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What The World Was Like The Year The Lewinsky Scandal Broke

Ah, 1998.

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• Google Inc. was founded.

• Microsoft became the biggest company in the world and was valued at $261 billion on the New York Stock Exchange.

• Microsoft released Windows 98.

• Jerry Yang was running Yahoo.


• Apple unveiled the iMac.

• Elle Fanning was born.

• Jaden Smith was born.

• Sonny Bono died.

• Falco died.

• Florence "Flo-Jo" Griffith-Joyner died.

• Harry Caray died.

• Frank Sinatra died.

• Akira Kurosawa died.

• Linda McCartney died.


• The "Unabomber," Theodore Kaczynski, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

• The Galileo probe discovers that Jupiter's moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.

• Eighty to ninety percent of the world's pagers lost service when the Galaxy IV communications satellite fell out of orbit.


• A gallon of gas cost $1.15.

• Exxon and Mobil merged to create the worlds largest petroleum company.

• Hugo Chávez was elected president of Venezuela.

• India and Pakistan tested nukes.

• Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family were buried in St. Catherine Chapel, 80 years after he and his family were killed by the Bolsheviks.

• The Second Congo War began and 3,900,000 people would be killed before the conflict ended in 2003, making it the bloodiest war, to date, since World War II.

• United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, were bombed.

• North Korea celebrated its 50th anniversary by adopting a military dictatorship.

• The fatwa against Salman Rushdie was lifted by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami.


• The United States announced its first budget surplus in 30 years.

• Russia was broke.

• Nineteen European nations agreed to forbid human cloning.

• The first euro coins were minted.

• Executive Order 13087 was signed into law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in the competitive service of the federal civilian workforce. The CIA, the FBI, and the NSA were exempted.

• Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die in a cornfield in Laramie, Wyo.

• At 23, Bear Grylls became the youngest British climber to scale Mount Everest.


• CBS telecast The Wizard of Oz for the last time. It's only been broadcast on cable since then.

Armageddon made $553,709,788.

The Big Lebowski made $46,189,568.

Titanic won the Oscar for Best Picture.


• Ellen and Anne Heche were doing it.

• Jay Z and Lil' Kim were doing it.

• Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes were doing it.

• Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were doing it.

• Johnny Depp and Kate Moss stopped doing it.

• Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock were doing it and then stopped.


• Bruce Willis and Demi Moore divorced.

• Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra got married.

• NBC and CBS dominated the top 10.


• These were the songs that reached No. 1:

• This was what Nickelodeon's daytime schedule looked like:


• Peyton Manning was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick.

• Michael Olowokandi was picked No. 1 in the NBA draft.

• Dirk Nowitzki was No. 9.

• Paul Pierce was No. 10.


• Mark McGwire became the second person to hit 61 home runs in one season.

• Sammy Sosa became the third.

• The Yankees won the World Series.

• Cal Ripken Jr. didn't start an Orioles game for the first time since 1982.

• ABC and ESPN paid $1.15 billion a season to keep Monday Night Football.

• The Broncos won the Super Bowl.

• The NBA locked out its players.

• The Bulls beat the Jazz in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.


• France beat Brazil in the World Cup.

• The 1998 Winter Olympics were held in Nagano, Japan.

• NHL players participated in the Winter Olympics for the first time.

• Curling made its Winter Olympics debut.

• Former Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford came out.

• Elton John was knighted.


• Lil' Kim wore this to the Soul Train Music Awards.

• Rose McGowan wore this to the MTV Video Music Awards.


• Madonna won Video of the Year for "Ray of Light."

Total Request Live was broadcast for the first time.


• Britney Spears' debut single "...Baby One More Time" was released.

• Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls and became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.


• The FDA approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence.


Senior Writer

Contact Dorsey Shaw at

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