28 September 1994

The cruise ferry MS Estonia sinks in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people

The MS Estonia was a cruise ferry that tragically sank in the Baltic Sea on the night of September 28-29, 1994, resulting in one of the worst maritime disasters in European history. The incident claimed the lives of 852 people, making it one of the deadliest peacetime shipwrecks in the 20th century.

The Vessel: MS Estonia was a passenger and car ferry operated by the Estonian shipping company Estline. It was built in 1979 and was primarily used for transporting passengers and vehicles between Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and Stockholm, Sweden. The ship was considered to be modern and relatively safe.

The Journey: On the evening of September 27, 1994, MS Estonia departed from Tallinn on a routine overnight voyage to Stockholm, carrying approximately 989 passengers and crew members. Most of the passengers were Swedish and Estonian nationals.

Severe Weather: The Baltic Sea is known for its challenging weather conditions, and on the night of the disaster, the region was experiencing a severe storm with high winds and rough seas. The adverse weather made sailing conditions difficult.

Sinking: At around 1:00 AM on September 28, MS Estonia encountered problems. The ship was hit by heavy waves and began listing to one side. Within minutes, it had sunk beneath the waves. Distress signals were sent, and rescue operations were initiated.

Rescue Efforts: Despite the adverse weather conditions, a significant rescue operation was launched by the Swedish and Finnish authorities. Helicopters and boats were dispatched to the scene. Many passengers were forced to jump into the cold and turbulent waters, where hypothermia became a serious concern.

Casualties: Tragically, the majority of those on board MS Estonia did not survive. Of the 989 people on board, 137 were rescued, but 852 perished, including passengers and crew members. Most of the survivors were found clinging to life rafts or debris in the frigid waters.

Investigation: A joint Swedish-Finnish-Estonian investigation was launched to determine the causes of the disaster. It was ultimately concluded that the sinking was primarily caused by the failure of the bow visor, a large door-like structure at the front of the ship, which allowed water to enter the vehicle deck during the storm. This caused the ship to lose stability and capsize.

Aftermath: The MS Estonia disaster prompted significant changes in maritime safety regulations, particularly related to the design and operation of ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) passenger ferries. The tragedy also led to a major salvage operation to recover the wreck from the sea floor.

12 August 1994

Major League Baseball players go on strike, eventually forcing the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

The 1994 Major League Baseball (MLB) strike was a significant event in the history of professional baseball in the United States. It was a labor dispute between the MLB players’ union, known as the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), and the team owners that resulted in the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

The primary issue that led to the strike was the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the MLBPA and the team owners. The players were concerned about several key issues, including salary structure, revenue sharing, and the owners’ desire for a salary cap. A salary cap would have limited the total amount of money a team could spend on player salaries, which the players strongly opposed.

Negotiations between the players’ union and the owners reached an impasse, leading to the players’ decision to go on strike on August 12, 1994. As a result of the strike, the remainder of the 1994 MLB season was canceled, including the playoffs and the World Series. This marked the first time in 90 years that the World Series was not played.

The cancellation of the World Series was a significant blow to fans, players, and the sport as a whole. The absence of the postseason not only deprived fans of the excitement of the playoff games but also had economic ramifications for the teams and the league. Attendance and television ratings dropped, and the overall popularity of baseball suffered as a result of the labor dispute.

The strike lasted for 232 days, making it the longest work stoppage in MLB history. It finally came to an end on April 2, 1995, when the players and owners reached an agreement on a new CBA. The agreement did not include a salary cap, which was a major victory for the players’ union. Instead, the agreement included provisions for revenue sharing and a luxury tax, which were aimed at creating a more balanced financial structure among teams.

While the 1994 strike had a significant impact on the sport, it also led to reforms and changes that would shape the future of Major League Baseball. The cancellation of the World Series served as a reminder of the importance of labor-management relations and the need for compromise to ensure the stability and success of the game.

7 May 1994

Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream is recovered undamaged after being stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in February.

Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” is considered a masterpiece of modern art due to its highly emotional and expressive content. It is one of the most recognizable and iconic paintings in the world, and its popularity has only increased since its creation in 1893.

The painting depicts a human figure, with its head thrown back and its mouth open in a silent scream. The sky behind the figure is a swirling mixture of orange and red, while the foreground is dominated by a bridge and a body of water. The figure’s anguished expression and the vibrant colors of the sky have become symbols of modern anxiety and alienation.

The painting’s power lies in its ability to express the artist’s innermost emotions and feelings through the use of bold and expressive brushstrokes, which create a sense of movement and immediacy. The viewer can sense the emotional turmoil of the figure in the painting and can relate to the sense of isolation and anxiety that it conveys.

Additionally, “The Scream” is considered a seminal work of the Expressionist movement, which aimed to convey intense emotional states and psychological turmoil through art. As such, it has been an inspiration to many artists and has had a profound influence on the development of modern art.

6 January 1994

American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is attacked and injured by an assailant hired by her rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships that they were both taking part in.