Year in Review 1990


This year's card is Albert Bierstadt's dramatic 1868 painting Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This huge 6 by 10 foot painting conveys the majesty of America's western mountains so convincingly that only a few viewers, already familiar with the Sierra Nevadas in California, would recoginze that the jagged peaks were actually inspired by the Alps in Europe.

For easy reading, the text of the original 1990 review is repackaged below.

Bierstadt painting

Original 1990 Review

Another Historic Year

The big news story is the reunification (Wiedervereinigung) of Germany, which I anticipated last year. Suddenly geography is getting simpler, with fewer countries, but meanwhile top leaders propose changing the name of the U.S.S.R. by replacing the word “Socialist” with the word “Sovereign”. The Soviet Union may be broken up into many countries in the future. Then Iraq invades Kuwait and calls it the 19th province. Just as Peace was gaining the upper hand, the world is again pushed to the brink of war. Stay tuned until next year’s report.

Some say that Japan won the cold war, but the Tokyo Stock Market drops 44% in 1990. The other surprising loser is Margaret Thatcher who loses the support of her own party after leading them for 15 years. The first tunnel under the English Channel, an engineering marvel is completed, but the press gives the Chunnel little coverage.


I continue to travel. This year I visited the Soviet Union, the Netherlands and Japan. I took many trips also within the United States. One of the highlights of the year has been the guest speaker at the Circumnavigations Club. James Lovell, four times in space, gave a thrilling talk about seeing the far side of the Moon (He was the first person to see it.) and recovering from a disaster, which could have left them stranded in space. This talk was so thrilling that the audience held their breath wondering if he was going to survive even though he obviously did since he was standing in front of us! [A year later Apollo 13 was made into an academy award winning film.] I got James Lovell to autograph my membership plaque in the Circumnavigators Club. A talk on climbing Mount Everest and understanding the people of Tibet was memorable.

Family Tree

My brother, father and I joined the Sons of the American Revolution. At least four of our ancestors were in the Revolution. My father continues to find more patriots in our tree.

Family tree work has been my main hobby this year. By June with the help of many relatives, I finished the tree of Otto Peterson, my great grandfather. My sixth cousin Jan Vegelius in Sweden should publish this work this winter. When my father visited in August and saw some cousins for the first time, I suggested work on the Parrish tree. I have identified 250 descendants of my great grandfather, Ralph Robinson Parrish so far. Work continues with the help of many relatives! I’m a tenth generation Parrish in America.

All the best, Don