© Jim McLean / National Portrait Gallery, London
by Jim McLean
bromide print, 1990
14 in. x 13 7/8 in. (355 mm x 353 mm) image size
Events of 1990back to top
Current affairsMargaret Thatcher introduces a Poll Tax. 'The Community Charge' replaced the old 'Rates' system of local taxation based on the value of property in favour of a flat rate for all householders. With little difference between the tax burden of the poor and the wealthy, opposition was bitter and violent. Following a challenge to her leadership Thatcher stood down as Prime Minister and was replaced by John Major.
Art and scienceTim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web. He created the first web-browser and editor, and the first web-server in 1990, building the first website and putting it online in 1991. By making his ideas royalty-free, Berners-Lee made the Internet accessible to all and allowed all users to help build its content.
British beef is banned from schools and hospitals over concerns about BSE ('mad cow disease').
InternationalThe Gulf War breaks out between Iraq and US-led coalition forces. War was declared after Iraq invaded Kuwait, and, following a period of UN economic sanctions against Iraq, hostilities commenced in January 1991. The coalition victory was swift and within three months Iraqi forces withdrew from Kuwait.
Nelson Mandela is released from Prison after 27 years captivity.