspectors, refusing to allow them to leave the site without turning over other documents. A 4-day standoff ensues. Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents after the UN Security Council threatens enforcement actions.
- September 22 – The Huntington Library makes the Dead Sea Scrolls available to the public for the first time.
- September 23 – United Nations Special Commission inspectors discover secret Iraqi documents in Baghdad detailing plans to make nuclear weapons, but the Iraqi Army forcibly remove the documents from the inspectors.
- September 24 – Lebanese kidnappers release Jack Mann, 77, after more than two years of captivity.
- September 25 – In the Salvadoran Civil War, representatives of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front reach an agreement with President of El Salvador Alfredo Cristiani setting the stage for ending over 11 years of civil war.
- September 27 – President Bush announces unilateral reductions in short-range nuclear weapons and calls off 24-hour alerts for long-range bombers. The Soviet Union responds with similar unilateral reductions on October 5.
- September 29 – In El Salvador, an army colonel of the Atlacatl Battalion is found guilty of the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests and their housekeepers.
- September 30
- October 3
- October 6 – President Gorbachev condemns Antisemitism in the Soviet Union in a statement read on the 50th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacres, which saw the death of 35,000 Jews in the Ukraine.
- October 7 – The Yugoslav Air Force bombs the office of President of Croatia Franjo Tuđman, who narrowly escapes with his life.
- October 8 – The Parliament of Croatia cuts all remaining ties with Yugoslavia.
- October 11
- In Russia, the KGB is replaced by the SVR.
- Iraq disarmament crisis: The U.N. Security Council passes Resolution 715, which demands that Iraq "accept unconditionally the inspectors and all other personnel designated by the Special Commission". Iraq rejects the resolution, calling it "unlawful."
- October 11– October 13 – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee interviews both Supreme Court candidate Clarence Thomas and former aide Anita Hill, who alleges that Thomas sexually harassed her while she worked for him.
- October 12 – Askar Akayev, previously chosen President of Kyrgyzstan by its Supreme Soviet, is confirmed president in an uncontested poll.
- October 13 – In the Bulgarian parliamentary election, the Union of Democratic Forces defeats the Bulgarian Socialist Party, leaving no remaining Communist governments in Eastern Europe.
- October 14 – Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese opposition politician, won the Nobel Peace prize.
- October 15 – United States Senate votes 52–48 to confirm Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- October 16 – George Hennard murders 23 people in Killeen, Texas before killing himself.
- October 18 – The Soviet Union restores diplomatic relations with Israel, which had been suspended since the 1967 Six-Day War.
- October 20
- The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments.
- The Harare Declaration lays down the membership criteria for the Commonwealth of Nations.
- Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke wins a spot in the runoff election for governor of Louisiana, ultimately losing to Edwin Edwards.
- October 21 – Lebanese kidnappers release Jesse Turner, a mathematics professor who had been held hostage for more than 4 years.
- October 23 – In Paris, the Vietnam-backed government of the state of Cambodia signs an agreement with the Khmer Rouge to end the civil war and bring the Khmer Rouge into government in spite of its role in the Cambodian genocide. The deal results in the creation of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia.
- October 27
- October 28– November 4 – The 1991 Perfect Storm strikes the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada, causing over $200 million of damage and resulting in 12 direct fatalities.
- October 29
- The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.
- The U.S. expands trade sanctions on Haiti to include all goods except food and medicine, in an effort to encourage the leaders of the 1991 Haitian coup d'état to restore democracy.
- October 30 – In Madrid, the Middle East Peace Conference opens, the first direct negotiations between Israel and nearly all its Arab adversaries.
- October 31– November 3 – The Halloween Blizzard hits the Upper Midwest of the United States, causing around $100 million of damage and killing 22.
- November 4- November 5 – In South Africa, the African National Congress leads a general strike, demanding a role in governing and an end to a value added tax.
- November 5
- The body of publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell is found floating in the Atlantic Ocean near the Canary Islands.
- In a special election for the U.S. Senate, Harris Wofford scores an electoral upset against Dick Thornburgh, who had led him by 44 points in an August opinion poll.
- The United States Senate confirms Robert Gates as Director of Central Intelligence.
- China–Vietnam relations: China and Vietnam restore diplomatic relations after a 13-year rift which followed 1979's Sino-Vietnamese War.
- November 6
- The KGB officially stops operations.
- CPSU, and its republic-level division, Communist Party of the Russian SFSR, banned in the Russian SFSR by Presidential decree N 169.
- November 7
- November 8 – Hong Kong begins the forcible repatriation of Vietnamese boat people, starting with a group of 59 who were flown to Hanoi.
- November 9
- The British JET fusion reactor generates 1.5 MW output power.
- On the anniversary of Kristallnacht, tens of thousands of protestors demonstrate against attacks on immigrant workers.
- November 12 – June Rowlands is elected the first female Mayor of Toronto.
- November 14
- American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials, in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103.
- Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returns to Phnom Penh after 13 years of exile.
- Kidnappers in Lebanon set Anglican Church envoys Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland free.
- November 18
- Serb troops take Vukovar after an 87-day siege, and commit the worst massacre in Croatian history.
- An Azerbaijani MI-8 helicopter carrying 19 peacekeeping mission team with officials and journalists from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan is shot down by Armenian military forces in Khojavend district of Azerbaijan.
- Süleyman Demirel of DYP forms the new government of Turkey (49th government, coalition partner CHP).
- November 21 – The United Nations Security Council recommends Egypt's deputy prime minister Boutros Boutros-Ghali to be the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.
- November 24
- November 26 – National Assembly of Azerbaijan abolishes the autonomous status of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of Azerbaijan and renames several cities according to their Azeri names.
- November 27 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution opening the way to the establishment of peacekeeping operations in Yugoslavia.
- December 1 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Ukrainians vote overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union in a referendum.
- December 4
- Journalist Terry A. Anderson is released after 7 years' captivity as a hostage in Beirut (the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon).
- Pan American World Airways ends operations.
- John Leonard Orr, one of the most prolific serial arsonists of the 20th century, is arrested in California. In the ensuing years, Orr is convicted in both Federal and state court.
- December 8
- December 12 – Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR denounced Union Treaty of 1922 and ratified Belavezha Accords instead.
- December 15 – The Egyptian ferry Salem Express sinks in the Red Sea, killing more than 450.
- December 16 – Kazakhstan declares its independence from the Soviet Union.
- December 19 – Paul Keating replaces Bob Hawke as the new prime minister of Australia.
- December 20 – A Missouri court passes the death sentence on Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria, for the honour killing of their daughter Palestina.
- December 21
- The North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NAC-C) meets for the first time, the day on which the Soviet Union ceases to exist. source
- Charilaos Florakis is elected honorary president of the Communist Party of Greece. source
- December 22 – Armed opposition groups launch a military coup against President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
- December 24 – Russian SFSR President Boris Yeltsin sends a letter to UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, stating that Russia should be a successor to the collapsing Soviet Union within the United Nations Organization.
- December 25
- December 26 – The Cold War ends after 44-46 years when the Supreme Soviet meets and formally dissolves the Soviet Union.
- The University of South Australia is founded.
- Impostor James Hogue is exposed at Princeton University.
- Sea Defences at Mappleton were built in order to protect the village from intense sea erosion that had threatened it.
- January 2 – Renato Rascel, Italian actor and singer (b. 1927)
- January 3 – Luke Appling, American baseball player (b. 1907)
- January 5 – Vasko Popa, Yugoslavian poet (b. 1922)
- January 8 – Steve Clark, English guitarist (b. 1960)
- January 11 – Carl David Anderson, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
- January 12
- January 14 – Salah Khalaf (aka Abu Iyad), Palestinian officer (b. 1933)
- January 17 – King Olav V of Norway (b. 1903)
- January 22 – Kenas Aroi, Nauruan politician (b. 1942)
- January 28 – Red Grange, American football player (b. 1903)
- January 29
- January 30
- February 1 – Carol Dempster, American actress (b. 1901)
- February 2 – Pete Axthelm, sportswriter (b. 1943)
- February 3 – Nancy Kulp, American actress (b. 1921)
- February 5
- February 6
- February 7 – Amos Yarkoni, legendary Israeli soldier (b. 1920)
- February 13 – Arno Breker, German sculptor (b. 1900)
- February 14 – John A. McCone, American politician, 6th Director of Central Intelligence (b. 1902)
- February 16 – Enrique Bermúdez, Nicaraguan Contras leader (b. 1932)
- February 21
- February 24
- March 1 – Edwin H. Land, inventor of the Polaroid instant camera (b. 1909)
- March 2
- March 3
- March 7 – Cool Papa Bell, American baseball player (b. 1903)
- March 12 – Ragnar Granit, Finnish neuroscientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1900)
- March 14
- March 15 – George Sherman, American film director (b. 1908)
- March 16
- March 18 – Vilma Bánky, Hungarian-born actress (b. 1898)
- March 20 – Conor Clapton, Son of Guitarist Eric Clapton (b. 1986)
- March 21 – Leo Fender, American instrument maker (b. 1909)
- March 24
- March 25 – Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Roman Catholic bishop who fought for Catholic Tradition (b. 1905)
- March 27 – Aldo Ray, American actor (b. 1926)
- March 29 – Lee Atwater, American Presidential advisor (b. 1951)
- April 1
- April 3
- April 4
- April 5
- April 7 – Ruth Page, American ballerina and choreographer (b. 1899)
- April 8 – Per Yngve Ohlin, Swedish singer (b. 1969)
- April 10
- April 16 – David Lean, British film director (b. 1908)
- April 19 – Stanley Hawes, British-born Australian film producer, director and administrator (b. 1905)
- April 20
- April 23 – Johnny Thunders, American musician (b. 1952)
- April 26 – Carmine Coppola, American composer and conductor (b. 1910)
- April 27 – Robert Velter, French cartoonist (b. 1909)
- April 28 – Johnny Eck, American sideshow performer (b. 1911)
- April 29
- Gonzaguinha, Brazilian singer and composer (b. 1945)
- Claude Gallimard, French editor
- May 1
- May 3
- May 6 – Wilfrid Hyde-White, British actor (b. 1903)
- May 7 – Dennis Crosby, American singer (b. 1934)
- May 8
- May 13 – Abderrahmane Farès, Algerian first head of State (b. 1911)
- May 14 – Jiang Qing, Chinese radical revolutionary, widow of Mao Zedong (b. 1914)
- May 15
- May 18
- May 21
- May 22 – Derrick Henry Lehmer, American mathematician (b. 1905)
- May 23
- May 27 – Leopold Nowak, Austrian musicologist (b. 1904)
- May 29 – Coral Browne, Australian actress (b. 1913)
- May 30 – Manolo Gómez Bur, Spanish actor (b. 1917)
- June 1 – David Ruffin, American singer (b. 1941)
- June 2 – Hailu Yimenu, Ethiopian politician, former Prime Minister
- June 3
- Katia and Maurice Krafft, French volcanologists (b. 1946 and 1942 respectively)
- Eva Le Gallienne, English-born actress (b. 1899)
- June 5
- June 6 – Stan Getz, American jazz saxophonist (b. 1927)
- June 9 – Claudio Arrau, Chilean-born pianist (b. 1903)
- June 11 – Cromwell Everson, South African composer (b. 1925)
- June 14 – Peggy Ashcroft, British actress (b. 1907)
- June 15 – Arthur Lewis, British economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
- June 16 – Leslie Mahaffy Canadian murder victim (b. 1976)
- June 17 – Pierre Jamet, French harpist (b. 1893)
- June 18
- June 19 – Jean Arthur, American actress (b. 1900)
- June 27 – Molly Geertsema, Dutch liberal politician, former leader of the VVD party (b. 1918)
- June 28 – Hans Nüsslein, German tennis player (b. 1910)
- June 29 – Henri Lefebvre, French sociologist and philosopher (b. 1901)
- July 1 – Michael Landon, American actor (b. 1936)
- July 2 – Lee Remick, American actress (b. 1935)
- July 4 – Victor Chang, Australian physician (b. 1936)
- July 5
- July 6 – Anton Yugov, Bulgarian Communist politician, former Prime Minister (b. 1904)
- July 8 – James Franciscus, American actor (b. 1934)
- July 16 – Robert Motherwell, American painter (b. 1915)
- July 18 – André Cools, Belgian Socialist politician (b. 1927)
- July 24 – Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born Yiddish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
- July 25 – Lazar Kaganovich, Soviet politician, former member of the CPSU Politburo and Deputy Prime Minister (b. 1893)
- July 27 – John Friedrich, German-Australian engineer and conman (b. 1950)
- July 29 – Christian de Castries, French general (b. 1902)
- August 1 – Chris Short, American baseball pitcher (b. 1937)
- August 3 – Ali Sabri, Prime Minister of Egypt (b. 1920)
- August 4 – Yevgeny Dragunov, Russian weapons designer (b. 1920)
- August 5
- August 6
- August 7 – Billy T. James New Zealand comedian (b. 1948)
- August 8 – James Irwin, American astronaut (b. 1930)
- August 11 – J. D. McDuffie, American race car driver (b. 1938)
- August 13 – James Roosevelt, American businessman and politician (b. 1907)
- August 14 – Richard A. Snelling, Governor of Vermont (b. 1927)
- August 16 – Luigi Zampa, Italian film-maker (b. 1905)
- August 17 – Terence Kilmartin, Irish journalist and translator (b. 1922)
- August 22
- August 24 – Sergey Akhromeyev, Russian marshall, former Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces (b. 1923)
- August 25 – Niven Busch, American novelist and screenwriter (b. 1903)
- August 30
- September 2 – Alfonso García Robles, Mexican diplomat and politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1911)
- September 3 – Frank Capra, Italian-born film director (b. 1897)
- September 4
- September 7 – Edwin McMillan, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1907)
- September 8
- September 10
- September 12 – Bruce Matthews, Canadian Army officer and businessman (b. 1909)
- September 13 – Joe Pasternak, Hungarian-born film director (b. 1901)
- September 14– Russell Lynes, American art historian, photographer, author (b. 1910)
- September 15 – John Hoyt, American actor (b. 1905)
- September 17
- September 22 – Tino Casal, Spanish pop singer (b. 1950)
- September 24 – Dr. Seuss, American author (b. 1904)
- September 25
- September 28 – Miles Davis, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1926)
- October 2, – Demetrios I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (b. 1914)
- October 5 – Martin Ennals, British human rights activist. (b. 1927)
- October 6 – Igor Talkov, Russian singer, poet and composer (b. 1956)
- October 11 – Redd Foxx, American comedian and actor (b. 1922)
- October 12
- October 13
- October 17 – Tennessee Ernie Ford, American singer (b. 1919)
- October 24 – Gene Roddenberry, American television producer (b. 1921)
- October 25 – John Stratton, English actor (b. 1925)
- October 27 – Andrzej Panufnik, Polish-born British musician and composer (b. 1914)
- October 28 – Sylvia Fine, American lyricist (b. 1913)
- October 29 – Mario Scelba, Italian politician, former Prime Minister and president of the European Parliament (b. 1901)
- October 31 – Joseph Papp, American theatre producer (b. 1921)
- November 2 – Irwin Allen, American film and television producer (b. 1916)
- November 3 – Chris Bender, American musician (b. 1972)
- November 5
- November 6 – Gene Tierney, American actress (b. 1920)
- November 9 – Yves Montand, French actor and singer (b. 1921)
- November 14 – Tony Richardson, English film and theatre director (b. 1928)
- November 18 – Gustáv Husák, Czechoslovak politician, former President of the Republic (b. 1913)
- November 21 – Daniel Mann, American film director (b. 1912)
- November 23 – Klaus Kinski, German actor (b. 1926)
- November 24
- November 25 – Nimeño II, French bullfighter (b. 1954)
- November 26
- November 29
- December 1 – George Stigler, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1911)
- December 6 – Richard Stone, British economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913)
- December 9 – Berenice Abbott, American photographer (b. 1898)
- December 10
- December 11
- December 12 – Eleanor Boardman, American actress (b. 1898)
- December 15
- December 18 – George Abecassis, English race car driver (b. 1913)
- December 19 – Paul Maxwell, Canadian actor (b. 1921)
- December 22 – Ernst Krenek, Austrian-American composer (b. 1900)
- December 27 – Hervé Guibert, French writer and photographer (b. 1955)
- December 28 – Cassandra Harris, Australian actress (b. 1941)
- Date unknown – Yvonne Hutton, British comic artist