Political Event in Eastern World in 1988

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York explodes in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members aboard, as well as 11 Lockerbie residents on the ground. A bomb hidden inside an audio cassette player detonated in the cargo area when the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet. The disaster, which became the subject of Britain’s largest criminal investigation, was believed to be an attack against the United States.

Until 9/11, The Lockerbie bombing was one of the world’s most lethal acts of air terrorism and one of the largest and most complex acts of international terrorism ever investigated by the FBI. The bombing became the subject of Britain’s largest criminal inquiry led by its smallest police force, the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary. This widely regarded assault on a symbol of the United States, with 189 of the victims being Americans, stood as the deadliest terrorist attack on American civilians until the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Though it was almost immediately evident that a bomb had caused the disaster, it took more than eleven years to bring anyone to trial. What happened to the plane? Why would someone plant a bomb on Flight 103? Why did it take eleven years to have a trial?



Lockerbie disaster memorial (Lockerbie cemetery)

Lockerbie disaster memorial (Lockerbie cemetery) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Cultural development from the 1988 Olympic year

Mississippi Burning

Mississippi Burning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 1988 film, the Mississippi Burning, based on the true story of the investigation by the FBI into the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964. Starring Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand and R. Lee Ermey, it was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won the Oscar for Best Cinematography.

“Rupert Anderson” (Hackman) and “Alan Ward” (Dafoe) are FBI agents sent to investigate the disappearance of three civil rights workers in a rural area of Mississippi. The sheriff of the county has close ties to the KKK and is of little help in the investigation. Agent Anderson is a former Mississippi sheriff himself so he understands that this is going to be a tricky matter to handle.

After the bodies of the three are discovered, and the source of the ‘leak’ to the FBI agents turns out to be the wife of a deputy sheriff (McDormand), things intensify. The deputy beats his wife badly enough to require her to be hospitalized and that leads to the kidnapping of the Mayor (Ermey). He is intimidated by a black man in a hood and ends up giving up the details of the murders.

A friend of Hackman’s (A black man) helps scare the kidnapped mayor of the town into revealing the names of the men involved in the murders. The agents use bully tactics to scare the truth out of one of the Klan members. The film ends with snapshots of the guilty members with their sentences beneath them. All but one man is sent to prison.

Most critics give the film positive reviews and it was a commercial success. But some have criticized it for taking dramatic license with a very important event in U.S. history. As evidenced by its Oscar for cinematography, it is a gorgeous film visually and contains outstanding acting performances.

Scientific/technological development in 1988


prozac (Photo credit: Life Mental Health)

It was in 1988 that the antidepressant Prozac was discovered by Ray Fuller.  In researching the history behind Prozac I ran across something not found with any other invention: a sentiment expressed by several independent sources that went something like this, “I want to kiss the person who invented Prozac!” We might all depend on the light bulb more, but we never hear anyone talk about kissing Edison. Maybe the reason for the fondness for Prozac lies behind the nature of this invention.” (Mary Bellis)

Prozac was first introduced to the US market in January 1988. It took two years for Prozac to gain its ‘most prescribed’ status. Prozac is the registered trademarked name for fluoxetine hydrochloride and the world’s most widely prescribed antidepressant to-date, the first product in a major new class of drugs for depression called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors.

It is well documented that psychiatric drugs, particularly antidepressants, can cause a host of violent side effects including mania, psychosis, aggression and violence.  As far back as 1991, CCHR helped organize dozens of individuals and experts testifying before the US FDA that people with no prior history of violence (or suicide) became homicidal and suicidal under the influence of antidepressants. It would take the FDA another 13 years to admit antidepressants could cause suicide and black box warnings were finally issued in 2004. However, despite all the documented violence-inducing side effects of these drugs, the FDA has never issued black box warnings on antidepressants causing violence or homicide despite the fact that at least 11 recent school shootings were committed by kids documented to be on or in withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.

There was a story written that stated that, “nearly every mass shooting incident in the last twenty years, and multiple other instances of suicide and isolated shootings all share one thing in common, and its not the weapons used. The overwhelming evidence points to the signal largest common factor in all of these incidents is the fact that all of the perpetrators were either actively taking powerful psychotropic drugs or had been at some point in the immediate past before they committed their crimes. How crazy and sad would this be if this was actually the case, a drug that is meant to help you,  is really causing you to do harm.



Political Event in the Western World in 1988

George W. Bush official photo.

George W. Bush official photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United States Presidential election was held in 1988 on November 8. George Bush(Republican) defeats Michael Dukakis(Democrat). The Victory for Bush was overwhelming, 426 electoral votes to Dukakis 112, making Bush the first incumbent Vice President of the U.S. to win a presidential election in 152 years.

During the 1988 elections, there were two general election Presidential debates. The first one was, by most everyone’s account, uneventful. But the second debate, opening with CNN anchor Bernard Shaw’s question to Michael Dukakis whether or not he would favor the death penalty for someone who raped and murdered his wife, was a crucial moment in the 1988 campaign. The question was meant to give Dukakis an opportunity to show emotion, being as though he was dubbed as “the Ice Man by many.” But he blew it, and answered in a wooden, lawyerly manner.

Bush didn’t perform particularly well either, but he didn’t have to after Dukakis’ first response. It was during the debates that Bush called Dukakis “too liberal” and noted his veto of a bill that would require teachers to lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance. Dukakis fought back by attacking Bush for avoiding the drug crisis and for picking Dan Quayle as his running mate. The presidential polls did not move for the first few days after the debate, but they soon started moving in Bush’s favor.



1988 Summer Olympics

Hodori, the official mascot of the 1988 Summer...

Hodori, the official mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 1988 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of XXIV Olympiad were an international multi-sport event. The Olympics were held from 9/17/1988 to 10/2/1988 in Seoul, South Korea, marking the second time that the Summer Games were held in Asia. The opening ceremony was opened by President Roh Tae-Woo. During the games, approximately 8500 athletes participated, representing 159 countries.

Hosting the Olympics presented an opportunity to bring international attention to South Korea who at the time was still at war with North Korea. North Korea actually boycotted the games. During the Summer games there numerous and varies scandals. The entire Bulgarian weightlifting team was sent home after two of its athletes won gold medals only to test positive for steroids. And along with them the Canadian champion of 100-meter run, Ben Johnson were disqualified for his use of steroids, making the 1988 summer Olympics the first to disqualify an athlete due to drug/steroid use.

During the Summer games, the most gold medals were won by Kristin Otton, who won 6 gold metal in swimming. Because Ben Johnson was disqualified, Carl Lewis was named the winner in the 100-meter dash and teammate Florence Griffith Joyner from the United States claimed four medals-gold in the 100, 200 and 4x 100 meter relay and a silver in the 4×400 relay. She also attracted attention with her flamboyant outfits. Her sister-in-law, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, won the long jump and heptathlon.

The summer Olympics was a time for firsts: all three medalists winners in equestrian dressage were women and it was the first time for table tennis. Seoul witnessed the largest participation in any Olympics  as of that date.