I’ve been thinking about 1989 lately. It was a pretty momentous year.
A few things about 1989:
ONE: The world changed. The Berlin Wall came down. The Soviet Union was in the midst of collapse. Pro-Democracy Rallies occurred in Tiananmen Square. It was the year that the Cold War officially ended.
TWO: George Bush 41 became president. He was our most recent one-term president.
THREE: Taylor Swift was born in 1989. We know this because she released an album a few years ago called “1989” – in honor of her birth year. It’s pretty good.
FOUR: It was the last year of the fabulous 1980s. Not long ago, I had a younger co-worker tell me they sometimes had “80s Days” at their high school where they’d dress up like they were in the 1980s. I replied “We had those at my school too. Everyday.”
FIVE: I saw the Grateful Dead in Dallas and Houston in 1989. Some great albums were released in 1989: “Doolittle” by the Pixies; “Full Moon Fever” by Tom Petty; “Disintegration” by The Cure; “Pretty Hate Machine” by Nine Inch Nails; “The Stone Roses” by The Stone Roses; “Bleach” by Nirvana; “Cosmic Thing” by the B-52s; and “Mother’s Milk” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others. But 1989 also gave us Milli Vanilli’s “Girl You Know It’s True.”
SIX: The Exxon Valdez ran aground.
SEVEN: A huge earthquake rocked San Francisco, killed 57 people and caused over $10 billion of damage.
EIGHT: GALLO TRUSTS. In 1989 wealthy families could gift up to $2 million directly into trusts (or to individuals) that skipped a generation without incurring the “Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax.” This loophole was only available in 1989. This law was passed at the behest of the Gallo family – well known winemakers. Thus, there are an inordinate number of “1989 Trusts” in families of wealth due to this 1989 law.
NINE: The First GPS Satellite was launched.
TEN: The Simpsons and Seinfeld both premiered in 1989.
ELEVEN: Here’s a cutting edge cell phone in 1989, the MOTOROLA MICROTAC 9800X: