Millenium Bug y2k

What Happened in 1999?

As the last year of the 20th century, 1999 was one that was full of promise and expectations. And, far more happened than the human race was probably expecting!

From big political changes, including new kings and presidents, to world-shaking tragedies including earthquakes and crashes, 1999 is not a year history will soon forget.

Above all, people around at the time will likely remember the buzz and panic surrounding the so-called Millennium Bug, which threatened to disrupt electronics the world over. Thankfully, that panic was soon distilled when we rolled over into 2000.

Here are some of the biggest events from 1999 – maybe you remember some of them!

In this year

facts about money


The Euro currency was officially introduced in 11 European countries. And today, 20 countries in the European Union still use it! The currency became legal tender for France, Italy, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Ireland, Germany, and Portugal.

And, despite the Brexit changes, Ireland still uses the euro as its currency. That being said, the rest of the UK still uses the British pound.

King Hussein of Jordan


King Hussein of Jordan died on February 7th, 1999. Following his passing, his son Abdullah II ascended to the throne. To this day, he remains king of Jordan (as of January 2024). He is part of the Hashemite dynasty, which has reigned over the nation since 1921, and is also considered to be a direct descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

NATO plane


NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia, during the Kosovo War – it was a campaign that became known as Operation Allied Force. NATO’s aim was to try and bring humanitarian crises to an end.

The war lasted until June 1999, taking place between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the Kosovo Albanian rebel group referred to as the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Walther PPK


On April 20th, 1999, two students committed a massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. As of the time of writing, it’s still the deadliest shooting within a school to date – with 15 people, including students, killed during the spree. The event would raise concerns regarding gun control in the US that roll on to this day.

Facts of Nigeria


Big changes in Nigeria started unfolding as of May 29th, 1999, as the country's rulers finally dissolved its infamous military rule, allowing what became known as the Fourth Nigerian Republic to take shape.



The online world said hello to Napster, a download service where users could search for popular music – which helped to set the ball rolling for the online piracy boom. In the years to come, Napster would go legitimate and price its MP3s and WMAs, eventually giving way to the streaming revolution of the 00s and 10s.



July 1st is the official birthday of Europol, otherwise known as the European Police Office! The agency set up and started working as of the start of July, 1999.

Slobodan Milošević


Tensions continued in Yugoslavia, as the city of Belgrade played host to an enormous protest against the continued rule of then-President Slobodan Milošević, who would eventually be tried for war crimes.



Video-game giants Sega unveiled what would be its last original home console as of September 9th – the Dreamcast. While much-loved as an underdog nowadays, the console sold poorly in comparison to Sony's PlayStation 2, and eventually led to Sega becoming purely a software developer.



EgyptAir Flight 990 tragically crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. All 217 passengers and crew members onboard crashed, with those onboard traveling from New York to Cairo, Egypt.

Women Voting in Kuwait


In a step backward for women’s rights, Kuwait’s National Assembly agreed to revoke laws established in 1985 that allowed female citizens to vote in elections. Thankfully, women would be granted suffrage in the Gulf as of 2005, leading to the election of female statespeople in the nation.

Boris Yeltsin


Russian President Boris Yeltsin resigned his post at the very end of the 90s, and appointed Vladimir Putin as acting President – a reign that, two decades later, millions continue to fight against.

1999 was the year of the…

Chinese Year of the Rabbit


Like 1939, 1951, 1963, 1974, 1987, 2001, and 2023, 1999 celebrated Rabbits everywhere, according to the Chinese Zodiac. People born in Rabbit years are curious, motivated by humor and are high spirited – but they can be quite shy. The next Rabbit year won't be until 2035.

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This page was last modified on January 26, 2024. Suggest an edit

Celebrity Births in 1999

Lil Nas X, American rapper, born April 9th, 1999

Cameron Boyce, American actor, born May 28th, 1999

Sabrina Carpenter, American actor, born May 11th, 1999

Joey King, American actor, born July 30th, 1999

Kiernan Shipka, American actor, born November 10, 1999

Famous People We Lost in 1999

John F. Kennedy Jr., American journalist and publisher, died aged 38

Dana Plato, American actor, died aged 34

Joe DiMaggio, American baseball player, died aged 84

Madeline Kahn, American actor, died aged 57

Owen Hart, Canadian professional wrestler, died aged 34

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