This was a year of major victories for the D.C. government and major embarrassments for District officials. The big news was that the city at last was coming of age after nearly a decade of home rule.
For the first time, the District began issuing bonds and notes on its own, without the backing of the U.S. Treasury. And Congress and the White House bowed to the city on several key home rule issues.
But it also was the year of the federal grand jury investigation, with Mayor Marion Barry and several of his present and past department heads the targets of probes.
Barry, the self-described "Mobile Mayor," spent a lot of time out of town, campaigning for presidential candidate Jesse L. Jackson and globetrotting to Africa, China and Korea.
Presidential politics seemed to take a back seat here to a hotly contested race for an at-large seat on the D.C. City Council.
The problems of the homeless and apartheid in South Africa emerged as hot issues here.
The city's mind-boggling office building boom continued unabated. Rhodes Tavern, that homely, squat historic meeting hall that preservationists for years tried to save, finally succumbed to a wrecking ball.
And at long last the city selected a company to build a cable television system in the District, years after many surrounding jurisdictions began offering cable service to their residents.
As the year ran out, city officials were planning their second annual New Year's Eve bash at the Pavilion at the Old Post Office, hoping to supplant New York City as the capital for ushering in the new year. As the mayor put it: "We'll make Times Square look like downtown Peoria on a Wednesday night."