As host of That 90s Show on Z95-3 in Vancouver, I spend part of my life living in the past, digging through archives and remembering the 90s.
As we usher in 2016, let’s take time to flip back to the 90s and ponder all these 1996 pop culture moments that are now 20 years old.
It has been 20 years since Madonna became a mom, Tupac died, we tickled Elmo, and Oprah convinced you to buy more books. 20 years since you were a Wannabe with an N64 watching Independence Day.
My how time flies …
Let’s relive the best of 1996 Pop Culture:
The most talked about mobile phone of 1996 was the Motorola StarTAC. The world’s smallest and lightest mobile phone to date was marketed as a wearable. If you had one, you had the belt clip for it and you wore it with pride.
We were introduced to the Spice Girls as they hit number 1 with Wannabe. As 2016 dawns, there is talk of a 20th Anniversary reunion tour for the girls, but only if everything is perfect.
Where were you when Tupac Shakur died? He was gunned down on the Las Vegas strip after a Mike Tyson vs Bruce Seldon fight on September 7, 1996. Tupac died 6 days later. Or did he?
Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics, one that was dominated on the track by American Michael Johnson and Canadian Donovan Bailey. Canadians know who the world’s fastest man was.
Celebrities turning 20 in 2016 include Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon (Madonna’s daughter), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Zendaya (model), Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones).
In 1996 pop culture, it was early days for the internet and if you were online at all, you were probably using the Netscape Navigator browser.
In March of 1996, however, a search tool called Google started indexing the web. It wouldn’t get its own Google.com domain until 1997.
Time Magazine‘s Machine of the Year in 1996, the Nintendo 64 video game system has the distinction of being the last major home console to use the cartridge as its primary storage format. Even though it only launched with 2 games, it was still called “the most anticipated videogaming event of the 1990s, possibly of all time.”
Cable news swung wildly to the left and the right with the debuts of both Fox News Channel and MSNBC.
Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, is born at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland. While Dolly was born in 1996, she wasn’t introduced to the world until 1997.
Jim Carrey was the first actor to make $20,000,000 to star in a single film, The Cable Guy.
Oprah started her famous book club in 1996 and revolutionized book sales. Authors became instant best sellers when they hit her list. The first ever book picked? The Deep End Of The Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
On Christmas Day, 1996, 6 year old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in her basement. The case remains unsolved, even after several grand jury hearings, and continues to generate tabloid media interest.
The Everest disaster that would later become the best seller, Into Thin Air, and a 2015 movie, happened in 1996. A sudden storm engulfed Mount Everest with several climbing teams high on the mountain, leaving 8 dead. By the end of the month, at least 4 other climbers would die in the worst season of fatalities on the mountain to date.
Tickle Me Elmo dominated Christmas toy sales in 1996. The dolls were in short supply and, despite a retail price under $30, were soon being flipped online for up to $1500.
Suspected “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski is arrested at his Montana cabin.
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