1989 and the Birth of the Modern World
Revolutions — be they political, social, technological, or cultural — swept the world in 1989. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the protests at Tiananmen Square; from the deaths of Ayatollah Khomeini and Emperor Hirohito to the birth of the world wide web and launch of GPS.
Twenty-five years later, we look back at the impact of 1989, and the modern era it created.
Tiananmen Square at 25
Memories of Tiananmen Square in 1989, as told (and photographed) by a journalist who was there.
More Stories From This Issue
Viewfinder: 1989 in Tiananmen Square
Terril Yue Jones shares gripping, never-before-seen photos of China’s democracy protests in May and June of 1989.
Rise of the Post-Khomeini Era
1989 was a watershed year in Iran: constitutional changes, a fatwa against Rushdie, reconstruction from the Iran-Iraq War, and the death of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Hirohito's Long Shadow
Hirohito's descendants remain committed to Japan's traditional values, which desperately need reform.
China's 1989 Choice: the Paradox of Seeking Wealth and Democracy
In 1989, China's government made a choice to combine political repression, a market economy, and globalization.
Denmark's Civil Unions: One Giant Leap for Mankind
When Denmark became the first country to legalize civil unions for gay couples, it marked the start of a new era of LGBTI rights, with global ripples that continue to reverberate today.
How “Seinfeld” and “The Simpsons” Changed TV Forever
In 1989, "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" debuted. Yada, yada yada … television permanently changed.
How two-thirds of the Berlin Wall ended up in the U.S.
The Berlin Wall went from a symbol of oppression to a commercial item with pieces bought and sold in the United States.
From Shame to Pride: the Fall of the Berlin Wall through German Eyes
The decades-long story of how German shame that the Berlin Wall ever stood gave way to German pride that the Berlin Wall came down.