1989 – The Communist Party of Bulgaria relinquishes power

Like the Communist Parties of all the Eastern European states, the Bulgarian Communist Party found its power and authority undermined by the reforms made by Mikhail Gorbachev in the Perestroika era. The immediate cause of the fall of the Communists was the break up of a demonstration in Sofia in October 1989. Public outcry led to the replacement of Todor Zhivkov, the ruling autocrat, with Petar Mladenov, but this was too little too late.

As the people of Bulgaria remained restive, and as other Communist states in Eastern Europe fell (notably the fall of the Berlin Wall in East Germany and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia that November), demands for similar reforms mounted. Finally, Mladenov complied. On December 11, he announced on national television that Communist Party would relinquish power, and in June of the following year, the first free elections since 1939 were in held.

Referenced in:

Right Here Right Now – Jesus Jones

1951 – Joe Di Maggio retires from professional baseball

One of the game’s true greats, Joe Di Maggio played his entire pro baseball career with a single team, the New York Yankees. A center fielder, Di Maggio’s greatest achievement came at bat: his record hitting streak of 56 consecutive games remains unequaled more than seventy years on.

Di Maggio’s retirement came at the end of his thirteenth season, one of the worst he had ever played due to age (Joltin’ Joe was now 37, old for a pro baller) and injuries catching up to him – he later stated that even had he had a much better season, he would still have retired, as he felt that he was getting too slow (and enduring too much pain) to keep playing.

Referenced in:

Mrs. Robinson — Simon and Garfunkel
We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel