World Events

  • Chechens capture 2,000 Russians (Jan. 9). Chechnya peace treaty signed (May 27).
  • France agrees to end nuclear testing (Jan. 29). Background: nuclear disarmament
  • Britain alarmed by an outbreak of “mad cow” disease (March 20 et seq.).
  • UN tribunal charges war crimes by Bosnian Muslims and Croats (March 22). Nations pledge $1.23 billion in aid to rebuild Bosnia (April 22).
  • South Africa gets new constitution (May 8).
  • Israel elects Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister (May 31).
  • Iraqis strike at Kurdish enclave (Aug. 31); after warning, US attacks Iraq’s southern air defenses (Sept. 2–3).
  • Militant Taliban leaders seize Afghan capital of Kabul (Sept. 27).
  • Ethnic violence breaks out in Zairian refugee camps (Oct. 13); Clinton approves plan for UN-backed relief mission for 1.2 million Hutu refugees starving in eastern Zaire (Nov. 13). Hundreds of thousands return to Rwanda (Nov. 15–18).
U.S. Events
  • US budget crisis in fourth month (Jan 3).
  • Clinton approves resumption of many government operations (Jan. 6).
  • Bob Dole sweeps primaries (March 5).
  • F.B.I. arrests suspected Unabomber (April 3).
  • Clinton signs line-item veto bill (April 9).
  • President blocks ban on late-term abortions (April 10).
  • Valujet crashes in Everglades; all 110 aboard killed (May 11).
  • 747 airliner crashes in Atlantic off Long Island, N.Y.; all 230 aboard perish (July 17).
  • Congress passes welfare reform bill (Aug. 2); approved by Clinton Aug. 22.
  • Republican convention nominates Bob Dole and Jack Kemp (Aug. 14); Democratic convention nominates incumbents Clinton and Gore, who win the national election (Nov. 5).
  • Clinton appoints Madeleine Albright as first female US secretary of state (Dec. 5).

US GDP (1998 dollars):   $7,661.60 billion
Federal spending:   $1572.41 billion
Federal debt:   $5207.3 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
Consumer Price Index:   156.9
Unemployment:   5.4%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.32


Super Bowl
Dallas d. Pittsburgh (27-17)

World Series
New York Yankees d. Atlanta Braves (4-2)

NBA Championship
Chicago d. Seattle (4-2)

Stanley Cup
Colorado d. Florida (4-0)

Women: Steffi Graf d. A.S. Vicario (6-3 7-5)
Men: Richard Krajicek d. M. Washington (6-3 6-4 6-3)

Kentucky Derby Champion

NCAA Basketball Championship
Kentucky d. Syracuse (76-67)

NCAA Football Champions
Florida (12-1)



  • President Bill Clinton signs legislation that significantly deregulates telecommunications, creating almost limitless opportunities for broadcasters and cable companies. Pressured by the Federal Communications Commission, television broadcasters agree to include three hours a week of educational children’s programming into their schedules.
  • Janet Jackson becomes the highest paid musician in history when she signs an $80-million deal with Virgin Records.
  • Jazz great Ella Fitzgerald dies.
  • Broadcasters and television and PC manufacturers agree on a standard for HDTV (high-definition digital television).
  • Gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur is shot four times in a drive-by shooting. He dies six days later at age 25.


  • The English Patient, Fargo, Jerry Maguire, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Shine, Sling Blade


  • Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes
  • Steven Millhauser, Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
  • Alice Munro, Selected Stories
  • Graham Swift, Last Orders
  • Approximately 45 million people are using the Internet, with roughly 30 million of those in North America (United States and Canada), 9 million in Europe, and 6 million in Asia/Pacific (Australia, Japan, etc.). 43.2 million (44%) of US households own a personal computer, and 14 million of them are online. Background: Computers and Internet
  • Global warming climbs to record (Jan. 3). Background: Environment & Nature
  • Scientists analyzing a Martian meteorite claim that it may provide evidence for the existence of ancient life on Mars. Background: Astronomy
  • Dr. Ian Wilmut and his team clone the world’s first sheep from adult cells. The lamb born in July 1996 is named Dolly. Background: Cloning Milestones
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Spiro Agnew
  • George Burns
  • Gene Kelly
  • Timothy Leary
  • Marcello Mastroianni
  • Carl Sagan


The movie “The English Patient” came out
(Ralph Fiennes & Juliette Binoche)