News From The Woods.34

NEWS FROM THE WOODS

By Bob Ketchum

Originally Published December 10, 1999


"A Millineum Of Humanity"


While driving down the road the other day on my way to a video shoot, I happened to hear a commercial for a promotion where the announcer was asking for listeners to mail in their vote for the most influential event or person in the past 100 years. At first, I started thinking to myself "Well, there's the Beatles......" (must be the musician in me!) But then, as I drove on my mind started overloading with the possibilities. I couldn't even carry on the rest of the day without more and more names, events, and advancements popping into my mind. So finally, I decided to just GO with it. After a couple of weeks of research I have attempted to assemble the most influential events of the last 100 years. The following list encompasses Arts & Humanities (including music), People & Events, Sports, Medicine, World Events, and Science & Technology. I have placed it in chronological order as I thought it would be interesting to view the past 100 years in a timeline format. I'd like to give special thanks to our oldest son Jeremy for the additional Internet research he provided.


SETTING THE STAGE (Prelude to the 20th Century):

1876-

Alexander Graham Bell with Thomas Alva Edison invent a microphone.
Alexander Graham Bell's first practical telephone.

1877-

Emile Berliner invents a microphone.

1888-

Emile Berliner invents the flat disc record.

1896-

First film with a soundtrack by Lee DeForest.

1899-

Magnetic recording of sound is devised.
Aspirin is invented. (coincidence?)


THE MOST INFLUENTIAL EVENTS OF THE PAST 100 YEARS:

1900-

Eastman Kodak introduces the $1 Box Brownie camera, making photography accessible to everyone.
President McKinley Assassinated during his visit to the World's Fair in Buffalo.

1901-

The Victor Talking Machine Company is founded by Emile Berliner and Eldridge Johnson.
Queen Victoria Dies: Great Britain mourns the loss of the queen of the British Empire, the longest-serving monarch in British history.

1902-

The British army overcomes savage guerrilla fighting to win the Boer War in South Africa.
Enrico Caruso makes his recording debut in Milan, Italy.

1903-

The world's first amplifier is pantented by Sir Charles Parsons.
Panama grants the United States permanent rights over the Isthmus, leading to the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914.
The Wright brothers make the first powered flight off the beach at Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Edison Corp. mechanic Edwin S. Porter makes The Great Train Robbery, a 12-minute "epic" widely credited as the first narrative dramatic film. It also sets the tone for the Western genre.

1904-

First performance of Puccini's Madame Butterfly.

1905-

Japan, the modernized powerhouse, defeats Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, marking the first time an Asian country has defeated a modern European power.
U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt brokers a peace conference in New Hampshire to end the Russo-Japanese War.
German-born physicist Albert Einstein proposes the theory of relativity, stating that time and motion are relative. The theory revolutionizes Newtonian physics, which has dominated for more than 100 years.

1906-

More than 2500 people are killed when an earthquake rocks San Francisco.
Lee DeForest invents the triode vacuum tube, the first electronic signal amplifier.
Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle exposes meatpacking industry abuses, leading to consumer-protection laws.

1907-

Russians and British form an alliance, called an Entente, as they maneuver for position against a resurgent Germany.
Spanish painter Pablo Picasso shocks the world with his new style dubbed cubism.

1909-

Black leader W.E.B. DuBois establishes the National Negro Committee, forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Col. William N. Selig (an Edison rival) opens the first Hollywood motion picture studio.

1910-

Boxer James Jeffries, dubbed the "Great White Hope," loses to Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion.
German painter Vasily Kandinsky unveils the first abstract painting.

1912-

A dangerous mixture of nationalism and ethnic tension turns to war in the Balkans, setting the stage for World War One.
Oklahoma Indian Jim Thorpe wins both the pentathlon and the decathlon at the Stockholm Olympics.
Titanic Sinks: The ship dubbed "unsinkable" by the press goes down after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage, killing over 1500 people.

1913-

Henry Ford introduces the assembly line to automaking, increasing production of the popular Model T.
The first talking movie is demonstrated by Edison using his kinetophone process, a cylinder player mechanically synchronized to a film projector.

1914-

Archduke Ferdinand of Austria is assassinated. Alliances pull European powers in conflict and WWI begins.
Retreating German troops dig in at the Marne River, introducing trench warfare. The miserable development characterizes much of the war.

1915-

Frank Sinatra is born.
At the Second Battle of Ypres, the German army introduces poison gas. The new weapon terrifies troops.
Americans are outraged when German U-boat sinks the Lusitania, killing 1,198 passengers.

1916-

Einstein's gereral theory of relativity.
Bloody Battle of the Somme claims over 1 million French, British, and German soldiers. Verdun takes another million.

1917-

Hundreds of thousands of African-Americans begin migrating to northern cities, where war-time jobs are available. The exodus will be the largest peacetime migration in history.
Vladimir Lenin overthrows an interim Russian government and establishes the Soviet Union.
French authorities catch up with "femme fatale" spy Mata Hari, whose defense of romance and intrigue win her many fans. The French, however, are in no mood for romance and execute her.
The United States, angered by German aggression, abandons its isolationist policy to enter World War One.
Russia Goes Communist and pulls out of WWI.
Americans, caught in an ugly war fever, persecute German-Americans and even change German-sounding names.
First jazz recordings.

1918-

War Over! Germany - exhausted and starving - calls it quits and The Great War ends on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Four million American workers go on strike for better working conditions and wages, threatening wartime production.

1919-

Teetotalers finally win passage of a bill to an end alcohol consumption in the United States. Drinking declines nationally but illegal consumption is virtually ubiquitous and gives organized crime its start.
Fans are aghast when they find out that players on the Chicago White Sox team threw the 1919 World Series for money.
Jazz establishes Chicago as its capital. The city will become home to such jazz greats as trumpeter Louis Armstrong and pianist Jelly Roll Morton.
Treaty of Versailles renders an angry Germany a secondary power, setting the stage for WWII.

1920-

Black and white mobs fight for almost five days in Chicago. 38 people are killed.
The League of Nations is established to end war, but the U.S. never ratifies American participation.
Babe Ruth is traded to the New York Yankees by Boston. He hits 54 home runs in his first year and draws more than 1 million spectators.
The 19th Amendment grants American women the right to vote.

1921-

Rudolph Valentino gains immortality as sex symbol in "The Sheik".
Modern Radio Is Born: Pittsburgh's KDKA transmits the first live radio broadcast, the results of the presidential race.
Margaret Sanger founds American Birth Control League, forerunner of Planned Parenthood.

1922-

Optical sound on film produced.
T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" and James Joyce's "Ulysses" are published, and modernism finds a foothold in popular literature. The new risk-taking narrative strategies will find further expression in Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse" and William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury".
Benito Mussolini, leader of the fascist Black Shirts, is named premier of Italy.

1923-

Unhappy with Germany's reparation payments, France invades Germany's Ruhr Valley, causing the worst inflation since World War I.
Adolf Hitler unsuccessfully stages the "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich. In prison, he writes "Mein Kampf".
USSR established.
Young Americans, led by the self-styled "flappers," throw themselves into the latest dance, the Charleston.
The mark is worth $4.2 trillion in the depth of a hyperinflation calamity that both impoverishes and radicalizes Germany.

1924-

Walt Disney debuts with Alice's Wonderland.
American composer George Gershwin releases "Rhapsody in Blue," which instantly becomes a theme for the decade.

1925-

Evolutionists and fundamentalists square off in a Dayton, Tenn., courtroom in "The Monkey Trial", which rivets the nation's attention.
The golden era of American literature begins with the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" is published the next year.
John Logie Baird invents the television but it will be another 25 years before it becomes a popular household feature.

1926-

Physicist Robert Goddard launches a liquid-fuel rocket from a field on his Aunt Effie's farm in Massachusetts. The rocket goes only 41 feet high but convinces Goddard that the technology can realize his dream of sending a man to the moon.

1927-

The "Talkies" debut on the big screen when Al Jolson stars in "The Jazz Singer", changing U.S. cinema forever.
Daring young American Charles Lindbergh becomes the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic. When he lands in France, he becomes a hero of the age.

1928-

First scheduled TV broadcasts
Scottish bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming launches the antibiotic revolution when he observes that penicillin destroys bacteria.
Walt Disney introduces Mickey Mouse in "Steamboat Willie", the first cartoon with sound.

1929-

The heady days of the '20s end on Oct. 29 when the stock market crashes. The crash does not cause the Depression but becomes the most visible symbol of hard times to come.

1931-

Alan Blumlein takes out patent covering stereophonic sound recording.
The Empire State Building, the world's tallest, opens for business but, because of the Great Depression, most of the office space is vacant.

1932-

With 25 percent of Americans unemployed, riots and demonstrations sweep the country.
Ghandi Faces Starvation.

1933-

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers become the first couple of American dance.
Franklin Roosevelt elected president and stops the free fall of the American economy. But he will have more trouble ending the lingering Depression.
Adolf Hitler, swept into power on a tidal wave of German misery and anger, becomes chancellor of Germany and almost immediately gives himself dictatorial powers.

1934-

The electric tonewheel organ is invented by Laurens Hammond.
Mao Tse-tung leads demoralized Chinese communist force in an epic 6000-mile Long March to safety.
Longshoremen clash with police and shut down the city in the nation's first general strike. Their success ignites strikes across the country.

1935-

Elvis Presley is born.
As part of his New Deal plan, President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act as part of a government effort to alleviate the effects of the Depression.
Hitler introduces the Nuremberg Laws to rescind the rights of German Jews.
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini invades and conquers Ethiopia. The League of Nations does nothing to stop the Italian forces.

1936-

The BBC starts broadcasting.
Edward VIII of Great Britain abdicates and marries American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Rumors swirl that both are feeding information to the Nazis.
U.S. track superstar Jesse Owens, an African-American, captures four gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Berlin, ridiculing Adolf Hitler's theory of Aryan racial superiority.
Fascist Francisco Franco, with the help of German weapons, begins a civil war to wrest power from the republic.
Joseph Stalin launches his first mass terror, arresting and executing millions.
Hundreds of thousands of midwestern farmers leave their land, destroyed by persistant dust storms. Many "Okies" or "Arkies" head to California.

1937-

German bombers attack Guernica - a Spanish town of no military worth - killing hundreds of civilians. Picasso will later reflect on the horror of the action in one of his paintings.
Marauding Japanese troops massacre 200,000 civilians and rape thousands of women in Nanjing, China.
The Hindenburg disaster is recorded.

1938-

The ball point pen is invented.
Adolf Hitler rides triumphantly into his homeland, Austria, without having to fire a shot. The West doesn't like it but fears angering Hitler.
Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, broadcast nationwide over CBS, causes widespread panic.
German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman are the first to split the atom, making a nuclear chain reaction - and ultimately a bomb - possible.
Superman debuts as a comic book character.

1939-

New York Yankees' Lou Gehrig retires after being struck by a fatal disease, with a lifetime batting average of .340.
WWII Begins: Germany invades Poland on Sept. 1. France and Great Britain finally declare war on Germany.

1940-

German soldiers seem invincible as they take over Europe, defeating France in six weeks. Only Great Britain holds out.
Hitler unleashes the "Blitz" on civilian targets in London to bludgeon the country into submission.
Walt Disney's "Fantasia" is released with 8-track stereophonic sound.
Electrification is completed in the US.

1941-

"Joltin'" Joe DiMaggio hits 56-game hitting streak.
John Von Neumann builds the first computer to use binary arithmetic and store instruction internally.
Commercial FM broadcasting begins in the U.S.
The eccentric director and actor Orson Welles produces Citizen Kane. Innovation in light and cinematography revolutionize filmmaking.
Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor: The U.S. fleet in Hawaii is caught off guard when Japan attacks the main American naval base in the Pacific. The United States declares war on the Japanese and enters WWII.
Germany Invades Soviet Union. Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa and invades Russia with the largest force in history.

1942-

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star in Casablanca, destined to become one of the world's most beloved movies.
At a secret conference in Berlin, top Nazi leaders adopt an official policy to liquidate all European Jews.

1943-

The Soviet Union defeats Germany at the Battle of Stalkingrad - the German army never really recovers.

1944-

American-led allies land in Normandy on D-Day and sweep through Europe, liberating Paris. Germany puts up a last stand against the West at the Battle of the Bulge.
With Soviet troops closing in, Polish partisans rise up against the occupying German army. They are crushed after 2 months of ferocious fighting - the Soviets make little effort to help the Poles.

1945-

WWII Ends as Germany Surrenders: Germany surrenders to Allied forces after Hitler commits suicide in his bunker.
Two confiscated German engineered Magnetophone tape recorders are sent back to the U.S. in multiple mailbags by the US Army Signal Corps sergeant John T (Jack) Mullin.
U.S. Detonates Atomic Bomb: Scientists and military officials explode the world's first atomic bomb in Almogordo, NM.
America drops two atomic bombs on Japan - one in Hiroshima and one in Nagasaki. The Japanese sue for peace, ending WWII in the Pacific.

1946-

Cold War Declared: Winston Churchill, speaking in Fulton, MO, warns of communist expansion and an "iron curtain" dividing Europe.

1947-

Gandhi's 20-year battle for independence leads to freedom for India.
Bing Crosby selects tape recorders furnished by Jack Mullin to record Crosby's Philco Radio Time program.
Ampex produces their first tape recorder, the Model 200.
Sound Barrier Shattered: U.S. pilot Chuck Yaeger breaks the sound barrier.
Marshall Plan Saves Europe: The United States sends billions in aid to Europe in an effort to stabilize the continent.
Jackie Robinson is the first black baseball player in the major leagues.

1948-

Comedian Milton Berle makes a splash on the television, spurring an enormous growth in TV sales.

1949-

The 45-rpm 7-inch disc is introduced.
George Orwell's 1984 is published.
Communist China Emerges under leadership of Mao Tse-tung.

1950-

North Korean forces launch a surprise attack on South Korean forces and drives them to the sea before American-led U.N. troops come to the rescue.

1951-

The transistor is developed at Bell Laboratories.
J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" becomes a controversial must-read for American teenagers.

1952-

Microbiologist Jonas Salk finds a vaccine for poliomyletis, a debilitating disease that strikes thousands of Americans every year.

1953-

IBM begins manufacturing large computers.
RCA labratories record TV programs to tape.
New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norkay become the first to reach the summit of the world's tallest mountain.

1954-

Birth of the Fender Stratocaster guitar.
British runner Roger Bannister breaks the long-standing four-minute mile barrier with a time of 3:59.4.
Vietnamese guerrilla troops hand French troops a massive defeat at the Battle of Dienbienphu, ending French colonialism in Southeast Asia.

1955-

Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" goes to #1 all over the world.
Mickey Gets a Theme Park: Disneyland opens in California with much fanfare.
Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man and is arrested, triggering a bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., and bringing Martin Luther King to prominence in the civil rights movement.

1956-

Elvis Presley releases "Heartbreak Hotel" and leads a revolution in music and mores.
New York Yankee Don Larsen pitches a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series.
Les Paul makes the first 8-track recordings using the Sel-Sync method, which in effect begins the era of multitrack recording technique.

1957-

The Soviet Union takes the lead in the space race by launching the first manmade satellite, Sputnik, into orbit around the Earth.

1958-

RCA Victor announces tape cartridge containing prerecorded music.
Decca launches stereophonic recordings.

1959-

Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper die in plane crash.

Plastic yo-yos replace hula hoops as the latest fad.
Texas Instruments engineers invent the microchip, a silicon chip that can house an integrated circuit. The invention paves the way for microprocessing and the personal computer revolution.

1960-

Pittsburgh Pirate Bill Mazeroski hits a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of game seven, scoring the World Series-winning run over the New York Yankees.
Alfred Hitchcock terrifies audiences with "Psycho".
US physicist Theodore Maiman constructs the first laser.

East Germany builds a wall through Berlin to stop the growing exodus of citizens fleeing communism.

1961-

Charismatic John F. Kennedy, 43, becomes the youngest and first Roman Catholic U.S. president.
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin wins the honors in becoming the first man in space.
Americans finally get a man in space when Alan Shepard goes up in Freedom 7, the first of the manned Mercury space shots.

1962-

Bob Dylan signs to CBS and releases first album.
TV signals transmitted across the Atlantic via Telstar satellite.
Marilyn is Dead: Platinum sexual icon Marilyn Monroe is found dead.
Soviet and American nuclear arsenals are on high alert as Soviets prepare to build a missile base in Cuba. American ships set up a blockade and the Russians back down.
Philadelphia Warriors' Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a basketball game against the New York Knicks.

1963-

Lee Harvey Oswald assassinates President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas.

1964-

President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act.
The Beatles, already hugely successful in the United Kingdom, arrive in America to a heap of hype and hysterical teenage fans, thus starting the "British invasion".

1965-

Release of the Beatles "Yesterday", later to become the world's most recorded song.
Fashion designer Mary Quant introduces the miniskirt.
Robert Moog shows elements of his early synthesizers.
America escalates its role in the civil war in Vietnam when the first American ground troops land on the beaches of Vietnam.

1966-

Mao Begins Cultural Revolution.
The Beach Boys release "Pet Sounds".
Phillips introduces the Compact Cassette format, and offers licenses worldwide.

1967-

Israeli forces wipe out an Arab alliance and take control of the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, and Golan Heights.
South African surgeon Dr. Christiaan Bernard performs the first heart transplant. The patient lives for only 18 days but the breakthrough surgery leads to higher survival rates.
Charlie Company goes into My Lai village looking for Viet Cong. They don't find any but massacre the men, women, and children in the village. Americans are outraged when they discover the news.
TV cameras capture anti-war protesters clashing with Chicago police outside of the Democratic convention. The incident underlines the disunity in America over the Vietnam War.
An assassin murders civil rights leader Martin Luther King, touching off rioting across America. Another assassin kills Robert Kennedy, in the middle of his presidential campaign.
American Bob Beamon wins the Olympic long jump title in Mexico City, setting a record that will stand for 22 years.
The Beatles release "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band", featuring Producer (Sir) George Martin and 4-track recording.
The birth of Rolling Stone magazine.

1968-

The Beatles LP sells two million records in the first week of release.

1969-

The Internet is Born: The Department of Defense sets up four computer network nodes on university campuses and establishes ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Net). The network will rapidly expand into the mainstream and eventually become the Internet.
Joe Namath promises, then delivers, the Jets a 16-7 victory over the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Fulfilling a promise by President Kennedy, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first people to walk on the moon.
Dr. Thomas Stockham begins to experiment with digital tape recording.
3 Days of Peace and Music: The small, upstate New York town of Woodstock hosts the defining event of the '60's, a four-day orgy of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.

1970-

IBM develops the floppy disc for storing computer data.
Fibre-optic cable invented by Robert Maurer, Donald Keck and Peter Schultz at Corning Glass.

1971-

Appearance of first microprocessor designed by Intel for a pocket calculator.

1972-

First Quadraphonic albums issued.
Palestinian extremists kill 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic village.
Swimmer Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals at the Munich Olympic Games.

1973-

The Supreme Court rules in favor of a woman's right to choose to have an abortion in Roe v. Wade.
Pink Floyd releases Dark Side Of The Moon.
A surprise attack by Arab countries catches Israel with its guard down but it recovers and wins the war.
World vinyl shortage.
The last U.S. troops leave Vietnam after Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho sign a peace treaty in Paris.

1974-

In Kinshasa, Zaire, fast-talking, hard-hitting Muhammad Ali beats favored George Foreman for the heavy-weight boxing championship.
Hank Aaron smashes a record-setting 715th home run.
President Richard Nixon, undone by the Watergate scandal, resigns.

1975-

Sony introduces the Betamax video system for domestic use.
U.S. helicopters take out the last American and allied Vietnamese personnel in a flurry of chaos as the North Vietnamese army rumbles into Saigon.

1976-

In Montreal, Canada, gymnast Nadia Comaneci of Romania earns the first perfect "10" in Olympic history after her routine on the uneven bars.

1977-

Elvis dies on August 16th.
George Lucas' "Star Wars" revolutionizes the role of special effects in movies and goes on to break all box-office records.
The television series "Roots", about the black American experience, draws record audiences.
First digital recordings in the US.
Apple II unveiled.

1978-

Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is named Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pontiff in 456 years.
Test Tube Baby Born: Louise Brown, the world's first "test-tube baby," is born in Great Britain.

1979-

An accident at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is quickly brought under control but increases fear of nuclear meltdown.
Sony introduces the personal stereo, known as the Walkman.
Students storm the U.S. embassy in Iran and take 100 Americans hostages.
The Sugar Hill Gang releases the first commercial rap hit, "Rapper's Delight," bringing the loud, spoken-rhyme genre off the New York streets and onto the popular music scene.
Magic Johnson's Michigan State team defeats Larry Bird and Indiana State for the 1979 NCAA basketball title.
Wayne Gretzky skates into the record books in his first year with the Edmonton Oilers, combining scoring and passing power.
The Soviet Union tries to shore up its Central Asian border by invading Afghanistan. The world is outraged and the troops eventually pull out after a protracted and unsuccessful war.

1980-

Saddam Hussein launches an attack on Iran, starting a war that will last for more than a decade.
Sweden's Bjorn Borg defeats American John McEnroe in a marathon tennis match in the Wimbledon final.
With Ronald Reagan in the White House, the stock market takes off. The division between rich and poor grows, but the well-off live the good life.
The upstart U.S. hockey team wins the gold medal at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, concluding a run that included the 4-3 "Miracle on Ice" victory over the Soviet Union.
A deranged fan shoots former Beatle John Lennon outside his New York City apartment.

1981-

John Hinkley Jr. shoots President Ronald Reagan and three others. All survive.
Music Television launches with Video Killed the Radio Star, and MTV quickly becomes a cultural touchstone for American youth.
Phillips introduces the Compact Disc format.
IBM introduces the first personal computer.

1982-

British troops attack Argentina after it invades the Falkland Islands.
Michael Jackson introduces "moondancing" and releases the record-breaking album "Thriller."
MIDI is standardized as the universal synthesizer interface.

1983-

Fibre optic cable is used for long distance digital audio transmission, linking New York to Washington, D.C.

1984-

In the first round, the Chicago Bulls draft Michael Jordan, who will go on to dominate basketball and become a cultural icon.
The Apple Corporation markets the Macintosh computer as "the computer for the rest of us."
Phillips and Sony introduce the CD ROM.

1985-

Live Aid raises over 50 million dollars for the starving in Ethiopia.
Young and charismatic Mikhail Gorbachev reorganizes the Communist Party and embarks on reforms. "Glasnost" and "Perestroika" will eventually lead to the break-up of the Soviet Union.

1986-

Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner's error loses the World Series to the New York Mets.

1987-

Digital Audio Tape (DAT) players-recorders introduced.
Phillips introduces CD-video.
The space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after liftoff, with seven aboard, including civilian teacher Christa McAuliffe.
An accident at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the Ukraine spews radioactive waste over northern Europe.

1988-

Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 259 people. Evidence points to Libyan terrorists.

1989-

Satellite television is broadcast direct to UK homes via dish decoders.
Chinese troops plow into Beijing's Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds of people and crushing a budding movement for democracy.
In the final two minutes of Super Bowl XXIII, Joe Montana leads the San Francisco 49ers to a 20-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Eastern Europe's communist dictatorships crumble in the face of widespread protests. East and West Germans tear down the Berlin Wall and celebrate the end of the Cold War.

1990-

U.S. President George Bush leads an international coalition into battle against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who has invaded Kuwait. Iraq is crushed but Saddam survives.
ISDN telephone lines appear for commercial use.
Sony introduces writable CD's.

1991-

Industry statistics indicate CD sales overtake audio cassettes.
Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from Yugoslavia. Belgrade sends in troops but eventually capitulates. But vicious localized battles between the Serbs, Bosnians, and Kosovans continue through the end of the century.

1992-

Nirvana and Pearl Jam introduce grunge music.

1993-

US Government allows the Internet to carry commercial traffic.
A glimmer of hope shines in the Middle East when PLO leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sign peace accord in Oslo.

1995-

Anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh parks a van filled with explosives outside the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168, including dozens of children at a day-care center.
Ironman Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles plays his 2,131st consecutive baseball game, surpassing New York Yankee Lou Gehrig's 55-year record.

1997-

There are now 75 million Internet subscribers.
The British return control of the colony of Hong Kong to China after 150 years.
DVD discs and players become commercially available.
Scottish geneticists announce the successful cloning of a sheep and introduce Dolly to the world.

1998-

Titanic,the movie about the famous luxury-liner disaster, breaks all box-office records.
St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire duels with Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa for the home run record. McGwire eventually wins by hitting 70 in a season, shattering Roger Maris' mark.

1999-

Digital television becomes a reality.
MP3 files cause copyright controversy.
Serb forces massacre Kosovans in an attempt to quash separatist activity. NATO launches punitive bombing raids to stop the genocide.

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