1998 Trivia, Facts & History
|<< - 1997
1998 History Snapshot
- The Interbet: One of the first recognized instances of internet
democracy was seen when Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, a regular
on Howard Stern, was voted #1 as a write in for People's "50
Most Beautiful People." He beat out Leonardo Dicaprio by
over 215,000 votes.
- The Top Song was Iris by Goo Goo Dolls
- The Big Movies included Saving Private Ryan, Armageddon
and There's Something About Mary
- Price of Coca-Cola, 2 liter bottle in 1998: 89 cents
GE Air conditioner 8,000 BTU: $319.00
- The World Population was ~ 5,912,000,000
- US Life Expectancy: Males: 73.8 years, Females: 79.5 years
- Sports: Serena and Venus Williams said they could beat any man
ranked 200 or higher in a game of tennis. Karsten Braasch, ranked
203, accepted the challenge and easily beat them, 6-1, 6-2.
- The Research Paper: In 1996 and 1997, Emily Rosa, 9, tested
21 therapeutic touch practitioners whether their claims to detect
"human energy fields" were true. Finding they were right
only 44% of the time, she published the results on 1998, becoming
the youngest person ever to have a research paper published.
- And... Ricky Gutierrez set the Major League Baseball record
for seeing the most pitches in a single at-bat (20) in 1998 against
pitcher Bartolo Colon.
| 1998 Books
World Series Champions
|New York Yankees
Superbowl XXXII Champions
Stanley Cup Champs
|Detroit Red Wings
U.S. Open Golf
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies)
|Patrick Rafter/Lindsay Davenport
|Pete Sampras/Jana Novotna
NCAA Football Champions
NCAA Basketball Champions
FIFA World Cup (Soccer)
|Mark McGuire hit 70 Home Runs
Sex Symbols and Fashion Icons
|Gillian Anderson, Pamela Anderson, Sophie Anderton,
Jennifer Aniston, Tyra Banks, Zoe Ball, Drew Barrymore, Victoria Beckham,
Traci Bingham, Yasmine Bleeth, Caprice Bourret, Kelly Brook, Sandra
Bullock, Emma Bunton, Neve Campbell, Mariah Carey, Courteney Cox,
Cindy Crawford, Donna D'Errico, Claire Danes, Cat Deeley, Cameron
Diaz, Carmen Electra, Isla Fisher, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Melissa
George, Jo Guest, Geri Halliwell, Salma Hayek, Natasha Henstridge,
Eva Herzigova, Lauryn Hill, Elizabeth Hurley, Nicole Kidman, Heidi
Klum, Anna Kournikova, Lisa Kudrow, Lucy Lawless, Jennifer Lopez,
Jennifer Love Hewitt, Elle Macpherson, Melinda Messenger, Kylie Minogue,
Demi Moore, Gena Lee Nolin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Price (Jordan),
Niki Taylor, Victoria Silvstedt, Heidi Klum, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer
Love Hewitt, Jenny McCarthy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rebecca Romijn,
Winona Ryder, Claudia Schiffer, Elisabeth Shue, Alicia Silverstone,
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Uma Thurman, Shania Twain, Liv Tyler, Kate
Winslet, Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones
|"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"
"It depends on what the emaning of the word 'is' is"
- President Bill Clinton
"Think outside the bun"
- Taco Bell
Roger Ebert's review of the movie Enemy of the State said:
"I don't believe ... the feds have computers at Fort Meade
monitoring our phone calls; I read that as a screenwriter's invention."
Time Magazine's Men of the Year
|Kate Shindle (Evanston, IL)
|Shawnae Jebbia (Massachusetts)
Scandals, RIP and Odd News
A bolt of lightning killed an entire 11-man team with the opposing team remaining
completely unharmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it was
reported. Reported, but never quite verified. The reported score
at the time was 1-1, if you really need to know. Communication was
bad in that country - there was a war in Congo from 1998 to 2003
that claimed the life of 5.7 million people, the deadliest since
George Michael was arrested in 1998 for "engaging in a lewd
act" in a public restroom in a Beverly Hills, CA park.
The current whereabouts of serial killer Pedro López, one
of the most prolific killers of the 20th century, are unknown, after
being released for good behaviour in 1998.
Sony produced Handycan Night Vision camcorders which unknowingly
had the ability to see through people's clothes. They were immediately
The Mars Climate Orbiter crashed into Mars and ended a $200 million
dollar mission because one instrument by Lockheed measured in (US)
pound-seconds and not newton-seconds.
One of the first recognized instances of internet democracy was
seen in 1998 when Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, a regular on Howard
Stern, was voted #1 as a write in for People's (online) "50
Most Beautiful People," followed by wrestler Rick Flair in
second. Third place winner Leonardo DiCaprio was still featured
on the cover. Hank beat out Leondardo Dicaprio by over 215K votes.
Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton... The news of this extra-marital
affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment
hearing of Bill Clinton in 1998 by the US House of Representatives.
Pedro López, a South American serial killer confirmed to
have killed 110 people and confessed to have killed more than 300
between 1969 and 1980, was released in 1998 on good behaviour. His
whereabouts are currently unknown.
The Cavalese Cable Car Disaster of 1998: A US Marine airplane cut
through a cable car wire at an Italian ski resort, which caused
the cable car to plunge 80 meters (260 feet) to the ground, killing
all 20 people onboard. One of the crewmen later destroyed incriminating
evidence against himself and the rest of the crew. Also, 43 people
died in the The Cavalese Cable Car Disaster of 1976.
Quickie Celebrity marriages in 1998
Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman (9 days)
Catherine Oxenberg and Robert Evens (12 days)
Jerry Seinfeld met his wife while she was engaged to another man.
She married the other guy in June 1998, went on a three week honeymoon,
came back and moved in with Seinfeld, divorced her husband by October,
and was engaged to Seinfeld before the year was out, November 1998.
Pop Vocalist Death: Frank Sinatra,
Country Legend Vocalist Death: Tammy
Wynette, age 55
Country Movie Legend Vocalist Death:
Roy Roger, age 86
Pop Star Turned Congressman Death:
Sonny Bono, age 62
Television Star Death: Phil Hartman,
1998 Pop Culture News
Marvel offered the cinematic rights of almost all of it's characters
to Sony for a mere $25 million. Sony rejected the offer, and only
purchased the rights to Spiderman for $10 million believing that
movie audiences would only care about him.
Oprah Winfrey hired the company Courtroom Sciences, Inc. to help
her analyze and read the jury during her Texas cattlemen lawsuit
in 1995. She was so impressed by the head of the company, Phil McGraw,
that she eventually had him appear weekly on her show in 1998, before
his own show was launched.
MP3s were created for the first time.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin misspelled 'googol' when they started
their little search engine experiment. A googol is a big number
- a 1 followed by 100 zeros. A googolplex is 10 raised to the power
of one googol. You should memorize that, because you never can tell
when you might be called to name the biggest number you can. If
somebody calls it before you, say the same thing 'plus one.'
A 'zillion' is an indefinite large number. A 'gazillion' is bigger
On April Fools Day 1998, Burger King took out a full-page ad in
USA Today introducing a Whopper designed especially for lefties.
The new burger would contain the same ingredients as the original,
but rotated 180°. Thousands of customers swarmed BK restaurants
requesting the "lefty" Whopper.
JetBlue Airways was founded.
The website hampsterdance.com
was created in 1998 as a result of a competition between Canadian
students to see who could generate the most traffic and is one of
the earliest examples of an internet meme. The song, produced by
the Boomtown Boys, came out in 2000.
One satellite failed and it caused about 80% of the world's pagers
to stop working.
Little Tikes' red and yellow Cozy Coupe toy car reached 6 million
units in sales by its 25th anniversary in 2004, and was called the
"world's best-selling car for much of this decade" by
The New York Times in 1998, outselling the Honda Accord and Ford
Job seeker website Monster.com was founded.
"Blackie," a cat from the UK, inherited $12.5M when his
owner died. Blackie holds the Guiness World Record for being the
wealthiest cat ever.
David Bowie launched a dial-up Internet Service Provider known as
"BowieNet", which came with its own email and exclusive
content. The service lasted till 2006.
IMDB has been owned by Amazon.com since 1998.
When the final episode of Seinfeld aired on May 14, 1998,
the TV Land network honored the occasion by airing no programming
in the show's timeslot. Instead the network just showed a still
photo of a closed office door.
Workmen restoring the only surviving home of Ben Franklin dug up
the remains of six children and four adults hidden below the home.
On April Fool's Day 1998, Burger King published an advertisement
for "Left-Handed Whopper". The condiments of this whopper
were supposed to be rotated 180 degrees, as to avoid spilling out
toppings from the right side of the burger. It was said to be the
"ultimate 'Have-it-your-way' for lefties"
The main narrative/story timeline of Harry Potter takes place from
1991-1998, while the books were published from 1997-2007.
Jesse Ventura was elected Governer of Minnesota.
The first known instance of the word "derp" comes from
the 1998 comedy film Baseketball by South Park creators Trey
Parker and Matt Stone.
Leonard Nimoy hosted a Y2k Family Survival Guide, in which
various interviewees, including congressmen, medical professionals,
and computer technicians discuss the implications of Y2K and how
various computer systems could fail catastrophically.
Smartwater, vapor-distilled water was introduced. The next year,
Fruitwater was available too.
The US National institute of health redefined the BMI for overweight
from 27.8 to 25, making 25 million Americans previously thought
of as healthy, officially overweight.
The first W Hotel opened in New York on Lexington Ave and 49th Street.
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton "the first
Black president", saying, "Clinton displays almost every
trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class,
saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas"
Watch maker Swatch tried to introduce a metric system of time measurement
they called beets where they took the day and divided it up into
a 1000 beets. It never caught on.
Michael Cameron, a student of Greenbrier High School, was suspended
for wearing a Pepsi shirt on Coke Day.
A Florida resident petitioned successfully to have the telephone
area code "3-2-1" assigned to the Kenedy Space Center
and surrounding area, the pronunciation resembles the countdown
Adam Sandler has only made one(!) comedy film that was positively
rated as "fresh" on RottenTomatoes.com, 1998's The
Gillette introduced the Mach3 razor, the first triple-blade shaving
There is no "Unknown Soldier" from The Vietnam War at
the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery. The man who was
interred there from 1974 to 1998 was identified as Lt.
Michael Blassie with DNA testing. He was removed, and now the
crypt is empty.
When AOL 4.0 launched in 1998, they used ALL of the world's CD production
capacity for several weeks.
After a tornado in 1998, 1000+ trees were toppled at The Hermitage,
a plantation built by President Andrew Jackson. Using wood from
the fallen trees, the Gibson Guitar Corporation produced 200 limited
edition "Old Hickory" guitars.
Saving Private Ryan (1998) was the last film edited on a
non-digital editing system to win an Academy Award for editing.
Roy Berger did 3,416 push-ups in Ottawa, Canada on August 30.
Serena and Venus Williams said they could beat any man ranked 200
or worse in a game of tennis. Karsten Braasch, ranked 203, accepted
the challenge and easily beat them, 6-1, 6-2.
Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1998: $1,300,000
ESPN The Magazine began publication
|Reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling
Reading The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
Popular Christmas Gifts
|Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, SNK's Neo Geo Pocket &
Neo Geo Pocket Color, Furby, Barbie and Ken as the Munsters Giftset,
Betty Spaghetti, Pokemon Yellow video game
|A Bug's Life, Antz, Akira, Armageddon, The Big Lebowski,
Deep Impact, Doctor Dolittle, Enemy of the State, Everest, Godzilla,
Lethal Weapon 4, The Mask of Zorro, Mighty Joe Young, Mulan, Patch
Adams, Pi, The Prince of Egypt, The Rugrats Movie, Rush Hour, Saving
Private Ryan, Shakespeare in Love, There's Something About Mary, Stepmom,
The Truman Show, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, The X-Files, You've
The Big Movies
|(according to boxofficemojo)
1. Saving Private Ryan
3. There's Something About Mary
4. A Bug's Life
5. The Waterboy
6. Doctor Dolittle
7. Rush Hour
8. Deep Impact
10. Patch Adams
1998/99's Most Popular TV
(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. E.R. (NBC)
2. Friends (NBC)
3. Frasier (NBC)
4. Monday Night Football (ABC)
5. Veronica's Closet (NBC)
6. Jesse (NBC)
7. 60 Minutes (CBS)
8. Touched By An Angel (CBS)
9. CBS Sunday Night Movie (CBS)
10. Home Improvement (ABC)
The Biggest Pop Artists of 1998 include
Aaliyah, Aerosmith, Backstreet Boys, Blackstreet, Brandy, Brian
McKnight, Celine Dion, Destiny's Child, Dixie Chicks, Janet Jackson,
Goo Goo Dolls, K-Ci & JoJo, Kenny Chesney, Lauryn Hill, Madonna,
Mariah Carey, Mase, Master P, Matchbox Twenty, Monica, Montell Jordan,
Mya, Natalie Imbruglia, Next, *NSYNC, R. Kelly, Puff Daddy, Redman,
Savage Garden, 702, Shania Twain, Silkk the Shocker, Spice Girls,
Usher, Will Smith, Wyclef Jean
(Data is complied from various charts including:
Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts.
The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)
Number One Hits of 1998
October 11, 1997 - January 16, 1998: Elton John - Candle
in the Wind '97
January 17, 1998 - January 30, 1998: Savage Garden - Truly Madly
January 31, 1998 - February 13, 1998: Janet Jackson - Together
February 14, 1998 - February 27, 1998: Usher - Nice And Slow
February 28, 1998 - March 13, 1998: CÚline Dion - My Heart Will
March 14, 1998 - April 3, 1998: Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy Wit
April 4, 1998 - April 24, 1998: K-Ci & JoJo - All My Life
April 25, 1998 - May 22, 1998: Next - Too Close
May 23, 1998 - June 5, 1998: Mariah Carey - My All
June 6, 1998 - September 4, 1998: Brandy & Monica - The Boy
September 5, 1998 - October 2, 1998: Aerosmith - I Don't Want
To Miss A Thing
October 3, 1998 - October 16, 1998: Monica - The First Night
October 17, 1998 - November 13, 1998: Barenaked Ladies - One
November 14, 1998 - November 27, 1998: Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop
November 28, 1998 - December 4, 1998: Divine - Lately
December 5, 1998 - January 15, 1999: R. Kelly & CÚline Dion
- I'm Your Angel
More Pop Culture Resources
|Popular Music in 1998
# 1 Hits of 1998