Top News Stories from 1999

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.378 billion
population by decade
Nobel Peace Prize: Doctors without Borders (France)
More World Statistics...

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

President: William J. Clinton
Vice President: Albert Gore, Jr.
More U.S. Statistics...


Federal spending: $1716.95 billion
Federal debt $5978.5 billion
Consumer Price Index: $166.6
Unemployment: 4.2%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.33 (as of 1/10/99)


Super Bowl
Denver d. Atlanta
NBA Championship
San Antonio d. New York
Stanley Cup
Dallas d. Buffalo
NCAA Basketball Championship
Connecticut d. Duke



  • The merger of two major recording labels, Universal and Polygram, causes upheaval in the recording industry. It is estimated that the new company, Universal Music Group, controls 25% of the worldwide music market.
  • About 48.5 million people tune in to Monica Lewinsky'sfirst televised interview. In her sit-down with Barbara Walters during 20/20, the former intern was alternately smug, insecure, funny, and girl-like (but she did look like a million bucks).
  • ER's Dr. Doug Ross bids a bitter farewell to Chicago's General Memorial Hospital. George Clooney played the maverick pediatrician since the show debuted in 1994.
  • Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel dies at age 53.
  • Stanley Kubrick, the iconoclastic director of such legendary films as Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange, dies at his home outside London. He was 70.
  • The Blair Witch Project emerges as an instant cult classic and becomes the most profitable film of all time, grossing more than $125 million. The film cost $30,000 to make.
  • Rev. Jerry Falwell outs Teletubby Tinky Winky and calls him a gay role model. Falwell deduced that because Tinky Winky's purple, carries a purse and has a triangle on his head he's gay.
  • Woodstock '99 kicks off in Rome, N.Y. Concertgoers complain that the spirit of the original Woodstock has been compromised and commercialized. The event is far from a love-in; the crowd set fires and destroyed property during the finale and there were several reports of sexual assaults.
  • Star Wars Episode I--The Phantom Menace opens and breaks a string of box office records. The film grosses $102.7 million in its debut five-day weekend.


  • Blair Witch Project, American Beauty, Three Kings, The Sixth Sense



Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Ahmed H. Zewail (Egypt and U.S.), for creating the world's fastest camera, which captures atoms in motion
Physics: Gerardys 't Hooft (Netherlands) and Martinus J. G. Veltman (Netherlands), for their theory concerning the production of the Sun's energy
Physiology or Medicine: Günter Blobel (Germany and U.S.), for discovering that proteins have signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell
More Nobel Prizes in 1998...
  • The number of Internet users worldwide reaches 150 million by the beginning of 1999. Over 50% are from the United States.
  • The Melissa and Chernobyl viruses afflict computers worldwide, forcing several large corporations to shut down their e-mail servers. Background: Computers and Internet
  • Brian Jones (UK) and Bertrand Piccard (Switzerland), make the first nonstop, non-refueled around-the-world balloon flight in the Breitling Orbiter 3 (Mar. 1). Background: Famous Firsts in Aviation
  • Doctors in Louisville, Ky. perform the first human hand transplant in the US, replacing the severed left hand of a New Jersey man with one from a recently dead donor. (Jan. 24).
  • The Liberty Bell 7 space capsule, piloted by Gus Grissom on America's second manned space flight, is discovered off the Florida coast after being submerged for 38 years (May 2). Background: US Staffed Space Flights


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