What a year 1999 was. The millennium was on the horizon, that weird thing known as the Internet was giving birth to the online games you play nowadays, and entertainment was undergoing a revolution.
A lot was happening then, but do you remember these 20 monumental occasions that are now turning 20?
1. U.S. Won The First Women’s World Cup
The United States has never won a World Cup, right? Wrong. It has won 3 Women’s World Cups, with the first in 1999. It also happened to be a nail-biting experience, with Brandi Chastain managing a penalty that acted as the deciding moment.
2. Michael Jordan Retired
Michael Jordan called it quits in 1999. Or wait, hadn’t he already? Didn’t he try making a comeback again after 1999? Yes to all of the above. 1999 was his second retirement, and he attempted a third comeback best forgotten.
3. Napster Debuted
Remember when downloading music was shady and illegal? Yes, that was Napster, the online service responsible for dragging the music industry into a new era. It’s all legal now of course, but things might be a whole lot different were it not for Napster sparking a revolution.
4. Lance Armstrong Won His First Tour de France
Yes, we know it all ended in scandal, but back in 1999 Lance Armstrong was just starting his ride into the history books. He would go on to win 7 more Tour de France races, land a major contract with Nike, until eventually being disgraced.
5. The Great Y2K Panic Happened
This frankly is embarrassing. Silly panic is apparently a part of human nature, with new panics invented on a regular basis. Y2K sparked mayhem across the globe as computers were supposedly only able to read dates up to 1999, and the “Millennium Bug” would crash systems globally. Except it didn’t.
6. Tony Hawk Landed The First 900
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk landed a 900 at the X-Games. Impressive on many levels, and a genuinely amazing thing to see in action. What is more amazing is that he did it again in 2016 at age 48.
7. Bluetooth Was Invented
If you’re not old enough to remember an era when convenient wireless technology didn’t exist, be thankful. Bluetooth debuted in 1999, but wouldn’t become particularly useful for some time still.
8. “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” Premiered
In August 1999 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire premiered, and was met with universal wide-eyed glee. Regis Philbin was the original host, and quickly gained a reputation for the trademark misleading reactions to correct answers.
9. The First BlackBerry Was Released
The first Blackberry saw mainstream release, but technically wasn’t even a phone. It was a pager, and could connect to the Internet. It wasn’t until early 2000 that the device transformed into a phone.
10. Victoria and David Beckham Got Married
One of the most amazing things about David and Victoria Beckham is that they’re still married. 20 years ago when they tied the knot in a Dublin castle, who would have guessed their relationship wasn’t a publicity stunt?
11. The Matrix Shook Us To the Core
The Matrix was released to a ravenous audience that couldn’t get enough, although would realise they could get enough by the 3rd sequel.
12. 10 Things I Hate About You Was Released
Apparently an adaptation of The Taming Of The Shrew, but barely even in the same ballpark, 10 Things I Hate About You was still an enjoyable bit of fun. A very young Heath Ledger and Julia Styles fall for one another in the most delightful of ways.
13. The Sixth Sense Kept Us Riveted
Remember when people still called M. Night Shyamalan a genius? Mostly thanks to The Sixth Sense, which raked in a stunning $672.8 million, and is still one of the most lucrative horror movies of all time.
14. Notting Hill Wowed Cinemagoers
Hugh Grant was still hot property, and Julia Roberts was a Hollywood goddess. It was a charming movie back in 1999 and is now a cult classic, loved by the world over.
16. USB Drives Were Invented
They weren’t technically for sale until 2000, but were invented in 1999.
17. The iBook Released
Now the MacBook, the iBook first saw release in 1999. It sold for $1,599, and was marketed as being a more accessible version of a laptop.
18. SpongeBob SquarePants Was Born
May 1st 1999 saw the birth of SpongeBob, who has since become the most popular children’s show in the world. It most recently was turned into a musical that garnered Tony Award nominations.
19. Shakespeare In Love Won Best Picture
Virtually everyone thought Saving Private Ryan would be taking home the Best Picture Oscar, but Shakespeare In Love swooped in and snatched it away. It’s worth noting that now disgraced Harvey Weinstein was there to accept the honours.
20. NASA Lost 2 Probes
1999 was a rough year for NASA. It lost two probes, and one in the most embarrassing way. The Climate Orbiter was apparently lost entering the Mars atmosphere because, shockingly, two central teams were using different units of measurement and didn’t realise it.