Every decade has its ups and downs, its treasure chest of serious but also wacky moments. The 1990s are no different! They’re often remembered as a decade of relative peace and prosperity.
The Soviet Union fell, ending the decades-long Cold War, and the rise of the Internet lead to a new era of communication and entertainment. The quality of television radically improved. ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘The Simpsons’ reached their popularity in the ’90s along with ‘Friends’, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ and ‘NYPD Blue’. In feature films, it was the decade of ‘Pulp Fiction’ and the indie movement. So many historical moments! Serious or wacky these facts about the 1990s are here to take you back in time. Enjoy!
In 1990 East and West Germany were reunited after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Tight choker necklaces were the fashionable thing to wear.
Perhaps one of the most identifiable clothing fads of the 1990s was the slap bracelet that was created by a high school shop teacher Stuart Anders.
More than 76 million Tamagotchis (handheld digital pets) were sold around the world during the ’90s.
According to a national survey conducted in the 1990s, children readily identified Mario, Nintendo’s leading man, while most struggled to point out Mickey Mouse.
The four-door Ford Taurus was the best-selling car in the ’90s and chances are that you, or at least someone you knew, owned one of these dependable and affordable cars.
Baywatch’s famous slow-motion footage of scantily clad lifeguards running towards danger has become a trademark of the ‘90s.
Floppy disks, the colorful plastic squares were how you loaded your favourite game in computer class or how you saved your essay.
Before the days of lightning-speed Internet, users had to endure the painful process of connecting to the Internet through dial-up, a process that seemed to take forever.
During the VHS tapes’ final days of popularity, Aladdin, undoubtedly one of the most popular films of the decade, sold a staggering $1,058,376,296 worth of VHS tapes.
Michael Jordan won 6 NBA titles in 8 years (1991-1993, 1996-1998).
In 1991 the lead singer of the band Queen, Freddie Mercury, died from AIDS.
There were no openly gay teen characters on TV until 1992 when Ryan Phillippe played the first one on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live.
“Macarena” the greatest one-hit wonder of all was released by Los Del Río in 1993.
The Floppy Disk
Nirvana MTV Unplugged happened on the 18th of November, 1993.
The sounds of the super scary t-rex from Jurassic Park (1993) that had everyone on the edge of their seats, was voiced by… a Jack Russell Terrier!
The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was translated into English and published again in the United States in 1993, when it became an instant success, appearing on theNew York Times best-seller list for more than 300 weeks.
In 1994, pagers were the precursor to today’s smartphones. An estimated 61 million people were using the devices at one point.
In 1994 Nelson Mandela becomes the President of South Africa after being elected in the country’s first multi-racial elections.
The first at-home gaming console created by PlayStation, the Sony PlayStation (or PS1) was released in 1995 and quickly became an international obsession.
DOOM, released in 1993, beat out Windows 95 to become the most installed piece of software on computers in 1995.
Established in 1995, just a few years after the first website was created, AltaVista was the most popular search engine, with more than 83 million hits a day.
When the OJ Simpson trial was hot and heavy in 1995, a ginormous amount of Americans tuned in to watch the final verdict on the 3rd of October, 1995, about 95 million of them!
One of the best children’s movies (and the first feature film produced by Pixar), Toy Story (1995) was originally supposed to have Billy Crystal as the voice of Buzz Lightyear.
In 1995, Princess Diana created an “it bag” frenzy after she was gifted a Dior bag by the first lady of France, Bernadette Chirac.
eBay was founded in 1995 and was originally known as AuctionWeb.
In 1996 Princess Diana and Prince Charles got divorced.
The Spice Girls asked Tony Blair (just before becoming Prime Minister of the UK the following year) to be in the music video for their 1996 debut smash hit “Wannabe.” He declined the offer.
In October 1996, in a time before the Internet and Ellen Degeneres, Tyco owed the overnight success of their wildly popular Tickle Me, Elmo, to Rosie O’Donnell.
Madeleine Albright was appointed as the first female Secretary of State in the United States in 1997.
AOL Instant Messenger was launched in 1997 and gained 53 million users in less than 10 years.
Bill Clinton’s approval ratings skyrocketed in 1998 during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and they remained high even during his impeachment processing.
The search engine Google was founded in 1998.
The Backstreet Boys were the best-selling artist in 1999.
The Barbie Dream House was the best-selling toy in 1999.
In 1999, Bill Gates was already worth $90 billion.
Though it wasn’t on the market until 1999, the Nokia 3210 just within the first few years of sales sold more 150 million units, an impressive feat for a new form of technology.
In 1999, when more than 2 million children in America owned at least one of these talking toys, the NSA declared the Furby an international threat and banned people from carrying them.
Napster changed the way we listen to music today. From its start 1999 to 2001, it gathered 26.4 million users!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about the 1990s that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!