1. Both the Spice Girls and Hanson dropped their debut singles ("Wannabe" and "MMMBop," respectively) in the U.S.
"Wannabe" was released in the UK in 1996, before being released in the U.S. in 1997.
2. The Spice Girls also had the biggest-selling album of that year!
3. President Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term.
4. Nestle's Wonder Ball were discontinued over potential choking hazards caused by the toys inside.
5. This was Nickelodeon's TV schedule:
6. Seinfeld was the biggest comedy on TV.
7. Ross and Rachel broke up for the first time on Friends.
8. George Lucas released the Special Editions of the original Stars Wars trilogy.
It was a warning sign of what was to come.
9. The Simpsons surpassed The Flintstones for the most number of episodes produced for a primetime cartoon series.
It was "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" episode that helped The Simpsons break the record.
10. South Park, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Daria all made their series debuts.
11. Aqua released their ubiquitous single "Barbie Girl."
12. Tamagotchis were the biggest-selling toys of the year.
13. The Lion King began its run on Broadway.
14. The Disney Afternoon ended its run after seven years.
15. The Daily Show was hosted by Craig Kilborn.
16. Golden-haired couple Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow broke off their engagement.
17. Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris.
Over 33 million people in the U.S. watched her televised funeral live.
18. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published in the UK.
19. George Clooney was named People's "Sexiest Man Alive" and he was best known at the time for his role on the TV series, E.R.
And he would also be known that year as the star of what is considered to be the worst Batman film ever.
20. This is what it looked like when you tried to get online:
21. Ellen DeGeneres publicly came out.
22. The Backstreet Boys were just beginning to enjoy success in the U.S. with their debut album, while NSYNC was causing waves in Europe.
NSYNC would not release their debut album in the U.S. until the following year.