Major events, sports highlights and Nobel Prizes of 1989 - History

Major events, sports highlights and Nobel Prizes of 1989 - History


NBA: Detriot Pistons vs. LA Lakers Series: 4-0
NCAA Football:Miami-Fl Record: 11-1-0:
Heisman Trophy: Andre Ware,houston, QB points: 1,073
Stanley Cup:Calgary Flames vs.Montreal Canadiens Series: 4-2
Super Bowl XXIV:San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals Score: 20-16

Popular Music

1."My Prerogative" ... Bobby Brown
2."Two Hearts" ... Phil Collins
3."When I'm With You" ... Sheriff
4."Lost in Your Eyes" ... Debbie Gibson
5."The Living Years" .. Mike and the Mechanics
6."Eternal Flame" ... Bangles
7."The Look" ... Roxette
8."She Drives Me Crazy" ... Fine Young Cannibals
9."Like a Prayer" ... Madonna
10."I'll Be There for You" ... Bon Jovi

Popular Movies

1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
2. Coming To America
3. Good Morning Vietnam
4. Crocodile Dundee II
5. Big
6. Three Men and a Baby
7. Die Hard
8. Cocktail
9. Moonstruck
10. Beetlejuice

1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. Roseanne (ABC)
3. Cheers (NBC)
4. A Different World (NBC)
5. America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC)
6. The Golden Girls (NBC)
7. 60 Minutes (CBS)
8. The Wonder Years (ABC)
9. Empty Nest (NBC)
10. Monday Night Football (ABC)

The prize was awarded jointly to: ALTMAN, SIDNEY, U.S.A. and Canada, Yale University, New Haven, CT, b. 1939; and CECH, THOMAS R., U.S.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, b. 1947: "for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA"

CELA, CAMILO JOSE, Spain, b. 1916: "for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man's vulnerability"

THE 14TH DALAI LAMA (TENZIN GYATSO), Tibet, b. 1935: Religious and political leader of the Tibetan people.

Physiology or Medicine
The prize was awarded jointly to: BISHOP, J. MICHAEL, U.S.A., University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, b. 1936; and VARMUS, HAROLD E., U.S.A., University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, b. 1939: "for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes"

The prize was awarded by one half to: RAMSEY, NORMAN F., U.S.A., Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, b. 1915: "for the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method and its use in the hydrogen maser asd other atomic clocks" and the other half jointly to: DEHMELT, HANS G., U.S.A., University of Washington, Seattle, WA, b. 1922 (in Gsrlitz, Germany); and PAUL, WOLFGANG, Federal Republic of Germany, University of Bonn, Bonn, b. 1913, d. 1993: "for the development of the ion trap technique"

Best Picture: "Driving Miss Daisy"
Best Director: Oliver Stone ... "Born on the Fourth of July"
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis ... "My Left Foot"
Best Actress: Jessica Tandy ... "Driving Miss Daisy"

Best Play: "M. Butterfly" ... David Henry Hwang
Best Musical: "The Phantom of the Opera"
Best Actor in a play: Ron Silver ... "Speed the Plow"
Best Actress in a play: Joan Allen ... "Burn This"
Best Actor in a musical: Michael Crawford ... "Phantom of the Opera"
Best Actress in a musical: Joanna Gleason ... "Into the Woods"


International Reporting:
National Reporting:
Public Service:

Wendy Wasserstein ... "The Heidi Chronicles"
Anne Tyler ... "Breathing Lessons"
Taylor Branch ... "Parting the Waters" & James M. McPherson ... "Battle Cry of Freedom"
Glenn Frankel ... "Washington Post" & Bill Keller ... "New York Times"
Donald L. Bartlett & James B. Steele ... "Philadelphia Inquirer"
"Anchorage Daily News"

List of Nobel laureates

The Nobel Prizes (Swedish: Nobelpriset, Norwegian: Nobelprisen) are prizes awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institutet, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. [1] They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for contributions to the field of economics. Each recipient, or "laureate", receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money, which is decided annually by the Nobel Foundation. [2]

What happens next?

The discovery of catalytic RNA, also called ribozyme, has been of great importance to both research and industry.
An important catalyst: In addition to cutting and rejoining RNA, catalytic RNA probably plays a major role in many biological processes. Life processes often require intimate cooperation between proteins and RNA. In the future researchers will probably find that RNA rather than protein-enzymes plays the leading role in many of these processes.
Three-dimensional structure: There are clear indications that catalytic RNA possesses a specific three-dimensional structure in the same manner as enzyme proteins. As soon as scientists have described this structure, it will be easier to understand the chemical reaction mechanism for catalytic RNA.
Custom-designed ribozyme: Catalytic RNA is a new and powerful tool for gene technology. In the mail-house catalogues used by researchers one can find “canned ribozyme” – custom-designed enzymes which cut or join RNA molecules with high precision.
Medical drugs: Within biotechnology and medicine there are obvious applications for catalytic RNA. For example, genetically engineered plants can become virus resistant by producing a ribozyme which can cut and destroy the genetic material of the virus. One can also custom-design ribozymes which can search out infectious viruses and render them harmless. It might even become possible at some future date to cure hereditary diseases with the help of ribozymes.

To cite this section
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Nobel Prizes 2020

Twelve laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2020, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.

Their work and discoveries range from the formation of black holes and genetic scissors to efforts to combat hunger and develop new auction formats.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1989

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.

  1. Bacon (Armour): $1.29 for a one-pound package
  2. Bananas: Three pounds for $1.00
  3. Beef (bottom round roast): $1.69 per pound
  4. Cantaloupes: 99 cents apiece
  5. Cereal (Kellogg’s Corn Flakes): 99 cents for a 12-ounce box
  6. Cheese (Kraft, American singles): $1.59 for a 12-ounce package
  7. Coffee (Chase & Sanborn): $1.29 for an 11.5-ounce can
  8. Corn: 10 ears for $1.49
  9. Cornish game hens (Perdue): $1.49 a pound
  10. Crackers (Keebler, Town House): $1.69 for a one-pound box
  11. Eggs: 79 cents per dozen
  12. Flour (Pillsbury): 99 cents for a five-pound bag
  13. Frankfurters (Ball Park): $1.49 for a one-pound package
  14. Ham (Virginia, sliced): $3.49 a pound
  15. Ice cream (Sealtest): $1.99 per half gallon
  16. Juice (Citrus Hill, orange): $1.69 for a 64-ounce carton
  17. Lettuce (Romaine): 69 cents a pound
  18. Macaroni and cheese (Kraft): Two 5.5-ounce boxes for 88 cents
  19. Margarine (Parkay): 59 cents for a one-pound package
  20. Oil (olive, Bertolli): $8.99 for a three-liter can
  21. Onions (yellow): 99 cents for a three-pound bag
  22. Ovaltine: $2.69 for a 12-ounce jar
  23. Peaches: 79 cents a pound
  24. Peanut butter (Skippy): $1.69 for a 14-ounce jar
  25. Pie (Sara Lee, Bake & Serve): $1.99 for a 27-ounce box
  26. Pop Tarts (Kellogg’s): 99 cents for an 11-ounce box
  27. Potato chips (Wise): 99 cents for a 6.5-ounce bag
  28. Rice (Uncle Ben’s): $1.99 for a two-pound box
  29. Salad dressing (Kraft): 99 cents for a 16-ounce bottle
  30. Soda (Pepsi): $2.99 for a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans
  31. Soup (Campbell’s): 39 cents for a 10-ounce can
  32. Strawberries: 99 cents per pint
  33. Tomatoes: 89 cents a pound
  34. Water (Perrier): 89 cents for a 23-ounce bottle
  35. Watermelon: 19 cents a pound
  36. Yogurt (Breyers): 88 cents for two eight-ounce containers

In 1989, Hershey&aposs reduced the size of the Hershey bar to 1.55 ounces. (However, the price remained the same.)

First Nobel Prizes awarded

The first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. The ceremony came on the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and other high explosives. In his will, Nobel directed that the bulk of his vast fortune be placed in a fund in which the interest would be 𠇊nnually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.” Although Nobel offered no public reason for his creation of the prizes, it is widely believed that he did so out of moral regret over the increasingly lethal uses of his inventions in war.

Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born in Stockholm in 1833, and four years later his family moved to Russia. His father ran a successful St. Petersburg factory that built explosive mines and other military equipment. Educated in Russia, Paris, and the United States, Alfred Nobel proved a brilliant chemist. When his father’s business faltered after the end of the Crimean War, Nobel returned to Sweden and set up a laboratory to experiment with explosives. In 1863, he invented a way to control the detonation of nitroglycerin, a highly volatile liquid that had been recently discovered but was previously regarded as too dangerous for use. Two years later, Nobel invented the blasting cap, an improved detonator that inaugurated the modern use of high explosives. Previously, the most dependable explosive was black powder, a form of gunpowder.

Nitroglycerin remained dangerous, however, and in 1864 Nobel’s nitroglycerin factory blew up, killing his younger brother and several other people. Searching for a safer explosive, Nobel discovered in 1867 that the combination of nitroglycerin and a porous substance called kieselguhr produced a highly explosive mixture that was much safer to handle and use. Nobel christened his invention 𠇍ynamite,” for the Greek word dynamis, meaning “power.” Securing patents on dynamite, Nobel acquired a fortune as humanity put his invention to use in construction and warfare.

In 1875, Nobel created a more powerful form of dynamite, blasting gelatin, and in 1887 introduced ballistite, a smokeless nitroglycerin powder. Around that time, one of Nobel’s brothers died in France, and French newspapers printed obituaries in which they mistook him for Alfred. One headline read, “The merchant of death is dead.” Alfred Nobel in fact had pacifist tendencies and in his later years apparently developed strong misgivings about the impact of his inventions on the world. After he died in San Remo, Italy, on December 10, 1896, the majority of his estate went toward the creation of prizes to be given annually in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The portion of his will establishing the Nobel Peace Prize read, “[one award shall be given] to the person who has done the most or best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Exactly five years after his death, the first Nobel awards were presented.

Today, the Nobel Prizes are regarded as the most prestigious awards in the world in their various fields. Notable winners have included Marie Curie, Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela,ꂺrack Obamaਊnd Malala Yousafzai. Multiple leaders and organizations sometimes receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and multiple researchers often share the scientific awards for their joint discoveries. In 1968, a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was established by the Swedish national bank, Sveriges Riksbank, and first awarded in 1969.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decides the prizes in physics, chemistry, and economic science the Swedish Royal Caroline Medico-Surgical Institute determines the physiology or medicine award the Swedish Academy chooses literature and a committee elected by the Norwegian parliament awards the peace prize. The Nobel Prizes are still presented annually. Each Nobel carries a cash prize of nearly $1,400,000 and recipients also received a gold medal, as is the tradition.

12 Lesser-Known Historical Friendships

The founder of gonzo journalism and a conservative political advisor. A Nobel Prize-winning playwright and one of the most famous French wrestlers of all time. A legendarily dry comedian and an award-winning poet. Here are 12 epic friendships you probably weren’t aware of.


It’s no surprise that these two legendary comedians who ran their own television shows got along well. Ball’s historic hit, I Love Lucy, ran on CBS from 1951 through 1957. The Carol Burnett Show premiered a decade later and ran from 1967 through 1978. The two also acted together—Burnett appeared on four episodes of The Lucy Show, and Ball guest-starred on four episodes of The Carol Burnett Show—and had a mentor-mentee relationship: Ball was 22 years older than Burnett and called her “kid.” Burnett describes her relationship with Ball as “very close.” Ball even threw her a black tie baby shower, which Burnett has called “one of the funniest evenings ever.”

Ball died on April 26, 1989—Burnett’s birthday. Burnett received flowers that day from her friend with a message: “Happy Birthday, Kid.”


It's hard to think of two more polar opposite personalities than journalist and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author Hunter S. Thompson and conservative politician-turned-commentator Patrick Buchanan. They met when Thompson covered Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign, for which Buchanan was an advisor, in a series of articles for Rolling Stone. (Buchanan also served as an advisor to Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and ran for president himself in 1992, 1996, and 2000.) Thompson notoriously hated Nixon, but he felt drawn to Nixon’s advisor. “We’re still friends, ” Thompson said in 2003. “ Patrick is a libertarian, or at least in that direction. I think of politics as a circle, not a spectrum of one line not just right and left. Patrick and I are often pretty close. Patrick’s an honest person. He’s a straight guy and a very smart guy.”


Irish novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett moved to a small commune in France in 1953, the same year that one of his most famous works, Waiting for Godot , was published. It was there that he became friends with Boris Roussimoff, whose son, André René, would one day become André the Giant. The Roussimoff family lived in the same commune and Boris would occasionally play cards with Beckett. Not much is known about Beckett’s relationship with André, but the story goes that the future professional wrestler outgrew the school bus when he was 12 years old—and 250 pounds. Beckett had a pick-up truck and frequently drove to town, so he offered to take André to school. (There’s another version of the story in which André would hitchhike to school and Beckett just picked him up on occasion.) As far as what they had in common, they talked about cricket and not much else. Apparently, André loved to tell this story on the set of The Princess Bride.


Athletes Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert were rivals on the tennis court: During the 1970s and '80s, the two played against each other 80 times over the course of 16 years (60 of those matches were finals). But off the court, the two women developed a strong friendship that has endured to this day.

Navratilova was born in Czechoslovakia, where she started playing tennis at a very young age. When she was 16, she began playing matches in the U.S., and met Evert not long after. “When I was a young girl, a long way from home, Chris and her mother [Colette] were always nice to me,” Navratilova said later.

The admiration was (and still is) mutual. In another interview, Evert explained , “I think people forget that we were left alone in the locker room every Sunday after we played final matches, and one of us would be crying and the other would be comforting—nobody saw that.” And this translated to non-tennis settings as well. While Evert went through a divorce in 1986, Navratilova invited her to Aspen for a relaxing vacation. On that trip, Evert met her future husband: downhill skier Andy Mill.


When these two met, Twain was in his late fifties and Keller was just 14—the same age as Twain's youngest daughter. In the late 1890s, writer Laurence Hutton was hosting Keller—who was still a student at the Wrist-Humason School for the Deaf—at his home one afternoon when Mark Twain and his good friend William Dean Howells arrived. Keller described the experience in a letter to her mother afterwards, writing, “The two authors were very gentle and kind . Mr. Clemens told us many entertaining stories and made us laugh till we cried.” Twain felt the same way about her: In 1901, he described Keller as the “eighth wonder of the world.”

Despite their age difference, they became friends and remained so for about 15 years. They exchanged many letters and always spoke highly of each other. In 1903, Twain sent Keller a letter, praising her autobiography The Story of My Life, and signing off with “Every lovingly your friend [sic], Mark.”


Before he was the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell taught people who were deaf and mute—work that he later said was “more pleasing to me than even recognition of my work with the telephone.” He met Keller in 1886 when her family sent her to Washington, D.C. to work with specialists. Keller later recalled that she “loved him at once.”

Bell referred Keller to the Perkins Institution in Boston, but he kept tabs on her case. In fact, while Annie Sullivan worked with Keller, she corresponded with Bell, too. A lot of people were hard on Sullivan, accusing her of being overbearing, but Bell stood by her and championed those methods.

As Keller got older, she started exchanging letters with Bell herself, and they visited each other throughout the years. He helped her financially, as well, even helping to organize a trust fund for her in 1896. In 1907, Keller wrote to Bell, “You have been and are very good to me, and so is Mrs. Bell, and though I be silent, I cherish ever the many tokens of your love” [PDF]. When her autobiography, The Story of My Life, was published, she dedicated it to him.


Lots of what we know about our 35th president's friendship with Ol' Blue Eyes comes courtesy of the FBI. The bureau discovered that, in 1960, Kennedy and Sinatra spent a weekend in Palm Springs at the singer's house and had traveled to Las Vegas and New York together when it was investigating Sinatra's connections to the mafia.

According to the book The Kennedy Half-Century , the Kennedy family and Sinatra were connected to a mafia boss in Chicago named Sam Giancana. There’s a legend that Joseph Kennedy asked Giancana to help his son get elected in exchange for a contact in the White House. Sinatra was apparently nothing more than a middle man between the mafia and the political family. His daughter, Tina, has also gone on record confirming this story.

Eventually, the duo's friendship ended. Kennedy's administration went after crime and the mafia, which certainly severed any relationship that might have existed with Giancana.


The two esteemed authors first met in 1926 at a gathering for English faculty at Merton College, but they didn't really become friends until the 1930s, when they were both in a literary discussion group at Oxford University known as the Inklings. (Other notable members included philosopher Owen Barfield, writer Charles Williams, and scholar Henry Victor Dyson.) Many of the members had different religious beliefs—some were atheists, some were Christians, some were more interested in philosophy than religion. The Inklings frequently discussed religion and shared their original pieces.

Tolkien was raised Catholic and subscribed to that belief system his whole life. Lewis, on the other hand, had a more complicated relationship with religion. He was raised Irish Protestant, then became agnostic while in the Inklings, he was working his way back toward religion. Then, in 1931, he and Tolkien went on a long walk with Dyson. As they wandered, the men had a conversation about myth and God. All three later cited an important moment when Tolkien verbalized how ancient stories were able to describe higher truths, and within two weeks, Lewis was a Christian once again.

That conversation didn't just inspire Lewis's return to Christianity it also inspired him and Tolkien to write The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, respectively. The writers had a falling out while working on the books, but they continued to praise and support each other in public over the years. A movie about their friendship is currently in the works.


This complicated friendship started in 1961, when Eliot wrote to Marx, saying he was a fan and asking for an autographed picture. Marx obliged and requested an autographed picture of Eliot. From then on, the two men were in correspondence. They eventually had dinner in 1964, just months before Eliot died. Afterward, Marx wrote that they had a few things in common, including: “ (1) an affection for good cigars and (2) cats and (3) a weakness for making puns.”

Marx’s biographer, Lee Siegel, had researched this friendship extensively. And it’s worth noting that in his book, Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence, Siegel posits that there was more competition than friendliness:

“The tension between Groucho and Eliot became suddenly palpable when I reread an exchange they had about the two photographs that Groucho had sent. Eliot assured Groucho that one of them now hung on a wall in his office, ‘with other famous friends such as W. B. Yeats and Paul Valery.’ About three and a half months later, Groucho wrote to Eliot to say that he had just read an essay about Eliot, by Stephen Spender, that had appeared in the Times Book Review. In it, Spender described the portraits on the wall in Eliot’s office but, Groucho said, ‘one name was conspicuous by its absence. I trust this was an oversight on the part of Stephen Spender.’ Eliot wrote back two weeks later, saying, ‘I think that Stephen Spender was only attempting to enumerate oil and water colour pictures and not photographs—I trust so.’”


On the surface, Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini didn't have much in common: Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes , was a proper Scottish-Victorian man who believed in fairies and supernatural phenomena , and Houdini was a cynical Hungarian-American illusionist who had made a career out of exposing mediums as frauds. Still, for a time, they were friends. The two corresponded briefly when Houdini sent Doyle a copy of his own book, The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin, and exchanged many more letters before they met in person around 1920. It’s unclear why they hit it off so well, but they did have fame and a love of sports in common. At one point, Doyle invited Houdini to a dinner party, where Houdini performed a trick in order to prove there was no such thing as real magic. Though Houdini ended the display by explaining that it was an “illusion” and “pure trickery,” it only further convinced Doyle that his friend had powers. Doyle later took Houdini on a tour of Great Britain, dragging him to a myriad of psychics and séances, which Houdini abhorred.

He put up with it for a while, but the final straw for Houdini was when the pair went to Atlantic City together and tried to reach his mother at a séance. Doyle’s wife, Lady Jean, acted as though she’d made contact. She wrote pages of text, which were supposedly directly from Houdini’s deceased mother. Houdini played along for a bit, but there were a few glaring errors that he couldn’t ignore—like the fact that the entire thing was in English, despite the fact that his mother did not know the language very well. There were also many crosses throughout the message . and Houdini’s family was Jewish.

Unsurprisingly, Houdini found the whole display very disrespectful, and it was enough to end their friendship. By 1923, the former friends were publicly feuding through letters published in The New York Times . Houdini later wrote, “There is nothing that Sir Arthur will believe that surprises me.”


During the course of his career, comedian Bob Hope entertained 11 presidents. “They’re the greatest audience," he once said. "They love it when you bruise them a little, because nobody does.” Hope was friends with many of the commanders-in-chief he roasted, but he was closest to President Eisenhower.

The pair met in Algiers, Algeria in 1943, where Hope had traveled to perform one his many United Service Organization shows. Eisenhower, who was a General for the U.S. Army at that time, requested to meet Hope and his fellow comedians, and he and Hope hit it off. “Meeting General Eisenhower in the midst of that deadly muddle was like a breath of fresh air," the comedian later recalled. "It quieted us all, brought us all back to our sense, and in every way paid us off for the whole trip.”

Over the years, and even after Eisenhower became president in 1953, their friendship continued Hope and Eisenhower golfed together and exchanged many letters. In 1965, Eisenhower wrote Hope, “I would like to see you again . My parents started their married life in 1885 in the town of Hope, Kansas. Throughout my life the association of the names Hope and Eisenhower has had a subconscious appeal.” And it was a family affair. Not only did Hope volunteer his time for the Eisenhower Medical Center, but his wife, Dolores, also served as Chairman Emeritus for their board.


In the 1890s, Twain befriended legendary inventor and engineer (and pigeon enthusiast ) Nikola Tesla. Historians don’t know exactly how they met, but it was probably in New York City at a private party or a men’s club. They had a little history prior to this, though. When Tesla was at school, he became dangerously ill—so sick that he later claimed to have been “given up by physicians.” He spent a lot of his bedridden time reading. And he became infatuated with Twain’s early pieces. When he recovered, he credited Twain’s writing Tesla told him this story when they eventually met in person and, according to Tesla, Twain burst into tears. (Some Tesla experts think the inventor may have exaggerated this story, though.)

The details of the duo's relationship are unknown, but there are multiple photographs of the two men together, so it’s clear that they spent time together. Probably the most famous photograph involving the two men, though, is one that Tesla took of Twain with a vacuum tube that Tesla created that was marred by mysterious splotches. He didn’t exactly know what he had done, but this was actually a precursor to the x-ray (a discovery that happened mere weeks later by Wilhelm R ö ntigen ).

There’s a famous legend about the two men that may have been exaggerated over time. According to the story, Twain suffered from chronic constipation. So, he sat on one of Tesla’s inventions—an “earthquake machine.” This was a vibrating, humming, and swinging metal disc, which was supposed to provide a therapeutic massage experience. W. Bernard Carlson, author of the book Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age, told PBS that, within a minute and a half, the machine managed to “shake the poop out of Mark Twain.” Immediately after the machine was turned off, Twain sprinted for the restroom.

Robert J. Shiller

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Robert J. Shiller, in full Robert James Shiller, (born March 29, 1946, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.), American economist who, with Eugene F. Fama and Lars Peter Hansen, was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Economics. Shiller, Fama, and Hansen were recognized for their independent but complementary research on the variability of asset prices and on the underlying rationality (or irrationality) of financial markets. Shiller in particular was honoured for work in which he showed that variations in the prices of stocks and bonds over long periods occur in predictable patterns that reflect the irrational expectations of investors regarding the value of future returns (e.g., dividends).

Shiller received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1967), and master’s (1968) and doctoral (1972) degrees in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT before joining (1982) the economics faculty of Yale University, where he subsequently held endowed chairs in economics and a professorship in finance. From 1979 he served as a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private nonprofit organization that determines the official beginning and ending dates of recessions and economic expansions in the United States.

Shiller’s studies of cases of widespread overvaluation by investors, what he termed “ irrational exuberance,” contradicted the once dominant assumption that markets are inherently rational (a view developed by Fama in the 1960s and early ’70s) and led him to argue that financial markets are subject to “bubbles,” or rapid increases in asset prices to unsustainable levels. Shiller correctly predicted the “bursting” of such bubbles in information-technology stocks in 2000 and in real estate beginning in 2006 (see financial crisis of 2007–08). From the 1980s Shiller was a pioneer in the emerging field of behavioral economics, which sought to apply the insights of psychology and other social sciences to the study of economic behaviour. He was also the cocreator, with Karl E. Case, of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which tracks changes in the average price of residential real estate in several major U.S. cities.

Shiller’s major publications included Market Volatility (1989), Irrational Exuberance (2000), Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism (2009 written with George A. Akerlof), Finance and the Good Society (2012), and Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events (2019).


While several distinct ethnic groups have inhabited what is today Liberia for at least 1,000 years, no large kingdoms found further east along the West African coast, such as Dahomey, Asante, or the Benin Empire arose there.

Early History

Histories of Liberia generally begin with the arrival of the Portuguese traders in the mid-1400s, and the rise of the trans-Atlantic trade. Coastal groups traded several goods with Europeans, but the area became known as the Grain Coast, because of its rich supply malagueta pepper grains.

In 1816, the future of Liberia changed dramatically due to the formation of the American Colonization Society (ACS) in the United States. Looking for a place to re-settle free-born Black Americans and formerly enslaved people, the ACS chose the Grain Coast. In 1822, the ACS founded Liberia as a colony of the United States of America. Over the next few decades, 19,900 Black American men and women migrated to the colony.

On July 26, 1847, Liberia declared its independence from America. Interestingly, the United States refused to acknowledge Liberia’s independence until 1862, when the U.S. government ended the practice of enslavement during the American Civil War.

The oft-stated claim that after the Scramble for Africa, Liberia was one of two African states to remain independent is misleading because the indigenous African societies had little economic or political power in the new republic.

Instead, all power was concentrated in the hand of the African American settlers and their descendants, who became known as Americo-Liberians. In 1931, an international commission revealed that several prominent Americo-Liberians had enslaved indigenous people.

The Americo-Liberians constituted less than 2 percent of Liberia's population, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, they made up nearly 100 percent of qualified voters. For over 100 years, from its formation in the 1860s until 1980, the Americo-Liberian True Whig Party dominated Liberian politics, in what was essentially a minority ruled one-party state.

Though they were Black, the Americo-Liberians created a cultural divide. From the day they arrived, they set about establishing an American rather than African culture. They spoke English, dressed like Americans, built Southern plantation-style homes, ate American foods, practiced Christianity, and lived in monogamous relationships. They modeled the Liberian government after that of the United States.

On April 12, 1980, Master Sgt. Samuel K. Doe and less than 20 soldiers overthrew the Americo-Liberian president, William Tolbert. The Liberian people celebrated the coup d'etat as liberation from Americo-Liberian domination. However, Doe’s dictatorial government proved no better for the Liberian people than its predecessor. After a coup attempt against him in 1985 failed, Doe responded with brutal atrocities against suspected conspirators and their followers.

The United States, however, had long used Liberia an important base of operations in Africa, and during the Cold War, the U.S. provided millions of dollars in aid that helped prop up Doe’s increasingly unpopular regime.

Civil Wars

In 1989, Charles Taylor, a former Americo-Liberian official, invaded Liberia with his National Patriotic Front. Backed by Libya, Burkina Faso, and the Ivory Coast, Taylor soon controlled much of the eastern part of Liberia. Doe was assassinated in 1990, and for the next five years, Liberia was divided up between competing warlords, who made millions exporting the country's resources to foreign buyers.

In 1996, Liberia's warlords signed a peace agreement and began converting their militias into political parties. The peace, however, did not last. In 1999, another rebel group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) challenged Taylor's rule. LURD reportedly gained support from Guinea, while Taylor continued to support rebel groups in Sierra Leone.

By 2001, Liberia was fully embroiled in a three-way civil war, between Taylor's forces, LURD, and a third rebel group, the Movement for Democracy in Liberia.

In 2002, a group of women, led by social worker Leymah Gbowee, formed the Women of Liberia, Mass Action for Peace, a cross-religious organization, that brought Muslim and Christian women together to work for peace. Today, the women’s galvanizingly effective efforts are credited with bringing about a peace agreement in 2003.

Recent History

As part of the agreement, Charles Taylor agreed to step down. In 2012, he was convicted of war crimes by the International Court of Justice and sentenced to 50 years in jail.

In 2005, elections were held in Liberia, and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who had once been arrested by Samuel Doe and lost to Taylor in the 1997 elections, was elected President of Liberia. She was Africa's first female head of state.

While there have been some critiques of her rule, Liberia has remained stable and made significant economic progress. In 2011, President Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Leymah Gbowee of the Mass Action for Peace and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, who also championed women’s rights and peacebuilding.

José de Echegaray (1832-1916)

Nobel Prize Citation: ‘In recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama.’

José de Echegray was an engineer, politician, mathematician and a playwright. During his youth, he used to read both literature classics by Goethe, Homer and Balzac and mathematics writers such as Gauss, Legendre and Lagrange. In 1874, he began his career as a dramatist writing El Libro Talonario. It was a popular success, but critics failed to see any literary value in his work. His first plays were fuelled by romantic melancholy, but as his career progressed one can see the influence of Henrik Ibsen in their tone and treatment of social themes. Conflicts involving duty are the main motif of many of his plays. In 1904, Echegray shared the Nobel Prize with the poet Frederic Mistral, becoming the first Spaniard to win this Award. This scandalised the avant-garde artists of the time – and especially those of the generation of ‘98 – because Echegaray was not considered an important writer. On the other hand, international authors like Bernard Shaw or Pirandello were admirers of his work and his plays were a great success in major cities like Paris and Berlin.


For over a century, NIH scientists have paved the way for important discoveries that improve health and save lives. In fact, 156 Nobel Prize winners have received support from NIH. Their studies have led to the development of MRI, understanding of how viruses can cause cancer, insights into cholesterol control, and knowledge of how our brain processes visual information, among dozens of other advances.

The Roots of NIH

The National Institutes of Health traces its roots to 1887, when a one-room laboratory was created within the Marine Hospital Service (MHS), predecessor agency to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS).

The MHS had been established in 1798 to provide for the medical care of merchant seamen. In the 1880s, the MHS had been charged by Congress with examining passengers on arriving ships for clinical signs of infectious diseases, especially for the dreaded diseases cholera and yellow fever, in order to prevent epidemics. Read A Short History of NIH.

Chronology of Events

Significant events and major research advances in NIH history.

Legislative Chronology

Federal legislation that had a major influence on the growth of the NIH, from its beginning as the Marine Hospital Service in 1798.

NIH Reauthorization

NIH is responsive to Congressional legislation that adjusts NIH's programs to meet changing research needs. As a result of the NIH reauthorization process, NIH is able to respond strategically in an era when medical research requires constant innovation and increased interdisciplinary efforts.

Major World Political Leaders 2003

Australia Prime Minister John Howard Brazil President Fernando Henrique Cardoso Till 1 January
Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva From 1 January
Canada Prime Minister Jean Chrétien till December 12,
Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin from December 12,
China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin Till March 23
China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao From This Day In History March 23rd
France President Jacques Chirac

Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
India Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Mexico President Vicente Fox Russia / Soviet Union
General Secretary of the CPSU Vladimir Putin South Africa State President Thabo Mbeki United States President George W. Bush United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair

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