President: George H. W. Bush (R-Texas)
Vice President: Dan Quayle (R-Indiana)
Chief Justice: William Rehnquist (Wisconsin)
Speaker of the House of Representatives: Tom Foley (D-Washington)
Senate Majority Leader: George J. Mitchell (D-Maine)
Congress: 101st (until January 3), 102nd (starting January 3)
January 2 – Sharon Pratt Dixon is sworn in as mayor of the District of Columbia, thus becoming the first African American woman to lead a major U.S. city.
January 7 – United States Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney cancels the $57-billion order for the McDonnell Douglas A-12 Avenger II.
January 8 – Pan American World Airways files for bankruptcy protection.
January 9 – United States Secretary of State James Baker meets with Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz, but fails to produce a plan for Iraq to withdraw its troops from Kuwait.
January 12 – Gulf War: The Congress of the United States passes a resolution authorizing the use of military force to liberate Kuwait.
January 16 – U.S. serial killer Aileen Wuornos confesses to the murders of six men.
January 17 – Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins with air strikes against Iraq.
January 18 – Eastern Air Lines ceases operations after flying for two years under bankruptcy protection.
January 25 – President George H. W. Bush names Rep. Edward Rell Madigan as United States Secretary of Agriculture, replacing Clayton Keith Yeutter, who had been elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
January 26 – In Washington, D.C., tens of thousands of people rally against the Persian Gulf War.
January 27 – Super Bowl XXV: The New York Giants defeat the Buffalo Bills 20–19 at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
January 29 – The first attempt to cure cancer by gene therapy takes place at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
February – The early 1990s recession ends.
February 1 – A USAir Boeing 737-300, Flight 1493 collides with a SkyWest Airlines Fairchild Metroliner, Flight 5569 at Los Angeles International Airport, killing 34.
February 5 – A Michigan court bars Dr. Jack Kevorkian from assisting in suicides.
February 7 – Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabian border and enter Kuwait, thus starting the ground phase of the war.
February 13 – Gulf War: Two laser-guided bombs destroy an underground bunker in Baghdad, killing 314 Iraqis including 130 children. United States military intelligence claims the structure was transmitting military signals but Iraqi officials identify it as a bomb shelter.
February 22 – Gulf War: Iraq accepts a Russian-proposed cease fire agreement. The U.S. rejects the agreement, but says that retreating Iraqi forces will not be attacked if they leave Kuwait within 24 hours.
February 23 – The One Meridian Plaza fire in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania kills 3 firefighters and destroys 8 floors of the building.
February 25 – Gulf War: Part of an Iraqi Scud missile hits an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 29 and injuring 99 U.S. soldiers. It is the single, most devastating attack on U.S. forces during that war.
February 26 – Gulf War: On Baghdad radio, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Iraqi soldiers set fire to Kuwaiti oil fields as they retreat.
February 27 – Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that "Kuwait is liberated".
February 28 – Impostor James Hogue is exposed at Princeton University.
March 1 – Clayton Keith Yeutter finishes as the United States Secretary of Agriculture.
An amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles, California police officers.
United Airlines Flight 585 crashes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing all 25 people on board.
March 10 – Gulf War – Operation Phase Echo: 540,000 American troops begin to leave the Persian Gulf.
March 13 – The United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
Four Los Angeles, California police officers are indicted for the videotaped March 3 beating of motorist Rodney King during an arrest.
Germany formally regains complete independence after the four post-World War II occupying powers (France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union) relinquish all remaining rights.
March 30 – Northern Michigan University wins the NCAA Division I title in hockey, 8–7 in the third overtime against Boston University.
Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and 6 others are killed when a helicopter collides with their plane over Merion, Pennsylvania.
William Kennedy Smith, a nephew of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, is identified as a suspect in an alleged Palm Beach, Florida sexual assault.
April 5 – Former Senator John Tower and 22 others are killed in an airplane crash in Brunswick, Georgia, United States.
April 17 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 3,000 for the first time ever, at 3,004.46.
April 26 – 70 tornadoes break out in the central United States, killing 17. The most notable tornado of the day strikes Andover, Kansas.
May 5 – 1991 Washington, D.C. riot: A riot breaks out in the Mt. Pleasant section of Washington, D.C. after police shoot a Salvadoran man.
May 6 – Time magazine publishes "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", an article highly critical of the Scientology organization.
May 16 – Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to address the United States Congress.
May 25 – The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Minnesota North Stars 8–0 in Game 6 to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
June 5 – STS-40: Space Shuttle Columbia carries the Spacelab Spacelab Life Sciences 1 module into orbit.
June 10 – As she was finishing her school during the day, Jaycee Lee Dugard, a girl of 11 years was missing and kidnapped. She will not be found for 18 years.
June 12 – The Chicago Bulls win their first NBA championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers.
June 13 – A spectator is killed by lightning at the U.S. Open.
June 17 – U.S. President Zachary Taylor is exhumed to discover whether or not his death was caused by arsenic poisoning, instead of acute gastrointestinal illness; no trace of arsenic is found.
July 11 – A solar Eclipse of record totality occurs, seen first in Hawaii then enters Mexico with the path directly crosses Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City seen by 20 million inhabitants, and finally ends in Colombia in South America.
Boxer Mike Tyson is arrested and charged with raping Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington 3 days earlier, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested after the remains of 11 men and boys are found in his Milwaukee, Wisconsin apartment. Police soon find out that he is involved in six more murders.
July 31 – The United States and the Soviet Union sign the START I treaty limiting strategic nuclear weapons.
August 19 – Hurricane Bob hits the Northeastern United States.
August 23 – The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (or "Super Nintendo") is released in the United States.
September 2 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: The United States recognizes the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
September 3 – In Hamlet, North Carolina, a grease fire breaks out at the Imperial Foods chicken processing plant, killing 25 people.
September 8–12 – Tailhook scandal: At the 35th Annual Tailhook Symposium in Las Vegas, 83 women and seven men are assaulted.
September 11 – Continental Express Flight 2574 crashes in Texas.
September 16 – The trial of the deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega begins in the United States.
September 20–21 – In Sandy, Utah, several patients are held hostage and a nurse is killed in the Alta View Hospital hostage incident.
October 2 – Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton announces he will seek the 1992 Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
October 11–13 – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee interviews both Supreme Court candidate Clarence Thomas and former aide Anita Hill, who alleges that Thomas sexually harassed her while she worked for him.
October 15 – United States Senate votes 52–48 to confirm Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States.
October 16 – George Hennard guns down 24 people in a restaurant in Killeen, Texas before killing himself. It would be the largest mass shooting by a single person in the U.S. until 2007.
October 20 – The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments.
October 27 – The Minnesota Twins win the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.
October 29 – The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.
November 1 – University of Iowa shooting. Former graduate student Gang Lu kills 5 before killing himself.
November 5 – David Duke, a white separatist running as a Republican, loses the Louisiana Governor's race to Democratic candidate Edwin Edwards, by an overwhelming margin despite winning the majority of the white vote.
November 7 – Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson announces that he has HIV, effectively ending his NBA career.
American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103.
In Royal Oak, Michigan, a fired United States Postal Service employee goes on a shooting rampage, killing four and wounding five before committing suicide.
December 4 – Journalist Terry A. Anderson is released after 7 years' captivity as a hostage in Beirut (the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon).
December 10 – Eric Reid, American football player is born
December 20 – A Missouri court passes the death sentence on Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria, for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
December 25–26 – The Cold War ends as President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev resigns and the Soviet Union dissolves.
Cold War (1945–1991)
Gulf War (1990–1991)
Iraqi no-fly zones (1991–2003)
1991 in the United States Wikipedia
Events from the year 1991 in the United States. The Cold War ends as the USSR dissolves by the end of the year.