December 1, 1991 – A week where the Cold War was starting to fade from view. A week where The Doomsday Clock was set at its lowest point at seventeen minutes before midnight. A far cry from the 2 minutes before midnight it was set at in 1953 (ironically, it’s currently at 2 1/2 minutes as of 2017). Still, we were veritable arsenals of nuclear weapons, it’s just that the notion we would be using them at any point in 1991 was becoming more remote each day.
And this was also the week we celebrated Thanksgiving. It was also the week we celebrated Black Friday and the hopes of the nation’s retailers were hoping brisk business would take America out of its economic slump. Business had been in the doldrums all year, and economists were saying retail was going to save the situation. So all fingers were crossed that America would go on a Christmas feeding frenzy the day after giving thanks for everything.
Election ’92 was gearing up. The Democratic playing field was beginning to take shape with six potential candidates making their intentions known – eyes were looking in the direction of New York Governor Mario Cuomo to throw his hat in the ring, but no decision was forthcoming.
With all the news of more former Soviet satellites breaking away, came news that Yugoslavia, itself breaking up after the death of Tito, was heading straight into civil war. The issues were over Serbs and Croatians – Muslims and Christians. It was looking to be a particularly deadly series of events.
And the music world lost one of its most iconic artists this week. Freddie Mercury, lead singer for Queen passed away this week, from complications associated with the AIDS virus. Mercury became the first high-profile artist from the Music community to pass away from the disease. Mercury, who made no excuses about being gay, tested positive for the AIDS virus in 1986, but kept the diagnosis private until a day before his death, on November 24th.
All that and so much more, including commentary from Peter Jennings for this week, ending December 1, 1991 as presented by ABC World News This Week.