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Events of 1994
- January 1 - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect.
- January 1 - Florida State University beat the University Of Nebraska in the Orange Bowl for the national championship
- January 1 - The Zapatista Army of National Liberation begins their war in Chiapas, Mexico.
- January 6 - In Detroit, Michigan, Nancy Kerrigan is clubbed on the right leg by an assailant under orders from figure skating rival Tonya Harding's ex-husband.
- January 8 - Soyuz TM-18: Valeri Polyakov begins his 437.7 day orbit, eventually setting the world record for days spent in orbit.
- January 11 - The Irish government announces the end of a 15-year broadcasting ban on the Provisional Irish Republican Army and its political arm Sinn Féin.
- January 11 - The Superhighway Summit is held at UCLA's Royce Hall. It was the first conference to discuss the growing information superhighway and was presided over by U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
- January 12 - U.S. President Bill Clinton meets the Presidents of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.
- January 14 - U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign the Kremlin Accords, which stop the preprogrammed aiming of nuclear missiles toward each country's targets, and also provide for the dismantling of the nuclear arsenal in Ukraine.
- January 15 - SS American Star breaks tow in the Atlantic Ocean and is beached at Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands a few days later.
- January 17 - The 1994 Northridge Earthquake, magnitude 6.7, hits the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles at 4:31 AM killing 72 and leaving 26,029 homeless.
- January 18 - The Cando event, a possible bolide impact in Cando, Spain. Witnesses claim to have seen a fireball in the sky lasting for almost one minute.
- January 19 - Record cold temperatures hit the eastern United States. The coldest temperature ever measured in Indiana state history, -36°F (-38°C), is recorded in New Whiteland, Indiana.
- January 20 - In South Carolina, Shannon Faulkner becomes the first female cadet to attend The Citadel, but soon drops out.
- January 21 - Lorena Bobbitt is found not guilty by reason of insanity on charges of mutilating her husband John.
- January 25 - U.S. President Bill Clinton delivers his first State of the Union address, calling for health care reform, a ban on assault weapons, and welfare reform.
- January 26 - A man fires 2 blank shots at Charles, Prince of Wales in Sydney, Australia.
- January 28 - The first trial of accused murderer Lyle Menendez ends in a mistrial. He and his brother Erik are later found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
- January 30 - In Super Bowl XXVIII, the Dallas Cowboys hand the Buffalo Bills their fourth consecutive Super Bowl loss, 30-13.
- January 31 - German luxury car manufacturer BMW announces the purchase of Rover from British Aerospace
- February 1 - In Portland, Oregon, Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly pleads guilty for his role in attacking figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. He accepts a plea bargain, admitting to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony against Harding.
- February 3 - William J. Perry is sworn in as the United States Secretary of Defense.
- February 4 - The Federal Open Market Committee raises the Fed Funds target rate for the first time since May 1989. The rate is raised by 25 basis points to 3¼ percent .
- February 5 - Byron De La Beckwith is convicted of the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
- February 6 - Markale massacres: A Bosnian Serb Army mortar shell kills 68 civilians and wounds about 200 in a Sarajevo marketplace.
- February 9 - The Vance-Owen Peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina is announced.
- February 12 - Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream" is stolen in Oslo (and is recovered on May 7).
- February 12-February 27 - The 1994 Winter Olympics were held in Lillehammer.
- February 22 - Aldrich Ames and his wife are charged with spying for the Soviet Union by the United States Department of Justice. Ames will later be convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and his wife will receive 5 years in prison.
- February 24 - In Gloucester, local police begins excavations at 25 Cromwell Street, the home of Fred West, suspected of multiple murders. On February 28, he and his wife are arrested.
- February 25 - Israeli Kahanist Baruch Goldstein opens fire inside the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank. He kills 29 Muslims before worshippers beat him to death.
- February 27 - Australian Federal Sports & Environment Minister Ros Kelly resigns over "The Sports Rorts Affair", where it was alleged that she apportioned money for community sporting projects in a pork barreling fashion.
- February 28 - United States F-16 pilots shoot down 4 Serbian fighter aircraft over Bosnia-Herzegovina for violation of the Operation Deny Flight and its no-fly zone.
- March 1 - A lone terrorist kills Ari Halberstam during an attack on 14 Jewish students on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. 
- March 1 - South Africa cedes Walvis Bay to Namibia.
- March 1 - Mary Ellen Withrow begins her term of office as Treasurer of the United States, serving under President Bill Clinton.
- March 1 - The grunge rock band Nirvana plays its final show in Munich, Germany.
- March 4 - Four terrorists are convicted for their roles in the World Trade Center bombing, which killed 6 and injured more than 1,000.
- March 5 - A gunman takes 8 people hostage in the Salt Lake City Public Library Hostage Incident.
- March 6 - A referendum in Moldova results in the electorate voting against possible reunification with Romania.
- March 7 - Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that parodies of an original work are generally covered by the doctrine of fair use.
- March 12 - A photo by Marmaduke Wetherell, previously touted as 'proof' of the Loch Ness monster, is confirmed to be a hoax.
- March 12 - The Church of England ordains its first female priests.
- March 14 - Apple Computer, Inc. releases the first Macintosh computers to use the new PowerPC Microprocessors. This is considered to be a major leap in personal computer, as well as Macintosh history.
- March 15 - U.S. troops are withdrawn from Somalia.
- March 16 - In Portland, Oregon, Tonya Harding pleads guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for trying to cover-up an attack on figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. She is fined $100,000 and banned from the sport.
- March 21 - Three-time Formula 1 world champion Ayrton Senna is killed in an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy.
- March 21 - The 66th Academy Awards, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Steven Spielberg's Holocaust drama, Schindler's List wins seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director (Spielberg).
- March 23 - Two military aircraft collide over Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina causing dozens of fatalities known as the Green Ramp disaster
- March 27 - The biggest tornado outbreak in 1994 occurs in the southeastern United States. One tornado hits a United Methodist Church in Piedmont, Alabama, killing 22.
- March 27 - The Eurofighter takes its first flight in Manching, Germany.
- March 28 - Shell House Massacre: Inkatha Freedom Party and ANC supporters battle in central Johannesburg South Africa. Joshua Copeland born.
- March 31 - The journal Nature reports the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull (see Human evolution).
- April 6 - Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundi President Cyprien Ntaryamira die when a missile shoots down their jet near Kigali, Rwanda. This is taken as a pretext to begin the Rwandan Genocide.
- April 7 - The Rwandan Genocide begins in Kigali, Rwanda.
- April 8 - Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, is found dead in Seattle, Washington. He was last seen alive by family and friends 3 days prior, but was seen at various locations around Seattle by others. His death is believed to have been a suicide.
- April 16 - Voters in Finland decide to join the European Union in a referendum.
- April 20 - Paul Touvier is found guilty of ordering the execution of 7 Jews when he served in the Vichy France Milice.
- April 21 - The Red Cross estimates that hundreds of thousands of Tutsi have been killed in Rwanda.
- April 22 - Former United States President Richard Nixon dies in New York City.
- April 25 - End of term for Sultan Azlan Muhibbudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuff Izzudin Shah Ghafarullahu-lahu as 9th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
- April 25 - The largest high school arson ever in the United States is started at Burnsville High School, in Burnsville, Minnesota, resulting in over 15 million dollars in damages. The same arsonist also goes on to set arsons at: Edina High School and Minnetonka High School. 
- April 26 - Tuanku Jaafar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, becomes the 10th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
- April 27 - South Africa holds its first fully multiracial elections.
- April 29 - Commodore International declares bankruptcy.
- April 30 - Austrian Formula One pilot Roland Ratzenberger is killed in an accident during the qualifying session for the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
- May 1 - The famous Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna dies in accident during San Marino Grand Prix
- May 3 - The side-scrolling DOS game Jazz Jackrabbit is released by Epic Megagames.
- May 6 - The Channel Tunnel, which took 15,000 workers over 7 years to complete, opens between England and France. Passengers can now travel between the 2 countries in 35 minutes.
- May 10 - Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa's first Black president.
- May 10 - Illinois executes serial killer John Wayne Gacy by lethal injection for the murder of 33 young men and boys.
- May 10 - An annular eclipse of the sun is visible across much of North America.
- May 12 - Ice hockey becomes Canada's official winter sport.
- May 12 - U.K. Labour Party leader John Smith, 55, dies of a heart attack. Deputy leader Margaret Beckett stands in until an election can be held. Smith is succeeded by Tony Blair, the 41-year-old Scottish-born Member of Parliament for Sedgefield in County Durham.
- May 14 - Brandon Lee's last film The Crow which he was filming when he had died in 1993 opens in the U.S.
- May 17 - Malawi holds its first multiparty elections.
- June 6-June 8 - Ceasefire negotiations for the Yugoslav War begin in Geneva; they agree to a 1-month cessation of hostilities (which does not last more than a few days).
- June 12 - Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are murdered outside the Simpson home in Los Angeles, California. O.J. Simpson is later acquitted of the killings, but is held liable in a civil suit.
- June 14 - Hacker Kevin Poulsen pleads guilty to 7 counts of mail fraud, wire and computer fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.
- June 14 - The New York Rangers defeat the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden in New York in Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals to win their first Stanley Cup Championship in 54 years and ending the Curse of 1940.
- June 15 - Israel and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations.
- June 17 - NFL star O.J. Simpson and his friend Al Cowlings flee from police in his white Ford Bronco. The low speed chase, which unfolds live on television, ends up at Simpson's mansion in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, where he then surrenders to police.
- June 17 - The 1994 FIFA World Cup begins in the United States.
- June 23 - The International Olympic Committee celebrates their first centennial.
- June 24 - The third highest-grossing animated film of all time, The Lion King, opens in US theatres.
- June 28 - Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult release sarin gas attack at Matsumoto, Japan, 7 persons killed, 660 injured.
- July 2 - Colombian footballer Andrés Escobar, 27, is shot dead in Bogotá. His murder is commonly attributed as retaliation for the own goal Escobar scored in the 1994 FIFA World Cup against the United States.
- July 6 - Fourteen firefighters die in the South Canyon wildfire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado. The event inspires the 1999 book Fire on the Mountain.
- July 7 - Aden is occupied by troops from North Yemen. (1994 civil war in Yemen)
- July 15 - July 21 - The planet Jupiter is hit by 21 large fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 over the course of 6 days.
- July 17 - Brazil wins the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Defeats Italy 3-2 in penalties (Full time 0-0).
- July 18 - In Buenos Aires, a terrorist attack destroys a building housing several Jewish organizations, killing 85 and injuring many more (see AMIA Bombing).
- July 19 Four 26-pound ceiling tiles fall from the roof of the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington, just hours before a scheduled Seattle Mariners game.
- July 25 - Israel and Jordan sign the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace, which formally ends the state of war that has existed between the nations since 1948.
- August - Wollemia nobilis, a "fossil tree" is discovered by bushwalker David Noble only 150 km from the largest city in Australia.
- August 1 - Fire destroys Norwich Central Library in the United Kingdom, including most of its historical records.
- August 1 - The University of London founds the School of Advanced Study, a group of postgraduate research institutes.
- August 5 - Groups of protesters spread from Havana, Cuba's Castillo de la Punta ("Point Castle"), creating the first protests against Fidel Castro's government since 1959.
- August 10 - The 1994 Bambino World Series (now called Cal Ripken World Series, division of Babe Ruth Inc.) come to Henderson, Kentucky on August 10th for the first time. 2 years work of volunteers and funds led up to this event. It was played at Henderson's Park field where it sat over 5,000 people in attendance.
- August 12 - Woodstock '94 begins in Saugerties, New York. It is the 25 year anniversary of Woodstock in 1969.
- August 12 - Major League Baseball players go on strike, eventually causing the cancellation of the World Series.
- August 20 - In Honolulu, Hawaii, during a circus international performance, a female elephant named Tyke crushes her trainer Allen Campbell to death before hundreds of horrified spectators, at the Neal Blaisdell Arena.
- August 23 - Eugene Bullard was posthumously commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, 33 years after his death, and 77 years to the day after his rejection for U.S. military service in 1917.
- August 31 - The Provisional Irish Republican Army announces a "complete cessation of military operations."
- August 31 - Russian army leaves Estonia.
- September 3 - Cold War: Russia and the People's Republic of China agree to de-target their nuclear weapons against each other.
- September 4 - Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan opens. All international services are transferred from Itami to Kansai.
- September 5 - New South Wales State MP for Cabramatta John Newman is shot outside his home in Australia's first political assassination since 1977.
- September 8 - USAir Flight 427, a Boeing 737 with 132 people on board, crashes on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport; there are no survivors.
- September 13 - President Bill Clinton signs the Assault Weapons Ban, which bans the manufacture of new weapons with certain features for a period of 10 years.
- September 16 - Danish tour guide Louise Jensen is abducted, raped and murdered by British soldiers.
- September 19 - American troops stage a bloodless invasion of Haiti in order to restore the legitimate elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to power.
- September 22 - The long-running American sitcom Friends premieres on NBC, eventually becoming part of NBC's Must See TV comedy blocks on Thursdays.
- September 28 - The car ferry MS Estonia sinks in the Baltic Sea, killing 852.
- September 28 - Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu, Mexican politician, is assassinated on the orders of the president's brother.
- September-October - Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq threatens to stop cooperating with UNSCOM inspectors and begins to once again deploy troops near its border with Kuwait. In response, the U.S. begins to deploy troops to Kuwait.
- Religious radio personality Harold Camping once predicted that September 1994 would see the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- October 5 - In Switzerland, 23 members of the Order of the Solar Temple cult are found dead, a day after 25 of their fellow cultists are similarly discovered in Morin Heights, Quebec.
- October 5 - UNESCO inaugurates World Teachers’ Day to celebrate and commemorate the signing of the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers on October 5, 1966.
- October 8 - Iraq disarmament crisis: The President of the UN Security Council says that Iraq must withdraw its troops from the Kuwait border and immediately cooperate with weapons inspectors.
- October 12 - NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus (the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere either October 13 or October 14).
- October 14 - The documentary Hoop Dreams is released.
- October 15 - After 3 years of U.S. exile, Haiti's president Aristide returns to his country.
- October 15 - Iraq disarmament crisis: Following threats by the U.N. Security Council and the U.S., Iraq withdraws troops from its border with Kuwait.
- October 29 - Francisco Martin Duran fires over 2 dozen shots at the White House; he is later convicted of trying to kill President Bill Clinton.
- October 31 - An American Eagle ATR-72 crashes in Roselawn, Indiana, after circling in icy weather, killing 64 passengers.
- November 4 - San Francisco: The first conference devoted entirely to the subject of the commercial potential of the World Wide Web opens. Featured speakers include Marc Andreessen of Netscape, Mark Graham of Pandora Systems, and Ken McCarthy of E-Media.
- November 4 - Sydney's third runway opens, ensuring protests about noise levels.
- November 5 - A letter by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is released that announces he has Alzheimer's disease.
- November 5 - George Foreman wins the WBA and IBF World Heavyweight Championships by KO'ing Michael Moorer becoming the oldest heavyweight champion in history.
- November 5 - Johan Heyns, influential Afrikaner theologian and critic of Apartheid is assassinated.
- November 8 - Georgia Representative Newt Gingrich leads the United States Republican Party in taking control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm congressional elections, the first time in 40 years the Republicans secured control of both houses of U.S. Congress. George W. Bush is elected Governor of Texas.
- November 13 - Voters in Sweden decide to join the European Union in a referendum.
- November 13 - The first passengers travel through the Channel Tunnel.
- November 16 - A Federal judge issues a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the State of California from implementing Proposition 187, that would have denied most public services to illegal aliens.
- November 20 - The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign the Lusaka Protocol.
- November 28 - Voters in Norway decide not to join the European Union in a referendum.
- December 2 - The Australian government agrees to pay reparations to indigenous Australians who were displaced during the nuclear tests at Maralinga in the 1950s and 1960s.
- December 11 - Boris Yeltsin orders troops into Chechnya.
- December 11 - A small bomb explodes on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, killing a Japanese businessman. The bombing was a field test done by Ramzi Yousef to test explosives that would have been used in Project Bojinka.
- December 13 - Fred West, 53, a builder living in Gloucester, is remanded in custody, charged with murdering 12 people (including two of his own daughters) whose bodies were mostly found buried at his house in Cromwell Street. His wife Rose West, 41, is charged with 10 murders. Police believe that the murders took place between 1967 and 1987, and suspect that they may have killed up to 30 people.
- December 14 - A Learjet piloted by Richard Anderson and Brad Sexton misses an elementary school and crashes into an apartment complex in Fresno, California, killing both pilots and injuring several apartment residents.
- December 14 - British Home Secretary Michael Howard announces that Myra Hindley is to serve a whole life tariff for the Moors Murders of the 1960s. The decision was made in private by Mr Howard's predecessor David Waddington in 1990, but Hindley is only informed of the decision today after the House of Lords ruled that the Home Secretary must inform all life sentence prisoners of the minimum term that they should serve before parole can be considered. Hindley, 52, can appeal against the decision but now knows that she may well spend the rest of her life in prison.
- December 15 - The web browser Netscape Navigator 1.0 is released.
- December 19 - A planned exchange rate correction of the Mexican Peso to the US Dollar, becomes a massive financial meltdown in Mexico, unleashing the 'Tequila' effect on global financial markets. This will prompt a US$ 50 billion 'bailout' by the Clinton administration.
- December 19 - The Whitewater scandal investigation begins in Washington, DC.
- December 19 - Civil unions between homosexuals are made legal in Sweden.
- December 21 - A homemade bomb goes off on the # 4 train on Fulton Street in New York City.
- December 26 - French anti-terrorist police storm a hijacked jet at Marseille and kill 4 Islamist terrorists.
- December 31 was skipped by the Phoenix Islands to switch from the UTC-11 time zone to UTC+13, and by the Line Islands to switch from UTC-10 to UTC+14. The latter became the earliest time zone in the world, one full day ahead of Hawaii.
- January 11 - Helmut Poppendick, German physician (b. 1902)
- February 25 - Baruch Goldstein, Israeli terrorist (d. 1994)
- March 9 - Lawrence E. Spivak, American journalist (b. 1900)
- April 1 - Léon Degrelle, Belgian National Socialist politician and Waffen SS leader (b. 1906)
- April 22 - Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States (b. 1913)
- May 4 - Jeffrey Hamm, British Fascist leader (b. 1915)