By Lily Rothman
May 26, 2015

These days, Pope Francis makes headlines with practically every step he takes, and his actions and pronouncements are regular fodder for TV news—not that he would know. This weekend, in an interview with the Argentinian newspaper La Voz del Pueblo, the Pope revealed that the last time he watched TV was almost exactly 25 years ago, on July 15, 1990.

It remains a mystery which TV program made him hit the “off” button once and for all. If he was watching world news, July 15, 1990 was generally quiet day. But here’s a look at some of the top stories of the day, which he might have seen before putting down the remote:

A hit from Hammer: Music-news watchers were keeping an eye on M.C. Hammer’s album Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, which looked like it was about to become the best-selling rap album in the genre’s history.

A rat in the White House: First Lady Barbara Bush announced that a few months earlier she had inadvertently taken a swim in the White House pool at the same time that a rat was doing the same. The episode ended with the President killing the rodent. Meanwhile, Neil Bush, their son, was implicated in a banking scandal.

A shortage of priests: A recent study of U.S. Catholics had shown a severe shortage of priests. The report predicted that, within 15 years, the nation would only have one priest for every 2,200 Catholics.

A hit in theaters. The movie Ghost had been released that weekend (July 15 was a Sunday) but would not be released in Argentina until the fall. Likewise, the future Pope would not have been able to watch that weekend’s top U.S. box-office draw, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, which didn’t make it to his region until August.

A World Cup loss: A week earlier, on July 8, West Germany had defeated the Pope’s home team, Argentina, in the World Cup finals. The particularly ugly game would likely have continued to be rehashed at least through the 15th—enough to make any Argentinian soccer fan walk away from the sofa.

Write to Lily Rothman at


Read More From TIME